Before you buy anything from Amazon

Check Taobao/Aliexpress if they have it… because it will be cheaper in most cases!

Just curious if anyone’s looking for Mr. Pigglesworth? It’s a dog toy that looks like a pig and you squeeze it and it makes pig sound…


Anyways they sell it for 18 dollars on Amazon… I found the exact same item on Taobao for 35 RMB…


Are you buying that for yourself? I thought you had a cat… :thinking:

who knows how cats would respond to that?

But you know it’s a good human toy too! When I worked at Walmart the kids play with it like crazy… just constantly “oink oink”.

Yeah but no next day/same day shipping

Shipping is 10RMB per kg, really cheap compared to anywhere from the states.


I have to pay way more than that to get anything to Australia from Aliexpress.

Depends on a lot of factors. I’ve ordered things from Taobao and waited months for it to arrive. This is especially true when you’re ordering things from multiple distributors — they ship everything to a major city and then once everything has arrived at that major city, they ship it to Taiwan where it gets caught up in customs for a few days wherein you will inevitably be charged import taxes.

I do not shop on Amazon because 99% of the garbage on there is Taobao trash (you can tell because the English could only have been written by a Chinese speaker). Thus, I don’t buy things at all or I pop over to the nearest 百貨 and buy what I need from there.


I use a shipper for Taobao, and the shipper allows you to pay tax ahead of time (2RMB per kg). That way it gets rid of any surprise charge.

I’ve had more trouble with Chinese customs than Taiwan.

Yup, lots of people dropshipping and marking up the price to have ridiculous profit margins. You could do this too.

I think they use bots to automatically add up all the listings. There is no way a human can add 300,000 listings to Ruten.

Honestly I think I’d want to have the items on hand before I sell it, but that would mean risks.

I know claw machine operators do this, they fill it with Taobao junk.

Also this kind of stuff looks like it will collapse anytime. I mean it’s not like Taiwanese can’t speak Chinese. Why would they pay ridiculous premiums and wait when they can order it themselves?

You shifted off of the topic of selling on Amazon…

My previous response was to what you were saying about stuff being sold on Amazon.

Considering that there are no low cost option for me to ship stuff to the states or the EU to Amazon buyers, I don’t know how this would work.

Just using that Mr. Pigglesworth thing as an example, it would cost me 300nt to ship it to the US. You can see nobody would buy it from me as it would cost them that much to buy it at Walmart.

I don’t see how this can work. It would only work if I were located in the US and I would buy a container load of inventory, then I can make money.

The only risk is your SOOOOUUUULLLLL…selling out to the enemy and all.



It’s called Amazon FBA. A few years go someone worked out that people were buying generic stuff from China, branding it with their own brand name, giving away tonnes of it for free in exchange for 5 star reviews, then making a killing from all those who bought it at the marked up price. Who would have thought that by selling toothpicks or the most obscure widget you could make $10,000s + per month with almost no work? Amazon does almost all of the work.

Once that got out, hundreds of thousands of people, if not millions jumped on the bandwagon and Amazon is what it is today… full of people selling stuff from Aliexpress, rebranded on Amazon. Just look for the Fulfilled by Amazon tags on the sales page. The sales copy follows a similar format, as do the photos, and the questions, as well as the answers usually come from the person who is selling the product (or someone they’e asked to ask questions) and not individuals who want to buy the product.

Before you think of jumping on that bandwagon…

Competition is now brutal and beyond dirty. Its why almost all third-party listings look the same - they’re all on the get-rich-quick bandwagon using the same supposed formula, but it takes a lot of capital now to do it because you have to give away so much free stuff to get all the glowing five star reviews. Not only that, software has been developed and sold to all the wannabe millionaires that trawls -every- single listing on Amazon looking for an opportunity that hasn’t been exploited (low reviews, good margin; because you can get the reviews via free product).

At one point you had to disclose that you had received the product in exchange for a review, but so many reviews on Amazon had that disclaimer it became obvious what was going on and there was no authenticity in the reviews (people were literally getting amazon trucks dropping off dozens of freebies to their home each day in exchange for reviews), so they changed the rules and now its mostly not as obvious anymore how Amazon reviews are gamed and what’s going on. Amazon, of course, make a killing in fees left right and centre, and know when a product is successful due to them holding the data, so they come along and produce exactly the same product that is selling well. They make an absolute killing, so in all ways benefit from what is going on (the exchange of reviews for free or deeply discounted merchandise). This has been going on for many years now (maybe a decade since the guy on the street started getting in on it). This is why many products are exactly the same… they come from the same factory. When someone does something to differentiate their product (sellers go through reviews looking for complaints on similar products as a way to change their product), another factory will just copy it.

In short, that’s why I’m cautious now about buying anything on Amazon or trusting their reviews. And hence, your original point… most of the stuff on Aliexpress is cheaper… because it is actually exactly the same product.


Of course Amazon ends up making a killing off of it. It’s always the big company that wins in America.

But honestly I don’t want to jump on this bandwagon because I figure I will need a ton of capital that I don’t have, and I’ve had people who wanted me to jump on it. Anytime you think you can make a ton of money with minimal work you will be competing with more people than you can even count.

I’m seeing this in Ruten too… and it’s making Ruten a very hostile place for buyers.

Yea I just buy it from Taobao basically because middlemen always have their cut, and when you cut the middlemen you have the best price. Actually the low prices from Taobao is just retail. If you buy at a certain quantity they can go even lower.

Yeah, there is a lot of people willing to put up the money and have a shot at the easy riches. And whole industries designed to take their money from them (FBA courses, services, software etc. - those getting rich in the gold rush by selling the shovels and teaching others how to do it)

A decade ago it was exactly that… easy riches, but now it is a hostile marketplace, where sellers will do anything to take out their competition (bad reviews, reporting sellers to Amazon etc.) Once upon a time, the Amazon review system was pretty decent, these days, I wouldn’t go there for my information.

And then this popped up in my podcast feed: Amazon Prime Day is hard on third party sellers, with e-commerce's decline. : The Indicator from Planet Money : NPR

I haven’t followed FBA for years. I thought about doing private label at one point because I thought it would be cool to make my own products. But as I sat with it, it became clear you’re basically defrauding customers because they come there thinking you have some amazing product (perhaps you do), and that all of the reviews are from people who genuinely bought the product and wanted to review it, which they are not. People that get free stuff tend to be very positive reviewers because they want more free stuff.

I just decided that wasn’t how I wanted to earn my money, even if I was able to make lots of it.

Its sad our society has become like this… so many have stories about corruption and ill goings on of the industries they work in.

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You do understand that most stuff from Amazon is Chinese merchants right?

I’ve seen people do this with guitars too. They claim to be luthiers while they just order guitars in huge numbers from China and put their label on it. It’s basically fraud.

But where do people get free product in exchange for a review?