AliExpress (Sellers or disputes) - the good, the bad & the ugly

elvis_asaftei

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Jul 5, 2021
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229
PWOD is only in the product description and not an indication of the actual seller or the store you purchased from.
You've cropped off the seller from the top of the image.

Unfortunately I cannot comment on the impacts of temperature of train journeys between China & Europe. It's not something you'll ever get a complete answer to.
You're best bet is to raise an issue via your aliexpress order page and hopefully you've paid for the cells with paypal and not a credit card as paypal may help if aliexpress doesn't. Some credit card institutions may also get involved but I haven't heard too many of those cases.
This is PWOD store that delivered 144 bumped batteries:

PWOD Official Store
 

Alkaline

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Jul 26, 2020
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154
Sellers to avoid:

Deligreen = Bad shipping and lying about cell quality, selling rejected grade B as Grade A
Xuba = 20% bogus products inside an order, its even worse now Amy has left, but even when she was there xuba sold questionable items, many people just did not test. Again peddling grade B stuff as Grade A
Basen = Same as Xuba, will do anything for a sale, no customer service and will sneak in bad cells in your batch. Makes up all types of stories, actually said the rep on the EVE official alibaba listing is a fool and they know better.
PWOD = Striaght up Scam. I posted warnings almost

Sellers that are honest:
Eve Official Store on Alibaba, expensive but the best
Luyuan, the only 3rd party seller that is legit, you will be better off in the long run
QSO, this seller is honest about there grade B cells, and is charging a fair price for them
 

elvis_asaftei

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Joined
Jul 5, 2021
Messages
229
Sellers to avoid:

Deligreen = Bad shipping and lying about cell quality, selling rejected grade B as Grade A
Xuba = 20% bogus products inside an order, its even worse now Amy has left, but even when she was there xuba sold questionable items, many people just did not test. Again peddling grade B stuff as Grade A
Basen = Same as Xuba, will do anything for a sale, no customer service and will sneak in bad cells in your batch. Makes up all types of stories, actually said the rep on the EVE official alibaba listing is a fool and they know better.
PWOD = Striaght up Scam. I posted warnings almost

Sellers that are honest:
Eve Official Store on Alibaba, expensive but the best
Luyuan, the only 3rd party seller that is legit, you will be better off in the long run
QSO, this seller is honest about there grade B cells, and is charging a fair price for them

Yes, PWOD and other stores they own is a total scam. Be very careful, they send really bad quality B grade cells.

all 144 cells from PWOD are exactly same bad quality and you will be fooled by them.

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HammerToe

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Apr 11, 2021
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35
After reading this thread, I’m feeling a little bit depressed. Perhaps I will still get by August 8 or so, but you can never know until they arrive AND inspected and tested to know you got what you ordered and paid for. Here is my current situation:

On May 7, I ordered 4 ‘Advertised As NEW’ and ‘Grade A’ 3.2 V 280Ah LiFePo4 from a seller by the name of ‘Blmpow Official Store’ on Aliexpress. The price that I wound up paying - which presumably MUST ‘include shipping’ (enabling them to advertise ‘Free Shipping’) came out $717.55 CANADIAN (At current exchange rates, that would come out to $575.32 US).

For comparison, this does not seem to be ‘out of line’ with the cost paid by ‘Andy’ at the Off-Grid-Garage who kindly posted DETAILS of EXACTLY what he paid in total and ‘on average’ for four orders of lithium iron phosphate cells he purchased through ALIBABA though, and not ALIEXPRESS. The price he paid per cell in US dollars for four separate orders (4, 12, 8, and 12 more on the final order) averaged out between $80.00 per cell and $86.00 per cell. Anyone who might care to visit his website can open up and review a very detailed spreadsheet showing:

  • The cost he paid PER each ‘raw cell’ itself in US dollars, Australian dollars, Euros, and Deutsche marks. (In his third order – he refers to in the spreadsheet only SIX CELLS. If I recall correctly, he had some kind of quality problems or something with two of the cells and they were replaced for free or something like that).
  • Shipping costs to Australia ran between $115.00 TOTAL for the entire order in each case and $316.00 for his 12 cell orders. Doing some rough calculations, for the smallest order of four cells, shipping costs came out at:
  • $28.75 US per cell for the first order (4 cells)
  • $22.50 US per cell for the second order (12 cells)
  • $21.50 US per cell for the third order (I’m using 8 cellx here) and finally,
  • $26.33 US per cell for the fourth order (12 cells)
  • BOTTOM LINE: the prices for shipping seem to be ‘very plausible and reasonable’ because of their consistency.
  • In addition, a number of additional charges that he had to pay in some cases/EACH case including:
  • An ‘Alibaba Fee’/’Insurance Premium’ (‘0’ in the case of the final order; nonzero first three orders.
  • A ‘Transaction Fee’ in each and every case (check out the spreadsheet if you would like to know the details)
  • a credit card fee in most cases
  • and, in one case, a Customs Duty/GST fee and ‘Processing Fee’ – both ‘Australian Customs Fee’ that he had to pay in one case - the second order - because if I recall correctly the manner in which it was shipped to his address and Australia.
  • His total cost of each order – the aggregate cost that cost divided by the number of cells ordered are presented in his spreadsheet.
‘The Bottom Line’ seems to be that you can in fact ‘pick up’ (‘should be able to pick up’) these cells - 12 V 280 amp hour lithium iron phosphate – for ‘in the vicinity of’ $85.00 US ‘±’ $5.00 per cell, plus less than $30 per cell shipping, SO - bottom line - it looks like it can be done - be possible to pick up these cells at a pretty darn good price go with a reliable supplier.

