We’ve all seen the adverts promising fantastically low prices on everything from mobile phones and kitchen gadgets to laser hair removal machines, but are these bargains too good to be true?
Why do people buy products from China?
With the familiarity of buying online, many of us would think nothing of buying tee shirts or handbags from the far east. The cheaper prices are very tempting and if you can wait for the long delivery time, are not so bothered about the quality, and are spending a small amount on a low safety risk item, then why not?
Why are they so cheap?
Because manufacturing regulations are very lax, businesses can get away with using inferior materials, keeping the overall price down, although at the cost of quality.
There is also an ethical element to consider. Although there are labor laws in China they are poorly regulated, and many workers are unaware of the details. Working conditions can include mandatory unpaid overtime, below legal minimum wages, lack of insurance, and unsafe, highly pressurised factories.
Many consumers in the west don’t factor in the environmental cost of buying cheaper products from China. Carbon dioxide emissions from Chinese factories are significantly greater than those from the west, potentially accelerating climate change. Experts attribute this to outdated manufacturing methods and a reliance on coal as an energy source.
Issues with product specifications and industry certifications
When you purchase a laser hair removal machine to use on your clients, you should receive exactly what you are expecting. However, many machines imported from China lack accurate product specifications.
This could result in receiving a machine that uses a different laser wavelength, pulse width or frequency, and may cause your client to experience pain or worse, and lead to legal recompense.
It has also been found that some unscrupulous manufacturers place false industry specification graphics on the packaging. For example, the Nu TriLaze Plus has both FDA and Medical CE approval, with the graphics to accompany these awards. Chinese manufacturers have been known to reproduce the symbols on their own machines to fool consumers into purchasing their products.
Issues with support and communication
Invariably, laser machines manufactured in China develop faults, and you’ll need to contact the supplier. Consumers have few rights when purchasing from the far east, and although companies may have their own protection policies, they are not legally binding.
In the rare event that you receive a response, the company often expects you to diagnose the issue, and request the correct part. This may, or may not arrive, and if it needs to be installed, the majority of professional engineers will not want to work on an inferior, possibly dangerous model.
In many cases, the machine will need to be returned to the manufacturer in China, with the shipping paid for by yourself. This could take many months before it’s resolved, and all that time your business is losing custom.
Potential issues with insurance
Purchasing laser hair removal machines from China may cause problems with insurance companies. This can include their refusal to cover a machine that they consider dangerous or that violates consumer safety. If, for example, your new machine is considered a fire risk, insurance companies won’t alway pay out in the event of a fire. This makes your bargain purchase far less of a good deal.
The best advice when buying from China is to
only spend what you can afford to lose!