Beware of Alibaba.com and the 40 thefts – it’s easy to get cheated there


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Searching the web Lub (from our Technical Support) came across listing for our boards in Alibaba.com

This is weird as we do not have Chinese distributor nor we know the companies who list our boards there, so I’m sure these companies have zero stock of our boards, then what happens when somebody order from them and pay? I don’t know nor I’m curious enough to check myself🙂

More ridiculous is that they have listed under OLIMEX brand boards which are not ours:

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and under LPC-P1343 which is development board with NXP microcontroller https://www.olimex.com/Products/ARM/NXP/LPC-P1343/ they list something totally different:

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Alibaba is blacklisted by me long time ago for purchasing anything due to the scam and the absence of any control of the advertised content.

Usually same items which are listed on Alibaba could be found on ebay too, but with buyer protection which ebay offers.

In Alibaba first they never list correct prices, you could see prices listed like from $0.01 to $100.00 which means exactly nothing. Also they will write anything in the item description.

I do remember when A13 was announced I searched for A13 tablet to may test software in advance.

In Alibaba there were few listed tablets with A13 in their description, but in this description was written that these tablets have HDMI which rings some bells to me as A13 have no HDMI output.

So I started ‘conversation’ with seller on Alibaba:

 me>Is this tablet with A13?
seller>yes
 me>but it’s written in the description that it have HDMI output, right?
 seller>yes, it does have HDMI
me>how this is possible? A13 have no HDMI output?
 seller>yes, you are right A13 have no HDMI output

So I understand that this is probably A10 tablet but with false description as A13 which was newer chip at the moment.

OK who need this bullshit? Obviously more listings may generate more sale leads so these guys list everything they have (and everything they don’t have) and wait some foolish white man to come and order from the China’s heaven🙂

This could never happen on ebay, after few negative feedbacks this seller will have to make new account as nobody will buy from him/her.

I try twice to buy chips from alibaba.com and both times have been burned.

First time I was searching for MCP601 OAMP which was out of stock by official Microchip channels. Ordered and got few reels which I discover to be 94LC46 memories which were re-labeled to MCP601 with labels printed on laser printer.

The second time was similar I couldn’t find MAX232 in DIP package and I though what the hell this is so simple chip nothing can go wrong and I ordered 2000 pcs they came and on first sight everything was fine, Texas Instruments marking etc, but when we put it on the device we found that these chips have 300mA consumption!

Maybe I’m out of luck, but I decided to not try to do this anymore, so I just blacklisted this site from my books🙂

TLDR; Beware of Alibaba.com poor content control, no buyer feedback, most of the listings there are scam and possibility to get burned is high.

11 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Lucas Zampar
    Nov 06, 2013 @ 15:16:28

    Just for everyone know:
    I bought 20 samples DM9000 IC from Aliexpress.com. All components are right!
    So… I ordered 450 units. All the pieces were with communication problem and higher power consumption.
    Since this order, I never ordered any component from AliExpress.
    PS: Somebody want DM9000? rs…

    Reply

  2. OLIMEX Ltd
    Nov 06, 2013 @ 15:22:59

    … and I have 2000 pcs MAX232 for sale🙂 if one wants to make art installation like http://www.environmentteam.com/art/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/miniature-figures.jpg

    Reply

  3. Ernő ZALKA (ern0)
    Nov 06, 2013 @ 16:58:45

    There are also empty chips. Plastic cube with legs.

    Reply

  4. jonsmirl
    Nov 06, 2013 @ 17:39:22

    Your Aliexpress purchases automatically go through an escrow provided by the Alibaba parent company. After receiving the package you can take a few days to check it out before releasing the payment. You have to use the web UI on your account to release the payment.

    If it is not as advertised you are free to open dispute and return it. In that case the money stays in escrow until the dispute is resolved. The customer also always wins there disputes. So worst case you lose the price of return shipping.

    Having said that… many of the ‘companies’ on Aliexpress are merely individuals trying to make some extra money. What they do is go around to all of the stores in Shenzhen and see what is for sale. Then they make Aliexpress listings for everything and tack on 10-20%. When you order they shop for you at the store and send it. These people are not experts in the field and they can be deceived or participate in deceptions.

    If you’re going to make orders in the thousands of dollars make sure you are dealing with the actual vendors, not some middleman. The actual vendors have reputations and businesses to protect so they are unlikely to scam you. For smaller orders I just eat the occasional bad lot. The overall savings far outweighs the small losses from bad lots.

    Also – exercise some common sense. Things manufactured in the US or EU are not going to be 50% cheaper in Shenzhen unless they are used/remanufactured.

    Reply

    • OLIMEX Ltd
      Nov 06, 2013 @ 17:52:59

      I admit I didn’t used this escrow protection, nor I want to see if sellers will do less scam if this protection is used
      what I see is enough – several companies list products they do not have – OLIMEX brand boards for sale there
      if one want he may try ordering OLIMEX board from alibaba with escrow service and it will be interesting to see what will happen

      Reply

      • Dylan
        Nov 07, 2013 @ 04:01:00

        Interesting times!