Again, he purchased them through Alibaba; whereas others plus myself went through AliExpress. The reason I placed my order through AliExpress was because they seemed more like a kind of operation inclined to sell things like Amazon - IE to the ‘Average Individual Consumer’ whereas I got the impression that Alibaba was more geared towards dealing with Large Orders, orders for Commercial/Resale purposes. HOWEVER: it does seem that Alibaba is prepared to (at least some of the vendors there) deal with smaller orders to end users/consumers but the process of placing an order and negotiating is not sort of ‘automatic’ - you need to negotiate it.

Anyway, he did have four positive experiences outfits that he ordered from so anyone who might be looking for links might out those on his website.

However, in my particular case, the tracking number they gave me (as someone else somewhere mentioned) was never really all that useful and I really couldn’t track/find any sign of progress in shipping to my address. I contacted the seller about this more than a couple of times because the order was apparently shipped on May 12th, but what the tracking systems seem to show because (and this is my best guess at interpretation) the ‘Parcel Data’ that was ‘Submitted to Carrier’ was to UPS in Canada in Mississauga, Ontario. But I’ve never been able to determine exactly (or even roughly) where the shipment was because it does not seem to have arrived in Mississauga.

Just checked - the tracking system was updated on July 27 - and that still seems to be the current status.

I’ve had perhaps three communications with the seller ‘typical milestone dates’ were passed and they have been ‘very nice and pleasant and got back to me very promptly’ absolutely, positively ‘swearing up and down’ that the order had in fact been shipped AND that the reason the tracking system didn’t show anything was because (and I think this is plausible; at least as far as Canada is concerned) that for ‘various reasons’ THESE CELLS CANNOT BE SHIPPED DIRECTLY TO CANADA. (Which actually does seem quite plausible BECAUSE, if you try to order some things from AliExpress even – for example – and try to specify that you would like to have the shipment to you come ‘FROM’ the United States or Europe or Spain or Britain and stuff like that, AliExpress – knowing that you happen to live in Canada – says: “Uh, uh! – ‘Not Supported’”. So the reasons they are giving for the delay is to me, quite plausible.

Bottom line: at this point in time, after reading other unpleasant experiences that people had, I’m a bit ‘down’ BUT – we shall see. If the order does not arrive by August 8 or 9th (I might wait an extra day), August 8 is the first day that I can officially ‘Open a Dispute’ (which I will be inclined to do; after contacting the vendor) and we shall see what happens/if I wind up getting a refund and how hard that is and if I will be successful.

All in all, at this point I still think I will get my order or get a refund but time will tell.
 

HammerToe

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On a more uplifting note, while I will not mention exactly what the item I ordered was, lest some people try to take advantage of it: I did order an item for a total order cost of about $160.00 on May 2, 2021 which needed to be shipped to me from a merchant in China. The problem was that when I received the order, it turned out that it was shipped to me with electrical plug typically used in Australia or China or a few other parts in the world. Now it also turned out that the unit was compatible - from a voltage/current perspective with 110/120 V 60 cycle Electricity North America SO cut off the Australian plug (let’s call it) and replaced it with a North American compatible one (which a relative who worked for a provincial hydro system advised (which of course, I knew and would’ve certainly done that in the end) BUT – I decided to see what happened if I contacted the merchant first.

Since I went through Amazon Canada in placing the order, I tried the ‘Problem with order’ button first and/but they advised (actually required me) to contact the merchant first and see if the matter could be resolved within (I forget - either 48 or 72 hours or something) – being very polite – and reporting the issue to them “What do you suggest I do?” I didn’t think too much about what their response might be - perhaps a discount/some money back/a suggestion that I simply in exchange for a discount or whatever BUT, what happened was:

  • I reported my problem to the merchant at around 4 PM the same day I received.
  • By roughly 8 PM I received a response from them ‘Apologizing Profusely’, and offering me a Full Refund.
  • By roughly 12 midnight that same day, I received an email from Amazon informing me THAT I HAD RECEIVED A FULL REFUND IN THE AMOUNT OF $160.28 - that it had been credited to the Credit Card Account that I had used and,
  • I immediately went to that account online and checked and the money was in my account!
At this point, I decided to simply wait and see what would happen. Would Amazon or the merchant requests that the item be returned?

