420 Ah LiFePO4 purchase follow-up

Clipper81

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Part of this story is on another thread somewhere, but I thought it was important enough to get its own thread.

In May I bought 40 x 420Ah cells on Alibaba from a Chinese company called Esare, for just over $6000.

Seven week delivery… I tested every one… long story short, they tested to 230 to 240Ah.

I bought them through Alibaba with PayPal, so I put in a claim through PayPal. NOT “Alibaba Trade Assurance.”

BTW, “Alipay Singapore” is the company that you are contracting with, when you buy stuff from Alibaba.

PayPal told them to refund me.
Alipay Singapore responded with “ship them back to China, and we will,“ and gave me two different addresses to ship to.

I looked up shippers, most were quoting around $2000. FedEx quoted me just under $1300.

Meantime, I found a friend who would buy the 240Ah cells from me. Current retail on 240Ah cells through the SAME COMPANY (Esare) is about $75 apiece.

So I told Alipay Singapore (through Paypal) that I would keep the batteries if they would refund $3400 of my money.

PayPal gives you 10 days to respond to any claim through their dispute system.

Yesterday was the 12th day since my offer to Alipay Singapore. No response from Alipay.

So today, PayPal refunded my money.
Just over $6000.

Something like this happened to me before. I ordered 4 ×100Ah cells from a reputable Chinese company. They didn’t deliver it on time, so PayPal refunded my $240.

But they finally came, and long story short, I decided to keep them and use them, so I contacted the company and PayPalled them back their $240. I like to think of myself as ethical. I do have a conscience.

Not these guys. In my opinion, sending 240Ah cells when I ordered 260Ah is a mistake. Sending 240Ah cells when I ordered 420Ah cells is outright FRAUD. Especially since i’ve come to find out that 420Ah blue cells don’t exist.

Alibaba‘s “Trade Assurance” program only “protects” a buyer for 30 days after delivery. How many people buy batteries in anticipation of needing them, then don’t get around to using them for a month or two, or six? I wonder how many people they have ripped off, because they didn’t respond “in time.“

So, I am selling the cells to my friend, and keeping the money, and I am not feeling the least bit guilty about it. They really didn’t leave me any other choice. More people need to hold Alibaba‘s feet to the fire; maybe it will cut down on some of the fraud. Anybody else want some free 240Ah LiFe cells?

An interesting post script… I ordered some MORE batteries from China, this time, from a recommended, reputable company. They are still in transit… But when I tried to pay for them, Alibaba’s system would not let me pay by PayPal. I PayPalled the money to the company directly.

Incidentally, the second set of batteries that I ordered are 302Ah, tested to 320Ah. I am using them in a car conversion that uses about 2Ah per mile, so a few amp hours makes quite a bit of difference in the range of the car. And the 320Ah blue cells have almost exactly the same footprint as my eight-year-old 160 amp hour Winston-type cells, actually, 1 inch longer in total. And they are 3 inches shorter… 8” versus 11” tall. Double the capacity in about 70% of the volume, from eight years ago. And back then, I paid about the same amount for the pack… Just over six grand.
 
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JWLV

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Maybe it was a typo, they put 420Ah instead of 240Ah? But you intended to buy 420Ah based on their product description and you did not receive what was advertised. That is a legitimate claim.
 

JWLV

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BTW, the "420Ah" cells that you received, were they actually labeled as 420? What about their physical size? Bigger than the typical 240Ah?
 

RobertGreen

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I would have offered to ship them back as long as they paid for the shipping, but that's just me.
edit: I also really hope that this wasn't a simple case of a typo transposing the 240Ah as 420Ah. Did their spec sheet claim 420Ah? As far as I am aware, there are no 400+Ah cells in this size and form factor available at all
 
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Clipper81

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C3EFEE93-699F-480A-8197-8A6F462431A7.jpegI did offer to send it back if they paid the shipping. They ignored me.

Apparently they ship the container to a distribution point in Carson California; it was shipped to me from there. I offered to return it there at my expense. It is about 100 miles up the road from me. No response.

I did not risk six grand “to prove a point.” I genuinely (stupidly, in retrospect, or perhaps just wishfully) wanted to buy 420Ah cells.

Nope, no typos. They still have several Alibaba ads in place for 420’s, and spec sheets say 420, and every cell was marked 420Ah. Photo above.

400+Ah cells are available, but not in that form factor. The 400+Ah cells are the Winston/Thundersky type prismatic, at twice the size and weight, and at a much higher price.

These fraudsters are literally selling 240Ah cells at twice the going price. If only one out of two people demand their money back, and I suspect that is a high figure, the scammers are still ahead. It is clearly a scam and a fraud, to steal money from greedy naïve oblivious capitalist American pig-dog Rubes like me.
 
