What kind of electronics crap can you buy for $50 in Shenzhen?

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/10/18/what-kind-of-electronics-crap.html


Is this another one of those subscription gift box services?


It’s the Meh head office.


No, it’s a post detailing the prices and economics behind “random junk” boxes, and the buying experience. It was a one-off and they sent it to a small number of guinea pigs.


The Ad-algorithm gods show their sense of humor once again:


I’m going to Shenzhen this weekend… anyone want anything?


It’s a MicroSD card. It is marked as being a 32GB card. If you stick it in your phone or computer, it will report that it is a 32 GB card. But it’s not. It’s an 8GB card with trick firmware. You should always be able to get at the last 8GB you wrote to the card, but….don’t try it with any important data or in any important device.
It was a lot easier to buy guaranteed fake cards than we expected. We had to go to one of the slightly seedier electronics malls. We had to go up to the second or third floor. We had to look for one of the vendors who didn’t have a prominent flash chip testing machine on their counter…and that was about it. There was some discussion of how much “real” storage we wanted in the cards. We asked about getting cards with only 2GB of real storage, but the vendor said 8GB was the lowest she could go. After the sale was finalized, the salesperson admitted that she would have charged us the same amount for the “256GB” cards



I need some of these in my life:


I’ve never been too interested in the box subscription services, but for some reason I would absolutely loved to get a single box of random electronics. Anyone have any suggestions?

It looks like this isnt going to be continued. All I saw were ads for their keyboard.

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I guess I never understood the appeal of cheap junk like this. It’s cheap because it’s crap. It will either not work, work for a limited time, or burst into flames at some point. Why deal with that to save a couple of bucks?

The appeal is

It doesn’t need to be good, just good enough.

Oh dear! My bedside table is in flames! Well at least that phone charger only set me back a few dollars so no big loss…there go the drapes…

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Given the choice between no charger, a $50 that’s authorised and tested but you’re $40 down on this weeks food bill, or a $10 one with a risk of fire, guess which one people will take.

That’s the appeal of cheap junk. Like I said, it’s cheap. And most times, good enough.

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