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Should I buy from XYZ cheap Chinese gadget site?

rhd

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"Does anyone have experience with / should I buy XYZ laser from **** ?"

OR

"Which laser is better? This one from **** or this one from **** ?"

WHO AM I TALKING ABOUT?
DealExtreme, KaiDomain, PriceAngels, FocalPrice, DinoDirect, BestOfferBuy, LighTake, TMart, Chinavasion, ChinaBuye, GadgetTown, Everbuying, SuntekStore, Tomtop, BuyInCoins, LightInTheBox, Deal-Cool, and surely dozens of others...

Did you know that there in excess of 7-million different cheap chinese gadget sites? And did you know that there are just as many threads on his forum asking whether their lasers are worth buying? Those stats are both made-up, but they feel pretty accurate. So in an effort to create one of those threads that we can point people to in response to this recurring question, here's my take on what someone needs to read (and understand) before rehashing the same old question:

What's the same for all of these sites:
  1. ACTUAL POWER IS IMPOSSIBLE TO PREDICT When you purchase a "100mW" laser from a cheap chinese gadget site, you may get a 100mW laser, or you may get a 20mW laser. None of the cheap chinese gadget sites are inherently any MORE or LESS accurate in their descriptions. Don't ask whether DX lasers are better than KD lasers, or FocalPrice lasers any better than ChinaBuye lasers. There IS NO ANSWER to that question.
  2. NO CONSISTENCY OVER TIME A specific laser that someone has reported as a "good value" today, may not be tomorrow. Suppliers change, products change, and with cheap chinese gadget sites, this happens a lot. So asking whether a SPECIFIC LASER is "up to spec" is a waste of time, because there is no consistancy even across the same item, from the same store, purchased at different times.
  3. LONG SHIPPING DELAYS It's going to take you a long time to receive your order from all of the above (unless perhaps, you live in Asia). It is fairly common for an order from any of these cheap chinese gadget sites to take up to a month to arrive. In some cases, it may take EVEN LONGER. This is fairly "par" for the course. Don't expect otherwise, regardless of what you may read on any of the sites regarding shipping/delivery timeframes.
What may be different:
  1. Customer service and responsiveness to problems. Some of these sites have better customer service than others. There may be some wisdom to thinking that a large site like DX will be more responsive in resolving problems than a smaller site with less reputation. But, there may also be wisdom in thinking that smaller sites will have less business to distract their customer service agents with, and will also be ambitious to try harder. The takeaway? There isn't one... it's all a lot of random chance. Recurring theme anyone?
  2. Some of these sites HAVE tested the output of some of their lasers (PriceAngels and DinoDirect come to mind at the time of writing). This usually doesn't apply to all of their lasers, and will be noted specifically on their pages when it does. You may have more success ordering these specific lasers from those particular companies.
Most importantly:
The information that IS actually relevant to your decision (should you choose to order a laser from the above) has nothing to do with lasers. Data about the reputation and reliability of these cheap chinese gadget sites IN GENERAL, is what you should seek. Google can help you there. If you're comparing two sites, try a search phrase like "DealExtreme vs KaiDomain". You'll find plenty of debate on point :)
 
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david1235102

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very informative thread! +1
Also, any "5mW" lasers will usually be over spec. The higher power the site claims the laser to be, the higher probability that the laser is under spec and will break more quickly.
I have not ordered anything from Focalprice or Kaidomain, but I believe they are about the same as DX. If you can't find what you want on DX, then go to Focalprice and vice-versa: same goes for price; if one is cheaper than the other, then go to the cheaper site. Also, check eBay or Amazon for the same products. I've found that I can get some products (exactly the same as from DX or fp) for cheaper and with faster shipping.
 
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InfinitusEquitas

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[*]NO CONSISTENCY OVER TIME A specific laser that someone has reported as a "good value" today, may not be tomorrow. Suppliers change, products change, and with cheap chinese gadget sites, this happens a lot. So asking whether a SPECIFIC LASER is "up to spec" is a waste of time, because there is no consistancy even across the same item, from the same store, purchased at different times.
Sometimes no consistency even on one order of three identical lasers :(

Got three identical lasers from gadgettown, 3 different results. 1 was great, one was ok, one died in 5 minutes. Shipping was fast though.
 

3zuli

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bottomline: if you want a good quality cheap chinese laser, go with o-like or rayfoss...
or go HighEnd (laserglow, optotronics, NOVA, dragonlasers, CNI group buy, and etc.), or just DoItYourself ;)
 

DavidN

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can you tell us how we would know whether or not the company would ship a so called "200mw" laser to the US?
 

rhd

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...I would imagine you'd visit their site, and see what they say about shipping to the US ?
 

InfinitusEquitas

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Most chinese companies will ship no questions asked, and charge you even faster...

Most don't guarantee that the laser will make it to you, and usually will have clauses saying that if laser is confiscated.. your loss.

Always a risk in ordering a laser. I wouldn't worry about them not shipping, I mean in general, but there is a chance it will not make it past customs. Shipping will take forever... and lastly, lasers from random chinese company X are rarely up to spec.
 

DavidN

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all of this confusion as to who is reliable to buy from is part of the reason I havent bought a laser yet. Im just looking for nice lasers with some burn quality within my budget of $60 that can make it to the US and Im not having any luck. Either the specs arent clear, theres shipping issues, or the price isnt right. I havent found any in the WTB/FS section either. And if you decide to buy from the US they charge you ten times the price. What a frustration!!
 

InfinitusEquitas

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all of this confusion as to who is reliable to buy from is part of the reason I havent bought a laser yet. Im just looking for nice lasers with some burn quality within my budget of $60 that can make it to the US and Im not having any luck. Either the specs arent clear, theres shipping issues, or the price isnt right. I havent found any in the WTB/FS section either. And if you decide to buy from the US they charge you ten times the price. What a frustration!!
$60 is a pretty low price point. Are you looking strictly for burning power? If so a red laser is likely your best bet.

I have this, Cute High power 250mW red laser torch/focusable [OL-CRL-250] - $54.99 : Welcome to O-Like.com, Your source for laser products

With red though, there isn't too much of a visible beam. I don't know if that's a consideration for you or not.

If you are looking for something that has a decent beam, in that price range, green would be the best option. Gadgettown.com ships from a brooklyn ny warehouse... lasers aren't always good, but at least there is no concern about customs, and shipping is fast.

Regardless of what you are looking for, make sure you get safety goggles. If you don't want to wear a pair, stick to <5mw.

It's always a gamble though. I ordered 4 lasers from a "reputable" company, 1 is still shipping, which is normal, but problem with two of the other lasers.

Best option is probably to keep an eye on the sales section of the forum and buy from a respected member of LPF.
 

DavidN

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thank you. thats the kind of info I was looking for. I was looking for blue or green becuase of the very issue of red. Its for educational purposes. Thanks, oh, and I will be buying many goggles.
 
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InfinitusEquitas

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thank you. thats the kind of info I was looking for. I was looking for blue or green becuase of the very issue of red. Its for educational purposes. Thanks, oh, and I will be buying many goggles.
Glad to help. As far as goggles are concerned, they aren't cheap, but it's definitely a good idea not to overlook eye safety.

In terms of price/performance these seem to work very well: Eagle Pair® Laser Safety Goggles

Let us know what you settle on.
 

DinoDirect

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how about us, get in and check out, anything we can help, PM me man.
 




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