RTLSDR4Everyone: Avoiding RTL-SDR Rip-Offs

Akos from the rtlsdr4everyone blog has come up with a new post that aims to help people avoid getting ripped off when trying to buy an RTL-SDR dongle. He shows that there are several sellers on eBay who sell branded products (like Nooelec and our own RTL-SDR Blog brand) for higher prices and higher shipping costs than the official manufacturer. He also notes that there are several sellers falsely advertising E4000 dongles, selling custom units that are too expensive and sellers that stuff in popular keywords to wrongly get to the top of rankings with an inflated price.

We’d like to add the following to Akos’ post: We believe these sellers offering our and other brands products at higher prices on marketplaces like eBay are simple market arbitrage bots that scrape items listed on Amazon and then list them on eBay for a higher price. They write that they can ship overseas, but they are simply using an address forwarder (like shipito, viabox or the eBay global shipping program) to forward the goods from the USA to overseas. Note that we ship overseas via our Chinese warehouse for free, so there is no need to use an address forwarder and pay high shipping costs.

We’d also like to note that we now have three companies who legitimately resell our dongle only units locally in the UKJapan and in India. They may charge higher prices as they must contend with import costs and business taxes, but the advantage is fast local shipping and local support.

Don't get ripped off by scammy sellers.
Don’t get ripped off by scammy sellers.

6 comments

  1. netw3rkd

    Saw an rtl-sdr on eBay tonight for almost 200$. What person in there right mind would pay that much for one of these?? I just got my second sdr for a little under 6$ shipped. 🙂 It pays to do some homework. Thanks for a great website guys! Keep it up!

    • netw3rkd

      Just looked mine over again, it even says “rtl-sdr.com” on it. 🙂 The guy I bought it from on eBay, had received it by accident (not what he had ordered apparently) I snagged it up pretty quick knowing what it was. 🙂

  2. Mario

    Yes there are crooks out there and thanks for posting this. They come and go with new ideas for hoodwinking buyers.

    A few years back there were individuals selling dongles on a major auction site for one cent – yes $0.01! But shipping was $87. Heck, you could ship a boat anchor radio from Antarctica for less.

    • Rtlsdr4everyone

      It is still common, seen dongles for the regular 8-9 dollars, with 4-5 dollars for shipping.
      Hence the recommendation at the end – max 10 dollars shipped.
      Thanks for the feedback.

  3. Reg

    I just wanna throw in that your shipping from your factory in China to Canada is way faster than shipping from China normally is. My package came in just under 2 weeks (both times!), and other shippers from China always take 4-6 weeks. Just another reason to order from you guys….

    • admin

      Thanks for pointing that out! Some countries like Canada/AUS/UK/USA/RUS/FR support priority airmail, and we use that whenever possible as delivery is much faster even though it costs us a little more. But most other countries unfortunately don’t support this type of mail and so will have regular delivery times, though delivery to some EU postal hub countries like Germany and Switzerland is usually quite fast.

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