Where to buy RGB LEDS WS2811/WS2012?

I need to buy x10 5 Meter (30 or more LEDs per meter) RGB LED strips to replace the ones that I am borrowing for Maker Faire. My lead time is 2 months (60 days, 8 weeks)

Here is what I have found so far.
Princes are for 10x 5 meter strips (50 meters) of >= 30 leds per meter with shipping. Preferred shipping with FedEx, or anything but DHL

For comparison

Suggestions are welcome!

Does anyone have a suggestion on where to order LED strips from. What supplier on Aliexpress, Alibaba or Taobao?
Does anyone want to join me in a shipment of LEDs, See if we can reduce the shipping, import, and duits costs down. If there is enough savings I will get them shipped to USA instead of Canada.

I need to order in the next week or so,

I can’t quote you a price since I didn’t handle the purchase, but at my old workplace we ordered some pretty cheap strips direct from a chinese manufacturer.


Might be worth contacting them for a quote if only for comparison.

I ended up going with this one.

good choice, look like minimum wiring


I selected this seller over other cheaper sells because it was shipping with FedEx instead of DHL. They ended up shipping with DHL instead and I had to pay duties at the door. I am going though disputes via aliexpress to recover the cost of the duties. I don’t expect that I will be successful but I going to try anyways to see the process.


1 Like

Is there the same duty issue when shipping to the US?

Previous, I once had my order shipped to HK then reshipped by HK Post.
Which was a lot cheaper, but more hassle even with my riends and family in

I can’t speak to costs when coming from overseas but items coming via ground
by Fedex, UPS, other courier will pretty much always result in a nice
“present” of extra fees on delivery, most of which will be brokerage charges.

Having the same item shipped by air, while (potentially significantly) more
expensive will still be cheaper that going the ground route.

I learned that many years ago from an online auction company that predated
Ebay and since then I avoid ground shipping like the plauge, either have it
done by USPS or get air shipping by the courier.

[quote=“tdwebste, post:6, topic:2335”]
I once had my order shipped to HK then reshipped by HK Post.Which was a lot cheaper, but more hassle even with my riends and family in HK.[/quote]

I have done this as well, it works best when you are shipping from many different vendors at once. Ship everything to the same place, repackages it and create a single invoice under a new company instead of multiple invoices. It makes it easier to get though Canadain customs.

I do not know, I would expect there to be the same issue but I have never tested it.

Updated interaction with the shipper.
I am waiting until the package is in my hands and inspected before accepting their offer of 1/2 of the taxes. I do realise that these people make almost no margins on these products.

[quote]Dora Peng 2015-06-11 18:50:56
Hello,I kown you choose Fedex, but I think DHL is more fast, so I ship your order via DHL So sorry for all. I just want you to get the package fastter. now, we could pay half of the tax for you, how do you think?
Thanks so much

[quote]Steven Smethust 2015-06-11 10:33:51
Product was shipped via DHL instead of Fedex. The product page said that it was going to be shipped via FedEx. I selected this product over other cheaper products because it said it was being shipped via FedEx. Because is was shipped via DHL I had to pay taxes at the door that I would not have had to do if it was shipped via FedEX. The taxes came out to ~$24 CND. (I have included a copy )

Please refund me the duties that I had to pay.
You have 3 days to respond.

I’m not understanding how you would avoid the tax shipping via FedEx. None of the commercial carriers ever forgo their responsibility to collect them. Duties and taxes are not negotiable, though your choice of carrier will affect how much they ding you as a “collection fee”.

Each of the carriers seems to handle the board differently. I’ve been royally screwed a few times by shipping UPS ground so I won’t ever use that option. The taxes are often required on orders above a certain amount but I’ve seen it get through without that as well… it does seem dependant on which carrier is being used (or maybe how lasy the boarder is that day).

The real kicker on shipping is the ‘brokerage fees’ which is pretty much a (questionably) legal form of highway robbery. When you get a box of $300 in electronics components and UPS all of a sudden requires $200 in brokerage fees… ya… sucks.

1 Like

You are correct, Tax is the wrong term here, its brokerage fees. I set up the shipment to have a value less then is required to tax. So I shouldn’t have paid anything at the door.

I have had great luck clearing customs myself:

  1. As soon as you have a tracking number, call the carrier and tell them you decline their broker services and that you will do your own self-clearing. This will flag your package to be held at their facility upon arrival.

  2. Once the package arrives in the country, call the carrier again and ask for a copy of the Manifest or Waybill

  3. Go to the nearest customs office ( for UPS, Fedex, Purolator, etc. it is most likely the office at the airport ) and present the Manifest/Waybill and the invoice for the goods. If you do not have an invoice as it is included inside the package, you can ask the carrier to get you a copy as well.

  4. Customs will either help you fill out the form (if they are in a good mood), or point you at a computer where you can fill it out. The process is a little cumbersome, but once you done it once, it becomes much easier and faster (you can then pre-fill the form at home). The software to fill out the form is very odd and quirky, I am willing to bet it’s running on some old IBM mainframe in Ottawa.

  5. Present the filled forms to customs, pay the taxes (no brokerage fees)

  6. Go to the carrier with the receipt and they will give you your package


  • Very often the carrier’s customer service staff have not been trained on this process, they will often waive the brokerage fees instead of going through the trouble of figuring out how to do it.

  • Opening an account with the carrier will give you much better rates if you don’t want to go through the customs hassle

  • What will often drive up the cost of brokerage fees is the per-line item cost. Every different item in the package has to be classified according to their Tariff number. Multiples of the same item is one line item. Hence a package with 100 relays will have a much lower brokerage fee than a package with 10 different items. In cases of a large number of different items, it will pay off to do your own self-clearing. I have seen per line-item fees as high as $8.50

I have done self-clearing quite a few times now, so if you have any questions, feel free to ping me.

1 Like

Not sure how much time it would take, but is it really worth it to save $24? Not that big of a duty IMO.

Not for $24, but yes for cases where the fees go up into the hundreds when you have 20+ different items in the package. (For example, each different resistor size will count as a different item if it has a different part number)