Is Aliexpress Safe and How to Buy from Aliexpress 2021

Jan 14, 2021 Chapter 1. Sourcing

Is AliExpress Safe? It’s the most common query of thousands of customers who have ever think of purchasing from AliExpress. Definitely, AliExpress is safe and legit. Today in this topic, we will guide you about each detail, how AliExpress work, payment methods, frauds, and much more.

Undoubtedly, AliExpress is one of the biggest online market places where you can find affordable stuff at cheap rates. Due to this, AliExpress carries a bad reputation for selling worthless junk.

So often time people asked me is AliExpress safe to use? Is it safe to buy from AliExpress? Will I lost money if I will buy from AliExpress? And so on.

Since AliExpress is an online marketplace and just like any other market, you would always find dishonest sellers who always look to bilk money from the customers by offering cheap stuff. But do you know what?  AliExpress is a safe and legit website you can buy from it.

So here is a detailed guide on how one can buy from AliExpress safely without ripped off. We will cover every point in detail for you to understand how to stay safe on AliExpress. So without further ado, let’s get started!

Without getting deep down in detail, let’s first see what AliExpress is. 


What is AliExpress

AliExpress is a marketplace owned by Alibaba Group, known as one of the biggest eCommerce companies worldwide. AliExpress is one of its businesses, was launched in 2010 to help online companies selling Chinese products direct to customers.

AliExpress is a market where different independent sellers/small businesses/factories can sell their products directly to individual customers worldwide. It’s interesting to know that mainland Chinese are not allowed to purchase from AliExpress; instead, the Native ones need to shop from a separate marketplace. 


Advantages of buying on AliExpress

  • Inexpensive products
  • Free shipping on most products
  • Safe payment method
  • Effective buyer protection



  • Products with free shipping may take longer to reach the buyer
  • Not all sellers accept PayPal
  • Some sellers may take a few days to send your order to the carrier.
  • counterfeit products


Who buys from AliExpress?

Who buy from AliExpress
Look at the third column, browsing location, [school] is highly relevant. Therefore, it is speculated that a large part of the group is a student group or is relatively close to the age of the student. The consumption power is not high, so choose imitation brands or cheap products.




Why is AliExpress So Cheap?

If you browse certain products on AliExpress, you may immediately notice that many prices are indeed low. Why is it like this? There are two different possibilities, both of which can be found on the website.

First of all, you may buy products directly from the manufacturer, which reduces the cost to you. China’s production costs are much lower than other countries. Inadequate enforcement of intellectual property laws may also be the cause of this situation.

The second possibility that a product is very cheap is that it is counterfeit or fraudulent. As we all know, China is a hotbed of counterfeit products, and AliExpress is no exception. AliExpress offers some very good deals together, but not all products are legal. From electronic products to clothing, you can buy all kinds of counterfeit products here. As we all know, some sellers will deceive buyers, enticing them to pay before they receive the items and then disappear with the money. Of course, telling the difference between legal transactions and theft is crucial when buying goods from AliExpress safely.




AliExpress vs Alibaba

is aliexpress safe

What is Aliexpress vs Alibaba? Many people think that Alibaba and AliExpress are the same, but they are two different parts of the same business. They offer services differently. Alibaba is good when it comes to selling private label products; you could find various sellers on this platform to make customized packaging for your products.

However, if you are thinking of dropshipping, it’s better to go with AliExpress as here you could find cheap products. This platform usually attracts newbies in eCommerce, but I would be honest, AliExpress Dropshipping is not good, because it takes longer. 

The following table makes a detailed comparison of Alibaba vs AliExpress:


Alibaba vs AliExpress

Characteristics AliExpress Alibaba
Mode of Business Caters for both business to business and business to consumer setting Caters for the business to business
MOQ There is no minimum to order quantity Have a minimum order quantity whereby there is a set of requirements on the quantity a buyer can make
Pricing Product prices are listed with no room for negotiation Product prices are not fixed
Risk of quality Customers get what the supplier offers, hence higher quality risk Buyer product knowledge is provided hence reducing quality concerns
Custom design Does not custom make products Provides a platform whereby suppliers offer custom-made products and can even private label products per request
Product availability The process is not time-consuming since the products are already manufactured It takes time for the products to reach the customer
Mode of shipping Goods are in most instances shipped by air freight The sellers and buyers get to decide the mode of shipping to be used
Profit model Demands a certain percentage of commission on the sales made Charges a certain amount of membership fee for the suppliers


1. The user group

Alibaba suppliers or sellers are mostly trading companies or factories with export business, and most of the buyers are foreign buyers;
AliExpress mainly focuses on wholesale and retail, and suppliers can also have companies or individuals, buyers are mainly aimed at foreign small traders or final consumers.

