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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everybody,

I ordered a few slingshots at engtaobao and a few at Aliexpress in recent weeks:

The slingshots purchased at engtaobao:

Good factors:

- Came in perfect condition i.e. no metal or wood damage of any kind, along with useful accessories;

- Good value for money.

- Were made of the raw materials stated by the sellers i.e. 304 stainless steel or titanium alloy TC 21.

- Quick delivery time via EMS: it took 2 weeks to receive the slingshots ordered, door to door delivery.

- Purchases earn you points that will reduce the costs of any future orders.

- Buyer protection: the seller only gets paid by Taobao once you receive the shipment and are happy with it.

Not so good:

- The inner clamps of one of the slingshots received were full of residual machining grit and grease, which needed to be cleaned out in order for the compression screws to work properly. Not a problem, used gun cleaning spray; damaged elements are far worse in my opinion.

- Relatively Expensive shipping costs for packages above 500 grams (US$ 15-20 for the first 500 grams).

- You have to monitor progress: it is when the order arrives at the taobao warehouse in China that you pay the shipment costs - unlike Aliexpress, where you pay once, and just wait for the shipment to arrive.

- Expensive return shipping costs if you are not happy with the product received.

The slingshots purchased at Aliexpress:

Good factors:

- Were made of the raw materials stated by the sellers i.e. 304 stainless steel;

- Came at a very competitive price thanks to the absence of shipping costs (sent by the Chinese mail).

Not so good:

- Had one or more of the following finishing flaws such as visible gaps in the woodwork where the metal fork links up to the grip unit, tool marks on the metal, sharp edges, dented wood grips, or ugly paint residue marks (most likely polyurethane).

- One slingshot received did not correspond to the slingshot model advertised by the Chinese seller at Aliexpress.

- Waiting times of 3 to 4 weeks for the orders to arrive in your mailbox.

- Expensive return shipping costs f you are not happy with the product received.

What do I conclude from this experience?

My conclusion is that some slingshots sold at Aliexpress may be those that have been rejected for sale on the Chinese market. for quality reasons. As shipping costs to return any items ordered at Aliexpress can exceed the actual value of the items concerned, the only reasonable option for buyers is to "open a dispute" to try to reclaim some of the money paid to compensate for justifiable flaws observed upon receiving the Aliexpress shipment.

Ordering slingshots at Aliexpress deems to be a bit like what Forrest Gump so famously said in the movie:

"My mom always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get." I agree.

That said, one cannot generalize, because one slingshot I ordered (an "Alashan" made of 304 stainless steel, link below) is stunningly well made for its US$ 22 price tag: I was very pleased. This wrap & tuck flat band shooter is one I would recommend to anyone seeking a very basic design, which nevertheless comes with fiber optic sights. I'll be posting some photos here soon.

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/304-Stainless-Steel-Slingshot-Alashan-Champion-Slingshot-Dinghaijin-Titanium-Alloy-Sighting/32869548912.html?spm=2114.search0204.3.1.301e3d2e05uYLa&ws_ab_test=searchweb0_0,searchweb201602_1_10065_10068_10059_10884_5726811_10887_10696_100031_10084_10083_10103_10618_5726911_10307_10134,searchweb201603_60,ppcSwitch_5_ppcChannel&algo_expid=5898ade1-8d7f-41cc-9b3e-5fe1efb68989-0&algo_pvid=5898ade1-8d7f-41cc-9b3e-5fe1efb68989&transAbTest=ae803_2&priceBeautifyAB=0

Slingshots sold via engtaobao are pretty much the same goods as those sold via the Chinese taobao platform, and Chinese customers are no less demanding than the rest of us when it comes to quality standards.

Useful hint: If you find a slingshot you like at Taobao, simply copy & paste the relevant web link in the engtaobao search bar: all foreign orders appear to be handled by engtaobao. Scroll down the bottom of the engtaobao homepage to understand the order and shipment process.

Final thoughts:

All in all, I have a definite preference for slingshots from engtaobao in terms of quality standards and the accessories you receive, even if this implies shipping costs of around US$ 20 for the first 500 grams (shipping is paid separately).

Chances are that the price of a slingshot at engtaobao without heavy accessories such as steel ammo will work out quite competitively with regard to a slingshot ordered at Aliexpress: it is worth comparing, bearing in mind the pros and cons.

