AliExpress is an online retail platform offering various goods at tempting low prices.
Before you shop, let’s find out: Is AliExpress legit?
If you’ve never shopped on the platform, you might have the following questions.
Is AliExpress real?
Is AliExpress fake?
Can I trust AliExpress?
Don’t worry, you’ve come to the right place for answers.
I spent countless hours researching and exploring the platform to address all your concerns and help you avoid scams when shopping online. I’ll discuss AliExpress’s buyer protection policy, shipping methods, and its benefits for dropshipping.
Table of Contents
What Is AliExpress?
AliExpress is an online marketplace owned by the Alibaba Group. It launched in 2010 to help Chinese manufacturers and sellers offer their products to a global audience.
Where is AliExpress located?
The AliExpress headquarters is in Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China. However, it caters to customers all over the world.
With users from over 230 countries and regions, AliExpress gets over 20 million daily visitors.
The platform is popular for hosting a vast selection of items at shockingly lower prices. This begs the question: is AliExpress safe to use?
Is AliExpress Legit and Trustworthy?
Yes – if you know how to navigate the site safely.
Sometimes, the low prices seem too good to be true. It’s a good rule to follow, but AliExpress sells most products at prices you won’t find anywhere else.
While shopping on the marketplace has some risks, the platform overall is legitimate.
The AliExpress platform has some measures to protect buyers. Let’s explore them one by one.
1 – Buyer Protection
The AliExpress buyer protection policy provides a money-back guarantee for the following situations:
package not arriving within the guaranteed delivery window
receiving products significantly different from the description
getting an incorrect order (wrong size, color, type)
When you open a dispute ticket, you can provide evidence to support your claim.
AliExpess will process your refund request in three to 20 business days. You may get a full or partial refund, depending on the issue.
The 60- or 90-day buyer protection period starts once the seller has shipped your order. AliExpress can also extend it by 15 days to start a dispute.
2 – Payment Information Security
How does Aliexpress work on payment information security?
AliExpress uses encryption and secure servers to protect sensitive data, like your bank account information. You can shop on AliExpress safely, knowing your payment details are secure.
The platform also utilizes an escrow system. AliExpress sellers don’t receive the payment until the customer confirms the receipt of the product in satisfactory condition.
3 – AliExpress Ratings for Sellers
AliExpress’s feedback system lets buyers rate and review sellers according to their experiences. The system helps create a transparent environment where customers can decide which sellers to trust.
You can check the feedback to assess the seller’s reliability and product quality. Always choose sellers with high ratings and positive reviews to ensure a safer shopping experience.
Why Is AliExpress So Cheap?
The low prices make AliExpress questionable, but they have valid reasons. Here are some reasons the product price for the same product is often lower on the platform than on other marketplaces.
Direct Buying From Manufacturers
Most sellers on the platform are manufacturers and wholesalers. When you buy from AliExpress, you’re skipping the middleman.
You get wholesale prices, which are much lower than when you buy from a local distributor.
Lower Production and Labor Costs
China’s lower production and labor costs keep AliExpress products affordable.
Chinese manufacturers can produce goods at low prices due to cheaper labor, raw materials, and manufacturing processes.
These manufacturers pass the cost savings to the consumers, resulting in low prices on AliExpress.
Is AliExpress a Scam?
Is AliExpress trustworthy?
Scam is too strong a word, but we can’t help it if some buyers have bad experiences with the online shopping platform.
Whats wrong with AliExpress?
Although the platform is legit, some AliExpress reviews say they feel scammed because of the following reasons.
1 – Long Delivery Times
The standard shipping option is most often free or at least, the cheapest. However, it’s also the slowest method.
Buyers may feel tricked by the long delivery times. Some also report significant delays in receiving their orders, surpassing the estimated delivery window.
2 – No Tracking Information
The standard delivery methods don’t provide tracking information. Customers find it difficult to monitor their order’s progress.
Combine it with the long delivery time, and buyers might think they won’t receive their package.
3 – Product Expectation vs. Reality
Some customers have expressed disappointment when reviewing the products they received from AliExpress. The items don’t meet their expected quality from the product listing.
Note: Experiences may vary. Although these issues are real, AliExpress also has a huge number of satisfied customers with positive experiences on the platform.
Is AliExpress Legitimate: Why AliExpress Has a Bad Rep
The platform is a legitimate site with safety measures in place.
However, AliExpress also has some risks, which mostly stem from unscrupulous sellers. Many sellers don’t comply with the platform’s rules and standards.
Here’s what you should avoid when browsing the marketplace.
One of the most significant risks on AliExpress is purchasing fake products.
Some online stores sell products that are Guaranteed Genuine. However, they turn out to be fake once you receive them.
Counterfeit items have inferior quality and pose safety hazards. They also violate intellectual property laws, so bringing them to the US may result in civil or criminal penalties.
