Are you looking for an AliExpress review? Is Aliexpress a scam? Should you buy products from Aliexpress for your eCommerce business?
Dropshipping with AliExpress is an important part of many eCommerce companies’ dropshipping strategies. It is easy to use, affordable, has a wide selection of products, and is dependable and diverse.
Furthermore, Oberlo is an application that automates the management of the products from Aliexpress for online marketers.
It is popular among online entrepreneurs to use AliExpress as a product supply source for their online stores and sell products across different categories.
To help you decide if Aliexpress is suitable for you, I have done thorough research about Aliexpress in the past few weeks.
In this Aliexpress review, I’m going to cover the following topics:
What Is AliExpress?
Alibaba Group, one of China’s largest companies based on market capitalization, owns Aliexpress.
Alibaba was able to reach over $75 billion in sales for their singles day campaign during the 11/11 event period in 2020, which gives you an idea of the size of the company.
In addition to AliExpress, Alibaba also offers TaoBao, its online marketplace for domestic Chinese consumers. Alibaba’s AliExpress platform lets Chinese businesses sell internationally.
Almost anything you need can be found there, like on Amazon. The firm does not itself operate as a retailer – all of its sellers come from third parties. AliExpress only functions as an online marketplace.
In AliExpress’ global marketplace, there are many products available. You can purchase wholesale packages or individual products.
Due to a large number of Chinese manufacturers on AliExpress, you will often find very competitive prices.
Customers looking for new, inexpensive products can find AliExpress a viable alternative to eBay and Amazon.
From women’s clothing and jewelry to electronics and home décor, you can find everything there.
If you own a business, you can also use AliExpress to source items that you plan to sell online. If you’re interested in dropshipping, in which orders are fulfilled by a third party, Aliexpress is the company to go to.
Oberlo allows you to dropship products from AliExpress through Shopify as part of your eCommerce store.
You can build a business fast with AliExpress dropshipping because you do not pay for anything your customers do not buy. Online shoppers will be able to have their orders shipped and packaged by the suppliers whom you work with. Customers’ questions will still be handled by you, however.
Although AliExpress isn’t for everyone, it may be an attractive option.
AliExpress Pros For Dropshippers
1. Low startup costs
AliExpress is a simple and affordable way for businesses to start selling products online.
Customers have a wide variety of items to choose from. There is no charge until your customers begin ordering as well. This means that you don’t have to worry about your startup idea failing.
By using AliExpress, companies can launch without investing a lot of money into inventory. Shopify’s pricing plan and Oberlo’s plugin are the only requirements for getting started. You can always change the product you sell on AliExpress if it does not attract customers.
With AliExpress, companies do not have to operate storefronts, reducing their overall costs significantly. This allows you to expand your portfolio and sell products anywhere.
If you feel that something on your store isn’t working for your brand, you can always change out your items. Nothing prevents you from changing your business plan if your store isn’t working, or you want to suggest a new approach to sales. You’re not bound to anything.
3. Minimal overheads
Aside from making starting a business cheap and easy, AliExpress ensures that you have low overheads as your store grows.
Selling thousands of products without managing or maintaining inventory is possible.
Real estate and warehouses are not necessary, and you do not have to pay employee salaries since your orders are packed and picked by yourself.
At the other end, everything you need has already been arranged for you.
The number of diverse products that AliExpress offers is a major advantage for businesses and consumers alike. Whether you are looking for electrical items, fashion, or beauty items, you will find them all on this marketplace.
Because of its versatility, you can run any type of business you desire.
Purchasing on the internet will also give you a great deal of choices, often at a cheaper price than you’ll find elsewhere.
AliExpress Cons and Complaints For Dropshippers
1. Highly competitive
Dropshipping on AliExpress isn’t a new concept for companies. You will still face competition for the same market share regardless of what niche you choose to market in.
Creating a business that stands out this way is challenging. That’s why some companies prefer to source products through other directories including Worldwide Brands and SaleHoo.
Dropshipping business success depends on building a brand when you have a number of competitors to consider.
There are a large number of dropshipping companies that neglect marketing and branding.
2. Lack of control
Consumers and business owners can neither control the people they work with on AliExpress.
Although you can pick your supplier, if they don’t arrive on time, you can’t make them speed up delivery. In addition, you cannot control what goes into packing and fulfilling orders – you must trust your suppliers with this.
Before you invest, you must do your due diligence and find out as much as you can about the supplier and their policies. As a business owner, you are responsible if your supplier ends up being a bad apple.
