After 12 days, my AliExpress order has shown up. But was it worth the wait?
Last month, I wrote an article about how amazing the prices were on AliExpress, which is basically Chinese Amazon for Americans. I ordered three things:
The first thing is a three-tier holder for video game controllers (which I have a ton of since I emulate hard af). The second item is a Hatsune Miku figure. The third is a set of 65 Hatsune Miku stickers. I paid a total of just over $30 for all of this. If I had purchased this stuff from Amazon, I would have paid double.
I must admit, I’m genuinely impressed with this shipping time. As mentioned in my previous article, I placed this order on February 25th, and had no expectations of seeing it until at least April. Imagine my surprise when I checked the tracking info this morning and it said my stuff was already in Philly and out for delivery. 12 days to make it from mainland China to the east coast of the United States is honestly fairly impressive. I’ve ordered stuff from the United States that’s taken longer to arrive.
The shipping time was great, but how were the products themselves? After all, AliExpress sellers are known for supposedly scamming customers. Did I strike gold, or did I get, as 4chan would put it, “chinked”? Let’s take a look and find out:
The items were packaged in one large poly bag. As it turns out, China was kind enough to group all of my stuff together once it reached some central hub. My biggest concern (aside from being ripped off of course) was that the items would get damaged in transit. I’ve never been too clear on how this stuff gets over here exactly, I always just assumed it came over via a dirty cargo ship crossing the choppy waters of the Pacific Ocean. Not exactly great for dainty little Miku, or the cheap acrylic plastic the controller stand is made of. Seeing everything stuffed into one measly little poly bag didn’t inspire confidence.
Thankfully, it appears everything is undamaged.
First up is the controller stand:
The clear controller stand on the left is the one I bought on AliExpress for $15.65. The controller stand with the black base on the right is the one I bought on Amazon for $25.16. It’s currently being sold at $26.99. Aside for some minor cosmetic differences (like the size of the base, the slots in the back, and the inclusion of rubber grip pads on the black-based stand), the AliExpress one is just as good as the Amazon one. I saved $10 by waiting just under two weeks. Definitely worth it.
Next up, the Hatsune Miku figure:
This one, the “Figma 014” model (whatever the hell that means), cost me $15.04. A quick search on Amazon has this same model for $22.99, plus another $15.99 for shipping, bringing the Amazon total to $38.98 before taxes. That’s over double the price I paid on AliExpress.
As I mentioned before, I was concerned about the shipping on this one. These things aren’t exactly durable. I unfortunately neglected to take a picture of the packaging, but they had it packaged in a thin layer of foam packing material. They also did something rather clever with the box:
They took Miku and her plastic housing out of the box, folded the box neatly, and placed the plastic housing inside the folded box. Purists will complain that they deflowered Miku by taking her out of the box, but I’m not some weirdo who thinks this cheap collectible is going to be worth thousands of dollars in the future so I don’t mind. By doing this, the shipper was able to secure Miku even better with the foam wrap (I said I didn’t have a picture of it, dummy), preventing damage from her being jostled around and crushed in that big ol’ box:
Miku also came with some accessories, which I put aside in a baggie because I didn’t need them:
Good shit, definitely worth the $15 I paid, and definitely NOT worth the $40 I would have paid on Amazon.
Finally, we come to the 65-pack of Hatsune Miku stickers:
These kawaii little devils cost $3.24, but AliExpress gave me a small new user discount, so I only paid $1.25 for them. I found what I think is the same set on Amazon for $6.99, plus another $2.99 for shipping, bringing Amazon’s price to a total of $9.98 before taxes.
As you can see from the picture, there are indeed 65 stickers, and they are indeed Hatsune Miku. The quality of the stickers was surprisingly decent for how cheap they were. I was honestly expecting some cheap crap made on some Chinese guy’s inkjet printer. These aren’t professional-grade vinyl stickers or anything, I’d wager that they were made on someone’s Cricut machine. I’m not doing anything crazy with them though, I plan to put some of them (the four on the bottom) on my water bottle that I use at work in order to confuse and frighten my overly macho manly-man coworkers. These guys thought I was gay because I switched out the color of my shoe laces on my DCs from the default black to orange (I further fucked with them by switching to pink laces for a while), and literally tried to make fun of me for reading a Longmire book. Imagine their reaction to Hatsune Miku, I can’t wait to take these in to work tomorrow and slap them on my water bottle, right next to my Hannah Montana sticker. I’ll update this article tomorrow with a picture of my water bottle so you can see how they look.
UPDATE: The stickers adhered perfectly to the bottle:
This order from AliExpress, pre-taxes, cost me a total of $33.93 (we’ll be fair here and not include the discount I received on the stickers).
Had I ordered all of this from Amazon, I would have paid a total of $75.95 before taxes. That’s over double for the same exact stuff, holy shit snacks! All I had to do was wait like two weeks and I saved like $40.
All in all, I’m very happy with my AliExpress experience, and I’ve already ordered some more stuff from them. Maybe I’ll even make AliExpress reviews a recurring feature on the site.
So to sum this up, fuck Amazon, we AliExpress now.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Hey AliExpress, we’re still very much open to that idea of a paid plug…