Nothing is more frustrating that receiving something with flaws, and knowing that it makes no sense from a shipping cost point of view to send it back: sellers at Aliexpress most certainly know this, and some will try to get away with selling second rate products for that very reason.

What have been your slingshot buying experiences involving Aliexpress?
 

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The one (or two things) I was a bit 'iffy' about engtaobao was that you had to preload sufficient (a little more than required) money into your account (fine if you do repeat orders - but not ideal for one-off's). Then how the ordering process works how you only find about the extra charges almost at the last stage of check out. Vs say Aliexpress or Ebay where all costs are provided upfront and use a direct card payment.
 

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With Aliexpress, I have had great and not so great purchases. I have also bought repeat items, maybe just a different colour from the same seller and you know what, one can be perfect and the other may not. So, I really don't think it is a "reject shop" for items. It is more likely that Items are just that way because they are simply not manufactured to high tolerances. So, it is not unusual to find quality, fit and finish variations. It depends on luck somewhat.

For me, I evaluate an item for its value and that helps me maintain realistic expectations. As most of the items on Aliexpress are cheap as chips, I don't think it would be fair to expect the sun and moon. Besides, I have often had to fix issues with items bought from the US (for example, having to sand-off flashing on band grooves) and I have also had issues with items bought from the UK like left over sharp bits of coating on a casting. So, I really don't think it is fair to ask for anything more from something I have paid significantly less for?

With that said, I have often been surprised, astounded even, by the quality I got for the price especially with the stainless steel items purchased on Aliexpress. Specifically a stainless steel Feihu was so well finished I think it is under-priced.

What I don't like about Aliexpress is the long wait. Quickest for me has been about two weeks. I tend to just buy, then forget and enjoy the "surprise" when I actually receive something.

Cheap and cheerful and be surprisingly good and it does help to read the feedback if there is any to pick up hints of whether the item is worth the risk to buy.
 

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The Chinese just have a very different culture surrounding business than we do, and even then there is a lot of variability from seller to seller. I hate to say it, but I don't think your small sample size is sufficient to differentiate between the two platforms.

I've ordered loads of stuff through Aliexpress, and what comes out can and will vary wildly. Ebay and Amazon are both more "premium" fronts for moving goods to the US (and presumably Europe) so a lot of what filters down to Aliexpress are inferior goods, goods sold with inferior services, and so on because the only reason to buy from Aliexpress is when you're seeking absolute minimum price or something too weird/low volume to get elsewhere. The net result of this is I never buy slingshots on aliexpress, because the difference in price isn't worth it. A premium American slingshot is ~30$ while an aliexpress one is as low as 3$ so while the relative price difference is large (one order of magnitude) the absolute price difference is small (less than taking your family out to dinner). What I do order a LOT of from Aliexpress is equipment, particularly obscure bits of electronics, as they're all manufactured in China anyway. Some sellers you work with will be SUPER professional, take care of everything, really care, and you'll have a great experience. Others are a real pain. I just recently got about 1000$ back from one who had an order up for "free shipping" then wanted to charge me 30% of the total value of the order in shipping. Alright, fine, no problem just refund the payment right? Wrong. Refused to refund the payment, denied the order cancellation, and ultimately ran out the clock until aliexpress automatically closed the order. Like I said, you'll really meet and deal with all kinds.
 

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Regarding Pebble Shooter statement :

How do you know this to be true ?

" Were made of the raw materials stated by the sellers i.e. 304 stainless steel or titanium alloy TC 21 "
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The first metal slingshots I ordered were "Toucans" from Dankung (a reliable seller), so I had a general idea what the appearance of 304 stainless steel should be. After sandpapering some rough edges, namely the inner clamp area of the slingshots I received via engtaobao and Aliexpress, the smell was clearly that of steel. I have made a fair number of cold bent stainless steel slingshots to know this.

Titanium is a bit harder to judge, but I have handled Swiss watches made of the stuff, and know what it feels and looks like.

Having opened up airsoft revolvers made of Zamak (zinc alloy) to fix them, I can see whether I am dealing with pot metal or not - albeit that I am certainly not an expert. The slingshots I purchased are most certainly made of what the sellers stated they are made of: this is what I wanted to ascertain by not buying everything at either Dankung or GZK, who sell excellent products, albeit at somewhat higher prices for the implicit guarantees they provide.