3. Long Shipping times
Across the AliExpress landscape, there is often a problem with shipping times.
It can take a long time to receive a product if the customer orders it from another country.
When looking for suppliers, you can sometimes find ones that offer faster shipping. Shipping costs will go up as you request more items.
Free shipping is offered by the majority of AliExpress sellers. You will, however, have to wait about a month for it to arrive and you will not receive a tracking code from AliExpress to track the shipment.
Customers may not be satisfied with your shipping times if they are listed on your product page. That means you should look for a supplier that offers faster delivery and better shipping rates.
If you are considering faster shipping, make sure you weigh the pros and cons carefully.
4. Low-profit margins
AliExpress does not offer the best product margins for business owners. Your customers will expect you to sell those products at a low price if you buy them from the marketplace. What you can reasonably charge for the items depends on the quality of what you purchase.
It’s imperative that you make sure that your price is comparable to your competitors, especially if you’re selling similar products. As a result, it is harder to generate a significant source of income.
5. Difficult returns and refunds
AliExpress can be difficult to deal with when there is a problem with a product you sell or buy.
Returns are a difficult process. The process of returning an item to a supplier can take months, and then a refund can take even longer.
It is common for people to complain that they were never refunded. In case you are a business selling products, you will be responsible for handling the refund costs yourself and waiting for your supplier to provide the refund.
6. Beware of bootlegs
Generally, AliExpress doesn’t offer many Western brands, and a lot of non-Chinese items are counterfeit.
If all you want is something that looks like a genuine article but costs half as much, this shouldn’t be an issue. However, if you’re looking for authenticity, you should read customer reviews before purchasing. While AliExpress is legit, some of its products aren’t.
How Does AliExpress Work?
It is easy for consumers to understand AliExpress. AliExpress offers a variety of products that consumers can choose from. The website has different categories that help narrow down the options for the client. Each category has a subcategory that makes searching faster, easier, and more intuitive.
Each product card includes information, photos, and explanations. Clicking on a product, entering credit card info, and paying for the item is all that is required. In most cases, you can find tracking information and delivery time in your shopping cart.
It’s easy to pay for AliExpress with a variety of options, including credit and prepaid cards, PayPal, and Western Union.
Alibaba’s AliPay, a system similar to PayPal that is based in China, is most often the preferred payment method.
You can find customers who consider AliExpress a scam or a dangerous place to buy from. There aren’t as many buyer protections as on other marketplaces, since not every seller is verified to offer high-quality products.
Whether you’re doing business on AliExpress or shopping as a consumer, it’s important to find the right suppliers. It’s still possible to find some great providers, but it’s also possible to find some that aren’t nearly as trustworthy.
It is illegal to buy counterfeit products, and the seller and buyer are both at fault, so it is crucial to be careful.
What Makes AliExpress Products So Cheap?
On AliExpress, many prices are very low. How come?
You can purchase directly from a manufacturer, which can lower your selling price. Manufacturing costs in China are lower than those in other countries. Chinese laws for intellectual property protection are also weak.
AliExpress is often the cheapest place to buy electronics in China due to its based in the country. Middlemen’s markups on prices are avoided.
Furthermore, a particularly low-cost item may be fake or rejected by the brand due to quality reasons. Chinese counterfeiters, including those on AliExpress, are well known for their behavior.
AliExpress offers mostly legitimate products, but not all of them. There are counterfeit clothing and electronics available on the site as well.
You can bet the price is too good to be true if it sounds too good to be true. It is easy to be fooled by scammers who will promise you a once-in-a-lifetime deal.
To avoid receiving a far too low price, check other sites for what the going rate is for whatever you want to buy. Your chances of getting ripped off are extremely low if it is so low.
AliExpress usually does not sell branded goods; all you will likely find is counterfeit goods.
Users of AliExpress must know how to distinguish between a ripoff and a legitimate offer. You should pay special attention to this if you are considering working with Aliexpress suppliers for your online store.
How Long Does AliExpress Take to Deliver?
AliExpress’s shipping time is displayed on each product’s page, and it usually takes between 20 and 60 days for an item to arrive. This information is wildly inaccurate, so don’t believe it.
AliExpress has extended the “Buyer Protection Time” to up to 90 days since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis. You have to wait for 90 days before you can get a refund for something you didn’t receive.
I agree that waiting three months for something you bought online is ridiculous. As long as you use Aliexpress for your product supply, you are going to receive many complaints from your customers about delayed delivery times.
