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

JMc

Solar Enthusiast
It’s great news that we are “winning” these disputes with various far-off sellers and getting refunds from PayPal etc. In the meantime PayPal, eBay etc. announce that they are raising their fees…just a coincidence I’m sure.

I had my turn in the barrel earlier this year when a highly-rated eBay seller in Hong Kong sold me batteries that never arrived. Yes I eventually got my money back (no thanks to eBay). My conclusion is the time and hassles of dealing with Chinese middle men are not worth it. Would I buy a $10 gadget from Alibaba? Sure, but if Amazon sold the same thing for $15 I’d get it there instead. No way will I ever again send hundreds or thousands of dollars to a Chinese merchant.
 

HammerToe

Solar Enthusiast
@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.
@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.
Thanks for your suggestion as to where I might start looking for a place where I might be able to try to order some HIGH QUALITY cells at a REASONABLE PRICE and hopefully receive them in a reasonable amount of time. In general – to my taste anyway – I think it’s generally good idea to be a bit more specific and include this information in posts anticipating that many readers would be very interested in knowing “Okay, I’m interested… Now ‘Exactly Where’ should I go to start looking for that information? Being a bit more specific in this way might take the poster a bit more time, but it can save an awful lot of time and frustration among people who read it and wish to follow up.

I used to work in I.T. many years ago and ‘grew to hate’ programmers (not to single them out; there are other groups in society that I could cite as an example) but programmers like to program, AND THEY HATE DOCUMENTING ANYTHING/WRITING ANYTHING DOWN. From my time in I.T., I learned the IMPORTANCE of documenting things and trying to be precise and complete as possible, because sooner or later, somebody’s going to have to deal with and be able to maintain and modify the code they wrote. I have a general rule of thumb says: “Anything you write should provide all the necessary information so that readers should have at least enough information to know what their ‘next step’ should likely be and not have to either ask or do a lot of SEARCHING around… Because that’s a waste of time and can be very frustrating ‘on their end’”.

As individuals, we sometimes forget that other people also are extremely busy and having to come back and ask an obvious question can be very frustrating to them, and anything that they/I be able to do save them time and frustration is something that I should make an effort to do.

Anyway, thanks for suggestion about what ‘Search Terms’ I might use. This information in and of itself save me and perhaps others will save me time and frustration.

Cheers.
 

HammerToe

Solar Enthusiast
@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.
I had in browsing around forms and had noticed these references to 'Group Buys'. But I had several questions and concerns about this idea, such as (a) "Just because one might be participating in a Group Buy, to what extent exactly (more or less) should one used to believe that that chances of getting high quality products at lower prices in China?" For example: might not that simply result in all participants being 'screwed' disappointed? (b) What about 'trans shipping': are we to presume that the products would be shipped directly to each individual participant in the group (doesn't seem likely to me but maybe...) and if not, who is going to take care of that and what's that going to cost and now there's another person in the supply chain you must choose to trust or not... (c) it seems to me that – depending upon other factors – such that all that might work out if one lived in a larger city with millions of people perhaps, that might work better than if the people who might consider participating were widely separated geographically is that, in turn, would necessitate probably re-shipping AND the costs of that...? Would pay for that? Each individual person? And what might that cost, or would the cost be 'averaged out' which doesn't seem really all that fair. As long as one could pick them up within a relatively short distance/driving distance from home, that might be acceptable or even attractive...

In short, an option which might be attractive in one context might not be in another context.

'Right now' - in my particular situation - within the next week or two if I don't get my order from AliExpress has not arrived, I'll probably simply decide to place another order with... WHO? (Exactly). What I personally and prospective purchasers are simply looking for something like: "Okay, you want to buy high quality cells at a reasonable, competitive price, from a supplier who will 'stand behind them', AND – DEPENDING UPON WHERE YOU LIVE AND HOW FAST YOU MIGHT LIKE TO HAVE THEM DELIVERED (of higher than usual priority given the state of the world in general today), Try 'HERE' - 'this link'/'vendor' - "I and many others on this forum have purchased from them and many people on this forum have purchased from them and been completely satisfied".