      • OLIMEX Ltd
        Nov 07, 2013 @ 11:12:48

        many people think for China as ultimate source for low cost stuff, the truth is that you can negotiate same or lower prices with your official distributor if your volumes are good and you have the vendor support

      • jonsmirl
        Nov 07, 2013 @ 16:09:58

        China is only cheap for buying things made by Chinese manufacturers. But those things can be very cheap. Compare Allwinner CPUs to TI. The Allwinner ones are half the price for the same level of performance.

        We are bidding on quad core CPUs right now. Allwinner is one quarter the price of the nearest US/EU based competitor.

        Tablets are crazy – you can buy tablets for $30. They work and have Allwinner or Rockchip CPUs in them. But they are made in China out of China sourced parts. Android tablets that meet iPad5 specs are $150.

        Alibaba/Aliexpress is not a good place to buy non-Chinese products at cheap prices. There is always something wrong those items if they are priced a lot lower than they should be. Most commonly the items are used – chips that have been lifted off from old PCBs for example. You don’t believe those Gucci purses for sale at half off are real, do you?

  5. jonsmirl
    Nov 07, 2013 @ 04:27:50

    The escrow is free on Aliexpress. I think you have to pay a few dollars for it on Alibaba.

    Also, always use a credit card to pay. You can reverse the charges on them. But that won’t work in the escrow system since you’d be reversing the charges on Alibaba, not the vendor. You need to use their dispute mechanism.

    Disputes are way slanted in favor of the customer. Just send the thing back and you’ll win. You may not have to wait for it to arrive, just supply the tracking number.

    As for the Olimex boards – places like Future Electronics have offices in Shenzhen. These guys that shop for you may walk over to Future, order a board and mail it to you. Shenzhen Wanyuan looks like it is a distributor of some kind. They probably just wrote a program that takes the wholesale catalog available to them and republishs it on Alibaba. They probably don’t even know they are advertising your boards.

    Reply

  6. David
    Sep 02, 2015 @ 00:29:46

    becareful this scammer:
    http://www.aliexpress.com/store/103919

    I was recently be cheated by a Three Crown memeber!!!! and Alibaba help it to scam!!!

    I ordered 2 lenovo phones, but they shipped only one. When I complained, they asked me to provide OPENING video, so I took the video, but they said that it`s been openned, not effective proof, that means I have to video the openning, not ready, not prepared, you loose!

    And I openned a dispute, the 3 Crown member upload a newly made video that has a lot details not correspond with my parcel, and it upload the newly printed shipping label (that is terrible me to learn that they can easily access and print and play with SHIPPING label from Singapore Post!!!). I was required by Alibaba to have a official proof from Post Canada, I went to Post Canada 2 times, it will never proove what inside of parcel, Post Canada just transfer whatever they received, no one ever openned the parcel. If the receiver believe that something missing or not right after openning, the sender should initiate the lost or damage case.

    So I put all information in dispute, Alibabe asked the seller to make the counter complain in Singapore Post, the seller never done that, not even reply this requirest, however, the Alibaba Judge suddenly claimed that the seller win the dispute and have all the money.

    I was so surprised and depressed by this end, so that I contacted with Alibaba customer service ( it`s just chatting, chatting, no email, no phone number, no address to post). The first lady was very nice, and show all the sympathy with my experience, and promised me to have justice for me soon, I was comforted, and wait the justice come, and wait, wait… nothing happened.

    So I got contact with chatting again, this time the lady even much more nice, and she was assure me that within 24 hours, the justice would come, she sounds like my lawyer and would take any efforts to protect all my benefits. I was so thankful and comforted again, so I wait, wait, it did come an email from that lady to ask the seller getting contact with me, and I wait, wait , wait, nothing happened, no any piece of reply from seller.

    So, I replyed the email to ask the followup, it was bound back automatically with notice without receiver!
    If I am not getting crazy yet, I have to open the chatting again to get randomly another girl’s name and repeat all my story, and get her psychological massage, and wait and wait and wait in no result. This is the mechanism of Alibaba customer service, to torture you psychologically and with time, either you become crazy or forgotable of being cheated.

    There is no buyer protection, no real dispute, and not appeal in Alibaba! of cause there is no legal action possible for they are all in China.

    and I suddenly found that my feedback for this purchase was DELETED, I checked all, it was Deleted!!! all feedback for the scamer are 5 stars or 4 stars, so it can continue to scam by wearing a 3 star crown!!!
    I did a few purchase before in Alibaba, and I was often contacted by some sellers, and was asked to change my feedback by offer some money. I was told that all feedback can be easily buying and selling, as well as the order numbers and level of sellers, the scam must paid a lot to have a 3 crown, so it can delete all back feedbacks, and Alibaba help them.

    There is no credit, no belief, no religious in China, probably the only god there is money! Too many people can do uncrediable things with their money, and for their money! the internet sells give them too much chance to overdraft their credit by making fake order number, fake feedback, fake products, and fake selling levels, and Alibaba is their leader!

    I don’t know how many of you were able to read my word, for sure it will be deleted. and I will close my account here soon after the last purchase arrive. Guys who stay here, be cautious and good lucky for you!

    Reply

    • Fan
      Sep 03, 2015 @ 06:14:34

      The only allowed religion in China is materialistic dialectics which was ironically invented by two Germans called Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels.Their bible equivalent is “Das Kapital”. The same in North Korea.

      Reply

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