Ordering cheap parts from China - a cautionary tale

unregisteredalien

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 1, 2020
Messages
183
Reaction score
251
Location
Melbourne, Australia
I've been ordering some bits and pieces of hardware on eBay. Sellers are often based in China. You pay less but you need to be patient with shipping. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn't.

This week I got a couple of things: some wing bolts and some die cast snare hoops.

The wing bolts were meant to be 6mm zinc. One two-pack was 6mm, the other was 8mm. Everything but the screw was plastic. The seller offered me a one-third refund, then demanded I return ship at my expense. I've asked eBay to resolve. UPDATE: eBay very quickly decided in my favour - full refund.

20200910_153630.jpg 20200910_153746.jpg

The hoops are just hilarious. They were packed without any protection, a couple of holes are undrilled, and the metal is practically unfinished in places. I've requested a refund and their permission to deliver the product directly to the garbage. UPDATE: seller offered the same one-third refund - apparently this is in the playbook - so it'll be eBay's call again.

package2.jpg undrilled2.jpg snare-side.jpg

Before anyone says DFD, yeah I know but I'm in Australia and shipping from the US is like cutting off a couple of body parts.

Good times.
 
Last edited:

JazzDrumGuy

DFO Star
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2016
Messages
9,733
Reaction score
2,016
Location
Pebble Beach, CA
I've seen cheap "die cast" hoops mostly from Chinese sellers and they just look like triple flanged. I'd like the name of this seller because DFD is out of cast hoops and those look pretty good to me! (I have a drill and a little bit of skills).....thx!
 

unregisteredalien

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 1, 2020
Messages
183
Reaction score
251
Location
Melbourne, Australia
I've seen cheap "die cast" hoops mostly from Chinese sellers and they just look like triple flanged. I'd like the name of this seller because DFD is out of cast hoops and those look pretty good to me! (I have a drill and a little bit of skills).....thx!
Yeah, a lot on eBay are listed as DC but they picture TF. There are DCs in there if you sift through.

The quality of these is too dubious to get my recommendation. If you want 'em, you'll find 'em. There were a ton of sellers with the exact same pictures when I placed my order.
 

lrod1707

DFO Master
Joined
Aug 12, 2018
Messages
3,822
Reaction score
1,942
Location
Florida
I ordered and received (after 1 month) a couple of drum mic clips through eBay. Cost me $10 for both! I went to clip one on and it exploded into a million little plastic pieces and I almost cut my hand. I should have known better!
All that cheap stuff from China is garbage and even hazardous. I yet to find anything that's worth it. But of course, we fall into the "great price" trap and end up getting burned every time. Luckily the seller didn't pull that crap on me about having to return them. I sent him a picture, they refunded me and to the trash they went. I ended up spending the money on some German made one's that cost me $50 for the pair. They feel & work like a Rolex!
 

MrYikes

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2014
Messages
305
Reaction score
268
Location
Gnaw Bone, Indiana
When I need a tool I get snap-on or I go to Harbor Freight. Different expectations. Different pricing. I have made over 300 purchases from china. I have had 5 that were not pleasant. Some, though, were head-scratching. Like the guy that sold brushes very cheap, until you received one brush and then saw how delicately he phrased his item. He sells them one brush at a time. Other things are also odd. I have bought violin and cello strings from china, but after my first purchase I now clean them well before playing. They are still covered with machine oil, which can make white horse hair on the bow look gray and can make rosining the bow a challenge. That is not something you think about when getting normal strings. Horn mouthpieces are good now though the plating is still suspect. Oboe reeds are still difficult, but aren't they all? Synthetic sax reeds for alto work, but not tenor and most of the cane reeds can be worked but take too long. Their sax pads are too thick but are usable in some situations.
10 years ago, you were silly to buy an instrument from china, but they have improved a lot. You can now buy a recognized top string instrument from china and their horns are starting to impress people. The days of laughing at chinese quality are coming to an end. Finding respectable merchants are now the treasures we should seek, though the pricing will not be such a bargain. And if it's not a great bargain, why not just buy American?
 

Trilock_Gurtu

Very well Known Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2017
Messages
1,044
Reaction score
879
Location
Vancouver, BC, Canada
When I need a tool I get snap-on or I go to Harbor Freight. Different expectations. Different pricing. I have made over 300 purchases from china. I have had 5 that were not pleasant. Some, though, were head-scratching. Like the guy that sold brushes very cheap, until you received one brush and then saw how delicately he phrased his item. He sells them one brush at a time. Other things are also odd. I have bought violin and cello strings from china, but after my first purchase I now clean them well before playing. They are still covered with machine oil, which can make white horse hair on the bow look gray and can make rosining the bow a challenge. That is not something you think about when getting normal strings. Horn mouthpieces are good now though the plating is still suspect. Oboe reeds are still difficult, but aren't they all? Synthetic sax reeds for alto work, but not tenor and most of the cane reeds can be worked but take too long. Their sax pads are too thick but are usable in some situations.
10 years ago, you were silly to buy an instrument from china, but they have improved a lot. You can now buy a recognized top string instrument from china and their horns are starting to impress people. The days of laughing at chinese quality are coming to an end. Finding respectable merchants are now the treasures we should seek, though the pricing will not be such a bargain. And if it's not a great bargain, why not just buy American?
Ah, no...no, they're not. Have you ever been to China? I've worked a few contracts there, you should see what a two year old building looks like. In general, Chinese quality is still not great, especially when compared to German or Japanese. Look at how much South Korean building quality has improved (Hyundai Pony, anyone? yikes).

