Aliexpress sellers, big liers. What do you consider a "decent" voltage difference between Grade B cells?

Javilander

New Member
Hi,

My situation must be a really common one. i have bought 4 cells in aliexpress (being advertized as Grade A), being delivered from Europe to Europe and then the usual: they are clearly Grade B, scratches, no sticker, etc. They won't recognize it (said it normal) but Aliexpress did. The dispute ended up with they offering me to either send them back or get a refund of 46€, and i preferred this last option because of the low price (for Europe) and i might have the same trouble with any other seller that i could try. Aliexpress is a lottery. In the end i paid 365€ (already discounted the 46€) for a pack of 4 cells of 190ah. At first i had bought 176ah cells, but they said they have a problem and that they could make me an upgrade for free (otherwise it would take much longer)
One of the cells is always like around 0.085v of difference with the others. What do you consider a "decent" voltage difference between Grade B cells?

About the sellers, none of them is trustable.
 

Steve_S

Offgrid Cabineer, N.E. Ontario, Canada
1) NAME the vendor you had a problem with. Otherwise it is a Broad Brush Statement and THAT is not acceptable.
2) There are GOOD & BAD Vendors on AliExpress, Alibaba, eBay, Amazon REGARDLESS of what NATION they hail from. Scammers are EVERYWHERE ! This is obvious as it is in the news Every Day worldwide about people getting scammed.
3) We have a Huge Collective Experience here and WE KNOW OF GOOD VENDORS and the BAD ONES TOO. The information "is out there" and it is up to a shopper to do due dilliengence, just like everything else in this world.
 

Javilander

New Member
Hi. Great, i will tell you my vendor: Lifepo4 BATT Store
I would also appreciate that you could recommend me a good one in order to avoid getting the wrong foot in future purchases (But i'd like to avoid problems and i prefer that the cells are being shipped from Europe).
So far, from what i read in the spanish community forums, this is really common thing for cells being shipped locally from Poland. I mean, it's a lottery, even from the same seller. Of course i'm generalizing and that might not be really fair. But anybody can make his own opinion from own experiences.
I really believe it's a lottery, because even Will says it so when he recommends the cells in his webpage (he clearly says: This matters a lot! Aliexpress is FILLED with grade b cells (even from the sellers below).
Even from the sellers he recommends, looks like nobody put hands in fire for any of them. Maybe i had bad luck or maybe some others had good luck. One thing i know for sure, is that even one "good" seller could sell good Grade A 120ah cells, but maybe other capacity is different (i'm suere this was my case because many people gave good opinions with, for example, the 120ah cells from that same seller).

I might try Alibaba next time, i've head better things. But unfortunately, none of those sellers ships from Europe.

In conclusion, i think it's all like Will many times said: you get what you pay for.
 

upnorthandpersonal

Administrator
being shipped from Europe

Why? This severely limits your options. These batteries are heavy and can't just sit indefinitely in a warehouse until someone buys them. The market for these is still pretty small, so of course it'll be a gamble. It's better to get one of the recommended Alibaba vendors that myself and others have experience with. Currently I think the most trusted vendor is @Amy Wan (Luyuan) - her store: https://szluyuan.en.alibaba.com/

Shipping is pretty painless, as long as you use DDP incoterms (I'm sure Amy knows this already) and you have to be patient because boats are slow.
 

mikefitz

Solar Enthusiast
you get what you pay for.
In Europe there is a supplier I recommend, GWL based in Prague, for new cells. They specialist in Winston (yellow) cells but also have other cells types available. OK it costs a great deal more but cells are new with a warranty.


If your batteries from aliexpress are usable when balanced and built into a pack and give an acceptable capacity near to the 190Ah, then you have a good performance to cost ratio. Buying new Winston sells would cost X 3 .

When buying cells direct from China into Europe there is a minimum of 20% sales tax plus import duty and administration costs, all based on the total of goods plus shipping. We dont have the option of DDP , goods are DAP .

For example, a quote from Amy including shipping for 4 off 280 Ah cells to the UK is £ 517 then duty of 3.5%, £18, then tax at 20%, £107, then administration costs at 2.5%, £16. A grand total of £658, or $892.

Mike
 

Steve_S

Offgrid Cabineer, N.E. Ontario, Canada
FYI, on January 1st some duties. taxes and levy rates changed and some trade deals kicked in, for the EU. As for the UK - Well Brexit is what it is, find out what it did to YOU ! Things Changed so check into it, what was prior to December is now MOOT.

It is ironic that at present there are no less than 12 Major Battery Factories being built in the EU and all geared towards supplying the growing EV Market. How many will produce Energy Storage Cells is not known as none have openly stated anything in this regard.

BTW: Luyuan WILL BE OFFERING fully Matched, Batched & Binned sets of 4,8,16 + cells done on a proper Test Rig complete with reports for the cells... (some avail now) Sure they are going to cost more then the Bulk Cells but less than others. They CAN do DPP as well...

Business People WORLD WIDE are capable of being Duplicitous & Deceitful regardless of Nationality, Colour, Religion or any other factor. There are Decent & Honest business people as well as the other types... Broad Brush Painters are well... they are sludge for the bottom of an outhouse.
Wanna play borderline racist go elsewhere....
 

