Howdy there, friend!
Malcolm Gladwell's principle holds that 10,000 hours of deliberate practice are needed to become a world-class professional in any field.
And while 10,000 hours, or 416 and 2/3 days is a bit of an over-reaching, as you may know, I have been buying stuff from AliExpress (and other Chinese e-commerce platforms) for many years now. I am all for more people shopping there because it's awesome, and you can save a ton of money, there are certain things that I would never touch with a 10-feet pole.
In this post I will explain the reasoning behind this harsh and authoritative decision.
Things you should never buy on AliExpress
Some of the things you should avoid buying from AliExpress.
Why? According to my experience, and the experience of others, they almost never sprout. But the more important reason is that seeds are regulated by government agencies, and there is no guarantee that the seeds you buy are actually from the plant they are promised to be. The risk to have your area overgrown with some invasive oriental fern is just not worth saving a few $$$ online.
Replacement ‘safe' razor heads
Why? The blades are dull and feel like sandpaper, and they are virtually useless after 2-3 times of use.
Why? Here is why. Helmets MUST adhere to safety standards like DOT in North America and ECE for Europe. Accreditation with SHARP is best, but such helmets less common and more expensive.
Luxury clothing brands
Why? 99.9% Chance they are going to be counterfeit and low quality. You will be better off buying from fancier designer Chinese brands – they exist!
Specifically the the types used in vaporizers, flashlights, high power laser pointers, etc. (credit to 00Dan)
Why? They are unlikely to have the capacity advertised, and there is a possibility of a missing/improperly installed thermal sensor that is supposed to be there to detect overheating. It is not the best idea to risk setting your home on fire to save a few $$$ on batteries.
Why? Pretty self-explanatory.
Why? Also pretty self-explanatory, I think.
Cheap “titanium” stuff
Why? Same reason why you don't go that famous fast-food chain for real meat. Real titanium is expensive, so avoid buying it unless you don't care if it isn't really Ti (credit to Zilant).
Why? There are not a lot of people to complain about it, think about that for a second. Don't worry, you'll get it.
Things you should be extremely careful when buying.
- Flash memory. Only buy from official stores, or listings with good feedback (people usually post H2TESTW test results)Why? Knock-off ones often don't have the exact capacity, and often have bad clusters that will result in missing data. I have been using Samsung EVO+ SD cards in my 4K cameras, that work great. If you need an SSD, Kingston is a good brand to look at.
- Cables. Best to check the feedback, and look for the resistance tests (measured in A or Ampere), or to buy from legit brands like UGreen, BaseUS or Blitzwolf.
Why? Cheap cables can take a lot longer to transmit data or charge your devices, and they tend to break easily. So unless your goal is to maximize your carbon footprint and create as much trash around you as possible, spend a little more and get a good charging cable. They still cost much less than even the worst ones at stores.
- Things that cost $50+Why? Generally, purchase protection has worked well for me, and more expensive items listings even promise warranty of a few months or even a year, but let's be real: you are very unlikely to send the item back to China to get something fixed. So read reviews, research the product as much as you can, and check out the product feedback on AliExpress and other sites.
We are always happy to suggest things that we believe are worth buying.
Like this all-time most popular post: Things from AliExpress for $1 or less