What’s Up with the XHDATA D-808 Availability in the USA?

After the initial flurry of reports, interest, and purchases of the XHDATA D-808 portable receiver by radio enthusiasts, the door on USA shipments seems to have slammed shut.

This fine DSP-based portable went live in early December 2017 for USA purchasers when it was offered by AliExpress for $69.98 with shipping. Later, the RadiWow site started selling the radio for nearly the same price including USA shipping.

Now in mid-March 2018, the D-808 is nowhere to be found on AliExpress:

Sure, the RadiWow firm still ships the D-808 to the USA, but for a ridiculous “we don’t really want your business anyway” price. (A company that has a product page with “LOGO” in the corner is certainly not paying attention…perhaps they meant to enter “USD $20” as the cost? :^)

My hope is that XHDATA is working on an exclusive USA distributorship, such as Kaito Electronics Inc. has in this country for Kaito radios, or perhaps the D-808 will eventually be found only on Amazon USA. Maybe the highly regarded EBay seller Anon-Co (Anna) is at work behind the scene to offer this model exclusively.

What’s going on here? Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below.


Guy Atkins is a Sr. Graphic Designer for T-Mobile and lives near Seattle, Washington.  He’s a regular contributor to the SWLing Post.

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18 thoughts on “What’s Up with the XHDATA D-808 Availability in the USA?

  1. Edward

    It is potentially a good radio, A lot of ergonomic issues, like the buttons. Ever try to operate it in the dark? Not the easiest radio to operate. some buttons are multiplexed so you have to push twice to get another function. My speculation is they are doing an ergonomic redesign to make it easier to use.

    Reply
    1. 13dka

      The backlight is very bright, so I just cover the display with my hand so the reflected light shines on the buttons. Also serves well as a reading lamp. 🙂

      Reply
  2. Troy Riedel

    I received one of the first D-808s when Aliexpress went live to the USA. It was a gift. Several weeks later when I tried to order a 2nd one the site indicated it could no longer ship to the USA. When I emailed the vendor, I received a reply (remember, English is a secondary or tertiary language) that:

    “Because our new product D-808, has a great influence on US market in radio, so we do not sell in US temporarily … because our competitor do not want us to rush their market. If you could understand us, that would be better.”

    So my interpretation is, yes, this radio may be rebadged under a different name exclusively for the USA [in the coming months] – maybe someone else has a different interpretation? I assume “competitor” may actually be “partner”.

    Reply
    1. 13dka

      That’s an interesting bit! It does make sense – I assume they’re really mean “competitor” – the radio is quite similar in functionality e.g. to the Eton Satellite/Executive and “Eton” radios are quite (some “eton branded products are also sold in the UK) exclusive to the US market and not available in Europe at all.

      Reply
      1. Troy Riedel

        Well, maybe “customer” is a better translation? Why would a company *not* “flood the market” of a “competitor”? That’s what competition is & what competitors do 🙂

        However, if that “competitor” is a “partner” aka “customer”, then I would understand them not wanting to upset that customer.

        Reply
        1. 13dka

          Eton (formerly Lextronics) is a US company based in Palo Alto. They serve the US market with products they may or may not have designed/specified there and has them built-to-order in China. XHDATA is (I guess) just one of many Chinese wholesalers and they initially did sell that radio in the US. It’s very similar to one of the flagship products of Eton, but it was sold directly from China at a much lower price. So they were actually competing with Eton on the US market, and the massive buzz that little radio caused in the SWL blogosphere made that competition (possibly unintentionally) quite aggressive.

          It doesn’t need much imagination to guess what may have happened next. Eton may have threatened the manufacturer (which may be the same for the Satellite and the 808) to do their business with someone else in another cheap labor country, or maybe they complained at the Chinese trade commission (or whatever authority is in charge for that) about the unfair direct Chinese interference in “their” market.

          That interference doesn’t make sense for the manufacturer, and even if it’s 2 different manufacturers it doesn’t help with the current tensions in the trade relations between China and the US, so one of those convinced XHDATA to stay the f. out of the US market.

          Reply
  3. adi

    I just checked and it looks that only the Russian warehouse has few but I don’t know where it will ship.
    *Got mine few weeks ago (70$) and I realy hate that one can’t scroll the memories . Major flaw in design, even the 14$ V-115 will do so.

