Satisfy your gadget cravings at MiniInTheBox!

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mini in the box

I know a few gadget sites that sell cheap gadgets with free shipping. You can even buy a $1.50 item and have it shipped for free. As crazy as it may sound, so far all sites are genuine and not a scam, including MiniInTheBox.

MiniInTheBox.com launched earlier this year but it’s actually a subsidiary of LightInTheBox.com. I have the honor of tasting their product samples earlier and here are my “reports” of the sample items.

10 Ports USB 2.0 HUB

10 ports USB 2.0 HUB

Who does not need a USB hub? Most of us do. We have so much USB devices in our room that sometimes we need more USB slots in the computer.

This 10 ports USB 2.0 hub is powered by an adaptor and the spec says “Single port supply 500mA power”. It means that each USB port will be powered. Other USB hubs often mislead you by thinking that power is supplied to all ports.

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There are plenty of extra ports here without having to squeeze your computer’s power supply. Each port also has a nice red LED which lit when a USB device is plugged in. No problem with any of the ports so far and the hub works great with my Microsoft LifeCam Cinema webcam, Cisco WUSB600N wireless adapter, and many more.

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FM Radio Desk LCD Alarm Moon Mango Clock

Mango clock

As long as the name sounds, this small alarm clock is sexy and packs a punch. It’s both an alarm clock and also an FM radio receiver.

You can listen to the radio through this small gadget (powered by 3 AAA batteries) or just use it to display the time and sound the alarm (you only need to insert 1 AAA battery if you don’t need the radio).

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It looks elegant and unique on the table but I’m not really a fond of the display. It’s hard to see what time is it on the display because of its transparency. Unless if you put the clock in front of a bright object, you may not be able to see the time unless if you look really close (see the photo on the bottom left here to see what I mean):

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Elegant Metal Business Card Case

Business Card holder

This elegant metal business card case is very cheap. It doesn’t hold many cards inside and the surface is a finger print magnet. But $2 to store your business cards?? What a bargain.

I’m definitely going to store my Craving Tech business cards inside this nice and cool case in the future.

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3-LED Dynamo Battery-free Flashlight

Battery less flashlightProbably the handiest item I’ve ever seen in my life (a bit exaggerating but you’ve got the idea) – a battery-less flash light!

When it runs out of power, you just need to press the crank a few times to recharge the dynamo inside the flashlight.

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It’s small, handy, and cool to play around with. If you like to go camping, outdoor, or live in a country where electricity gets cut off too often (where I came from), this flashlight is a must to have. I left the flashlight on for a couple of days to test but I was surprised that it just kept on going. The product description on the packaging is a bit lame: “…it can benefit your palm, arm, and shoulder stretching and blood circulation, so as to let your hands relax and brain clever, hand and brain coordinate and promote your brain memory and health composition” Smile So just ignore the package and grab the thing. How much? $3.69 when I wrote this article.

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USB Powered 3-LED Bright White Light with Clip

Light clip

This USB LED light is handy to carry if you are always working on your notebook/laptop. The 3-LED light is pretty bright so you can type comfortably even in a dark room.

The USB cable is around 150 cm long and the light also has a clip, so you can clip it on a laptop or on any other clip-able surface.

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For example, it can be clipped on my MacBook:

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The light is quite bright as you can see below. In reality, it’s not as bright as the photo shows somehow but it’s still bright nevertheless. The head can also be swiveled/adjusted easily.

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Cute Cow Style-2-Mode 12-LED White Light Illuminated Desktop Lamp

Cute Cow LED

My most favorite item of all the samples (which is why I’m saving it for the last): a 12-LED desktop lamp in a shape of a cute cow!

As soon as I post a photo of this on my Facebook and Instagram, every one (mostly girls) was asking me what it was and where to get it :) So you can say, this thing is a chick’s magnet!

This cute cow desktop lamp has 2 modes (6-LED or 12-LED).

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It’s also powered by a rechargeable battery, meaning you don’t have to plug this lamp into the power all the time. I haven’t tested how long can the battery last in one go though. The full charging time is about 8 hours (according to the product spec). The power cable is included but the USB cable isn’t (there is a mention about connecting it to USB on the packaging).

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The lamp is super cute looking and although the material quality feels alright, overall it’s a must have if you are looking for a cute lamp on your table. You can also carry this lamp everywhere since it’s rechargeable and does not have to be plugged into the power or a USB slot to be turned on.

