Posts in Category: China

There's Dealextreme also in Europe!

When I want to buy cheap chinese stuff, instead going on ebay, that's a scammer paradise, I always go on Dealextreme.

The main problem is getting the stuff. Italian mail is SLOW and something sent from China will arrive after MONTHS.

The great thing, is that there's free shipping on everything. I need a plug converter? Good, it's less than a dollar, with free shipping, no minimum to reach!

In August I needed a lithium battery for a Canon 1000D, I searched and I found one for $6. A few days after ordering it, I received this message:

We’re writing to inform you that the package RI********CN from your order 140908******1 has failed to pass the airline security check as it contains lithium batteries/knives or products that contain liquid which are now under extra scrutiny in world air cargo services.
We therefore have switched it to another delivery channel to ensure the order is sent to you as soon as possible.
Here is the new package tracking number RE*******SE.

Did you notice something different in the package tracking? I only noticed when I received it: there was a SWEDISH stamp???!?!

I go on the website to leave a review and I see now a small european flag.


I click it, I'm shocked! If it's shipped from Europe, that means I can get it in a few days!

But the rules are a bit different:

  1. The stuff is a bit more expensive (VAT?)
  2. Minimum order for free shipping is $30

But, going to see coupons, they gave me an 8 dollars one!


But the minimum amount is $50, what can I buy? I'm used to do $5 orders, 50 it's a lot. Also I need to understand what they mean with "coupons cannot be used with other discounts", because the hottest stuff is already carrying a discount...

How to configure a GPRS connection with China Mobile

When I go to China, I always buy a prepaid sim card with an Internet subscription. The card is free, although almost every seller will attempt to scam you by telling that now costs 20 euros (do not buy it from them out of desperation, on those pre-activated, you can not enable internet subscriptions with immediate effect but only after a month!! Go in 10-20 different stores until you find an honest seller, or the best way is to go to a China Mobile official store, but be careful to the fake ones), and with 5 euros per month you can get a 500 megabytes package, that with GPRS, it's enough for everyone. (Western phones won't support Chinese 3G - you are left with 2G)

There is also a way to spend less, but you have to use a wap proxy to access the web - a nightmare - don't save money on this

Once purchased the sim, your Western phone won't be preconfigured for internet access, so here it is:

China Mobile Web:
apn: cmnet

yes, just put cmnet as APN and voila, you can access the internet! You don't have to configure the WAP, because it only works on Chinese sites.

Then you can also configure the MMS, if you have Chinese friends and you plan to receive them:

China Mobile mms:
apn: cmwap
mms proxy:
apn type: mms

Whoa! That's what I mean by "express mail"

Recently I went in China, and seeing the prices, it was difficult to don't buy too much stuff, even online, sending the stuff to the hotel address.

As an Italian, I was skeptical about the shipping time: in Italy the snail mail is slower than real snails, for example an invoice that I sent to my customer in May, arrived last week...

But, I was pleasantly surprised, here are two examples:

Parcel 1, light, spare parts that are almost impossible to find in Europe (inside a common air bubble envelope): from Wenzhou to Guangzhou, 1250 km,

Sent at 7pm, arrived at 4pm of the next day! Sending fee: about $5!

As an Italian, I could even not conceive a letter sent at 7pm that can arrive the day after. And the price includes the pick-up fee!

Parcel 2, a little heavier, a T-Mobile myTouch slide: from da Guangzhou t Jilin, 3250 km

Sent Sunday, arrived Tuesday, with cash on delivery and the option to actually try the device before the payment (!). Total price: about $8

Again, I was shocked, a courier that works on Sunday!