First Purchase off Aliexpress by Alibaba – Spyderco PM2

Posted: October 28, 2014 in discovery, POV
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The order was put through on September 30 and finally arrived on October 21.  HK is well known for shopping.  As HK is the pearl of the orient, the manufacturing prowess of big border is just over the border.  In HK, you get the vast shopping selection without the need to venture over the border.  I have had a hard time buying tactical folders (to cut open mail and boxes) in HK as the MSRP of HK retailers is above that of NA retailers.  You couple this with the fact HK has nowhere near the purchasing power of the USA and high prices are abound for products outside the normal scope of consumers.  MMA equipment goes through the same pricing disparity.  Everything is manufactured in China yet for certain products, it will cost more in HK as it’s a niche product that most stores dare not stock.

Last time I had a few police officer friends in town on the hunt for tactical clothing and equipment. 5.11 tactical is available at the night markets but the combat boots are hard to find.  The airsoft/paintball crowd would be one avenue to find a source with reasonable pricing.  Over the past few years, Alibaba has been garnering a lot of attention.  It never crossed my mind to use Taobao to quench my appetite for useless products.  Taobao is the chinese character site for Aliexpress, Alibaba is the older brother where you work direct with the manufacturer.  Aliexpress is an ideal avenue to source products before buying in bulk.

I have been unable to find Spyderco knives in HK so it was a great surprise to find it readily available off Aliexpress.  The site is easy to navigate, the hardest part is deciding which supplier to use.  Everyone sells the same thing.  The stock photos are all the same as well.  In the instance, I went with the lowest price provider.  The purveyors are quick to respond to questions and everything is done with credit cards; thus, in the event of dispute the buyer has credit card protection.  I went with the Spyderco Paramilitary 2 as this is a hard knife to procure back home.  It’s readily available in large supply on Aliexpress so the authenticity of the product may be questionable.

Aliexpress offers buyer protection, holding your money in escrow waiting for you to confirm delivery before releasing the funds.  There is a dispute mechanism similar to Ebay (during it’s roaring heydays) so the onus is for the seller to provide a product true to the description as you can file a dispute and withhold payment.  I did not want to be high maintenance.

2014-10-21 12.53.26

the product was classified as a garden tool.

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authentic spyderco box

2014-10-21 12.55.07

didn’t realize spydercos come in plastic wrap

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looks good.

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functions well.

If you are visiting HK, you won’t have time to await the arrival of the knife.  It’s best to have the seller send to your home.  China parcels take forever to arrive.  In this instance it took 21 days.  In North America I can send parcels with relative ease with the buyer receiving it in less than a week through normal shipment channels.  This parcel was sent via registered mail and took forever.  This is why China will always need the West.  They can counterfeit and mass produce products but drop the ball in timely delivery.  Shopping is one of the top things to do in Hong Kong, girls seem to find it therapeutic in its simplicity to take their mind off of things.

I am happy with the purchase.  $20 USD for a replica to which I can now test alongside the real product to see if it holds up to every day use.  I can slaughter my own halal friendly meats.  This is the new model now.  Companies can no longer just excel at design without maintaining overwatch over manufacturing.  Machines that were once cost prohibitive are now readily available.  Apple must use China to do its manufacturing which is the writing on the wall for any business that must rely on consumers.


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