Unfortunately, this cute cow is so popular that it’s now already sold out when this article was written. I’m so glad I ordered it first before it ran out. Hopefully it’s already available by the time you read this.

cute lamp

Cute Cow LED next to Macbook

All these goodies were only $50 in total with a worldwide free shipping! I was sponsored by MiniInTheBox to pick any items up to $50 and it took me almost an hour just to browse through all of their products (Yes, all!). I’m definitely very happy with the samples I picked and all items arrived safely.

Delivery took around 2-4 weeks but with free shipping, who cares? :) Happy shopping at MiniInTheBox!

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A technology enthusiast, blogger, gamer, and reviewer. Proud owner of Craving Tech

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  • Manuel

    Well I’ve had a bad experience with this page. I ordered a USB memory whith the shape of a black pendant with a skull (http://www.miniinthebox.com/plated-death-s-head-crystal-usb2-0-flash-drive-necklace-8gb-_p107802.html) and I did it for express shipping.
    I received the package in a week. When I passed the anger because DHL scammers had charged me almost 25 € for “administration of import duties (apart from almost 4 to be paid to customs) I opened the package and I found a super tacky pink pendant with a crown.
    And anyone asks you to change the product and risk paying another 30 € to more …

    • http://www.michaelaulia.com Michael Aulia

      Hm that sounds like a really bad experience. DHL is way over their head to charge you such a thing! :(

      As for the wrong order, have you tried contacting them? If you can prove in the order sheet you got and a photo of the product, you should be able to ask them to replace it + explain about the DHL madness reimbursement or something?

  • Pedro

    Hi. I just had a similar unfortunate experience with miniinthebox. I made a ~50€ purchase with Free delivery to find out 1 week later I had to pay DHL fees (49€!) plus custome taxes, on a total of extra 87€. What sounded cheap turned to be very very expensive. In short, a trap and a scam by the way they (not) tell you how it works and give you a wrong idea (free transportation??)
    One note about their customer care: it does not exist. At least i am waiting for +1 week to receive a reply to any of my contacts (they say to use a ticketing system for contact management). And there is no online support either.
    In summary: i advise you to avoid miniinthebox otherwise you wish to experience the same frustration. I whished i had took 10 minutes searching (independent) user experience commentary before i placed the order :(

    • http://www.michaelaulia.com Michael Aulia

      Thanks for sharing your experience with us Pedro. I’ll email my contact there to see whether customer service can be improved somewhat

      Sorry to hear about your bad experience!

    • Pedro

      Hi Michael. Thanks for the support. What really pi**es me off is that i have to pay extra 49€ on DHL fees for a 50€ only order. That i have to pay custom taxes i could accept (even if it isn’t visible on the purchase process that taxes are still to be paid on arrival).
      DHL guys tols me they charge 49€ to any order until 300€. If so, why does miniinthebox say us at the purchase the delivery is free of charge (for definition, delivery covers the way from the seller to my home door)? For sure they know DHL will charge their customers and how much – and that’s why i felt both traped and scammed. At the end, or i pay DHL or i loose the 50€ already paid.
      About the contact center, i received this morning reply to my 1st contact (adress change request), meaning they are acting with +1 week delay. Not good enough for industry standarts.
      Cheers

  • Catherine Winston

    Hi Michael,
    I find it strange that you would give such good reviews of a company on a few gadgets that you picked from hundreds. Had them sent to you and they worked brilliantly. I woul’nt call that a proper review. As for the shipping! well the company was hardly going to delay the shipping knowing who it was going to!!!.
    The other two comments are totally the opposite to your experience. Why?. Maybe you are a partner in the comany! Just a thought. Anyway i have ordered products from Miniln and they said the products will arrive within 5 days. Lets see if 1. they do. 2. I am not charged over the odds for the shipping considering i have already paid for it and 3. The items i ordered are what i asked for. I WILL LET YOU KNOW

    • http://www.cravingtech.com/about/about-me Michael Aulia

      Hi Catherine, I wrote the review on the products and though I mentioned about the shipping and service, it was based on my experience. Now, the products were sponsored and since I would be writing a review, it was possible that they took extra care in shipping and handling because of it.

      Or maybe guys above were like 3 out of 1000 happy customers? I’m not sure.

