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Old 01-09-18, 10:00 PM   #1
mrdelurk
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Bike from Alibaba?

Does anyone have experience with buying a bicycle from Alibaba.com?

It's not the purchase process I'm worried about, that is straightforward, kinda like ebay. But, once the bike box arrives to the (US) port, what is the pick up process? Will someone call me to tell me the shipment is here? Do I need to find a customs broker to clear customs with the box? Do I need to register as an importer of goods or some such thing?

Thank you in advance for all the help
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Old 01-09-18, 10:34 PM   #2
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There is no other process other than to wait for the package to get to your house. You do not need to go to any port.
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Old 01-09-18, 11:52 PM   #3
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I assume a whole bike is like the fork I bought from Ali Express. You order it and pay with credit card and it comes to your house. For my order the vendor didn't get paid from Ali until I verified delivery.
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Old 01-09-18, 11:55 PM   #4
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I've bought off of AliExpress which is more like E-Bay. They specify shipping up front, you pay it, and your package comes.

Alibaba often involves some negotiation between the buyer and seller.

I have bought small bike parts through AliExpress, and perhaps through Alibaba with good success and direct shipments via usps, ups, fedex, or DHL.

I have bought a couple of things that were shipped freight to me which was more of a hassle. I got some tiles shipped to me. I had to pick them up at the freight warehouse. I was charged several additional undisclosed fees including a freight inspection fee and a freight dock pickup fee. And, I hadn't even been aware the shipment was coming direct to me from overseas.

A used engine also required me to get a customs waver (but customs were either cheap or waived).
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Old 01-10-18, 03:38 AM   #5
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The (unassembled) bike is coming from the bike factory with ocean shipping. I live in Hawaii. The bike will arrive to the port - then what?

Alibaba's draft sales order says, "You’ll have 90 days from shipping and 15 days from customs clearance to confirm the quality of your order". So there is some sort of customs clearance procedure ahead too, I reckon. This is why I asked if anyone knows on this forum how the whole process goes.
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Old 01-11-18, 09:39 PM   #6
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I've ordered various items, including large ones, from Ali (baba and express). The customs clearance is handled at the port of entry and unless you are buying something that is freight only, they should forward it straight to the local post office to be brought to your home.
The bit about the 15 days is time for you to inspect the product before you click the confirm delivery button. Soon as you click that, the seller gets paid and a dispute will be a lot harder to handle.
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Old 01-11-18, 09:54 PM   #7
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My AliExpress experience was quite so-so, with average certainly worse than Ebay. When I bought a bike part, the seller never sent anything. After I started complaining, they stated that they ran out of stock. (In my opinion thay never planned to supply - the low price was a bait.) Then they said that they would only refund me if I started a dispute. I got my money back, but it was an unpleasant experience. Next I bought an electronic enclosure and the two halves did not fit together well. I wrote a review about it and then the supplier contacted me, apologized and supplied another set that worked well together.
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Old 01-11-18, 10:56 PM   #8
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The (unassembled) bike is coming from the bike factory with ocean shipping. I live in Hawaii. The bike will arrive to the port - then what?

Alibaba's draft sales order says, "You’ll have 90 days from shipping and 15 days from customs clearance to confirm the quality of your order". So there is some sort of customs clearance procedure ahead too, I reckon. This is why I asked if anyone knows on this forum how the whole process goes.
With AliExpress, the payments go into an escrow account. After the parts arrive, one has a couple of weeks to leave feedback. If one ignores the feedback, it is assumed to be OK, and the vendor is paid. Or, if one leaves positive feedback, again the vendor is paid.

If one opens a dispute, as apparently 2_i did, then one should be able to get a refund or remediation.

So far my Chinese purchases (E-Bay and AliExpress) have been good enough. I suppose never anything spectacular, nor spectacularly bad. Quality can be all over the board.