Another idea - ordered from Amazon – might be a thread with 'Suggested Vendor Links' accompanied by a 'Scoring System' akin to that which purchasers can – say – 'vote one to five stars' or something like that, so that one can see what PERCENTAGE of purchasers were 'how satisfied'.

Personal case, 'time' is increasingly 'becoming of the essence' and I might be prepared to pay SOMEWHAT MORE for speedy delivery and higher confidence, but it all depends upon How Much.

Anyone who has ordered from either the Orient OR the United States care to suggest a supplier that they thought they could trust based on their experiences who provided a product at a 'fair price'? At present, if I don't receive my shipment within the next 14 days or so, I think I will probably try Alibaba the next time, following the information and suggestions supplied by 'Andy' at the off grid garage YouTube and Internet channel/site. As an option, I would prefer if the price was competitive from ordering from a North American source. Suggestions?
 

mininut2

New Member
I had in browsing around forms and had noticed these references to 'Group Buys'. But I had several questions and concerns about this idea, such as (a) "Just because one might be participating in a Group Buy, to what extent exactly (more or less) should one used to believe that that chances of getting high quality products at lower prices in China?" For example: might not that simply result in all participants being 'screwed' disappointed? (b) What about 'trans shipping': are we to presume that the products would be shipped directly to each individual participant in the group (doesn't seem likely to me but maybe...) and if not, who is going to take care of that and what's that going to cost and now there's another person in the supply chain you must choose to trust or not... (c) it seems to me that – depending upon other factors – such that all that might work out if one lived in a larger city with millions of people perhaps, that might work better than if the people who might consider participating were widely separated geographically is that, in turn, would necessitate probably re-shipping AND the costs of that...? Would pay for that? Each individual person? And what might that cost, or would the cost be 'averaged out' which doesn't seem really all that fair. As long as one could pick them up within a relatively short distance/driving distance from home, that might be acceptable or even attractive...

In short, an option which might be attractive in one context might not be in another context.

'Right now' - in my particular situation - within the next week or two if I don't get my order from AliExpress has not arrived, I'll probably simply decide to place another order with... WHO? (Exactly). What I personally and prospective purchasers are simply looking for something like: "Okay, you want to buy high quality cells at a reasonable, competitive price, from a supplier who will 'stand behind them', AND – DEPENDING UPON WHERE YOU LIVE AND HOW FAST YOU MIGHT LIKE TO HAVE THEM DELIVERED (of higher than usual priority given the state of the world in general today), Try 'HERE' - 'this link'/'vendor' - "I and many others on this forum have purchased from them and many people on this forum have purchased from them and been completely satisfied".

Another idea - ordered from Amazon – might be a thread with 'Suggested Vendor Links' accompanied by a 'Scoring System' akin to that which purchasers can – say – 'vote one to five stars' or something like that, so that one can see what PERCENTAGE of purchasers were 'how satisfied'.

Personal case, 'time' is increasingly 'becoming of the essence' and I might be prepared to pay SOMEWHAT MORE for speedy delivery and higher confidence, but it all depends upon How Much.

Anyone who has ordered from either the Orient OR the United States care to suggest a supplier that they thought they could trust based on their experiences who provided a product at a 'fair price'? At present, if I don't receive my shipment within the next 14 days or so, I think I will probably try Alibaba the next time, following the information and suggestions supplied by 'Andy' at the off grid garage YouTube and Internet channel/site. As an option, I would prefer if the price was competitive from ordering from a North American source. Suggestions?
OK, "try HERE". After a lot of reading, on this forum and others, I ended up ordering directly from a Chinese company named RJ Energy. This was on the "advice" of @ghostwriter66 in one of her posts. This is the link to the person that I dealt with sale25@lithiumbattery-rj.com her name is Alice Gan. I am in Australia, so I don't know how the delivery times would differ between here and the states, but here are the details of my purchase.
Ordered the 8 - 280 x 3.2v cells on 17/06/21
Received Tracking number 24/06/21
Arrived at Australian port 12/07/21
Delivered to my door 26/07/21
The cost of the cells, including delivery and busbars was, $1174USD.
I haven't capacity tested yet but see no reason why they won't be "as advertised". None were swollen and I voltmeter tested, all were within a couple of millivolts of each other (which doesn't mean too much).
So far, just a happy customer
Rick