2. Member fee

The profit model of Alibaba is mainly charging users a membership fee. AliExpress users can register for free, and the commission rate is mainly charged.

3. Product types

There are not many restrictions on the products on AliExpress or Alibaba. It is mainly suitable for products with small size and high added value, such as jewelry, digital products, computer hardware, mobile phones and accessories, clothing, cosmetics, handicrafts, sports and tourism products, and other related products.

4. Transportation method

Alibaba cargo transportation is carried out by the buyer and the seller According to the business policy. The amount of products on AliExpress is generally small, usually by air transportation, and international express is the main method.

5. The payment method 

The payment method of Alibaba generally involves relatively large amounts. Users can choose TT or LC offline transactions. On Aliexpress, you can use Alipay to do online transactions.


With this in mind, it is clear that Alibaba is suitable for merchants who want to buy goods in large quantities but have a lower unit price. It is difficult to choose which platform between the two surpasses the other. The fact is, it all depends on the buyer’s needs.



2021 Definitive Guide: Is Dhgate Safe to Buy from?

Is Alibaba Legit?-How to Buy from Alibaba 2021




AliExpress is Safe and Legit to Buy from

Evidence shows that shopping on AliExpress is indeed safe. However, please be careful and realistic. This is the same for any other online marketplace, and you also need to consider how you can go beyond online reviews and shop more wisely. Some companies like Amazon provide you with more protection than others, but if you are willing to focus on what you are doing to save a lot of money, AliExpress is a good choice.


Well, contrary to the views of people regarding AliExpress, buying from it is safe. It’s safer than buying from eBay because here you get the buyer protection program. You are safe here until you purchase from the buyer here. AliExpress offers great protection for buyers.

For instance, if a product doesn’t reach on time or is complete scrap, here is how you could take advantage of your buyer protection.


  • You could contact to AliExpress customer support regarding your order. Highlight the problem to rectify the situation.
  • However, if a seller is not ready to settle the dispute, you can open a dispute ticket with AliExpress.
  • If the seller doesn’t respond within the stated time frame, AliExpress usually refunds the money back within 2 weeks.


So, is Aliexpress safe? Yes, for the most part, you are protected here, unless the seller is not obstinate. Overall, Aliexpress is safe to purchase from.

Taking all factors into consideration, buyers cannot have any doubts about purchasing products from AliExpress. Despite the popularity of its competitors, it is still a solid and reliable e-commerce website.



Is Everything on AliExpress Fake? Why Do AliExpress Products Have Such A Bad Reputation?

The reason is, unrealistic expectations!

Yes, you read it right!

When you purchase something from a U.S based retail shop, you get the quality, because they follow a good quality control process, and so whatever you get is of top-quality. But as compared to this, AliExpress is a retail market of whole sellers where factory manufacturers sell their products, and so there is a very little quality process, and that’s why sometimes to get crap.

There’s no known brand there and so mostly come from different business communities, so quality standards vary. Sometimes the condition could be even worse, and you might get a fake product in your mail.


Watch out for Counterfeit Products on AliExpress

You will quickly find many branded products on AliExpress. Some are genuine products, some are counterfeit products, and some are counterfeit products. Many branded products are manufactured and exported in China. Some factories will sell “spare parts” on AliExpress. Imitations are non-branded products made with the same mold or pattern. These can be as good as the official brands, or they can be none.

A counterfeit product is a product that says it is a brand name, but it is not. There are many such behaviors on AliExpress, so you have to really understand what you want to buy.



Is AliExpress Safe to Do Dropshipping?

So which is why I don’t recommend AliExpress Dropshipping for the long-term business model. The problem with quality control, the long shipping process, and bad customer support could make your business unattractive!

