I just ordered a 3ds from AliExpress - Wish me luck.
from Jim_Just_Jim@lemmy.world to retrogaming@lemmy.world on 19 Jun 2024 07:09

I hope this isn’t perceived as advertising… I’m quite apprehensive about making this purchase and will absolutely update with my progress if/when the console arrives.

In the meantime, if anyone out there has any experience buying through AliExpress I would love to hear from you. This is my first purchase and I feel like it’s a total gamble.

If this is somehow perceived as advertising, mods please delete immediately. I do not want to violate any rules. This community is too awesome to lose!


threaded - newest

j4k3@lemmy.world on 19 Jun 2024 07:25 next collapse

I don’t trust AliEx any more after I took the loss of 3 orders for ~$60 in 2020. When I called, they hung up on me at random every time. After the 3rd try I washed my hands and walked away. Stealing from me once is on them, twice would be my own fault. Prior to that experience I spent a few thousand dollars on the platform for odds and ends.

I expect something like this to be an emulator and nowhere near the quality of a real Nintendo product, but I could be wrong. I would buy used or a homebrew project that is well documented and might cost a little more.

kralk@lemm.ee on 19 Jun 2024 07:41 collapse

Did you charge it back through your bank? Very easy to do in the UK at least

[deleted] on 19 Jun 2024 08:07 collapse


PhobosAnomaly@feddit.uk on 19 Jun 2024 09:15 collapse

In fairness, I very much doubt a chargeback would even get so far as a human.

From what I’ve seen with other companies across different continents, a chargeback triggers an automatic account ban with whichever retailer and that’s that.

comfyquaker@lemmy.world on 19 Jun 2024 07:35 next collapse

I got my 3ds LL from ali. works as expected and can play JP and US regions. its also white and it was pretty cleaned up when i received it. ive played through star fox a few times and I am halfway through OOT. approaching a year of ownership.

Ive bought a few handhelds and only had a DSi go bunk on me.

at this point amazon, etsy and other large online retailers/resellers serve the same stuff as aliexpress does, just with better shipping and return policy.

Link@rentadrunk.org on 19 Jun 2024 09:46 collapse

Did you softmod it to be able to play US and JP games? By default it shouldn’t be able to do this as all 3DS systems are region locked.

comfyquaker@lemmy.world on 19 Jun 2024 16:45 collapse

they must have done it or the system they refurbed had it done. i thought i initially when i was buying it i was getting a 3ds xl but arrived as an ll

thehatfox@lemmy.world on 19 Jun 2024 07:44 next collapse

I’ve ordered various things from AliExpress before, I’ve never had any major issues. One item was DOA, and another never arrived, but In both cases I got refunded quickly and easily.

It seems no worse than any other online marketplace now.

I assume these 3DS units are some sort of refurb. Are they Chinese region units?

Gullible@sh.itjust.works on 19 Jun 2024 08:03 next collapse

It seems no worse than any other online marketplace now

True and incredibly distressing.

phx@lemmy.ca on 19 Jun 2024 10:48 collapse

Yeah, I’ve had a few sellers among a lot of orders try to pull a fast one, but by-and-large they’ve been good and the few that arrived bad I did get refunded for. The main thing I’d say is to be careful of things that plug in but don’t meet electrical code in your country (Amazon is getting bad for this as well) as that’s definitely some janky stuff you can find

Thorry84@feddit.nl on 19 Jun 2024 07:54 next collapse

I’ve bought a lot of stuff from AliExpress in the past 10 years. Including some $10.000+ purchases. There have been problems, but overal I’m happy enough with the whole thing.

I feel everyone is trying their best to make it all work, but in the end it’s pretty complex to get something from the other side of the world to your home. Plus the language barrier can be a thing, where nobody in the chain really speaks any English. Usually the people at AliExpress, the seller and the actual people shipping the goods are pretty far apart from each other (China is a big country) and don’t always communicate the best.

