Are you wondering about AliExpress and whether it’s a scam or the real deal for your eCommerce biz? I’ve got you covered. As an experienced dropshipper, I’ll give you the lowdown on everything you need to know about the platform.
So, what is AliExpress all about? Basically, it’s a popular site for eCommerce companies to source products for their online stores. With a huge selection of products and affordable prices, it’s easy to see why so many businesses choose to use it as part of their dropshipping strategy. Plus, there’s an app called Oberlo that makes it super simple to manage products from AliExpress.
Now, you might be wondering if Aliexpress is trustworthy and if you should buy from it for your own eCommerce business. In this review, I’ll be answering all those questions and more. So sit back, grab a coffee, and let’s dive into everything AliExpress!
Table of Contents
What Is AliExpress?
AliExpress is owned by the giant Chinese company Alibaba and is one of the largest e-commerce sites in the world. During the 2020 11/11 event, AliExpress hit over $75 billion in sales.
On AliExpress, you can find pretty much anything you’re looking for – from women’s clothing to electronics to home décor. And since there are a lot of Chinese manufacturers on the site, prices are often super competitive. It’s a great alternative to eBay and Amazon for those seeking new, affordable products.
But AliExpress isn’t just for individual shoppers. If you run a business, you can use the platform to source items you plan to sell online. It’s even a popular choice for those into dropshipping – you can use services like Oberlo to fulfill orders through Shopify without having to pay for anything until your customer buys it. Just keep in mind that you’ll still be responsible for answering customers’ questions.
So there you have it, a rundown of AliExpress. It may not be for everyone, but it’s definitely worth checking out.
How Does AliExpress Work?
At AliExpress, you’ll find a ton of products to choose from, all neatly organized into categories and subcategories. This makes searching a breeze, so you can find exactly what you’re looking for in no time.
When you find a product you like, simply click on it and enter your payment information. You’ll get all the important details like product information, photos, and explanations right there on the product card. And once you’ve made your payment, you can check the delivery time and tracking information right in your shopping cart.
Making a payment is easy too, with plenty of options like credit and prepaid cards, PayPal, and Western Union. The most popular method, though, is AliPay, a PayPal-like system based in China.
Now, a word of caution: While AliExpress has some great deals, not all sellers are verified, so you might run into a few bad apples. That’s why it’s important to do your research and find the right supplier. And of course, it’s illegal to buy counterfeit products, so be careful and make sure you’re not breaking any laws.
1. Bargain Prices
You won’t find better prices anywhere else! AliExpress beats other marketplaces like Amazon and eBay when it comes to affordability. So, if you’re on a tight budget and looking for wholesale goods, AliExpress is the place to be. With some products starting at just $0.01, you won’t have to break the bank.
2. Easy and Free Sign-Up
Getting started with AliExpress is a breeze. Unlike other wholesale marketplaces, you don’t need to pay a membership fee or worry about any monthly or annual subscriptions. Plus, if you’re using AliExpress for dropshipping, you don’t have to handle the goods yourself – saving you money on shipping and storage.
3. Versatile Product Range
AliExpress has got it all! They offer a wide variety of products, from jewelry to toys, sports equipment, and more. So, whether you want to start multiple ecommerce sites or target consumers in different niches, AliExpress has got you covered.
4. Direct Shipping to Customers
Even without a third-party solution, you can still get AliExpress suppliers to send products directly to your customers. All you have to do is purchase the item on AliExpress and provide your customer’s details.
5. Streamline Your Workflow
AliExpress is a breeze to use when you combine it with other ecommerce software like Shopify and its extensions like Oberlo or Dropified. With just one click, you can import all the products you want to sell from AliExpress and have them ready on your site. When a customer makes an order, the details are automatically sent to AliExpress for fulfillment, making it easier for you to scale your business without having to do anything manually.
6. Highly Detailed Product Images
One of the best things about shopping on AliExpress is the amount of detail that goes into the product images. You can see every angle of what you’re buying and what’s even better is that all the images are open source, meaning you can use them on your own website to show your customers what you have to offer.
7. Verify Suppliers with Ease
Before making any purchases, you have the chance to research the supplier you’re interested in. First, you can check their positive feedback percentage, ranked from 0 to 100%. Then, you can look into their feedback history to see how many ratings they’ve received in the past few months. AliExpress also has a five-point rating system for communication, shipping speed, and item description, making it easier for you to choose the suppliers you can trust.
