Author Topic: Aliexpress alternatives  (Read 14296 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline dantan

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 288
Aliexpress alternatives
« on: Wed, 03 May 2017, 23:10:44 »
This post is to discuss two alternatives to Aliexpress. [edit, new post made to discuss proxy shippers]

I recently had a couple of very bad experiences with Aliexpress that led to my account being suspended.

I filed a total of 1 complaint, and had one other dispute with a seller.

In both cases I received goods in black trash bags with zero padding.

Case 1, DOA. Seller was very iffy and also fought tooth and nail to avoid a refund, resulting in a lot of wasted time and me offering to take partial refund because I wanted the whole thing done over with. In the end I was the loser, accepting partial refund when I should have gone for full refund. Even though I uploaded a video and Seller agreed the basic fact within 24 hours that he had sent me DOA, everything took over a month before money was put back into credit card, so you guys really need to think if you want to file a dispute on Aliexpress. It was a $200 item so this was totally not cool for my peace of mind.

Case 2, not officially filed. I received 3 broken keycaps, seller offered $1 refund because the rest of the set was usable. Then I discovered they had sold me ABS as PBT keycaps, pointed out the change in terms which took place after my purchase date, they agreed and gave a full refund without Aliexpress being involved. But they asked me to 'file a return for personal reasons' which in retrospect was a trick.

After that I lost my Ali account with no means of appeal and no proper explanation. I have a grand total of ZERO other disputes or refunds.

After my experience I realize that the first seller wasn't being iffy. Aliexpress sellers NEVER want to give you refund through their system because it is recorded as a strike against them. They always insist in paypal refund, and even are willing to pay the fees, and it isn't something sleazy. If you insist on going through Ali, which I did because I thought it was safer, you will be screwed because it is a strike against you.

The sellers always want you to take responsibility for the problem, so they want you to say 'return for personal reasons'. I probably lost my account because of 1 dispute and 1 return for personal reasons taking place within the same month.

Now onto my main topic.

Since I have no ali account now, I have to think about the accounts that I used to use. I have bought many times from and and this post is intended to stimulate discussion of these aliexpress alternatives. I also hope to hear from others who can share their experiences and direct me to use other ali alternatives.

First off: Banggood and JD have the huge disadvantage of not offering such enormous variety.

Banggood has prices on par with Ali, but less choice. However, they ship from their own warehouses, so you don't have to worry that you are dealing with some iffy seller. They have US and EU warehouses as well as (of course) China warehouses, and a variety of shipping options. It's not like Ali where everything you buy has to be subject to free but slow shipping.

I haven't used Banggood in a while thanks to Ali's choices. The biggest single reason is keycaps. Ali and Taobao have way more keycap variety. It was through Ali that I discovered Chinese companies are making SA profile even. But Banggood is pretty responsible with shipping. Because they are not a small store out of a universe of stores, they have professional teams and keep on stock a variety of package sizes to package properly. Not excessive like Amazon, but definitely with what I consider a correct amount of packing depending on the item shipped. You won't get gigantic packages full of air as per Amazon, and you don't get black trash bags like Aliexpress.

I don't just have zero complaints about Banggood. I have always been happy. All purchases exceeded expectations. These guys own their own stuff to sell, so they have to use some brains and think before they offer something in their shops, otherwise they'll take a loss for stocking these things in their inventory. Descriptions are not exactly good English, but have improved since a few years ago. I feel they describe to the best of their abilities, and it is professional enough that you don't have to read through miles of semi-relevant text. You can expect clear product descriptions from these guys.

It's not like some aliexpress sellers who don't actually know English, so they cut and paste entire descriptions from other aliexpress sellers who seem to be selling similar goods, then decide to play it safe and cut and paste entire descriptions from other aliexpress sellers, resulting in ads which seem to describe 3 different items.

Even Banggood's spams are relevant. For that reason I used to look at their spams, until I realized it was financially not in my advantage.

The only thing that is bad about Banggood, once again, is their lack of variety.

