Its really simple to shop and buy online with AliExpress given the vast array of products at such attractive prices. But as frequent AliExpress users have found, there are certain times when reality doesn’t match expectation when the products arrive. That is why a little homework and knowledge about the sellers can mean the difference to get the most out of AliExpress.
What to consider while buying on AliExpress?
Shopping online may make some of us nervous since we are paying money to someone who we have never met and that someone also happens to be half way around the globe. Rest assure the tips we roundup below will definitely help consumers buy safely on AliExpress, especially the newest sign ups.
Research the Price of an Item
Don’t assume that the first seller you see offers the cheapest price, some AliExpress sellers jack up their prices or just don’t price them realistically. If the item is also offered elsewhere, do check out the prices of other sellers. You can search for the item on Google, which may show you the price among a variety of retailers. Don’t be too surprised if Walmart or Target sells them cheaper.
If something looks too good to be true, of course, be wary. AliExpress has been working on removing unsafe and fraudulent products in the online marketplace, but some dubious ones may still slip through the gap. So use your best instincts and also the tips we offer here to navigate through the website.
A word of caution, don’t just buy from the cheapest AliExpress vendor you see. Check out the seller ratings and product reviews.
Read the Entire Item Description Carefully on the Product Page
A responsible seller will include all the relevant information under the Product Page. If you don’t see any product description, and you really need to purchase the product, just contact the seller and ask them! There is the Chat/ Messaging system on AliExpress that allows you to communicate with the seller easily. Item descriptions will contain the following important information such as:
- Model of Product
- Available Color(s)
- Size and Measurement
- Country of Manufacture
- Accessories included with Item
- Accepted Payment Options
- Delivery Options and No. of Days
- Return Policy and detail
Do not simply order the item just by looking at the product title and images alone. Sometimes, the sellers may state the features, specifications, compatibility, quality of the product and whether it is an original or replica product.
Judge a Seller’s trustworthiness
AliExpress’s feedback system is the most effective tool in the marketplace for helping buyers judge which sellers to trust and which sellers to avoid. If you know how to make quick references to the scores, badges and percentages that rate an AliExpress seller, it can mean a huge difference between getting a super duper AliExpress experience or a full of regrets AliExpress deal.
You should always buy from sellers that are established, preferably longer than 2 years and have stellar feedback. These sellers care about their ratings and will most gladly help you before a purchase order turns stale. Furthermore reading past customer feedback will tell you whether customers received their items and whether that item was exactly what was advertised. If these are all favourable, you have definitely found a good seller to buy from.
Look out for the Top Rated Seller Badge that is given to reliable sellers who have provided excellent services over a period of time. These are our favourite recommended AliExpress vendors. Positive feedback during the last 6 months is also an important factor. One great buying from China tips is expensive and costly items should always be purchased from shops that have a long historical record.
Lastly, rely on the strength of peer reviews. A good product will definitely have high volume of sales and excellent ratings. Therefore always consider the product that has the highest number of sales and customer ratings (stars and percentage). We urge all buyers to provide a written review so that other buyers can refer to before making payment.
Check the Shipping Cost
A rule of thumb, don’t look at the price alone. Remember to check the shipping cost. Many sellers offer free shipping on items. More expensive items with shipping included may cost less than cheap ones that come with a shipping charge.
For big ticket items, you may wish to engage more decent international courier companies like UPS or DHL etc. That will greatly reduce the risk of items delivered damaged or never arriving. Remember to ask for shipping insurance if the seller do provide.
Love it or hate it, there are always some sour deals. Thus one important thing to look out for is definitely the Guarantees. Each seller will offer his/ her own set of guarantees. For instance, the Guaranteed Genuine Badge will ensure a full refund if the product is found to be counterfeit. Look at the Buyer Protection section to find these important guarantees that can safeguard your purchase. Otherwise only spend as much as you are ready to lose.
Pay Customs/ Import Duties & Taxes
Inexpensive items are usually not required to pay customs duties. However items such as Smartphones, Tablets, Laptops and other more expensive items will attract the import taxes. It is often not worth the effort to get the sender to declare a lower value. This may get your shipment delayed for weeks or months while the Customs try to get hold of you. Eventually you may end up paying more than the price you paid for the item.
Use the AliExpress Mobile App
It is now easy peasy to stay on top of listings via’s AliExpress mobile phone app. Available for download at both Google Play Store and Apple App Store.
Sign up is easy and without fuss.
With the app, you can search for items, keep track of your watchlist and purchase items with ease anywhere.
Sign up for Alerts on Wish List for your Desired Items
Looking for a specific item but it is not available, or think that the price could be better in the future. Instead of continually searching, set up an alert to email you if your desired items become available. To do this, just create a Wish List on the Main Menu Bar, then add your favourite items to the wish list. You will be alerted via email when the item is available or when there is a close alternative on AliExpress.
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