      I have bought gadgets from websites like these without any problems so far (apart from 2-4 weeks of shipping time). So feel free to share your feedback here :)

  • Ameer Johnson

    Well i just ordered a controller for my play station 3 console, and waiting for it to arrive. My only concern is that the controller is going to work and also its exactly what i asked for. Lastly a friend of mine is wondering is everything so cheap, even though quantity may be high, but all I’m worried about is quality

    • Kevin M.

      How did the controller work out? i might get one.

  • http://MINIINTHEBOX Pamela McNeil

    I ordered controllers for my grandsons Wii game so someone elsse could play the games with him. The website said 10-20 days for the free shipping. It has now been 27 days & no items. I emailed the company & they informed me that it could take as long as 38 days to receive the products. There is a big difference between 10-20 days & 38 days shipping time. Had I know that, I probably would have not ordered from this site so be aware if you do order any products, it could & probably will, take 38 days for you to get your product. What is the saying about truth in advertising? There is none here.

  • Chris Huff

    I ordered three USB extension cords from miniinthebox.com and they were supposedly shipped on the 18th of January. I have yet to receive them although admittedly, the full 20 business days have not passed. After reading the above comments, I’m not holding my breath. It’s too bad because they do have a lot of useful gadgets on their website. I’ll repost my experience and let you know if I receive them.

    • http://www.cravingtech.com/about/about-me Michael Aulia

      Hi Chris, please do come back if you get the items as I’m sure the vendor would appreciate you for clearing it up.

      Normally for overseas sites like this, I always give it 3-4 weeks (normally I get it on the 3rd week but I guess this depends)

  • Robert

    I ordered several items. I also ordered two watches, both were broken (internally). I filed in a complaint and received an e-mail that I could choose between money back or a new product within 3 hours. Items have been shipped. Within an hour after replying on that I got a shipment order.

    • http://www.cravingtech.com/about/about-me Michael Aulia

      Glad you had a good customer service experience, Robert. Thanks for dropping by

  • Robert

    Hi, sure no problem. I saw the bad experiences here and I wanted to share my experience. They even put them in seperate packages because I had problems with customs on the first package (had to pay a fee that was half the ammount of purchase I made, not a problem by miniinthebox but by the government of my country (netherlands only allows a maximum of 22 euro’s per package that comes out of china)). it wasn’t a problem at all, they shipped two packaged, I expect to receive them in about 2 weeks. I already got a new shopping cart with a few items i’m going to order.

  • Ray Thomas

    I ordered $250.00 worth of products and paid for express shipping 3 to 5 days,
    the order arrived 32 days later, i was charged $100,00 by DHL (import taxes).
    The glass cover for the iPhone 3 G was the wrong one, The $25.00 Head light burned out when i switched it on. The power adapters for the iPad do not work.
    50% of all items that i ordered did not work or where the wrong item.
    Customer service advices me that i had 7 days from the day of shipping to return the goods,
    the order took 10 days to get here (Germany). They are not prepared to do anything for me.
    A very bad company to deal with. I hope that you read this before ordering anything from them.

  • http://ebaytrader Kell Andrews

    Hi Micheal,
    Thanks for sharing your reviews with us, I think your right about the site being a good one as far as selection of gadets go. The price is cheap on all products for one reason they do not cost much to make and are put together in 100,000’s of units. They are never going to be great quaility but anyone expecting that from a $2 item is not being realistic. I am a trader and find that as long as you are honest with people about the product ie they are cheap and mostly not built with high quality in mind, also good communication. I cannot stand being left for days awaiting a simple answer.
    I have ordered about £80 of goods from MiniInTheBox in 3 seperate orders and the first 2 of my orders have been shipped (after 2 days) and my last one which has several items in I paid alittle extra for express shipping on that one. I am now going to see which arrives first, how long they take, and what my products are like when they arrive. Unlike most people above my experince so far so good, quick replies to all tickets within 24hrs & clear answers to my quireies. I have to say all of the comments here have made me alittle weary but I take things as they come and I will report back once all has arrived, leave abit of my own feedback. If it is rubbish I will have no problem in pointing out they are crap, if I get any. I have had the customs trap before here in the U.K alot of experinced traders send the products as “gifts of used electrical components” this will very often jump right passed the customs que to your door.
    I really hope that MiniInTheBox is good and I am not dissapointed with my order’s as Ive been looking for a good supplier of funky gadets for my online store.
    Let you know how I get on. Cheers Kell (Owner K.P.G’s)

