Hi from Shenzhen, China

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fogofwar
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Hi from Shenzhen, China

Hi everyone, I haven’t made a forum account in years but I suppose now is the time. No one else around me appreciates this hobby so here I am.

I’m a Chinese American living in Shenzhen and I’m somewhat obsessed with getting a good deal. It’s probably because I grew up poor despite being decently well off now. I’m an avid Taobao shopper and I’ve investigated many of the popular brands that sell in China. From my observation, there is still a lack of information on this site about some of the Chinese brands that only sell in China (third party AliExpress sellers notwithstanding). Typically, Taobao chat is very close to the manufacturer and I can often directly speak with the owner of the enthusiast flashlight store. I hope to learn from y’all as well as to maybe provide some helpful information.

My collection has grown to 20 or so flashlights in the last 2 months:




I recently bought the Lumintop FW3A, Mateminco MT04, Emisar D4v2 but haven’t taken pictures of them yet.

Edited by: fogofwar on 09/23/2021 - 10:43
jeff51
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Welcome to the BLF.
Nice collection you have started.
All the Best,
Jeff

TermsakC
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Welcome to the BLF, fogofwar.

Since you are in Shenzhen, let me ask you: Do you expect any big sale of flashlights on 1 October —the Chinese National Day —or on 11/11 —the Super Single Sale?

Very nice sea view from your apartment.

pennzy
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Welcome. I like that last picture.

fogofwar
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The sales are usually not too extreme on 11/11 for smaller or specialty stores – typically 10% or so. The regular prices for Taobao stores are usually very competitive already and you can always ask them to give a discount if you make a large purchase.

tempo
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looks like you like budget lites!

you’re in the right place then.

I’m no fan of budget lights or modding but to each his own!

Firelight2
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Welcome to BLF!!! Cool

id30209
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Welcome!

You are in the eye of the storm...

WTB Titanium 4sevens 2xAA tube

Skylight
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Welcome, fogofwar. Smile Nice collection, I recognize the JKK90 with the SBT90 led.

I sometimes order from Taobao through a Taobao agent because they have certain flashlights and accessoires that you don’t find on Aliexpress.

how2
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Welcome, we need someone like you on our site. Great lights at cheap prices. Used to buy from Ali but for the 20% tax for U.K buyers.

How do you buy from Taobao ?

xevious
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Welcome aboard, BLF fogofwar!

You’re off to a great start. Nice choices in flashlights. Will be very interesting to hear your perspective of flashlight buying opportunities there. I imagine some models we see available here are export only, but then some only made domestically.

Don’t overlook the small EDC. There are some wonderful 14500, AA, and AAA lights to be had. Also, consider the BLF LT1, which is the best lantern on the market.

texas shooter
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Welcome aboard, your collection is a nice start. Give it few more years and you’ll have to buy some more tables. Since you have the Mateminco MT04, it’s time to get you on the 26800 bandwagon.

raccoon city
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It's a pleasure to have you onboard, fogofwar!

207_milla

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Came to this thread just to see which Milla we would get. Haven’t seen this one before Big Smile

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Welcome. I like the views in your pictures. Is that from where you live? (I will be jealous then).

fogofwar
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djozz wrote:
Welcome. I like the views in your pictures. Is that from where you live? (I will be jealous then).

Yes, I have an apartment facing the South China Sea about 80 km from downtown Shenzhen. I’m a huge fan by the way – I learned all my info about emitters from you and a few others on this site.

Renato Azevedo
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Welcome Fogofwar, if you love flashlights you’re in the right place, here in the BLF and in China, it will be awesome to have your point of view and to know about the brands sold in China.
Hope you enjoy the BLF

fogofwar
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The two budget brands that I highly recommend if you can buy directly from Taobao are Starfish (海星) and Jin Heng (劲衡).

I guess you can call Starfish a “Convoy clone” but they offer some interesting options such as C8s with 21700 tubes and XHP 50.2 in a S2+ sized body. The C8s start at 80 yuan for an Osram CSLNM1 emitter and the XHP 50.2 costs 70 yuan. The driver is only 5 amp regulated but it is the most sustainable small light I’ve seen given the efficiency of the XHP 50.2.