But it’s not like there’s nothing worth buying on AliExpress. You could find a lot of cheap products. You just need to search in-depth to get the best products.

is aliexpress good


The Big Danger of AliExpress: Fraudsters-Aliexpress scams

Undoubtedly, Alipay and AliExpress are good systems, when it comes to customers’ security, and so their record-keeping systems.

Is AliExpress safe to keep your information? Yes, You could be confident that your information is safe and will not be leaked. Unlike other service providers like eBay. In fact, there had been various data leak complaints against eBay.

AliExpress vs eBay

While on the other hand, eBay is a comparable marketplace to AliExpress and offers a wide range of products. As AliExpress is based in China, the labor cost is less than that of other countries, so the products tend to be cheaper than any other country.

But one loose hole in AliExpress is its merchant approval process. As AliExpress says, only Mainland China merchants are allowed to sell their products, but there have been a lot of scam reports. You can even find a whole section of fraud case studies on AliExpress security center.

Check other websites to determine the current prices of the items you want to buy to ensure that the prices on AliExpress are not too low. If it is extremely low, you may have purchased a counterfeit product or have been set as a scam. For non-branded goods, it is not uncommon to save up to 75% compared to high street retail stores.

So, how to stay safe when fraudsters and scammers appear when you buy from AliExpress. You can use the following method.




how to buy from aliexpress

A Complete Checklist: How to Find the Best Quality Products on Aliexpress

Is Aliexpress safe to buy good quality? Having a good supplier is an important part of your eCommerce business. But finding a reliable supplier that could provide good quality supplies could be challenging and expensive as the competition is massive there. But to help you find the right supplier, here is a list of top 10 guidelines you may have to follow if you want to buy from AliExpress safely:


1. Choose Sellers With Positive Feedback:

This is the most basic and crucial step in making a purchase. It helps in evaluating AliExpress suppliers. A common rule that customers usually follow is to buy from those who have 95% or higher positive ratings. 

  • The ‘Feedback Score’ indicates the seller’s performance and the satisfaction level of the customers. If there’s a seller with 95% positive feedback and a 2k feedback score, he would be considered a well-reputed seller. 
  • But that doesn’t mean a seller with a 400 or 500 feedback score is not a trusted seller. 
  • Moreover, another factor to consider is the number of working years the store has been there. 

So to find the positive feedback sellers, you can sort products by seller rating.

2. Compare Prices:

Is Aliexpress safe to buy cheap products?

AliExpress is the best when you make the best out of it. You will be surprised to find some products sold at low prices (compared to competitors). Those are the new suppliers who want to get feedback by selling products at cheap rates.

But that doesn’t mean those products are of high quality. It’s recommended to always compare the prices of different suppliers before making a final decision. For instance, if several suppliers offer a particular product at the same price, but one of them has a significantly lower price, then this is an indication that his products are not genuine. So Beware! 

You can simply use the filtering tool to get the very high or very low priced products and can make a decision accordingly. 

3. Check For Product Authenticity:

You can find a lot of fake products on AliExpress. With such a huge market, it could be difficult to filter out the quality ones. However, there are a few ways you could identify if the product is genuine or not. Below are some of the ways you can ensure what you are purchasing is actually worth buying or not.

  • Check Seller and Product Feedback

This is the best way to ensure you are getting a quality product for the price. Reputed sellers would never dodge their customers. So always check the seller’s feedback. However, if both the seller and product have high ratings, then it’s a good decision to buy. So always check for the seller and the product feedback and always make a wise decision.

  • Check seller’s other products 

If a seller is offering more than one type of product, it’s likely to be authentic compared to those who are new. So you can check the ‘seller’s category’ what brands he is offering.

  • Check out warranties and product price

As we have mentioned, if the price is low, don’t go for it, until the other competitors are offering at the same price. You should find ‘seller guarantees’ on the product.

4. Communicate With AliExpress Supplier Before Making Any Purchase:

Communication is key. You should try to communicate with a seller directly, not on AliExpress. The good way is to write all your requirements to the seller, clear your doubts, and ask them about the item’s specification details, etc. It’s the seller’s responsibility to guide the customers regarding the product so that they can make decisions easily.

