Ebird Store -- Amazon & Aliexpress only? That's hard to trust.

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xtinctionRebeller   10 W

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Ebird Store -- Amazon & Aliexpress only? That's hard to trust.

Post by xtinctionRebeller » Apr 04 2020 2:47pm

Stuff I'm in the market for often appears in Aliexpress and Amazon from Ebird Store. Does anyone know if this shop has a proper website or brick & mortar store?

The issue is that none of their products seem to have a warranty, which isn't even legal in the US & Europe. Perhaps they simply neglect to express the warranty, but it's hard to trust them when they seem to only exist on Amazon and Aliexpress, both of which hide the details of their merchants. So if there's an issue, consumers are at the mercy of Amazon or Aliexpress to resolve it on their behalf.

Amazon will completely drop the ball. I once paid for something that never arrived. The merchant then withdrew from Amazon. Amazon refuses to do anything beyond 90 days after the order date -- and Amazon will never reveal the true company identity of a seller. So in effect Amazon is a shelter for fly-by-night operations and I've been stung by it. I'm not sure if Aliexpress is any better.

I've never shopped on Aliexpress, but I created an account there and on my 2nd login I encountered hostile treatment. It said my account (which I only used to ask a question) is linked to "suspicious activity". It tells me to move a slider (I guess a humanity check) and then it crapped out. I ultimately could not login. This fails to reassure me that I'll be able to connect if there's an post-sale issue.

What if a product fails ~6 months or so after the order? In the US and Europe it would be under an implied warranty, but Aliexpress and Amazon can pass the buck to a vendor who they don't even identify. Amazon and Aliexpress don't even state which country a vendor is in, which is fairly important as far as getting a remedy to problems.

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Re: Ebird Store -- Amazon & Aliexpress only? That's hard to trust.

Post by mark5 » Apr 04 2020 3:27pm

xtinctionRebeller wrote:
Apr 04 2020 2:47pm
I've never shopped on Aliexpress, but I created an account there and on my 2nd login I encountered hostile treatment. It said my account (which I only used to ask a question) is linked to "suspicious activity". It tells me to move a slider (I guess a humanity check) and then it crapped out. I ultimately could not login. This fails to reassure me that I'll be able to connect if there's an post-sale issue.
It's an aside but if you connected to aliexpress the same way as you did when you posted this here, your IP address is real dirty. Look it up at https://cleantalk.org/blacklists/ as an example of one kind of IP reputation checking service.

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xtinctionRebeller   10 W

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Re: Ebird Store -- Amazon & Aliexpress only? That's hard to trust.

Post by xtinctionRebeller » Apr 04 2020 4:12pm

I appreciate the tip.

I'm sure most (if not all) IP addresses of Tor exit nodes end up on blacklists. A spammer doesn't post just one msg, wait a few days, and login to check for a reply. If Aliexpress is not smart enough to combine IP reputation with other metrics like msg volume and they bluntly rely on IP reputation, they're blocking ham. When they block ham they're actually more malicious than the spammers themselves. The whole point in fighting spam is to improve availability, so the system doesn't get so bogged down in spam that it interferes with legit transactions. They've apparently taken an approach that directly harms availability to legit users doing legit transactions. I'm glad their humanity test is not a Google reCAPTCHA, but it's broken nonetheless.

My appraisel of Aliexpress is that they want to be the next Amazon. I certainly do not trust them with my residential IP address. Their tendency to make access this fragile makes them untrustworthy. Who's to say they don't start demanding a mobile ph# from users a few months after they purchase something? These kind of shenanigans can be an obsticle to getting in touch with merchants for warranty service.

As much as I like Amazon having a competitor (as Amazon is morally reprehensible), I'm tempted to avoid Aliexpress.

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Re: Ebird Store -- Amazon & Aliexpress only? That's hard to trust.

Post by john61ct » Apr 04 2020 4:33pm

You are absolutely dreaming if you think you can buy stuff online direct from China

at ridonculously cheap pricing,

remain "anonymous"

AND be able to be covered in practice by any kind of warranty.

There is no such enforcement of "implied obligation" to protect consumers by any effective government agency in the US, except with US companies and through taking them to court, usually a total waste of time unless millions in actual damages might tempt lawyers to work on commission.

