My experience buying already checked and selected cells

SeRiusRod

Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2020
Messages
55
I'm opening this post in the hopes that my experience serves as an example for all the newcomers, like me, that would want to start their powerwall project.

Getting those cells is not an easy task nowadays. Perhaps for someone that works for a recycler or in his work has the opportunity to let aside a big load of them. But I, for example, live in a country that is known to penalize people that adopt a recycling position by themselves, like a past law that taxed for private harvested solar energy, even when offline. Also there are too many people in this country that rapidly gets all loads of items for resale at a high price when they firstknow it will be wanted or fashioned.

So, as the cheaper price I was getting for unknown laptop packs was 200/100, and those with months of research, I decided to buy them already checked and selected from a company or relative reliable source.

So I got a link on this forum that pointed me to an ebay shop from Netherlands that was supposedly selling good 2nd hand cells. It had sale items that stated that those where received a nice processing, like "We check every cell for voltage, appearance and damage" or"Very precisely, spot-welds are milled out, allowing the cells to be welded again"

So I talked to the seller to get a quote, as their items didn't have a fixed price, and get instructions on how to proceed. I must say that the communications were not as good as I would want. And I had problems getting him to respect the prices he posted in this same forum. Even at the point of committing the buy I had to quotehis own offer that he sent me by email for him to process the sale.

So I bought 1400 units of 2200mAh tested cells and I received them on 27 July.

image_sbajkn.jpg


They were nicely packed in 100u boxes and that rapidly showed that one was missing. Not a big deal.
A further inspection showed that more than 160 units had physical damage, even several where already leaking. It seems to me that the seller tried to improve it's harvesting procedure and used some kind of milling machine to remove the nickel bars. It seems that he initially did a hole in the cathode of those cells and after he realized it looked bad, he sanded.
The surface become so damaged that those cells literally blowed during the first charge.

image_ukufvr.jpgimage_wbmxck.jpgimage_asfkiv.jpg
(fiveof them didn't receive the sanding, so I could inspect the hole precisely. After reordering cells like in that third pic, they where two boxes.)

Curiously, all Sanyos aren't physically damaged, and those that are, are the rest of them. Samsungs, etc... all that aren't red, yellow or white.

So I left it all and tried to contact the seller. As I thought there were issues only two boxes, I thought I could send them back and receive a replacement. To the date the seller still hasn't responded.

I didn't want to make a problem, I'm not that kind of person, so I waited for a week and then raised a complaint for those two boxes. The seller still hasn't attended the complain, and after another week my only option is to force it.

I stood thinking some more days and inspected the rest of cells. Well, as you can see in the images, he sent me five boxes of sanyo cells. There are lots of re-wrapped cells, like the yellow and white ones, that they don't have markings, so I couldn't know brand or specs.So I started to check them all.
The yellow ones must be all Sanyo, because they are all heaters. The Sanyo obviously are.

So this seller sent me heaters and damaged cells for almost 1000. I'm now convinced that hesent me his leftovers.
Now I have three options. Continue the complaint about two boxes, eat 1000 Sanyos and abandon the project. Raise a Paypal complaint for the total amount and send them back when requested. Or...

What do you think?
I put all my savings for the past three years on those cells, and my solar setup needs a battery to operate. Obviously if thosecells are waste, that leaves me with nothing.

PS: I have setup a drive folder with pictures of those cells HERE
 

Korishan

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jan 7, 2017
Messages
6,448
I agree with Ibiza. If you go a reference from THIS forum of a company that sells reclaimed cells, we need to know it is so we can remove them from being recommended.
Please provide the company that did this.

And as a side note, it's not about you getting replacements for 'your' cells. They could replace yours, then they resell them to someone else.

Also, Make SURE to file a complaint and work your hardest to get your money back. Don't lay down and let them walk over you like that.
 

monsted

New member
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
Messages
7
Yeah, name and shame that scammer. Also, file a complaint with paypal unless he makes a very good effort at making you happy.

This guy most likely got annoyed with you trying to get the deal he posted, stringed you along trying to get more money, then sent you his garbage when you insisted on the original price. Anyone who acts that way doesn't deserve to be protected in any way.
 

floydR

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 23, 2017
Messages
1,147
I agree. Is there an EU Better Business Bureau or equivalent if so file a complaint with them. Make sure you have every damaged cell documented including rewrapped unmarked cells. Being well packed does not make up for the bad cells.

File a complaint with the shipping company (the seller shipped dangerous goods 18650's with holes in them leaking electrolyte.) note this may make it harder to ship recycled lithium batteries hopefully just for this seller.

