Is going cheap on eBay worth the risk?

Discussion in 'General Gardening Discussion' started by Moley, Feb 28, 2020.

  1. Moley

    Moley Super Gardener

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    Making the most of another spell of awful weather to put more plans together for the allotment and top of the list was finding some mesh to keep the carrot fly away. A quick look around and I found Veggiemesh and Enviromesh right at the upper limits of affordable - particularly at the size we need.

    Having already bought some seeds from eBay this year, I thought I'd see what it offered on the mesh front and was confronted with options at as low as a third of the price of the two previously mentioned brands. Having delved a little deeper, both on their shop pages and running the VAT numbers through this handy little tool, it became apparent that almost all of them were of Chinese/Hong Kong origin.

    Has anyone got any experiences (good or bad) of buying these cheaper alternatives?
     
  2. NigelJ

    NigelJ Total Gardener

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    We used to old lace curtains picked up from jumble sales, to cover fruit bushes, but many of them would be fine enough to keep carrot fly off your crops.
     
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    • Cuttings

      Cuttings Gardener

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      The problem with Chinese goods is, almost everything cheap is made in China, somethings are bargins, and some things are death traps.
      Take LED grow lights, makers like Phillips and Mars, the units are constructed in Germany, with Chinese and Indonesian components, and of good safe quality. Some of units sold on ebay, that have the same components, but constructed in China, and come with sub standard wiring adaptors or fittings, which are not fit for purpose. So its a lottery, although credit where credit is due, look how far Chinese manufacturers have come in the last 30 years, from rubber ducks to 5G mobiles.
       
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      • pete

        pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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        If it states China avoid it like the plague.
        I know we get a lot of chinese stuff sold here but it comes in through the proper channels, if its on e bay and a direct sale from china, I wouldn't touch it with a bargepole. :smile:
         
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        • clanless

          clanless Total Gardener

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          I'd get the chinese netting - save your cash - there are none of the risks associated with electrical goods - what could possibly go wrong... Some Apple gadgets are made in China - so made in China does not mean it's rubbish.
           
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          • Mike Allen

            Mike Allen Total Gardener

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            I see your point. Mass production = cheap and nasty. Relating to seeds. I have purchased seeds from Premier Seeds Direct. Delivery has been in dribs and drabs. Some seeds come from the UK. Then some from China and just yesterday, I got som Digitalis from Malaysia.

            Seeds etc. I am OK. Other goods, well. Erm! Lets please be honest. Here we have a world populas is always looking for, in this commercial and materialistic world. The cheapest. Please. Here in the UK. So you want this and that. Yes. We can give you that, it will cost you.

            In China the stakes are so different. OK thousands, millions of workers. Life is cheap. Now take a look at our world in general/ perspective. We at our own peril have introduced a throw away system.
            Just consider. You purchased a new computer printer. To you it costa a bomb. The guarantee runs out...so does the printer. Trick of the trade. Built in obsolesence. In the past you or I would have take the printer to be repaired. bugger off says the the shop. If I take aprt your machine. That will cost you £25.00 Then if I check it out, another twenty quid. Now, yes, heres the problem. A resistor, costing 79p To supply and fix will cost you £45.00 so matey. Bin it. Here I have the latest model. £30.00
            This I also found with engineering. I used to make a bit on the side with car repairs. Working on British cars, all went well. Now enters the Chineses and Japs. Removing a simple nut and bolt. Chuck it. Repace it wit a new one. Whereas British steel nuts and bolts you could undo, screw up etc for time indefinite. You pays yor price and you reap tyhe reward.
             
          • shiney

            shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

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            The only comment I can make about this is that all consumer organisations recommend that you don't buy from China or other far away countries.

            This is nothing to do with distance or country of origin but to do with the vast number of complaints they get about non-receipt of goods or the goods not being as described. You have no legal rights! I don't know whether you get any protection from ebay for it. :scratch:

            By all means buy something like that, even if it is made in China, but try and buy it from a seller in the UK.
             
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            • Cuttings

              Cuttings Gardener

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              I would also be very careful about importing plant material, you do not know what plant pathogen bio security is in place, I hope people have checked with DEFRA that the plant material is A, legally allowed in this country and B, is not on the DEFRA register of a high risk plant.
               
