Before I get the list of stores, it’s important to consider there are two types of stores: - E-retailers (B2C) – In this case, you buy directly from the retailer which collects payment, and handles shipping and support. Examples are DealExtreme and GeekBuying. - Seller Portals – The website then acts as a third party for transactions between two parties: a seller (individual or small business) and a buyer. Examples is Aliexpress.If you purchase any item from an e-retailers, you’re likely to have the same level of support and overall experience next time you purchase a product. But if you buy from Aliexpress for instance, you may want to check the seller ratings and other buyers’ feedback before committing to a purchase. There tends to be a wider range of products and cheaper prices on sellers portals.
There’s another type of sites using the dropshipping service of some e-retailers. They are just a website to allow people to purchase, but all product shipping and handling is done by the original e-retailer. I believe none of the sites listed below are dropshipping websites.
I’ll start by the ones that I regularly use by order of preference:Dealextreme – I do most of my purchases via dx.com, mostly because I’ve gotten used to it, the price are OK (most of the time), they accept Paypal, and I clearly understand their various policies in terms of shipping, and returns. If you have a reasonable proof a product is defective, or not as described, they’ll either provide a refund (as dx points), or pay for return shipping (amount limited) and refund later.. I’ll explain a bit more in other sections of the post.Aliexpress – It’s a seller portal with a large number of sellers, and an amazing choice of products. If I can’t get what I need from Dx.com, I’ll use Aliexpress where I’m pretty sure to find anything. It would probably be my first choice, if they accepted Paypal. You have to be especially careful however with some tricks sellers are using to deceive prospective buyers. More details below.There are three others e-retailers, I’ve either used infrequently, and/or who have provided samples to cnx-software.com in the past or currently:Pandawill – This e-retailer is relatively popular and sells gadgets, clothes, and (cheap) jewelry. I’ve purchased once, and I did not have any issues with their service or product.GeekBuying – I receive most of my samples for review from GeekBuying, and although I’ve never purchased from them, they seem to be very popular, and trusted by the community. One reason could be because they try to release firmware for their devices regularly, and they are involved in the community. They mainly sell gadgets, but I’ve recently seen some (cheap) jewelry too.Taobao is the biggest consumer-to-consumer (C2C) e-commerce platform based in China. You can get clothes, accessories, gadgets and even computer hardware at very low (dirt cheap) prices. However, because the website is 100% in Chinese, this may be a barrier to those who want to shop.
Before you shop on a website, you’ll probably want to know if it is trustworthy. One way is to use Google to find out if people mention scams, bad customer services and so on. For every sites you’ll find some negative reviews, as you can’t please anyone. But do not let these scare, and try to find overall what people think about the sites, products and service. Another, possibly faster, way is check the sellers on Resellerratings and compare various sites.Once you’re happy with the site, but you’re using a seller portal you’ll need to check the seller ratings on the site itself (e.g. Aliexpress). After each buyer receive a parcel, they’ll normally give a mark between 1 and 5 stars depending on the shipping speed, if the product matches the description and so on. If a seller a no feedback, it does not mean they are bad, but you’re taking more risk than with a seller with 1,000 reviews and a 99% approval rating.