Has quality improved?, yes, but this is due to non Chinese companies bringing in their people, and enforcing higher standards (Yamaha/Tama/etc). Even now, the standards are not as high as when made in Japan. I recently played a newer Tama BB kit (MIC), and the underside of the die cast hoops were unfinished, I literally got a cut from it.
 

BennyK

DFO Star
Joined
Aug 6, 2008
Messages
15,085
Reaction score
2,123
We can only hope that the new Chicom aircraft carrier is made largely from their own parts and technology .
 

Jordan Blue

Very well Known Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2013
Messages
1,308
Reaction score
349
someone has actually ordered and received an order from china in the past 6 months? good luck with that.
 

cruddola

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 15, 2016
Messages
64
Reaction score
44
Location
usa
I've been ordering some bits and pieces of hardware on eBay. Sellers are often based in China. You pay less but you need to be patient with shipping. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn't.

This week I got a couple of things: some wing bolts and some die cast snare hoops.

The wing bolts were meant to be 6mm zinc. One two-pack was 6mm, the other was 8mm. Everything but the screw was plastic. The seller offered me a one-third refund, then demanded I return ship at my expense. I've asked eBay to resolve.

View attachment 460145 View attachment 460144

The hoops are just hilarious. They were packed without any protection, a couple of holes are undrilled, and the metal is practically unfinished in places. I've requested a refund and their permission to deliver the product directly to the garbage.

View attachment 460146 View attachment 460147 View attachment 460148

Before anyone says DFD, yeah I know but I'm in Australia and shipping from the US is like cutting off a couple of body parts.

Good times.
I won't buy any hardware from China sellers on eBay. There's enough Chinese-made drum-junk here already. I won't even think to buy ANY drum gear made in China. Not even Recording Customs. I have Japanese Recording Customs and Yamaha's Maple Custom Absolutes. All my hardware is the original variant of Yamaha's HexRack that was produced in Yamaha's motorcycle factory in the 70's and 80's . I literally have about a ton's weight. Their new stuff is like buying Garbage Gibralter. DW is going the same with their hardware. That's why they have PDP. No thanks. What I DO buy on US eBay is spare Slingerland USA, Yamaha Japan, Sonor Germany, Ludwig USA, Tama Japan, Gretch USA and other's drums to source my parts when needed.
 

JazzDrumGuy

DFO Star
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2016
Messages
9,733
Reaction score
2,016
Location
Pebble Beach, CA
Yeah, a lot on eBay are listed as DC but they picture TF. There are DCs in there if you sift through.

The quality of these is too dubious to get my recommendation. If you want 'em, you'll find 'em. There were a ton of sellers with the exact same pictures when I placed my order.
I could not find any - I just want the name(s) of such die cast sellers....I willl proceed at my own risk....thanks.
 

Deafmoon

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 26, 2014
Messages
167
Reaction score
109
Location
New York
I won't buy any hardware from China sellers on eBay. There's enough Chinese-made drum-junk here already. I won't even think to buy ANY drum gear made in China. Not even Recording Customs. I have Japanese Recording Customs and Yamaha's Maple Custom Absolutes. All my hardware is the original variant of Yamaha's HexRack that was produced in Yamaha's motorcycle factory in the 70's and 80's . I literally have about a ton's weight. Their new stuff is like buying Garbage Gibralter. DW is going the same with their hardware. That's why they have PDP. No thanks. What I DO buy on US eBay is spare Slingerland USA, Yamaha Japan, Sonor Germany, Ludwig USA, Tama Japan, Gretch USA and other's drums to source my parts when needed.
Hear! Hear!
 

