Shopee + P.R.China Seller = Disappointment

Only for bigger ticket items though, small cheap orders are fine, or close enough to fine they cannot be reasonably disputed.

At this point I have many dozens of orders total, and several big ticket items, so I have enough of a sample to say something substantive, I think.

Off the top of my head I am counting a total of four big ticket items ordered on Shopee and shipped from Shenzhen. Only one - a brand new but old model Sony mobile phone - was a perfect transaction. The other three, the vast majority, all failed badly. Very, very badly.

The first failure was a replacement motherboard for a Nexus 5x mobile phone. There was a significant and obvious problem right from the beginning (a broken NAND chip) which made unlocking the boot loader a temporary operation until the next reboot. The seller refused to refund or replace. I tried it. It overheated for a while, and finally it fried. I think it took a perfectly good battery along with it. I reordered another one on Lazada. Shopee, go get stuffed.

The second failure was a like-new older model Google Pixel. Right in the advertisement title it was promised as "unlocked". In fact, the boot loader was thoroughly and irretrievable locked. Seller refused to replace or refund. I disputed. UNBELIEVABLY, Shopee took the side of the seller. I now have an expensive brick that I have very little use for.

The third failure, which I am living right now, really blows my gaskets. The Sony phone I ordered earlier was so perfect, I ordered another one from exactly the same seller who sent me the last one. I literally clicked on the "Buy Again" button. (I actually have a use for all these devices.) Seller sent me a slightly different (Japanese) model with a different CPU that I cannot use. I actually had a pretty nice conversation with the seller, who agreed to a Return & Refund. They delegated the return operation to Shopee. Big mistake.

I went to not one but THREE shippers over the course of two afternoons to send the phone back, and all of them took one look at the Return information on my phone's screen and refused to do it. Every one offered a different reason, which I will not enumerate here. This morning I contacted Shopee not once but twice via live chat to try to get it straightened out, both tried to put me off, both finally just "hung up". ("Session terminated".) Such wonderful customer service Shopee has.

The last guy dropped a useful hint: apparently I am supposed to have in my possession a Shopee-provisioned return label. Which makes perfect sense. Which I do not have because no one sent one to me. Which I cannot obtain because Shopee customer service keeps hanging up on me because, I am guessing, it is just too much trouble to sort this out. I sent another note to the seller in P.R.China and she said, you guessed it, "sorry but we don't know anything about that Shopee junk".

Having lived for years in PRC and had an outstanding experience shopping on Taobao, in comparison I find Shopee to be a disappointment: more expensive and more headaches. One goes first to Shopee primarily for the cheap shipping and local sellers, but one finds so many PRC sellers, and for some items ONLY PRC sellers, that I found myself giving them a try. Bottom line: DO NOT buy anything expensive on Shopee that gets shipped from PRC. Just Don't Do It.

Currently unrated