I find it more than slightly ironic that this guy is getting so much rage directed at him for trying to save a couple dollars by buying Japanese parts from a seller based in China (or in the case of the one I suggested, Hong Kong). You all do realize that most of the electronics goods we buy are made in China, right? Yes, low quality, low price knockoffs are big business in China, but not everything they make/sell is a low quality knock off- as I said, price is usually the indicator. Ever been to a flea market where there are Chinese sellers? Have you noticed that everything they have is a) dirt cheap, and b) at least slightly different in its markings (an example sitting on my desk right now: permanent markers called “Skarpie” rather than “Sharpie”; the “Skarpies” cost $1 for 10 markers, or something close to it)? They sell the knockoff stuff cheap because the price is what gets them customers, nobody is going to pay brand name prices for obvious knockoffs.
Specific examples in the case of arcade parts on ebay:
Sanwa JLF (with ball top) + Sanwa octogate + 8 OBSF-30 buttons + Chinese 5 pin harness: $53.99 + $5 shipping: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Sanwa-Joystick-JLF-TP-8YT-8-Buttons-OBSF-30-GT-Y-arcade-jamma-game-kit-/181099998821?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&var=&hash=item2a2a66ae65
The same order from Focus Attack is $58.20 before shipping, in my specific case the total would be $66.05. A difference of $7 is not too hard to believe, given the comparative costs of doing business in America versus those costs in Hong Kong.
Here we have a knockoff stick with 8 buttons, a USB pcb, and 5 pin harness for $28.99 + $3 shipping. $32 cheaper, red flag. http://www.ebay.com/itm/ARCADE-JOYSTICKS-BUTTONS-KIT-WITH-PCB-PS3-PC-WIRING-Crystal-PCB-/181203035343?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&var=&hash=item2a308ae4cf
…And the slightly more misleading stick + buttons + USB/PS3 pcb + 5 pin harness + Sanwa LB-35 ball top for $33.99 + $5 shipping: http://www.ebay.com/itm/1-New-Arcade-Joystick-8-Arcade-Buttons-USB-Encoder-MAME-Sanwa-LB-35-2-/171214412653?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item27dd2c9b6d
Now, in this case, someone not knowledgeable on the topic may see “Sanwa LB-35 ball top” and assume they’re getting Sanwa parts, when in reality the only Sanwa part is the ball top, i.e., shit that’s cheap and unimportant. This is another example of where the low price should raise a red flag, as this package compared to Focus Attack is $27 cheaper, despite including a PCB.
If you get burned (as in being sold knockoffs when you expected the real deal) by an ebay/Amazon seller, you’re probably not looking closely enough before buying. Know the details of what you’re shopping for. These people want to continue doing business on ebay/Amazon, and ripping people off with genuinely inaccurate information is a surefire way to jeopardize that.
All this said, there are definitely benefits of shopping domestically (service, returns, convenience, etc.), and I generally do (I bought parts from live valley while ordering a ZD ps2/ps3/usb encoder because of the shipping savings on the 16 buttons and a JLF needed for my cabinet), but let’s not freak out and burn anyone at the stake for buying foreign parts from a foreign seller, or assume that every mainland Asian person is trying to rip us all off.