Buying from China
Track your orders. If you have more than a couple of orders it's worth creating a spreadsheet so you can track shipments, deliveries and expiry of buyer protection if appropriate.
Please add any more tips and help with the blank entries below.
Note that Banggood now offer regional distribution which in the UK means shipment from a local warehouse (Greenford in West London as it happens). Local prices are about 20% more but you get your hands on the shiny in three days rather than three weeks, and on larger orders there are no surprises from customs.
The retail presence of AliBaba. Similar to Ebay but payment is held in escrow by Ali until either you acknowledge satisfactory receipt (at which point you forego any redress should the goods be faulty) or the buyer protection period expires (usually in a range of 4-8 weeks).
Generally keener prices than Banggood as suppliers are competing with each other on price and service. You can order from many different suppliers in a single transaction with one payment but the order is split into one for each supplier which makes tracking fun.
Another marketplace like AliExpress.