What is really going on with cells from China

SolarKimmy

Solar Enthusiast
I have ordered cells on many times from China. The process is difficult, takes a lot of research and time, it's risky and can cost you a ton of money.
I have been successful on a few orders and got screwed on some too, but I do not trust any of the sellers, by any stretch. There are only about three major manufacturers of Prismatic cells in China. Lishen, EVE and CATL. Now, China has a huge thirst for these cells and a towering electric car, scooter, bike, industrial equipment and power demand and US companies are also going there to get batteries. CATL and now Tesla are in bed together. So the chances of you getting cells directly off the assembly line from one of these companies is impossible, at best, and you and I are microscopic small fry compared to billion dollar contracts.

So the recourse is this:
  • Find some Schmo in China that advertises on Alibaba or Ali Express. There are a ton of them.
  • Now, most, if not all, are trading companies. This means, they can be, and most are, someone selling similar to the equivalent of Ebay here in the USA.
  • You can find this out by asking technical questions that they won't or cannot answer. Also look up their address and most are an apartment in some high-rise slum and not in a manufacturing district.
  • Find out if they have stock.. They will lie to you on every occasion to get a sale. This can be difficult. Many will slip up on their answers.
  • Check if you can use your own shipping broker. Most will say no.
  • You have to be ultra diligent on placing the order and what costs and fees will be dumped on top of it. Get your shipping terms correct. If the seller can save money by omitting some delivery terms or custom fees, they will do it and you will get stuck with the bill to get your stuff to your doorstep.
  • Now after all that and you think you can trust your order, you place it and wait..... Wait... and wait..
What happens once the order is placed.....
  1. They have to get the cells together, box them and do their paperwork to get them out the apartment door. Takes about ten days.
  2. A local freight forwarder middle man picks them up and gets them to a rail station. More paperwork and more time to unload, sort, wait and load.
  3. Rail station gets them to the port. More paperwork and time to unload, sort wait, transport and load into containers. These containers then have to be lifted by cranes onto a big frigging boat.
  4. Boat waits for it's loading and passage orders and confirmation to leave. Captain has a large drink and sets sail.
  5. Boat flounders across the the Ocean for an average of 30 days.
  6. Boat sits outside of Long Beach Harbor for several days to be ushered in due to a back load of sea shipments that is currently happening.
  7. Boat docks and has to get unloaded. More time, sorting, transporting of containers to the forwarding and customs brokers.
  8. Your container is unloaded and sorted and has to be processed thru customs.
  9. Once all this is done, and it's not an Amazon conveyor belt, they are forwarded to the local Fed Ex, UPS or whatever you contracted for delivery.
  10. Local delivery can happen. 1-7 days more.
Now the fun starts! What did I get in the end?

Now it's time to inspect your delivery. Were the packages damaged after 45-60 days of being drop kicked across the ocean?
Open each box and see what is inside. Do they physically show damage, are they used cells? Are they what they promised?
Test each cell, like I do for voltage and capacity. Are they what they said they were?

Folks, this is a long process with no guarantees. You have very little recourse if things go haywire and if you have to go back to the seller after 50 days (if they are still there). There are always paypal and credit card guarantees, but this is lengthy and tiresome and requires more work and documentation. If Amazon did business in this way and time frame, they would be long gone. It's a total crap shoot. It's like walking into a casino, placing a bet on the table, then leaving for 45-60 days and coming back to see if the casino is still there, what happened to your money or the return on your bet, if any, or if the cards were even dealt.

So that sums up are my thoughts on purchasing Chinese Cells from China. I'm looking for solutions. I have a contact in China and we are talking about having him do all the leg work there, since he speaks the language.
I have also ran into USA sellers that are straight up, have done all the hard work but they tend to be more expensive, but you get your product is a week in the USA with complete recourse and guarantees. In the meantime, it keeps your out of the casino!
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Jpoutage

New Member
EXACTLY! That's why I found a reliable USA seller and paid the higher cost. One week delivery, no fret, no headache. And still 1/2 price of a company battery. Great post.
 

