If I had a dollar for the number of people who message us to say “I saw it cheaper on Gearbest and Bang Good…”

Well, yes you did and it’s called clickbait scam. You are enticed in by a low (sometimes cheaper than official wholesale) price and the promise of a “risk free” shopping experience backed up by a “12 month warranty”.

Except, it’s a scam. Gearbest, Bang Good and other big Chinese websites offer cheap prices but no quality control on their phones and they have no intention of repairing anything that goes wrong or giving you a refund.

Thousands of shoppers in the West looking for a bargain have been caught out and they’ve lost hundreds each in the process.

Read Gearbest reviews here, including the fact that some banks are now warning their customers to avoid dealing with Gearbest at all costs

Read more Gearbest reviews here

And here

And here.

In a nutshell, here’s what they do. They undercut mobile retailers to get the sale. Then they make it physically impossible for you to obtain a refund  if the phone doesn’t work. How? It is no longer possible to send back faulty mobiles by post – they have to go by international express courier under international civil aviation laws. But Gearbest and the other websites inside China don’t accept courier deliveries, and they don’t mention on their sites that phones made for the Western market (as these are) are restricted imports into China.

In other words, you will not be able to get your faulty phone through Chinese Customs unless you pay a non-refundable hefty import duty and inspection fee, and if the phone is not received by Gearbest no warranty claim is payable.


Sadly, just as bad. Bang Good’s 12 month warranty, when you read the small print, is actually a three day warranty and the same import restrictions apply.

We printed out Bang Good’s warranty page (in black) and added our comments in red:

Bang Good Return policy

DOA (Phones defective on arrival)

If the phone arrives broken, please contact us within 3 days from its delivery date, and then follow the instructions shown in our 3 Days Product Guarantee. [So if your phone is dead out of the box, the instructions are the same as for 3 days dislike, below]

Due to the fact that phones are considered high-value items, we may ask you to return the defective phone before receiving a replacement or a refund. [Yes, you have to ship it back, but who pays? Let’s find out…]

Please include all of its accessories, like cables, chargers, batteries, in the returned parcel. If an accessory or component is missing, we will ask you to pay for it. [Yes, you pay, but how much? Let’s keep reading…]

3 days dislike the phone

If you are not satisfied with the phone you received, please contact us within 3 days from its delivery date and send us some photos or a short video showing the product and why you dislike it.

You can return it after receiving our confirmation, and will have to pay the return shipping fees. [Ah, so you not only pay up to NZ$150 to ship the phone back to China, you pay to ship it back to NZ as well. A very expensive round trip, but is that all? Let’s keep reading…]

We will refund the price you paid after receiving the phone. We will also ensure that all its original accessories have been returned and that the phone has no damages or scratches. If there are any aesthetic imperfections or missing parts, we will charge you 20% of the phone’s price. [So let’s get this straight, a kid in the Returns Office in China can ‘accidentally’ lose a part when unpacking your phone, and you are instantly pinged another 20% of your phone’s value? Is there more?]

Note: you will be responsible for paying all the customs charges and import duties occurred when returning the product. We will deduct the taxes we had to pay from the refund amount. [Well yes there is! You have to pony up all the courier fees for your dead phone there and back to China, 20% of your purchase price for each missing part, and you are fully liable for Chinese Customs duties which will also be deducted from your ‘refund’.

– If you do not want to pay high import duties on the return package, please avoid selecting an express mail service like DHL, UPS, TNT, FedEx, and similar ones; [Sounds great except for ONE INCONVENIENT TRUTH: under IATA civil aviation rules, smartphones MUST be sent internationally ONLY by express courier “like DHL, UPS”. You can’t send your phone any other way, but Bang Good will never accept your shipment, and you will be hit with return shipping and Chinese customs fees regardless. How’s that cheap wholesale price looking for you right now? If you seriously think your cheap price phone from the unscrupulous Asian wholesalers is a better deal, then come by later – I’ve got a New York bridge going cheap]

Bang Good has received the lowest possible ‘F’ rating from the American consumer website Better Business Bureau and attracted multiple negative reviews.