Now there are of course a lot of scammers, just like on sites like Ebay and Amazon. AliExpress really does do their best to ban the scammers and prevent them from coming back, but it’s like fighting a flood with a broom and doesn’t do much. Recognizing the scammers can be pretty hard sometimes. The trick I’ve used is to either rely on small communities of people interested in the same thing recommending a shop or simply talking to the seller. If the seller is happy to talk to you and willing to do just about anything you ask, it’s probably a scam. If they are kind of grumpy and say this is what we do take it or leave it, you’ve got a proper seller on your hands. Especially with large equipment as I’ve bought, the seller wants to talk shop about the machines all day, but if you have any special requests regarding shipping or customs, it’s a no go. They will also happily provide you a quote for a fully custom machine if you ask, with actual good prices for what it is, but still very expensive.

If something does go wrong with your order, don’t count on AliExpress doing anything. They are just the platform provider and don’t know you or your order. They aren’t involved in any way and handle millions of orders a day. Just use the tools they provide to talk to the seller, they will often happily help you and every time my shipment got lost, they refunded or sent another. If a part broke in shipment, they shipped me a replacement. And just because the product wasn’t what you thought it was or the shipment got lost in transit or there was something else wrong, doesn’t mean the seller is a scammer. Don’t report them as one, as for small shops this can cause problems and for the larger established shops AliExpress simply ignores the reports. Usually the seller does their best to get you your stuff, but when sending something from one side of the globe to the other, shit happens. International tracking has gotten so much better the past couple of years, so it’s easier to see where it went wrong.

AliExpress has also gotten very good with customs, they present you a price which is based on what you are going to pay. No hidden fees that get applied later in the process. They discount the product in the shopping cart with an indication of what you have to pay for customs handling and import fees. In the past this used to be a problem, where the price was too good to be true, only to turn out to be exactly that. But these days they are very good.

So if you have patience, do your homework and be careful out there, AliExpress can be a great source for products. If you want to be a Karen and shout at someone for not delivering the crap you don’t need within 24 hours, please just go to Amazon.

One thing to note: There is an environmental impact to buying directly from China and there’s no guarantee the products weren’t made by slaves in poor working conditions without mind for safety or the environment. So don’t go buying small crap you can get anywhere from there. Buy locally where possible and if you do order make it something big or buy a larger shipment. But this isn’t really an AliExpress thing, this applies to sites like Ebay as well as other big Chinese shops.

RightHandOfIkaros@lemmy.world on 19 Jun 2024 07:56 next collapse

AliExpress is either a scam or a great deal. There is no inbetween. I have been successful with clothing from them, and even an Xbox One wired controller that had both joysticks at the top like a WiiU Pro controller. I haven’t been scammed yet, but I do know that it can happen.

EddoWagt@feddit.nl on 19 Jun 2024 10:14 next collapse

If the price is too good to be true it’s probably a scam, otherwise it’s not in my experience

Blackmist@feddit.uk on 19 Jun 2024 13:58 collapse

No worse than Amazon these days.

altima_neo@lemmy.zip on 19 Jun 2024 07:59 next collapse

Report back on how it turns out.

Jim_Just_Jim@lemmy.world on 19 Jun 2024 10:04 collapse

I absolutely plan to report on how it turns out. So far, it sounds like I’ve made a mistake, but everyone here will know soon enough!

altima_neo@lemmy.zip on 19 Jun 2024 21:45 collapse

I’ve had good luck with ali so far. But it’s helped to buy from reputable sellers. Some of them seem sketchy AF.

AlligatorBlizzard@sh.itjust.works on 19 Jun 2024 07:59 next collapse

I’ve seen a few YouTubers buy AliExpress 3ds consoles, and all of those have been refurbished, often with after market shells which, while often not terrible, aren’t Nintendo quality. If the console shows up, it’ll probably be fine, but you’re still not necessarily getting an amazing deal. I got my New 3ds LL (Japanese version) in excellent condition from a seller on eBay based in Japan for about $25 less and I got one with an upper IPS screen - but mine is in black. If you really want a special 3ds and you’re okay with a decent reshell, buying through AliExpress might be an alright option.

brsrklf@jlai.lu on 19 Jun 2024 09:23 collapse

To be fair, Nintendo 3DS shells aren’t exactly very high quality either.

I have an original Majora n3DS XL. After a few months, the golden paint started disappearing around the borders, where my palm/fingers would rest.