Well, as I kind of suspected night and I hope: “Nope!” (a) Amazon didn’t care; never asked me to ship it to them in order to get the refund and (b) the merchant didn’t care either probably because the administrative and shipping costs would-be simply not worth it to them remembering (c) that it was their mistake; which is why Amazon probably didn’t care.

So the bottom line is I got A $160.28 item from a merchant through AliExpress ‘Nada’.

So, I guess you don’t know until it settled, one way or another.

As I said, I’m still reasonably optimistic that I will either get my order for four cells OR (and maybe, even, I might wind up getting the cells for nothing should they arrive after I get a refund ASSUMING I DO WIND UP GETTING A REFUND). The range of possibilities it is ’huge’. We shall see over the next few weeks what happens and I will post for the possible benefit of others.

One final thing/comment I might add: someone somewhere on this that if possible, try to find a merchant that will take PayPal. That’s probably a pretty good idea (over and above say a credit card).

Another idea might be to use a card – perhaps a premium card if there is one of those out there – which might ‘go to bat for you’ if you wind up getting cheated. I’m not sure if any of these exist and or how many there might be but at least some of these merchants have gotta be worried about – especially if they’re not fly-by-night operators – their ability to use credit card services to receive payment.

Another idea would be – even if you don’t happen to see any positive reviews or any reviews at all – if you can find a good price through Amazon, I have a feeling that you stand a pretty good chance of getting your money back, one way or another, by Amazon if you didn’t receive or warrant satisfied with your order.

Amazon is pretty good on that front, based on my experience. So, precautions you can take:

  • Use Amazon
  • Use PayPal
  • Use a Premium Credit Card if it might help.
  • Perhaps purchase some kind of insurance or something. (Again, you might want to check out the Grid Garage spreadsheet to see what Andy managed to ‘get’ in the way of deals/prices. I think that that might be very helpful by giving you a sense of what you ‘SHOULD’ be able to get for ‘how much money’.
Personally, I ‘hate haggling’ - I think I’m tempted to try dealing with Alibaba something like:

  • I live in ‘X’ (provide address),
  • I AM CONSIDERING/SHOPPING AROUND FOR ‘X’ (describe your order).
  • I wound up coming to from (either Will’s the off grid garage website).
  • “He spoke highly of you; ‘gave you a good recommendation’”.
  • “This is what you managed to ‘do for him’in a recent order.”
  • “Can you essentially match this/is recent orders” for ‘X-cells’ of whatever you want, aside from shipping costs perhaps in a little bit of minor stuff like that” because “If you pretty much ‘can’ ‘make me an order in the same ballpark’, I might be willing to just ‘place an order right now’.
  • Also, you might ask them what protection//protections I might have if I don’t receive the order and/or it might be damaged or something. My sense is that all in all, both AliExpress and Alibaba are probably pretty concerned about their reputations because they would like to sell as much internationally as they can and your chances of ultimately getting your money back are pretty good. It might take a while, perhaps longer than, but I think your chances are probably pretty good.
And, in fact, who knows - you might even wind up getting some merchandise for nothing if it should simply be a problem of shipping delays.

So much for now. Will post updates periodically.

If I wind up getting ‘screwed’ in the end, I think I’m inclined to either follow Will’s recommendations the links from the Grid Garage (‘strong’) OR just order something either using PayPal OR order from Amazon. I think if you order through Amazon, even if you order a product that might never arrive OR might turn out to be damaged or grade B or something like that, I would give pretty strong odds you will get your money back.
 

HammerToe

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Apr 11, 2021
Messages
35
Just thought I would post once more today - a follow-up to my previous two posts:

After I sent them off, I happen to wind up going to the Shenzhen Basen Technology Store on Alibaba.

On their homepage, they had a message – one ‘page’ in a set of five ‘scrolling pages’ that I could not get to stop scrolling so I resorted to taking a cell phone picture of it, and I figured I would post what was there in case it might be of some benefit to/comfort to those who had not received orders as they expected from AliExpress ‘in general’.

I decided that I would just reproduce what the page said here below AS WELL AS attempt to attach a picture (just in case the attachment didn’t work for some reason). Here is what was posted on their site (and bear in mind, and no insult whatsoever intended to the Chinese people in the world - sometimes you managed to use English in specific ways or using words that are kind of ‘different’ than we might be used to seeing out here in the West but – HEY! You’re way ahead of me/us over here - I’m not sure I know any words of Mandarin or whatever dialects you might speak over there at all so you’re way ahead of me/us over here).

Anyway, here is what the advisory said:
*********************************************
Notice of Logistics Delay.

