Shopping at Action - A lot for little

A power bank for just under three euros or a micro-USB charging cable for just seventy cents. Frequent visitors to Action (and other price fighters) are no longer surprised by such rock-bottom prices. Is cheap also expensive in this case, or is shopping at Action really worth it? You can read it in this extensive test!

“How can they make it?” is a question that invariably comes up with many Action visitors. Anyone who saw the VPRO documentary 'The prize fighter' last year knows the answer to this. The products are mass-produced in Chinese mammoth factories, where workers have to toil blood, sweat and tears for bitterly low wages. Because Action also buys huge numbers, it manages to keep the price down. And where other stores flip the prices of their products four times over, Action (like other discounters) only does that twice. The margins are therefore smaller, but due to the sky-high volumes, the profit at this successful retail chain is certainly no less. Back to what really matters in this test, namely the quality of the products. Is the sold electronics still of an acceptable level or are they rather disposable items? We put twenty popular Action products with a combined value of less than a hundred euros on the rack.

Action

Action opened its first branch in Enkhuizen in 1993 and a year later the budget chain already managed eight stores. In the more than two decades that followed, the company experienced enormous growth. There are now more than a thousand Action stores spread across the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Austria and Poland. The range consists of about six thousand budget products from the lower price segment that generate a combined turnover of 3.5 billion euros. In total, about 39 thousand people are employed at this discounter.

Wireless Key Finder

Everyone sometimes loses their keys, after which an exhausting search follows. Thanks to the Wireless Key Finder, this annoyance is a thing of the past. The product consists of two square key rings, each with a blue or red side. In addition, a transmitter with an extremely fragile standard is included. If you press the blue or red button, the corresponding key fob will beep. That signal is not very loud. For example, you won't hear the receiver beeping on the ground floor if you've left the keys lying around on the first floor. The distance covered by the wireless transmitter is not stated anywhere on the packaging. In practice, a distance of more than ten meters turns out to be no problem at all. A downside is that the two required AAA penlites and CR2032 batteries are not included. Furthermore, the button cell does not fit smoothly into the receiver, so that the cover plate rises slightly.

Wireless Key Finder

Price

€4.86 6 Score 60

  • Pros
  • Simple to use
  • Bridges more than ten meters
  • Negatives
  • Fragile Stand
  • Batteries not included
  • Receiver cover

Maxxter ACT-SPK-107A Stereo Speakers

Anyone looking for a PC speaker set for barely five euros will probably end up with this dirt-cheap product from Maxxter. The housing consists entirely of plastic, with a colored ring visible around the audio driver. One speaker is slightly heavier, because it contains a modest amplifier with an output power of twice 3 watts. There is also a volume control on this. You can connect to the PC with the integrated 3.5mm audio cable. Both the adapter cable and the audio cable are a bit on the short side. Each speaker features just a single audio driver that does the arduous task of reproducing all audio frequencies. Unfortunately, after connecting the speakers, we hear a pretty loud hum. You can partly drown this out with music, but that is of course not ideal. Vocal lines also sound shrill and bass tones are barely audible. However little this product costs, this disposable product is a waste of your money.

Maxxter ACT-SPK-107A Stereo Speakers

Price

€ 4,95

Website

www.maxxter.biz 2 Score 20

  • Pros
  • dirt cheap
  • Negatives
  • Lousy audio quality
  • Loud hum audible
  • Short cables

Maxxter and Gembird

Action sells a lot of Maxxter budget electronics. It is a daughter brand of the Dutch parent company Gembird. For that reason, some photos of Maxxter products show the Gembird logo.

Eurodomest Led Bluetooth Lamp

With a purchase price of 12.95 euros, this smart lamp from Eurodomest is the most expensive product in this test. It is an LED color lamp with an E27 fitting that you can turn in any suitable fixture. When you switch on the lamp, the bulb emits a white light. If you take the trouble to download the Eurodomest app from the App or Play Store, you can choose between all kinds of dimmable colours. After installation, the app recognizes the LED lamp almost immediately. This is done via a bluetooth connection. With the help of a slider you can easily adjust the light intensity, while you can select a different color on a round palette. You can also create your own scenarios. Unfortunately, it is not possible to set time schedules. Incidentally, the number of lumens is only 550, so the light is not as bright as you may be used to from well-known lighting systems such as Philips Hue. However, the product is fine for some mood light in the living room. An added bonus is that this lamp is certified with energy class A+.

Eurodomest Led Bluetooth Lamp

Price

€ 12,95

Website

www.eurodomest.eu 7 Score 70

  • Pros
  • Color lamp
  • Great app
  • User friendly
  • Negatives
  • Can't be that bright
  • No timetables

Maxxter ACT-BTR-03 Bluetooth Audio Receiver

The ACT-BTR-03 is a modest bluetooth receiver that you can in principle connect to any (traditional) hi-fi system. That way you stream music from a smartphone or tablet to a decent speaker set. This rectangular plastic box measures only 6 × 3.6 × 1.5 centimeters, so you can easily store it somewhere near your audio system. It is nice that Maxxter supplies both a 3.5 mm audio cable and a RCA cord, although the cables are very short. Fortunately, that is usually not such a problem, because a bluetooth receiver does not have to be in sight. It is striking that a battery with a capacity of 250 mAh is built in. The manufacturer promises a listening time of about six hours, so you do not have to connect the device to the mains. For charging via a computer, use the supplied USB cable. Unfortunately, it is also very short, making it difficult for practical reasons to connect the ACT-BTR-03 to a USB power adapter. Pairing is quite smooth, with two blue LEDs showing the connection status. The receiver establishes contact with a mobile device via a bluetooth2.1 connection. The music effortlessly guides the device to your amplifier and speakers. Do not expect CD quality (aptX), but this product is fine for Spotify streams and MP3s.

Maxxter ACT-BTR-03 Bluetooth Audio Receiver

Price

€ 7,99

Website

www.maxxter.biz 8 Score 80

  • Pros
  • Easy to use
  • Compact housing
  • Two audio cables included
  • Negatives
  • Short cords
  • No aptX support

Micro USB Card Reader

The second cheapest product in this test costs only three quarters. It is a micro SD card reader that you can insert into a suitable tablet or smartphone. That way you (temporarily) have extra storage. The only requirement is the presence of a micro USB port on the mobile device. The device sits fairly firmly in the micro-USB port and protrudes 3.4 centimeters after connection. Carrying the whole thing in a pocket is not a good idea because of the risk of breaking. After you insert a micro-SD card into the slot, Android detects the storage carrier immediately. Handy in case you want to transfer photos and videos, for example.

Micro USB Card Reader

Price

€0.75 9 Score 90

  • Pros
  • External Storage for Mobile Devices
  • Negatives
  • Sticks out relatively far

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