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Sometimes you just don't know where to begin


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I was trawling aliexpress for solar chargers that have a high PV voltage rating and found this.  Where do you start.  min order 15 tons.  Sure, because tons is the quantity you order a power supply in.  100% natural bamboo finger.  Well ok.  That's nice, but ... power supply?  I guess charcoal is what you are left with after you plug it in?  Very useful for a bbq.



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I've made 24 transactions on Alibaba as of the current time (pretty much all for GS inverters), totaling multiple thousands of dollars.  Haven't had any outright issues--but then again, I guess I've mostly ended up with actual manufacturers, not dodgy resellers ("trading company").

Closest I came to trouble was on the (almost) latest order, where I was trying to get custom busbars made for the 12kw prototype.  There were several red flags I noticed right off the top...like 1 transaction, 0 dollars, 15% on-time delivery rate.  I figured that might be due to one bad order....so I pressed on and contacted them.  Their price was a bit high, they were a bit slow to respond (not necessarily problems)...BUT in the end they gave me a 1-month lead time on the order.  Said duration was buried in the fine print, and never discussed in the conversation.  So I questioned them on it--and then got the response "may not be able before the holiday."  Told them that if they couldn't do it before the holiday, I'd have to look elsewhere--eliciting an "ok" and it was over.

I did look elsewhere...and after finding another supplier with THOUSANDS of transactions and a more typical 96% on-time delivery rate...let's just say I got a better price, they shipped in 2 days after we got the design communicated to them, and are currently en-route to Sean with the 12kw inverter.


I will note that suppliers will sometimes try to evade an Aliexpress Trade Assurance order--but I've always been able to convince them to make a Trade Assurance order.  And then after carefully reading the order, I have them amend the order if the shipping terms are incorrect (for example, they're shipping it to my address, but they put EXW terms in the order.  I haggle until they at least put DAP or DDP in the terms.)  I don't pay the order until it's right. 


Fun part for me is when I have an Alibaba supplier ship stuff to Power Jack's factory, and then THEY either use it in GS stuff or include it in a shipment to Sean.  Boy, that sure takes a lot of trust...

...I've done it several times, nothing's ever gone missing 🤣

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