Jump to content
  • Sign in to follow this  

    Our guide to importing from China


    PaulOBrien

    So, you want to import a device from China? I don't blame you, I've done it a fair few times myself and got some cracking deals on some great devices. There are pitfalls however and there are things you can do to smooth the whole process. Let us help you get started!

    Let's talk first about the things you need to bear in mind before you order your device. When you know these, then you can decide whether importing a device is right for you.

    VAT charges

    If you buy from a seller that is shipping from outside the EU, there is a good chance that you will pay additional charges. You can use a site such as DutyCalculator to help you work out exactly how much it's likely to cost you, but just be sure to factor this in when you're working out the price. There are (legal!) ways around these charges - many sellers now ship via or from an EU warehouse, meaning you won't be liable for these fees. This is likely your preferred option. Remember that as well as the VAT on an import, you will likely be charged administrative fees by the shipment provider too.

    vat.thumb.png.65693e8d52c70c0da4f1516e33

    Currency charges

    When you order from China, there's a good chance the sale will be made in US dollars. If you are paying with a UK card, make sure you know up front what you'll pay in fees.

    Will I get my stuff?

    There are a huge number of websites now shipping products from China and the majority of them are reputable. It's always a good idea though to do a bit of research - Google for general feedback, ask your peers... or just go for the big names. AliExpress is a very popular aggregator to use, they hold your payment in escrow until the item is received satisfactorily - a good solution.

    Shipment times

    Unless you use an express courier such as DHL, shipments from China can take an age to deliver. Sellers often offer 'free delivery', which can take as long as 30 days, sometimes even more! But hey, it's free... just bear it in mind if you are in a rush!

    Warranty / returns

    One of the biggest problems with ordering from China is with warranty / returns. On a cheap item like a phone case, it's not so much of an issue.. but if you're buying an actual PHONE, when it turns up and something doesn't work (I recently had a Mi 4i with a faulty speaker), you're going to want some recourse. With dead / faulty on arrival items are likely to have a positive outcome to seeking a solution, but even then, you will typically have to return the device to China (at your own cost), wait for them to evaluate the unit and send a replacement. This can take a long time.

    Where to buy

    We already mentioned AliExpress as a place to buy from, you should note the feedback of companies you are using to ensure they are reputable. As your money is held in escrow, the sheller has to ship and provide tracking details within a specified time and you have to confirm delivery within a specified time. Two of our favourite sellers on AliExpress for phones are Chigon and Top One (actually part of the same company). We've ordered from them multiple times and never had any problems.

    You should also check out some of the big-name independent sellers, many of who are now starting to add UK / European warehouses, again to assure customers they won't end up footing additional costs on the shipment. They include...

    ...and there are many others out there too!

    topone.thumb.png.11cb9746f13b6b3efc13a4b

    Band support, device ROMs and specifications in general

    If you are picking up a phone, make sure that it supports the bands you need for your carrier (especially the LTE bands). Check which ROM your seller is installing - it is common practice to open boxes and flash a custom ROM with English before shipment. If you would rather do this yourself (like me!), you can ask for the boxes to remain sealed or the devices to remain unflashed.

    One warning on device specifications - descriptions are often somewhat, erm, 'liberal' with the truth specs wise, particularly if you are buying a device from a company you've never heard of... so make sure you check things out fully before you buy!

    And finally...

    I know all of the above sounds daunting, but the most important thing with important devices is that you go into the transaction knowing all the facts. Prepare yourself for the worst eventualities - having a device arrive and having to go through the pain of returning it perhaps... and then if everything does go smoothly, you will be pleasantly surprised.

    Maybe start of with some low cost AliExpress purchases to get the hang of things and go from there.

    Let us know what you buy!  

    Edited by PaulOBrien


      Report Item
    Sign in to follow this  


    User Feedback

    Recommended Comments

    I've purchased two phones out of China. Both had to be returned for repair. Wait time was two months for one and six months for the other to be repaired. I must be very unlucky. :-(

    I will suggest avoid being an early adopter of any phone. My first phone was ordered immediately upon release, and it turned out to have a fault with the screen that resulted in a manufacture's hardware update within a few weeks of the original release. I could have avoided a two month wait on the return of my phone if I had just waited long enough initially to see if the device was actually going to turn out to be a good one. And I'd also suggest always having a backup phone just for these possibilities.

    That said, I'm still using the second phone (ZTE V5 Max), after it finally came back after six months. Good performance for the price, and I'm happy with it now.

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites


    Create an account or sign in to comment

    You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

    Create an account

    Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

    Register a new account

    Sign in

    Already have an account? Sign in here.

    Sign In Now


  • Social

  • Topics

  • Posts

    • Please close and delete my account, Thanks
    • Uhans Max 2:

      I am writing this review after using the Uhans Max 2 variant with 4GB of RAM and 64GB storage for three weeks. The phone was connected to the 4G network.

