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pregulla

AliExpress

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I have bought some astro items from different sellers there. During their sale events some stuff can be had really cheap, but there is a risk of getting a QC reject. Shipping of defected items back is usually at buyers expense. I have never tried shipping back, so not sure how high is the risk of the seller not accepting the package (had this happen to me on eBay).

I have bought ES68 24mm for $88 shipped during 11.11 sale from The outdoor movement Store. Arrived in perfect condition.

I have bough ES82 30mm for $225 (with coupons) during January sale from BestGoBuy Store. Arrived with grease on eye lens and a speck on filed lens. Seller's response was basically "deal with it". I had to open a dispute. AliExpress offered me 30% partial refund ($67) or to ship it back at my expense for a full refund. I took the 30%. The grease cleaned out, the speck doesn't seem to effect performance so I wouldn't count it as a loss, though I would have preferred to get perfect eyepiece for $225. There was another review on that listing (after my purchase and review) with the same issue. The seller has another listing for the same item with higher price and good reviews.

I have also bought Celestron Zoom for $50 (with coupon). Arrived in perfect condition.

I have also tried twice to order SkyRover branded Panaviews 38mm for about $60. In both cases after purchase they turned out to be discontinued and I got refunded.

Bottom line: it's a gamble. Even if I had good experience with a seller I would not see it as a guarantee that the same item from the same seller will be of the same quality next time. AliExpress offers a certain level of protection, but it seems like the partial refund is capped at a certain amount or 30%, whichever is higher (and if you can prove the item is not as described). For me it is worth the gamble since local dealers carry very limited selection and the prices are 1.5x-2x higher than in US/EU.

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