Aliexpress is one of the leading B2C marketplaces around the world. Many online sellers rely on it for product sourcing. They think highly of Aliexpress’ affordability and convenience. However, some buyers say they have encountered scams and doubt whether Aliexpress is legit.
Generally, Aliexpress is legit and safe to buy from. The question is that not all sellers are reliable. You may come across sellers who sell products of low quality, lie about shipping times, or send you an item not as described.
In this article, let’s explore the legitimacy of Aliexpress as well as the best tips to buy safely on it.
What is Aliexpress?
Aliexpress is a well-known retail marketplace based in China. Since launched in 2010, AliExpress has gained over 150 million buyers in 220 countries and regions worldwide. Bewteen November 2022 and April 2023, this marketplace attracted around 2.7 billion visitors.
With a vast network of suppliers, Aliexpress offers a wide range of products including clothes, electronics, and more. These products are available with low prices and require no minimum order quantity(MOQ). This makes it pretty friendly for a dropshipping business.
On Aliexpress, the third-party sellers sell instead of the Aliexpress team. So when you place orders, you are directly making deals with third-party companies or individuals. If you can’t identify common scams, you are more likely to be scammed.
Why is Aliexpress so cheap?
It is easy to associate a low price with poor quality or scams. However, this is not true for Aliexpress.
Here are the reasons why Aliexpress is so cheap.
First, most products on Aliexpress are from China, where labor and production costs can be lower than in other countries. Mass production further reduces the cost per unit.
Additionally, AliExpress connects consumers directly with manufacturers and suppliers, cutting out multiple intermediaries. If you buy in bulk, some sellers are willing to offer discounts or coupons on your purchases.
Another reason is that most sellers are small and medium-sized. They are not eligible to charge you a premium for their brand recognition. As a result, the pricing is much lower than it should be on a branded website.
Is Aliexpress legit and safe？
Aliexpress is legit and safe to use in most cases. Here are several factors to explain it.
Parent company reputation
Aliexpress is a subsidiary of Alibaba Group. Alibaba Group is one of the largest and most reputable eCommerce companies in the world. Its reputaion adds credibility to AliExpress.
Buyer protection program
Aliexpress has a buyer protection program to protect your transactions. It permits you to ask for a refund within the protection period in these cases,
- your package doesn’t arrive
- the item arrives damaged
- the item is not as described
Secure payment methods
Aliexpress offers secure payment methods such as Alipay, PayPal, and credit cards. Alipay is a payment gateway developed by Alibaba Group and widely used in China. PayPal and credit cards are common payment options around the globe. They allow you to file a dispute when something goes wrong with your order. In addition, Aliexpress supports BNPL(buy now, pay later) in some regions. It provides you the chance to check the product before payment.
Dispute resolution process
In case of any issues with orders, Aliexpress offers a dispute resolution process. Once your supplier fails to solve your problem, you can lodge a dispute, and AliExpress will step in to provide a reasonable solution.
All payments on AliExpress are held in an escrow account. So your payment will not be released to the seller until you confirm the receipt of the item.
AliExpress uses encryption technologies and follows industry security standards to safeguard its platform. It ensures that your data and privacy are well protected.
Aliexpress is a legit company. However, you may still come aross scams as you do on Amazon if you are not careful.
These are some common scams you might encounter.
Misleading product listings
Sellers may use photoshopped images or misleading descriptions to make the product look better than it is. On a few occasions, the item you receive can look significantly different from what was advertised in terms of quality, size, or function.
Making payments outside of Aliexpress
Some scammers will try to lure you away from Aliexpress to conduct transactions. They ask you to pay the order outside of Aliexpress so that you can’t get a refund in case of any issues.
Overcharging on shipping
This scam happens when a seller sets an extremely low price but charges you more for shipping. For example, the seller sells a T-shirt at $2.99 while the shipping fee is $31.62 with a slow shipping method.
Not delivered orders
One of the common scams on Aliexpress is that the seller never delivers your order after you make payments. When you contact their customer service, you get no response. Or the seller tells you that your package has been delivered according to a tracking system while it actually has not. You are the one who takes responsibility for all the loss.
Selling prohibited items
You can meet sellers who offer prohibited products in your market on purpose or without being aware of this mistake. If you import such products to your store, you may get penalized by your selling platform.
How to buy from Aliexpress safely?