 

HammerToe

Solar Enthusiast
OK, "try HERE". After a lot of reading, on this forum and others, I ended up ordering directly from a Chinese company named RJ Energy. This was on the "advice" of @ghostwriter66 in one of her posts. This is the link to the person that I dealt with sale25@lithiumbattery-rj.com her name is Alice Gan. I am in Australia, so I don't know how the delivery times would differ between here and the states, but here are the details of my purchase.
Ordered the 8 - 280 x 3.2v cells on 17/06/21
Received Tracking number 24/06/21
Arrived at Australian port 12/07/21
Delivered to my door 26/07/21
The cost of the cells, including delivery and busbars was, $1174USD.
I haven't capacity tested yet but see no reason why they won't be "as advertised". None were swollen and I voltmeter tested, all were within a couple of millivolts of each other (which doesn't mean too much).
So far, just a happy customer
Rick

 

HammerToe

Solar Enthusiast
THANK YOU! “You’re ‘ma man”. That is the kind of response I think more people should give - be a bit more specific; give specific recommendations so that OTHER PEOPLE – many other people don’t have to waste a lot of their time and endure a lot of frustration and aggravation searching around and searching around and searching around and doing a lot of reading to try to find – in this case – a supplier that people have had good experiences with. That’s why ‘Andy’s’ (O-G-G) videos on the subject so helpful and appreciated - provided lots of information, pricing, total/multiple experiences end to end, ‘comfort formation’, specific recommendations, how the whole process works with regards to his experience in ordering from Alibaba, etc.

Thanks again, if I were nearby and Australia, I’d buy you a beer!
 

HammerToe

Solar Enthusiast
Actually, no I can’t. I was trying to help you out here to improve your ability to help others. Essentially all you seem to have done insofar as your 9:10 AM post today is concerned is (a) suggest that anyone and everyone who sell through AliExpress is probably a crook or untrustworthy (actually, might even be interpreted by some as ‘racist’ in these days of ‘political correctness’ and (b) try to in a roundabout way disparage anyone who still might want to consider purchasing through AliExpress or Alibaba. All I was trying to suggest was that if you’re going to put your opinion out there and try to ‘suggest an alternative’, then be more specific/informative about where to go to find out information on “this other seller here on the forum” rather than simply suggest: “(I think) better alternatives are available; the information is available ‘SOMEWHERE’ on the forum so just go around and hack away and try to find it!” As I pointed out, that can result in a lot of people – a LOT of people – spending a lot of time and injuring a lot of aggravation trying to find what they THINK suggesting is that better alternative. That’s why, by comparison, my responses are definitely on the long side frequently but – you don’t have to read them if you’re not interested – and I try to provide information and either links or search criteria ‘in the first place’ to make it easier for others. Bottom line/name of the game: Try to make it easier for others who are ‘flailing around’, and not simply (as some might suspect) trying to put your opinion out there and perhaps even disparage/insult others who might still wish to take a different route.

The above is perhaps more than four sentences but it’s as close as I think I’m going to be able to get, given the nature of the issue.

Cheers
 

rin67630

Solar Addict
ANYWAY – personally – my worldview is that people are pretty much the same around the world, IN SIMILAR CIRCUMSTANCES.
I agree. I respect Chinese vendors, which are overwhelming serious
(unless some propose visibly un-plausible bargains: e.g. "***fire" 18650 cells at 8000mAh... LOL.)

