Post Holiday Electronica for the financially challenged!

So this is less focused on me in specific and more for people in my general situation; having a little bit extra from the holiday but not being blessed with a good second-hand market locally and living a bit far from dense urban areas.

So let’s discuss solutions to this problem of 'enough money to want to consider more than is there, but not enough to just ring something up on amazon and not trusting of ebay.

I will say Newegg has deals that are genrally good. Vendors do sell through walmart’s site; however I do not know if walmart’s return policy applies, and frankly anything walmart just plain feels skeevy given they tend to drive other businesses out.

I’m usually pretty fond of Newegg for the core bits. For oddball adapters, assorted refurbs, and pacific rim mystery gadgets; I honestly prefer ebay to Amazon. Somehow, despite being a hegemonic juggernaut; Amazon’s search features are miserable for anything without a nice handy ISBN. They also aren’t always as…obvious…about when you are actually stepping out of their store and into the ‘fulfilled by’ section; which is at least as seedy as fleabay but without the decency to look like it.

I’ve looked around Aliexpress some; they have some curiosities that are hard to find elsewhere (and an entrepreneurial approach to customer service; eg “Usually write a value of USD $20-70/unit on package and describle item as " Sample (mini PC)” or “TV box” or “Router” to help buyer avoid or reduce the customs fees. If you special request, please leave message."; but I can’t say I’ve felt lucky enough to go swimming there on anything but small things. (edit: speaking of questionably appropriate aquatic imagery; always encouraging to see a crayfish net stocked next to the SFP transceivers under “networking”)

I’m a big aliexpress fan, but often I first try to find the same object at amazon (match the photos carefully) to read the reviews. Mainly for small purchases, but I bought our custom living room curtains on aliexpress (this involved lots of off-line dimension discussion and a fair bit of price haggling with the maker in China before pulling the trigger) and they’re excellent.

My one experience of getting a refund for a product that never arrived was completely painless.

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