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Author Topic: MODMAKER - GUIDE TO BUYING ANTS S9 L3 D3 - Shenzhen, Beijing and HK, CHINA  (Read 1245 times)
modmaker
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November 12, 2017, 12:32:52 PM
 #1

Figured I'd help some people considering a trip to China to purchase Bitcoin ASIC antminers.
Please donate (BTC 3HUCuot8X2q8gcwfgNymAeBdR1aDqFsKmY) if this was helpful or saved you money.

So I made two trips, first time I visited HK/Shenzhen, and the second time I visited Beijing and Shenzhen.
See links for photos (Newbie account on forum, but long time with crypto, btc/alt mining, and visited forum frequently)

https://drive.google.com/file/d/10h3oq46J4atn-8Hc5UxGi3JKcfTwdENuhA/view?usp=sharing

First of all, Important Considerations you should understand before the commitment.  

Make sure, if you do decide to travel, you have a visa before you make the trip to Mainland China.
Understand that you will not be able to access large sums of money as you would in other countries.
There are limits to the amount of money a person can withdraw from an ATM from at a Chinese bank.
There are strong laws preventing the import of foreign currency into the country with strict security at airports and
travel ports, both into and traveling out of the region.
ASICS are just as hot in China as they are over in the United States for those who actively participate, but most everyday Chinese citizens will be clueless (Mary and Joe Public).

There are NO ASIC miner stores and you won't find them in a computer store or local shop ( Grin), so if your plan is to step off the plane, go to Walmart, and ask the store manager where can I find the aisle with the S9s , best that just stay home and cpu mine on the desktop instead.
Also, the Chinese economy/regulations are very complex, and can change one day to the next, sometimes with no clear notice or reasoning.  Large scale business transactions conducted in the country, require a licensed business entity registered with the Chinese government, with adequate visa privileges based on the type, depending on a set of bus entity formats in the registration process, there are initial capital requirements, limits on bank transactions, formal letter of invitation from the business you intend to work with, etc.  There are free trade zones in the country that offer incentives for business transactions and international exports of Chinese goods, if your interest is conduct large business transactions in the country, my suggestion is hire a consultant to assist you who can facilitate, and guide you in this process.  There are also off-shore options to consider as well. If the intention is a small scale purchase of the devices, use a travel visa, just have a plan to pay for goods if you are thinking a small farm type purchase, again, import of foreign currency is limited in China.

If this is your first time going to China, the shear size of the country, infrastructure and population size requires some preparation and research. Most often, many people are overwhelmed on their first trip. There will likely be some areas where you fail to plan properly, or find yourself in some unexpected situation. One consideration would be if you are not prepared with readily available access to mobile wifi or vpn internet access.   Without some method of accessing information, small issues can quickly turn to larger issues, that can affect the costs and the overall success of the trip, I suggest conducting a lot of research.
As stated earlier, the devices have limited availability, in a few specific locations, (1 location, post per section)

Saige (SEG) Electronics Market Plaza Huaqiangbei

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1_bfmfKBlqLVlzoWcKOZ5a92XpRC5w-JpLA
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1LqV93f6NX3rYYC2xDpikzF1b0bGqzL8EPA/view?usp=sharing
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1mx8gpSkKhesVAADPcrsR_8_T42r7KTFg3A/view?usp=sharing
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1r89_bv0-CTHU7iVZhiJnAMWuIrpVa4Zccg/view?usp=sharing

The fastest and easiest place to get your hands on an ASIC Antminer (such as the S9) is the Saige (SEG) Electronics Market Plaza Huaqiangbei, located in Shenzhen, China, known regionally as Mainland China, just north of Hong Kong (HK).
This towering multi-floor building is home to one of the largest electronics markets in the world with each floor separated for specific types of electronics and components.
There are around ten to twenty vendors who will either have the ASICs displayed on a table/counter ofin their vendor location or display a Dry eraser board with some hand written advertisement that they sell s9 +L3 or D3 ASIC Antminers.