To their credit, I could get a free replacement shell (with the right colour and pattern) from customer service when I asked about it. But after this I just resorted to using a clear rubber outer case to keep the paint from rubbing off again.

LiveLM@lemmy.zip on 19 Jun 2024 10:09 collapse

n3DS XL.

Tell me about it. Got a red used unit and it was paint flakes everywhere.
Thankfully, someone on Ali sells matte replacement backplates. The one I got is fantastic.

twinnie@feddit.uk on 19 Jun 2024 08:22 next collapse

I order from there quite a lot. I’m not really a fan of buying Chinese stuff but all the electronics are made there whatever you do and this way I’m cutting out the man-in-the-middle dickhead types who closed all the local factories and moved production to China just to push up the share prices.

I’ve always found it to be pretty good, remember that you don’t really deal with Ali that much, rather individual shops selling their stuff on there. I’ve had problems with stuff arriving broken before but I’ve usually found their customer service to be pretty amazing, they’ll often replace stuff without much fuss. I once ordered a Bitcoin miner before realising later that it was a scam, and Ali refunded me all the money.

The two main problems are that nothing on there is good quality, it’s all just cheap Chinese stuff. The second problem is that it takes ages for everything to arrive.

ptz@dubvee.org on 19 Jun 2024 11:10 collapse

This is probably the exception, but I bought a bunch of smart bulbs from there 4 years ago (all pre-flashed with Tasmota). They’re still going strong and get used daily.

Yeah, they’re isolated on a separate, no-internet VLAN if you’re worrying about my security posture lol. That said, I’ve never noticed them trying to make any suspicious outbound connections.

ShepherdPie@midwest.social on 20 Jun 2024 03:23 collapse

It’s absolutely the best place to buy stuff like this. I buy spools of addressable LEDs, ESP boards, random electronic components, and smart home stuff from there provided I can wait a week or two to get it. You’re buying the exact same stuff from Amazon most of the time but at much cheaper prices with longer shipping times.

That said, I probably wouldn’t ever buy a branded product like OP did because if they screw you over it’s going to be a huge pain to try to get a refund and there’s a decent chance it’s not as described or straight up counterfeit.

BlueSquid0741@lemmy.sdf.org on 19 Jun 2024 08:42 next collapse

I’ve bought various keyboard parts as well as batteries for Vita and DS Lite. Ask of it arrived to me in Australia as expected and was fine quality/working condition.

Kecessa@sh.itjust.works on 19 Jun 2024 10:07 next collapse

My question is… Why from there? 🤔

Jim_Just_Jim@lemmy.world on 19 Jun 2024 10:12 collapse

I have to admit… The prices here in the west are just so expensive. I recently opened an Ali express account for a side business and when I saw this price I just thought I’d roll the dice and see what happens. It was all circumstantial and impulsive.

Treczoks@lemmy.world on 19 Jun 2024 11:36 next collapse

Have fun with your half-brick or whatever you’ll get in the package.

Rentlar@lemmy.ca on 19 Jun 2024 15:27 collapse

3DS with broken off top screen ❌️

1DS ❌️

Newly minted Gameboy Super Advance ✅️

andrew_bidlaw@sh.itjust.works on 19 Jun 2024 12:12 next collapse

It’s a gamble with risks that your local chains who resells the same stuff usually shoulders for you. I’ve bought a lot of stuff here, including original electronics, up to ≈$2k a piece. Research is your first best friend, the second best friend is a camera you record unboxing with to prove to Ali you deserve a refund. I’m not into 3ds market, but if nothing alarmed you before you placed an order, it should be okay, I guess.

It’d be interesting to see your report after you test it.

Lost_My_Mind@lemmy.world on 21 Jun 2024 01:15 collapse

It’d be interesting to see your report after you test it.

report after testing

“I don’t know how it got this out of hand, but somehow the entire city is now on fire.”

v1605@lemmy.world on 19 Jun 2024 12:27 next collapse

Also bought mine off AliExpress. It was one of the fake pokemon shell models, so that feels a little cheap but looks nice. Otherwise the unit functions perfectly, no scratches on the screen and buttons are responsive.