I feel that if you know exactly what you want to buy, always go with Banggood. They are not likely to make a mistake with their own descriptions. If you're not sure, then use Ali to browse.

If price difference is small, like 5%, always take Banggood because of their superior packaging. Do you really want to skimp on that 5% and wind up with a broken item in the mail after which Ali suspends your account for filing complaint?

Now I want to talk about JD. I haven't used them in just over a year, and they've changed. Now they have a foreign division that offers English.

I totally don't like their variety. They have a category called Men's Fleece Jackets, and recently they didn't even have anything to put in that category!

Looking at the items per category, you often see 1 or 2 choices only. For anybody used to a constellation of choices, JD sucks.

But why do I want to mention JD? Because I have actually used their buyer protection before, and I like it very much.

When they sent me something DOA, I complained, and guess what? They put me in touch with tech support! They have (at least, as of end 2015 they had) tech support!

Moreover, this tech support actually knows English, sounds intelligent, and was able to offer cogent suggestions on resolving a USB port conflict issue!

It took several backs and forths, but my experience was no different from getting tech support from Western Digital or Norton. It isn't a brain dead guy with a technician diploma from a fifth rate Chinese polytechnic. It isn't a distant subsidiary or some outside contracted firm to answer technical questions via intermediataries.

It's a real pro who solved my issue in a courteous and professional manner and turned an angry buyer into a fully satisfied buyer!

I honestly don't buy enough from JD thanks to their meagre product variety. But this experience has created buyer goodwill from me.

Buy your trash from Ali. Anything that you really won't miss if they send you the wrong product or something smashed in the mail. Aliexpress buyer protection is offered in bad faith and their chat line manned by robots who talk nonsense.

Buy the better or more expensive stuff from Banggood. They will make sure the product is described properly, and they will pack properly, and you have shipping options.

Buy from JD if it's something expensive and might conceivably require tech support.
« Last Edit: Fri, 05 May 2017, 10:29:59 by dantan »

Offline dantan

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 288
Proxy Shippers
« Reply #1 on: Fri, 05 May 2017, 11:37:32 »
This is not a post to talk about any individual proxy. I'll let other people do that.

I just want to touch on the category of proxy shipping.

My rants to my friends about Aliexpress fake buyer protection got some responses, and that made me realize what proxy shipping is good for.

Taobao has cheaper stuff than Ali. Same sellers, just that they are targeting Chinese market and ship internally. Quality is the same.

Shipping via Taobao proxy, your stuff gets consolidated and professionally shipped together. If you're only buying 1 item you might conceivably save money when you buy from an Aliexpress seller with free shipping, but if you buy a lot of stuff (say lots of things for building a keyboard), overall it would work out better if you used a proxy.

Proxies are pros in the art of buying and packing. They're a great buffer between you and iffy sellers in China.

For one, Chinese domestic shipping is awesomely fast. 3 days max in most cases.

Then the proxy will examine the goods. A friend who has bought over 200 times says he was notified maybe 7 times by his proxy of problem goods, which were returned immediately. He rarely had to do anything unless his subjective opinion was needed, such as in the case of clothes that were a bit off in color.

This suggests that there might be a ratio of 30:1 for straight-off dissatisfactory purchases. I'm talking about things wrongly sent, or partially sent, or damaged in the mail, or whatever that a proxy shipper can identify by eye without actually using the product.

Most proxy shippers do a good job repacking and shipping. That saves your money and offers real protection. Aliexpress sellers usually use black trash bags with no padding, and Chinese domestic sales on Taobao feature the same minimalist tendencies. When you get Aliexpress sellers to send stuff 6000 miles to you, your stuff might get squashed along with tons of other Chinese international mail of different sizes. Proxy shippers in contrast put your stuff in proper boxes and pad properly.

My social circle must have made thousands of proxy shipping purchases by now. Zero cases of anything that arrived physically broken. If the proxy received it broken back in China, it would have been resolved on your behalf. If it was not broken when they packed it, it would never be broken when you receive it.

