It has long been surprising to no one that 90% of the store assortment is made in China. But while the goods reach the hands of the domestic buyer, its price will grow significantly: in addition to the seller, a large wholesale intermediary and the final realizator will lay down their profit percentage. And it happens that in this scheme there are even more participants, and this only increases the final cost. To avoid such cheating, many buyers directly order cheap things from China. On how to make thrifty shopping in the Middle Kingdom, we will tell in this article.
Where to buy cheap stuff from China?
The giants of e-commerce in China are three sites, which in their own way resemble the usual market. This is not one big store, but a collection of many sellers. All these markets belong to one company - Alibaba Group, but each of them is aimed at its category of buyers who order things from China:
- Alibaba.com is designed for wholesale. As a rule, the goods are sold not individually, but in lots. Here the seller provides his goods, contacts, approximate prices and production opportunities. The buyer can contact him and negotiate the terms of delivery. Recently, "Alibaba" is developing the direction of small wholesale, providing customers with order protection, the possibility of refunds in the event of non-receipt or inconsistency of the goods.
- Taobao.com is a retail online store. Here you can order things from China inexpensively. It may seem that here the prices are the lowest, but the site has its own significant disadvantages. So, delivery from "Taobao" is carried out only on the territory of China, foreign buyers have to use the services of an intermediary who will receive the ordered goods and send it abroad. For this you pay him a percentage of the purchase and in addition reimburse the cost of shipment (depends on the weight and dimensions of the parcel). The price thus considerably increases. If the goods are of poor quality, you will not be able to file a claim with the seller. An unconscionable intermediary can disrupt the delivery time or even buy the wrong things, so ordering with "Taobao" is rather risky.
- Aliexpress.com - by and large this is an analog of "Taobao", designed for a foreign retail buyer. The choice of goods is huge, the prices are much lower than outside of China, and the site acts as a controller of the transaction. So, you pay the cost of the thing from China, but the seller receives the money for the purchase only after you confirm the end of the transaction. If the goods are not delivered on time or do not match the order, you will be reimbursed. The system of protection of purchases from "Aliexpress" is quite impressive and is constantly being improved.
"Aliexpress" is the leader among internet shops
Summarizing, we can say that ordering things from China is cheap for a retail buyer best on "Aliexpress". In addition to protecting transactions, regular discounts, promotions and cashback are available. Russia is one of the largest markets for "AliExpress", so the Russian-language interface is available, which makes it much easier to use the online store. Even queries to find products you can not translate, the site will understand you.
Official communities in social networks help you learn how to shop, find links to trusted vendors and communicate with other lovers to order things from China. Also, recently it became possible to leave reviews with photos in Russian, so you can always find out the objective opinion of compatriots.
Let's take a closer look at how things are ordered from China.
Step 1. Selecting the seller
Be sure to pay attention to the seller's rating: the higher it is, the more reliable it is to cooperate with it. However, there are no rules without exceptions. Some developing stores try to serve the first customers as best as possible in order to get good feedback. And stores with a high rating can afford to ignore a disgruntled buyer. Therefore, before buying it is desirable to communicate with the seller using a chat or internal mail: specify the size, ask for a real photo, especially if the thing is expensive. If the seller does not respond at this stage, then imagine what attitude you will have if there are controversial situations.
Step 2. Finding the best price
When you start looking for a product, you will notice that many people sell it, and the cost is sometimes very different. This is due to two reasons:
- Increased demand. Young shops often make large discounts to attract buyers (the same is used and scammers - be careful). But sellers with a high rating can afford to understate the price, because they have large sales volumes. A much overpriced price is put by the seller in order to be able to indicate the large value of the discount. There are cases when a product marked "-90%" ultimately costs the same as the average in the market.
- Different goods. The fact that sellers use the same pictures does not mean that they sell the same product. This is especially true for down jackets: the spread of prices for one model - from 20 to 100 dollars - can mean that they are sewed by completely different manufacturers and from different materials. Counterfeit forgery in China - a normal phenomenon.
Therefore, do not be lazy to spend some time studying the results of the search results and reasonably estimate the value of the goods. For example, a bag made of genuine leather, even in China, can not cost $ 5, this is a clear sign of fraud. For convenience, the search can be sorted by price, order quantity, seller rating or by reviews.
Step 3. Ordering
The procedure is not much different from the standard purchase on the Internet. You can add goods to the basket and form orders from there, or you can immediately buy a specific position on its page. Please note that each seller sends the parcel separately.
At the first purchase, the service will ask you to fill out the shipping information. Make sure that you have specified them correctly. Buyers from Russia who order things from China, it is necessary to indicate the surname, name, patronymic completely in order to avoid problems with delivery. Do not try to translate street names, write in English "home", "apartment". It is important that the destination country is correctly written. All other data will be of interest only to local postmen, do not complicate their work.
Step 4. Payment
There are a lot of ways of payment on Chinese websites. Bank cards Visa, Mastercard, Maestro, Western Union, WebMoney, Qiwi, "Yandex Money" and others are available. In the event of a refund, the money comes to the card or purse from which the payment was made. In order to be more convenient to navigate in the prices, you can choose the currency in which the value will be displayed in the right part of the top panel of the site.
Step 5. Delivery
Many buyers do not order things from China, because they are afraid that the parcel is lost or that they have to pay customs duties. But most often these fears are far-fetched.
Delivery is carried out either by public services, for example, by China Post, Russian Post, or international courier companies, eg UPS, Fedex, etc.
After the payment of the buyer is verified, the seller ships the goods within a certain period of time. Its duration is 5-90 days, it is always indicated in the product card next to the delivery method. Conscientious sellers ship the goods in the shortest possible time, and scammers often delay this.
After sending the trader gives the buyer a tracking track number. This is a combination of letters and symbols that you need to enter on the site of the postal company, and you can track the movement of the parcel. Please note that the parcel will not be tracked on the website of your mail until it arrives in the country. Delivery time depends on many factors and fluctuates within 14-60 days, less often this figure reaches 100-120. Therefore, it is better to plan the purchase in advance. Also, make sure that the period for the protection of the order does not end before you receive it.
After receiving the goods, do not forget to leave feedback to help other buyers.
Fraud with tracks
According to the rules, the seller must provide the current track number to the buyer. But sellers of inexpensive goods try to save on sending and send them without tracked tracks. Of course, this is inconvenient for the buyer: there is no way to follow the movement of the purchase.
In this case, you can open a dispute, but here come into force unspoken laws. If the seller warns that he sends without a track or sets a minimum order for a certain amount, then it is difficult to blame him for something. You yourself agreed to this risk when you decided to buy a product cheaper. But if the seller silently gave you a fake number for a parcel costing more than $ 10, then this is an excuse for opening a dispute.