I had a thorn up my side a while ago to order some Titanium nipples from Alibaba. I ended up not ordering them. In part because I got responses all over the board. Some wanted to sell me titanium spokes when I had asked for nipples. Based on photos I was sent, some nipples were clearly machined, and probably titanium. Some photos appeared to be cast, and were likely brass (at least in the photos they sent me). Price quotes were all over the place, and not necessarily what was posted on the Alibaba page. Anyway, I ended putting the project on hold.
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Old 01-13-18, 08:04 AM   #9
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The (unassembled) bike is coming from the bike factory with ocean shipping. I live in Hawaii. The bike will arrive to the port - then what?
If it is moving via ocean freight there will be a bill of lading issued. Request a non-negotiable copy of the BOL, this will show you how it was consigned. If your shipment was consolidated with other shipments you should find out who the agent (deconsolidator) is in HNL and contact them.
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Old 01-13-18, 08:34 AM   #10
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If this were me, I would have gone down to a local bike shop there in Hawaii, purchased a bike, and taken it home with me to ride that day. I cannot imagine anything of quality coming out that box from Alibaba or whatever. Hopefully this turns out well for you, and I also hope that your expectations are realistic in this. Please post an update of how this process goes.
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Old 01-13-18, 08:31 PM   #11
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If this were me, I would have gone down to a local bike shop there in Hawaii, purchased a bike, and taken it home with me to ride that day. I cannot imagine anything of quality coming out that box from Alibaba or whatever. Hopefully this turns out well for you, and I also hope that your expectations are realistic in this. Please post an update of how this process goes.
Wise words. Always go to your local shop first if not that find another shop nearby or reach out to other shops that have decent products. You can spend a little more in the beginning on a quality bike from a shop or you can spend a lot more down the line with cheap mystery objects.
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Old 01-14-18, 01:16 AM   #12
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I cannot imagine anything of quality coming out that box from Alibaba or whatever. Hopefully this turns out well for you, and I also hope that your expectations are realistic in this.
One of the things that got me to Ali is tandem bikes. Your experience on the Mainland might differ, but on my Hawaiian island, there are 2 major bike shops, and neither stocks tandems. I asked both for a quote repeatedly, that was 6 months ago, nothing ever came out of it. Next I went to the local WalMart's manager: "if you can get me 3 tandems, I'll prepay you right here and now. Just get them in and call me when they are ready for pickup." The answer? "Let me get back to you on this." (They never did either.) After this, whenever I tried to purchase a tandem online (on Ebay, Amazon, WalMart, you name it) at checkout I would be always told that this item does not ship to Hawaii. Period. So what else remains? Ali. I already exhausted every other alternative I could think of.
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Old 01-14-18, 09:24 PM   #13
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One of the things that got me to Ali is tandem bikes. Your experience on the Mainland might differ, but on my Hawaiian island, there are 2 major bike shops, and neither stocks tandems. I asked both for a quote repeatedly, that was 6 months ago, nothing ever came out of it. Next I went to the local WalMart's manager: "if you can get me 3 tandems, I'll prepay you right here and now. Just get them in and call me when they are ready for pickup." The answer? "Let me get back to you on this." (They never did either.) After this, whenever I tried to purchase a tandem online (on Ebay, Amazon, WalMart, you name it) at checkout I would be always told that this item does not ship to Hawaii. Period. So what else remains? Ali. I already exhausted every other alternative I could think of.
Have you tried reaching out to Co-Motion, they make some pretty nifty Tandems and would likely ship to your shop. Call up Ethan, he is a really nice guy and helped me with my single (a Cascadia I love dearly) and some other stuff. If you need any help navigating I am happy to help out as I can just PM me.

Tandems are an oddity for most shops so your experience isn't uncommon. Bike shops unless they are specialists in whatever genre generally will stick to what they know can sell. It is hard to buy odd items even if they are bicycles and even if to you they aren't odd. I am going to sell more mid priced hybrids then say tandems or downhill bikes or even my beloved touring bikes. Luckily though there are plenty of builders out there and some of them specialize in tandems like Co-Motion and you can order through them and if your shop has mechanics they should be able to help you get it assembled and maintained.
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Old 01-15-18, 10:01 AM   #14
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If this were me, I would have gone down to a local bike shop there in Hawaii, purchased a bike, and taken it home with me to ride that day. I cannot imagine anything of quality coming out that box from Alibaba or whatever.

Have you ridden any frames from China or Taiwan? Wait...............................before you answer that. Trek, Cannondale, Fuji, Felt, Specialized, etc., etc., etc.* are all made in China and/or Taiwan with exception to possibly a couple of the highest end models.** Most likely, the great majority of folks that post on this Forum ride bikes from the factories there that have a "Badge" from a well known bike maker. I have four (4) Chinese carbon framesets*** and all have performed flawlessly. I race with them as well. The first one I bought is not young either at about 8 years old. I have 3 sets of carbon wheels from china as well (two tubular/one clincher) and again, all have performed without issue.

I will tell you two issues though. A set of fixed gear training wheels was laced improper at the valve stem. It was purely cosmetic but it was inexcusable. I build wheels and it bothered me a bit. They ended up giving me a nice discount and I have been using those wheels for over 6 years with thousands of miles. The second thing is, I'm a hobbit at 5'6" and about 155. My Teammate who is a Track National Champion bought a set from China and he is a big guy/Watt Monster. He had difficulty with perfect true after a few hard training rides and ended up changing them out.

So, yes, in general for me, I can imagine quality coming out of those boxes as I have been running multiple Chinese/Taiwan Carbon for over 8 years.



Edit Post: For reference, my brother EP'd me a Cervelo S3 a few years back. Did take the stock wheelset off and put on some Zipp 404's. It was most definitely an excellent bike and terribly fast. I can tell you after comparing Chinese carbon to the S3, for the price, the choice isn't even close. Heck, the last Chinese frameset I bought, I haggled with the eBay seller and got him down to $300 shipped. Steal.



