If you’re no stranger to online shopping, you’ve most likely stumbled across a retailer known as AliExpress. AliExpress is actually owned by the Alibaba Group, which is a similarly large online retailer. The two have key differences—Alibaba focuses more on businesses who want to buy products in bulk, while AliExpress is more suitable for those who only want to buy a couple of things.
Right off the bat, it’s worth mentioning that AliExpress doesn’t sell its own products. Instead, it’s a place where Chinese businesses and factories sell their products directly to consumers from across the globe. The closest website we can compare AliExpress to is perhaps eBay, as both offer most of the things you could ever want or need.
Is AliExpress Legit?
Many may be surprised to hear this, but AliExpress is actually a legitimate place you can order from. You can also see how there are many satisfied customers based on AliExpress reviews. In fact, you could even say that this retailer is more reliable than other renowned online stores out there because it has a buyer protection program.
According to this buyer guarantee, you can request and receive a full refund if the item delivered to you isn’t like the product described on the listing or if the order doesn’t arrive on time. As long as you buy and order from the official AliExpress website, then you’re relatively safe.
Why Are the Products so Cheap?
One of the reasons why online shoppers love AliExpress is its low prices; that’s arguably one of the most noteworthy things about this retailer. Given its affordability, you may be wondering how AliExpress can have such low prices and still flourish. There are a couple of possible explanations for this.
- You’re likely ordering products directly from the manufacturers themselves, which can cause a significant drop in prices. Plus, AliExpress and its sellers are based in China, a country with lower costs for production than other countries. Since there’s no middle-man and you’re not buying the products from retailers, there is no mark-up in prices.
- Another possible reason why certain items are so cheap is that they’re fake, counterfeit, or knock-off products. Long-time online shoppers know that China has a plethora of fake or knock-off products. So you have to be very careful, especially when you’re buying electronics.
What to Expect When Using AliExpress
Without a doubt, AliExpress is an incredible one-stop-shop kind of retailer where you’ll find major deals. But if you’re new to AliExpress, there are a couple of things you need to keep in mind so that you won’t be disappointed.
Shipping Takes a While
Most of the merchants who sell their items on AliExpress offer free shipping, but most of the time, this shipping method means that the order probably won’t get delivered to you until after a month or more. Plus, the seller won’t provide you with a tracking number to check where your order is. If you want your package to arrive sooner, you may want to avoid the free shipping option.
Limited Payment Methods
AliExpress doesn’t have many supported payment methods available, with the website mainly accepting credit cards if you want to pay for your order. It’s time to say goodbye to your cheques or money orders when it comes to AliExpress. On the bright side, you can use all major credit cards on the site.
Stay Away From “Branded” Items
As you know by now, it’s not common for Western brands to be selling their products on AliExpress, so if you do find a non-Chinese product on the site, they’re most likely fake. This is something you can overlook if you’re looking for something that looks as close to the real deal as possible. If you’re looking for a genuine product, though, you may want to check the reviews first as well as thoroughly check the seller page to ensure the product’s legitimacy.
When you’re trying to add your address on AliExpress, you might find that your city or region isn’t included in the drop-down menu. If or when this happens, there’s no need to panic. You can manually add your city or region on the text fields meant for your street name or apartment number.
Is AliExpress a reliable online retailer? Sure! It’s as trustworthy as other renowned sites out there like eBay or Alibaba. At the same time, it still has the same risks that other online retailers have. Do your research first before ordering anything, and make sure to check out the product reviews.