Newbie from Tennessee

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Tired_eyes
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Newbie from Tennessee

Hey guys, I just found your forum and I think it’s a great place so far. I have a couple of questions about Banggood and Aliexpress, do you guys use your credit card or a store bought cash card when purchasing? Have you been scammed by either company?

Thanks in advance,
Dave……

RobertB
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Personally, I would never use my credit or a debit card on those sites. Banggood uses paypal, and so do many vendors on Ali. It’s not that they will rip you off, I just don’t trust they won’t get hacked. They never see your card info with paypal. Gearbest had their customer database open to the public for a long time. When it was exposed, Gearbest claimed they fixed it, but they actually didn’t. That was a few years ago.

Correllux
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 Absolutely use Paypal if you can and if it's an option with whatever Aliexpress seller you're buying from.  Buying direct from China is usually just fine although you need to be cautious to be sure you're ordering what you want and that the sellers seem to have good history/practices.  Since returning almost any item to China is cost prohibitive and some will attempt to make you do that for things that are not your fault, using Paypal gives you some protections and avenues for resolution that you may not get otherwise.  It's cheap insurance, and as noted above, your payment info remains protected mostly. 

Aliexpress is gigantic and for the most part they (the platform) have some good policies and practices in place.  For the most part you're actually dealing with individual sellers, though.  Some of those sellers are real companies and legit retailers...a great many are just normal individuals who scurry out to get what you've ordered after you buy, or only have a few things crammed into a storage unit, etc.  Yes, there are some unscrupulous sellers and scammers exist, but the latter usually get purged form the platform quickly once they are discovered.  Aliexpress has worked really hard to correct some early mistakes and bad reputation so while it's still kind of the wild wild west, it's a much better buying experience now most of the time.  It all depends on the seller, though.  If things go south, you'll usually end up ok one way or the other (the seller first, Aliexpress second, or Paypal's intervention if necessary). 

Banggood...well.  They're shady.  But they're friendly.  They have some great stuff and some crappy stuff.  Like a giant department store filled with descriptions that may or may not be accurate and pricing that seems based on games and clever profiteering.  Usually everything is fine and usually Banggood will try to make things right if there is an error or other problem, but you will be jumping through ridiculous hoops and may not walk away with all the money you parted with in the beginning.  Paypal is more of a value when buying from Banggood, imho.  I've had several issues with products/orders from Banggood and they've made it right in all but one case, but what a giant pain in the mule and waste of time in getting that all to play out as you'd expect when buying from most normal companies. 

Expect a lot of spam from both companies in your email.  Be cautious with reviews because for various reasons on both sites those are heavily weighted in favor of happy five-stars (and worse...on Banggood they aggressively curate them with a heavy delete finger or prohibiting you from leaving a review at all). 

Both are worth shopping and buying from, just need to learn the language and customs and keep your eyes peeled for whatever.  Both are well established enough that you should have an ok experience and not worry much about your credit card data, but Paypal really is the smartest approach.  On Ali, you can search here or ask a new question about a particular seller to see if anyone knows if they're a good one or not, or if maybe there's a better one to choose from (most things on Ali have fifty or a thousand different sellers/stores selling the same products). 

Tired_eyes
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Thank you for steering me in the right direction. I’ve been reluctant to join paypal but I’ll have to now! It gets really dark here in the woods and I wanted to purchase a couple of great flashlights to help me out. I have bears around here and don’t need to run into anything that can eat me. LOL.

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Yeah, I tend to not mess with things that can eat me. Big Smile

I have never been taken by Banggood, Gearbest, Fasttech, or any seller on Ali. I’ve had some problems but, everything got solved with a few emails and a little patience. It never got to me having to file a claim with PayPal or anything like that. I tend to stick with products that are in stock and don’t have more than a 24 hour “ships by” time. Fasttech, I always email them and make sure the product I want is in stock first. They have a bad habit of leaving out of stock and discontinued items on their page showing that they are in stock. Just be careful and put new batteries in your BS meter. If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.

Welcome to BLF. A ton of information and good people. Use the search bar in the upper left of the page. Put in anything flashlight related and you are likely to find what you are looking for. It’s saved me a lot of time for sure.

