TVC-Mall was founded in 2004 as a branch of the Chinese web-giant Alibaba Group. Based in Guangdong, China, TVC-Mall is a part of the largest company in China. Despite the reach of its parent company, TVC-Mall still lags behind other much smaller Chinese webshops with an Alexa Ranking of 33,683 placing it among the top 35,000 most-visited websites in the world. A respectable score, but relatively low considering other sites owned by Alibaba regularly break the top 15k. Unlike its corporate big brother Aliexpress, TVC-Mall is not a vendor platform. Instead, TVC stocks, markets, and ships all its inventory privately from centrally-controlled warehouses, giving you the benefit of knowing who you're buying from at all times.
Although the comparatively-high shipping costs on some items discouraged us from placing too many test orders, we still managed to put together an in-depth experience report on TVC-Mall as only PandaCheck can. Check out the points below for an at-a-glance look of our experience, or read on for an in-depth review of TVC-Mall.
TVC-Mall gives you the option to checkout without a TVC Account using PayPal. We always recommend using PayPal for all online orders because it's quick, easy, and offers an unbeatable Buyer Protection Program which allows you to open a case within 180 days to get your money back.
If you don't use PayPal or you prefer to checkout the old fashioned way, you'll need to make a TVC Account before going any further. Once you've created your account (it only took us roughly 30 seconds), you have quite a few choices to pay: Credit Cards (Visa, MasterCard), AstroPay, Web Money, POLi Payments, HSBC, MoneyGram, and Western Union.
|PayPal||Our recommendation for all online orders. PayPal is perhaps the quickest, easiest, and safest way to make payments online. Their internal Buyer Protection Program is without equal.|
|Credit Card|| |
|All credit card payments on TVC-Mall are processed through AliPay, Alibaba's own PayPal competitor. This shouldn't mean much to you here other than that "Alipay" may show up on your next bill instead of "TVC Mall."|
|Western Union||Western Union is the original long-distance payment method. It's all done offline and usually leads to extra fees. We recommend avoiding it unless you absolutely need to use it.|
|MoneyGram||Similar to Western Union, this method allows you to pay online or offline. Watch out for extra bank fees.|
|HSBC||Should you have an account in HSBC, TVC-Mall will let you make a direct bank transfer from your account with no extra fees. Convenient.|
|Webmoney||Web Money is Russia's answer to PayPal and is still mostly popular within Russia and ex-Soviet Bloc countries. If you use it, you can pay with it here.|
|AstroPay||AstroPay is Brazil's hometown PayPal competitor that's been gaining traction in North America. If you're an AstroPay user, you can use it here.|
|POLiPayments||PoliPayments is owned by the Australia Post and is a favorite homegrown PayPal alternative down-under. If you're in Australia or New Zealand, feel free to pay with Poli here.|
All orders have a processing time of a couple days and are sent within 1-3 days of placement. When it comes time to select a shipping method, you'll have a few to choose from depending on your location. American customers will have choices ranging from NL Post, Sweden Post, Singapore Post, Postlink US, DHL, EMS, and UPS, mostly ranked in order of speed and price. The exact prices will vary depending on the weight of your product, so you always need to pay attention in this section to select the best price for you.
It's interesting to note that the cheapest (and slowest) shipping method, China Post, did not come up during our more expensive test order (shown above), but became an option when we removed the more expensive item and kept only the single $0.97 iPhone case (see below). Apparently, the cheapest shipping methods are only available on the cheapest orders, but play around with it and let us know what you see.
TVC is a professional gadget shop and, as such, all of our deliveries from them arrived well packaged and properly declared. That being said, customs stop can happen at any time to any package, regardless of the quality of the packaging and its contents. As such, it is worth it to read up on your country's rules and regulations surrounding international shippments to be aware of what fees, if any, you may be expected to pay in case your package has a little layover in the customs office.
For shipments entering the US, extra taxes and fees on your product are possible. Not every item is taxed when entering the country, and the majority are only subject to a processing fee of between $2 and $9 in the case of a random customs stop. The amount to be paid, however, can vary widely depending on the product and how it’s sent. If you are concerned about your item, or are planning to order goods in excess of $500, it is worth it to check with the Customs Office at the port of entry to confirm any extra fees.
Any extra taxes or duties on your shipment will either be paid at your door when the mailman drops it off, or the package may be held at your local post office. In which case, you will need to go pick it up and pay any applicable fees in person.
All returns and exchanges must be effectuated within 7 days of delivery. TVC-Mall expects that you provide a correct tracking number for all returns in order to confirm that a return has been sent. They seem to have a very strict policy and do not claim responsibility for any damage that arises during the return shipping and will only accept properly and originally packaged items as returns. All returns must be registered with TVC's customer service team in advance. Your claim will then be processed and, upon approval, you will receive a Return Merchandise Authorization Number (RMA), which must be written atop the return package. TVC-Mall does not accept any packages that do not have a clearly marked RMA number.
This relatively strict return policy shows that TVC-Mall isn't quite as accommodating as some of its competitors.
Most electronics on TVC-Mall have a 1 year guarantee on returns or replacements.
TVC-Mall offers a few interesting options to its customers that we rarely see on other electronics webshops. For one, most of their items offer some form of Quantity Discount when ordering multiple examples. These items are conveniently demarcated and feature a simple overview of the discount given for each successive item you put in your cart. This makes it easy to see your savings if you plan to order any items in bulk.
TVC-Mall also has a very unique way of dealing with supply bottlenecks. Namely, they give you the option upon checkout to choose what they should do if an item you ordered is no longer available in the selected color, or at all. Called "About Color" and "About Goods" options, these options give you the chance to have TVC-Mall contact you directly, to have them automatically replace the item with a similar item or different color that is available, or to automatically give you a refund or store credit on the out-of-stock item. These options give flexible customers the option to expedite their ordering process by pre-selecting what they prefer TVC-Mall to do in the case they run out of a product. Although such supply bottlenecks are annoying and its best when they're avoided altogether, it's nice to see that TVC-Mall has taken a direct, time-saving approach to the problem.
TVC-Mall also operates its own Youtube Channel, as well as active Pinterest and Facebook pages where it highlights new and interesting products, offers product reviews, and even promotes exclusive coupons.
If you're on the hunt for something specific, and you haven't been able to find it on similar sites such as FocalPrice, Banggood, and Dealextreme, the TVC-Mall offers a safe and reliable option for your online shopping. TVC-Mall beats many of its competitors when it comes to straight pricing, but this price advantage is dampened a bit by the fact that TVC-Mall still doesn't offer any form of Free Shipping.
|Alternative 1:|| |
|lots of cell phone accessories and small gadgets - and free shipping!|
|Alternative 2:|| |
|similar selection with comparable prices and free shipping.|