Either buy local from reputable B&M vendors (not through Amazon's or Walmart's "platforms") and pay for the local overheads, compliance with regs etc

or it's a total roll of the dice take your chances no warranty, no nanny state protections.

Prices from Ali are so low, if you get treated fairly even 30% of the time you're still ahead of the game.

eBay &PayPal's enforcement of "not as described", also good quality credit cards Buyer Protection do tilt the odd in your favor.

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xtinctionRebeller   10 W

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Re: Ebird Store -- Amazon & Aliexpress only? That's hard to trust.

Post by xtinctionRebeller » Apr 04 2020 6:07pm

I don't think AliExpress is restricted to China. This vendor for example ships *from* the US. If they have a warehouse in the US, they are easily accountable in the US. I'm not sure where you're from but the US court system is trivally simple. You do not need a lawyer in the US to make a small claim (and in fact you're not even permitted to use a lawyer in the small claims courts of some states).

Europe is more along the lines of the narrative you give: small claims are extremely process-encumbered, slow, and expensive, so if a merchant rips you off you're pretty much hosed even if it's a well identified domestic company. So indeed when I lived in Europe I would only buy locally, and still end up in fights over defective products. European credit cards also have lousy consumer protections. Consequently, my consumption in Europe was bare minimal necessities. Europe will kick the American affluenza right out of you. But in the US consumer protection is very strong for people armed with US credit cards and courtroom fearlessness.

One advantage to Amazon is it's an American company, so they can be sued without much effort. It's a shame Amazon has so many ethical issues that I now have to boycott them. I'm not sure where AliExpress is, but this is precisely why it's important to know where the merchants are (which is not always China).

Hence my thesis: does Ebird have a presence outside of the Amazon/AliExpress walled-gardens?
john61ct wrote:
Apr 04 2020 4:33pm
Prices from Ali are so low, if you get treated fairly even 30% of the time you're still ahead of the game.
Another reason to avoid them.
john61ct wrote:
Apr 04 2020 4:33pm
eBay &PayPal's enforcement of "not as described", also good quality credit cards Buyer Protection do tilt the odd in your favor.
I wouldn't do business with eBay, or Paypal, or anything connected with Peter Thiel. But since you bring up credit cards, it's worth noting that disputes is not the end of the story. Some of them double the mfr warranty. This means it's important to have a 1yr mfr warranty - otherwise you're doubling nothing. In that window of time between the mfr warranty and the credit card extended warranty, you need not have contact with the merchant. This is also why it would be useful to find Ebird's website, if they have one, as they might give warranty info (which may exist but doesn't necessarily appear in ads on 3rd party sites like Aliexpress).
Last edited by xtinctionRebeller on Apr 05 2020 11:48am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Ebird Store -- Amazon & Aliexpress only? That's hard to trust.

Post by john61ct » Apr 04 2020 9:42pm

I have lived in Europe and Australia, and the CP regimes there, especially in the latter, actually have (some) teeth.

In the US not at all.

Small claims is a joke such low amounts hardly worth your time.

A "warehouse" location stateside gives no assurance at all, in the end nothing does, scammers at low volume operate here with near full impunity.
xtinctionRebeller wrote:One advantage to Amazon is it's an American company, so they can be sued without much effort.
LOL, so naive. Read the terms & conditions you agreed to.

You **might** be OK if Amazon Inc is the actual seller of record, but I've never seen that in this market niche.

99.9% it's a third party drop shipper and Amazon itself is just providing a platform like eBay and Walmart, no recourse at all they may not do any due diligence on the actual seller at all.

> I'm not sure where AliExpress is, but this is precisely why it's important to know where the merchants are (which is not always China).

Won't say always but yes all the Ali companies are very closely tied in with billions invested by Chinese state-owned entities, board members required military and intelligence surveillance / reporting etc.

Never seen a non-Chinese merchant there either, nor Taobao, Tmall.com 1688.com yoybuy etc

> But since you bring up credit cards, it's worth noting that disputes is not the end of the story. Some of them double the mfr warranty. This means it's important to have a 1yr mfr warranty - otherwise you're doubling nothing.

There IS NO warranty on this stuff, the cost (for you) of returning the item is higher than its value!

Unless you find a trustworthy B&M stockist local to you.