Jin Heng is ran by a guy nearing retirement – I’ve chatted with him several times and encouraged him to sell internationally. He says his children don’t want to take up the family business though and he doesn’t seem to want to learn how to sell on AliExpress. The JKK90 sold by his shop is probably the cheapest Luminus SBT 90.2 flashlight available – I got mine for 342 yuan with the standard free shipping in China. Although, Starfish has the S8 and S9 for almost the same price.

TermsakC
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Interesting insights, fogofwar

Do we have to join Tao Bao as a member before we can place orders? And will the sellers ship their flashlights overseas?

fogofwar
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xevious wrote:
Welcome aboard, BLF fogofwar!

You’re off to a great start. Nice choices in flashlights. Will be very interesting to hear your perspective of flashlight buying opportunities there. I imagine some models we see available here are export only, but then some only made domestically.

Don’t overlook the small EDC. There are some wonderful 14500, AA, and AAA lights to be had. Also, consider the BLF LT1, which is the best lantern on the market.

Thanks! I don’t really EDC – I usually only have a phone in my pocket and don’t even carry a wallet in China.

My original motivation to get into flashlights was to light up people who set off fireworks too late at night at the beach. I also like small pocket rockets that can light up the beach when walking the dog at night.

fogofwar
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TermsakC wrote:
Interesting insights, fogofwar

Do we have to join Tao Bao as a member before we can place orders? And will the sellers ship their flashlights overseas?

I don’t think Taobao will ship internationally. I hear some people forward their orders through SF Express or some other third party.

I do recommend people to download the Taobao android app. I think the webpage is not fully featured if you connect from outside China. However, the app has the same experience even from a non-Chinese IP.

raccoon city
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I have heard that Taobao will ship internationally.

The site, of course, is in Chinese, but if you use Chrome as your browser, you can easily translate a good portion of it.  :BEER:

fogofwar
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raccoon city wrote:

I have heard that Taobao will ship internationally.


The site, of course, is in Chinese, but if you use Chrome as your browser, you can easily translate a good portion of it.  alt=:" />

I suspect it is up to the individual sellers. Certain sellers will know better than others on how to ship internationally. There is also the barrier of payment since AliPay runs the show on Taobao.

Taobao is essentially just a platform that connects a bunch of sellers (oftentimes a manufacturer will have their own flagship store) with the rest of the population.

NeutralFan
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Welcome to BLF fogofwar!

Good reason to join regarding no one else around you appreciates flashlights like we do. Thumbs Up

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

UNBLF
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Hi!

This scenery is very, VERY Shenzhen. High-rises, waterways, mangroves, and an ancestral hall in the middle. Haha.

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welcome~ we have a taobao store too, wechat, Welcome to exchange in Shenzhen

MtnDon
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fogofwar wrote:

I suspect it is up to the individual sellers. Certain sellers will know better than others on how to ship internationally. There is also the barrier of payment since AliPay runs the show on Taobao.

Taobao is essentially just a platform that connects a bunch of sellers (oftentimes a manufacturer will have their own flagship store) with the rest of the population.

I bought a few lights on Takbao a few years ago. None of the sellers would ship to the US themselves. Right now I forget the name, but I used an intermediary. A company in China someplace that took delivery of the shipment from the Taobao seller and forwarded it to me in the US. The payment had to go through the intermediary as well. Of course there fees for both the money exchange and payment as well as handling and shipping. But in the end the total cost was acceptable and I got lights that were otherwise impossible to get.

If I recall the name I will post it.

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Welcome to join BLF, same new here fogofwar

Innovations change our lives. New things to me, not ads to me.

MtnDon
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PyriteParachute
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Hey fogofwar, I saw your introduction on Reddit the other day. I didn’t recognize most of your lights, cool to see an unrepresented side of the hobby.

Are there any Chinese forums or review sites that you recommend? Even with Google translate, I haven’t been able to find a runtime graph for the jkk90, for example.

MtnDon
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Yep cssbuy.com They still have my account records. I have ¥20.27 credit with them; about 3 USDollars. Wonder what I can buy? Wink

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