Deafmoon

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 26, 2014
Messages
167
Reaction score
109
Location
New York
Better to save your money for quality than possible trouble. I also would advise people think about resale value when you buy from Asia. If you wait it out and save for a Gretsch USA kit, down the road that will be worth a heck of a lot more than a Gretsch Catalina.
 

cruddola

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 15, 2016
Messages
64
Reaction score
44
Location
usa
Better to save your money for quality than possible trouble. I also would advise people think about resale value when you buy from Asia. If you wait it out and save for a Gretsch USA kit, down the road that will be worth a heck of a lot more than a Gretsch Catalina.
Gretsch Catalina. Gotta admit, I saw a young early-teen drummer picking up a used four-piece Catalina kit with her family at the Guitar Center. She quickly tuned those puppies like a master! What a killer sound she got from the stock heads. They were killer sounds. This kid knew how to tune drums. The school's and other people's drums. Now, for the first time, these were HERS!. Not many Palestinian immigrant rockers to be found here. My wife is a Brooklyn-born Palestinian who has an accent like "The Nanny". She was the House pianist at the Monarch Room, an exclusive private British ex-pat club in NY. Even though I'm a Beaner/Burrito Bum, I'm also fluent in the language and culture having been sent to 57 nations by Uncle Sam. There was other stuff she needed but the family's funds were tight. I called my sisters, they're well accomplished pianists and singers. I'm the bum. a drummer. Told them what I was witnessing. While the family was repacking the Catalinas in worn U-Haul boxes they brought my sisters arrived. We found that her two summers of Arizona's Hell landscaping savings bought the drums. Anyhow, Lucy and Marty donated an all new DW 5000 2-legged hi-hat stand, a new DW5000 bass pedal and three used Yamaha 900-series boom cymbal stands. Together Catalina girl and I went through their big collection of used cymbals. The cymbal tab was mine. It was tough to get her to choose her poison. Mighty tough. Her family went outside. This task was all hers. Her ears. Her choice. She picked a pair of 15-inch A-Customs, a 20 -inch Paiste medium ride and an 18 and 19 inch Zildjian rock Crashes. They all were in mint condition. My bassist/keyboard brother donated the matching snare drum, new Evans skins all around top and bottom and a 200-dollar gift card for sticks. My bricklayer father did that for us as kids. Baked his ass in the microwave-like Arizona heat. It was only right we passed on the love. Every time Gretsch Catalina drums comes up, it reminds me of how important it is for us as a community to help others grow and prosper in music be it a violinist or a guitar player. The Gretsch Catalina girl will forever live in my mind.
 
Last edited:

unregisteredalien

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 1, 2020
Messages
183
Reaction score
251
Location
Melbourne, Australia
Gretsch Catalina. Gotta admit, I saw a young early-teen drummer picking up a used four-piece Catalina kit with her family at the Guitar Center. She quickly tuned those puppies like a master! What a killer sound she got from the stock heads. They were killer sounds. This kid knew how to tune drums. The school's and other people's drums. Now, for the first time, these were HERS!. Not many Palestinian immigrant rockers to be found here. My wife is a Brooklyn-born Palestinian who has an accent like "The Nanny". She was the House pianist at the Monarch Room, an exclusive private British ex-pat club in NY. Even though I'm a Beaner/Burrito Bum, I'm also fluent in the language and culture having been sent to 57 nations by Uncle Sam. There was other stuff she needed but the family's funds were tight. I called my sisters, they're well accomplished pianists and singers. I'm the bum. a drummer. Told them what I was witnessing. While the family was repacking the Catalinas in worn U-Haul boxes they brought my sisters arrived. We found that her two summers of Arizona's Hell landscaping savings bought the drums. Anyhow, Lucy and Marty donated an all new DW 5000 2-legged hi-hat stand, a new DW5000 bass pedal and three used Yamaha 900-series boom cymbal stands. Together Catalina girl and I went through their big collection of used cymbals. The cymbal tab was mine. It was tough to get her to choose her poison. Mighty tough. Her family went outside. This task was all hers. Her ears. Her choice. She picked a pair of 15-inch A-Customs, a 20 -inch Paiste medium ride and an 18 and 19 inch Zildjian rock Crashes. They all were in mint condition. My bassist/keyboard brother donated the matching snare drum, new Evans skins all around top and bottom and a 200-dollar gift card for sticks. My bricklayer father did that for us as kids. Baked his ass in the microwave-like Arizona heat. It was only right we passed on the love. Every time Gretsch Catalina drums comes up, it reminds me of how important it is for us as a community to help others grow and prosper in music be it a violinist or a guitar player. The Gretsch Catalina girl will forever live in my mind.
This story deserves its own thread.

I dig her cymbal choices!
 

aparker2005

DFO Master
Joined
Oct 16, 2007
Messages
3,922
Reaction score
620
I'll say I did order a few of the aluminum die cast hoops. Mine had 1 where one hole wasn't drilled. I got it fixed, but they've been absolutely awesome for me. I usually don't try to support China, but for the price paid for these hoops, they've been more than worth the effort.
 

MrYikes

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2014
Messages
305
Reaction score
268
Location
Gnaw Bone, Indiana
If anyone buys the $4 set of brushes from china, be sure to wipe off the oil on the brushes before you play on your pretty white drum heads. I forgot to say that earlier.
 


Top