But margins are **so** slim those can't compete thus for new industries distribution channels just DO. NOT. EXIST.

For everything you're bringing up, it's crystal clear you are living in some idealized dream world pure la-la land.
john61ct wrote:
Apr 04 2020 4:33pm
Prices from Ali are so low, if you get treated fairly even 30% of the time you're still ahead of the game.
> Another reason to avoid them.

So now you've eliminated all sources worldwide except your local B&M, and those don't even exist for most of what we're looking for, boxing yourself into a corner here, better off avoiding any technology related hobbies take up gardening or something.
john61ct wrote:
Apr 04 2020 4:33pm
eBay &PayPal's enforcement of "not as described", also good quality credit cards Buyer Protection do tilt the odd in your favor.
I wouldn't do business with eBay, or Paypal, or anything connected with Peter Thiel.

Same again, now even more so! Your "boycott" is less important than the bacteria in the gut of a fruitfly squashed by the flick of its tail, to the old lion busy fighting for its life in a battle over top spot in its herd.

that was the last low-price large-selection left in the world for you with good consumer protection IRL.

Basically, any business in these markets that do the right thing by their customers according to our very spoiled western standards, will never be able to make enough profits to survive.

Globalized capitalism at work, no putting that genie back in the bottle!


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Re: Ebird Store -- Amazon & Aliexpress only? That's hard to trust.

Post by john61ct » Apr 04 2020 10:03pm

Here is a great illustration of how dealing with Chinese sellers from here actually works:

https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/g5x3 ... l-dark-web

There is no "trust" involved for any given transaction, just playing the odds based on your recent success rate patterns.

You hand over your money, maybe you get decent value, maybe you don't.

Smart sellers in it for the long term are reliable and attract a good reputation and a growing base of repeat customers.

The shady and incompetent disappear after a time of ripping people off.

Smart experienced customers have a huge advantage over noobs and trusting idiots.

But no one is ever "secure", protected by any guarantees, that just does not exist except for the options I outlined above.

_______
IMO this is the future of "free market" commerce even over here, to the extent our governments are captured by industry eliminating regulations, or just increasingly unwilling to fulfill their core functions.

And the cops and mafia work hand in hand, former eliminating the competition until they are one and the same.

And our "democratically" leaders end up being the crims themselves or their planted mouthpieces anyway.


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Re: Ebird Store -- Amazon & Aliexpress only? That's hard to trust.

Post by xtinctionRebeller » Apr 05 2020 10:19am

john61ct wrote:
Apr 04 2020 9:42pm
I have lived in Europe and Australia, and the CP regimes there, especially in the latter, actually have (some) teeth.
Nonsense w.r.t. Europe. European CP is non-existent on small scales of individuals who need remedies. I've obviously seen a lot more than you in Europe, online and offline. The problem with Europe is the protection with teeth is only triggered when tens of thousands of consumers are getting ripped off & it's on a scale that the government can't ignore. If you just walk into a shop and buy something that's defective, you're hosed if the shop doesn't have enough good will to treat you right, because there is no viable recourse. No BBB equivalent, and no practical lawsuit option. And even when the shop has enough good will to accept a return, it's very rare that you get your money back. You get a store credit, which means you're still forced to spend the money in that shop. You remain permanently separated from your money. And worse, there is no law banning the expiry of that credit. I returned defective electronics to two stores: one was a major chain and the other was not. Both refused to give cash back, and the store credit expired in 1 year. And it's legal for shops to do this. Usually you're lucky to even get store credit. Often they force you to exchange for the same product -- in which case you're totally SOL if the product has a design defect (meaning the defect exists in all units). On two occasions I had to make a scene, in which case they caved and paid me cash just to stop shouting in front of prospective customers.

I bought a sandwich from a large chain grocery store labeled vegetarian, took a bite out of it, discovered it was fish, and tried to return it. The grocer was about to put it back on the shelf, and I joked that he should mark it down since it has a bite out of it. When he discovered the bite, he got angry and said he can't resell it (nevermind that it was cold food that left the store and the packaging had been clearly opened). Then I had to again defend with more intensity the fact that it was not as labelled. He finally gave in, but refused cash back. I had to buy other food in the store whether I needed it or not. European merchants feel entitled to retaining your money after a sale. If you buy something that could plausibly fail to function as expected, you should first be sure that the store has other things you would be willing to buy if you need to return it. That's Europe -- not a place with strong consumer protection.

