Why you should buy cables online

Today, I went to the often infamous Sim Lim Square with JiaCheng and Daniel. It's the best place to get PC parts and certain electronics in Singapore. A large number of mobile phone accessories stores are scattered around Sim Lim Square, frequently selling large numbers of Micro USB and Lightning cables in open bins. They are sold around $8 a piece, all not worth because they go for a dollar from Taobao (and I'm sure they buy from there too), and they are made terribly. I once got cables at these kind of stores that stopped working in a month, because of terrible solder joints that I had to resolder back on.

I made a bet with JiaCheng that these stores would not sell USB Type C cables, and that if he found one, I would buy it for him. Sure enough, we came across a store that did sell USB C cables. So I wasted $8 on one, despite that I wouldn't use it because I don't have any USB C devices yet (and I doubt the quality). Of course, you shouldn't buy consumer goods at SLS.

We bought it off the display racks. It even advertised USB 3.0 capabilities, but of course I doubted it or that it would work at all.

Photo of the case and cable

Box claims

  1. Very nice verification sticker, but you're the only one at the key signing party.
  2. USB3.0? Wow!
  3. Fast charging does work! It provides psychosocial satisfaction when using this cable.

Heck, it's definitely not USB 3.0. Let's see.

It's USB 3.0! Wow

Lies, I sense. For comparison:

Actual USB 3.0 connectorBy smial (talk) - Own work, FAL, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=11999240

At least it got them USB 3.0 feels. Yeah, the blue connector color was really convincing. Well, I expected it. Look at that very "legitimate" flipped SuperSpeed logo too!

But wait, does the cable actually work? Or does it blow up stuff? We plugged it into JiaCheng's phone (the connector was a bit tighter than normal), and into his laptop, and yes it worked. Great, at the very least it ran at USB2.0 speeds.

Don't ever expect anything from these shops.