      The Uhans Max 2 best in the biggest screen smartphone segment at it’s Price range.     Unboxing:   The Packaging comes with some accessories: Micro-USB Cable, Power Adaptor, User Guide, Screen Protector, SIM Card Eject Tool, and cell phone.
      Silicone case missing.   The power, volume buttons, and SIM card slot are located to the right. It offers a 3.5mm jack, which is located at the top of the phone.  MicroUSB port and Speakers are located at the bottom. Speakers combination gets sufficiently loud, and it doesn't get distorted at high volumes. There's also a fingerprint sensor located at the Front, and its location just blows the screen, makes it easy to access. Four cameras, two cameras on back with Dual LED flash and two cameras on Front with single flash light. The Microphone is located on the lower edge. There are no physical buttons besides fingerprint sensor under the screen. The phone provides such button on screen.     Let’s start the review in detail.

          Big Screen For Unlimited Vision:      The Uhans Max 2 comes with 6.44-inch Full HD display ( which gives it a pixel density 342ppi) with 1920 x 1080P resolution is 10-fingers touch capability and the addition of 2.5D curved glass makes a substantial difference when using the screen. When lighting up the display on the Max 2, the content flows on the screen, delivering an unprecedentedly realistic and immersive viewing experience.
          Capture Every Moment of Your Life: Uhans Added 13MP sensor with an F/2.0 aperture. The second rear 2.0MP camera is used to achieve DSLR-level depth-of-field effects. The Main rear camera focuses quickly, which is also great for taking some fine shots of moving subjects. If you’re shooting in HDR, you’ll manage to squeeze in more details, although it takes slightly longer to shoot the photos. I am really impressed by the performance. As for the front camera, it has 13+2MP Dual front cameras with a flash light to reach a high-quality video chat and creates perfect selfies with enhanced brightness and clarity. In all your selfies, you look amazing and gorgeous. in term of video recording, the back camera can record video at 1080p resolution and the quality is great.
      Also, Camera app provides some useful modes, such as panorama, beauty, SLR. The camera setting menu has more options for example, face detection, camera mute, touch shutter, anti-shake and others.   Day Light Image   Night image     Bokeh Effects
      Selfie Camera       Unlock at Once            Now you can unlock your phone with a gentle touch. The fingerprint Sensor on the Front can unlock your phone in less than 0.3s. It’s relatively quick in responding compared to many other devices.
        Taking Performance to New Heights   Powered by the advanced  MTK6750T  octa-core processor clocked at 1.5GHz with 4GB of RAM, The Uhans Max 2 is smart, quick and responsive, which delivers premium performance at lightning speeds while consuming 20% less power compared to its predecessor. It handles swift switchover between multiple tasks and heavy games effortlessly without hiccups. There are no overheating issues or problems even under extreme usage. The graphics are powered by Mali-T860 MP2 GPU. Games like Asphalt 8: Airborne, Real Racing 3, Modern Combat 5: Blackout, etc. You won’t face any noticeable lags or frame drops.   Save All Wonderful Stuff: Every day we get new things that matter and worth keeping. The Uhans Max 2 packs a whopping 64GB of internal storage, expandable up to 128GB via SD card, which offers plenty of space for your favorite apps, pictures, games and apps. More storage room for more joys. Power You up Through Your Day  The Uhans Max 2 is equipped with a 4300mAh non removable battery which can last a whole day on a single charge. Whether you are watching movies, playing games or chatting with friends online, the Uhans Max 2 can always power your fun. There’s no need to worry about running out of power any more.   Your Personal Guider     The GPS+GLONASS navigation systems with rapid, accurate positioning will always help find you. There’s no need to worry about getting lost again. You could even direct your own way to the destination in a totally strange place. The Choice Is Yours  With dual SIM supported, the Max 2 doubles your choices, giving you the option to use one for work and the other for life, or one for calling and texting and the other for data. You can also choose to use a local SIM card when you’re abroad. The choice is totally up to you. Smooth, Efficient, User-friendly  The fresh new Android 7.0 Nougat brings a refreshing new interactive experience with more user-friendly interface, quick app launch, simplified operation steps, enhanced smoothness and battery management. Besides, some in-depth customizations are added for more delightful use. More surprises are waiting for your enjoyment.       Pros: Calls : No lags and smooth voice. Internet browsing : No lags and very fast internet site download (if you have 4G connection or 3G has good too). Build quality : Very good quality frame, made from metal. Four Cameras: Fast shutter speed and very detailed. UI: Very fast and responsible. Display: perfect sized and good resolution. Battery: big capacity
        Cons:
      No Notification LED
      No Fast charger
      NO NFC support
      Pretty Heavy ( because of Four cameras, Big battery capacity, Metal body )
      No USB Type C   Conclusions
      The Uhans Max 2 is definitely the new benchmark for other budget smartphones launching in 2017 to match up to. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend – especially if one needs a big screen and long battery life. Packed in a neat chassis, the smartphone performs great and is a compelling smartphone that gets a direct entry into any best-of lists.
    • Hi, what steps I should follow to reinstall my Vi10 plus to use Windows 10 only. Any other post I should refer to
    • Another rugged phone! To be water-proof looks like a trend in the phone
      industry. Big brand like iPhone 7, Samsung S7, but they are either of
      poor waterproof performance or expensive. In terms of water-proof and
      drop-proof, I love NOMU as much as ever, a truly professional rugged
      phone maker. (I recently bought its T18, and I’m more than satisfied.)
      For King Kong, I don’t know, we’ll see.
    • I have the same problem, Did anyone of you find what to do?   
×