Shawdow194@kbin.run on 19 Jun 2024 13:09 next collapse

I see tonnes of Chinese sellers refurbing Gameboys

Generally the PCBs are OEM from Japan. Everything else though....

olicvb@lemmy.ca on 19 Jun 2024 13:20 next collapse

Hell yea hope the purchase ends up being legit 🤞 Bought mine not far from that price this winter off an independent seller.

Great handheld for enjoying all of what 2d emulation has to offer, so many titles so little time

NimbleSloth@lemmy.world on 19 Jun 2024 13:26 next collapse

I’ve bought a lot from AliExpress. Most of it was just random little things but I did order two CPUs in the past a 3600 and a 5700x. Both showed up in a few weeks and both were as advertised thankfully!

moody@lemmings.world on 19 Jun 2024 13:48 next collapse

I’ve bought a bunch of stuff, but never anything important or particularly expensive. Random crap like LED strip lights, screws, bearings, and springs for 3D printing projects, or even filaments. Never had any issues, but I’d still be apprehensive buying something more expensive.

mrfriki@lemmy.world on 19 Jun 2024 14:49 next collapse

I sold most of my consoles because of emulation. The 3DS, however, is a keeper. It’s silly but I love the glasses free 3D effect so much and that cannot be achieved via emulation.

Lost_My_Mind@lemmy.world on 21 Jun 2024 01:16 collapse

I sold most of my consoles because of emulation.

Are you even allowed to be here? I feel like that’s cause to revoke your retro gamer card.

mrfriki@lemmy.world on 22 Jun 2024 06:57 collapse

Hehe, I used to be in the original hardware is the best way to play gang , but i came to appreciate how convenient is the Deck for emulation and the fact that most older games that I play work better on smaller screens, since they have lower resolution, sealed the deal for me. Now I only have the PS4 since it can’t be emulated for now and the 3DS since the 3D effect is so cool.

ColeSloth@discuss.tchncs.de on 19 Jun 2024 18:32 next collapse

I have an absolutely mint condition US new 3dsxl with an extended battery pack/grip that’s already been hacked to rip games and play roms.

I never use it anymore. Anyone know if for sale posts are allowed in here, because I’m thinking I should sell it to someone who would use it.

Lost_My_Mind@lemmy.world on 21 Jun 2024 01:18 collapse

Is it the kind that can use amiibo? I got a dollar!

ColeSloth@discuss.tchncs.de on 21 Jun 2024 01:29 collapse

It used to be, at least. I dunno if the amiibo thing still works after Nintendo shut the shop down or not.

Ashtear@lemm.ee on 20 Jun 2024 00:21 next collapse

At this point, AliExpress is my #1 choice for anything a) made overseas anyways and b) that I don’t need right away. It’s usually parts or trinkets; for example, the last thing I bought was a kit to supplement my mahjong playing set.

In this case though, this feels overpriced for a used/refurbished model. If you were going to take on this much perceived risk, I’m surprised you didn’t go with one $150 or less on eBay or a local exchange like Facebook Marketplace or something.

EvolvedTurtle@lemmy.world on 20 Jun 2024 00:48 collapse

I used to use temu all the time I bought a bunch of really nice fake bayblade Then decided I should delete the app after spyware claims

cyberpunk007@lemmy.ca on 20 Jun 2024 03:49 next collapse

I bought a fancy cable tester for 1/4 the price of one here. It works great.

shinratdr@lemmy.ca on 21 Jun 2024 04:23 next collapse

I bought a 2DS on AliExpress. It was fine, original shell but a little scratched up. JP model. One dead pixel.

$211CAD so about $150USD. I’d do it again, I didn’t end up using it much as I had plans for it that didn’t pan out but I had no issues with it.

Anticorp@lemmy.world on 21 Jun 2024 05:40 collapse

I ordered an iPod from Alibaba back in the day and it was most certainly not an iPod. I think they’re more reliable than back then, but who knows. It’s always a gamble ordering from those kinds of sites.

One time I ordered a PS2 kit from some janky-ass Chinese site. The kit converted it into a flip top and included a CD that would let you play burned games. After a couple months of it not showing up, I figured I got ripped off, which I half expected anyways. 3.5 months later the kit showed up at my doorstep and actually worked. Haha! I used that thing for years after making the conversion.