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Is it free to buy from a Chinese web store? - Now you can find out, honestly, first hand

Is it free to buy from a Chinese web store? - Now you can find out, honestly, first hand

In recent months, if someone had read our site, you might have noticed, it would have been weird if you hadn’t noticed that you could read a lot of product recommendations. This is because we have a good relationship with the GearBest store. By good relationship, we mean that we get stuff for testing every month, which we draw after you (unless my greedy nature dictates otherwise).

gear best logo


During these months, many questions have arisen about Chinese online stores. I decided to try to answer these now or write an article that I can expand on later if more questions follow. Let's get started!

  1. What is a Chinese or European warehouse?

Some Chinese stores have realized that European shoppers like to have their ordered product delivered to them quickly, preferably within 1 week. Well, if we order from China, the delivery time is usually not less than three weeks. The other, very compelling argument for us to buy from a European warehouse is that we are not surprised by the price, because that way we do not have to pay customs duties, VAT. If we are already here, let us look at the issue of customs and VAT.

  1. When do I have to pay customs duties and VAT for goods ordered from abroad (in the case of an individual)?

In all cases, if the ordered product arrives from outside the EU and

  1. the price of the product and the amount of the shipping cost is higher than 22 but less than 150 euros, then we have to pay VAT on the total amount, which consists of the price of the product and the shipping fee
  2. if the price of the product and the amount of the shipping cost are higher than 150 euros, VAT and customs duties must also be paid

VAT is the highest in the EU, at 27 percent. The duty is a maximum of 12 percent, depending on the type of product. If the product has to be cleared through customs, ie above the value of 22 euros, we also have to pay a fee for the customs procedure, which is currently between 1500 and 6000 forints, depending on the supplier.

There are cases where some products “slip” through customs. It just depends on luck and chance, once a phone came over, for example, it doesn’t mean it will come over next time, in fact, it won’t. The Chinese are normal anyway, the packaging often shows a value much lower than the real value, so if it’s not noticeable that something more expensive stuff can lurk in the package, it will come loose through customs. If the customs officer decides that the package is suspicious, he can open it and scan it. In this case, you will receive a letter asking you to submit the invoice and / or payment or transfer receipt for the product. If you do this, you will be cleared on the basis of the invoice or money transferred, if you do not, the mark will be determined on the basis of the domestic price. Needless to say, you do worse with the latter.

Is it free to buy from a Chinese web store? - now you can find out, honestly, first hand 1

  1. Why is the price higher in the EU warehouse than in China and why is shipping free?

Based on the previous two points, everyone can already guess the answer. Products entering the EU are subject to customs duties and, depending on the country in which the warehouse is located, sales tax is payable. Not only for us, but also for the web store. Regardless, we are still better off if the webshop pays the tributes when the product is imported into the EU than we would pay. So, despite the point, the higher price and the shipping cost, it is more worth ordering from an EU warehouse if the price of the product with the shipping cost exceeds 22 euros.

  1. What happens if the product breaks down? How does the warranty work?

Most importantly, this varies from store to store, so I’ll only write the following in general.

If you are buying from abroad, be it a store in China or any other country is good if you know English or if there is someone in your immediate area who knows English. You will understand yourself in English, not so much in Hungarian or with Google Translate. There are stores that have a Hungarian interface, in fact, there are some where they will answer you in Hungarian, but this is not common, in fact, you are prepared for the fact that in case of a warranty problem you will need language skills.

You can contact stores via chat if there is someone at the other end of the line who is responding. Usually not. For this, and especially to make everything documentable, write! Not by mail! 😉

The warranty process depends largely on the value of the product. At lower values, they will almost always send your money back, at most they will ask for some proof of the error. Picture, screenshot, something.

Domestic stores will also void the warranty in the event of physical damage. Do not be offended if the Chinese also say that the broken phone, the torn watch strap is not warranty. Not even at home!

Higher value items, such as phones, are usually asked to return the product for repair. The cost of this is unfortunately borne by you. If they can’t fix the stuff, you’ll need to know English because you may have to bargain a bit. It's like the market. For example, you bought a $ 100 phone 8 months ago, it went wrong. If you are lucky, they will send another one. They are usually not shipped because what you bought is no longer available. In this case, a cash refund will be offered depending on the time of previous use. This ranges from 100, say 70 percent. You can accept this or not. They can offer a credit to another phone. Usually this is not 100 percent priced. You can offer to get money in your wallet account. And you can say that it is so good or not good, it does not correspond to the amount, etc. If you paid with Pay-Pal, you have the option to transfer the dispute with the web store there, but this is best done if you haven't received your package in advance. Let this be the next question!

SQ8 Mini DV Camera 1080P Full HD Car DVR 1

  1. Why isn't my package coming?

This is the case when the web store has the least responsibility, usually the post office is at fault. It may not be domestic, but many times unfortunately it is. Regardless of whether the web store is not faulty, they are still liable for compensation. Such is rock and roll, as they say. So, usually two months, that is, the time after which we can claim compensation. Until then, they drive us away to wait patiently. If the package does not arrive after two months, please contact customer service by email. Let us not let go of our righteousness here, only full compensation. Well, maybe we'll release the shipping cost, if at all. Again, a case where it is good to be able to communicate in English.