To remind you how risky international shipping can be: some proxy shipments come in damaged boxes. The contents are fine because all proxies use generous amount of padding, but the box sometimes takes a beating. If you consider how a box with thick sides can be partially punctured or come to you with a big rip on its side, clearly the cargo handling was rough. Now imagine your aliexpress purchase in its black trash bag and no padding going through the same process.

Proxies are a great middleman when it comes to disputes. Anyone using a proxy never has to be the guy filing complaint. All the aggravation is resolved for you. And from my understanding, proxies can get problems resolved very fast because they're in China, speaking in Chinese accents using Chinese phone lines, and paying domestic shipping to return. If something was not as described, you never had to lift a finger. It was always returned, and your money was always refunded.

I do not know if there is an actual Taobao policy about this, but the Chinese system and Chinese people tend to respect 'big'. If you're a professional proxy, you are a very big buyer on Taobao. You're not to be messed with. Sellers don't put up a fight when there are disputes. In most cases the entire process of identifying 'not as described' and arranging for return and refund took place during your sleep. Literally.

My aliexpress official buyer resolution took a month, and my unofficial complaint took a week even with my photos and with my pointing out of the clear discrepancy in product description. But when a proxy is doing this for you, it rarely takes over 2 days.

Possibly Chinese sellers are much more open to accepting returns from proxies because domestic returns are much cheaper than international shipping returns.

Reordering does depend on the proxy. Some proxies are intelligent enough to reorder automatically if there was a 'not as described' return. Some just handle the refund and tell you to make an official order again if you still want the same thing. This happens even if the seller clearly has more of the same item in stock and seller freely agrees that it was an honestly misshipped item so there's no issue with sending the right thing to make good the buyer. Proxies change their policies over time, but in general they err on the side of caution.

Since my friend alone had 7 returns within a couple years, probably his proxy was responsible for tens of thousands of returns in total on Taobao. Jack Ma's organization clearly will accept tens of thousands of disputes from the same party, if it is sufficiently big and powerful enough.

Offline Leslieann

  • * Elevated Elder
  • Posts: 4519
Re: Aliexpress alternatives
« Reply #2 on: Fri, 05 May 2017, 16:50:29 »
Ali is almost like a Chinese flea market/Ebay. Anyone can sell.
Banggood id more like Amazon or a store, of course they have less. It also means no shady sellers, and China has a LOT of shady sellers.

Best advice, if you can't find it elsewhere, don't buy it!
I deal a lot with Chinese sellers and you really have to be on your toes, and even then, at some point you WILL get ripped off. If Apple can't even avoid being ripped off over there, what chance do you think you have?
Novelkeys NK65AE w/62g Zilents/39g springs
62g Zilents/lubed/Novelkeys 39g springs, HK Gaming Thick PBT caps, Netdot Gen10 magnetic cable, pic
| Filco MJ2 L.E. Vortex Case, Jailhouse Blues, heavily customized
Vortex case squared up/blasted finish removed/custom feet/paint/winkey blockoff plate, HID Liberator, stainless steel universal plate, 3d printed adapters, Type C, Netdot Gen10 magnetic cable, foam sound dampened, HK Gaming Thick PBT caps (o-ringed), Cherry Jailhouse Blues w/lubed/clipped Cherry light springs, 40g actuation
w/ Kailh Purple Pros/lubed/Novelkeys 39g springs, HK Gaming Thick PBT caps, Netdot Gen10 Magnetic cable
| PF65 3d printed 65% w/LCD and hot swap
Box Jades, Interchangeable trim, mini lcd, QMK, underglow, HK Gaming Thick PBT caps, O-rings, Netdot Gen10 magnetic cable, in progress link
| Magicforce 68
MF68 pcb, Outemu Blues, in progress
| YMDK75 Jail Housed Gateron Blues
J-spacers, YMDK Thick PBT, O-rings, SIP sockets
| KBT Race S L.E.
Ergo Clears, custom WASD caps
| Das Pro
Costar model with browns
| GH60
Cherry Blacks, custom 3d printed case
| Logitech Illumininated | IBM Model M (x2)
Definitive Omron Guide. | 3d printed Keyboard FAQ/Discussion

Offline klennkellon

  • Posts: 1278
  • Location: Southern California
  • I like bottoming out
Re: Aliexpress alternatives
« Reply #3 on: Wed, 13 December 2017, 05:08:17 » is good.