RVLiFe

Solar Enthusiast
With all the nightmare stores on here I opted to just go with 206Ah SOK batteries. Delivered to my door in a short time and it has turned out to be a great experience and from what I have seen and tested, they are grade A cells. Couldn’t be happier and I’m rocking with them and not messing around with the headache of top balancing and trying to get a BMS that is reliable. Yes, they cost more and don’t have the capacity of 280Ah EVE cells but I’ll take something that is known to be good and work over someone that is using smoke and mirrors to get my money.
 

SolarKimmy

Solar Enthusiast
EXACTLY! That's why I found a reliable USA seller and paid the higher cost. One week delivery, no fret, no headache. And still 1/2 price of a company battery. Great post.
Please share your source and I will share mine, also. Thans for the reply and reading my lengthy rant! LOL.
 

Jpoutage

New Member
Found an Ebay seller, jamevarne_33, but he's down to only 100ah cells now. Bought 16 200ah cells for the price of 280's from China, but it's been worth it to me. Oversea shipping could get a lot worse soon.
 

rhino

Solar Addict
Amy is very good to work with. I have done business with her. Again, my concerns are where do the cells come from?
I believe @Steve_S has mentioned in other threads that Amy can sell you factory matched grade A cells directly from Eve or cheaper option of "bulk cells".
 

SolarKimmy

Solar Enthusiast
Point of my rant.. Nobody really has access to to the factory? Right? Nobody has the Willy Wonka Golden ticket pass? Kinda like me saying I can get you an iphone direct.. Steve Jobs could not even do that.
 

Steve_S

Offgrid Cabineer, N.E. Ontario, Canada
Amy is very good to work with. I have done business with her. Again, my concerns are where do the cells come from?
Most vendors buy from Battery Cell Brokers (Grey Market), Luyuan DOES NOT, they have a Direct Supply Contract with EVE & CATL, the Bulk cells are the rejects which don't make the grade they are the edge cases relegated to Bulk cells. This IS a FACT but your disparagement with the "Broad Brush" is QUITE OFFENSIVE, frustrated or not.
 

SolarKimmy

Solar Enthusiast
Most vendors buy from Battery Cell Brokers (Grey Market), Luyuan DOES NOT, they have a Direct Supply Contract with EVE & CATL, the Bulk cells are the rejects which don't make the grade they are the edge cases relegated to Bulk cells. This IS a FACT but your disparagement with the "Broad Brush" is QUITE OFFENSIVE, frustrated or not.
"Broad Brush"? What does that mean? LOL.. Never heard that term, offensive or not.
 

Steve_S

Offgrid Cabineer, N.E. Ontario, Canada
paint (sth/sb) with a broad brush (also use a broad brush) to describe or consider someone or something in a very general way, without paying attention to small details or differences: I hate to paint all young men with the same broad brush, but it's true.
paint (someone or something) with the same brush
To unfairly categorize someone or something as being the same as another person or thing, usually in a negative manner.
 
I got my cells 16 cells from Amy at Luyuan.

I was skeptical about the whole thing and expected to pay taxes and import duties.

they arrived at my door in the specified time frame as promised, with not a cent more to pay.

one of my boxes got dropped by Ace Ventura Deliveries resulting in a minor ding on one cell corner. they must have been trying really hard as they were double boxed in 2s with heaps of foam, but even if id ordered a couple extra id still be ahead compared to 1st world reseller prices.

I see Amy is now using plastic corner protectors to stop that.

I'd get another lot from her again in a flash if I could talk myself into needing more:)
Id give her a AAA for her efforts, honesty and service.

pic below from here
 

Attachments

  • eve 280 uk 2.JPG
    eve 280 uk 2.JPG
    665.3 KB · Views: 31

houseofancients

Solar Addict
I have ordered cells on many times from China. The process is difficult, takes a lot of research and time, it's risky and can cost you a ton of money.
I have been successful on a few orders and got screwed on some too, but I do not trust any of the sellers, by any stretch. There are only about three major manufacturers of Prismatic cells in China. Lishen, EVE and CATL. Now, China has a huge thirst for these cells and a towering electric car, scooter, bike, industrial equipment and power demand and US companies are also going there to get batteries. CATL and now Tesla are in bed together. So the chances of you getting cells directly off the assembly line from one of these companies is impossible, at best, and you and I are microscopic small fry compared to billion dollar contracts.

