Gearbest has been with us for several years (since 2014) and I had a nice cooperation with them since the beginning.
I have gained personal friends with some of their past (and present) reps (but are now employed not with them) up to this moment.
As the oldtimers here know, we have done many, many group buys (MAP products were very active then) and eventually I did many, many giveaways for them, at their request.
However, as they say, good times don’t last and perhaps this is one of them.
Their BLF account here has not been updated for 1 month, 1 week as of this writing. The last representative I dealt with regarding the last two gaws ( the 11.11 and this 6th GB anniversary) has quitely disappeared and I receive no replies anymore through our private channels.
I don’t want to speculate the reason for it.
As for the two winners of this gaw, I have been in touch with them and I’m sorry if I it looks that I let them down.
I think it would be interesting to hear more voices from abroad (Asia) to get a view on what is happening there. How has life changed after the pandemic? Have staff found any support from these large companies when going back to work? Were staff laid off?
China was one of the first nations affected by the pandemic and - politics and opinions put aside for a moment - these customer support staff, forum members and social media accounts are all human beings. We international folks don’t know who of these people still have a job, a home or even survived.
Maybe we should reach out to other contacts to figure out what happened, where we stand and how everyone can help rebuild trust in each other and continue trading in the future.
Well, long before the pandemic starting this year, l know for a fact that GB, and subsequently BG for that matter, did not renew their commercial sellers forum space in CPF due to substantial decrease in sales, thereby making continuance a losing proposition.
…and to GB, l surmise the same thing is happening here in BLF too, topped off by the Covid19 wash-out to almost everyone.
And of course, the market dynamics for these online vendors that we know of and are familiar with has changed…for example a lot of flashlight companies has now gone directly to Amazon, Ebay and other online shops themselves…like Sofirn and some others.
Yes, very good points. I don’t know the answer either, but as you mention, it’s very likely that there are aftereffects of the pandemic there. It’s just not possible to pause and then reopen such a major manufacturing and service sector as China without some consequences. Sometimes the consequences are delayed as debts accumulate, etc., and it takes a while for more prosperous enterprises to feel the pain. And often the reality on the streets and in people’s personal and secular lives is different from the overall picture of “reopening” that comes out in the news.
And as 2A mentions, our hobby depends to a large degree on these vendors, so let’s try to not burn bridges and let’s hope for the best. If anybody still has personal contacts in China it would be interesting to get more information. Usually most of the contacts I’ve had with vendors in China offer their Skype and/or WeChat contact details, maybe someone who uses those platforms could try to reach out.
Yep, the difference really comes down to the more hands-off moderation style that I prefer for BLF.
And what you mention about “free publicity” is also true, but here’s the thing: A certain amount of free publicity is allowed here on BLF. That was one of the reasons why I started BLF, because on other forums it was so hard for legitimate Chinese vendors to connect with customers due to the prohibitions on links and the pay-to-play mentality at the time. But of course I obviously want vendors to do so with their threads where they post offers and new products, not via fake giveaways. So while I definitely do not approve of or encourage unscrupulous behavior, and the basic BLF rules and principles do allow me to take action against lying or unscrupulous vendors, it’s not a hard and fast process. I just try to view it on a case by case basis and do what’s right and necessary, especially when multiple users notify me of a problem.
Yeah, the “certain amount of free publicity, vendors can post threads to post offers and new products” is the pillar of BLF’s strength as a forum… ever wonder why we are having “so much light for so little money” like the BLF projects, among others.
I stopped using gearWORST well before this - I would literally rather go without than give them 1p. About as trustworthy as dog and your unattended roast beef sandwich.
On a side note the Luminbottom / Nealsrabbits GAW is still incomplete too.
Maybe GAWs are simply not feasible during a global pandemic. Intl business is bad as it is; organizing and running a GAW and then shipping free stuff… maybe sales are down that much even a GAW won’t help with it.
Though from an earlier GAW (11/11) I’ve experienced the same treatment.
It appears that in the wake of COVID GB is no longer the smooth sailing ship it once was.
Mistakes were made, and things were said. And I doubt if it gets any better.
Think of it as two ships passing in the night. GB is going another way. And we stay on track.
By looking at the models, and the actual availability, I think GB is stepping away from flashlights.
Prices are certainly not competitive any more and the new brands they introduce aren’t budget either.
From now on I will also consider GB only as a seller of last resort.
I think cargo capacity is limited due to lack of flights (actual cargo aircraft are now required). They need to see where the profit comes from as they have to pay for their overhead/liabilities. There were a few sales on AE/GB in the last months and I looked through them. Almost all items now require several dollar in shipping (excluding insurance and express), many budget items were dropped and even regular items are now more expensive.