One thing you really need to watch is resellers. They purchase from the factory in large quantities, then somebody else RE-purchases the stuff, then they sell it to you on the web for less. Less money, but also less support and much less in the way of any warranty or return. There's also a big market for companies that purchase "custom" builds at lower quality, then re-badge them with the original "good" name.
What happens a lot of the time is that after hours at the factory, when the Western quality control people have gone home, the line starts up again, building what is very much the same product but with corners cut, parts quality reduced, and workmanship on a "churn 'em out" level. The example of this that I'm familiar with is a Japanese 35mm SLR film camera whose manufacture was moved from Japan to China. Under its original brand name the quality of materials and construction was as good from China as from Japan. But...and this may even have been by the terms of the joint-venture contract...the Chinese factory was permitted to make the same basic product but with a different brand name and some features missing, for the Chinese domestic market. The finish on the parts was poorer, some machined steel parts were replaced with cast pot metal, and...here's the workmanship issue...the shutter curtains were glued onto metal rollers that had not been meticulously cleaned of the oil left over from the machining process. Of course, glue doesn't hold to oil and reliability problems ensued. It doesn't take much for somebody to figure out that if there is a way to relabel the cheaper domestic-market product with the original manufacturer's name, it can garner a good profit on the black market. This particular Japanese camera company maintained its own inventory of genuine-branded parts carrying its name, so they didn't have a problem. Other companies who have relied on the Chinese but were more trusting, found inferior "brand-name" products sold on street corners and in night markets in Hong Kong.
Last edited by GP49 on Mon May 20, 2013 4:38 pm; edited 1 time in total