What drove me nuts with Ali Express is however that THE PLATFORM is deliberately unfair to customers.
My vendor agreed to refund, and the ALI-EXPRESS PLATFORM blocked the process by not moving the dispute further and ONE HAS NO WAY of reaching a human to unlock the situation until their arbitrary deadline is reached.
Finally, over a PayPal complaint, AliExpress (not the vendor) asked me to return the goods at my cost, whereas I submitted clear videos showing the device displaying only physically impossible weird values.

For me this platform isn't any more what it was to the time Jack Ma had the control.
I will order further in China, but over another well known trading platform that respects its customers.
 

HammerToe

Solar Enthusiast
I agree. I respect Chinese vendors, which are overwhelming serious
(unless some propose visibly un-plausible bargains: e.g. "***fire" 18650 cells at 8000mAh... LOL.)

What drove me nuts with Ali Express is however that THE PLATFORM is deliberately unfair to customers.
My vendor agreed to refund, and the ALI-EXPRESS PLATFORM blocked the process by not moving the dispute further and ONE HAS NO WAY of reaching a human to unlock the situation until their arbitrary deadline is reached.
Finally, over a PayPal complaint, AliExpress (not the vendor) asked me to return the goods at my cost, whereas I submitted clear videos showing the device displaying only physically impossible weird values.

For me this platform isn't any more what it was to the time Jack Ma had the control.
I will order further in China, but over another well known trading platform that respects its customers.
Rin67630: just want Thank You for expressing your thoughts on AliExpress. Their relationship with merchants that use their platform are probably pretty complex. Any reputable ‘store’ attempting to sell their products through Aliexpress that have ‘been around a long time’ I’m pretty darn sure want to earn and keep a Good Reputation because ‘word gets around’. When shoddy or damaged merchandise winds up being delivered to a customer, somebody’s gotta ‘eat the cost’ and there are at least four parties here involved one way or another in the overall transaction: (1) The merchant (2) the AliExpress platform, (3) ‘shippers’ (and there may be more than one end to end in the supply chain) and finally (4) the customer. Who’s going to ‘eat it’? From experience, as much as in some ways Amazon ‘bugs me’ – for reasons I won’t go into here - I have had – as a customer – Extremely Satisfying Experiences ordering things through Amazon and, on rare occasions, having to return them because they were defective one way or another. If anyone who reads this has not ever had to return anything to Amazon, here is how it seems to work (or at least has worked for me in the past): essentially, all you need to do is ‘press’ the ‘Problem with order’ ‘button’, answer a few questions about why you want to return something after which you will be given an opportunity to print off a return postage page or two with a shipping label and instructions which you affix to the box in which you repacked the item you ordered and ‘drop it off’ at your nearest post office (or whatever).

Couldn’t get much easier - simple with PREPAID return shipping AND - Amazon automatically gets notified by the shipper essentially as soon as you drop it off AND YOUR ACCOUNT TO WHICH YOU CHARGED THE ITEM IS ‘INSTANTLY CREDITED’ even though Amazon has not yet received its return.

About the only thing they could do more would be to have someone ‘pick it up at your door’ so that you don’t have to drop it off. (This is something I would not expect them to have to pay for, though it might be a nice option to people who might be physically incapable of leaving home; but I gotta admit they seem to do a ‘bang up job’ of trying to please customers.

Personally, I find myself very grateful to them (ignoring where their dominance might conceivably ultimately lead to) for many reasons and specifically with regard to their method of handling returns. IT IS A PRIVILEGE THAT I PERSONALLY DO NOT TRY TO ‘ABUSE’. In return, I put a lot of extra time and effort in on carefully reading the information provided about the items that I am considering ordering and in many cases doing additional research before I ‘click’ ‘Place My Order’ to minimize the chances that I might have to decide to try to return it.

That’s why the next order I place for cells, I will definitely consider the possibility of Ordering through Amazon. It might cost me a bit more but – from the ‘Risk Standpoint’, I think I’d probably have to say that that’s the avenue of Lowest Risk to the Customer.