73
Todd

"Everywhere I go, there I am"

Tired_eyes
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Thanks Toddcshoe, I’ll do that. I have been looking at a Imalent MS06 but I know there are a few others that will give that one a run for it’s money? Any advice on that one or a better candidate?
Dave…

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Best advice that most won’t listen to, but will eventually come around to. Forget about maximum lumens unless its truly just a toy. Also, realize that we don’t perceive brightness linearly. Take the square root of any two lumen ratings and if those values aren’t larger than 15-20% different, consider them functionally equivalent. Also, high CRI (color rendering index) is nearly mandatory in anything floody.. only pure bred throwers should have low cri cold white emitters. I would recommend an Noctigon/Emisar D18 with 219B sw45k emitters and standard optics. Thank me later Wink Beer

raccoon city
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Have a nice time here, Tired_eyes!

I use PayPal funded by a credit card to buy stuff online, when possible.  :THUMBS-UP:

102_milla

Tired_eyes
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JaredM, where did you order that light with the special emitters? And how do I order it exactly like that? And what do you recommend for a pocket light?

Thanks,
Dave…..

NeutralFan
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Welcome to BLF Tired_eyes!

Here’s where you can get the Emisar D18: Intl-Outdoor. Hank, the owner, has been making great flashlights for a long time. Any of his flashlights would be good.

You may also want to consider the Convoy flashlight Store. Simon, the owner, also has a bunch of great flashlights.

I’d rather use my flashlight around the house than turn on the lights.

dthrckt
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Intl outdoor and hank are great.

You can spend less and still get good cri and/or color temp though.

You can spend more, too. Not sure you get much more, but people do.

Tired_eyes
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JaredM, just ordered the light you talked about. Plus their charger. Now what batteries will I need for that beast? And thank you for the tips!

Dave..

Tired_eyes
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And thank you NeutralFan for the link. That’s where I ordered.

Dave………

CNCman
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Welcome to BLF Tired_eyes, just set up a PayPal account with a credit card and you are safe. Wink

Tired_eyes
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I did, thank you CNCman

Dave…..

Tired_eyes
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CNCman, how in the world do you water cool a flashlight? I heard of water cooled cpu’s and gpu’s but a flashlight? Your pretty resourceful?

Dave…..

TheIntruder
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Keep in mind, Aliexpress is a marketplace, like eBay. There are good sellers and bad sellers. The official stores operated by the recognized brands often discussed here are reputable and generally safe. But also note that there is no verification system, or check mark that denotes that a store is actually the official, or authorized store.

Some sellers will try to make themselves appear to be the official store, with or without the use of the word in the store name. Complicating things is that some Chinese brands seemingly operate more than one official store, but that’s not really an issue with the flashlight brands, more the electronics brands. To have some assurance that you’re in the right place, follow the links from the brand representatives here, or from their website.

You’ll also find that “Moar is bettuh” is a popular sales tactic, even more so on AX. Multiple listings for the same item is customary, and they’ll differ slightly in price, or product options, or shipping options.

One thing every visitor to AX sees is some sort of popup for a new user coupon, whether they’re a new user or not. There will also be copious amounts of other things trying to entice you to other types of coupon savings. Don’t predicate your shopping based on coupons, which are sort of like a game of chance. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t, governed by some set of rules I’ve never bothered to decipher. I’m sure some have figured out the system, and actually derive some real savings from them, but for a casual shopper, it’s probably not worth the effort to chase them. If it looks good, clip it, and see if it works. If it doesn’t, don’t worry about it.

“Wild west” isn’t a bad way to describe AX. Lots of traps, but stick to known trails, keep your wits about you, and there will be less risk.

Banggood isn’t a marketplace, but a store. If everything goes smoothly, it’s a nice experience, because their express shipping can be pretty quick as far as overseas shipping goes. I’ve had limited experience with them, but is has been good. Others have not.

But their house brand, Astrolux, produces some interesting flashlights, and they are the official source for them, so they may be unavoidable, at least if you don’t want to pay a premium from a third party seller on another site. As with the coupon deal, they have their own sort of loyalty discount scheme I’ve never bothered with.

Tired_eyes
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Guys, maybe I don’t know what I’m doing but Sofirn sent me the codes for a discount on Amazon’s website for a few flashlights and for some reason I cannot enter or find where to enter the discount codes on Amazon’s website? Am I stupid or am I using the wrong Amazon site to order these flashlights and enter the codes for a discount? Also I cannot find a link to start a new thread, all I see is to start a private message over on the left column?

