Consumers are often afraid to purchase products from China. They are commonly regarded to be of inferior quality and made from materials of unknown origin.
One should mention at this point that such statements are frequently true. Let’s not forget, though, that Chinese industry is not just mass production of shoddy goods. A vast portion, if not most of world class brands manufacture their items there. It’s enough to look in one’s closet and read the clothing labels, even the high-end ones. We don’t realize how much of the equipment we use on a daily basis comes from China.
Is there a reason to be afraid?
There is a belief that Chinese products may be hazardous to one’s health. But do you know that the popular series of plastic dishes for little children, sold by IKEA, is “made in China”? It had to meet very strict requirements in order to be sold in our country. However, there is no guarantee that each product purchased in China will be of such quality.
Counterfeit goods are another controversial subject. The Chinese government is fighting these dealings but its actions are not very firm. No wonder knockoffs are purchased so frequently. Counterfeit items or rather “equivalents” are made from the same materials, in the same factories and by the same workers.
So, their quality often doesn’t differ from the original product. The price, however, may be a dozen times lower. Such transactions always carry some risk, though. If we decide to buy a knockoff, nobody will guarantee its quality or the material it’s made from.
Unfortunately, due to the lack of an efficient quality control system buying some of the items is dangerous. I would not purchase from an unknown source such goods as things that may come in contact with food, or clothes for little children or toys. It’s always good to check if the company actually exists and has all the necessary certificates.
Purchasing official brands’ products is relatively safe. I have read many positive reviews about Xiaomi phones, and this is an example that Chinese manufacturers also create their own goods of very high quality and affordable price. However, we never have such assurance if we purchase “no name” items. The situation with cosmetics is similar, but in that case there are more controversies.
Animal testing of Chinese cosmetics causes a lot of stir. In reality, such procedures are much more common. All cosmetics sold on the Chinese market are tested – so, not just those manufactured in that country, but also those produced by western brands who wish to sell their goods there.
It is a very lucrative market, so all top cosmetic manufacturers offer their products there.
A short profile of banggood.com store
Banggood is an online store offering goods from China. It means that it has only one seller, which makes it much easier to communicate and resolve potential conflicts. The website has a very clear menu; we’ll find here, among other things, a variety of electronic equipment such as phones, computers, tablets etc., as well as a vast array of accessories – data storage devices, various cables, chargers or phone cases.
Under other categories we will find clothes and accessories, cosmetics, toys, small furnishings for home and garden, and even musical instruments. There’s a ton of options. This is why it’s nice to have the “add to cart” option . We don’t have to buy everything right away, we can just place selected items in the basket, and then compare in order to choose the one that we like best.
OK, but why so cheap?
For a long time, China has been associated with cheap labor. It’s not quite true, though, that the western companies are taking advantage of the country’s residents making them do slave work for little money. Of course, such situations do happen, but they are not the norm. In China, dollar has much more buying power than in western countries, so it is possible to live on wages paid in dollars which to a foreigner may seem low.
Another matter to consider is very well developed production infrastructure. Giant factories capable of mass production are present in every corner of the country. To this we can add easy availability of raw materials and various components.
Unfortunately, fast, mass production is primarily oriented towards quantity. The quality of the products sometimes leaves much to be desired. This is why one should carefully read descriptions and comments when shopping… and not expect that for $2 we can buy a telephone case made from genuine leather.
China’s entire economy is based on exporting the goods it manufactures, so the country’s law is very friendly in this respect. It ensures there is much commercial freedom.
Delivery is very inexpensive. It results from the strategy adopted by the government. Until recently, the cheapest shipping method was maritime transport. However, this method is controlled by the US, so it does not give China the independence it desires. In addition, it’s extremely slow.
To gain independence from this shipping method, the country’s government wants to create an alternative land-based way to import its goods. This is why the Chinese government subsidizes land transport. The sellers are jumping at this opportunity since faster delivery increases customers’ satisfaction.
Examples of product pricing
Speaking of specific prices, as an example we can find a tablet case for as little as around $2. Laptop prices start at $175. Practically in every category we will find hundreds of cheap products.
How do you buy and pay on Banggood?
The first thing one should do is setting up an account. It’s extremely easy – you just click on the “register” button in the upper right corner of the screen and then you enter your data: user name, email and password. After registering you also need to provide the address where our orders will be shipped.