Now you have known the most common scams on Aliexpress. How to avoid them and buy safely from Aliexpress?
Below are the tried-and-tested tips you should keep in mind.
1. Read product reviews
Product reviews provide valuable insights from previous buyers who have already purchased and used the product. They can give you an idea of the item’s quality, functionality, and whether it matches the seller’s description. Always look for reviews with photos and detailed comments on the product detail page. With them, you can get a more accurate understanding of the product’s actual appearance and performance.
2. Check seller ratings and reputation
Aliexpress has a rating system that shows the feedback and satisfaction level of previous buyers. You can see the seller ratings based on the criteria including item as described, communication, and shipping speed. A rating of 4.5 or higher generally indicates a reliable and trustworthy seller. Avoid purchasing from sellers with low ratings or a history of negative feedback.
3. Check seller guarantees
Some sellers on Aliexpress offer additional guarantees for their products. Check if the seller provides any guarantees, such as an on-time guarantee, a return policy, or a money-back guarantee. This can give you extra assurance that you can resolve any issues with the product if they arise. And it shows that the seller is confident in their products and services.
4. Verify product specifications and authenticity
It’s tempting to place an order after you see the product title and photos. But to ensure you get what you expect, you must read the detailed product description and specifications. Some sellers write attractive titles to entice you to buy from them. After reading their description, you will find they are selling something else.
For example, a seller claims he is selling Nike shoes. In fact, he is selling counterfeits because it is hard for Nike to work with him and sell on Aliexpress.
To avoid being scammed, remember to check product details in the description. If the product’s authenticity is crucial to you, look for sellers with a proven track record of selling genuine products.
5. Choose a safe payment method
AliExpress takes various payment methods, such as credit cards, debit cards, PayPal, bank transfers, and Alipay. You can opt for a payment method that is available in your region and safe to use. For example, you may use credit cards or PayPal. Credit cards typically provide the option to dispute charges if there are any issues with your purchase. And PayPal has a buyer protection policy that allows you to get a refund if Aliexpress doesn’t solve your dispute.
Most importantly, you should never make payments outside this platform as your transaction is only protected on AliExpress.
6. Understand shipping times and costs
Aliexpress supports multiple shipping methods including AliExpress Standard Shipping, AliExpress Premium Shipping, DHL, etc. The shipping time and costs vary by destination and shipping method. But usually, it takes 14 days to 2 months for delivery.
Many sellers offer free shipping on their goods. It is cost-effective while it takes a longer time to ship. If you opt for a slow shipping option or get free shipping service, wait for your order patiently and check the shipping status with the tracking information provided.
7. Understand the Buyer Protection policy
AliExpress launched a buyer protection program to safeguard your purchase. But the buyer protection policy works in certain cases and within a certain period. You can only file a dispute for a refund when your item is not delivered within the protection period, or it arrives damaged or doesn’t match the description within 15 days from delivery. So be aware of the buyer protection time when placing an order and never confirm delivery of the order before you actually receive it.
8. Check the item carefully upon its arrival
One effective tip to buy from AliExpress safely is to check the item upon its arrival. Once your package arrives, take the time to inspect the product carefully and ensure it matches the description provided by the seller. Check for any damages, defects, or discrepancies in size, color, or specifications. If there are any issues or if the item does not meet your expectations, promptly contact the seller and initiate a dispute through AliExpress’s buyer protection program. Being diligent in this step can increase your chances of resolving any problem that occurs in a timely and satisfactory manner.
With effective tips, you can buy safely and avoid scams on Aliexpress. But this platform is not the only choice out there. Aliexpress Alternatives may expand your product choices and give you an equally safe shopping experience.
Here are the best Aliexpress alternatives for you.
1. Sup Dropshipping
Sup Dropshipping is a dropshipping company based in Hong Kong. Except for Aliexpress, we also have connections with other popular suppliers in China like Alibaba and 1688. With years of experience in eCommerce, we can source the most competitive products for you. Our Chrome extension can be used to find and import a product in a few clicks. Like Aliexpress, we don’t require MOQs for most products. Additional discounts can be applied if you buy in a large quantity at one time.
On top of that, we offer flexible customization options. You can design and sell unique products with our print on demand service. The design editor is free and easy to use. It allows you to preview the design and check if it meets your expectations. Plenty of free patterns are accessible if you don’t have design experience.
