Buying products on AliExpress, the Chinese mega webshop, is becoming more and more popular. AliExpress is an online retail based in China that is owned by the Alibaba Group. Launched in 2010, it is made up of small businesses that offer products to international online buyers. Mainland Chinese citizens cannot purchase products from AliExpress. Almost everything you order is extremely cheap, so you would suspect that many things are of poor quality. Of course that can happen, but it certainly doesn’t have to be. So, is it safe to buy on AliExpress? Here we have put together all the questions you might have when coming to purchasing on AliExpress.
Who are the sellers on AliExpress?
Similar to Amazon, AliExpress consists of shops from many different sellers. Not every seller is equally reliable: some sellers sell fake products or use misleading photos. AliExpress is extremely harsh on this, especially in the last years and removes these types of shops as soon as they are discovered. Due to strict AliExpress policy the amount of non-reliable sellers has diminished significantly, however to avoid unpleasant situations always look carefully at the ratings and the number of orders. That is the most important tip we can give you!
How Safe is AliExpress?
Is it save to buy on AliExpress? YES, AliExpress is safe! This is due to Buyer Protection program, that guarantees that if your product doesn’t arrive on-time, not according to the description and if it arrives incomplete or broken you can get a partial or full refund. Buyer Protection has been simplified over the years. There is nothing you need to do to have buyer protection. It will be automatically activated once you have made your purchase. But how does it actually work and what do you need to do to get a refund?
Buyer protection works in 3 steps
1. Contact seller. You would need to log in, click on your account logo (upper right corner indicated by blue arrow), click on My Orders. In My Orders folder you will see all your purchased products. In Product Action column there is a direct link to Contact Seller (indicated by red oval). Discuss the issue with the seller and see possible solutions. In our experience, most of the time the seller will try to avoid any negative experience you might have purchasing his product and will except your conditions.
2. Apply for Refund. If you can’t come to an agreement with the seller, simply raise a claim by opening a Dispute within 15 days following the delivery of your order or the end of the package receipt confirmation period (as listed in your order details).
3. Get money back in 15 days. If the seller doesn’t respond to the dispute, AliExpress guarantees a refund and you will get your money back. In our experience, for cheap products that can happen more often than for a more expensive products. If seller responds, however does not agree with your complains, AliExpress will step in and based on the provided information will decide to support or reject your claim. Most of the time the choice again will be in favor of a buyer.
What can you do to reduce the chance of return?
Always pay attention to the ratings and customer reviews
The feedback system on AliExpress makes it easy to get the first feeling if you can trust the seller and his product. Read it carefully before you decide to make a purchase. Personally we rarely order anything that has not yet received feedback. The easiest way to find good products is to order the products by ratings. The products with the most positive ratings are then placed at the top.
Check the Customer Reviews. If there are a lot of positive reviews and many purchases, that is a good indication that seller on AliExpress is reliable and the product is good.
Always look at user photos
Extra insights in product you can get from looking at photos uploaded by other buyers. Then you can immediately see how a product looks like in real life and not on a professional photo. The photos on AliExpress can create a somewhat unrealistic image to make product look more attractive so that you would want to buy it. To see the real picture would give you a much better idea of a real product. Here you can also find extra information provided by a buyer. If the review is written in other language, there is a handy “Translate to English” button, click it.
You often hear horror stories about orders from AliExpress that arrive months later. In the past this was indeed the case, but we noticed that the shipping time is getting shorter. AliExpress has a cooperation with the postal service in many countries. As a result, the shipping time can be reduced considerably and your package will usually arrive within two or three weeks. Does it take longer than that before your package arrives? Then you can make a report and AliExpress ensures that you get your money back. Of cause, this is still much longer than purchasing product from Amazon, where you get you product within two days, however for the price and quality you get it is worthwhile of some waiting time.
If to conclude in one phrase, then Yes, is it safe to buy on AliExpress and fun to shop. What makes most people hesitant to use it is that there are no major brands there that we can recognize. And Yes, AliExpress does everything to keep the platform free from scammers. They allow people to post pictures and leave detailed reviews about the products. Check reviews, look at the rating and follow your gut feelings. If something doesn’t look right don’t buy. But you could be ignoring a great resource by dismissing one of the largest eCommerce platforms on the planet.