Is AliExpress Safe and How to Buy from AliExpress?
Is AliExpress safe? Is AliExpress legit? Is AliExpress reliable? There are the most common query of thousands of customers who have ever think of buying from AliExpress. Definitely, AliExpress is safe and legit.
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, AliExpress is still a safe and legit website you can trust.
So here is a detailed guide on how to 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!
What is AliExpress?
AliExpress is a online marketplace owned by Alibaba Group, known as one of the biggest eCommerce companies worldwide. 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
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 Chinese 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.
Watch out for Counterfeit Products on AliExpress
You will quickly find many branded products on AliExpress. 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.
Why Do AliExpress Products Have Such A Bad Reputation?
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.
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 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 box mail.
AliExpress vs Alibaba
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 drop-shipping, 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 Drop-shipping is not good, because it takes longer shipping time.
With this in mind, it is clear that Alibaba is suitable for merchants who want to buy wholesale goods 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.
The following table makes a detailed comparison of Alibaba vs AliExpress:
Difference Between AliExpress vs. Alibaba
Mode of Business
|Caters for both business to business and business to consumer setting||Caters for the business to business|
|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|
|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|
|Does not custom make products||Provides a platform whereby suppliers offer custom-made products and can even private label products per request|
|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|
|Demands a certain percentage of commission on the sales made||Charges a certain amount of membership fee for the suppliers|
The User Group
|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.||Alibaba suppliers or sellers are mostly trading companies or factories with export business, and most of the buyers are foreign buyers;|
|AliExpress users can register for free, and the commission rate is mainly charged.||The profit model of Alibaba is mainly charging users a membership fee.|
The Payment Method
|On AliExpress, you can use Alipay to do online transactions.||The payment method of Alibaba generally involves relatively large amounts. Users can choose TT or LC offline transactions.|
We have collected some of the top AliExpress alternatives that provide users with quality products at lower prices. Top AliExpress alternatives to to earn huge Profits:
Light up the box.
If your order volume is between AliExpress and Alibaba, I recommend that you try to buy from 1688, but you may encounter some challenges.
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.
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.
Is AliExpress Safe to Do Drop shipping?
So which is why I don’t recommend AliExpress Drop shipping 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 to start. You just need to search in-depth to get the best products.
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, 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 during you buy from AliExpress. You can use the following method.
Is AliExpress Payment Safe?
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 can get rewards points, and you even open a dispute if there arises any problem regarding buyer protection redemption (if it takes too long.)
Is AliExpress safe to use credit cards?
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.
So We can say AliExpress is safe to make a payment because it provides reliable payment protection for the buyers. Note: Never pay off-line
AliExpress fraudulent charge
Someone used my debit card to order stuff on AliExpress. Can the bank detect the person?
If your debit card has been used fraudulently, it’s important to contact your bank as soon as possible to report the unauthorized transactions. The bank can investigate the transactions and work to identify the person who made them. They may also be able to refund the money that was taken from your account. It’s always a good idea to regularly monitor your bank statements and report any suspicious activity to your bank immediately.
How Long Does AliExpress Shipping Take?
The standard AliExpress delivery time is usually 20 to 60 days. Yes, two months is a long waiting time for you to buy from products on AliExpress!
According to our experience, the average arrival time for most items can reach about two weeks (not free shipping).
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.
AliExpress at consolidation warehouse:
If you have multiple orders, a AliExpress consolidation warehouse service can collect small shipments into larger, more economical shipping loads destined for similar destinations.
How to Buy from AliExpress?
Is AliExpress safe to buy good quality? Having a good supplier is an important part of your eCommerce business. 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 bulk 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 the 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. 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.
10. 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.
What Should I Do If The Product Quality Is Not Good Enough 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.
Try to 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 Buyer Protection allows buyers a 60-days timeframe to get a refund or to initiate a dispute.
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.
AliExpress is Safe and Legit Conclusion
Due to the extended shipping times from China, it’s possible that you may have forgotten about your AliExpress order by the time it arrives. However, it is crucial to promptly inspect the received items for any quality issues as soon as they are delivered.
Keep in mind that buyer protection is only effective within the delivery window. In the example mentioned earlier with the handkerchief, you have until November 23rd to initiate a dispute.
So, if the package arrives on precisely November 23rd, it’s essential to file a dispute on that very day!
Ensure that you thoroughly scrutinize your purchased items and take immediate action if you receive subpar or defective products. Delaying this process might necessitate resorting to filing a dispute through PayPal or your credit card company.
In conclusion, AliExpress’s less-than-stellar reputation often stems from unrealistic expectations. As long as you don’t anticipate “premium” quality products, you should generally be satisfied with your AliExpress purchases.
Remember that well-known and recognized brands are typically absent on AliExpress, and even if you come across them, there’s a high likelihood they are counterfeit.
The best approach is to view AliExpress as akin to shopping on eBay, except that all the products are unbranded. The AliExpress marketplace comprises a diverse mix of individuals, small businesses, and factories selling their wares online.
With AliExpress buyer protection and the added safeguard of PayPal or credit card protection, the risk of being swindled and losing your money is practically negligible. However, maintaining quality control can indeed be a challenge, as a product listing image can only convey limited information.
If go beyond online reviews and shop more wisely, AliExpress is safe and legit to buy from. If you need a product sourcing company to help you buy from AliExpress, then do let us know!