Later floyd
 

OffGridInTheCity

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 15, 2018
Messages
1,588
Ibiza said:
why don't you name and shame the crooks?
I can't speak for the forum but as a regular poster, I don't see anythingwrong with naming a source based on a detailed, even-handed review of your experience - such as you have provided. On the contrary - it enables others to make gooddecisions which is the whole point of this forum.
 

tremors

Member
Joined
Jul 6, 2017
Messages
56
yeah lodge a complaint in every direction, both ebay and/or payload etc.
Also name and shame, no one should every trust a single shame list but the more experience and shame, the more it's most likely a dodgy dealer.
 

daromer

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Oct 8, 2016
Messages
5,640
IF he doesnt respons file Ebay complaint. Nothing baout that. IF something isnt what was stated....
 

SeRiusRod

Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2020
Messages
55
daromer said:
IF he doesnt respons file Ebay complaint. Nothing baout that. IF something isnt what was stated....

Sumtimes, I don't inderstand you :p ;)

My reasoning for posting my experience it's what I already wrote, to be a warn for newcomers, that like me, could get so excited with this project that forgot the basic safety rules, like ordering a small amount first, and so.
It's not vengeance that motivated me, and I don't think that posting that can solve or make easier my problem.
Also there's the practice of not publishing the name/brand until you have a favorable resolution. But the fact is that today still hasn't responded to level-two ebay dispute (talked in person with ebay guys and they easily recognized the problem, but they can't contact)+ paypal. If that continues, I'll ask my bank to return paypal charge for that buy.

I think that I've already posted enough information to easily identify the seller, but the shop is energy cells in ebay. I bought at the latestprices he/they published in the forums marketplace area. Not lower nor any gift.And I had to insist for those prices as he always sent me higher quotes.
Also must warn that when it says 2000-2200 cells, just means that he will send cells in the low 2000s, by looking at testings result marks that they write on cells.
 

Korishan

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jan 7, 2017
Messages
6,448
daromer says: If he doesn't respond, file an eBay complaint. Nothing bad about that, if items weren't as they were stated in the listing ;)

All of us are not stating our comments based on "vengeance". It's about doing what's right. If someone does something on purpose to harm you, you report it. It doesn't matter what the harm was, or who the person was. It gets reported so that the authorities can fix the problem or punish the person who caused the harm.
In this case it's something that wasn't physically harmful to the person, but it "could" have been had you not caught the problems and just assumed they were good and built the packs. They could have caused house devastation level.

Reporting who the person/seller is, this is a protection for everyone else who may/will/have bought from them. If you do no report who they are, you are basically possibly responsible for someone else who may get them and they suffered damage. Because, had you reported it, they may not have repeated the offense. Kinda like if you see a person falling asleep at the wheel while driving down the road and you don't call the cops or try to wake them up yourself. If they have an accident, you would basically be at fault to some degree, because you didn't do anything.
 

SeRiusRod

Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2020
Messages
55
Korishan said:
Reporting who the person/seller is, this is a protection for everyone else who may/will/have bought from them. If you do no report who they are, you are basically possibly responsible for someone else who may get them and they suffered damage. Because, had you reported it, they may not have repeated the offense. Kinda like if you see a person falling asleep at the wheel while driving down the road and you don't call the cops or try to wake them up yourself. If they have an accident, you would basically be at fault to some degree, because you didn't do anything.

I initially doubted on my own knowledge.Could be that I was wrong and those were acceptable damages. (before cells started leaking) That's why I asked someone more versed.I can't say that the credit for not burning the house is mine.

Also you must realize that there are other countries where the complaint is not aseasy as in the states, and you could become the punished. In mine's, publicly accuse someone before having a favorable court resolution,it is considered a calumnycrimeand a legal complaint can bereceived before your own complaintis answered. That is why company identification is not usually given until it is resolved and proved that you were right.
 

Korishan

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jan 7, 2017
Messages
6,448
We appreciate your reasoning's behind why you are holding back. Also appreciate you reaching out to find a more broad viewpoint.

I will say (though not sure if this is valid for your location) that the forum is located in the US. I'm not sure how data can be used for/against others if it's located in another country. But, maybe safer than sorry, perhaps.
 

idur

New member
Joined
Aug 16, 2020
Messages
8
SeRiusRod said:
...
I think that I've already posted enough information to easily identify the seller, but the shop is energy cells in ebay. I bought at the latestprices he/they published in the forums marketplace area. Not lower nor any gift.And I had to insist for those prices as he always sent me higher quotes.
...

Thank you for posting your experience. So Energy Cells on this forum is deGrootElectronicsRecycling.
This seller has a lot of good recommendations, so I might have done the same thing as you did if you hadn't warned me.

I do think they deserve a chance to tell their side of the story.
 

daromer

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Oct 8, 2016
Messages
5,640
:) My English in combination of a Swedish spellchecker om the phone in combination of me being lazy, creates crazy responses sometimes.
 

SeRiusRod

Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2020
Messages
55
idur said:
Thank you for posting your experience. So Energy Cells on this forum is deGrootElectronicsRecycling.
This seller has a lot of good recommendations, so I might have done the same thing as you did if you hadn't warned me.

I do think they deserve a chance to tell their side of the story.