Prepare to receive canned letters for the first few correspondence. This is not written to you, it will be searched from the emails you can send based on the problem, and you will receive this. For example, do you write Where is my f..king item? They will reply to see if the address you provided when ordering was good and ask you to call the post office to see if they have the package. Etc. etc. It will be around the 3rd letter sometime when they really start dealing with you. Don't be impatient, 1-2 days maximum and treat the problem on the merits!

I read a lot of cool things on the net, luckily I didn’t even have a problem with a single store. There was a time when the package didn’t come, but somehow, in some way, I always got it back!

MODAO W30 USB Wired Vertical Mouse 1

  1. If I have more than one shipping method, which one should I choose?

Most stores have free shipping, but unless I order something for $ 1-2, I always opt for paid, a few dollars for shipping, for which I get a parcel tracking number. Based on that time, you can find out early if the package is lost, and you can also check where you are going while traveling. Don't be sorry for a $ 50-100 order for $ 300-600 for package tracking! If you do, you will see that your package ordered from a European warehouse travels through Europe, often by visiting several airports, all of which take 2-3 days. If the package arrives at Magyar Posta, then, for example, in my case, it will take at least a week from the Budaörs distributor to Óbuda. I think you also feel that there is a problem here, not small.

If you choose fast delivery and the product is subject to duty, you will almost certainly not slip through customs. It is in the interest of the parcel carrier (DPD, TNT, etc.) to customs, because it deducts 5-6 thousand forints per customs clearance. If you want to give your phone a chance to "slip" through customs, you should choose some postal delivery, if only to the best of my knowledge, Magyar Posta is asking for the lowest fee for the customs clearance procedure. It may take a long time to get here, but you may save some money. Maybe, but not sure. Otherwise, we are law-abiding citizens and we do not want to avoid paying public charges. Right?

Vernee Mars Pro 4G Phablet 1

  1. Are there only counterfeit products in Chinese stores?

The short answer is no! The long line is that there are stores where at least 80 percent of the products are counterfeit, there are also some where 5 percent are not. Such is the case with GearBest. I wouldn’t dare put my life on not slipping into a 1-1 product, but I haven’t really come across one with them yet. There’s a store (starting with a W) that I don’t order from anymore because every single electronic item was either fake, didn’t meet the specifications, or was simply so shoddy that it had a use or two. For example, you could get 3 terrestrial USB storage for $ 10. I ordered from it, I was wondering what would become of it, maybe I don’t need to say that 3GB of data could be copied to the 32TB drive, and although it was advertised as USB 3.0, the speed only reached USB 1.0. Let’s say a red dot that my money was returned without a word.

For now, so much of the truth about the points, as I wrote, it could expand later. There will surely be those now who are horrified at how much trouble a purchase from abroad entails, and they will never do that. I tell them to compare domestic prices with Chinese prices, then start looking for their chin on the floor. It is certainly not uncommon for a phone to cost half or even a third of the domestic price. Yes, if, and we emphasize that if, it goes bad, the administration is macerate. let us add to this that knowing the Hungarian conditions, the Hungarian stores, which he said was Hungarian, but not yet, we can run into ugly things at home as well. The only advantage in this case is that the "Hungarian" store can be sent in Hungarian to the mother of, and the Chinese only in English.

Oukitel U22 3G Phablet 1

Also, keep in mind that most people only consider the price advantage when they buy the product. When it goes bad, they don't say okay, it's bad, the ugly Chinese only want to pay back a third of the original price, but lo and behold, I bought this stuff for a third of the domestic price, so it's damn worth it, in fact, even cheaper, like at home, if I order two of them right away, for sure, for sure! Let’s calculate this into shopping from abroad, and believe me, you’ll immediately be less stressed out with what will happen if… There’s nothing, little follow-up, correspondence, but in the end you still get out of the party in cash.

Recently, for example, I recommend cheap memory cards as wood for grass. Unfortunately, due to domestic regulations, the price of media is beating the starry sky. Because of this, it happens that we can buy a memory card from the outside specifically on the third. One such Facebook news commented that in Nyíregyháza, one who knows what kind of store has a cheaper memory card than the commodity finder. True, it was also 50 percent more expensive than the Chinese, and when I described this the answer was that but at least if it goes wrong I will take it back. Because the webshop is Hungarian? For example, I don't trust a reputable Hungarian web store more than a GearBest, and I don't even think of going to Nyíregycs to replace a memory card. Now why is it better to order from there?

Xiaomi Yeelight RGBW E27 Smart LED Bulb 3

So overall, I’m saying it’s crazy to miss the opportunity to buy for a fraction of domestic prices. It really slips into a gimmick, but life is just that. Of course, beef sucks when it happens to us, not other, unknown people. If we read the forums there we will find more problems than praise, as it would be strange if everyone described somewhere that the ordered product had arrived okay. After all, it's natural.

If anyone has any questions about the above, or just about buying from abroad in general, just ask, I will answer!

Is it free to buy from a Chinese web store? - now you can find out, honestly, first hand 2

About the Author


Owner of the website. He is the author of hundreds of articles and thousands of news. In addition to various online interfaces, he has written for Chip Magazine and also for the PC Guru. For a time, he ran his own PC shop, working for years as a store manager, service manager, system administrator in addition to journalism.