Dear Valued Basen customer,

We would like to inform you that your goods may delay because of the shortage of (shipping) containers and workers, they caused that the ports and train stations are blocked out (‘bottlenecked’, I presume) and terminal warehouses are full of goods waiting to be shipped. (In addition), so the customs and logistics systems of most countries in the world have been seriously impacted.

For customers who are interested in purchasing in the near future, please be prepared for the delay of the time limit. For US customers, you can choose to purchase some types of batteries from our US warehouse; they should arrive at your address within around seven days.

Meanwhile, for customers who have already bought from us, please be assured that all efforts are being done from our side to return the situation back to normal as soon as possible. We will keep you informed promptly ONCE WE GET UPDATED TRACKING INFO. Should you have any questions or concerns, please ask our customer service for additional information.

Glad to meet and cooperate with you at this special time, we believe both of us will be braver and stronger than ever before.

Best Regards,

Shenzhen Basen Technology Co. Ltd.

I would add to this simply that “They are not B-Sing…” I am retired and pay EXTREMELY CLOSE ATTENTION TO WHAT’S REALLY GOING ON IN THE WORLD – and pay special attention to news sources and channels that you might not normally expect to be exposed to. The world really is in an absolute mess thanks to the reaction globally to the Covid 19 pandemic (the most overblown reaction I have ever seen in my life - absolutely ridiculous and almost criminal, in my opinion – frankly – it’s only roughly about twice as bad as an average flu season (really! I’ve spent dozens of hours examining the data and looking at all the stats and the reason we’re so damn terrified about the whole thing is because it’s been way overblown by Mainstream News Media. ANYWAY… That’s another topic).

What the post basically said ‘syncs extremely well’ with what I was told by the merchant that I made my purchase from, right down to the use of words like logistics and so on and so forth. Really does sync up.

So the bottom line now, after being depressed a bit hearing other people’s experiences, I have renewed confidence that - sooner or later - though maybe a lot later than I would like it to be - I will wind up getting my order.

And I suspect this is also affecting refunds/refund requests/disputes as well. I bet AliExpress is well – though the almost certainly in my opinion have good intentions – are probably discovering that they’re going to have to ‘drag their feet a bit’ at coughing up refunds. This whole thing has got to get back in sync (hopefully before we are start World War III (not, that’s not going to happen!). At least not for a while yet.

So I think the best answer may be to simply “Take a big breath, let it out and relax. And maybe have a ‘Cold One’ or two or three… As necessary.

Life will go on, at least for a little while longer.

Cheers.

Hammertoe.
 

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FrankS

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Aug 1, 2021
Messages
9
Hi,
I also had some trouble with my order of 24 cells 310ah A-Grade prismatic CATL - from AliBaba.
Shipping time was 60 days and I got 22 good cells and 2 bad cells. One cell was at 2.99V (all others on 3.29V) and one cell was physically damaged on one corner. Look like cell was dropped and hit ground on one corner.
I filed a dispute and the seller offered to send 2 new cells if I agree, if not he could only refund the two cells.
Guess what happens - he refunded straight away two cells! But that doesn't help cause I wanted to assemble a 24V battery and to do so I need sets of 8 cells. With two cells missing/not performing as all others whole system performance will suffer - and that is exactly what happened. BMS shuts down charging cause this ex2.99V cell overshoots and triggers OVD but drops down significantly in voltage right after disconnect!
On Alibaba one has only limited time for a dispute - game over if you not act quickly. Seller knows that and is playing on time. I'm in Europe and we have 12h time difference to China so it took ages till my message was read and till I got an answer.
I opened 2nd dispute cause seller was not sticking to his offered solution for the dispute. Again, playing on time and game over. Kept on stating that money was refunded and that he only would send new cell if I place a new order...I don't want to place another order with this seller on Alibaba - Shenzhen Beiersite E-Business Limited, also as Bestcell.en on Alibaba. So I suggest to ad this seller to the above list.

What I've learned from this deal - look next time for a better seller or/and order more cells then one need - at least four cells more. Pick the best cells and sell the surplus with discount and history to somebody else! This way one can finish building his battery and reduce costs.

Cheers, Frank
 

huwmcgregor

New Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2021
Messages
14
Thought I would add to the Aliexpress experience.
I bought 4 280AH cells from BLMPOW on Aliexpress.
All cells arrived swollen and the air seals had blown on top as seen in the images.

Opend a dispute pointing out that the cells were dangerous and could risk injury or even life.

Ali express have stepped in and agree that the cells are not new and the product is used. However they state that the need to see a video of the item being commissioned and in use!

They have agreed to a full refund if I send return the items at cost to me.

I currently have three days to respond.

On a side note, I notice that the cells have been sent out via a food distributor which I think is a bit naughty considering the state of the cells.

So question is do I accept the loss, and return the items?

Or create a short video trying to explain that these cells are essentially doorstops and are not worth the time and hazard involved in commissioning?
 

