If you are into cycling (which judging by the fact that you are here is reasonably likely) Facebook will most likely know about it and as such will push the occasional targeted ad.
One that pop’s up quite regularly for me is a site which sells cycling jerseys. Most of the time, these are being sold for an exceptionally reasonable price, usually £19.99, in a world where jerseys can easily cost twice that amount, you would think a Tightwad Cyclist would be all over this site and getting in as many orders as he could financially justify.
These sites are easy to spot as they talk about “our designs” and “our partner in China”, they will also tell you it will take up to four weeks for delivery as they get their partner to ship direct to you to save costs. Anyone who reads up on Amazon stores will have heard of the term “dropshipping” which is where people setup web shops, take orders and get a third party to do all the leg work, if well promoted (and Facebook seems to be the de-facto option) then it’s easy money.
Whenever these ads pop up I always have a look at the comments and it’s usually things like “these jerseys are great value, will be buying more soon” or “love the new designs”.
However, what the Tightwad Cyclist has been doing for the last four or five years is exactly what these sites do (without the reselling bit) and order the jerseys direct from the manufacturer for about £10 to be shipped straight to their customer. Effectively acting as a well paid middleman.
You may be thinking, “but surely these sites offer an added layer of consumer protection”, while technically they may be required to, all they are doing is taking your £19.99, ordering the jersey for £10 and pocketing the £9.99 (less card charges) for doing pretty much nothing.
If you have read this far, then it’s clear you want to know how you can pick up some decent looking jerseys for less than a tenner and I shall not disappoint.
The de-facto site to go to is called AliExpress, which is effectively a Chinese based Ebay. But rather than individuals selling their second hand tat, manufacturers sell their brand new tat (some of which is not tat at all).
You may ask, why you would want to order from China, surely it will take ages to arrive, the product will be rubbish etc. but it’s not usually the case.
As with Ebay, sellers are given ratings and also the products (there is a big community and it is hard not to find reviews and buyer pictures for most products, so you can do some due diligence before taking the plunge. There is also buyer protection, meaning that any funds for purchases are held in Escrow (by AliExpress) and don’t get received by the seller until you confirm receipt of goods or a time window elapses without any action being taken by either party (normally to protect the seller when the buyer forgets to confirm receipt).
The only downside is the wait, this can be from a couple of weeks to about a month. Although this would be the same whether you buy direct or through one of the dropshippers.
Keep checking back on the blog or follow on Twitter/like on Facebook as there will be regular reviews of items purchased, including:
- Bib Shorts
- Bottle cages