This is where you should apply the too good to be true adage.
When buying branded items, avoid suspiciously meager prices. Always the seller’s feedback and reviews, as well.
Some sellers on AliExpress use deceptive listing practices to attract buyers. These tricks include misleading images, inaccurate descriptions, and false claims about product features.
To avoid these listing tricks, carefully review product descriptions, check customer reviews, and talk to the seller directly about your concerns.
A brushing scam is when a seller fakes orders and creates fake positive reviews to boost their ratings and improve their visibility on the platform.
This deceptive practice can make it difficult for customers to accurately assess a seller’s reputation.
To minimize the risk of a brushing scam, rely on multiple sources of information. Check the feedback scores, detailed reviews, and external review sites.
Is AliExpress Safe To Buy From?
With all this information, should you buy from AliExpress?
This mostly depends on you, but here are a few reasons why you should give it a try:
AliExpress has an extensive range of products at low prices.
It has some unique items that might be difficult to find on other platforms.
The buyer protection policy helps protect customers.
The platform employs security measures for payments.
The transparent seller feedback system helps buyers choose where to buy.
They withhold payment to the seller until you’ve confirmed receipt of your order.
However, AliExpress still poses some risks and downsides:
A fake online store might sell counterfeit items.
Product listings can be deceptive.
The standard shipping time to other countries can take weeks or months.
Online shopping can be challenging because of the language barrier.
It can be difficult to request a partial or full refund and process a return.
If you want to try shopping on the platform, make sure to follow my next tips for a safe and secure experience.
How To Shop on AliExpress
1 – Create an Account and Sign In.
Visit the AliExpress website and create an account. Provide the required information.
Once registered, sign into your account.
2 – Browse Products.
Explore the marketplace by browsing through the categories or using the search bar. Refine your search using filters, such as shipping options, ratings, and price range.
3 – Check the Product Description.
When you find a product you like, click on it and check its description. Read the specifications, color options, and size charts closely.
Check the customer reviews and ratings, as well. Determine its quality and reliability.
4 – Click the Buy Now or Add to Cart Button.
5 – Choose a Shipping Option.
Click the Shipping link on the product to choose a shipping method. Consider factors like delivery time, cost, and any additional services.
6 – Check Out.
Review the details, including the quantity, price, and any applicable coupons. Verify that the shipping address and contact information are accurate.
7 – Pay for Your Order.
Add a payment method. You can use Visa, Mastercard, JCB, and American Express. You can also use PayPal or Alipay account.
Once you’ve added your card, click the Pay Now button and follow the prompts to complete the payment securely.
8 – Wait and Confirm Your Delivery.
After placing the order, wait for the seller to ship your item. Depending on your chosen delivery method, you might get a tracking number for monitoring your order.
You can also track your order through the website.
Make AliExpress Safe with These Tips
Follow these best practices to minimize risks and keep your shopping experience secure.
1 – Choose a Reputable Seller.
Wondering how to tell if an AliExpress seller is legit?
Always check the seller’s feedback, ratings, and reviews. Find sellers with high ratings and a long history of positive reviews.
Look for long-time sellers on the platform since they are more likely to be trustworthy.
2 – Avoid Scam Shopping Sites.
Beware of fraudulent websites that look like AliExpress. Scammers design these sites to steal your personal and financial information.
Always double-check the website’s URL and ensure it uses HTTPS to confirm you are on the legitimate AliExpress site.
3 – Transact Through AliExpress’s Internal Payment System.
Never pay outside AliExpress’s platform to avoid risking your financial information’s security.
Use AliExpress’s secure payment options to protect your transactions.
4 – Inspect Goods Before Confirming Delivery.
Carefully inspect your item upon receipt to ensure it matches the description and is defect- and damage-free.
Only confirm delivery and release your payment to the seller once you are satisfied with the product’s condition.
5 – Avoid Fraudulent Deals.
Deals that seem too good to be true can indicate counterfeit products or scams.
Always do your due diligence by researching the product, checking the seller’s reputation, and comparing prices with other listings on the platform.
AliExpress Shipping and Delivery
When shopping on AliExpress, you must understand the platform’s shipping and delivery processes.
Delivery and Shipping Time
Most products on the marketplace come from China. If you choose the standard shipping option, it can take two to four weeks (or even longer).
The buyer protection policy states a 60-day maximum delivery time for US addresses.
You can choose expedited shipping options for an additional fee. They can cut down the delivery time to three to seven days.
Unlike Amazon, however, AliExpress doesn’t offer same-day or next-day delivery options.
Some stores also have an overseas warehouse, which makes delivery cheaper and faster.
If you want free or cheap shipping, you have these options:
AliExpress Standard Shipping
The platform also has premium shipping options for safer and faster delivery:
If you can, choose to pay extra for a reliable shipping service. Your goods are safer, and you can monitor their location via a tracking number.
