Monday, May 18, 2015

Xiaomi welcomes beta testers to buy, Charges outrageous shipping fee

Xiaomi, a private Chinese electronics company and manufacturer of the popular and affordably priced Mi smartphone has opened up their online store to markets outside of China today.

The online store does not sell smartphones or tablets, instead only a few accessories are available such as battery packs, Mi headphones, and Mi Band.  The reasonably priced accessories seem to be sold out in less than an hour after availability but we do not know how many items were actually stocked.

Xiaomi does not have a warehouse in the United States and ships their items from China which is a major concern if they want to cater to American customers. Shipping time will take a minimum of 7 working days and possibly longer due to processing time and shipping delays. Several delivery partners are available but shipping costs are outrageous.  For example, the $15 Mi band costs $15 to ship and a $13.99 battery costs $15.99 to ship. Consumers will likely balk at those prices when they can go to their local electronics store.  Consumers can also buy similar electronics online at Amazon and get 2 day shipping if they have Prime membership.

Time will tell if Xiaomi becomes a name in the United States, but their beta test of an online store seems to have found many bugs.

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