They also have a shop on Aliexpress so I would not be afraid to order from KBDFans on there either.

Offline killyou

  • Posts: 264
  • Location: Poland
Re: Aliexpress alternatives
« Reply #4 on: Thu, 14 December 2017, 04:46:57 »
I bought so many things on Aliexpress and haven't been ripped off yet. I got ****ty products twice, opened dispute and got my money back. I can honestly recommend doing business there. I recently got a pack of Gateron switches from KBDfans so I can also totally recommend that store as well. I just received cup holders for my stroller yesterday and waiting for some Fallout keycaps to arrive as we speak.

Offline OfTheWild

  • * Esteemed Elder
  • Posts: 1308
  • Location: Cary, NC
  • Make things. Have fun.
    • Studios of the Wild
Re: Aliexpress alternatives
« Reply #5 on: Fri, 15 December 2017, 19:55:50 »
Big supporter of KBDfans both on aliexpress and direct.
I have also personally ordered from BangGood and also GearBest - but not keyboard related stuff, mostly flashlights and stuff.

Offline tuxkey

  • Posts: 82
  • Location: The Netherlands
Re: Aliexpress alternatives
« Reply #6 on: Sat, 23 December 2017, 11:36:39 »
As someone that buys from Aliespress and some times Bangood. i totaly 100% agree with this post.

a couple of months ago i bought a wood wrist rest i had done so before from a different seller (doesn't exist anymore) and was happy with the product. As i'm trying to switch my girl to a mechanical keyboard i thought to replace the cheap looking Ducky fake leather one with a nice wood wrist rest. The price was ok €22,65 ...when it arrived packaged in black plastic  (different seller packaging was better).
i thought i'd use sum wood oil that i use for my expensive wood cutting board. And applied a thin layer..the rag that i used turned orange. what surprised me but i didn't mind. it felt ok for the price no complains.
Gave it to my girl and forgot all about it.
few weeks later she had sum computer problems so i went to here desk to help out. And to my surprise the wrist rest did not lie flat on the table !! i told her why did you not mention it.?? well she's that rare breed of people that don't complain when something isn't ok.
you know to sweet to say something just go on using it.. i tried to Open a Dispute but got this reply.

Disputes can only be opened up to 15 days after you have confirmed receiving your items.

So i'm screwed.. the store name is "Cool Jazz Store" btw i tried contacting the seller and got no response.
The sell lot of keyboard stuff keycaps you name it..
My advise is avoid this seller like the plague there are better seller even on Aliexpress no reason to buy from this thief..

oh almost forgot i tried to use clamps to bend the wrist rest leave it overnight but nothing helped..

Offline Reimu_64

  • Posts: 99
    • KeebWorks
Re: Aliexpress alternatives
« Reply #7 on: Mon, 21 June 2021, 17:03:53 »
So i'm screwed.. the store name is "Cool Jazz Store" btw i tried contacting the seller and got no response.
The sell lot of keyboard stuff keycaps you name it..
My advise is avoid this seller like the plague there are better seller even on Aliexpress no reason to buy from this thief..

I've never bought a wrist rest from them, but I have bought a bunch of switches, plates and an alu case. This store hasn't given me an issue at all. So, it's either I get super lucky with all my purchases or you got unlucky from a single purchase.

I’m not advocating to use Ali over other stores since I’ve been ‘scammed’ by sellers on eBay and Amazon. So, I suspect the same will happen to me on Ali…it will just be a matter on time.

I can’t really speak for Banggood since I’ve only used it once (yes, it went well…for a sample size of 1).