AliBaba launched Cainao in 2018, with its own warehouses and shipping companies in major countries. Cainao Global Economy is very slow when it comes to shipping.
It can take a month or more for a package to finally be delivered even if you were notified that it arrived in your country.
Alternatively, AliExpress Standard Shipping is usually delivered via Airmail, with the last mile handled by your standard local mail service (Royal Mail in the UK or USPS in the USA).
The most reliable shipping services are couriers such as DHL and UPS.
After a tracking number is added, every order (even free shipments) will have a tracking number- but it may take one week to actually dispatch a package after the tracking number is added.
As the package travels around various Chinese postal centers, you will be able to track its progress until it arrives at the customs office in your country, which may take some time.
If you don’t receive a tracking number after 10 days, reach out to the seller. A non-delivery dispute won’t be allowed until the maximum delivery period has ended.
I opened many disputes with AliExpress for non-delivery after spending thousands of dollars on the website. Several packages remained un-shipped for months.
Don’t use Aliexpress for your online store if you need fast delivery.
What’s the Aliexpress Taxation Issue?
Sellers on Aliexpress used to declare goods as a generic “gift,” which exempted the package from paying any further taxes. Tax authorities in Europe have now caught on to this loophole, it would appear.
The VAT will be automatically added at checkout to orders below €150 purchased from AliExpress from EU countries starting in July 2021. The cost of this service cannot be seen on the sales page, which already applies to UK customers since January 2021.
When you click on the checkout button, the tax is automatically added, so you should factor in an additional 20% when you view the product page.
The shipping company will add VAT to packages over €150/£135 so that it can be calculated correctly. You will also be liable for the additional handling charge and possibly import duty on these packages.
When it comes to orders to the USA, you’re safe as long as you don’t surpass $800 in value. Anything above that will be subject to a 25% import tax.
Therefore, with taxation, you will have a lower profit margin.
What is the quality of AliExpress’s products?
Oftentimes, customers are dissatisfied with your products. Perhaps the material thickness for a dress is different from what you expected, or the colors are different as well. When you contact the Aliexpress supplier, be realistic.
It is not justified to demand a refund simply because you don’t like the goods, unless there’s something specifically wrong with the listing. What should you do when a customer is unhappy with the product?
Don’t buy from that supplier again and refund your customer. It is unlikely that AliExpress will assist if the product description and photo are accurate and the item has been delivered.
Negotiating a partial refund might be an option for you. Reviewing the product as a 1-star is probably no longer an option if your first instinct is to do so. Rankings are valuable and maybe your only tool for negotiating.
Although it might be tempting to return the products, take care. In many cases, returning something to China costs more than the item cost, and you can’t get that back.
Chinese customs is notoriously unreliable when tracking items sent back into the country, and sometimes the items can disappear entirely.
Due to this, you would have to absorb the cost of refunds if Aliexpress were your supplier. Your Aliexpress supplier is hard to reach for a refund.
Is It Secure to Conduct Transactions on AliExpress?
When it comes to security, AliExpress and AliPay are solid systems. Nothing is invincible and they have a good track record.
As a result, you can rest assured that your information will not be stolen by one of these services more than by an Amazon or eBay (and even eBay was hacked).
My AliPay account has been storing credit cards since a long time, but I have never experienced fraud using them.
Be realistic and careful, however. It’s easy to find bargains, just like it’s easy to find bad products and scammers.
Additionally, many of the same sellers are now listed on eBay and Amazon, too, and the price isn’t much different. These sites offer much stronger consumer protection than Aliexpress.
Before buying an item from a seller, make sure you check out the seller on AliExpress if the item is available only on AliExpress, or if the price is substantially different.
How to Avoid Scams on AliExpress?
1. Check the seller’s feedback before purchasing
There will likely be evidence in their feedback and reviews if a seller has a bad reputation for defrauding buyers.
A seller who mentions not delivering or sending inferior goods should be avoided. You should also be aware of websites with generic names like “shop325423456” that were built recently.
2. Check Your Order Carefully When It Is Received
Due to the escrow system, you can delay payment until you receive your order, so you can be certain that you received what you paid for.
Be sure that everything is included, if you purchased a name brand item, that it does not appear a rip-off. If your package arrives incomplete, you might even wish to film the unboxing.
You still have 15 days after marking an item as received to open a dispute.
How to Get a Refund on AliExpress?
You can open a dispute with the seller if a package doesn’t arrive, or if you have some other issue.
