Last week I asked you about your experiences or questions with Chinese stores.
This resulted in several interesting questions.

Today I created the first Questions and Answer for 2015. This might be a monthly opportunity to ask get your questions answered. If you to be in the next Questions and Answers, write a comment at the end of this blog.

Since most questions came be email, I decided to use only first names.

Let’s start!

SammyDress: Is the quality consistent?

Last weeks blog about SammyDress and the price comparison of paid shipping related to the prices, brought up several questions and remarks.

Rena F. mentioned that SammyDress still has high prices and high shipping rates compared to DressLink. I couldn’t find the same clothing on SammyDress as on DressLink. I think the prices are very compatible and the shipping costs on both sites depend on the total weight of the products. If you have any experience with both stores, let us know.

Ashley J. wrote that she read many bad reviews about SammyDress. People were complaining that in reality the clothing are not the same as the product images on their site. This is what Petru also wrote as a comment on last weeks blog.

And also Branka S. came up with a similar note. She wrote that Chines stores should be more precisely in their descriptions. Have more views of the same products and most important, the goods should match the picture in look and quality.

I heard this comment for many different Chinese sites. Some times a Chinese online store uses product images. When products are ordered the clothing are created based on this image. This is a common problem. In general the Chinese stores should pay more attention to their product images and quality. This should be done much better.

If you are looking for clothing, see if you can find user reviews about the products. And second don’t buy too much at first. Start with small orders. If the store is consistent in good quality, increase the size of your orders.

Btw Branka also mentioned DressLink. I haven’t checked this store. But it might be worth doing it.

UPDATE: I talked with SammyDress this week about the shipping costs. They are searching for alternatives ways to lower the shipping costs. That’s great, but I hope this doesn’t mean they will raise the prices.

What sites do have Free Shipping?

Mohamed K. asked for sites that offer free shipping.

question answers april 2015There are many sites that offer free shipping. ModLily or DealExtreme for example. Because of his question I realized that you cannot find this information easily at The overview for 100 Chinese stores doesn’t have this information. I will come with an update soon. You will instantly see whether a store has free shipping, paid shipping or a combination of those two. To be continued!

Why has ChinaBuye no Maestro Credit Card?

Iro B. asked about the possibility to pay with Maestro at ChinaBuye. Iro said that although ChinaBuye displays the Maestro logo on its website, there is no option to choose it at the check out process.

My first thought this is a bug on their site. ChinaBuye is a legitimate store and there is no reason to believe they will scam you through the payment system. (I have seen fraudulent sites where they say they accept all kind of payment systems, but at the end you can only pay with Western Union because of reason XYZ.)

My suggestion is to contact them. Although you need an order number to chat with them, you can also contact them by email info-at-chinabuye-dot-com.

CNDirect reviews

Prachi A. asked for more information on CNDirect. After reading online reviews Prachi didn’t want to proceed further.

First CNDirect is a wholesale supplies. A B2B trading store. This means you order your products in larger quantities. It’s possible to buy single products too. I have tested CNDirect to see if it is a legitimate store, and it is. If you want to proceed with this store, my advice is the same as with SammyDress or any other clothing store: Start with small orders. If the store is consistent in good quality, increase the size of your orders.

Long delivery and clearance costs.

Ruth B. descripted how buying in China only led to frustrations. She ordered several times and her parcels didn’t arrive or were extremely over due, up to 3 months. And when the products arrived she had to pay the postman another 22 euros for custom clearance. If you do not pay, the products will be send back, on your costs.

What happened is that her parcel got stuck at the customs. This is possible when there is no detailed import form (CN22 form) on the outside of the package. Whenever a parcel arrives at your customs, your customs will (randomly) check the parcels.

If they are not sure that the description on the outside of the parcels matches the inside, your parcel gets stuck. Your customs might open the parcel to check the inside. They can ask the Chinese store for information or you might get a questionnaire about the parcel (although I only heard this is possible and never saw it). It depends on the work ethic of your customs officer how fat your parcel will get trough.

Unfortunately you must pay for these clearance costs, customs fees or sales taxes.. You cannot claim these costs at the Chinese store as these costs are levied by your government. If you order multiple items and if you have the option for free shipping, it’s better to divide your order into multiple packages.

Final thoughts

write-for-usI want to thank all contributors for their input. I love to read what keeps you busy or puzzled. If you have a question that you would like to be answered, write a comment in the box below.

I’ll answer it in the next edition of Questions and Answers!

If you think this article was valuable, please press the like button below this line, and share this article with your friends. Thanks!

CU! Bastiaan

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Founder of StartBuyingInChina. It all started as an hobby. I liked to categorize the few Chinese stores I knew. After 6 years over 150 blogs were published. I created a wonderful online course about Safe buying online in China, and served over 1.000.000 people. Thank you for being here!

    3 replies to "User Questions and Answers – April 2015"

    • Jean

      Where can I buy quilting and sewing supplies

    • Jimmy Manibusan

      Great Q&A!! I’ve had past shipping and quality problems with some Chinese shops before as well. For example, I bought an LED flashlight supposedly of “high-grade and brightness”. After my product arrived, it definitely did not match the images showing how bright it can light up the night sky as it mentioned (their site showed a pretty larger flashlight than my almost half-size), plus it was so exaggerated with it’s brightness. I’ve also had to deal with months-long waits for some packages, it get confusing sometimes with different shops when I receive larger packages in 2-3 weeks time than small sizes in months long times.
      That’s why I now do the whole nine-yards before I order: Have they ever delivered to my area before? What’s their positive-to-negative feedback ratio? Do they get constant returns or defect complaints?

      Thanks again for your Blog Bastiaan!!!

      • Jimmy Manibusan

        My question is: Why do Chinese sites differ their images to the actual product? In my example, one site offered a high-grade LED flashlight. After receiving my package, I noticed a difference in the description on the website to the actual performance of my item. The picture on the website showed the flashlight was an obvious 3x or 4x D-cell battery light, than my 2x 18650 battery light.

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