That said, only a comprehensive test of the metals involved would be conclusive if I has serious doubts.
 

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I had a bad experience with (Eng)Taobao myself : 2 over 4 of the slingshots i have ordered had defective wooden handles (cracked wood) . I was really pissed off,and couldn't have any real resolution with the engtaobao agent,except sending the goods back to have a refund or new ones, but considering postage price from France to China it wasn't worth it.

Never had such problems at Ali express ,or when a problem occurs i just send a couple of pics and i always got a fair resolution.

My theory is that they sent the agent defective/2nd choice items because they KNOW that it's very hard for us to complain once the deal is done.

Fact is : there is much more choice on Toabao ,loads of great looking stuff noone had imported in Europe so far.

But....maybe there is another easier way to get those items : this shop offers the same service with a lower price,so i will test it someday ...https://slingshooting.com/product/slingshot-customization-or-procurement-service-for-any-slingshot-you-want/

I'll let you know guys if it is fine and if i got lucky this time !!
 

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Out of 29 AliEx slingshot related purchases, only one was a negative experience ... a store named Sexy Bus. I appreciate the opportunity to spread the web word as to what RIPOFF JERKS they are. One other (YX Extraordinary Store) sent a somewhat cobby Antelope but it's not so horrible I have to return it or throw it away. So, 27 out of 29 orders were very satisfactory, 5 stars actually. Not bad.

After years of shopping at Dankung, I'm pretty much done with them. They pulled a bait & switch that never was resolved fairly ... much of their inventory is stale, boring or out of stock and most of their prices are up to 50% higher than the exact same model on AliEx. Also, DK orders arrive looking like a biological hazard - wrapped in trash bag plastic and swathed in yellow shipping tape.

So Engtaopbao charges $15-20 shipping for the first 500 grams to the US? That's a deal breaker for me ... similar to GZK's elitist pricing and shipping. One gripe I have with AliEx lately - they grab the money within 10 minutes of ordering but then don't hear anything until it arrives. They use to acknowledge payment and provide shipping notifications, but now it's crickets 'til it arrives.
 
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Regarding Pebble Shooter statement :

How do you know this to be true ?

" Were made of the raw materials stated by the sellers i.e. 304 stainless steel or titanium alloy TC 21 "
I take my stainless steel slingshots to a gold buyer and have them tested for alloy. Never a problem yet and I had over a dozen Chinese frames tested. One was said to have titanium but had none (as expected) but it tested as 304 stainless.
 

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I bought 7 from Dankung, and 1 from Aliexpress, Dankung has many uniques slings, black pocket, toucan, panther, cougar, dancing model(the best tube slingshot in my view). what's more, Dankung' s pouch is 6cm length, while all Aliexpress pouches are 4.5 cm or 5cm which is a typically Chinese pouch, not fit me....... so on and so forth....

Aliexpress, and engtaobao are all merely re-sellers of Chinese slingshot, Dankung is a creator and designer of slingshot....that 's my opinion.
 

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I bought 7 from Dankung, and 1 from Aliexpress, Dankung has many uniques slings, black pocket, toucan, panther, cougar, dancing model(the best tube slingshot in my view). what's more, Dankung' s pouch is 6cm length, while all Aliexpress pouches are 4.5 cm or 5cm which is a typically Chinese pouch, not fit me....... so on and so forth....

Aliexpress, and engtaobao are all merely re-sellers of Chinese slingshot, Dankung is a creator and designer of slingshot....that 's my opinion.
Can't agree with that . Dankung and GZK are indeed passionate shooters and major actors of the china slinghot buisness towards westeners, but they only create a few items and everything else is REBRANDING.
Chinese slinshot market is like "LEGO" : these sellers combine handles,fork heads and sights,put their brand on it and make it their own.Some are better at this game than others (GZK,Dankung) but if you dig TAOBAO well,you will notice it. These guys are shooters and good businessmen,they will select the ones made with the best materials or the most suited for the western market.

Video proof :


You can see the "brand new G10 patch" for the mini hammer from GZK,as well as many other familiar items.

They select,assemble,have a good knowledge of the market and of the materials but in NO way they are 100 % the creators of what they sell.