The market vendors are very good at identifying foreign tourists looking to purchase mining equipment, ienGraphics Cards or mining accessories (ie riser cards, psu). If you are looking to get your hands on an s9 at some low-ball price, its not worth your time, cost or effort.  Many vendors, like many living in the country, don't know a lot of English and will either use some type of translation app on their smartphones, or they will negotiate price via displaying the price on a calculator.  Doing business in China requires greater understanding of their culture,  business practices and customs.  The market vendors value strong relationship-building, trust is a significant concern to vendors. When first arriving at the market, may misinterpret the business as casual, with small shops offering their goods to one another, but this is incorrect.  Its best to build a small network of vendors, and build trust with small consistent small purchases.  The market is better describes as a year-round trade fair, rather than a local market.  That being said, cash is still king here, and if you are willing to pay in Yuan, there are many who will accommodate anything you ask from.  Just don't come with expectations that if you purchase a sum of 10 units, your are entitled to some exagerated discount. A discount for Ten units will usually be presented to you amounting to 50 CNY discount for 10 ASICs (around $10 usd). Unless you have an experienced guide or local person who is well trusted among the base  community of vendors who can manage transactions on your behalf, you'll learn that the prices for s9s will be priced at a small discount to listings on ebay for s9s or the retail price of devices purchased through verified online website mentioned in other bitcointalk forums posts (BitcoinTalk/hardware).
A recent WeChat price quote (Nov 1 '17) from a vendor in Shenzhen, listed the current price for an Antminer s9 14 TH/s around 18,000 CNY (or a little over $2500 US), which might save you $500 from prices on Ebay, this may include PSU, this might not, depends on the vendor.
This is a good option for those looking to buy multiple ASICS at reasonable price, that doesn't involve a lot of research, time and effort as it would with alternative options, that will be presented in later sections. No restrictions on order size, no limits or maximum (only by the vendor's inventory)
The culture in China prides itself for fostering honest business practices. But as with any business transaction, there are risks associated with your purchase where the vendor might take advantage, an example might be where you pay the full retail price expecting a brand new ASIC, but later learn you received a second hand device. Another example, might be the vendor selling defective or damaged units, make sure you inspect the equipment. If you are not careful or don't have operational understanding of the mining equipment, I would not recommend visiting China to purchase your equipment.
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November 12, 2017, 07:51:02 PM
 #2

Very good information and spot-on. Only critique I have is learn to break up the text walls with a space between paragraphs every now and then... Vastly improves readability.

For the past 30 years my company's largest customers are in Asia (we make laser micro-machining systems used in IC chip and other semiconductor production) so I am very familiar with working with them. Yes the emphasis on trust and relationships is #1 there and yes the Asian view of building those relationships are rather different than typical Western ways. Trust me, to the Chinese and other Asian cultures the West is just as disconcerting to work with as their cultures are to us in the West.

I must also say that the crypto coin mania has rather distorted how some manufacturers (cough, Bitmain) treats that normal process of relationship building...

Anywho, as you pointed out the biggest points folks need to be aware of:
Obtaining the proper Business VISA - one for personal travel etc will cause massive troubles.

If you are bringing in $10kUSD or more it MUST be declared or you risk forfeiture of it. In line with also needing the Business VISA the authorities will want to know *why* you are bringing in the cash.

Be damn sure all shipping paperwork is legit. Know the Harmonized Shipping (HS) codes for what you are shipping - they dramatically effect the duty cost - and make sure they are correctly stated on the shipper docs.  If you are planning on shipping on the plane back as luggage be prepared to pay Duty on it.
 

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November 14, 2017, 07:54:38 PM
 #3

The TLDR of this is factoring travel costs and everything else you are still paying a HUGE MARKUP on hardware and its just not worth it.

Paying $2500 for a $1500 piece of hardware is just stupid no matter where in the world you are buying it. Just buy from bitmain and realize that even if it takes them 60 days to ship, at $0.10 power the machine only profits $400 a month at today prices. That means after 60 days you have only made $800 of the $1000 premium you paid so its actually a net loss.

Paying $1500 and waiting 60 days to mine on it is better than paying a premium of $2500 to get it early. Buying from the third party there is no guarantee you will be receiving a new device and it will not be covered by Bitmain in case you need to warranty it.

It should be pretty clear that paying a premium to get the machine early in the end will cost you more money and more headaches for no good reason.

Stop buying industrial miners, running them at home, and then complaining about the noise.
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December 05, 2017, 10:46:03 PM
 #4

The TLDR of this is factoring travel costs and everything else you are still paying a HUGE MARKUP on hardware and its just not worth it.

Paying $2500 for a $1500 piece of hardware is just stupid no matter where in the world you are buying it. Just buy from bitmain and realize that even if it takes them 60 days to ship, at $0.10 power the machine only profits $400 a month at today prices. That means after 60 days you have only made $800 of the $1000 premium you paid so its actually a net loss.

Paying $1500 and waiting 60 days to mine on it is better than paying a premium of $2500 to get it early. Buying from the third party there is no guarantee you will be receiving a new device and it will not be covered by Bitmain in case you need to warranty it.

It should be pretty clear that paying a premium to get the machine early in the end will cost you more money and more headaches for no good reason.

Well, it does matter where in the world you are , in my country with the shipping and custom border taxes , an s9 is around 2000$.
You must also take into consideration that the price of bitcoin could rise in the period you are waiting for the piece to come in.
Also, do you mine with S9? because i dont know where you got that 400$ a month...unless you are mining with a 11.5th miner.
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December 06, 2017, 01:44:41 AM
 #5

Even being Chinese myself I would never consider buying miners in China. Like fanatic just said you're paying large premium just to get the miner and in most cases I'd rather just pay and wait. The price of btc has changed the situation somewhat but the prices of the actual miners have likely also risen in tandem with it. I understand some people pay a lot for import fees, etc but in my case I live in the US where customs, etc is not a whole lot of money.