8. Easy Communication with Suppliers
With AliExpress, you can easily connect with suppliers through the product details page by clicking the contact button. This feature makes it easier to compare suppliers based on their response times and ensures that you’re getting a genuine response from a real person.
9. Free Shipping Option
Most products on AliExpress come with free shipping, which is a great way to save money. However, it may take 20-30+ days for the products to reach you. If you need them faster, you can opt for expedited shipping, but you’ll need to pay for that.
10. No Minimum Order Requirements
One of the best things about AliExpress is that they don’t have any minimum order quantities or prices. This makes it easier for you to try out different suppliers and test their products before adding them to your ecommerce platform. And it’s also great for your customers who can purchase products in small quantities.
1. Slow Shipping Times
When you’re shopping on AliExpress, it’s important to keep in mind that the majority of sellers are located in China. That means standard or free shipping can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months for your order to arrive. If you want a quicker delivery, some sellers do offer expedited shipping options like FedEx or DHL, but these can be pricier. You’ll need to either be upfront with your customers about shipping times or be prepared to pay extra for faster delivery.
2. Strict Return Policy
Another thing to consider when shopping on AliExpress is their return policy. If a customer isn’t happy with their purchase and wants to return it, sending it back to the seller can be a real hassle. This often means you’ll have to absorb the cost of the product unless you have a very strict return policy in place. AliExpress does have a buyer protection guarantee that promises to give you a refund within 15 days if there’s a problem, but reading real customer reviews might give you a different perspective.
3. Quality Concerns
When you’re buying products for cheap on AliExpress, don’t expect top-notch quality. Sure, there are great suppliers with quality products, but there are also plenty of low-quality suppliers. And even the higher-quality products may not survive the long journey from China.
4. Knockoff Products
Don’t be fooled, AliExpress does not sell actual name-brand products. If you see Gucci, Louis Vuitton, or Nike products at a huge discount, they’re probably knockoffs. Selling fake name-brand products can disappoint customers and even get you into legal trouble. It’s best to stay away from anything that looks like a name-brand item.
5. Limited Support
If you need to contact AliExpress, good luck. Many customers have complained about the lack of support and the difficulty of resolving issues. Even if you do get a response, the chances of resolving your problem are low.
Aliexpress Customer Reviews
If you’ve scrolled through the internet lately, you’ve probably seen that AliExpress has some negative reviews. Customers often complain about the lack of customer support and low-quality products. To make things worse, the Better Business Bureau revoked AliExpress’ license because of the poor customer reviews, earning them an “F” rating.
So, what’s the deal with AliExpress? Here are the most common issues customers face:
- Long wait times: Since you’re buying products from overseas, shipping times can take months instead of just weeks.
- Low-quality products: While AliExpress products come at low prices, they sometimes come with quality issues like broken or poorly made items.
- Wrong products: Some reviews mention receiving the wrong product or not getting the product they ordered at all.
- Difficult refunds: If you encounter a problem with your order, getting a refund can be challenging, leaving customers feeling scammed.
- No-show products: In some cases, customers never receive their items and have trouble getting a full refund.
In conclusion, while AliExpress may offer low prices, it comes with its own set of problems. From long wait times to low-quality products and difficult refunds, customers have a lot of concerns about this online shopping platform.
What About AliExpress Shipping?
The shipping times listed on each product’s page are usually between 20-60 days, but don’t believe them. They’re wildly inaccurate. Since the COVID-19 crisis, AliExpress has extended the “Buyer Protection Time” to up to 90 days, so you’ll have to wait that long before you can get a refund for something you didn’t receive.
Waiting three months for something you bought online is just ridiculous, and you’ll definitely get complaints from customers about delayed delivery times. Cainao Global Economy, AliBaba’s shipping company, is also pretty slow. It can take a month or more for a package to finally be delivered, even after being notified that it’s arrived in your country.
AliExpress Standard Shipping is usually delivered via Airmail, with the last mile handled by your local mail service. If you want more reliable shipping, go with a courier like DHL or UPS. Every order, even free shipments, will have a tracking number after it’s added, but it may take a week to actually dispatch a package. You’ll be able to track its progress as it travels around various Chinese postal centers, but customs offices in your country may slow things down.
