I think it is safe to say that most of us when we purchase expensive electronics, we expect them to be high quality. From tablets and smartphones to components like capacitors, inductors, or LEDs, we should be able to buy with confidence. Yet lately, we have seen that this just is not the case.
Because of that, today I would like to offer a guide of sorts for figuring out what will be worth your time. After all, we see a ton of websites cropping up all the time advertising their “super cheap and useful electronics,” but the results simply show they…well, they suck. They break all of the time and sometimes, they don’t even do what they were advertised to.
How can we figure out which are legit, and which aren’t, though? Sometimes it can be a challenge. That being said, there are some red and green flags to watch out for that can be tell-tale signs. So, if you want to find out what some of those are, make sure to stick around!
Starting off strong, I’ll cover some of the red flags that should put you on “high alert” so to speak as you search for the electronics that you need. First thing’s first – if you see something from “Wish” or any similar sites, it’s probably a sign to steer clear. Why is that?
Well, a lot of these drop-box shipping companies just aren’t selling high-quality products. Wonder why they can offer an “Apple Watch” for five dollars.
It’s because it’s a cheap knockoff. If you didn’t know that this was happening, there are articles like this one, https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbestechcouncil/2020/03/17/the-counterfeit-problem-and-how-retailers-can-fight-back, that can offer you some of that backstory.
Obviously, no one wants to end up saddled with these junk products. If you see name-brand products offered at a cost so low it feels criminal, take a moment to think about why that is the case.
Are you the luckiest person ever to find this amazing deal, or is it just a scam? Realistically, it is almost always the latter.
That is probably the biggest red flag that I can point out, but there are a few others as well. When browsing sites like Amazon, for example, watch for listings that include a ton of buzzwords. Chances are, rather than relying on their quality, they’re just trying to play the algorithm. Some will be legit but check on the reviews to make sure.
The final red flag that I want to point out is a lack of reviews, or a prevalence of only positive ones (all negative is pretty obvious, I would hope).
The latter demonstrates that the company selling the product might be filtering out the negative experiences or that they are hiring people (or using bots) to flood the ratings with five out of five stars. It’s probably best to be suspicious, there.
So, we’ve covered those bad things to watch out for when you’re shopping for electronics – what about the green flags? Following up on one of my previous statements, I think that a healthy mix of reviews is usually a good sign. Typically, I look for a 4.7-4.8 range, since that means that customers are generally satisfied but there are some negative ones that the seller hasn’t filtered out.
That is hardly everything, though, and sometimes websites just don’t have those sorts of things displayed anyway. For example, when looking at chip electronics, you may not see any customer feedback directly. Instead, you can take a peek at some of the other parts of their websites!
After all, most “name brands” or companies considered amongst the tech giants have their own separate retail pages, meaning that they are already going to be more trustworthy than the sites drop-shipping tons of products in bulk from a variety of sellers. So, going to the direct site is probably a good sign in general.
Detailed product descriptions are another green flag. When you can find out anything that you want to know about a given electronic just by navigating the page, it’s probably a good sign that the retailer knows their stuff. The more information the better, really.
Finally, if they have available customer service agents ready to assist (usually via a chat bubble or window, although email pages also work just fine), they are probably trustworthy. Try talking with the agent to see what recommendations they have if you want to test for artificial intelligence, too.
What Types of Technology are we talking about?
What are chip electronics, then, if I’ve made such a big deal about them so far? You can read about it in this article first if you want, though it is simple enough to figure out. Basically, they are any pieces of tech that use a microchip.
Something to keep in mind is that a few terms are used for this same item: integrated circuit, silicone chip, and microchip. If you hear any of those, that’s what is being referred to!
The question, then, is what their purpose is. For the most part, they have to do with digital data and the logic functions that come with them.
Clearly, the further you delve into this, the more complicated it gets. However, most of the folks looking to buy them are probably already familiar with them to some extent – so, I’m sure you don’t need me to keep rambling on.
Instead, consider what you are looking for. Certain capacitors could suit your needs better than others! There are also all sorts of other items like ferrite beads and more. Don’t limit yourself, and make sure to watch out for these green and red flags that I’ve discussed with you today.
Since no one wants to end up with faulty or fake technology, it stands to reason that we should be cautious about where we are buying from. That’s why I stick to specific retailers most of the time!