We’re all aware that what we buy is made in China. We know buying Chinese is cheap but did you know it’s even cheaper buying directly from them?
I recently re-discovered the geek in me and started working with my first Arduino. I’ve since built a Tornado maker and a super combination/coordination lock (all for the kids). The next project I’m working on is building my own 3D printer. I found the plans on instructables.com from some 14 year old kid that made one for less than $200. How is that even possible? Less than $200 (not to mention the 14 year old).
The instructions provided a parts list with all items coming from Aliexpress.com. Total for all parts $187. The kid was right. I might be able to pull this off for less than $200.
An odd thing started happening after I purchased all the items directly from China. Amazon started feeding me adds for all the same products (doesn’t that always happen, after you buy the product). I’ve given up all illusions about privacy so I’m not even that surprised Amazon knows what I looked at (even if it was at their possibly biggest future competitor). What I was surprised about was the huge price difference.
Some samples from my order:
Thru Amazon: $18.95
Thru AliExpress: $9.44
Thru Amazon: $45.50
Thru AliExpress: $28.45
I can keep going but I’ll give you the summary.
AliExpress.com total order: $187.00
Amazon.com same order: $457.00
That is a HUGE difference. Now before I continue, a couple of side notes. When ordering from AliExpress you are ordering from vendors that sell through AliExpress. The same goes for Amazon.com. All same products I order from AliExpress are sold through 3rd party vendors on Amazon.com as well. Amazon and AliExpress.com are not responsible for the pricing. It’s all about location, location, location.
So why aren’t we all ordering directly from China? Well for one thing
the order processing and shipping makes a big difference. Order from Amazon and you generally get it within a couple of days especially with a prime account (Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial, yes I’m an affiliate). AliExpress order may very well be 40 days out. Most product from AliExpress show estimated delivery between 15 and 40 days. Not surprising as these product probably arrive by container ships.
I can’t speak for the quality of products I ordered from AliExpress but since most items we order from Amazon come from China anyways, I’m not sure there is a big difference.
This is not about electronics only. It so happens, the geek in me led me there but AliExpress sells everything from clothing, kitchenware, lipstick to fishing rods.
So in conclusion, if you are looking for something and are willing to wait a couple of weeks give AliExpress.com a shot. You’ll save a lot of money but it takes a bit of patience. Knowing most of you have little patience that will probably fall on deaf ears.
What is almost certain is that whether you buy in the US or from AliExpress.com chances are your product came, if not from the same factory floor, at least from the same continent.
Good luck reaching your financial goals.
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