5. Pay Attention To Supplier’s Responsiveness: 

Yes, it’s necessary to figure out how attentive a seller is. You can send him a message and can see how long he takes to respond. This will explain his responsiveness to his business. 

Keep track of local China time (UTC +8) before you do this.

6. Negotiate Prices On Bulk Orders:

Yes, when you buy something in bulk, then most sellers on AliExpress will offer a small discount for bulk orders. You can check for it under the page. You need to understand the pricing, and then try to negotiate with the seller. 

7. Read Full Item Details/Description Carefully:

It’s foolish to place your order without reading the product details and description. Often useful information is included in the product’s detail section, which could help you. You can find every detail of a product in the description, about the clothing material or manufacturing material, etc.

8. Look For Seller Guarantees:

Yes, this is the most crucial step! You should check for seller guarantees. For instance, if you are purchasing something, then always look for the ‘Guaranteed Genuine’ Tag.

However, if you still find the product defective, you could get a full refund, including the shipping cost. So it’s necessary to check for the seller guarantee to ensure you are taking advantage of this tag in case of any quality issue.

9. Understanding the hidden cost (AliExpress Custom/Import Duty):

If you are new to online shopping and have shipped an item to your country from abroad, you probably may not be familiar with import taxes; sellers attempt to bypass the customers. 

Almost all countries have their own import tax: a percentage value of a product that is being imported. It’s necessary to pay this tax to your current government to bring something into your country. 

However, in the EU, the VAT is almost 20%, which is imposed on almost everything. It’s a legal responsibility to pay these charges, and the shipping company must pay it on your behalf.

You could also require to pay a handling fee of $10-$15. So that’s mean if you are purchasing a $10 bargain gadget, which may surely not be a bargain once you get an implied tax of $2 to %10, then surely you are at a loss.

You could be shocked to find all these hidden charges, forcing you to leave a bad review for a particular seller. However, you would find various sellers marking packages as low as a valuable gift, but this is illegal. 

The above guidelines are for you to mitigate all the fraud chances of getting junk in your mail.

10. Check AliExpress Delivery Times

AliExpress is based in China, so 80% of products are shipped from China suppliers. You would be lucky if you find a local distributor on AliExpress from your country. But the chances are rare, but there is still a higher volume of product listings that fall under it.

Generally, it takes around 28 days in shipping if you go for a cheap shipping option. But it could be fast if you pay a little more.

Overall, it takes 2 weeks to 2 months, depending on your location, the shipping service, and the seller’s speed in getting your products ready to be shipped.

However, the delivery guarantee remains last for the last day of the estimated delivery time for buyer protection.

11. Check AliExpress Order Right Away

As the shipping from China usually takes a long, and you might easily forget about your AliExpress order by the time it arrives, so whenever you receive it, check it as soon as possible for quality problems.

The reason is, buyer protection lasts only till the duration of the last estimated time. For instance, if your order has arrived on 20 August, you need to file a dispute that day.

You need to take action immediately once you get junk shipping. Otherwise, you may have to resort to filing a dispute with the credit card company.

In my personal experience, I think a store with a unified photo can provide better quality products when you won’t buy from Aliexpress. But many of these kinds shops are not real manufacturers, and the prices may be higher.

is aliexpress safe to buy





AliExpress Safe Payment Methods

Once you are all set to check out, click on the ‘checkout’ button and fill in the personal and shipping information.

The best option is to use a credit card or PayPal because you get points, and you can even open a dispute if there arises any problem regarding buyer protection redemption (if it takes too long.) 


AliExpress payment method

Since the escrow system allows you to withhold payment before receiving the order, you can confirm the payment. Ensure that all items are included and look like the items you ordered, and if you are buying branded items, they will not look fake. After marking the product as “received”, you still have 15 days to dispute the product. So AliExpress is safe to use credit cards.

First of all, your credit card details will not be provided to the seller, so you don’t have to worry about the seller stealing your identity or using your credit card for shopaholics.

Second, you will not pay the seller until you confirm that you have received the payment for the purchase. Therefore, if you are cheated, you can get a simple refund from AliExpress without having to go through a long, painful, and possibly hopeless refund procedure with the seller.

So We can say AliExpress is safe to make a payment because it provides reliable payment protection for the buyer. 

Note: Never pay off-line





What is the Quality of AliExpress’AliExpress’ Products?