That would be nice. But unfortunately he even refused to attend to eBay crew. They contacted me this past week to to tell me so. And they didn't like it at all.
I don't know what comes next. They told me that he refused mediation, replacement and even me sending back the cells.

I don't know what to do with those boxes.
My recommendation anywhere you buy, buy a small amount first. And keep growing as trust does.
 

Korishan

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jan 7, 2017
Messages
6,448
That's sad to hear. Refusing to attend a meeting to get things resolved on such an issue and refusing mediation is not good. Especially considering in a situation like this they could loose a LOT of business.
 

gauss163

Member
Joined
Jun 28, 2020
Messages
284
Checking their eBay feedback raises some red flags, e.g. 2 negatives in the last 15 transactions with feedback "Do not buy damaged and swollen batteries, dangerous, explosive. I am disappointed" on one, and on the other"10 dead cells (very low voltage, some < 1V, other below 2.5V) out of 100...". Yet they claim "We check every cell for voltage, appearance and damage ... All cells are tested for capacity using MegaCellCharger (at 1A charge, 1A discharge)". Hmm...

Otoh, in my experience positive feedback on eBay cells is highlyunreliable. A few years ago - to judge eBay buyer knowledge -I checked the most recent 1000 feedbacks on "10000mAh" ultrafire cells on one sellerand almost all of it was positive, often raving about how great they were. There were only a handful of negative feedbacks from users who noticed they were scammed. You read that right: 5 out of 1000 = 0.5% scam detection!

Likely - in general -many eBay buyers hadneither the knowledge, time nor equipment to properly test cells. But nowadays analyzing chargers are a bit cheaper and more widespread, soit may be slightly harder to scam eBay buyers.But it is important to keep these pointsin mind when evaluating feedback. I expected the positive feedback to beuseless, but I was surprised that it was sohighly useless.

As always, caveat emptor. Crowdsourced education also works well for helping to make intelligentpurchasingdecisions.
 

Korishan

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jan 7, 2017
Messages
6,448
gauss163 said:
Otoh, in my experience positive feedback on eBay cells is highlyunreliable. A few years agoI checked the most recent 1000 feedbacks on "10000mAh" ultrafire cells on one sellerand almost all of it was positive, often raving about how great they were. There were only a handful of negative feedbacks from users who noticed they were scammed. You read that right: 5 out of 1000 = 0.5% scam detection!

There's a few things here to take note of. On absolutely fake items (we all know there is no such thing as a 100000mAh 18650) is that there are other accounts that post positive reviews to create a drive of legitimacy.
Another thing to note is that a lot of the times when people claim the cells are lower than rated, the seller is contacted by the buyer and they get a refund and either leave no feedback, or neutral. A lot of the time the seller makes a "deal" of, "We'll refund you the money if you leave positive feedback". And it's surprising how often this happens and the people actually leave the positive feedback.
And then the other thing is that the people who know these are fake from the title, never buy those 10000mAh cell, so those are never bought by the people who are in the know.

There are some good people out there who attack these scammers. I know several people who specifically buy the fake cells, do the testing and then report them back to eBay. There have been several eBay accounts shut down because of this practice.

One of the biggest issues with spreading the intelligent purchasing aspect of things is that the majority of the people who buy these cells are not on our forums. They are people who saw a few videos on how to replace an 18650 in their flash light, eCig, solar light, etc, etc. So they will never see these warnings.
 

OffGridInTheCity

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 15, 2018
Messages
1,588
>My recommendation anywhere you buy, buy a small amount first. And keep growing as trust does.
Agree with this. However,I've found that a 'battery' of all the same cell reduces issues... and a 14s100p requires at least 1400 cells. If you buy piecemeal, the source may no longer carry the 'same cell' from month to month. I'm in the US and fortunately there ARE some reasonable sellers that I trust for a 1500 cell order. BatteryHookup, Power2Spare, and lately BatteryClearningHouse - are all high on my list from personal experienceand because of the pervasive fraud I think even more highly of the good ones and wish them well :)

Of course you have to do your part. For example, my rose color'ed glasses read a description that said "Cells with 90% capacity - reduced price!". Turned out that 70% of cells DID have 90% capacity but 30% were heaters/0v/bad. The description made no claim as to the % of 90% capacity cells... but I skipped over that in my mind. In conclusion, the overall the price was OK / perfectly reasonable -but you have to read the descriptions soberly is the take-away for me! I still count that seller as good / to be recommended:)
 

not2bme

Active member
Joined
Oct 16, 2017
Messages
490
Usually ebay has a very buyer-friendly attitude. That means they take the buyer's side most of the time. So it kinda lends to having purchases through ebay a good way to protect yourself. If indeed that degrootrecycling didn't respond to ebay's inquiry in time, they automatically favor the buyer. This is true in my experiences through purchases in US, but your EU world seems to have different rules. In any case, degrootrecycling does post ads in this forum.
 
Top