October 20, 2009

Alibaba and the 40 chinese thieves

My cousin is a geek. Has the latest gear be it laptops,mp3 players or phones. His latest phone is an HTC Hero which he got about a month ago. The new Nokia release, The N900 got him thinking. The much talked about internet functionality and the maemo interface got the better of his curiosity and he set out looking for a bargain pre-order(release in a few days I guess).
His usual sites include amazon, ebay etc but this time he stumbled upon www.alibaba.com, a wholesale B2B portal promising cheaper products. He got a few N900 links and noticed some had "chat with seller" buttons. He sent a
price query and got a stunning answer. $225 shipped! It sells for no less than $600 on ebay itself! A little more searching and he found a seller selling a quantity above 5 pieces for as low as $170. Something snapped. Something was wrong.

A little searching and he had it(on the alibaba forums itself). It was all farce. Scam chinese companies selling non-existant Nokias(and just about anything). The forums were all filled with tales of cheated customers. Some poor blokes had ordered dozens of phones only to get fake chinese copies of genuine phones. Worse, one ordered 128 phones and got a pair of nikes and a shitty chinese mp3 player. here

So new shoppers watch out. Before venturing into the big bad world of internet commerce, do your homework. Be wary of any deal that smells bad. You'll regret later if you don't. My Cousin's previous shopping experience saved him from losing thousands.

China has a reputation for fake stuff. Hell, they even sent fake relief medicines to the east, marked with "Made in India" to discredit us. That's china for you.

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