Monday, August 29, 2011

Stores selling cheap stuff from China

There are many online stores which sell a wide variety of cheap stuff from China, usually with free shipping. The prices can be impressively low, but the quality is sometimes questionable.

DealExtreme seems to be the most popular one. So far, I've ordered several items from there, and overall I've had a good experience. I'm using the 10W 500-Lumen Multi-Color RGB LED Emitter Metal Plate (140 degree) in my RGB lamp, and I'm happy with it. Their 5mm white LEDs are also good, with a nice colour and good brightness. I also got a nice 55mm lens cap.

So far, I've only had one problem with DealExtreme, and that was resolved in a good way. I ordered what was at the time advertised as a Massa circular polarizer for my camera. The packaging and item I received made no mention of Massa, and the item looked different. When I contacted DealExtreme, I got some store credit. The polarizer does provide decent photos as long as I don't zoom much, and I really like some photos I took using it. I also see that DealExtreme updated the item description and photos, showing what I got. As a result of all of this, I'm satisfied.

My favourite thing about DealExtreme is the reviews and forum posts. They seem genuine, and they provide useful information about the products. Yes, DealExtreme does sell some bad products, but the reviews and other information make it possible to avoid most of these.

The only real complaint I have is that some simple actions (such as redeeming store credit or DX points) require customer service interactions. These things would be easier and faster if automated. However, customer service always responded promptly, so this is not a major issue.

The main thing that motivated me to write this post is my first purchase from DinoDirect and what I saw when I spent more time on that site. It's a big contrast; DealExtreme is much better. For example, check out what other people have to say about DinoDirect, and look at the quality of item reviews on DinoDirect.

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