That is why i am always laughing when i read "beware of bad dankung clones blah blah blah" : indeed the Dankung models are selected with the best materials available,and he DID indeed created a few models,but for most he is only a reseller. Same for GZK. His black mini hammer handle for example,is present on other non-GZK slinghots....i even did myself a crossover with it with third party parts !!
 

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I'd rather pay the shipping from GZK and know it's coming DSL with tracking in a few days. Than it shows up a month later wrapped in paper bags and two rolls of shipping tape. From some other Chinese vendors.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
 

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If you check carefully, you will find many unique items at Dankung, black pocket, toucan, panther, cougar, dancing model, paintball pouch, big pouch, black eagle,ghost, black bat.......While at Alixpress, there are tons of slingshots, but it seems each slingshot store has the same items..they .just replicate each other.

Dankung should also make its own slingshot band.

I heard Dankung is the the supplier of major slingshot brands in US ( simpleshot?) and UK (that not verified), anyway Dankung's band is much more coherent than those of sellers at Aliexpress.

I bought 7 from Dankung, and 1 from Aliexpress, Dankung has many uniques slings, black pocket, toucan, panther, cougar, dancing model(the best tube slingshot in my view). what's more, Dankung' s pouch is 6cm length, while all Aliexpress pouches are 4.5 cm or 5cm which is a typically Chinese pouch, not fit me....... so on and so forth....

Aliexpress, and engtaobao are all merely re-sellers of Chinese slingshot, Dankung is a creator and designer of slingshot....that 's my opinion.
Can't agree with that . Dankung and GZK are indeed passionate shooters and major actors of the china slinghot buisness towards westeners, but they only create a few items and everything else is REBRANDING.
Chinese slinshot market is like "LEGO" : these sellers combine handles,fork heads and sights,put their brand on it and make it their own.Some are better at this game than others (GZK,Dankung) but if you dig TAOBAO well,you will notice it. These guys are shooters and good businessmen,they will select the ones made with the best materials or the most suited for the western market.

Video proof :


You can see the "brand new G10 patch" for the mini hammer from GZK,as well as many other familiar items.

They select,assemble,have a good knowledge of the market and of the materials but in NO way they are 100 % the creators of what they sell.

That is why i am always laughing when i read "beware of bad dankung clones blah blah blah" : indeed the Dankung models are selected with the best materials available,and he DID indeed created a few models,but for most he is only a reseller. Same for GZK. His black mini hammer handle for example,is present on other non-GZK slinghots....i even did myself a crossover with it with third party parts !!
 

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This agile Toucan ?? https://www.dankung.com/Gcontent/best-hunting-slingshot
You can find it everywhere...

Same for that piece of crap https://www.dankung.com/Gcontent/angry-owl_1313?position=21&list=Rnme5KJgr3IbhtUMeWK0kDybaZ1CklUMIuCbKIMMs0o

etc etc i am not going to list everything, just spend some time on Toabao and you will understand my position

Other examples : https://www.dankung.com/product/agile-steel-hero-dankung-hunting-slingshot_2775?refSrc=1271&nosto=nosto-page-product1

Or even : https://www.dankung.com/product/2019-new-rosewood-handle-high-end-ttf-slingshot_2877?refSrc=1271&nosto=nosto-page-product3

Same items,same materials,cheaper on TOABAO with more options....you can litterally find it everywhere.

Dankung positionned himself as a leader because he was the 1 st to lurk onto the western world sales opportunities.....but apart from a few custom models,he is mainly a reseller or re-brander,like GZK.

Sorry to kill your illusions/fantasies....YES Dankung created a few models , but he is mostly a reseller of popular chinese slingshots or the most aimed at being used by westerners
 

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I spent a fair number of evenings last winter looking at what was on offer at Taobao, Engtaobao, Aliexpress in great detail - simply out of interest and to learn, but also to find the design that best suited my needs.

One key conclusion I reached, after getting pretty good insight into what appear to be the key designs in Chinese slingshot manufacturing, was that both Dankung and GZK expensively sell what all three aforementioned Internet platforms have on offer at reasonable prices.

The few gadgets Dankung & GZK include in the package may seem like a great deal, but most of these do not justify paying 50% to 100% more for a slingshot as compared to Aliexpress prices (and free shipping linked to international post office regulations that favor China). In contrast, Engtaobao does not offer free shipping.