*etc.....etc......etc......etc.....
**my Brother was the head Mechanic for a Trek Store a few years ago where only the high end Trek frames were made in the U.S. when i went to go visit him in the shop, he took me to the back and showed me a pile of Trek carbon framesets to be cut up because they cracked at the joints. Those were all the one's that were made in the U.S. He said not a one came back that was made overseas
***two track and two road

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Old 01-16-18, 02:20 AM   #15
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Have you tried reaching out to Co-Motion, they make some pretty nifty Tandems and would likely ship to your shop.
Thank you for the pointer. By now I have a whole bunch of tandems paid and approaching on a boat, but perhaps the next forum member with a tandem deficiency can contact this company.

I'm getting the hang of this, I'm getting the hang of this... by now when the shipper asks things like what's my Consignee and Notify info, I don't even get the urge to skedaddle anymore.
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Old 01-16-18, 09:11 AM   #16
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If this were me, I would have gone down to a local bike shop there in Hawaii, purchased a bike, and taken it home with me to ride that day. I cannot imagine anything of quality coming out that box from Alibaba or whatever. Hopefully this turns out well for you, and I also hope that your expectations are realistic in this. Please post an update of how this process goes.
Are you saying that you have no experience in dealing with Alibaba nor buying a bike from them? If you cannot "imagine anything of quality coming out that box from Alibaba or whatever", why are you interested in the process? Are you genuinely interested or do you just want confirmation on your preconceptions?
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Old 01-16-18, 05:27 PM   #17
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I purchased a carbon frame from alibaba (hongfu fm-088) and am completely satisfied. ordered and shipped right to my door. built up with hand built wheels and di2 components. I wanted disc brake and thru axles and it was very difficult to find a used branded frame in my size with geometry and ability to use disc and thru axles. I couldn't bare to pay premium for new branded frame and with savings was able to equip with better components. I may have lucked out, but quality is definitely there and it is my only experience with china components and I would, at this point recommend to anyone.
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Old 01-17-18, 02:33 PM   #18
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Been curious about Alibaba for my latest budget build. Its a 2013 Focus Cayo Evo Di2 new frame i got for $158 on ebay. I nice wheels that would move over, and the frame included a serviceable seatpost & stem, BB, headset hardware. Nothing fancy but new OEM stuff.

So i need handlebars, saddle, pedals and the Di2 kit (likely full Ultegra 6870 kit from Merlin when its available for $1050 again.) I would be psyched to have this full 11spd build under $1500, for what was a 10spd $4300 bike. That's the goal right now.

They have a chinese Deda Presa compact bar that looks like a Superleggera clone and a Selle San Marco Superleggera carbon rail saddle clone that quite looks the part. Both which would look quite nice.

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Old 01-17-18, 02:42 PM   #19
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Been curious about Alibaba for my latest budget built. They have a chinese Deda Presa compact bar that looks like a Superleggera clone and a Selle San Marco Superleggera carbon rail saddle clone that quite looks the part.
Chinese clones are so close visually to the real thing to even fool B&M retailers. No warranty, no liability recourse in the event of failure....but dirt cheap.


Buyer beware.
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Old 01-17-18, 02:50 PM   #20
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Chinese clones are so close visually to the real thing to even fool B&M retailers. No warranty, no liability recourse in the event of failure....but dirt cheap.


Buyer beware.
Yeah i'm aware. I think i would be most scared of the carbon rail saddle being i'm 190lbs and like to move my weight around.

Since the build is ways off i'm contemplating getting the saddle on my TCR and use it on the trainer to get a feel for its strength against my weight before deciding to do anything adventurous. For the price its going for, its resellable on ebay even listed as knock off.

If someone in this community has a bad experience with a chinese saddle or bar coming from Ali, i'm all ears. I was thinking because the bar was a simple compact bar design without cable routing that structurally it would be functional and strong enough for the riding i do. I use an Easton EC70 SL3 on the TCR now, and its not high end light by any means, but gives me that compliance i'm looking for. If i could get similar tactile feedback from that knockoff, i'd be satisfied.

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Old 01-17-18, 06:51 PM   #21
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Are you saying that you have no experience in dealing with Alibaba nor buying a bike from them? If you cannot "imagine anything of quality coming out that box from Alibaba or whatever", why are you interested in the process? Are you genuinely interested or do you just want confirmation on your preconceptions?
No experience with it, never will have it either. I am interested to see what comes out of the box. Quality of it mostly, just the overall experience with it as well. It can be a learning experience for everyone, those of us who will simply never buy it, and those that are chomping at the bit to buy from them. Definitely won't lose sleep over it if the pictures or reply never comes. Hoping the buyer doesn't feel cheated or get total garbage.
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