If you don’t receive a tracking number after 10 days, reach out to the seller. And don’t forget, a non-delivery dispute won’t be allowed until the maximum delivery period has ended. I’ve opened many disputes with AliExpress for non-delivery, even after spending thousands of dollars on the website. Some packages remained unshipped for months.
In conclusion, if you need fast delivery, don’t use AliExpress for your online store.
Creating an account on AliExpress is super easy and best of all, it’s totally free. No hidden fees or memberships required. The only thing you gotta pay for is the products you’re buying at wholesale rates.
When it comes to women’s fashion, you can find some awesome deals with most items averaging around $10. Some amazing finds include bathing suits, dresses, t-shirts, and blouses starting at just $5!
And if you’re into tech stuff, AliExpress has got you covered too. Take a look at these cool drones, parts, and cameras – all under $100!
Just keep in mind that quality can vary, so make sure to check out the seller ratings before making your purchase. It’s also a good idea to test the product before selling it on your site.
So, you want to know how to get a refund on AliExpress? No worries, the platform has got you covered with its Buyer Protection Program. First off, AliExpress encourages you to try to resolve any issues with the seller before opening a dispute. But, if you can’t come to a solution, AliExpress will grant you a refund in cases like:
- You canceled your order before it was shipped
- The product you received was different from the description
- Your order never arrived or arrived late
- The product you received was fake
If you need to open a dispute, here’s what you gotta do:
- Log in to your AliExpress account
- Go to Orders and find the order you want a refund for
- Hit Open Dispute
- Fill in the order information
- Add supporting evidence (pictures, videos, messages)
Once you submit the dispute, the seller will also provide their side of the story and AliExpress will make the final call on whether you’ll receive a refund or not. Keep in mind, you may not get a full refund for certain items like accessories. But, you have up to 15 days from delivery or 60 days from the package delivery deadline to open a dispute.
Thinking about starting an online store but don’t want to handle inventory? AliExpress dropshipping might be for you! With this eCommerce website’s method, you simply set up your store, connect with suppliers, and let them handle the packaging and shipping of products to your customers.
Setting up your store on AliExpress is a breeze, and they even offer a free version for all sellers. Plus, they have rules and terms in place to protect both your interests and theirs.
If you’re serious about using AliExpress for dropshipping, it’s a good idea to invest in a tool like Oberlo or Dropified. These solutions automate the fulfillment process and make it easier to sync AliExpress items with your store platform.
In short, AliExpress dropshipping is a low-risk and budget-friendly way to start your online business with little to no inventory management required. But if you have no idea how to get started, you can check out our guide “How to Start a Dropshipping Business: 9 Proven Steps”.
AliExpress Global Selling
If you’re reading this, chances are you’re curious about AliExpress’ dropshipping options. But did you know that AliExpress also has a solution for suppliers? Yup, they’ve got a dedicated process for non-Chinese sellers to get registered.
Now, here’s the thing – if you’re looking to be a wholesale supplier, AliExpress might not be the best choice for you. The prices offered by Chinese competitors are tough to beat.
So, if you’re looking to get into the dropshipping space as a manufacturer or supplier, there are better alternatives out there. Trust us.
Top AliExpress Alternatives
There are many alternatives to AliExpress. To help you find the most reputable companies, we’ve compiled a list of the top dropshippping suppliers.
Here’re some of the best examples:
1. Printful – Your Custom Printed Products Solution
If you’re looking for a way to create unique and customized items for your eCommerce business, then Printful is the perfect choice for you. With its easy-to-use plugin, you can quickly set up a Shopify store with print-on-demand products like t-shirts, hats, and more. The best part? When someone buys from your store, the wholesale suppliers will handle the order and fulfillment automatically. Printful is a great AliExpress alternative because it’s user-friendly, quick shipping, and perfect for fashion companies.
2. Alibaba – The Parent Company of AliExpress
Dropshipping has become a popular form of eCommerce, and Alibaba is one of the best alternatives to AliExpress. As the parent company, Alibaba offers a professional and high-quality experience for those looking for something different. With Alibaba, you can access a global trading platform that offers products in bulk, giving you the option to buy large quantities at a low cost. Plus, you can even make payments through PayPal or credit card, making it a versatile option for your eCommerce needs.
