Members | Sign In
Old CGS Forum > Sellers
avatar

Seller premature shipping

posted Aug 07, 2014 04:31:20 by angev2
Seems to be quite common getting an EMS shipping advise yet the guitar is still with the seller.
The clock was running down today with 2 hours to ending when I received an EMS shipping email.
Checking the EMS number reveals nothing on the EMS tracking site.

They're probably falling behind with the build but I would expect the seller to ask for an extension rather than giving me a bum steer. I specifically asked not to ship until I receive pics and they get written approval.

Apparently pics will arrive next week.
Is this common ?
[Last edited Aug 07, 2014 08:14:45]
"This tasteless cover is a good indication of the lack of musical invention within. The musical growth of this band cannot even be charted. They are treading water in a sea of retarded sexuality and bad poetry." - Marty DiBergi
page   1 2 next last
27 replies
avatar
MichaelWamback said Aug 07, 2014 16:43:21
Unfortunately - yes this is common. But certainly not the desirable way of doing things.

Virtually all of these sellers will play these kinds of games on AliExpress. There are deadlines they have to meet, so they will apply for a shipping number and mark the item as shipped. I suppose they are not technically lying (technicalities seem important in Chinese culture - makes you think their culture was set up by nothing but lawyers) since the guitar "technically" started the shipping process when they registered for a tracking number. You can get a tracking number issued for a shipment, but nothing shows up in tracking until the item is physically in the hands of EMS. Kind of like pre-registering.
The two most important things to remember in life: "The only time it's acceptable to work with amateurs is if you are making porn." "If you want to work with clowns, join a circus."
avatar
JamesZhejiang said Aug 08, 2014 03:24:42
Most of Chinese culture works this way, and you get used to it if you live here.

Particularly if you are in an industry such as making counterfeit guitars, you are going to need to be slightly devious. Often in China rules are created to try to regulate people's behaviour. A lot of effort is then spent by the people to try to find ways round the rules, rather than trying to understand why the rules were created in the first place, and why it might be a good idea to follow them.

If you ask pretty much any Chinese person if they think its important to follow rules, they will all agree that it's important other people follow rules. If you are the one person that doesn't, there is enormous benefit to you. Sadly, 90% of the population hopes to be the one person that doesn't follow the rules...

In terms of sending photos before shipping, I have to say that if I was involved in this shady industry, there is no way I would send photos first. The buyer might request changes which would eat into my profit, and possibly sour my relationship with the factory. Worse, they may reject the product altogether. I bet the seller who ended up giving $170 discount to one buyer recently won't make the mistake of sending photos before shipping again.

It is what it is. We can either accept it, or go any buy a non-counterfeit guitar ;)
----

James
avatar
angev2 said Aug 08, 2014 04:21:49
JamesZhejiang
In terms of sending photos before shipping, I have to say that if I was involved in this shady industry, there is no way I would send photos first. The buyer might request changes which would eat into my profit, and possibly sour my relationship with the factory. Worse, they may reject the product altogether.


I would have to disagree with you here. If there is a proper agreement up front and expectations are set at the onset then sending pictures to a customer shows good faith in the business relationship and a product that the seller is prepared to stand by.

Besides, if there proper communication throughout the process together with a level of honesty, then small problems could be caught at the early stages are not as expensive to resolve later A token gesture such as sending a picture or two to the buyer - speaks volumes.

Pontificating a process that has the potential to derail future business relationships and with compounding effects ( word of mouth ) can't be a good thing for the sellers. Especially since they've fought so hard to establish themselves in the market.

Two way street my friend and we don't have to accept everything that comes out. We need them equally as they need us.

One has to look at the quality that come out of the market 5 years ago to the stuff thats coming out today. It's miles apart. I'm guessing that's part of the evolving standards and expectations set by the consumer, and the healthy competition that has generated as a result.
"This tasteless cover is a good indication of the lack of musical invention within. The musical growth of this band cannot even be charted. They are treading water in a sea of retarded sexuality and bad poetry." - Marty DiBergi
avatar
JamesZhejiang said Aug 08, 2014 07:42:56
Hello there,