I bought tea from a major grocer Delhaize. The tea was branded "Delhaize". When I opened the can of loose tea, there was a live worm crawling around in it. Delhaize refused to accept the return because I did not have a receipt -- nevermind that their store name was on the label. This also meant that because the return was refused, it was not recorded. So they also failed to collect metrics on the food security matter.

I bought an appliance timer which relied on a non-replaceable internal battery to keep the time. The device was DoA b/c the battery was dead. The merchant was only willing to exchange it for another. I took the next one home, and same problem. They tried to send me off with a 3rd one. I fought them until they allowed me to test the 3rd one in the shop. It also had a dead battery. Then they tried to force me to buy a different product. I looked around and said I need nothing else here. After more fighting the finally gave me a cash refund, but only after I lied to them. I told them I knew the law and that they legally must give me a cash refund (they believed me, but the truth is that the refund can be store credit). I then told them they should pull all the timers off the shelf because obviously the whole batch was so old the batteries died. I checked back a few days later and they were still on the rack to be sold.

I could go on. Getting ripped off in Europe is common and hard to avoid.

In Belgium if an individual consumer wants protection, they have to *buy* protection, by subscribing to a legal service with monthly fee from a private company called Test-Achats. The Belgian government only gives consumers residing outside of Belgium (but in the EU) free access to consumer protection (to comply with EU law). This defeats your naive fool-proof reliance on buying locally. The advantage to buying locally is really just that you can walk into the shop and shout your head off until they pay you to go away.
john61ct wrote:
Apr 04 2020 9:42pm
In the US not at all.

Small claims is a joke such low amounts hardly worth your time.
These two statements go well together. You obvisouly don't know what you're talking about. Every state has a different ceiling. $10k is a typical limit for small claims. I spend roughly ~90 min. on each small claim on average, and really more like 30 min. on simple cases of buying a defective product. If 30 min. of your time is worth more than $10k or whatever you're disputing, then you're earning enough money not bargain shop or to care about consumer protection in the first place.
john61ct wrote:
Apr 04 2020 9:42pm
A "warehouse" location stateside gives no assurance at all, in the end nothing does, scammers at low volume operate here with near full impunity.
Of course it does. If they don't pay out on the judgement, in the US it's easy to take their assets. There's an effort but not on the part of the consumer. The consumer simply files a paper with the court. The defendant is ordered to appear to disclose their assets. If they evade, it doesn't matter if the plaintiff knows where the warehouse is. The sheriff then does all the work of appropriating property and selling it in the police auction. The consumer just kicks back and waits for the check. And all of that can happen even if the company's offices are abroad. They likely won't even show up to court and the plaintiff will simply get a default judgement.
john61ct wrote:
Apr 04 2020 9:42pm
xtinctionRebeller wrote:One advantage to Amazon is it's an American company, so they can be sued without much effort.
LOL, so naive. Read the terms & conditions you agreed to.
It's naive to think the ToS trumps law. It does not.
john61ct wrote:
Apr 04 2020 9:42pm
There IS NO warranty on this stuff, the cost (for you) of returning the item is higher than its value!
Nonsense. Mouseover the prices in this table for Aliexpress on rows that show a 1 year warranty. The warranty is expressed. It need not be honored, because the credit card claims adjuster just needs to see that the policy is documented to exist. In the case of mastercard, they can ask for to have the broken product shipped to them, but they generally do not. If you make it past their requirement to send them a repair estimate, they don't want broken products to deal with.
john61ct wrote:
Apr 04 2020 9:42pm
For everything you're bringing up, it's crystal clear you are living in some idealized dream world pure la-la land.
I've actually won every dispute I've ever pursued with US merchants who I bought a product or service from. I'm speaking from experience. Either the merchant concedes immediately, or the credit card reimburses, or they settle out of court, or I collect a judgement. I've sued both small companies and fortune 500 companies in small claims court.
john61ct wrote:
Apr 04 2020 9:42pm
Your "boycott" is less important than the bacteria in the gut of a fruitfly squashed by the flick of its tail, to the old lion busy fighting for its life in a battle over top spot in its herd.
That's only true from the PoV of unethical consumers (which is most, but not all).

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