Alibaba belongs to the same company as Aliexpress. Different from Aliexpress, Alibaba is a B2B wholesale marketplace that connects global suppliers with buyers.
This wholesale platform primarily caters to businesses that buy in bulk. So most products are available with MOQ limits. However, with the development of eCommerce, some suppliers sell to individuals without requiring MOQs. If you buy one unit at once, the price is slightly higher.
Another feature of Alibaba is that it offers various customization options. You can add your logo or brand name to an item, private label it, or customize its package. With Aliexpress, you have little chance to develop personalized products as they are typically pre-designed.
Learn more about the differences between Alibaba and Aliexpress in this Alibaba vs AliExpress guide.
Banggood is a direct-to-consumers marketplace in China. In this marketplace, there are more than one million products across different categories.
Banggood sells and ships products directly to customers. No third-party sellers sell on their platform, which reduces the chance for you to be scammed by unreliable suppliers.
When it comes to shipping time, Banggood ships faster than Aliexpress. They have their logistics solutions including Standard, Priority, and Expedited Shipping. It takes less than 14 days for delivery from China to the US. With their oversea warehouses, the shipping time can be shortened to a few days.
Temu is an online selling platform owned by PDD Holdings and based in the US. It is the sister company of the China shopping site Pingduoduo.
Temu offers a wide range of products including apparel, makeup, electronics, home-ware, etc. Most products are shipped from China and at low prices. The product price can even be lower when sellers offer you discounts of different values. Free shipping services are often provided on many products.
If you prefer low-priced products and fast shipping within the US, sourcing from Temu would be a good choice.
As a renowned fashion retailer, SHEIN offers a vast range of clothing, shoes, and accessories. It caters to consumers who have different tastes and preferences.
With its user-friendly interface and affordable prices, SHEIN has become a choice for dropshippers looking to source fashionable items.
If you specialize in clothing, SHEIN may give you an edge over your competitors. You can offer an array of items to your customers that are hard to find somewhere else. At SHEIN, you can also enjoy free shipping services if your order amounts reach a certain standard.
Made-in-China is a trading company that bridges the gap between China suppliers and global buyers. This company mainly offers products in the category of electrical and industrial supplies. Most products are available with low MOQs.
In comparison with Aliexpress, Made-in-China can be more professional in selling electrical products. If you want to source products in this catalog, buying from Made-in-China can be a better choice.
Furthermore, the platform encourages communication and negotiation between buyers and suppliers. It is beneficial for you to foster successful business partnerships.
1. Is it safe to buy on Aliexpress?
Generally, Aliexpress is a legit site and safe to buy from. But you may still come across unreliable sellers as you do on Amazon or eBay. Before placing an order on Aliexpress, you can check our tips to buy safely.
2. Does Aliexpress Accept Paypal?
Aliexpress takes Paypal as one of the payment methods. Paypal has a buyer protection program that allows you to get a refund if the seller and Aliexpress can’t fix your dispute. Paying with Paypal on Aliexpress can add a layer of more security to your transaction.
3. Can you buy electronics on Aliexpress?
Aliexpress offers a wide selection of electronics at competitive prices. You can buy electronics from Aliexpress and sell them in your store to make a profit. Just remember to check the seller ratings and product reviews from other buyers. Before making more purchases, it is recommended to order a sample to check product quality and seller services.
Aliexpress is legit and safe to buy from. Its parent company’s reputation has added credibility to it. In itself, Aliexpress has taken various measures to ensure that you have a safe shopping experience.
However, like any marketplace, there are still untrustworthy sellers who may scam you. To buy safely, you should be aware of the common Aliexpress scams and practice the best tips we provide.
If you want to avoid such hassles, the best choice is to work with Sup Dropshipping. With a network of reliable suppliers, we can find more competitive products from Aliexpress. We allow you to merge orders, bundle products, and customize products with great flexibility. Before sending your orders out, we conduct product checks to ensure your items are in good condition. This will reduce defective products and improve your customer satisfaction.
Register today to unlock all the powerful features of our platform!
About the Author
May is a blogger at Sup Dropshipping with over 5 years of experience in eCommerce. May’s passion for eCommerce drives her to stay updated on the latest trends and share her expertise with you through her blog. In her spare time, she likes to read a novel or chat with friends.