Continue playing devils advocate with you here. In the West what you say is true, but I'm not sure it's like that here.
For example, as I have written before, I have heard direct from sellers that repeat customers are a very small part of their business. They aren't so interested in building up relationship with the buyers. They are worried about paying for a guitar to be made, and then having the buyer back out.
You talk about word of mouth, but I have also written before that even on a forum such as this, no clear consensus has formed about which seller is the best. Even though there are a-list, b-list and so on, people still choose to buy from Jason for example, who is on the C-list. Add to that that sellers can change the factories they buy from, and it is hard for first time buyers to know who is going to be an honest, reliable seller, with a high quality product.
In terms of quality improvements, I have heard direct from people at one of the factories in Change Le that the reason they, the factories, are improving quality is so they can better compete in the China market, now that the prices here can't possibly drop anymore. The price that they quote to sell to an Alibaba seller, who then sells on to Westerners, is the same as the price they quote when they sell direct domestically. They also tell me that they almost never receive feedback from the Westerners. They are thus more interested in the feedback from Chinese customers and from OEM business. Another reason is that the volume is much higher, and that if either of these 2 are unhappy with the product they will return it, and expect the factory to give a full refund and pay for the return shipping.
I know we have a members only part of the forum, but I really don't think, with the exception of one seller who is studying in Australia, that anyone in the China guitar industry is interested in what we think, no matter how well qualified many members are.
Thus I say that although we really hope we can contribute to the quality of the guitars, and we really hope we can improve the business practices of the Alibaba sellers, ultimately it's my view that we are just a small minority of people buying these guitars, even if we choose to exclude the Chinese domestic market, and therefore ultimately we have to, to a large extent, accept what happens. One member lately for example, has been upset that a guitar which will take 30 days to make, was advertised as taking 5-10 days. I can't see sellers ever changing this lie, no matter how much we don't like it.
----

James
avatar
GrandSpector said Aug 08, 2014 09:40:53
James, the sellers on Aliexpress do visit this forum. I was asked very harshly by one seller to remove a slightly critical review from this forum as it apparently does hurt sales....(but I didn't remove it). They do care...
avatar
GrandSpector said Aug 08, 2014 11:53:41
Nope, but someone else you just mentioned in your post who asked to be taken from the list...;)
Guitar Monopoly also asked to be removed.
avatar
MichaelWamback said Aug 08, 2014 15:14:14
I'm with James on this one - Chinese cultural norms and Western cultural norms are just worlds apart. The people living in China understand and accept these norms, so our ways of doing things which seem normal and "good business practice" to us are just foreign concepts to them.

To use another example, I have a good friend from South America. She was telling me that to get things done there, it's expected that you will have to bribe people. Nobody takes offense to it, it's simply and understood part of their culture. And it works because everyone there understands the rules.

I feel sorry if you guys think you can change Chinese culture by refusing to buy a $250 guitar from someone who has thousands of other customers. I think your best bet is to let go of your Western ideas and to try and understand how their system operates. As they say, when in Rome....
The two most important things to remember in life: "The only time it's acceptable to work with amateurs is if you are making porn." "If you want to work with clowns, join a circus."
avatar
drew said Aug 09, 2014 01:38:34
James - do you have an understanding of how many different factories are making these guitars?
avatar
angev2 said Aug 09, 2014 04:26:59
You would have to be living under a rock the last 10 years or have your head in your posterior not to acknowledge that today's global economy has bought about an international standard code of business. In a world economy there is no such thing as western and eastern cultures. Trade is trade. Once closed domestic economy countries now appreciate and embrace outreaching global trades to tap into a new commerce avenue which was once foreign to them.

Take a look at ebay. Once a western marketplace now a global market force steered and championed by the Asian business. Do they bring their 'cultures' with them and impose it on highly transparent trading system such as ebay? They could try but their longetivy depends on it.

As for the sellers ranking and approved list published here, it's a load of hogwash.
Unless you have a transparent ranking system with industry metrics - then the integrity of the system comes under question. Evidence shown is the volatility seen here. One day they're the best seller , the next they are on the ban list.
In any line of business, there will be fly by nighters as well as the ones that are in it for the long haul. Regardless in what part of the world you live in. The ones that have a sound business plan, take note of what their customers want and have a fluid business model are the ones that prosper.

But i get it. We dont want to disturb the apple cart cause the $250 guitars that can pass of $3000 guitars is at stake here. So we put up and shut up. We devour them like a triple-decker forest cake at a weight watchers convention.
If you bought that $250 guitar from your local guitar center with shoddy workmanship and a non-existant support channel, you would be screaming blue murder.
"This tasteless cover is a good indication of the lack of musical invention within. The musical growth of this band cannot even be charted. They are treading water in a sea of retarded sexuality and bad poetry." - Marty DiBergi
avatar
JamesZhejiang said Aug 09, 2014 05:40:15
Hi Drew,

From talking to some of my friends, I would say that there are 2 factories which are responsible for the high quality guitars. One is supplying Cathy, ZMK, Hina Zhang and a few others. The second one is either REG, or a supplier to REG, which I suspect is also supplying some other Aliexpress sellers. Then there are a bunch of smaller factories which have lower quality. But if you are really interested I could make inquiries. I almost went to Changle last week as it happens - I had a business trip to Beijing which is about 3 hours away from Weifang by high speed train, and then 1 hour bus journey to Changle. But it would have been costly, and when I mentioned it on this forum, nobody seemed that interested.
[Last edited Aug 09, 2014 05:42:52]
----

James
avatar
drew said Aug 09, 2014 05:48:44
@angev2

As far as the seller rankings posted in this forum, there is no representation that they are anything more than one man's opinion. And, I think, he does a pretty good job of explaining what he bases the rankings on. You may not agree with his assessments, but to suggest that there is a problem with transparency or integrity is unwarranted.