  • marilyn mead

    I don’t think this space is large enough to vent all the frustration I have had with mininthebox. I ordered 3 flying fish for my grandsons for Christmas.. they arrived 32 days from the date they supposedly were sent. Kids opened them and they were very happy.. but when they went to play with them.. the batteries were from china and we couldn’t charge them. I got online and told the company what had happened, and they said they were sorry and would promptly send me the adapters so we could charge the batteries..it would take 14 to 28 days, we were to wait.. so I waited and waited.. they kept saying be patient but the adapters never arrived so I contacted them again.. Their reply was .. so sorry they must have gotten lost in shipment.. they would resend them .. please be patient, they would arrive in 10 to 20 days..it’s now 23 days later and still no adapters, so I contacted them again. This time I was told they would some how credit me $5.00 so I could go to Wal-mart and buy one here in the US. Wal mart doesn’t carry the adapter to convert a battery from China to our electric current.. just the other way around, the one they have is to convert our electric appliances, shavers etc. to the foreign country plug ins.. This grandma is and has become very angry! 3 little boys have NOT been able to play with their Christmas toys.. So I contacted Lightinthebox, who seems to be the parent company.. I chatted online with ‘Joe’.. he said he would do all he could to help me.. He said resubmit another request to resend the battery adapters.. so I did and yesterday, another message.. we have resent 3 adapters. They will arrive in 10 to 20 days.. so now I wait and wait and wait.. I truthfully doubt they ever sent the other two orders and doubt they have really sent them this time.. How could both orders get lost in the mail! I would NOT encourage anyone to use this company… have you got any idea how I can get the plug/adapters so we can charge these batteries! Just thought maybe you had some way to get this company to be responsible to the consumer! so disappointed!

    • Pasty

      Hi, I have previously ordered from lightinthebox.com and said that my adapter was broken and they said they would send another on even though it was after warranty and within 28 days i had recieved them

  • Ismail USA

    Honestly MinilntTheBox site is full of drama I ordered product worth of $30 from this site Since February 24 2012 up till this moment I never see someone knocking at my door for delivery,this site is not well organize,they lack customer interaction,No tracking number for the product you order,they lied on the web that the shipping is between 10-20 days.I wrote a review to the customer care,no response.My advise to people that want to order from this site should be very careful “a word is enough for the wise.”I wanted to get product worth of $500 but I decided to spent $30 as a trial,it is very good to follow your instinct,I’m glad that I followed my instinct not to order $500 worth of goods.

  • Micke

    Hmmm…Damn !!.-I wish i read this website´s review an our ago !. Now,i have placed and paid for an order from M.I.B for 26 $ !.Well,it isn´t a fortune at least,but it´s still some money for me,since i´m pretty poor.I really hope they don´t have any evil plans regarding my credit card number now.-That issue was the the topic for a bad experience that hitted me hard a couple of years ago.Then,i joined what seemed to be a film library with free access for lifetime downloads.In fact,it was a huge scam,and “a classic” for most countries police departments.-Runned by a team of russian mafia members,living like kings in the carribean,since their bank accounts gets a boost of decent refills every single day,from new victims.-For me,money were drawn from my bank account without any predictible pattern,and everytime,at least 50-80 $.(i´d never made any controls of the account balance though,since i took for granted that my christmas money were,where they supposed to be,=on my account !..-where else ?!..) -When my card number finally was made “dead”/totally void,there wasn´t really much left.
    -My bank took full responsibility for the accident,and offered full refunding..AFTER christmas !..and the russians “robbed me” BEFORE christmas !.(-Not much of “Ho,ho,ho”´s that year,in other words..)

    Besides from that,i have mostly rather good experiences from international shopping sites !.For example,i never ever buy any recordable medias(CD-R´s/DVD-R´s) here in Sweden anymore !.(There´s a bunch of good competitors out there,which are really good,but if you´re as greedy as i am,i would highly recommend “Sweburn”,-((nope,they have no SWEdish connection,besides from the name))-, or “Nierle.com”.) Another good experience is “Niceme.cn” !.They sell Rolex replicas and many other brand replicas as well,for “coffee money”,or at least amounts equals to 4-5 boxes(not cartons !) of Marlboro !.-The website are pretty amateur-ish and take some time and patience to master.-The watches technical level(NEVER GO FOR “AUTOMATIC” !.-ALWAYS “QUARTZ” !) varies from fully functional(for a year or two),to total crap.-But their outfit/style are always very nice and elegant !.Perfect as accessories,for decoration,or collection making(for common people then,of course) !.