You can look for the specific product in a browser or through a category tree. It’s a good idea to read the reviews of the product we want to buy. This will allow us to find out about the quality of the item and about its flaws. When shopping for clothes or shoes, it is the comments where we can figure out if the sizes are too high or too low, which will facilitate the selection and help avoid potential disappointment.
It is also necessary to check the availability of the item in the store.
- “In stock, usually dispatched in 1 business day” means that the item is currently available and can be shipped out the next business day.
- The message “Usually dispatched in 6-9 business days” tells us that the product is not available in the warehouse but should be within the next 6-9 working days.
- Sometimes you may come across the “coming soon” option, which means that the item in question is not available yet; it often happens in the case of products that are to appear on the market in the future.
In order to finalize the purchase, we need to choose the payment method. Paypal is the recommended one, but the decision is up to the user. The options are:
- Credit or debit card
- Internet cards
After the purchase has been made, it’s time to select the shipping option. Most users prefer free shipping. Registered packages cost extra, but the fees are rather low, usually around $1. Registered packages can be tracked in real time.
Shipping time depends on the customer’s location and on the shipping method. According to the users and also my own experience, the wait time is around 7-25 days.
Pro-tip: Banggood offers a loyalty program – each dollar spent equals 1 point. With points, we can get discounts when we shop next time. We can also get discounts when setting up an account based on someone’s recommendation or if someone registers because of us. The website also organizes sales for a variety of occasions; they are worth following because you can save tens of dollars.
CUSTOMS DUTIES – basic information
You only pay customs duties when the items are worth more than 150 euro. It may vary from 3 to 8% of the goods’ value but it doesn’t pertain to certain product categories. It’s worth checking out the applicable regulations. VAT is added to products worth over 22 euro. One should remember that depressing the package’s value may result in an additional fee.
Protection for buyers and sellers
I’ve come across opinions that the goods delivered were of low quality or different from their description. It’s obvious that at such low prices one cannot expect luxury items. Sometimes the photo doesn’t show the true color of the product. However, everybody emphasized that the website has a very efficient customer service system.
They answer questions promptly. They care about the good opinion of the store, so they immediately address all complaints and messages about defects. Most frequently, they offer a refund or exchange; I’ve also seen a situation where the website paid the invoice for repairing a broken part. It’s good then to report any irregularities right away.
Transaction rating system
Each purchase is rated by the buyer. Based on that we can figure out if the purchase is worth the money, or if the product is of low quality and it’s better to pass. Items with poor reviews are usually unpopular among the customers so the seller is always interested in settling the issue and receiving a good review. Buyers’ satisfaction is the store’s priority. Complaints are considered individually, most of the time to the customer’s advantage.
My Banggood.com story
I had had prior experience with shopping on Chinese portals. This experience was quite varied. I bought some cool stuff cheaply, but on another occasion received an awful piece of junk, and it also happened that the package never arrived.
The website was recommended to me by a friend who purchased phone accessories there. I was a little surprised because it’s not a typical Chinese “bazaar”, but rather an internet store, so we are dealing with one seller, whom we can easily contact via customer service. I think it makes the process safer.
My first order was makeup brushes. I always wanted to own a good set, and in our stores such accessories are crazy expensive. This was my first purchase for more than just a few bucks. In general, I’m satisfied. Registering probably took less than 30 seconds and I was ready to shop.
The brushes are just as they were described; natural hair, no fraying, hairs don’t fall out, the shape holds nicely. They are pleasant to the touch and they do their job really well. I was a little disappointed with the shoddy workmanship of the case they came in. But it wasn’t the main component of the order, so I didn’t make a complaint. All in all, I paid less than ¼ of what it would cost me at one of our drugstores. There were even cheaper offers but I was worried I’d get some junk so I chose a middle-level price product.
I chose to pay extra to register the package, it seemed safer and cost less than a dollar. I waited less than 3 weeks for the package, so no surprises here. I consider my purchase very successful (just like on Aliexpress, judging by the reviews.)
Is it worth shopping in the Middle Country?
Buying products on Chinese websites poses the same exact danger as any other purchase online. One can run into a dishonest seller or experience delivery problems everywhere. You can’t see the goods in person, so there is a risk that they won’t meet our expectations as to the quality, features or size.
However, low prices will always attract numerous customers. I would just recommend being careful and realistic. The quality of an item which costs a few dollars will usually reflect its price. I think that most people will be fascinated with its cheapness when they encounter the Chinese market. After you have gained some experience, though, you can avoid the traps quite efficiently and buy quality products at good prices.
This post is also available in: polski (Polish)