And I don't understand what point you're trying to make with your Guitar Center comment. Legitimate retail outlets don't sell counterfeit goods. People who knowingly buy counterfeit goods, whether on the street, at flea markets, or from overseas websites, don't expect there to be a "support channel" for them, and understand that one reason that the price is so low is that the counterfeit goods are almost certainly produced with substandard materials and workmanship, in comparison to what goes into the genuine articles. Anyone who buys a fake Gibson, or a fake Rolex, or a fake designer handbag, and has any expectation beyond that the item will resemble a real one (if you don't look too closely) and *might* function like a real one, at least for a little while, is an idiot.
[Last edited Aug 09, 2014 05:50:35]
avatar
angev2 said Aug 09, 2014 08:49:16
@drew
The guitar center comment was made to highlight that fact that because we're buying in an overseas market (i'm presuming no trademark infringements) , the business rules are no less amenable than buying a guitar in a market closer to home. The reasons of which are mentioned in my previous post. If we have a problem with the product,was not manufactured to spec and not fit for purpose - there should be a path of recourse. And fortunately there is.
What one culture or another believes, should be totally irrelevant.

I'm not sure where you see someone here purporting and communicating expectations that counterfeit products should be the equivalent of the real product. It can not - not at that price point.
Anyone that has half a knowledge of the product will able to tell - no brainer. Can it *pass off* as a real product to the unwary - uninformed ? If course it can. Hope that helps clear it up.

[Last edited Aug 09, 2014 08:52:08]
"This tasteless cover is a good indication of the lack of musical invention within. The musical growth of this band cannot even be charted. They are treading water in a sea of retarded sexuality and bad poetry." - Marty DiBergi
avatar
MichaelWamback said Aug 09, 2014 16:19:49
I don't think the idea of a "global market" is at all applicable here. In terms of mainstream manufacturing, perhaps. But let's not kid ourselves - what we are doing is one small step above doing a drug deal. We are knowingly purchasing a counterfeit guitar from some shadowy supplier in another country. And because of that, I don't expect that the highest business ethics are going to apply - anymore than the idea that the crack dealer on the corner is going to have customer support and take responsibility of you don't like the quality of their product. You can make it seem as business like as you wish, but it is what it is. And while it is true that the buyer in most countries (France and Italy being the exceptions) is breaking the law - there is no doubt that the activity itself is illegal.

I also think that international business practices is just as likely to get laughed at by some guy knocking out fake guitars in a basement in Tennessee as it would be in a small guitar factory in the back alleys of China.

And I do think that James knows what he's talking about. First of all, he has feet on the ground. He is living in China and knows some of these guys and how they operate. He also has a sense of the domestic market over there that most of us lack. So when he says that their focus is primarily on the Chinese domestic market, and that other markets are a bonus to them - I find no reason not to believe him.

As for custom guitar work (non copyright infringing) there are quality shops that will produce guitars to the highest standard for the right price. ESP, for example, is happy to produce custom guitars. And the price reflects the care and quality that goes into the instrument. We are buying $250 guitars that are typically made to $250 guitar standards. To expect the same quality is just ludicrous. And honestly, for the price I'm amazed that these things are as good as they are.
The two most important things to remember in life: "The only time it's acceptable to work with amateurs is if you are making porn." "If you want to work with clowns, join a circus."
avatar
drew said Aug 09, 2014 20:05:09
James- No need to be making special inquiries on my account; it's just idle curiosity on my part. If you should happen to find out more about the factories at some point, I'd be interested in hearing it, that's all.
avatar
JamesZhejiang said Aug 10, 2014 01:27:19
Hi Drew,

It's no problem, I've been meaning to phone my chum for a while. Had a good chat this morning. He was a bit nervous when I asked him about the factories, but I guess it's a fairly harmless question. He says the number of factories is much reduced in Changle now compared to one year ago. He reckons there are 5-6 factories which are producing fairly high quality guitars. Then there are over 20 smaller factories, and obviously a smaller factory is going to have lower QC.
Seems that in the domestic market here, demand for guitars is seasonal, and most of the factories are not too busy at present. So now might be a good time to buy a guitar, although of course, in a good factory, 25-30 days is really the minimum required to build a guitar from scratch.
----

James
Login below to reply: