So, you’ve decided that you want to purchase an Android Tablet straight from China. What do you need to know? Where do you start? I’ve compiled a few tips, courtesy of other users of Aliexpress, and my own personal experiences. I use Aliexpress as a reference because they have a fairly good system in place, even if it does have its downsides – there are still scams rampant on any website, trying to get people to spend money for no product at all. I’ve read about people spending upwards of $10,000 as a downpayment and receiving nothing. This is peanuts compared to that.
Do your research
Know what you’re buying, make sure you’ve found everything you need to know about the product: speed, memory, accessories, return policy, and just make sure that you’re absolutely certain this is the one you want. If the price is too good to be true, it probably is. You aren’t going to be able to pay $100 for a product that has the same specs as a $300 netbook in North America. However, you can expect cheaper prices when dealing directly with the factory, instead of through a reseller.
Read more after the break.
Research the company selling
Check them out – do a Google search and look at the Aliexpress Forums; people will post bad feedback for companies that they have dealt with and been burned by, you just need to sort through them and make sure the one you are buying from isn’t one of them. Remember, Gold Seller status can be bought, for $3000. I read last night that it apparently means nothing, unlike eBay, where you need to get feedback to increase your rating. Look at the feedback rating on the individual sales items, as well – the same thing you would do when purchasing from eBay.
Talk to the seller
If the seller is unable to speak to you in a chat program, such as Trade Manager, then you might want to consider not dealing with them. Most are happy to send you one or two devices – good feedback means either return sales or word-of-mouth sales. Both are a bonus to them, even if they are trying to sell in volume amounts. Get the seller to show you a video, or take a few pictures of the unit – running QSystemInfo if you really want to figure out if the specs are legitimate. If you are able to, find out whether they are a representative of the factory or if they are a trader reselling the product.
Do not pay via money transfer
Whatever you do, don’t send them the money via a money transfer (Such as Western Union) – you will most likely never see it again, as it’s hard to trace after the fact. Use a reputable company like Paypal or Escrow to make the transfer. It ensures you have avenues to pursue in case your order doesn’t arrive, or you get something significantly different from what you ordered.
If you have a problem
Lodge a complaint immediately. Send a message to the seller, telling him you have a problem with the order, and after you receive a reply (hopefully a replace or refund message), use the AliExpress Refund and Dispute console. The reason I do it in this order is that the funds are released 14 days after you mark the item as being received, even if you are in the process of shipping the item back. Ship the item back and wait for a refund. If the timer is going to expire on the dispute, and you have paid with Paypal, being the dispute process with Paypal, as well. The transaction will become “Frozen” and you will be able to wait for your item to arrive. You can escalate this dispute with Paypal, also.
If you are happy with the order
Pass it on – tell people! Android devices are going to take the world by storm this year, and people want to know where to buy them and what dealers are reputable.
Leave comments or questions below, or send me an email, and I’ll do my best to answer them. I don’t know the answer to everything, but I can sure find out.