Tmart Review—Don't Buy from Tmart until You Read This!
Tmart is an online electronics store based in China. If you've come across it online, you may be curious—is it legit? My name is Rick, and I wanted to share my experiences with Tmart because when I first saw its website, I had the exact same question.
I was looking for some parts to repair my Apple iPhone after I'd dropped it and smashed the screen (again!). I had bought one before from eBay, but it wasn't cheap, so I thought I'd shop around a bit more this time. After some Googling, I came across the Tmart site. At first I was a bit dubious about it, because the online electronics store is based in China—not exactly convenient for shipping. From my experience on eBay, the postage on purchases from other countries is usually enormous—or you are left with a customs excise bill to pay on the postage when the sender had not paid enough. But I was surprised to see the postage was correct and that some items even ship for free.
Tmart.com Online Store vs. eBay.com—No Contest
When I first arrived on the site, the layout reminded me very much of the eBay or Amazon format (of course, both sites are huge, so why not copy their successes?). You can navigate through the various categories, which include electronics, cellphones, health and beauty products, and many more besides. There is also a clearance section to with items up to 80 percent off—though needless to say, the iPhone replacement screen was not in this section!
I found the screen I was seeking for around £10 (roughly $15 US) with free postage. I also found a replacement battery for the phone, which I had been searching for on eBay at the time. On eBay, I could not find a replacement battery for less that £12 plus postage (about £3 if I remember right). I was astonished to see the exact same battery on Tmart for £3.06 with free postage! No brainer there!
So I purchased the two items and paid with PayPal.
In addition to Tmart's cheap prices, whenever you purchase anything from their website, you earn points. These can be redeemed against items you purchase in the future, making them even cheaper! Why can't eBay offer this? (Greed.)
My items arrived 10 days later, well-wrapped and as described. Now my phone is fixed once again—until I drop it yet another time.
Before making my purchase, I did my due diligence. I Googled Tmart and read through many reviews. The two most common complaints were customer service and quality.
For customer service, there is no support number. The only two ways to get in touch is by email and through their live support feature. Most reviews said that they received a prompt reply to emails, but the English is sometimes hard to understand and the responses were sometimes unhelpful.
In terms of quality, a few users did not receive what they expected. Some products were made of a cheaper plastic than purchasers had been led to believe, and some electronics malfunctioned with time. That was not my experience. However, if it is yours, document the problem (with photographs and messages sent through a PayPal dispute). PayPal's Purchase Protection will cover you if the item does not match its description.
Tmart does not list an email on its website. However, it is possible to contact them via email through PayPal. See the steps below.
How to Contact Tmart through PayPal/File a Dispute if Necessary
- Log into the PayPal site.
- Click "Payments Sent" to find your transaction with Tmart that's in question.
- Next to this transaction, click "Details."
- In the "Business Contact Information," you will see Tmart's email. You can use this to communicate with customer service.
To File a Dispute
To file a dispute, you can either:
- Follow the four steps above. Click "File a Dispute" at the bottom of the seller information page.
- See PayPal's overview of the process. Click on the first step listed ("Open Dispute") and log in to PayPal to fill in the information pertaining to your dispute.
Pros and Cons of Tmart
On the whole, it's not a bad site. Reseller Ratings give the company an overall rating of 7.6, and on each of these sites, you can see the company trying to handle each concern. However, the negatives (below, in the "Cons" section), are not to be ignored. First, here are some positive comments posted on review sites around the web:
- Liu Wang Geng on Yahoo! Answers: "At first I wasn't sure about ordering online from a company from out of state, but they have the best prices and they don't charge shipping for most orders so I thought I would give them a try. My first order was shipped from their warehouse in the United States and it came in 2 days I was surprised when it came in the mail. The other products came within 7-10 days which is normal for a out of state company. I would like to keep this website my own little secret and not tell anyone but I have to share this with everyone I know.... Keep up the good work...Tmart"
- Straydogger9 on Reseller Ratings: "Bought my first item, a NUX OD-3 Overdrive guitar pedal, from Tmart and wasn't sure what to expect. Shipped from US warehouse and arrived in 5 days. A little slow but no problems. Works as it should with no problems. $16 including shipping. $40 anywhere else! I will buy from them again for sure."
- Gabor P. on Jabber: "I have signed up on Tmart for a year and I have ordered from Tmart up to now more than 10 times, more than 30 items. Finally I can say that I am satisfied with the quality of the items and with the support service also. They are very helpful, fast, and friendly. Therefore I recommend them."
Again, the negative reviews focused on customer service and quality. Here are a few examples of what people had to say that highlight both problems:
- Lyss on Yahoo! Answers: "Well, I have ordered many things from TMart. All of which were small items. I ordered some tattoo supplies for about 30.00, then some phone cases for about 20.00. I ordered about 5 different orders over a 3 month span. 2 orders out of those we're "lost". When I asked for tracking, they told me that there was no tracking because it has free shipping. I used their online chat. The next person gave me shipping and said it was shipped through FedEx. I contacted FedEx. There was no such tracking and no such package..."
- Gpradasilva6 on Reseller Ratings: "Quality of products tends to vary a lot."
- Jeff R. on Jabber: "When my order came the watch inside was in an unsealed package and missing parts. No batteries, no insides (like the watch mechanism). Only had the band, back and plastic front panel. No watch 'guts' itself whatsoever $6! Customer service was not help to come to a resolution. I recommend to stay away. After many complaints to the company (TMart), and filing a dispute with PayPal I did finally receive a 'working' watch. I will never buy from them again."
In Conclusion, Mr. Watson: Is Tmart a Fraud?
I would fully recommend Tmart, not only based on value but also on the level of service. In general, I think there is less risk of fraud on Tmart than there is on large sites such as eBay. To find cheaper items on eBay, you run the risk of dealing with time-wasting scammers or generally dodgy dealers. Because of its size, eBay has attracted a number of people looking to make quick money off of a scam. Often as of late, both buyers and sellers on eBay have been victims of fraudulent practices—buyers not receiving the expected item or sellers sending in perfectly good items only to face a claim that it was "broken"—and how can they prove otherwise? And in dealing with these problems and more, eBay seems to have fallen short in the customer service department.
When I consider Tmart's competition, I feel that I can recommend the company. It offers prices lower than can be found at eBay at less risk. However, as the negative reviews show, I would be vigilant about keeping records on what I buy and wouldn't be afraid to turn to PayPal if Tmart doesn't deliver.