The economy shipping options don’t provide a tracking number. You won’t have any idea where your orders are once AliExpress hands it to your local postal delivery service.
Customs and Import Duties
Your AliExpress package goes through customs, which means you might have to pay import taxes and other fees.
To avoid unexpected costs, research your country’s import regulations to prepare for payment.
AliExpress Quality of Goods: What Can You Expect?
While AliExpress offers various products at affordable prices, the quality can vary significantly.
Most products on AliExpress with cheap prices also have cheap quality. It’s best to manage your expectations when buying on the platform.
For example, many fashion items onAliExpress have deceptive product listings. Some stores grab pictures from legit brands and sell replicated designs with poor manufacturing.
These items might still be worth a shot, so check the reviews to see what the actual product looks like.
Note: Many sellers don’t have proper quality control. Sometimes, the items are in perfect condition. Other times, they may be full of defects and damages.
Strategies for Finding Quality Products
AliExpress still contains some treasures at unbelievably low prices.
Consider these strategies to find quality products on AliExpress.
Check the seller’s feedback, ratings, and reviews to ensure they have a history of providing quality items.
Look for listings that include detailed product descriptions, high-quality images, and verified customer reviews.
Communicate with the seller to clarify your product concerns or questions.
Consider purchasing from sellers who offer buyer protection and provide additional assurance of the product’s quality.
How To Get a Refund on AliExpress
If you’re not satisfied with the product you received, you can open a dispute. However, navigating the dispute process can be confusing for first-time users.
Follow these steps to process a partial or full refund.
1 – Access your Order History.
Log in to your AliExpress account, and navigate to the My Orders section to view your order history.
2 – Locate the Order.
Find the specific order you want to refund, and open its Order details.
Click the Returns/refunds button.
3 – Complete the Dispute Form.
Fill out the dispute form, providing details about the issue and the resolution you want (e.g. replacement product, partial refund, or full refund).
4 – Submit Evidence.
Attach supporting evidence, including photos, videos, or screenshots, to substantiate your claim and make it easier for AliExpress to review and process your request.
5 – Await the Seller’s Response.
Once you submit the dispute, AliExpress will notify the seller to respond to your request. The seller may accept your proposed resolution or offer a different one.
You can monitor the progress of your request through the Refund and return section of your My Orders page.
6 – Escalate the Dispute if Necessary.
If the seller is uncooperative or fails to respond within the allotted time frame, escalate the dispute to AliExpress for further mediation.
AliExpress will review your claim and supporting evidence to determine the appropriate resolution.
7 – Receive Your Refund.
Once you agree on the resolution, AlieExpress will process a refund through your original payment method.
Refund processing time can vary depending on the payment method and your credit card company.
Is AliExpress a Good Site for Dropshipping?
Due to the low prices, AliExpress is a popular choice for dropshipping.
If you want to dropship your products using AliExpress, I’ll help you weigh its pros and cons. I’ll also provide helpful tips to ensure a successful dropshipping experience.
Is AliExpress Reliable for Dropshipping?
AliExpress can be a safe and reliable platform for dropshipping.
Many dropshippers have successfully built their businesses using AliExpress as their primary supplier.
Nonetheless, choosing the best dropshipping suppliers, maintaining open communication, and monitoring product quality are essential for ensuring a successful dropshipping venture.
Benefits of Using AliExpress for Dropshipping
Comprehensive product range
AliExpress offers a vast array of products, making it easy to find items to sell in your online store.
The platform’s low prices can lead to higher profit margins for your dropshipping business.
No minimum order quantity
You can order single items without committing to bulk purchases.
Drawbacks of Using ALiExpress for Dropshipping
Longer shipping times
Products from China can take several weeks to arrive, leading to customer dissatisfaction.
The quality of products can vary between suppliers. Thus, selecting and monitoring your suppliers is crucial.
Potential for counterfeit or fake products
Selling counterfeit goods can have legal repercussions on your business.
Tips for Dropshipping With AliExpress
Choose reliable suppliers.
Look for suppliers with high ratings, significant transactions, and positive feedback.
Communicate with suppliers.
Establish a relationship with your suppliers and communicate your expectations regarding product quality and shipping times.
Use ePacket shipping.
Choose ePacket shipping, which is faster and more reliable than other shipping methods.
Monitor product quality.
Regularly check product reviews and customer feedback to ensure the items you sell meet your quality standards.
Offer exceptional customer service.
Provide your customers with accurate information about shipping times and keep them informed about their orders’ status. Offer support and assistance if any issues arise.
Alibaba vs. AliExpress: What’s the Difference?
What is the difference between Alibaba and AliExpress?
While both platforms belong to the Alibaba Group, they serve different purposes.
