So I used to work for an e-commerce retailer that sold extremely cheap electronic gadgets and computer parts that were imported from Hong Kong. Due to the nature of the business, I got to know many of our competitors, and discovered that all the off-brand stuff on eBay and Amazon, and even some “brand names” on Tiger Direct and NewEgg, are actually manufactured at the same facilities in China/Hong Kong. I could never post this while I still worked there, but since I’m gone, I feel free to ask:
What on earth are the quality controls in China?
See, as part of my job, I had to check out customer reviews of products on Amazon. Many items that were sold under brand names like Belkin had generic counterparts that this company sold. But both suffered from poor product performance in the reviews.
So, I am now an exceptionally educated and wary online shopper, but I feel like it’s hopeless: If the brand name (and more expensive item) is no more reliable than the ten-cent generic version on Amazon, my only recourse is
- Learn to build my own electronics and cables (ahh a fun experiment, but sometimes I need a part sooner rather than later) – or –
- Only buy from stores with generous return policies.
I also got to witness where customers would purchase defective items from the company I worked for, only to get a series of defective replacements.
What is a tech geek to do?