In most cases, the goods you buy will be the same as those on the street. so, AliExpress is safe to buy some quality products. However, sometimes you may be dissatisfied with the product. For example, maybe the material thickness of that piece of clothing does not meet your expectations. In this case, you should be realistic when contacting the seller.

Unless there are specific items in the list that can be pointed out as incorrect, simply disliking the purchased item is not sufficient for the request a Refund.


What Should I Do If The Product Quality Is Not Good from AliExpress?

Well, there is no such power that could protect you from a poor-quality product. It could happen to everyone. However, it’s not unusual for sample products to be a bit different from the final product.

But in case, if you experience such an issue, you could rule out litigation- European/American court judgment is not workable to Chinese companies.

One more thing is, if you have already made a payment, then the chances are less to get a refund. This case is especially applicable for the big sellers with a lot of reviews; there would be no impact of bad reviews on their business.


When a user receives a poor or low-quality product from AliExpress, here’s what he should do:

Ask if it’s a manufacturing error: Yes, it would probably be the manufacturing defect. You could ask the seller about it. Maybe the manufacturer is in the process of upgrade, so in this case, a seller might be able to make up for you in the next order.

So, what should you do if you are not satisfied?


Try it and stop buying from the seller.

 If the product has indeed been delivered and the product description and photos are accurate, AliExpress will not provide refund assistance.

You may be able to negotiate a partial refund.

 If your first instinct is to evaluate a product as a 1-star, it is almost sure that this is no longer an option. Scoring is essential and maybe your only bargaining tool.

You may want to return an item, but be very careful. 

Shipping the product back to China may cost more than the amount you originally paid for the product, and the fee will not be refunded. Tracking items shipped back to China is unreliable, and sometimes they can even disappear entirely at Chinese customs.

One could hire a third-party inspection company:

Due to poor quality risks, a lot of businesses hire Third-Party inspection companies to ensure product quality. You can search for ‘third party inspection China’ and can find out the companies.  AliExpress’s Buyer Protection allows buyers a 60-days timeframe to get a refund or to initiate a dispute.




How Long Does AliExpress Take to Deliver?

The standard delivery time for all products on AliExpress on the product page is usually 20 to 60 days. Yes, two months is a long waiting time for you to purchase products online! According to my experience, the average arrival time for most items is about two weeks, but of course, you need to be patient to buy items directly from China.

AliExpress shipping timePlease note that this will be slower in some cases, such as the Lunar New Year (approximately early February) and Double Eleven (11/11). I once made the mistake of buying some Christmas gifts during the Double Eleven sale: some of them didn’t arrive until mid-January.

Almost all shipments (even free shipping) will provide tracking numbers first, but it may take a week to send the package out. After that, you should follow the tracking number and then arrive at your local customs clearance office after a long wait.

If you do not have an update for your tracking number after 10 days, you should contact the seller. You will not be able to open a formal non-delivery dispute before the maximum delivery time is exceeded.

If you can’t get the package finally for any reason, AliExpress will give you a full refund. So for the shipping time and tracking number, AliExpress is safe to buy from and you can choose any shipping method.


My final advice comes from personal experience. If you buy expensive things, please do not choose free postage. Pay some additional fees for insurance or guaranteed delivery. Free postage will use the cheapest carrier, usually slower, and include minimal insurance. If you are buying something expensive, it is worth the extra few dollars to make sure it is delivered to you safely.





Hidden Costs of AliExpress: Import Taxes

If you are not familiar with the information about shipping goods from China to your country/region, you may not be clear about the idea of ​​import taxes involved; otherwise, the seller will often try to avoid these taxes for you.

Almost all countries/regions impose import taxes: the percentage value of the fees paid on you when importing items.

In the European Union, this is almost a 20% value-added tax levied on all commodities. The payment is your legal responsibility. The transportation company will pay on your behalf and then issue the bill to you. They will also charge you a processing fee for the privilege;

Many people were shocked to discover these hidden allegations and ultimately left bad comments on the seller. Therefore, you will find that most sellers will bypass import duties and automatically mark all packages as low-value “gifts.” Please note: this is illegal. You should pay taxes. 

However, unless you are trying to commit a large-scale fraud, this will not cause you trouble.