Reed Cole

Solar Enthusiast
Want to have a winge about about factual realities that don't gel with your virtue signaling and feigned sensibilities or vested financial interests and bring up anything about race, then YOU are the racist.

One can stick their head up their nether regions and deny the truth and demonstrable FACT, but that does not change the reality or insulate anyone from their ignorance.
I'm not interested in calling you a racist but I would like to inform you that saying things like 'Chinese people don't hold western values' is the kind of language historically used by white supremacists. Something to consider when posting online.

Consumer protections exist because of laws and regulations not because of culture. The idea that shady businesses are unique to China or anti-thetical to "Western values'" is absurd.

Buying from an international seller is inherently risky because of the lack of accountability not because of the race, culture, or nationality of the seller.
 

Maast

Compulsive Tinkerer
ANYHOW, to answer your original question. You're confusing voltage differential with charge capacity. Just because one or more cells don't match in voltage when you receive them has nothing to do with quality of cell, unless they've self-discharged way way down to something like 2.5 volts.

The only way to know is to do a full capacity test - either individually cell-by-cell or do your top balancing/charging so all cells have exactly the same voltage at 3.65v/cell and then discharge them until the lowest cell is deep in the 'knees' at 2.8v. You can go to 2.5v but any lower than that and the cells start to damage rapidly.

You then compare your cells. If you've got one cell thats a lower voltage than the rest that's your lowest capacity cell and the pack will be limited by that one cell in how high/low you can discharge it.

And yes, buying on Aliexpress is a crapshoot with the odds strongly slanted against you. ESPECIALLY in the battery market as it's flooded with vendors trying to make a buck by hook or by crook and will sell you crap for a premium if they can.

Its why we search so hard for known good reliable vendors and let the forum know who to avoid and who to buy from.
 

harpo

Good at many things, master of none
Why? This severely limits your options. These batteries are heavy and can't just sit indefinitely in a warehouse until someone buys them. The market for these is still pretty small, so of course it'll be a gamble. It's better to get one of the recommended Alibaba vendors that myself and others have experience with. Currently I think the most trusted vendor is @Amy Wan (Luyuan) - her store: https://szluyuan.en.alibaba.com/

Shipping is pretty painless, as long as you use DDP incoterms (I'm sure Amy knows this already) and you have to be patient because boats are slow.
I have looked into Amy's store. The shipping quoted is crazy expensive, nearly as much as the cells.
 

harpo

Good at many things, master of none
Why not? I am in Finland, I do DDP all the time.

Edit: ah, UK. Never mind.
Ok, what is DDP. Is it a shipping company or what? I have seen it referenced on this forum several times as something to be used but I don't know what it is and I'll bet there are others like me out there.
 

Maast

Compulsive Tinkerer
Ok, what is DDP. Is it a shipping company or what? I have seen it referenced on this forum several times as something to be used but I don't know what it is and I'll bet there are others like me out there.
DDP is direct to your door all fees and customs duties paid

The shipping on Amys Aliexpress site is site-generated and doesnt reflect the real shipping price, which'll be about $100-150 for 4 cells the more cells you order the less you pay per cell in shipping.
If you contact her through the Alibaba store and request a quote she can generate a purchase order with the real price of shipping.

When buying from Alibaba always Always ALWAYS use "Trade Assurance" as it gives you recourse if you get crapped on. But also be very aware that most vendors will try to string you along until the Trade Assurance window closes. If there is a problem give the vendor a couple chances to make it right but after that go straight to Trade Assurance to get your money back.

You can kind of tell the quality of a vendor by the stores banner, look for a "verified", a "Trade Assurance" icon (looks like a little gold crown), and finally they've been around for 3 years or more. Click on the 'years' to verify if they're a 'gold' supplier.

I've bought a lot on Alibaba, somewhere around here there is a thread on buying direct from china.

The Aliexpress site shipping is a known issue but she's stuck with the displayed shipping.
 

upnorthandpersonal

Administrator
I have looked into Amy's store. The shipping quoted is crazy expensive, nearly as much as the cells.

You can not rely on the prices you see on the page. You have to contact her and get a personal quote. This is something you should always do with any vendor on Alibaba.

Ok, what is DDP.

It's an Incoterm (international rules of trade). You can find more details in the Wiki entry I wrote on the topic:
 

Javilander

New Member
You can not rely on the prices you see on the page. You have to contact her and get a personal quote. This is something you should always do with any vendor on Alibaba.



It's an Incoterm (international rules of trade). You can find more details in the Wiki entry I wrote on the topic:
It's all good info. I'm done buying cells from Ali. I will try Amy's page next time. Thanks
 

Steve_S

Offgrid Cabineer, N.E. Ontario, Canada
RE Amy & Luyuan, if you did not catch it on the other threads.
The Luyuan WebSite is a bit out of date and will be updated as the new stock arrives.
Shipping costs are "Guesstimates" and not actual. You must contact Amy to get an accurate shipping cost.
New Cell Types & Grades plus other material will be on the updated website when it is done. As I understand it now, it will be at least 1 week, possibly two.

NOTE: Chinese Holidays are coming in Mid February, which is more or less a month long. It would be prudent to get your purchases on the Ship by them otherwise the wait will be longer.
 
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