So the recourse is this:
  • Find some Schmo in China that advertises on Alibaba or Ali Express. There are a ton of them.
  • Now, most, if not all, are trading companies. This means, they can be, and most are, someone selling similar to the equivalent of Ebay here in the USA.
  • You can find this out by asking technical questions that they won't or cannot answer. Also look up their address and most are an apartment in some high-rise slum and not in a manufacturing district.
  • Find out if they have stock.. They will lie to you on every occasion to get a sale. This can be difficult. Many will slip up on their answers.
  • Check if you can use your own shipping broker. Most will say no, because they mark up the shipping costs to buy more egg rolls.
  • You have to be ultra diligent on placing the order and what costs and fees will be dumped on top of it. Get your shipping terms correct. If the seller can save money by omitting some delivery terms or custom fees, they will do it and you will get stuck with the bill to get your stuff to your doorstep.
  • Now after all that and you think you can trust your order, you place it and wait..... Wait... and wait..
What happens once the order is placed.....
  1. They have to get the cells together, box them and do their paperwork to get them out the apartment door. Takes about ten days.
  2. A local freight forwarder middle man picks them up and gets them to a rail station. More paperwork and more time to unload, sort, wait and load.
  3. Rail station gets them to the port. More paperwork and time to unload, sort wait, transport and load into containers. These containers then have to be lifted by cranes onto a big frigging boat.
  4. Boat waits for it's loading and passage orders and confirmation to leave. Captain has a large drink and sets sail.
  5. Boat flounders across the the Ocean for an average of 30 days.
  6. Boat sits outside of Long Beach Harbor for several days to be ushered in due to a back load of sea shipments that is currently happening.
  7. Boat docks and has to get unloaded. More time, sorting, transporting of containers to the forwarding and customs brokers.
  8. Your container is unloaded and sorted and has to be processed thru customs.
  9. Once all this is done, and it's not an Amazon conveyor belt, they are forwarded to the local Fed Ex, UPS or whatever you contracted for delivery.
  10. Local delivery can happen. 1-7 days more.
Now the fun starts! What did I get in the end?

Now it's time to inspect your delivery. Were the packages damaged after 45-60 days of being drop kicked across the ocean?
Open each box and see what is inside. Do they physically show damage, are they used cells? Are they what they promised?
Test each cell, like I do for voltage and capacity. Are they what they said they were?

Folks, this is a long process with no guarantees. You have very little recourse if things go haywire and if you have to go back to the seller after 50 days (if they are still there). There are always paypal and credit card guarantees, but this is lengthy and tiresome and requires more work and documentation. If Amazon did business in this way and time frame, they would be long gone. It's a total crap shoot. It's like walking into a casino, placing a bet on the table, then leaving for 45-60 days and coming back to see if the casino is still there, what happened to your money or the return on your bet, if any, or if the cards were even dealt.

So that sums up are my thoughts on purchasing Chinese Cells from China. I'm looking for solutions. I have a contact in China and we are talking about having him do all the leg work there, since he speaks the language.
I have also ran into USA sellers that are straight up, have done all the hard work but they tend to be more expensive, but you get your product is a week in the USA with complete recourse and guarantees. In the meantime, it keeps your out of the casino!
and then there AMY :)
 

Draconius

Solar Enthusiast
Wish Amy had the cells I wanted. I tried for 3 months to buy from her despite her Alibaba page saying they had them in stock. I ended up buying through Ninthcit and feel "dirty" with how communicative they were until 2 weeks ago when they stopped responding...
 

SolarKimmy

Solar Enthusiast
I tend to buy from usa companies now. I have the cells in three days. I don't go thru all that hassel and it's been a good experience.
 

SolarKimmy

Solar Enthusiast
I can't post much more on this site. someone in bed with China or Amazon links is censoring me. My last posts/comments were deleted. So much for a free speech forum.
 
Top