Cheap Chinese Gizmos- To Buy or Not to Buy?

May 23, 2011 | by

Chinese gizmos and electronic devices are known for their low cost. You can purchase an iPhone  or iPad lookalike at a fraction of the cost and they work like the original. Logically these Chinese replicas must be selling like hot cakes – which they are. Here are the pros and cons of Chinese gizmos.

For the price of one

There is always a temptation to buy a Chinese lookalike especially when you can get one at throwaway price (you can throw it away if you want). But what about the data and contacts? When a gadget goes bad all of a sudden, you may not be able to retrieve data easily. This can cause several problems to you. You must backup data anyway. When I did find myself in this predicament, I decided to buy only those Chinese gadgets which don’t require storage of data – for instance music players. But even here, you have to content with losing your favorite music.

Quality control

Chinese electronic goods come from the same factory in which the original product is made. Then why is it that duplicates are not of the same quality? The answer lies in quality control or absence of it. Companies selling branded products like Apple, have to protect their name. Though they may or do outsource all their manufacturing to Chinese factories, they have strict quality control guidelines. This means that the products coming out of these Chinese factories are thoroughly checked. This is not the case with lookalikes which may even be the discards of the original stuff. This is the reason why they are of poor quality. I remember having purchased a memory stick at an unbelievable discount. I soon discovered my folly when I had to spend a few hours retrieving my data.

No warranty or guarantee

Branded products have replacement warranties backed by insurance if they are high cost items. This is a must if you’re buying expensive gadgets. With lookalikes you don’t get any guarantee or warranty, which can be a risky deal.

User manual

A well made user manual with all instructions is something we are all used to. Don’t be surprised if you get a single page manual with your Chinese gadget. It is difficult to follow instructions because the English translation is poor. It is as if a worker has been picked up from the assembly line to write the stuff. Lots of instructions are anyway lost in translation. In the end you are left holding a gadget not knowing how to operate it. This can be frustrating.


Chinese electronic items should be purchased at your own risk. There are some things like watches, game consoles, FM radio etc. which you can buy and throw without much effect in your life. In case you’re looking for cool gadgets at low prices, you can buy Chinese lookalikes.

If Chinese non-branded products can be sold with a bit of quality control and good user manuals, they can give the branded ones a run for their money. Maybe the Chinese are already at it.

This article has been contributed by Arjun Khanna, who works for Offshore Ally. Arjun is one of the many talented link builders and virtual assistants of the company. Connect with him via Twitter.


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