I’VE LEARNED THAT IT ‘DOESN’T PAY’ TO GET ANGRY IN COMMUNICATIONS. BE NICE AND POLITE and treat them with respect and TRY to treat them with understanding because they can be in a difficult position too, given the complexities inherent in the many steps of today’s Supply Chains and – at the current time – the CHAOS going on in the world as a consequence of our ‘Anal Retentive’ OVERREACTION to the virus.

As I mentioned in another post – taking this route/following my own advice and ordering through Amazon: I wound up getting a $160 (Canadian) item COMPLETELY FREE (roughly an eight hour time lapse between the time I contacted the merchant to the time the money was back in my credit card account, simply because it came with the wrong AC electrical plug! (I made an ‘extra effort’ when I contacted the seller advising me that I could not use the item as received because of the difference in the plug and the response was almost immediate - within a couple of hours - and the tone was (and here are some of the words, though not sincerely verbatim: “We are SO SORRY. Thank you for informing us about the difference in the plug standards between Australia and China and North America. We did not realize this when we posted these items for sale in North America. We will issue you a FULL REFUND on your purchase from us!” And they were true to their word - I got an email from Amazon about eight hours later around midnight North American time telling me that they had issued me a refund and that the money should be back in my account… And I checked and it WAS! Can’t get much better than that, I figure.

Cheers.

PS: can you/care to identify ‘that other trading platform’? Another option beside Amazon that I’m going to consider would be ordering merchandise from Alibaba, based upon information provided by Andy at the Off Grid Garage.
 

HammerToe

Solar Enthusiast
Again, I'm not reading a wall of text. It's a DIY site, you're expected to invest effort yourself into solutions. Seriously, you could search the site and find the link as easily as I could, only to post it here. In the time it took you to type these long posts, you could have found it yourself.
It is not ONLY about me that I’m thinking… I’m pretty darn good and very capable of doing what you suggest BUT (a) there will always be a ‘nagging doubt’ among people who follow your advice in the form of “I wonder if THIS PRECISE PLACE that I have come to following your instructions is the one that you were referring to and (b) and again it’s not just me - there may wind up being dozens if not hundreds of people’s time you are wasting by not being a little bit more specific IN THE FIRST PLACE. Think more about others. Try to imagine ‘being on the other end’ - I suggest that YOU would greatly appreciate a little bit of extra effort on someone else’s part to try to make YOUR life a little bit easier and less frustrating, especially considering the state of the world today. Why should ‘everyone’ have to ‘reimagine’ if not actually ‘reinvent the wheel’?

In any event, I will not be posting any more responses to you about this matter. I respect that you are very busy and that your time is very important to you as mine is to me. Probably even more so…

Cheers.
 

rin67630

Solar Addict
Rin67630: just want Thank You for expressing your thoughts on AliExpress. Their relationship with merchants that use their platform are probably pretty complex. Any reputable ‘store’ attempting to sell their products through Aliexpress that have ‘been around a long time’ I’m pretty darn sure want to earn and keep a Good Reputation because ‘word gets around’. When shoddy or damaged merchandise winds up being delivered to a customer, somebody’s gotta ‘eat the cost’ and there are at least four parties here involved one way or another in the overall transaction: (1) The merchant (2) the AliExpress platform, (3) ‘shippers’ (and there may be more than one end to end in the supply chain) and finally (4) the customer. Who’s going to ‘eat it’? From experience, as much as in some ways Amazon ‘bugs me’ – for reasons I won’t go into here - I have had – as a customer – Extremely Satisfying Experiences ordering things through Amazon and, on rare occasions, having to return them because they were defective one way or another. If anyone who reads this has not ever had to return anything to Amazon, here is how it seems to work (or at least has worked for me in the past): essentially, all you need to do is ‘press’ the ‘Problem with order’ ‘button’, answer a few questions about why you want to return something after which you will be given an opportunity to print off a return postage page or two with a shipping label and instructions which you affix to the box in which you repacked the item you ordered and ‘drop it off’ at your nearest post office (or whatever).