3. Salehoo: Your Trusted Dropshipping Partner
Tired of worrying about unreliable suppliers on AliExpress? Look no further than Salehoo, the go-to choice for those seeking a dependable dropshipping solution. With 25 million+ products from thoroughly vetted suppliers, you can trust that what you’re getting is top-notch. Salehoo has even been featured on sites like HuffPost and Forbes, so you know it’s the real deal.
Say goodbye to long wait times and limited payment options. With Salehoo, you’ll enjoy fast shipping and a wide variety of payment options for all your shopping needs, whether it’s for gadgets or pet supplies.
4. Doba: Your One-Stop Dropshipping Solution
Find all the products you want to sell and start selling without worrying about managing multiple suppliers. That’s the beauty of Doba, a comprehensive dropshipping store that provides a detailed directory of wholesalers and manufacturers to choose from.
With Doba, you just find the product you want to sell, list it on your website, and watch the sales roll in. Doba takes care of the rest, including contacting the supplier and sending products directly to your customers. No more searching for answers on Google or missing out on customer support, you can connect with your wholesale suppliers easily and get all the benefits of fast shipping and payment options like FedEx.
When it comes to AliExpress, there are both upsides and downsides to consider. On the one hand, you’ll have access to a massive selection of bulk products at affordable prices. But on the other hand, long shipping times can hurt your store’s customer appeal. And there’s always the risk of never receiving your order.
So, if you’re thinking of using AliExpress for your eCommerce business, it’s important to understand what you’re getting into. While it can be a solid option for finding low-cost products in a variety of categories, it’s not the best choice for everything. For example, if you’re looking for private label manufacturing, brand-name items, or fast shipping, you may want to explore other dropshipping solutions.
In conclusion, if you don’t mind doing a bit of research to source quality products, AliExpress can be a good choice for your eCommerce business. But if you need something more specialized, you might want to look elsewhere.
Who Can UseAliExpress?
AliExpress is available to shoppers all around the world, with websites and apps in multiple languages including English, Russian, Spanish, French, and more.
Why are AliExpress Products So Cheap?
On AliExpress, you can buy directly from manufacturers, cutting out the middleman and saving you money. Plus, manufacturing costs are lower in China and there are fewer regulations on intellectual property, which can lead to even lower prices. However, some products may be counterfeit, so be careful when shopping and always check the product description and reviews before making a purchase.
What is the Quality of Products on AliExpress?
Sometimes, you might receive a product that’s different from what you expected. If the product description and photos were accurate, AliExpress may not be able to help with a refund. You can try negotiating with the supplier for a partial refund or leave a 1-star review as a last resort. Just keep in mind that returning items to China can be costly and may not always be successful.
Should You Do Dropshipping Using AliExpress?
If you’re looking for an affordable way to purchase bulk items for your store, AliExpress can be a good platform for your business. Just make sure you choose the right supplier and take precautions to avoid low-quality products. AliExpress is the most popular option for dropshipping because it’s easy to use, and Shopify users can use the Oberlo app to sync their AliExpress goods with their online store.
What’s the Aliexpress Taxation Issue?
Sellers on AliExpress used to declare goods as a gift to avoid paying taxes, but tax authorities have caught on to this loophole. The VAT is automatically added at checkout for orders below €150 from EU countries, and you’ll be liable for import duties on orders above €150. For orders to the USA, anything above $800 is subject to a 25% import tax. This means your profit margins will be lower due to taxation.
Is It Secure to Conduct Transactions on AliExpress?
AliExpress and AliPay have a good track record when it comes to security, so you can rest assured that your information is safe. However, it’s always important to be cautious when making online purchases. Make sure you check the seller’s reputation before making a purchase and consider buying from eBay or Amazon if you’re looking for stronger consumer protection.
How to Avoid Scams on AliExpress?
Watch out for sellers with a bad rep! You can usually tell by checking out their feedback and reviews. And if you come across a seller who mentions not delivering or sending low-quality goods, avoid them like the plague. Also, be wary of new websites with sketchy names like “shop325423456.”
But don’t worry, you’ve got some protection! Thanks to the escrow system, you can hold off on paying until you get your order and make sure it’s what you paid for. Double-check that everything is included, especially if you’re buying a name-brand item so you know it’s not a fake. And if your package arrives incomplete, consider filming the unboxing as proof.
And remember, you’ve got 15 days after marking an item as received to file a dispute if there’s any problem.