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RobertGreen

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These fraudsters are literally selling 240Ah cells at twice the going price. If only one out of two people demand their money back, and I suspect that is a high figure, the scammers are still ahead. It is clearly a scam and a fraud, to steal money from greedy naïve oblivious capitalist American pig-dog Rubes like me.
Or maybe they're people who don't speak English and they're struggling to do business in the international marketplace reselling questionable quality merchandise.
How does it make sense that they would simply not respond to an offer to have the products returned at your expense when they stand to simply lose 6K$? Who knows.

People always throw the word "fraud" around, but the concept of fraud requires fraudulent intent.
 

Clipper81

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Or maybe they're people who don't speak English and they're struggling to do business in the international marketplace reselling questionable quality merchandise.
How does it make sense that they would simply not respond to an offer to have the products returned at your expense when they stand to simply lose 6K$? Who knows.

People always throw the word "fraud" around, but the concept of fraud requires fraudulent intent.
You sound like a lawyer, or at least a “turn the other cheek“ Christian.

Not fraud? Clearly they are aware of the problem by now. Why are their 420 ads still up? And why doesn’t Alibaba take those ads off their website?

Seeing as how this is not going to court, let me ask you this: What does it matter whether it’s fraud or not? The effect is the same.

Would you buy from them?
Inquiring minds want to know.

I personally think that anybody wanting to buy cells from China, or anyone having similar problems right now, should read this thread, and protect themselves accordingly; with as many layers of recourse as possible.

People need to know that when they have suffered the well-known and well-documented effects of “Chinese business practices,“ there is a possible remedy, outside of using Alibaba as judge, jury and executioner. I personally think that PayPal is a much more neutral “third party mediator.”

Doing business with China is like the wild West. No law around, for hundreds of miles. Sometimes you got to fight for justice.

Caveat emptor.
 
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Scph9002

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Or maybe they're people who don't speak English and they're struggling to do business in the international marketplace reselling questionable quality merchandise.
How does it make sense that they would simply not respond to an offer to have the products returned at your expense when they stand to simply lose 6K$? Who knows.

People always throw the word "fraud" around, but the concept of fraud requires fraudulent intent.
They speak enough english to put up fake listings.

They know what they are doing. fuck them.
 

RobertGreen

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You sound like a lawyer, or at least a “turn the other cheek“ Christian.

Seeing as how this is not going to court, let me ask you this: What does it matter whether it’s fraud or not? The effect is the same.

Would you buy from them? Inquiring minds want to know.

I personally think that anybody wanting to buy cells from China, or anyone having similar problems right now, should read this thread, and protect themselves accordingly; with as many layers of recourse as possible.

People need to know that when they have suffered the well-known and well-documented effects of “Chinese business practices,“ there is a possible remedy, outside of using Alibaba as judge, jury and executioner. I personally think that PayPal is a much more neutral “third party mediator.”
Well, as I've said many times before on this forum-- I like using Paypal and credit card protection to try to add a layer of protection when dealing with strangers. Regardless of their nationality.
I've used Paypal's protection to get resolution on a cell order myself here in the last few months.

Would I buy from this seller? No lol, because I don't believe in 420Ah cells that have the same dimensions as 240Ah cells. But aside from that, when I have ordered from China in the past, I would only do business with sellers who had at least passable English and were able to answer questions that I had. The only problem I've had with buying cells so far was issues with an American reseller.

All I am saying about the fraud thing, is that there's no reason to assume bad faith where there's not solid evidence of the same-- it leads to a paranoid worldview in addition to other issues.
 

RobertGreen

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They know what they are doing. fudge them.
Yeah, either that or they were sold fake 420Ah cells just like OP.
edit: OP, if you need to assume that these sellers acted in bad faith to help you sleep at night and feel morally justified in how you settled your business with them, then do what you have to do. I would hope in the future that a little more due diligence on the buyers part could prevent this situation from happening at all.
 

Clipper81

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Yeah, either that or they were sold fake 420Ah cells just like OP.
Well, clearly they are aware of the problem now… Why are the 420 ads still up?
Textbook fraud.

I think a little paranoia is healthy when dealing with Chinese business practices. That’s what due diligence is all about.

I may be paranoid,
but that doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get me.
 
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Scph9002

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I would make sure its somewhat new 240ah cells before use. If it is 280ah cells (with typical 280ah cell dimensions and weight) it means they are very old/highly cycled or abused. Not sure how high risk of whats it called.. dentrites? it has. The thing that builds up and causes internal short circuit.

 
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digitaldoug

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Maybe it was a typo, they put 420Ah instead of 240Ah? But you intended to buy 420Ah based on their product description and you did not receive what was advertised. That is a legitimate claim.
Not likely a typo, when each cell is clearly labeled 420Ah. See high-res picture in another post.
 
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