Couldn’t get much easier - simple with PREPAID return shipping AND - Amazon automatically gets notified by the shipper essentially as soon as you drop it off AND YOUR ACCOUNT TO WHICH YOU CHARGED THE ITEM IS ‘INSTANTLY CREDITED’ even though Amazon has not yet received its return.

About the only thing they could do more would be to have someone ‘pick it up at your door’ so that you don’t have to drop it off. (This is something I would not expect them to have to pay for, though it might be a nice option to people who might be physically incapable of leaving home; but I gotta admit they seem to do a ‘bang up job’ of trying to please customers.

Personally, I find myself very grateful to them (ignoring where their dominance might conceivably ultimately lead to) for many reasons and specifically with regard to their method of handling returns. IT IS A PRIVILEGE THAT I PERSONALLY DO NOT TRY TO ‘ABUSE’. In return, I put a lot of extra time and effort in on carefully reading the information provided about the items that I am considering ordering and in many cases doing additional research before I ‘click’ ‘Place My Order’ to minimize the chances that I might have to decide to try to return it.

That’s why the next order I place for cells, I will definitely consider the possibility of Ordering through Amazon. It might cost me a bit more but – from the ‘Risk Standpoint’, I think I’d probably have to say that that’s the avenue of Lowest Risk to the Customer.

I’VE LEARNED THAT IT ‘DOESN’T PAY’ TO GET ANGRY IN COMMUNICATIONS. BE NICE AND POLITE and treat them with respect and TRY to treat them with understanding because they can be in a difficult position too, given the complexities inherent in the many steps of today’s Supply Chains and – at the current time – the CHAOS going on in the world as a consequence of our ‘Anal Retentive’ OVERREACTION to the virus.

As I mentioned in another post – taking this route/following my own advice and ordering through Amazon: I wound up getting a $160 (Canadian) item COMPLETELY FREE (roughly an eight hour time lapse between the time I contacted the merchant to the time the money was back in my credit card account, simply because it came with the wrong AC electrical plug! (I made an ‘extra effort’ when I contacted the seller advising me that I could not use the item as received because of the difference in the plug and the response was almost immediate - within a couple of hours - and the tone was (and here are some of the words, though not sincerely verbatim: “We are SO SORRY. Thank you for informing us about the difference in the plug standards between Australia and China and North America. We did not realize this when we posted these items for sale in North America. We will issue you a FULL REFUND on your purchase from us!” And they were true to their word - I got an email from Amazon about eight hours later around midnight North American time telling me that they had issued me a refund and that the money should be back in my account… And I checked and it WAS! Can’t get much better than that, I figure.

Cheers.

PS: can you/care to identify ‘that other trading platform’? Another option beside Amazon that I’m going to consider would be ordering merchandise from Alibaba, based upon information provided by Andy at the Off Grid Garage.
That other platform's name begins with e followed by B and two more letters, the last one being the penultimate alphabet letter...
;-)
Alibaba is just the B2B version of AliExpress.

Yes, being polite and positive pays off.
In the case I described, I explained my situation and -as always- asked what the merchant suggests.

He agreed immediately to refund, but instructed me to file a dispute, so he could get his fees back.
Then the AliExpress platform just did not process the refund transaction...
 

PsychoticEpisode

Solar Addict
Again, I'm not reading a wall of text. It's a DIY site, you're expected to invest effort yourself into solutions. Seriously, you could search the site and find the link as easily as I could, only to post it here. In the time it took you to type these long posts, you could have found it yourself.
Dude this is your 4th rude post to this guy, if you don't have time to read and help people then go away. You obviously have more important things to do then be on the internet so why not do it. People come here to get help from the community not to get put down buy telling them there are not worth your time to read there problems. If you are that hateful and self centered then go to another site there are plenty of them out there. Your attitude is making all of us look bad here on the forums, this is not reddit we don't need that crap here.
 

