ECom sites – an update…

Just a small update on the previous post where I mentioned a couple of international sites that I would be trying out. Well, I am still waiting for the delivery of my first small order from DealeXtreme, I already have some delivered from AliExpress.

I also joined the affiliate programs for FlipKart, Amazon India, Snapdeal and AliExpress to get a better idea of what is going on in that area.

DX.com seems to add some additional fees to the actual billed amount when I paid for the order using my credit card. I found no information as to why that additional charge was levied. What I can say is, I would avoid this site in future unless there is a good reason to re-visit this site. Anyway, it was a small test order and if it is delivered, it would not be a total loss.

The AliExpress experience has been reasonable so far. My first order of an extension tube for Nikon F mount took well over a month to get here ’cause of the new year/holiday season. Since most of the smaller items from these sites are shipped free of charge via normal postal services, it can take upto 60 days to deliver, sometimes more. Opting for another shipment mode, might cost more than the item itself.

If you cannot wait for a month or more for delivery, then, it might be a better idea to order locally. Sometimes, the item you want might not be available locally and AliExpress might help in those cases. Like with eBay, do check on the vendor ratings and feedback (eBay does not have item based feedback/reviews like most of the other sites, a major drawback) for the item you might want to purchase. Returning an item or solving a dispute on a remote site might turn out to be a major pain.

My first order was a small item that was not available locally. The Meike N-AF-B Auto Focus TTL Macro Extension Tube, which took over a month to come through, but, worked as expected on delivery. The second order was for a flash (Speedlite) which was refunded by eBay India instead of being replaced. After the “experience” with eBay India, which took over 2 weeks to process the refund (I had opted for a replacement and already talked to the vendor), I ordered a Yongnuo YN-568EX from AliExpress.

My logic was simple, if the overall transaction took about a month locally, then, I could get the same from AliExpress with the same approximate waiting time. To minimise the risk factor, I went through the vendor ratings and feedback and then ordered from a vendor that seemed good. I was quite glad when the speedlite arrived since this was a newer model than the one I had ordered at eBay India for approximately the same price. The packaging was good and it worked as expected.

Another small point to keep in mind is that not all shipments would provide online tracking. Some vendors do this to keep the shipping costs as low as possible. Personally, I prefer items that provide proper tracking information, even if it costs a wee bit more. In some cases, there is no option for online tracking, which, can be dicey. A good site to track packages is 17Track. Once a package is shipped, it can also be tracked on this site in India.

Overall, not a bad experience so far…

Coming up next are some of my experiences with photography as mentioned in an earlier post. This would include general advice on camera selection to more advanced posts on a variety of related topics. I will be keeping the photography related posts on a new blog NCDSLR.

The name is interesting since the first two letters match my initials as well as the two major camera manufacturers, Nikon & Canon, followed by DSLR and it was still available.

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