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FrankS

New Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2021
Messages
9
Thought I would add to the Aliexpress experience.
I bought 4 280AH cells from BLMPOW on Aliexpress.
All cells arrived swollen and the air seals had blown on top as seen in the images.

Opend a dispute pointing out that the cells were dangerous and could risk injury or even life.

Ali express have stepped in and agree that the cells are not new and the product is used. However they state that the need to see a video of the item being commissioned and in use!

They have agreed to a full refund if I send return the items at cost to me.

I currently have three days to respond.

On a side note, I notice that the cells have been sent out via a food distributor which I think is a bit naughty considering the state of the cells.

So question is do I accept the loss, and return the items?

Or create a short video trying to explain that these cells are essentially doorstops and are not worth the time and hazard involved in commissioning?
Hi,
very nasty situation - as written above, had similar experience - but seller did not insist on shipping the two cells back which were not A-Grade and got a refund for price I payed in March.
Shipping four cells back to China, can you estimate how much that would cost?
I decided to order 4 more cells from the "doggy" seller this morning cause with 22 cells ok, battery box built, made from thick plywood with stainless steel threaded rod to insure compression, insulation paper bought and cut to size, copper busbars made I and battery fitted in my RV, I had no other choice. Payed USD632 incl. shipment to Germany. Cells are 310Ah CATL
If you get away with 50 bucks for returning I would cause them the hassle to deal with your cells at their site in China!
Broken seals are a no go - I would not use those cells!
 

HammerToe

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Apr 11, 2021
Messages
35
FrankS:

If I recall correctly, ‘Andy’ who owns and operates the Off-Grid Garage YouTube channel, had a similar problem to yours with his SECOND order of TWELVE cells - two of them arrived ‘in not that bad shape’ but with some minor issues. As far as I know, I don’t think they were ‘bad’/defective enough – I think the damage/problems was basically ‘cosmetic’. He purchased them ‘Directly’ from a Manufacturer on Alibaba, not AliExpress. In retrospect, I wish I had done that too and will probably do that the ‘next time’. He contacted the manufacturer to complain and reported they were very nice and responsive and (not quite sure exactly how this had happened – but it seemed that he was otherwise happy enough that he decided he wanted to order still more and when he placed his third order for eight cells, they gave him to cells for free (he only had to pay for six cells). Again, in the future, I think I will go with Alibaba.

As I said I believe somewhere in one of my posts, I initially was planning to go with Alibaba BUT I kinda thought they might not be interested in dealing with an individual for such a small order. However, that does not seem to be the case.

Andy produced and excellent video describing the whole process and his experience with ordering from Alibaba. I’m not sure/’something tells me’ that I shouldn’t be posting any links here (anyone should feel free to advise me if I’m wrong) to someone else’s video(s) on YouTube so, and assuming this is allowed, you might just search on the Following String: “How much do Chinese batteries cost incl delivery, taxes and fees? Is it worth it?”

‘Somehow’ I have a growing impression that one would be – in the case of these specific items – better off trying to deal with a Big Manufacturer rather than some smaller e-stores on AliExpress. I think what you want to do is make sure that the seller is a Pretty Big Name Brand/Ideally a Manufacturer AND ‘has been around a long time’ because that way there’s a better chance that they’ll want to uphold their reputation and are much more likely to try to satisfy you. I can definitely relate to the difficulties of trying to have a dialogue with someone halfway around the world because it frequently seems to take a total of 24 hours to post a question and get an answer AND then – as it inevitably seems to be required, to ask at another question.

Again, I think that most sellers – MOST – at least the ones that have been around for a while are probably pretty honest. A good general rule seems to be that if the price with shipping and everything seems too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true. That’s why I did the analysis I did regarding costs – I wound up paying what seem to be ‘in the ballpark’ for 4 cells plus shipping.

I highly recommend you consider watching Andy’s video. Lots of good advice therein.

And again, I really think that – it makes no point to get too upset about this stuff – it’s either going to work out satisfactorily or it’s not. Again, the world is in a real mess right at the moment – most of the shipments/attempts – of items like this probably for financial reasons and regulatory reasons need to be done by ship as opposed to plane. Pretty much everything else that I’ve ordered from AliExpress as long as it hasn’t been ‘too big or heavy’ has been shipped by air and arrived quite promptly, all things considered. And again, for whatever reason as I mentioned in a previous post, it really does seem to be the case when it comes to Canada as a destination country that it seems to be necessary to get around to various rules and regulations and safety concerns and so on, that items like this coming from China MUST take a very circuitous route to make it here. As I said, just try and see – if you have an option – and you happen to live in Canada – requesting that these items be shipped from anywhere else than China – and the options are grayed out.

