I was looking at buying a cheap laser cutter here in the US (I won’t be importing direct from a China laser supplier for reasons mentioned later) and I ran across one of IEHK Enterprises (IEHK.com) machine ads on Google. In the process of checking them out I found some shocking info. So, for the sake of karma I thought this review might offer some feedback and caution should you also be looking to buy from IEHK or any other China laser cutter supplier. I have discovered that many China suppliers operate similar to IEHK. By that I mean they either export direct from their warehouse to their US client (they may or may not handle the import process and fees), or they have a small distribution spot here in the US and ship from there.
As far as IEHK Enterprises is concerned their products include T-shirt printers, UV and hot press printers, Bottle printers, CNC routers, Plasma cutters, and of course laser cutters and engravers. So, that in and of itself is a red flag. With such a wide array of different machine technology how good are they with any specific one? In this case I ran across their larger format laser engraver – and it was cheap.
I did a quick search, but didn’t find any reviews on IEHK so I decided to post some info here. If you have any experience yourself please leave your comments below for the benefit of anyone else also considering this company. Their machines are extremely cheap. I mean to the point that its really hard to believe. For example their Google ad displays a 48×60″ sized CO2 laser engraver priced at – $1,500. Huh? When you click the ad and land on their product page you’re forced to select the power to add to the machine. The lowest option is 60W which then pushes the price up to $3,999. Which is still scary cheap, but I’d say pretty misleading as well. I chatted with them and finally got an answer…
The ‘smoke -n- mirrors’ doesn’t stop there…
IEHK’s CONTACT US page displays a US address in Wayne, PA . Google Maps shows as a 3 story office building. Obviously not where they warehouse machines. Their company is not listed as one of the tenants in suite 1 so it could be a US address they use as a front for their website and to provide a formal LLC business address. But, this is the only address you can find on their website? It’s a little misleading. A little digging shows their actual place of business: Kowloon Hong Kong, China.
Below is info I pulled from a chat session:
Concerns here of course is if IEHK isn’t forthcoming with their pricing or where they operate out of then what else are they covering up? They say it ships directly from China and they handle the customs so it arrives to you. In a perfect world yes but I’ll tell you it’s not that easy. Even if it does arrive there’s a good chance it’s been damaged, inoperable, or both – very likely with glass laser tube. In which case you’re stuck waiting (and hoping) they’ll re ship the correct parts from China.
The laser only has a 3 month warranty while the machine has 2 years? That’s like buying a car with a 3 year warranty while the motor is only 3 months. That’s a big red flag.
The support will also come direct from China. That includes a 12 hour time difference, a language and quality standard barrier. So whatever you saved up front all of a sudden can get expensive from here on out.
IEHK prices are good but payment terms are 40% down and the balance being paid prior to customs clearance. That places the risk on the importer again since China tech companies are often notorious for having product held by the CBP due to a non-compliant FDA accession number that’s either not accurate or up to date. Often products (especially tech products) the CBP will formally hold and inspect machines for components that they suspect to be counterfeit. This is very common. And if ANY small or large item is determined to be counterfeit (regardless if you have knowledge of it or not) you the importer will not only lose the machine you will also be fined and potentially black listed from importing in the future. What are the odds of your machine being inspected? Unfortunately it’s much greater if either you or your exporter are new to import/exporting. A broker can help facilitate the shipping process, but they can’t prevent the CBP from making sure the exporter is responsible for having legit documentation and machine that will pass the CBP. So, that’s why its just not worth the risk of saving a few bucks importing a hobby laser direct from a Chinese company you’re not experienced with. I say that because I’ve experienced the worst of it – even after doing a due diligence on the supplier.
I’m not saying that all Chinese suppliers importing laser machines are dishonest. Many are not. And others are just ignorant and don’t understand how serious the US CBP comes down on illegitimate or undocumented products from China. So, for those reasons I’m going to stick to buying direct from a USA based laser company.
IEHK Enterprise Review Links:
Some other reviews (below) from customers show money was paid but no laser cutter was sent. Again, that is the big risk since they do not customs clear the machine until they receive payment.