Hundreds of small micro-traders are now buying cheap phones from Gearbest and Bang Good and reselling them at a small markup with the “manufacturers warranty”. The phones, as you have probably now guessed, have no warranty regardless of what the reseller claims. If they are a private trader or a foreign trader they have no legal liability for lying to you under consumer laws, so you buy at your own risk. If your phone malfunctions, as around one in ten across the board do (including Samsung and Apple), you own a dead lemon. Unless you purchased from us.


Some online retailers have NZ in their site name but are located overseas. If you buy from them you have no legal protection.

All retailers or ‘in trade’ sellers physically based in NZ are required to comply with the Consumer Guarantees Act. Some retailers are however offering cheaper prices but with “warranties” of only seven days in one case, or “six months” in another. If that’s how much faith they have in their phones it should be setting off alarm bells! They say they don’t repair faulty phones in NZ so your phone may be gone for up to two months. If you want to compare apples with apples, ask them to guarantee they will get your phone serviced in NZ if necessary. Ask them why they won’t stand by their phones for a full 12 months. Ask them to replace your BV8000 screen for free if it breaks within two years. If they won’t agree to these things, maybe they are not big enough to provide a full aftersales service.


The Outdoor Phone Store is NZ’s largest importer and reseller of rugged outdoor phones. We’ve been importing for years and we know the tricks being pulled. We are the largest single customer in the world of the Chinese wholesaler we deal with. They have come to rely on our business and want to make sure they don’t lose it so they are more careful with what they supply to us now. We can’t send back dud phones because the process (for all the above reasons) is just a way to donate hundreds more dollars to the Chinese economy, so we suck up the costs of servicing or replacement ourselves.

We cannot and will not price match to competitors flogging scam offers. If a buyer wants to take the substantial risk of being ripped off by Gearbest, Bang Good and the like (including the risk of having their credit cards and Paypal accounts compromised), who are we to stand in the way of such a person and their money? For everyone else, we offer the best rugged phone models with our own NZ 12 month warranty.

Take our bestselling Blackview BV8000 Pro as a example. Some NZ parallel importers offer the phone in the six hundreds price band, but they can’t service the phones. Take their price and add the $240 cost of a new screen (even more if you ask them to supply the screen themselves) and the hour’s labour by a technician to install it, and you’ll see their prices just can’t compete with the Outdoor Phone Store – our BV8000 standard retail price includes a warranty on screen replacement and installation.

XYZ Phones Company price: $620 plus a further $240 if you break it ($860)

Outdoor Phone Store price: $769, screen breakage warranty included as standard

We’ve used this technology for years. I ditched my Samsung Galaxy in favour of the phones we sell. When you get a good phone it’s actually a great phone, and we aim to make sure you end up with a great phone like the ones I use.

When you pay retail, you get service, after sales support, a receipt, a genuine enforceable warranty and tax deductibility. When you pay wholesale you buy risk, and you often get heartache.

POSTSCRIPT: Email from a New Zealander to The Outdoor Phone Store:

Di B to us:

Have a rugged AGM. I can text with spark but can’t send or receive calls. Have tried everything and Spark say it is the phone at fault.  Is there something simple I have missed, I wanted to buy another of these but not if they are a dud in NZ.

Hi Di

Re your query above…did you buy from us? Even if not we may be able to assist. What exact model is the phone?


Hi Ian
My friend got it for me from some Chinese website. We love it if only it WORKED! Spark says its network doesn’t support dual sim phones.  They were unable to see a problem from their end.

It sends and receives texts over spark network but calls do not go through or come in.  Ive noticed skype messaging is very laggy too.  I’m stumped. I dont want to admit defeat as this phone is perfect for me and my business.

PS, here are some photos of the model from China

Hi Di
Ah, I see now…. Yes, the AGM A8 model you purchased from China will NOT work on Spark, but works fine on Vodafone or 2Degrees. It has nothing to do with being dual sim, it is just that it is the cheapest version of the phone and doesn’t have all the frequencies of the full NZ version.

You can either switch providers, or factory reset phone and sell on trademe to a Voda/2Deg user…

The versions we sell on www.outdoorphonestore.com ALL work on Spark unless expressly stated otherwise.

Your phone is laggy because it only has 2GB of RAM, again it was cheap and cheap won’t necessarily do what you want.


Hi Ian
THANK YOU, Finally someone who knows what they are talking about!! I really appreciate you taking the time to answer my query!