A review of 3D Printers Bay and 3DPrintersBay.com
In my opinion, do NOT do business with 3D Printers Bay and/or 3DPrintersBay.com
Why did I choose 3D Printers Bay over other 3D printer sellers, including AliExpress and eBay? To be honest, I thought I was dealing with an American company based in America. As a Canadian, I thought this would give me an advantage over time and cost of shipping, and that being "closer" could result in a bigger obligation for better service. That's not to say I'm suspicious or unhappy with non-North American products or service -- I order, and am completely satisfied -- with a LOT of products out of Asia, mostly China. But this was a significant purchase for me, and I wanted every advantage I could get.
There was also evidence on the 3D Printers Bay website -- 3DPrintersBay.com -- that they were a home-grown, US company, as per below.
However, when I decided on a 3D printer and sent them a payment, the recipient of that payment (via PayPal) looked very Asian -- Anet Technology (HK) Limited. At this point I realized that 3D Printers Bay is really just a drop shipping company that probably earns a commission on every sale -- but never has to carry inventory or, for that matter, have any real expertise with 3D printers.
I, personally, am not saying you should not deal with 3D Printers Bay, but you should have the benefit of knowing that their "American" company could be nothing more than a general delivery mailing address (you'll note there's no street address). My best guess is it's someone running a drop ship operation out of their home in Angle Inlet, Minnesota. I know believe the mailing address is even sketchier than I thought, since I noticed Minnesota is in the Central Time Zone, but 3D Printers Bay lists their business hours in Pacific Time (is it just coincidence that the Pacific Time Zone is closer to China than the Central Time Zone?).
3D Printers Bay could still be a great company to work with though. At the time of writing this review, I'm wondering if it was the right decision for me. I'll update this review once I'm a little further down the 3D printing road.
In the meantime, I've documented the interaction I've had to date, and you can read about it below.
Interaction between myself and 3D Printers Bay
I used their website contact form to ask for the significant difference(s), if any, between the aluminum frame and acrylic frame Anet A8 Prusa i3.
I used their website contact form to ask what size the filament spools were that could be ordered along with the printer.
They responded and informed me the spools of filament from 3D Printers Bay were .5 kilograms each.
After ordering the printer, but before receiving it, I used their website contact form to ask if 3D Printers Bay sold their spools of filament on their own, as opposed to with 3D printer purchases.
I sent an email to 3D Printers Bay to enquire if they carried 3D printer parts -- specifically parts thart would allow me to modify my MK8 extruder to accommodate 3mm filament.
I received an email from 3D Printers Bay asking for a review of the Anet A8 Prusa i3 that I had purchased from them.
I replied, via email, that the shipper's tracking information indicated the 3D printer would be delivered the next day and that I would need time to assemble and test it before considering a review.
On January 16, 2017, I replied to the same review request email from 3D Printers Bay to let them know that my printer was assembled, but I was missing the 10 meters (10M) of trial filament promised in their advertising on 3DPrintersBay.com.
On the evening of January 18, 2017, I used three separate methods to contact 3D Printers Bay -- their website contact form, a reply to an earlier email, and a contact link provided in that email. In that message I again pointed out that I had not received the free 10 meters of test filament AND, that after testing it, I learned the proximity sensor I paid extra for (for automatic bed leveling) was defective.
On January 23, 2017, I sent the following message to their sales department email, as well as through the contact form on 3DPrintersBay.com.
- Regarding my Anet A8 purchase. #35181 To repeat and add to the message I sent you five days ago (January 18) and did not receive a reply to. I did not receive the 10 meters of free filament that was promised to be inlcuded with my purchase price. The proximity sensor for the auto-levelling -- which was chosen and promoted by you specifically for the Anet A8 -- does not work. I checked the socket on the board and it is providing power. However the sensor does not register ANY metal object placed under it. As such, I believe it is fair to receive a $15 refund on the sensor since it does not work with the printer, and a $2 refund on the 10 meters of filament that was not included as promised -- for a total refund of $17. This amount can be refunded to the same PayPal account from which payment was made. Please reply quickly, or I will pursue compensation through PayPal. Thank you.
I decided to try and resolve the problem through PayPal and filed a complaint on January 25, 2017. I included the same information as in the above message to 3D Printers Bay. I also included the fact that the radial fan for the cooling nozzle has since started sticking and, when it does, the fan motor gets extremely hot. I'm asking for a partial refund -- totaling $24 USD -- so that I can replace the parts. It will be interesting to see what happens. Now, instead of 3D Printers Bay, the issue is now with the company that built and shipped the printer, and I have the weight of PayPal behind the claim. Unfortunately, this is now taking place during Chinese New Year, which tends to shut that country down, so it may be a while.
RESOLVED: PayPal agreed with my assessment and provided the requested $24 refund.
I would advise against dealing with 3D Printers Bay and/or 3DPrintersBay.com
If quick and consistent communication is important to you, I would suggest sending at least a few pre-purchase messages to 3D Printers Bay to see if they have increased the number and quality of their responses.