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Looking for cheap electronics? Look here!
Member Name: nykied
Advantages: Cheap things and free delivery
Disadvantages: Takes a while for delivery from Hong Kong
Deal Extreme is a website (www.dealextreme.com) that sells electronic goods. They're based in Hong Kong but don't let that put you off, as you could be missing out on the bargain of the year! I found them as I was looking for a front light for my mountain bike and I really didn't want one of those pitiful little LED flashing ones as I live in quite a rural area with no streetlights.
Cue Deal Extreme. The site is fairly functional, with a list of options across the top, giving you choices such as Lights or Audio or Mobile Phone Accessories. Once you click into one of these, the list goes to the side, so that you can narrow down your search. I was looking for a bike light and I knew what brand I wanted, so I clicked on Lights and then narrowed it down to SCC P7 flashlights and all the choices were there on a few pages. If you're just browsing, then it would be more difficult to find something that you're interested in, although I did look at most of the sections and found something I liked in every section.
I found my light and the accessories I needed (a mount to fit it onto my bike, a battery charger and spare batteries) and added them into my basket. The site sells in US Dollars, so I needed to translate my total amount into Pounds, which is when I was totally shocked at the price. I was getting a light that is as bright as a car headlight, a mount, batteries and a charger, for less than it would cost me to get a pretty rubbish light from a bike shop in the UK. And with free delivery from Hong Kong. Wow!
So I ordered. Payment to this site is only through PayPal. This put my mind at ease actually, as it meant that I was covered should my parcel not turn up or something. Then I sat back and waited, unsure as to whether the goods would actually turn up. They did, but one point about delivery that you need to know before ordering:
They're delivering from Hong Kong and they deliver to the UK in batches. If your item is shown on the website as in stock, your package would be the first put onto the plane, in which case you have to wait until the plane's full. However, if your package is one of the last to be loaded onto the plane, your order will be in the air quite quickly. Therefore, delivery time can be anything from one week to six weeks. So it will arrive, but if you want something quickly, find another site.
If your item is not in stock, then it could be much longer than six weeks. My recommendation is, if you want something that's not in stock, either find an alternative product or find an alternative supplier, even if that means paying more. The reason for this is that your whole order will be delayed if one item isn't in stock and Deal Extreme don't give any estimates as to when they'll be getting something back in stock.
If for some reason, you need to send something back for a replacement, then I understand that they're good on this too. Going from feedback that I've got directly from consumers, you send the item back (you pay to post it), they send you a replacement even before they're received the item from you, then they'll refund to you what it cost for you to post the item. They're very efficient, although it does mean another wait.
In conclusion, if you're looking for an electronic item really cheap and you're prepared to wait for it, then this is the site for you. I got a light that would have cost me at least three times as much had I bought it from the UK but delivery time was almost three weeks.
If you're still unconvinced, have a look at the 'What light?' thread of the bikeradar forum, under the mountain bike section.
Summary: Well worth the wait!