It's Getting Hard to Tell The Difference between Old Fashioned Australian Retailers and Chinese Dropshipping Websites

They all have websites now, all websites now look the same as each other, usually the same wordpress visual builders. They all offer AfterPay and claim to be based in Sydney or whatever. Google Products ranks them just the same as Harvey Norman and Amazon. But when you order from them you're order goes from some crazy network and then you're waiting over a month for it to process and ship from China. Or weeks later they might cancel your order.

And don't even get me started on how long regular Australia Post takes across state lines for real Australian sellers shipping straight from their stores. Australia Post sends it by Pony Express and an express package from China probably would have been faster anyway.

Which kind of leaves me only ordering from Amazon, unless I've had a previous good experience from another store, or they are obviously shipping from Australian warehouses.


  • +5

    I think the secret is, they're all Chinese drop shippers, some just have bigger warehouses for internal stock :p.

    • I wish I could tell which ones had the good warehouses. If Apple can build to order and ship a MacBook in 24 hours, then I should be able to get my camera or whatever I'm ordering in a few days too. I just don't like the order being up in the air and then cancelled a month later. If you want something you want it now or soon, you don't want to have to order again in a month.

      I've seen on eBay some sellers say they ship from Australia and HK, and if their stock in Australia runs out it will come from HK. That doesn't give you many clues to when it'll actually arrive.

    • old fashioned Australian retailers

      I mean, there's always Harvey Norman ;) lol

  • Haven't seem these before, any examples?

    • Actually now that I check the two biggest offenders I was thinking off don't have websites, and But they both still rank high in Google Products.

      • +2 and

        Yeah, any OzBargainer should know that's HK stock

        It's actually pretty easy to spot the culprits if you look hard enough, particularly at stated warranty periods (in-house warranty for grey-imports vs manufacturer warranty for genuine Aus stock)

        • There were other examples but I can't find them just now. I'm trying to remember what I was searching for when they came up. Some were at least a bit more honest about things being on backorder or shipping from suppliers, but others don't give any stock at all and their info page says some items may ship from overseas suppliers. Which may be standard verbiage for special items, but it also reads as if they could dropship anything they want.

          • +1

            @AustriaBargain: But at the end of the day, is this you posting a PSA, or you chasing help on how to spot these sites, or what? Because most people half clued in to these sites would steer clear unless spending about $1. For expensive electronics, people should be doing research on who they're buying from.

            If it's just a general rant, well Google won't de-list them, and there's nothing wrong with what they're doing

      • They rank high because google can get affiliate referrals from the shopping tab in search results. Simple

        • Well it’s clogging up my Google Product searches. I wouldn’t even care about grey imports or anything else’s, Hong Kong has some great retailers. But it’s not a real online store if a lot of the time they can’t get what people order.

  • +1

    These days I just limit my regular online purchases to Amazon and Ebay, and ensure I pick the sellers that are reputable and have a known delivery date. The Australian based ones will have a shipping timeframe of days, the Chinese ones will be weeks or months - it's usually easy to tell. Also I feel these sites give me good protection - very easy to raise a case or dispute if something goes wrong.

    On the odd occasion I will spot deals on Ozbargain and I'll evaluate whether I will bother purchasing directly from the seller's site. Big retailers (e.g. JB, harvey, myer etc.) I have no problems with; some smaller sellers I usually wait a bit and observe the comments - other members usually chip in on their experience with these sellers.

  • +1

    There are few interstate commercial flights for Australia Post to load freight onto during this pandemic. Same scenario with a lack of international flights coming in. Support local businesses or have patience waiting for your deliveries.

  • Theyre easy to spot, all their websites or online stores just feel 'cheap'

    Stock images, dated designs and every shred of the human touch removed

    • The two examples given by OP ( and are even easier to spot.

      Clicking on the "Contact Us" link on these two websites will show a Hong Kong physical address.

Login or Join to leave a comment