Please note that you will need to use the slow free shipping method if you try to import something deliberately without paying tariffs. Express delivery companies such as DHL have stricter regulations and will not carry packages marked with gifts. If you can only transport something by express, you must consider the additional 20% of the cost to be paid when the goods arrive before releasing the package.

So before buying from AliExpress safely, learn your country’s Duty and tariffs policy by yourself research. 





Buy from AliExpress FAQ

How long does it take for a payment to be processed on Aliexpress?

It is not normal. It usually takes1- 24 hours.

Is AliExpress legit?

AliExpress is legit and safe. AliExpress’s escrow system makes it become a safe and reliable website both for customers and sellers. In case your package arrives damaged or lost, you can get a refund as AliExpress has a secure buyer protection system.

Can you get scammed on AliExpress?

one loose hole in AliExpress is its merchant approval process. As AliExpress says, only Mainland China merchants are allowed to sell their products, but there have been many scam reports. You can even find a whole section of fraud case studies on AliExpress security center.

Is it safe to buy on AliExpress?

Buying from AliExpress is very safe. Because of its buyer protection program, AliExpress even safer than eBay. Once you pay through AliExpress, you are protected until you receive the products.

Are all products on AliExpress fake?

Most of the suppliers on AliExpress are legitimate business owners. However, fed bad suppliers sell copyrighted or infringing products on the AliExpress platform, causing a series of issues.

Can you get scammed on AliExpress?

AliExpress sells some excellent quality products. However, not all the products selling on AliExpress are legit. You may have a chance to buy some counterfeit items from AliExpress. To avoid getting scammed on AliExpress, buyers should pay directly through the AliExpress platform to obtain 60 days of protection.

Does AliExpress only ship from China?

No, Most of the products shipping from China on Aliexpress. But many sellers use the overseas warehouse to deliver the package from a local country to reduce the shipping time.

How do I find quality products on AliExpress?

Follow this 11 checklist to find quality products on AliExpress.

  1. Choose Sellers With Positive Feedback
  2. Compare Prices
  3. Check For Product Authenticity
  4. Communicate With AliExpress Supplier Before Making Any Purchase:
  5. Pay Attention To Supplier’s Responsiveness: 
  6. Negotiate Prices On Bulk Orders:
  7. Read Full Item Details/Description Carefully:
  8. Look For Seller Guarantees
  9. Understanding the hidden cost (Custom/Import Duty)
  10. Check AliExpress Delivery Times
  11. Check AliExpress Order Right Away

Is there an alternative to AliExpress?

7 websites alternative to ALIExpress

Company Category Type
Alibaba General Wholesale
AliExpress General Wholesale & small order
Global Sources General Directory Limited category Wholesale
Made in china Machinery, Electronics Directory General Chinese wholesale website
Lightinthebox Limited category Wholesale



Is Aliexpress reliable?

Aliexpress is a safe and reliable website. It has a comprehensive security system to protect both customers and sellers. This is why AliExpress is so famous around the world.



Buy from AliExpress Conclusion

So, in a nutshell, AliExpress is a safe and legit marketplace to buy good products, but you need to be careful while making any purchase. Your unrealistic expectations could be ended up having a low-quality product. The formula is simple; if you are looking for low prices, you should expect low-quality products and so vice versa.

AliExpress is a whole marketplace, composed of different businesses, small or big, working to sell their products. However, when it comes to payment protection, there’s enough security. You get buyer protection and so PayPal/Credit Card protection, so you shouldn’t worry about losing your money.

Surely, there is a big loss hole, and that is of the quality control system. There is no such system that can control this, and so you have to deal with it.

We have shared some of the important points to keep in mind while purchasing from AliExpress. If you follow all the guidelines mentioned above, then there’re 99% chances you will end up buying something really good with good rates.

If go beyond online reviews and shop more wisely, AliExpress is safe and legit to buy from.

If you have something interesting to share with us regarding AliExpress, then do let us know!


4 2 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
1 Comment
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
How to Send Money to China Safely: 5 Main Common Methods - Supplyia
1 year ago

[…] course, Trade Assurance is one of the safest procedures to buy products through Alibaba. Being one of the safest methods means your orders are under protection until you get them. That […]