Thanks in advance,
Dave….

CNCman
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Tired_eyes wrote:
CNCman, how in the world do you water cool a flashlight? I heard of water cooled cpu’s and gpu’s but a flashlight? Your pretty resourceful?

Dave…..


.
Nobody had taken a flashlight and water cooled it. There were water cooled lights but none were flashlights. So I thought it would be a challenge to try. It took some time drawing things on cad, changing direction and modifying while building it.
.
There are still problems too with water loss over time. Guess it is evaporating thru the silicon tubing or the water pump.
I just drain it until it’s time to use it again.
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The copper cooler is the heart of the light.

.

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Used an aquarium submersible water pump and aluminum tubing for a radiator.

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At one time during development, it was just plain ugly.

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But pretty bright, even during the daytime.

.

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In the end, its fun doing the unusual stuff, not to show off, but to pass on ideas or examples of what can be done by applying “ Thinking outside the Box “. Wink
.
Tired_eyes
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I appreciate that you are trying things outside the norm, great idea! Now maybe a liquid nitrogen one? So you don’t need a radiator or pump or tubing? Maybe a short tube the size of a battery put in the instead of one battery to really cool things down? Or a couple of them in the battery space with a belt worn battery pack with a cable hook up to the flashlight body to power it? I guess the skies the limit!

Thanks for listening, Dave……

azj
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Tired_eyes wrote:
Guys, maybe I don’t know what I’m doing but Sofirn sent me the codes for a discount on Amazon’s website for a few flashlights and for some reason I cannot enter or find where to enter the discount codes on Amazon’s website?
Welcome to BLF! Sofirn has some good stuff Smile
Discount codes are entered at checkout, before you pay. Make sure you do not click “buy it now” but go to your checkout/cart payment screen once you have placed the items in your amazon cart and have logged in to your account, but havent yet paid. At that point there should be a box on the screen to enter discount code(s)
Tired_eyes
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Thank you azj for enlightening me. I have never noticed the box for discounts but I’m going to try it now!

May your flashlights be bright,
Dave……

Tired_eyes
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Sorry azj but it didn’t work. I couldn’t find a box or an option to put the discount code in. I took a screen shot but I don’t know how to add the screen shot to my post.

Dave….

Tired_eyes
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Okay I read the super fine print at the bottom of the upper paragraph under the loaded cart and here is the phrase: “Do you have a gift card or promotional code? We’ll ask you to enter your claim code when it’s time to pay.” I didn’t realize I had to click the gift card check box to enter. I was looking just for the promotional box. My bad……..

Dave………

Tired_eyes
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Thank you azj, that worked! It’s on the check out screen. Now for my other problem, I was so pissed off I threw out the other numbers that sofirn sent me for two other lights. Is there anyway to retrieve those on this website? They sent them to me on this site?

Thanks,
Dave…..

Tired_eyes
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Okay, I figured out how to retrieve my codes. Boy, I’m a mess.

Dave……

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Hi! You will quickly find out there’s a light for everything. Check out 1Lumen.com for guides and reviews for choosing the right ones. You will also find out you can never have just one Big Smile

Tired_eyes
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Sirstinky, well I have bought 6 in less than a week, so I think your right about never having just one! Now I need to find the perfect keychain light for both me and my wife. I’ve been looking at the Rovyvon Aurora line and I’m kinda leaning towards either the 8 or 9 series. Any thoughts on any keychain lights?

Tired_eyes
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I forgot, I also like the Astrolux K2.

Tired_eyes
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And the Xtar T1

JaredM
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Tired_eyes wrote:
JaredM, just ordered the light you talked about. Plus their charger. Now what batteries will I need for that beast? And thank you for the tips!

Dave..

The D18 requires cells with protruding (+) contacts on the cells.

I’d recommend Sanyo UR18650NSX, but they are sold out everywhere I looked domestically. They are a great high power cell with a slightly raised (+) pole so they work in lights that require “button tops”. The benefit here is that there is no added resistance or cost associated with ‘button tops’, however minimal. I would stay in the 2.5Ah class of cells, personally, but many run 30Qs and they would do you just fine as well. The Samsung 30Q is the all-around champ, so you can’t go wrong with them.

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