I’ve been shopping at Aliexpress.com and Alibaba.com for a while now. It’s an adventure. It’s full of surprises and it can save me quite a bit of time and money.
Recently I ordered a bunch of items including mousetraps, a multimeter and parts for an inverter I intend to use to supply my home with backup power in bad times. I ordered the mousetraps on Dec 1 and they arrived today, December 17. I have no idea how they can provide such good service, deliver such sturdy product and still make money. Those traps were $1.70 delivered to my mailbox. I could buy the old-fashioned wooden ones for $1 locally but it means driving the car 20 miles or so. What’s the cost of that? And my time. A few clicks versus an hour of my life? Anyway, these are sturdy plastic and steel. The mouse doesn’t stand a chance. They are already baited with peanut butter and scattered around the garage where mice like to invade every winter because it’s warm in there. They made a nest on the engine of the car using the hood-lining for insulation plus some dried leaves they found at the base of the windscreen. I hate mice in my home. They don’t belong…
Another thing I bought from China months ago was a couple of electronic thermostats, costing just a few dollars. They run on 12VDC and I just hooked one up to an old floppy drive connector on the PSU of Beast. I doubt I will ever see a floppy drive again, so I cut off the yellow and black wires and stripped a few mm to put under screwed terminals on the tiny thermostat. I placed a cup with some water and an avocado pit in it on top of one of Beast’s hard drives and put the temperature probe in the water… 27.5C, about what avocados like best. My room temperature is way too low, about 18C. So, finally I have a use for Beast’s wasted energy.
All but two of the items I’ve ordered in recent weeks have been shipped. I think Alibaba is rapidly overtaking the bricks-and-mortar retailers for many kinds of goods. They certainly have a winner for small, easily mailed consumer-items. I’m officially a pensioner this year and I have to spend money wisely. Alibaba helps me do that because there is competition in the world and it works for me.