It used to be that if sold something, it had the best price in the market. Those days are over. Amazon is great, but AliExpress is the new king of cheap stuff (electronics, at least). Here’s an example from tonight.

I wanted a spare HDMI cable. So I went to Amazon.

For a work project, I’ve been ordering components from AliExpress, recently. Calibrated to those prices, $7 for an HDMI cable just didn’t sound right.

Let’s see what Aliexpress has for HDMI cables.

So Amazon’s brand of HDMI cable is 700% more expensive than an HDMI cable on AliExpress. These Aliexpress cables also have free shipping. They’re going to take longer to ship, because they’re coming from China and have to clear customs. But if you don’t need fast shipping, and were just buying from Amazon assuming it will give you a good price, check AliExpress instead.

All the low-priced goods on Amazon are made in China anyway. You know how sometimes you see a couple products on Amazon from different brands but they look really similar? That is two companies buying the same thing from Alibaba, putting a different label on it, and re-selling it to you on Amazon at a markup.

To summarize: Amazon was cheap. Then it became everyone’s default vendor for everything. Then Amazon was able to charge a premium. Now, for some products, it’s a total ripoff (at least if you don’t need the shipping, customer support, etc…). Check out AliExpress, instead.

Short-term, I don’t get anything from you using AliExpress. But in the long run, if enough people shop-around rather than defaulting to Amazon, the market will exert downward pressure and Amazon will get cheaper. Then we can all go back to ordering from Amazon by default.