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Where to buy Xiaomi Mi Sphere in 2020 without overpaying? Is it safe to buy from Aliexpress? (updated August 24, 2020)

Where to buy Xiaomi Mi Sphere in 2020
Where to buy Xiaomi Mi Sphere in 2020

The Xiaomi Mi Sphere (reviewed here) is still one of the best 360 cameras for photos.  But if you go to Amazon or eBay, it’s only available from resellers for as much as $500+, which is around double its original price.  Is it still available?  Where can you buy it at more reasonable prices?  Here’s an actual experience and an updated timeline.

The Mi Sphere has been around for 3 years now, which is three generations in the fast-moving 360 camera industry.  Yet it is still one of the best 360 cameras for photography in 2020.  The biggest problem is that it’s hard to find.  I found some on Aliexpress for very low prices, but Aliexpress is a little bit iffy.

Aliexpress is somewhat like China’s version of Amazon Marketplace, where merchants offer a variety products, usually for far less than their cost in the US or Europe, and generally cheaper than even eBay.

I have ordered a monopod from Aliexpress in the past and my order did arrive after about 2 months.   Aliexpress does offer a 90-day buyer protection if your product doesn’t arrive or if it is not as described.  As for your credit card info, Aliexpress does not give your credit card information to the merchant.   The risk is that the merchant may redirect you to their store, out of Aliexpress, where your purchase would not be protected, and they might get your credit card info.   I also would suggest NOT saving your credit card information (uncheck that option).

Anyway, I ordered a Mi Sphere on Aliexpress, and will supposedly arrive on September 6.  I’ll update this post on if or when I receive my order.

Update:

In the Mi Sphere Facebook group, one member reported that they ordered a camera from the same seller on May 1 and still has yet to receive their order:

Bad experience from Aliexpress
Bad experience from Aliexpress

Several members of the Mi Sphere Facebook group also shared their experience about buying a Mi Sphere from Aliexpress.  The majority of the members said that they did receive their order, but that it took anywhere from 30 days to 90 days.  One member paid $30 for DHL shipping and received it in 6 days.  See the comments in this post.

Updates for my package:

8/14/20 Dispatched to overseas (Country code: US)

8/8/20 9:42am – package has been accepted by airline and has departed the warehouse in China.

8/7/20 4:46pm – the tracking information has been updated and now states that the package has been received in the warehouse in China.

8/5/20 4:30am – Got an email saying the seller has shipped the order.  I got a tracking number, although it says that the tracking information will be available 5 to 7 days after shipping.  It will ship through “Aliexpress Standard Shipping.”  Arrival estimated in 33 days.  It also says that if I don’t get it by November 3, 2020, then I can open a dispute to apply for a refund.

8/4/20 12pm – ordered the camera.  Got an order confirmation immediately.

About the author

Mic Ty

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  • Interesting what the outcome will be.

    My cousin last week said he liked my Xiaomi Mi Sphere, so I looked it up on AliExpress and was blown away by the price it now has: about $100!
    But it’s the seller reliable? We’ll know in a month from now I guess …

    (I’m an avid AliExpress buyer myself)

  • So my question is: If it’s one of the top 360 cameras, why is there not a 2020 version and why is it so hard to find ? Does that mean the manufacturer isn’t supporting it anymore ? I gather it also means it’s out of production ?

    I deal with a number of online Chinese stores but only those that accept PayPal, and the truth is that most of them do. In fact, AliExpress is one of the few that don’t.

  • yes, with aliexpress delivery time is the biggest issues. But i have always received all the goods ordered. You’d better not even spend time keeping an eye to the tracking number, the “status” is often that the shipper has been advised.
    On top they use different shipping/post service and each of them have their hubs around the world.
    Hence the best thing is just forget it and wait for it to arrive. Waay much less stress than following those tracking number.
    Avg time is 5 weeks.

  • I have ordered plenty of stuff from Ali Express and the only complaint is that it can sometimes take some time to get here. I did get one item sent back at customs but got a full refund. If you do need to communicate, they make it easy but the language used is often some weird form of google translated English.