Putting it all together, I’m still optimistic, though after reading another post below – where someone ordered batteries from Blmpow – the same people I ordered from, a bit of my concern has returned. However, I do believe that I will ultimately one where another get my order though it remains to be seen exactly when and what kind of condition the cells will be in. My order does specifically say though ‘Grade A’ and ‘New’ – I was very careful to look for that.

My recommendations to huwmcgregor after reading his post: I don’t think that by the word ‘video’, they really mean ‘video’. They probably do mean simply ‘pictures’. Sticking a BMS on the system and doing a little bit to show it ‘in operation’ should not be too onerous. I think I would attempt to comply with that request if I were in your position.

Basically, you have only two choices: follow their instructions and do a little bit of ‘going back-and-forth’ and see what happens. ULTIMATELY, if the batteries really ARE defective - and I mean really defective; more than simply ‘cosmetically damaged’ and/or even perhaps SLIGHTLY swollen - another thing I would do at the same time would be to weigh them and charge them up individually and test them all out and see how they FUNCTION. It is NOT unusual for these things to swell up a bit under even normal operation - witness all the discussions that take place over ‘compressing’ these things for longer life – and so maybe the situation you are in with the ‘popped’ blue plastic seals (it looks like the underlying ALUMINUM is not ‘popped’ (that’s what those little semicircles are there for - sort of like on soda pop and beer cans – to give the expanding contents a place to rupture if it really needs to – on the top of the battery at that point – rather than ‘randomly’ somewhere else where the aluminum might be THICKER. Although one might not wish to see damage like this, there’s a part of me which thinks that that’s not necessarily a ‘safety concern’.

Basically, I would try to ‘work it from both ends’: I would:

* complain and comply with what they tell you to do and provide them pictures and so on and see ‘what they come back with’. The POSSIBILITIES ARE

* they will either ignore you, or

* offered to send you replacements while likely – at the same time – wanting you to send the items back to them. In this case, the next thing I would do is try to find out what the cost of shipping would be SIMPLY BECAUSE I think it would be useful information to help you make a final decision.

* Possibly offer you SOME FORM OF COMPENSATION – EITHER TOTAL OR PARTIAL – FOR THE CELLS, if you want to keep them. This might take the form of either a couple of replacement cells and/or a partial refund ASSUMING they don’t offer you a full refund unless you ship everything back (in which case you will really want to know what the cost of shipping would be)… INFORMATION: you need it. And STRATEGIZE - list possibilities/consider your options/and be prepared to RESPECTFULLY AND POLITELY NEGOTIATE - BE NICE AND POLITE!

* Another thing I would do which I already started to mention - I would test those cells out for voltages and weights and capacities and so on to see from an electrical perspective, how they perform COMPARED TO SPECS. I would charge them up and run some discharge tests on them individually and see what you can ‘get out of them’.

* Contrary to some other advice you received in another response: PERSONALLY – as long as the cells are not leaking AND performed pretty much ‘up to specs’, THEN – while it might not make you 100% happy – PERSONALLY, I would not be concerned about actually using them. ACTUALLY USING THEM!

FROM A SAFETY PERSPECTIVE - I doubt that they represent any real hazard or risk! As long as they are not leaking. Yes, they might be swollen a bit in the seals might be popped BUT the aluminum as it broken as far as I can tell and these things to expand and contract and as long as they are not leaking or physically damaged and not ‘ridiculously swollen’, IF I COULD NOT FIND AN OTHERWISE ACCEPTABLE/BETTER/RESOLUTION THAT I WAS COMFORTABLE WITH, I would probably use them.

And what you might wind up being able to do if you’re nice is at least negotiate a Partial Refund. Who knows, you might get/wind up being able to get 50% off the cells and still use them. (As long as they are not leaking or cracked or RIDICULOUSLY SWOLLEN and Perform Up To Specs electrically.

I took a good look at the cells in your picture – the four stacked side-by-side – and yeah – they are swollen a bit but still – my previous thoughts and suggestions ‘hold’.

Back to the whole subject of expansion and ‘compression’ again. I looked into this topic because the OBJECTIVE of ‘compression’ simply seems to promise ‘more discharge/recharge Life Cycles. BUT, as I also recall, what seems to happen is that compression simply trades off higher ‘working or maximum Cell Capacities’ when the cells are initially put into service in exchange for more cycles. Check out the curves. Without compression, cells start to lose capacity faster initially down to the 80% level; with compression they take longer to get down to the 80% level. But the general estimate of their useful – down to 80% capacity level – seems to be at least 2000 full cycles and that something like five or six years of DAILY FULL Cycles, which is ‘like forever’. It would probably take you not just some are between five and six years of such daily operation but 10 years to reach the 80% point even at the 2000 rating, so who cares? By then, you’ll probably have replace them with something else.

So bottom line, I would not be adverse at least from a safety standpoint to using the cells IF you can’t find a better solution to your satisfaction. SEE WHAT YOU CAN FIND OUT/SEE WHAT OPTIONS – ALL THE OPTIONS – ALL YOUR OPTIONS – MIGHT BE BEFORE YOU MAKE A FINAL DECISION.

