How safe and reliable is it really to order an entire car online (off Alibaba) and have it shipped from China?
Buying any car off the web, site unseen is not a wise decision in most instances (if ever), and buying one from a listing on a site like Alibaba and have it shipped to your house all the way from China sounds like an even worse idea. But that’s what The Inja did - he found a listing for a decent all-electric sports car for which he paid no less than $31,000 to have it delivered to his house.
Much to his surprise, when he took the vehicle that he had received out of its box, he discovered a radically different vehicle to the one he had ordered. The vehicle in the listing was essentially a Qiantu K50, a real electric sports car that is designed in China but is set to be assembled in the United States; once it goes on sale, it is expected to cost around $125,000.
So the fact that he found that very car for sale on Alibaba, with its logos and model name removed in PhotoShop should have been a red flag for him. The Alibaba seller was actually calling the car something else and the photos in the listing were all the official photos put out by Qiantu, but without the logos.
The vehicle he actually received was a tiny golf cart-like electric vehicle, not too dissimilar to the one purchased by Jalopnik’s Jason Torchinsky (who also got his vehicle from Alibaba, although he got exactly what he ordered and for way less money).
In the end, the shady seller offered a partial refund, but only after making threats and asking the YouTuber to take down two of the videos that he had posted. The moral behind this story (which is detailed in the videos we posted here), is that you should be wary of buying an entire car from another country (especially China) and always keep an eye out for red flags in your interaction with the seller.