If you love online shopping, you may have heard of the Chinese e-commerce platform AliExpress. For those who don’t know, Alibaba is the parent company of AliExpress. It was founded by Jack Ma, who is the 17th richest person in the world in 2020.
The platform has grown a lot over the past few years, and so has people’s skepticism. Therefore, one question I often get is, is AliExpress safe?
The answer to this question depends on many factors. You see, a lot of the stuff you see on the market actually comes from sellers in China, who also list their products on AliExpress for way lower prices for bulk exports to various countries.
Tips To Shop Safely On AliExpress
Is it safe to order from AliExpress? That is. Here are three things you should keep in mind before buying from AliExpress.
1. Seller Ratings And Information Security
Like any other online eCommerce platform, buyers can rate the seller. It would be best if you bought from sellers with higher ratings. If you find a seller with few or no ratings, check the ratings and reviews of the product you want to buy from that seller. Also, check if the user has uploaded product images to make sure that the seller is trustworthy.
Most of the unrated sellers will be waiting to scam you. Trust me; You don’t want the hassle of waiting for AliExpress to get involved and issue a refund as this entire process may take nearly three to four weeks. I scammed once but got my money back thanks to AliExpress Buyer Protection. Also, if you find a product with a price tag that’s too good to be true, ignore it.
If you are not satisfied with the quality of the product, you can file a dispute within 15 days, and both the seller and you will be able to settle. Ultimately, if the seller agrees that the product is faulty, you will either get a full refund or a replacement product.
Summary of the dispute on one of the products I ordered
If the seller fails to respond within a few days, AliExpress will step in and act as a mediator between you and the seller to resolve the issue.
2. Shipping Cost And Delivery Time
Shipping time varies depending on the carriers the sellers choose to ship items. Assuming that the seller ships it via reputable logistics companies, packages delivery shouldn’t take more than 6 weeks, but I remember where I waited for over two months.
Not to mention, if your order is small, it may get lost during transit, and you may need to contact the seller for a refund. However, the chances of your order getting lost are very slim.
You will also need to keep in mind the import duty and taxes, which have recently increased due to increasing tensions between China and other countries.
3. Shipping Method
Usually, there is very little or no shipping cost if you choose AliExpress Standard Shipping. While Standard Shipping is totally safe if you want your order to arrive quickly, you can also take other expensive shipping methods such as DHL and FedEx.
4. Method to Pay
You can pay sellers using your Credit / Debit card (Visa, Mastercard, Maestro). But if you are worried about your card details and personal details being revealed, the best method to pay on AliExpress is to use PayPal.
5. Quality Control And Best Thing To Buy
Since most of the products are sold at low prices, the sellers or the manufacturers didn’t practice good quality. So, the probability that you’ll receive a faulty product is pretty high.
For people who haven’t ordered from AliExpress, I recommend avoiding categories like Jewelry and Watches, Home Appliances, Sports, Cars, and Appliances as they collect more tax. Categories like Phones and Computers, Fashion, and various Consumer Electronics are your safe choices.
Therefore, it is perfectly safe to buy from AliExpress as long as you follow the things mentioned above and more aware of scammers.