Briefly touch on counterfeits and segue back to OP's online bike purchase discussion:
Chinese counterfeiters have to consider economy of scale. They usually mass produce popular apparel or electronics that are in high demand. Such as knockoff New Balance shoes we see scattered across Kunming with their outrageous name variations, lol…. fake Sony earphones, or the ubiquitous low quality components @Tiger alluded to. No name earphones that lasts two months due to poor internal wiring.
However, when it comes to more novel items in niche markets with less turnover such as OP's specific Boskey touring bike (fyi "游行车"), the risk of that being a counterfeit on Taobao shops is relatively minimal due to low ROI.
Tmall flagship stores would counter such risks, but they aren’t completely risk-free. Sometimes aftermarket items in their b&m stores may sneak into their discounted online inventory to be cleared out.
If you notice any defects, these flagships or their cheaper official distributors (代理商) on Tmall usually offer 7-day no-fuss, full refund return policies (七天无理由退货). Return shipping fees are not under warranty unless you prepaid for insurance. Nonetheless, a sound safeguard for buyers.
Apart from 11/11 Tmall flagship promotions, which are a bargain in terms of low cost for high quality, Tmall flagships remain expensive on most days to avoid competing with their b&m stores and/or piss off their franchisees.
@dolphin wrote, “But there are Chinese manufacturers making good bikes.”
Most definitely. Some local generic brands may be manufactured by the same original equipment manufacturer (OEM) that name brands outsource productions to.
For example, my friend’s OEM factory manufacture apparels for flagship Nike, even Nike’s rival Adidas, Northface, Puma, among others that are exported. They also mass produce for brandless Chinese apparel companies tailored to the domestic market, as both OEM and ODM.
Hence, the products of these miscellaneous brands come from the same source that churn out authentic global brands displayed in fancy department stores. Same production know-how & raw materials, granted design and QC differ.
Same goes for China based OEM factories in the immense supply chain for Apple products. For example, one of Apple’s battery suppliers would also manufacture smartphone batteries for less well-known local brands. This OEM would supply across markets to various electronic devices, or batteries for ebike and solar panel makers.
As the old Chinese saying goes, “一分钱一分货" (or "you get what you pay for"). The concept even applies to merchandises of knockoff LV bags, which comes in three to four scales of quality & price range.
However when you buy good quality items for low prices, particularly during sales, that is a bargain in my book. A penny saved is a penny earned.
To say there are "no real bargains in China" or infer ubiquitous low quality or counterfeits may be anecdotal and subjective. Statistics of small numbers if you will, granted be cautious with shady sellers and their manipulation of price to product listings.
A one yuan Nike Air, just ignore.
400 yuan? You may have to select size and color first, which will increase the item's final price. The 400 yuan shoe listed was the pink colored size 4! lol Yes @dolphin, you've been click-baited.
The landscape of competition for sellers are fierce. Sellers look for no holds barred loopholes, but within Alibaba rules & guidelines.