OM617YOTA

Solar Enthusiast
Dude this is your 4th rude post to this guy, if you don't have time to read and help people then go away. You obviously have more important things to do then be on the internet so why not do it. People come here to get help from the community not to get put down buy telling them there are not worth your time to read there problems. If you are that hateful and self centered then go to another site there are plenty of them out there. Your attitude is making all of us look bad here on the forums, this is not reddit we don't need that crap here.
Thank you for the heads up. I was quite uncomfortable with the entire exchange, being a new guy here and not knowing what is normal and expected, but being pretty sure this wasn't it.

I shared my opinion twice, and then only responded to other's words that were directed specifically at me. I won't apologize for my responses, as I don't think they were rude, only reasonable responses to unreasonable requests.

I do apologize to the forum as a whole for being a newbie, and responding without knowing the culture here. In the future, I will simply not respond to such things.

Here is the group buy thread I was referencing:

 

HammerToe

Solar Enthusiast
That other platform's name begins with e followed by B and two more letters, the last one being the penultimate alphabet letter...
;-)
Alibaba is just the B2B version of AliExpress.

Yes, being polite and positive pays off.
In the case I described, I explained my situation and -as always- asked what the merchant suggests.

He agreed immediately to refund, but instructed me to file a dispute, so he could get his fees back.
Then the AliExpress platform just did not process the refund transaction...
rin67630: Thanks for replying and giving me some ‘hints’ as to who you were considering purchasing sell through next. My latest thoughts - my opinion is that PROBABLY the safest route would be to go through Amazon BUT if one went that way, it might be tough getting a/the ‘best price’ you were personally hoping to get. I did some checking around on amazon.ca yesterday just in case my order might ‘never arrive’ or something and I needed to order some more, and the best price I could find in Canadian dollars on four cells is probably around $250 or so more than what I paid for my current order. Nevertheless, assuming you could get a price you liked, based on my experiences, I think Amazon would be the least risky.

Of course I cannot be (‘wink- wink’) 100% sure who you are referring to but if it is the same one that you are hinting about, that would probably be my second choice. I CHECKED OUT PAYPAL’S ‘Money Back Guarantee’ yesterday – read the whole thing – and it looks pretty good. About the only thing that they don’t make any mention of or suggest that customers might/probably should think about when placing an order is “What if the merchandise arrives ‘damaged’ AND/OR - for any reason, the merchant wants the damaged goods or shipment shipped back in China?

In the case of Andy at the Off-Grid Garage who ordered through the ‘other Ali’, as I recall he had a couple of cells with VERY MINOR, arguably simply cosmetic damage when he ordered his second order (of 12 cells). He didn’t ‘sweat it’ but he did decide to mention it to his supplier when he placed his THIRD order (48 cells, I think it was), simply saying that (in my words) “He was ‘a little disappointed’ with these two cells). Bottom line – as I recall, on his third order (eight cells I think it was), they shipped him eight cells but only charged him for six!

So yes, it does pay to be nice and polite and respectful.

IN ANY EVENT – it appears that I won’t need to (hopefully) consider ordering a second batch of (four) cells anytime soon because it looks like – FINALLY – the shipment has arrived in Canada!

They ‘made landfall’ in Vancouver at 3:06 AM local time YESTERDAY - Thursday, August 5th, and made their way to Calgary Alberta at 2:31 a.m. and LEFT that facility three minutes later at 2:34 AM. SO… Maybe, just maybe… I might see them TODAY? If not today, on Monday at the latest I would imagine, unless…??? UPS delivers on weekend day?

I may know more after 8 AM local time this morning. Your chance they are now – on this final leg to Winnipeg, ‘coming by air’, I should receive them today. If not – by truck – then maybe, still maybe much later today or Monday or maybe over the weekend.

So it looks like this is all ending well, maybe/hopefully… (That they’re not defective or damaged or anything).