Alibaba suppliers cater primarily to businesses buying wholesale items, while AliExpress targets individual customers and small businesses with its retail offerings.
Here are their differences at a glance.
|Business Model||B2B, Wholesale||B2C, Retail|
|Minimum Order Quantity||Yes||No|
|Shipping||Buyers can negotiate the shipping costs and method with the seller.||Free shipping and paid expedited shipping options|
AliExpress vs. Alternatives
AliExpress is similar to other online marketplaces like eBay because it connects sellers with buyers.
However, AliExpress primarily features Chinese sellers, while eBay has a more diverse range of sellers worldwide.
Furthermore, AliExpress has more competitive prices than other platforms.
Here are shopping alternatives to AliExpress.
Banggood is a popular alternative to AliExpress, offering a range of products at competitive prices.
The platform provides worldwide shipping and reliable customer service.
Banggood also has a dropshipping program, making it a viable option for online retailers.
DHGate is another well-known alternative to AliExpress, specializing in wholesale products from China.
DHGate focuses on small and medium-sized businesses, offering a vast selection of items at wholesale prices. The platform also has a buyer protection program, ensuring a secure shopping experience.
Gearbest is an online retailer specializing in consumer electronics, gadgets, and fashion. The platform offers competitive prices and worldwide shipping.
Gearbest is known for its excellent customer support and frequently features flash sales and promotions, making it an attractive alternative to AliExpress.
Taobao is another Chinese online shopping platform from Alibaba, offering a massive selection of products at low prices.
While Taobao primarily targets the Chinese market, individual customers worldwide also use it with the help of shopping agents.
LightInTheBox is a global online retail company offering electronics, fashion, and home goods.
The platform provides worldwide shipping and competitive prices, making it an appealing alternative to AliExpress.
1688 is another Alibaba-owned platform focusing on wholesale and business-to-business transactions.
The website offers an extensive range of products at wholesale prices, but it primarily targets the Chinese market. International buyers can use shopping agents to facilitate purchases from 1688.
Privacy and Personal Information on AliExpress
Is AliExpress trustable? Yes, but you should take precautions.
I’ll discuss how you can protect your personal and financial information on AliExpress.
Is Your Privacy Safe With AliExpress?
AliExpress is committed to protecting users’ privacy and personal information.
The platform uses various security measures to safeguard user data, including encryption and secure servers.
However, exercise caution when sharing your personal information online.
Tips for Protecting Your Personal Information on Aliexpress
Use a strong and unique password.
Create a complex password for your account. Avoid using the same password across multiple websites.
Don’t use public Wi-Fi.
Avoid using public Wi-Fi networks when accessing your AliExpress account or making transactions. These networks are vulnerable to hackers.
Keep your devices up-to-date.
Regularly update your computer, smartphone, or tablet’s operating system and security software to protect against potential threats.
Don’t share personal information with sellers.
Only provide the necessary information for shipping and transactions, and never share sensitive data like passwords or social security numbers.
Monitor your account.
Regularly check your AliExpress account for suspicious activity and report concerns to the platform’s customer support.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How Long Does AliExpress Take To Ship?
The average shipping time is 20 to 60 days, although it can take up to a couple of months. Expedited options offer faster delivery, ranging from three to seven days. Shipping times vary depending on your chosen shipping method, the seller’s location, and the destination address.
Is It Safe To Use a Credit Card on AliExpress?
Yes. It’s safe to use a credit card on AliExpress.
The platform uses advanced encryption and security measures to protect your payment information. However, consider using a virtual credit card or a third-party payment service to safeguard your details further.
What Is the Safest Way To Pay on AliExpress?
The safest way to pay on AliExpress is the platform’s secure payment gateway, which accepts credit cards, debit cards, and AliPay.
You can also use third-party services like PayPal for additional protection.
Which Cards Can You Use on AliExpress?
AliExpress accepts various credit and debit cards, including Visa, MasterCard, Maestro, American Express, Discover, and Diners Club.
Does AliExpress Accept PayPal?
AliExpress does accept PayPal payments.
However, PayPal is limited to these regions.
United Arab Emirates.
Furthermore, only sellers who have enabled PayPal for their store can accept this payment option.
Is It Safe To Purchase Clothes From China on AliExpress?
Yes. It’s generally safe to purchase clothes from China on AliExpress if you follow the best practices mentioned in this article.
Nonetheless, be cautious and verify the quality of the items before confirming delivery.
Is AliExpress App Safe?
The app allows buyers to access the online marketplace from their phones. It’s safe to use as long as you download it directly from the App Store or Google Play Store.
The Bottom Line
AliExpress can be a safe and reliable platform if you take the necessary precautions. Take advantage of the lower prices to revamp your wardrobe, or use it to start your dropshipping eCommerce business.
Whatever your purpose, make sure to follow our tips above to keep your shopping experience safe and secure.