That would be my advice.
 

HammerToe

Solar Enthusiast
Joined
Apr 11, 2021
Messages
35
One final thing I thought I would add - you might want to search for – on YouTube - "lithium iron phosphate safety" and watch a few videos. compared to lithium-ion lithium polymer and so on, this CHEMISTRY is really, really safe. It's really hard for these things to wind up causing damage, catching fire and so on. Check it out.
 

OM617YOTA

Solar Enthusiast
Joined
May 27, 2021
Messages
109
I don't understand, why even roll the dice on AliExpress cells? We have a seller here on the forum who is VERY competitive cost wise, and has guaranteed good product. Cost difference for 8x Eve 280ah cells was ~$100. Roll the dice, or pay 10% more and have a guaranteed product.

After learning about that, there's zero chance I will buy from AliExpress again.
 

FrankS

New Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2021
Messages
9
I don't understand, why even roll the dice on AliExpress cells? We have a seller here on the forum who is VERY competitive cost wise, and has guaranteed good product. Cost difference for 8x Eve 280ah cells was ~$100. Roll the dice, or pay 10% more and have a guaranteed product.

After learning about that, there's zero chance I will buy from AliExpress again.
I'm a new member to this board and know now where to order next time. As many DIY I watched yt videos and thought EASY and learned then the hard way that in reality things are different...I was not after a bargain and ordered more or less from the first shop on Alibaba offering the cells I was after. One criteria was that all duties and taxes are paid for - so except shipping costs - there were no additional costs. It also can be a pain to get goods through customs - all that was sorted!
 

OM617YOTA

Solar Enthusiast
Joined
May 27, 2021
Messages
109
@FrankS Hear you there! New member myself, apologies if I came across like I was busting your chops.

I bought my first set of batteries from AliExpress as well. After reading here about issues with exactly the seller I worked with at AliExpress, and shipping taking forever, I got spooked and looked for other options. Wanted a functional system, which didn't revolve around a couple Walmart deep cycle lead acids. I bought a second set from the group buy here, before my first set even arrived.

Looks like I got lucky, but I know better. I work with the Chinese professionally every day. I know better.
 

HammerToe

Solar Enthusiast
Joined
Apr 11, 2021
Messages
35
Just wanted to 'second' what FrankS just said response to OM617YOTA – that's basically how I went about it – I wasn't looking for the absolutely lowest price or anything like that – I also wanted to know for certain what the final price would be in terms of duties and taxes and shipping and so on (indeed, hopefully – I would not have to pay any duties and taxes upon import). All that mattered to me was Cost of cells plus Cost of shipping 'was competitive'.

A lot of what you say is based on 2020 hindsight. Many people who in the past of ordered from AliExpress – probably most of them in fact – had pleasant enough experiences. Others, probably a minority – all things considered – did not! Sometimes people who buy merchandise from AliExpress or indeed anywhere either wind up not being happy with what they ultimately get, but that can be due to many factors: (a) a merchant deliberately trying to sell shoddy merchandise to ‘make a buck’, (b) lying/misrepresenting the product – ‘not as advertised’ (c) FAILURE ON BEHALF OF PURCHASERS TO NOT EXERCISE ENOUGH/OR KNOWLEDGEABLE ENOUGH ‘DUE DILIGENCE’/even out and out failure to read like a legal beagle the exact description of what one was going to get (b) Failure to know exactly what questions to ask (“There are things you know when you know you know them; there are things you do not know BUT you know enough to ask the right questions; and finally there are things you simply never think about considering”).

Anyway, there is always some risk involved. (And oh yeah, I could add to the above list: lost or damaged goods and shipping which is exactly… WHOSE FAULT? Who should bear the cost? In general, suppliers I think will frequently – perhaps more often than not – decide to ‘eat’ the cost of the damage/replacing the goods and I suspect that many times they carry INSURANCE – the cost of which is built into their prices (which they do not mention in their advertisements) to cover the cost of having issue refunds or replace products just to keep customers happy even though it is not their fault.

ANYWAY – personally – my worldview is that people are pretty much the same around the world, IN SIMILAR CIRCUMSTANCES.

‘The next time, I will do something different, REGARDLESS OF HOW MY CURRENT ORDERING EXPERIENCE TURNS OUT. I might – as I mentioned – go with alibaba next time based on Andy at the off grid garages experience. OR – I might ‘go’ somewhere else.