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              • Cuttings

                Cuttings Gardener

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                I have jyst been to the DEFRA website, and had a quick look through my Plant passport pack, I would urge anyone Not to import any plant material into the UK, unless through appropriate channels (ebay and amazon are not included) as the following are the consequences if Xylella gets into the UK
                A company or an individual, if imported, the nursery or gc etc all plant material including seeds and compost will be removed and incinerated, and the entity will not be allowed to trade in plant material for 5 years, then a standard 1 mile quarentine search area will be setup, if the entity imported contaminated material by avoiding current bio security protocol the fine could be upto £250,000.
                The standard 1 mile quarentine is, an area of 1 square mile around an infection zone means, everywhere in that 1 square mile will be checked for at risk plants, that includes parks your garden, private estates, street planters, everywhere a plant grows, all at risk plants (this includes Lavender, Rosemary, Bay, olive, spanish broom, oleander lots more), will be taken and incinerated wether or not it is infected. And if a plant if found to be infected within that square mile, another square mile starts from where that infected plant is.
                If you are found to have bought in an infected plant, i.e suggled it in from a Spanish Holiday, you may get a fine, if you bought it in from Ebay, then the investigation will move on. If you have a Doctorate in plant pathology or a horticulturalist and imported infected plant material from Ebay, then you will receive a fine that can be upto £250,000.
                So for the sake of yours and my Garden and the 1000's of business that could be destroyed.
                DO NOT IMPORT ANY PLANT MATERIAL. Leave it to the pro's
                Xylella fastidiosa / RHS Gardening
                 
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                  Last edited: Feb 29, 2020
                • shiney

                  shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

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                  Although I agree that you shouldn't buy plants through unregistered sources the details that you quote are there more to frighten than to be an actuality.

                  Definitely, businesses selling plants should adhere to strict regulations. Individuals should not bring in plants unless licensed to do so. Neither should you buy plants from unapproved and unregistered sources. All this is for the health of the plants in this country.

                  It was only the other week that I related, on the forum, the details of the actual situation (some years ago) when we used to bring in plants from abroad (we had a licence) and how ludicrously it was operated. The regulations are different now but I suspect that the controls haven't improved. :sad:
                   
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                  • mazambo

                    mazambo Total Gardener

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                    Anything like this I would just go for someone who has the best feedback rating but as shiney says best with a uk seller, best thing with eBay and PayPal is if you get crap it's pretty easy to get your money back, I wouldn't say it's much different than the likes of cheap high street shops personally, I think most of their stuff is from China. 95 percent of the stuff from China that I have bought from UK and China direct on eBay have been fine, the other 5 percent have been used as birthday and christmas presents :lunapic 130165696578242 5:
                     
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                    • pete

                      pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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                      Not bought netting on E bay direct from China but have bought other stuff, its always been rubbish, so I dont buy direct anymore.
                      Sometimes it even says UK seller, but what they do is send it from China to an adress in the UK who then sends it on to you.
                      Why do they do this, other than to convince you that you are not buying from china?
                      But they leave the customs declaration on the package.:doh:

                      If there is a racket that they can use to make money the Chinese will do it.

                      The netting will probably not be UV stable and fall to pieces after the first season.


                      Or be full of holes:lunapic 130165696578242 5:
                       
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                      • Moley

                        Moley Super Gardener

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                        Thanks for the replies. Think I'll stick with the 'proper' mesh and try and save money by knocking together a frame myself.
                         
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                        • Cuttings

                          Cuttings Gardener

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                          Whilst what I quoted is a plan of action that DEFRA will implement in the case of Xylella being found on British soil, it has been published to frighten, but it will be implemented in such a senario, the same as Quarentine for those at risk of Corona virus, however Corona is deadly tomonly a few, Xylella will destroy the Horticultural industry, and the Fruit industry, the wine producing industry. Xylella has already shown it can jump species, starting in Olives it is now present in more than 300 species world wide. So the threat is very real, as will the response of the UK goverment.
                           
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                          • Fat Controller

                            Fat Controller 'Cuddly' Scottish Admin! Staff Member

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                            The slightly frustrating thing with the Chinese is that they do know how to produce stuff that is of good quality and complies with various standards - indeed, many of the worlds biggest names (Panasonic, Philips, Volvo being a few that spring to mind) have products made in China because it is the most cost effective for them. The key, however, is that their own engineers provide the exact specification that must be adhered to.

                            There are some Chinese manufacturers that produce really good quality stuff (Inkbird, I believe manufactures in China for example), and that is because these companies genuinely care about ongoing business.

                            But, if you get one of the fly-by-night ones that are just churning out garbage, you are knackered.
                             
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