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modmaker
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December 06, 2017, 08:17:17 PM
 #6

--Regarding Previous Comments---
I agree with previous comments that advise NOT to travel to China if you are seeking a discounted price for the miners.
But if your consideration is TIME and not COST.  A trip to China may offer you the benefit to make a person to person exchange without waiting for shipment, or the risks of scammers on Ebay and other online portals.  BITMAIN's website is always the best bet, but availability is limited and payment transactions maybe somewhat difficult in using Bitcoin Cash.
Commenters should realize that motivations to travel may not be limited to COST/ROI alone, but it is a major consideration for those who are not willing to understand the risks or are limited in available funds to invest

As promised, this post will provide another alternative to the SEG Market in Shenzhen, regarding meeting with Alibaba re-sellers located in the region.

ALIBABA RE-SELLERS BY CONTACT DETAILS

So as many of you may already know, Bitmain does not enlist Distributors who are licensed to wholesale their products on their behalf.  But this has not prevented Re-Sellers on Alibaba to offer their products for sale to customers all over the globe.  

Please Note - If you seek to work with these re-sellers online, there are a few who have accounts trying to scam people out of their money.  There are strategies the website offers to ensure legitimate transactions, but these are not always full proof, please take precautions.

But if the motivations to travel to Shenzhen or Hong Kong are to obtain miners in a specific time frame, this is an alternative option to the SEG market offered in my previous post.

First, spend some time researching the companies that offer the miners on the Alibaba Website (link below is example of such a search)
https://www.alibaba.com/antminer-s9-suppliers_2.html?spm=a2700.9099375.16.4.49b4bb88bTbAVh
Make sure to note the transaction history and credibility rankings of the various vendors

Second, navigate to the contact page for the supplier and take note of the location, various address and contact information provided to you through their websites and on the Alibaba page.
The link below is for a supplier who has an office in Shenzhen, who I will use as an example throughout this post, who I would recommend as verified and legitimate, but also want to note, that there may be other vendors who offer greater price discounts or services specific to your needs or preferences.
http://www.btscn.com/contact-us.html
I would like to highlight that there are multiple addresses for this supplier.  
For this specific supplier, only one of their locations offers direct access to coordinate in-person sales of their products (WorldPlaza Shenzhen).
I use this example to highlight an important consideration when visiting the location of a vendor, some locations may not provide services to make in-person sales, and may not even be a place of business, but a home dwelling or small cubical located in an office building which is a common form of business operation in China.  Its always important to make sure to communicate first with the vendor and clearly let that person know, you plan to visit the office and speak with a sales representative.
 
The same cultural and business considerations mentioned regarding the SEG Market post, apply to Alibaba vendors.  You may be invited into an office, offered tea or another beverage and spend significant time getting to know the sales representative.  Keep this in mind during your visit.

Rather than try to describe pricing, please see the following links to get an understanding of the pricing structure and products offered by this specific supplier.  Please keep in mind this was Aug 2017 and other suppliers may vary considerably.
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1if1DjmrKjOL0wOMjV7-WjxBdTjSucZYM/view?usp=sharing
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1bHoGHEINjMrgNiCdDsiZzCLVlOkjcZpF/view?usp=sharing

And finally, understand the target customer of the the vendor you are transacting with.  Some vendors seek high volume transactions, some may work with smaller customers, but seek to promote alternative miners that they sell, and some may insist that you are a registered business entity with the Chinese Government in order to transact with them at all.  Also, understand the various forms of payment they can accept for their products.  Yuan is always preferable, some may accept foreign currency, but please be cautious regarding these types of transactions, and some will even accept cryptocurrency (even for an in-person tx).
If you seek to commit to additional transactions in the future, be sure to carry a business card and exchange wechat information.

I hope this post has been helpful.  Just an FYI, I am not here to promote the vendor I used as an example, but if you are interested in contacting this supplier, I recommend speaking with Amy, she is really considerate and has strong knowledge of the industry.
I will provide one more post following this one.  Please be patient, I want to provide as much information as I can, but I may not have available time to commit too soon, but the next post can offer options for new, second-hand and/or parts depending on availability and the availability/method of currency exchange.  Thanks for taking the time to read.


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January 06, 2018, 12:35:22 PM
 #7

MODMAKER,

Thank you for this great write up!!! I'm heading to Hong Kong in 2weeks and would like to purchase mining equipment. I have planned to go to Shenzhen for 1 to 2 days to shop and meet with vendors. Do you have any additional vendors you suggest? Also, how did the Visa process work? I don't need a visa for HK but I know I will for Mainland China.
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