My Addiction

I have an addiction. I am hooked on Chinese online gadget stores. I hit AliExpress and at least a few times a day.

It’s not just window shopping. I buy too.

It’s never anything big. Most purchases are in the $5-$10 range. Usually accessories for something I’m already using. Sometimes the product is standalone.

They’re always quirky. Why else would I wait for ‘surface’ shipping from halfway around the world?

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I own two green lasers. I have no real use for them.

Every once in a while I point them skyward. Little flecks of dust and pollen in the air illuminate their path. It’s cool. I got my $4 worth.

How do they do that? How can a reasonably sophisticated product like a laser make it here for $4. Three or four layers of manufacturers and merchants are employing people and making a profit along the way–plus the post office!

You can buy “Wholesale Unisix Anion Silica Band Digital Wrist Watch CMPJ360” for $.92 with free shipping. Seriously? How?

Oh, Unisix is probably Unisex. English is murdered on these sites. Connoisseurs understand “Women’s USB Sync Data & Charging Cable for Samsung” isn’t really women’s. The plug is “female,” a common reference for plugs and sockets.

Most items arrive looking just like their picture, but without the fit and finish of an item destined for the American market.

Like Amazon, these sites have everything. They’re aggregators, indexing and selling other people’s good over their URL.

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The stuff I look at you’ll also find at the far back of Target or Walmart.

They sell unlocked smartphones for a fraction of US prices. None are as high powered as top-of-the-line here, but the specs aren’t that bad. I don’t need a phone. I can’t not look! even has a section called “Best Collections for Geek.”

best collections for geek

This is no less an addiction than the more traditional ones, like heroin.

It could be worse. I could be hooked on QVC.

2 thoughts on “My Addiction”

  1. Little over a year ago I was looking for some LED lights for my new (well new-ish) bike. The bike was used; my bosses boss was going to leave it at the dump when he asked me if I wanted it. (Ummmmm….. a mountain bike for FREE? Duh….YEAH I wanted it! It was in good shape needed a little tuning up but otherwise fine).
    So in order to ride it safely after dark I needed lights. Found ’em online from overseas for 4 bucks. Everywhere else I looked they were charging at least $14.00 for pretty much the same thing.

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