    Reply
  4. 13dka

    I bought mine last week off Amazon.de. It was sold by a Chinese marketplace dealer (“Idol Radio”) and shipped by Amazon, who sent it to me from one of their British warehouses. They still have 19 in stock but the price is 5 eurobucks more now.

    My guess is that a limited first production run got (understandably) sold out at AliExpress first, which is apparently the only source for the US currently. “radiowow.com” seems to be the “manufacturer’s” outlet (well it’s obviously some built-to-order job) and they obviously ran out of stock as well and expect the next batch soon as their website suggests.

    An importer/reseller like “Idol Radio” sells them slower over their Amazon Marketplace store, so there are still some left.

    Reply
    1. Marcus Keulertz

      I received mine via their reseller in Peterborough near Manchester in less than 24 hours here in Düsseldorf,Germany.The price was 79 Euros.
      I like the radio,especially the AIR button interests me.

      Reply
      1. 13dka

        Then you’re in for a treat! I did some thorough tests with the D-808 since I have it and I compared the D-808 with the PL-660 and my Alinco scanner on the Air band. The PL-660 is known for its deafness there so it lost big time, my stupid 400€ Alinco DJ-X11 is as sensitive as the D-808 but it can’t separate two adjacent 8.33kHz channels due to its abysmal AM/NFM filter.

        The D-808 can do that at all rates (it’s not needed but the AM filters are switchable on the Air band as well), so it’s just as sensitive as the Alinco but it has more selectivity, and unlike many other receivers with a tacked-on Air band it has a working squelch. So it beats my other radios there and it’s currently the only (portable) radio that lets me conveniently monitor our local airstrip’s changed “Info” frequency, which is now only one channel above a busy Bremen radar frequency.

        Reply
  5. Thomas

    It doesn’t make sense, does it Guy? It’s so odd to release a product in such a controlled way.

    I’ve been operating under an assumption similar to yours: that a retailer like Kaito USA may re-badge this radio for the US market. In the meantime, D-808 retailers aren’t allowed to be competitive in the US/Canada.

    Also, perhaps a retailer and manufacturer like Eton Corp might take the D-808 and transform it into an Eton portable?

    Who knows? Perhaps we’ll sort it all out later this year. I hope so, because I get questions about D-808 availability almost daily.

    Thanks, Guy!

    Reply
  6. Tudor Vedeanu

    I received my D-808 three days ago. It’s a very good radio for that money (I paid $64 and free shipping from China) but it’s no better than other radios I own. People say the D-808 is an Eton Satellit in a different package and I believe it’s true. I own both and the performance is similar. I still prefer the Eton for its better build quality, the better sound and less quirks.

    Reply
    1. Golan Klinger

      The XHDATA D-808 is a decent radio at an excellent price but I don’t think it’s quite as good as the Eton Satellit (few radios are, in my opinion) and with the recent drop in price of the Satellit, that’s the radio I most often recommend.

      With the lower price of the nearly identical D-808 and the technical superiority of the Satellit, I don’t hear much about the Digitech AR1780 anymore. Pity. I’m quite fond of that radio.

      Reply
      1. Guy Atkins

        I found enough differences between the Satellit and the D-808 to make me suspect they use DSP chips from different vendors. After comparing the two on various weak & strong signals I decided that for my purposes I prefer the D-808, and sold my Executive Satellit model.

        It’s good to have choices in the marketplace. Now, if the XHDATA receiver becomes widely available again, that will be great!

        Reply
  7. Davo

    I am wondering if its the same issue as what it was before there was stock. The radio was listed for US$2,000, and then when stock became available the price dropped to US$69. I had requested an email from seller when stock was available which they sent me.

    Reply
    1. Davo

      Actually just done a search of aliexpress and there are units listed:

      https://www.aliexpress.com/wholesale?catId=0&initiative_id=SB_20180314172434&SearchText=XHDATA+D-808

      for US$80

      However they note that:

      “Thanks for your support of our company’s D-808, due to high strictly in production, leading to the suppliers can not follow sales. The warehouse in China, UK, Germany, French,Spanish and Italy short of stocks temporarily. The next stock would be available in about Aparil 10. If you really want to get the product of D-808, you could leave us your email, when we have the stock, we will contact you immediately, and give you 5$ for discount.”

      Reply
      1. Guy Atkins

        Davo, when I click on the link you provided I get the same “Sorry, your search did not match any products” as before. I suspect you live in a different country than the USA, and AliExpress’ web site detects this.

        73, Guy

        Reply

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