My current thoughts are that I will wait until July 8 or ninth when the window opens when I can ‘Open a Dispute’ with my vendor and take some time engaging in what will probably be several multiple days of back-and-forth trying to agree on what we should do, because I don’t want to let that window of opportunity to Open a Dispute slipped by. I kind of figured/and I’m pretty sure that from AliExpress’s point of view, as long as you’ve OPENED a Dispute (which is what that window specifically is – “it’s on the books” as a dispute and can extend past the ‘Last Day to Open a Dispute’. I am actually pretty sure/I accept my sellers word that they did at least – AT LEAST – SHIP THE PRODUCT – and that the delays I’m seeing are simply because of the chaotic state of the world in international trade and commerce and shipping today because of the covid-19 pandemic. But I’m still betting that they will ultimately get here.

Just to make it clear – the other comments I made about the ‘damaged/swelling’ cells that another poster in this thread posted: ALL I AM SUGGESTING to him is simply to take it easy and try to keep calm and relaxed and see what you can negotiate with/throughout the express and his supplier. Be nice and polite and see what happens. I outlined a range of several possibilities that might emerge, as long as he at least initially attempted to comply with their instructions. And if he can’t get exactly what he wants as a remedy, try to politely negotiate something in between (like: in terms of product or cost/refunds, what are you prepared to do for me, under the circumstances).

And finally – all I was trying to say ‘from the safety perspective’ is that I really doubt that there are any necessarily real ‘Safety Hazards’ associated with trying to use the batteries he received simply based on ‘some’ degree of swelling (though admittedly it is hard to define what is/should be acceptable and what is not? As I said – and provided links to videos – from a safety perspective, repeat: Safety Perspective - as long as they’re not leaking or cracked or anything like that - just because they are ‘bulging’ a bit, I do not see that as a Safety Hazard. SAFETY HAZARD! As far as I know, the inherent ‘chemistry’ (if I can put it that way) of these batteries is that they are really, really quite safe and, simply if he (or I) - if I were ‘in his shoes’ - I would like to know from a performance point of view, do the batteries/cells ‘measure up’. If they didn’t perform as they were supposed to, then I would definitely not use them. HOWEVER if they did, and subject to the other conditions I mentioned, I think I probably would.

Anyway, I always like to look at all my possible options ‘just in case’. Sometimes, frequently in fact: things turn out BETTER than I would’ve thought they would initially, as long as you are polite. (Check out Andy’s videos).

In closing, and because I’m fairly new here, you mentioned that ‘we had a reliable and competitive supplier’ (sort of ‘here’) ‘on the forum’ who was offering – based upon testimonials from others who have posted on this forum – high quality cells at a ‘competitive’ price.

I’M NOT SURE SUPPOSED TO ASK THESE QUESTIONS AND/OR ANYONE IS SUPPOSED TO ANSWER without breaking some kind of form rules BUT: would it be too much and not inappropriate or forbidden for you to SPECIFICALLY IDENTIFY the source you are talking about?

I definitely have gotta get started building up a pack. In addition, I just happened to have wound up with ‘two’ of those Overkill solar (type) 120 amp 12 volt 4S BMSes - one that I did purchase throughout the express AND a second one which I purchased through Overkill solar… The reason I ordered two was that they were really hard to ‘come by’ at the time I was looking and I wanted to make sure that I managed to ‘snag’ at least ONE unit and I wound up with two.

Now that I have two AND I’m still having to wait for even 4 cells, I’m still ‘pretty darn sure’ that – unless the cells that I ordered from China arrive within the next two weeks or so, I DEFINITELY PLAN ON PLACING ANOTHER ORDER FOR FOUR cells (and just to mention, they don’t have to be 280 amp hour cells they could be some of those newer 310 or 320 amp hour guys – ‘the bigger the better’ – as long as it is within reason, pricewise.

So again, dare I ask if you might EXPLICITLY mention this ‘recommended supplier’?
 

OM617YOTA

Solar Enthusiast
Joined
May 27, 2021
Messages
109
@HammerToe I'm sorry, I simply don't have time to read a wall of text. That's legitimately not meant to be snarky or rude, I just don't have the time.

If you do a forum search for "group buy", you'll find the battery group buys very quickly.
 

huwmcgregor

New Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2021
Messages
14
Thanks for the great advice and support with this guys.
I did come across Andy's video, sadly after buying these cells. I also only came across the forum supply after I had ordered the cells. They took a long time to arrive here too, but I was putting that to world turmoil issues.
Yes Andy's method for buying these cells would seem preferable and dealing direct with manufacturer. I think he also links the manufacturer in the discription.

OK so tomorrow will put a small video together, and test voltages Etc. I'm not quite set up for top balancing here yet, this was the next step.
 

Gazoo

Dumb Dumb
Joined
May 12, 2020
Messages
2,793
Location
Texas
I’M NOT SURE SUPPOSED TO ASK THESE QUESTIONS AND/OR ANYONE IS SUPPOSED TO ANSWER without breaking some kind of form rules BUT: would it be too much and not inappropriate or forbidden for you to SPECIFICALLY IDENTIFY the source you are talking about?
It's encouraged as long as the poster is not promoting cells for profit.
 
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