For the record: I placed my order May 7th, and it was shipped May 12th. That ‘works out to’ 86 days or 12 weeks and two days elapsed time from the date they were shipped, and 94 days or 13 weeks and three days since the day I placed my order. Roughly 3 months overall from the day they were SHIPPED.

So bottom line, assuming they arrive in good condition and are not defective, it looks like My Faith in Humanity remains preserved. The Chinese folks – the ‘average working stiff’ – is probably pretty darn decent and hard-working. (The Chinese and Asians in general are really hard-working people, a lot more so than frequently ‘soft and lazy’ Western society folks. I’ve been around more decades than I care to think about and it seen things change, and I “can’t begin to tell you” how many employers and workers even in their 40’s have complained to me over and over, that the ‘Current Generation’ just ‘Doesn’t Want To Work’ when they hear what the ‘pay is’. However, one of them just said to me a couple of weeks ago: “These Indians (the nation of India) on the other hand, “They are HUNGRY!” If we don’t get our act together in the West here (ref: Will’s ‘Rant’ in one of his recent “Ask me anything” long videos), they are going to ‘Eat Our Lunch’.

One final thing (I could say more but I will leave that for another post at another time), In my ‘browsing around’ over the past few days, I managed to come across some information from a Cell Manufacturer addressing the problem of ‘swelled cells’. Basically, the explanation which I found quite credible was that: “This is not uncommon, BUT IN NO WAY WHATSOEVER REPRESENTS A SAFETY HAZARD” and they went on to state that: “As long as the cells are not leaking, not cracked, and when tested, ‘meet specs’, THEY ARE PERFECTLY SAFE TO USE!” If I can find that statement again, I will post it.

Obviously, one would prefer Absolutely Pristine cells BUT: if it was going to be a real hassle and/or cost me any money to rectify that issue, personally I would have no hesitation in putting them into service.

Cheers.
 

jimukee

New Member
I ordered a few times a few dozens (imho brand new and genuine) 18650 LiCo cells from Liitokaala Official store and all stuff I got was within spec. But I never ordered other stuff like LiFePo4 cells from them. Maybe Amy is a better source for LiFePo4 cells 🙃
Hi mmame,

Which store and cells do you usually buy in the 18650s. I'm looking for a good source for 6x INR18650 25Rs (samsung), LG HG2, or Sony VTC5 or 6.
How do you usually check if they are genuine? I don't have accurate scales myself.
 

mmame

New Member
Hi mmame,

Which store and cells do you usually buy in the 18650s. I'm looking for a good source for 6x INR18650 25Rs (samsung), LG HG2, or Sony VTC5 or 6.
How do you usually check if they are genuine? I don't have accurate scales myself.
I can't check if they are really genuine, but tested all cell's capacity with a Li500 charger. I only used Low-C batteries like NCR18650, thus I never checked internal resistance. But for high-C cells/rates, I'd recommend to also validate internal resistance against specification i.e. by using Delta-V measurements (imho the resistance measurement function of Li500 is crap)
 

jimukee

New Member
I can't check if they are really genuine, but tested all cell's capacity with a Li500 charger. I only used Low-C batteries like NCR18650, thus I never checked internal resistance. But for high-C cells/rates, I'd recommend to also validate internal resistance against specification i.e. by using Delta-V measurements (imho the resistance measurement function of Li500 is crap)
Ok I can do that. I have some 10Ohm 10W power resistors that should work OK to get a basic internal resistance measurement. Impressive they are reaching the correct capacity figures - that is the main that matters. I have a Nitecore charger which I think will measure capacity too.
 

rin67630

Solar Addict
Which store and cells do you usually buy in the 18650s.
I get my 18650s from the scrapyard.
I dismantle dumped computer battery packs and sort the good cells.
Mainly, on a 6 cells battery pack only two are bad.
The others usually get 80% of the capacity, that is frankly more than what you purchase from China new and it does not impact environment.
 
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