Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Power bank purchased in Shanghai China is a good example of why you should take care purchasing overseas.

Recently I visited China for a short holiday. For me it was one of those must do that was on my "bucket list". I wanted to share this purchase I made in Shanghai. We purchased quite a few good value items, but when it comes to technology, you really can't check out what's inside.

I had already checked in Australia and found a 10,900mAh power bank for $35 that I thought was the price to match. I found one shop in the main tourist street Nanjing Road which had a unit for around $35 but it was physically bigger. The unit in Australia was more compact. In another shop I found the following. I didn't consider this shop to be a market, but in hindsight perhaps I should have. I had avoided buying at markets.

I felt comfortable with this retailer. Lots of counters and very reasonable prices. Their selfie sticks were around $6 which sell for around $15 in Australia. I checked their power banks and liked the anodised unit shown above. Naturally the Apple symbol meant it was a fake. I've not known Apple to sell a power bank. I checked the power and it was rated at 13,800mAh. The price was 150 Yuan or roughly $33 Australian. I thought about 100 Yuan but then felt this was a risky purchase, so I offered 80 Yuan or $17-$18 Australian dollars. I was happy with the purchase.

My first clue that what I'd purchased wasn't quite what stated was when charging the iPhone (a 1,420mAh battery) the power bank showed it was half full. I decided to test further and managed to charge a flat iPhone 4 again to around 36%. That means this power bank could only deliver around 1,900mAh. I did some further testing and suspect the unit is somewhere between 2,000 and 3,000mAh.

Now of course I've been stooged and that's the lesson I'm sharing. If when buying technology in China you can't tell what's inside, then keep in mind you may not be getting what you think you're getting. However even this isn't a bad outcome. Compared to prices in Australia, it probably is on par, just not the bargain I thought.

The good thing about purchasing in Australia is you can shop around and what you buy from the retailers, most of the time is what you think you're buying. Some people love haggling, but I'm not one of them. There were really some excellent buys in China, but generally I found if you shop around using the internet, often you can get close to the same prices in Australia.

Kelvin Eldridge
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