    Well,well..Now it´s the M.I.B. that is the matter..I hope for the best,but expecting the worst….

  • Disappointed

    I cannot agree with your comments about miniinthebox. My son purchased a watch end of March 2012 which then broke within weeks. They are now saying it is out of warranty and cannot be exchanged or repaired. What happened to Sale of Goods Act? must be of merchantable quality and fit for purpose etc………..
    I would avoid this company at all costs and clearly do not engage in transactions overseas as this will lead to import duty et al on your purchase.
    YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!!!

  • Gabriel Barsali

    Ok… Too late for me as well… Just ordered some watches, a flashlight and a car holder for my cellphone. Should had seen this before.
    I thought this company was like Deal Extreme or something like that… But it seems it’s not. Now I’m just hopping my stuff arrives, at least.

    • Syed

      Hi all, after reading all of your comments, i am also a bit worried about my order placed, as i have also ordered few watches to be presented as gifts and and am not sure what is going to happen, expecting a positive result of my order.

  • http://miniinthebox Nick of time

    I was just about to enter my credit card info. But thought I’d look up reviews first. Glad I did, mininithebox no so much. They just lost $300.00 cancelling my order.

  • Jens Danielsen

    I’m a returning customer to the site. No problems so far. All my orders have been shipped out within a day. I read through all the reviews on this and other sites, and decided to place a small order just to check it out. Everything worked fine, so no complaints from me. Delivery time: I think it was 18-19 days just within the timeframe (10-20 days)
    Just remember to check how much VAT and customs you should possibly pay. If it’s still a good deal, place the order.

    • http://www.cravingtech.com/about/about-me Michael Aulia

      Hi Jens,
      I really appreciate for you to come back here and put up a positive comment. It’s unfair when people post a comment but they don’t correct it when they actually get the product arriving at their door

      Thanks again

  • stephane

    This company …… that a Scam. The most brilliant fraude provider at your expense. I both a Motorola S9 bluetooth active headphone and yes I received a box with something that look exactly like the thing but the only thing that crap do is showing a red light when you plug it but for the rest I will probably shove it deep cause there’s no way that thing will work that’s genuine fake replica but nothing bluetooth inside.

    never again.

  • taylor

    haha, to all the people who feel that the site is a scam or that they simply find it to be a crappy website, I feel for you. However, with that said, I have made a few purchases on miniinthebox and have been nothing but pleased. If you order anything off this website, you are immediately saving ridiculous amounts of money than if you were to go out and buy it anywhere else. You also aren’t going to be surprised that the products aren’t the most elite of make or anything, but are fairly cheap. You get what you pay for! As for any issues on shipping – let’s take two seconds to remember that you are getting free shipping on any purchase you make. As I’ve said, I’ve made a few purchases from the site – I think the most expensive purchase would have been about $6USD, so I’m certainly not going to get pissy like some of you fools when I don’t receive my purchase within a few days. You are buying wholesale product from CHINA, and getting FREE shipping, so it is going to take a bit of time to get to your door. Calm the eff down! All-in-all, solid website – great place for cheap little gadgets that are good for a short while. Don’t expect the best of the world, and if you are, go out to the proper shops and buy it there and stop pissing and moaning on the Internet about not getting the whole world for free.

  • Nikki

    Hello, I just recently purchased some things for my Iphone 4s, and the tracking information I was given I do not reconignize, it says bulkmail, and my estimated delivery time was for Sept 11, 2012 but on the 10th its says all shipped, but I have not received anything and the tracking information disappeared. How do you open a ticket to put in a complaint? What is there email address? Anyone feedback would be helpful. Thank You!

  • tammiestwins

    I ordered this
    USB Power Adapter Charger for iPad (10W) 2-for our apple products. They both worked for about 10 minutes then started making my ipad go nuts. Now they just do not work. FYI-
    Dual USB In-Car Charger for iPad/iPad 2/iPhone/iPod/other Cell Phones (Black) – one of these and so far a dream. Works great. No problem that I know of.
    Ultra-Slim Aluminum Wireless Bluetooth QWERTY Keyboard for iPad 2 and The new iPad- Was able to hook up to my ipad and works.

    They also sent some european converters that maybe they send to everyone in case but I did not order these.

    So I am torn, 2/3 items are working so far. But the chargers got super hot for my apple products and possible they could be damaged. Maybe the converters are for all my products but there were no instructions that I might need to convert the china stuff to us.
    Jury is still out.