If you're an online seller and you have been debating scoring some inventory from China because it's sooooo cheap, READ THIS FIRST!
Let's start with the "Pros": It's cheap. ... ... ... ... that's it... ... ... ... that is literally it. I wish I had more to add to this part of the list but there's not a single other pro. So you have to ask yourself, "is the savings worth these problems":
Now let's get to the Cons:
1. FAKE IT TILL YOU MAKE IT
Designer Brand Items: Even if the listing says “Factory Direct”... they’re ALL FAKE, meaning Counterfeit! Not only do the products suck, but if Customs opens that parcel YOU can be charged with a CRIME. Designer brands do NOT let their China factories liquidate their merchandise. The entire situation makes absolutely 0 sense. Why would Ralph Lauren sell their Polo shirts for $120 a piece in the USA meanwhile letting their China factory sell the same polo directly to USA citizens for $8? Come on now. BTW: "Factory Direct" means you are getting the merchandise from THEIR factory, NOT Victorias Secrets factory, Calvin Kleins Factory or Apples Factory.
So, if you absolutely insist on ordering from China, stick to only buying "Fashion Brands".
2. IF THE SHOE FITS, WEAR IT
The Sizing is a NIGHTMARE. Here’s an example:
The eBay listing shown above is for China size 5X mens shirt… but the FIT is actually 3X which means this shirt is two sizes smaller than the size listed on the tag.
Here’s a woman from the UK who wears a USA size 8/10 who bought a China womens size 12 pair of jeans:
So, you should absolutely assume that a China womens size XS is going to be equivalent to a USA kids size Large. A China womens size Medium shirt is going to be a USA size XS or USA kids XL. China “One Size Fits Most” is typically equivalent to a USA size XS / S and sometimes Medium. As you can see, this creates a lot of confusion and problems for sellers and buyers located outside of china.
3. STOP AND SMELL THE ROSES
.... IT HAS AN AWFUL SMELL!!!! China merchandise typically smells really bad. Sometimes you can open the package up and let it air out and the smell will go away, other times it’s so embedded in the material (or plastic) that it will forever smell like sh*t. We have got products that smelled so absolutely terrible that even after letting them sit out for MONTHS the odor was so incredibly pungent that we had to pitch them.
4. CAUTION: UNPAVEVED ROAD AHEAD
Awful Smell Part 2: But why do they smell so bad? The reason for this is even more disturbing than the smell! According to LifeHacker.com, the reason is because the products are made with MATERIALS THAT ARE NOT FIT FOR CONSUMERS. Keep in mind, the USA, UK and most other parts of the world have guidelines regarding what can’t be used to make consumer goods, however China has no regulations.
If you want to be truly freaked the F out, check out the photos we posted of a China counterfeit makeup factory in our blog post called 8 Reasons Why You Should NEVER Buy Counterfeit Products.
5. LIKE GREEN DAY SAID, "WAKE ME UP, WHEN SEPTEMBER ENDS..."
Shipping takes FOR-FRIGGIN-EVER. Our most recent purchase from China was a $200 industrial strength magnet designed to take security sensors off of clothing. It took 4 MONTHS to arrive.
6. HAVE A LITTLE TODAY AND A LITTLE TOMORROW
Shipping Disaster Part 2: When our boutiques were open we once ordered a whole bunch of products from assorted china sellers. Instead of these sellers shipping the inventory in one large parcel they ship in lots of smaller parcels, which is not a problem except for the smaller parcels arrive at drastically different times. For example, lets say you order 50 shirts and 50 pairs of jeans on January 1st. You receive one small parcel March 18th. This parcel contains 4 pairs of jeans. The second parcel arrives April 1st and contains 15 shirts. The third parcel arrives April 12th and contains 4 more pairs of jeans… this situation is crappy for the buyer.
7. DON'T WORRY, BE HAPPY.
Difficult to Deal With: If you’re an honest, relatively patient person who just wants to get what you paid for, after 60 days you’re contacting the China seller to ask for some kind of update regarding when it will be delivered. Due to a language barrier, the reply you get is something like “It in transit. Arrive soon!” - - - which really doesn’t help you at all when the tracking number doesn’t work.
By day #90 you are now asking the China seller to figure out where the order is and you get the same type of reply “It arrive soon for you”. …. But if you keep waiting and waiting you will run out of time to file a chargeback on your credit card.
On that note, the stuff USUALLY does arrive… it just takes months and months and months.
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