Dankung appear to have a small selection of their own range of bent rod and stainless steel slingshots, but most of what they sell can be found much cheaper elsewhere if one takes the time. The "Toucan" is a prime example of a model commonly found at Aliexpress and Engtaobao at a significantly lower price, and made of exactly the same materials (304 stainless steel and hardwood grips). Dankung charges USD 34, PIAO YU USD 12.50 - compare here:

https://www.dankung.com/Gcontent/best-hunting-slingshot?ici=slide

and

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32855600783.html?spm=a2g0o.productlist.0.0.710a6a3ara2riF&s=p&algo_pvid=607ea26a-8cf6-495f-95b3-0310c25ded88&algo_expid=607ea26a-8cf6-495f-95b3-0310c25ded88-18&btsid=d0d4aa4b-e5b8-4558-95d0-24500f3439ec&ws_ab_test=searchweb0_0,searchweb201602_7,searchweb201603_52

There are numerous similar examples such as this one.

I have meanwhile purchased a number of frames from Aliexpress suited for flat bands at reasonable prices, and would now say that most of the slingshots received from reputable sellers such as "PIAO YU", but also "Mr. Yang outdoor supplies store" are indeed almost flawless products that arrived very well packed - even if I had to wait 3 weeks or so for them to arrive in Switzerland.

I also received a "lemon", (terrible workmanship, sights that did not fit) which was fully refunded by the seller ("YX Extraordinary store") via the "dispute" option at Aliexpress.

Dankung and GZK are reputable sellers, but their range of slingshots is somewhat overpriced in my opinion.
 

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Here's another recent experience of overcharging for the same item. Dankung sells this fat boy for $36 ... always wanted one but thought it was priced too high.

https://www.dankung.com/Gcontent/platinum-flat-rubber-band-slingshot_1695

A friend pointed out that Kind Girl Store on AliEx sells it for $20 - naturally I jumped on it and it's flawless.

Also, on July 6th, DK announced a promising new tape for attaching flats to peg heads ... but it's still not available on their site. Last week, I ordered 30m of it from AliEx with epacket for $4.22.

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/33013587292.html?spm=a2g0o.productlist.0.0.184f6a266t0KtV&algo_pvid=091fd55f-0604-43d4-a3ae-e194b079b03d&algo_expid=091fd55f-0604-43d4-a3ae-e194b079b03d-1&btsid=6c595611-f62b-4d12-b1d8-d078e424e056&ws_ab_test=searchweb0_0,searchweb201602_2,searchweb201603_52
 
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
There is a certain number of slingshot manufacturers and accessories in China, the products of which are sold on the major Chinese Internet platforms.

What Dankung and GZK sell are slingshots that are for the most part exactly the same models made of exactly the same materials sold by multiple sellers on these major platforms. I very much doubt that manufacturers would cater specially for small-sized businesses such as Dankung and GZK in terms of better stainless steel or titanium alloys. <_<

A modified grip design, or a different set of fiber optic sights are merely cosmetic differences: truly nothing to write home about, and certainly not a reason to pay a far higher price for the same product.

Both Dankung and GZK have the significant advantage that they've created a very good image abroad (particularly in the US) through reliable products and service; good marketing works wonders. Whether this alone justifies their much higher prices is another question everyone has to answer for themselves.
 

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Apart from his higher prices and somehow dodgy way of making business (i 'm having troubles with him each time,but maybe i'm just unlucky ??) ,i kinda like GZK.

He really tries to sell gear that will be appreciated by us Westerners (the mini hammer TTF range ,crazy power TTF etc) .

He assembles parts of the best qualty he can find, forks,handles,titanium alloys and creates (like a LEGO player) some of the best gear and most importantly adapted to our large sized hands.

He is also close to the UK slingshot scene and had a few collabs already,(matt redding,Jumbo willis) so i don't say he is only a reseller, He probably creates some parts himself.

SO yeah it is sometimes overpriced but at least there is some research,and some custom parts : he always provides premium service and great gear .

His packages are always full of spares and samples ,which is always a pleasure to try.

But i don't like the way these guys (Dankung,GZK) systematically put a brand on something they did not really created,but mostly cleverly assembled.
 
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