Once you’ve logged into your orders overview page, you can access Eva’s “helpful” customer service bot in the bottom right corner. From the list of choices, click the one that is relevant to your order, and wait for the bot to process it.
From March 1st 2020, the shipping time will be extended to 90 days. The dispute process will not be available if your order is still within the delivery window.
Eva will ask you to confirm that you want to open a dispute if the delivery window has expired, or if you’re reporting another quality issue; then, negotiate with the seller.
If needed, you can provide evidence to support your claim. Your claim may be rejected, or the seller may suggest an alternative, such as a partial refund, which you can accept or reject.
The process continues until both parties agree on a resolution. The AliExpress agent will be able to step in if a resolution isn’t found within 45 days (I don’t know how they calculate this date exactly).
From the feedback received from other users, it’s clear that new customers are treated differently from existing customers. You may not be able to request a refund if this is your first order, since AliExpress has no reason to keep you happy.
Using your credit card to file a chargeback is the only option possible in that case.
Aliexpress Customer Reviews
AliExpress doesn’t have the best reviews on the web if you look around.
Aliexpress customers often complain about a lack of customer service and subpar quality of the products. In product reviews, people often say they were scammed or the product did not arrive.
Because of the poor customer reviews, the BBB revoked AliExpress’ license.
There were often concerns about damaged goods or wrong products received by consumers. Refunds were also difficult to obtain. AliExpress’ accreditation was revoked after they received an “F” from the BBB.
We see the following issues in a large number of reviews:
Problems with shipping
When you buy items from overseas, you can’t count on the shipping time to be fast. It can sometimes take months for your online shopping to reach you, rather than just a few days or weeks.
Problems with the product quality
AliExpress products may have low prices, but they can also suffer from quality issues. People often complain that their items are either broken or poorly made, which leads to low star ratings.
AliExpress sellers don’t seem to be making much of an effort to ensure that the right product is delivered to the right customer. Reviews frequently mention receiving the wrong item. Customers frequently get different items than they ordered.
Refunds are difficult
Getting a refund from AliExpress can be very challenging if you complete an order and have a problem with it. Because of this, it is harder for business owners to provide good customer service. Many consumers feel scammed as a result.
It is sometimes reported that buyers do not receive their orders. Refunds are sometimes difficult when this happens. If this occurs, you may have the feeling of not having spent any money.
Should You Do Dropshipping Using AliExpress Dropshipping?
AliExpress has received a large number of negative reviews, but it has also received some positive reviews. Businesses can easily get their start in the digital world due to the marketplace, for example.
If you’re a retailer who doesn’t want to handle the post office and other shipping suppliers, AliExpress may be a good option.
Using dropshipping, you can ship items directly to your customers without having to worry about fulfilling orders.
Even before consumers began shopping online more frequently due to the Coronavirus pandemic, businesses were spending a lot of money on companies like AliExpress. Because AliExpress offers an affordable method of purchasing bulk items for your store, you can stock up with ease.
As long as you take precautions to avoid poor quality products, AliExpress can be an excellent platform for small businesses.
Choosing the right supplier, however, is up to you. When you are shopping for the first time, things like CE trademark details, RoHS, and REACH certifications will give you more protection.
In spite of the fact that there are a variety of marketplaces out there, including Banggood and others, AliExpress is generally the most popular for dropshipping because it’s so easy to use.
Shopify users can use the dedicated dropshipping app Oberlo to dropship with AliExpress if they have an online store.
If you’re looking for a way to streamline your online selling, Oberlo is a great option for you (read our Oberlo review to learn more).
Your Shopify storefront will sync all your AliExpress goods imported from AliExpress with your AliExpress marketplace store. If your supplier changes its prices or inventory, Shopify will inform you, and it can even help you send tracking codes to your customers.
Your store can place exactly the same order as the one made by your customer by going to your supplier and finding your “my order” section.
Who Can Use AliExpress?
All major regions of the world can use AliExpress.
The company offers alternative language versions of its website and smartphone apps in English, Russian, Portuguese, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Dutch, Turkish, Japanese, Korean, Thai, Vietnamese, Arabic, Hebrew, and Polish.
Aliexpress Review: Final Verdict
AliExpress has both positives and negatives. It is one thing to get a wide selection of bulk products at a reasonable price, on the other hand.
On the other hand, shipping times that are excessive can make it hard for your store to attract customers. Consumers are always at risk of never receiving their orders.
AliExpress can be a tricky platform for businesses and customers alike. Prior to proceeding, you should understand what you can expect.
AliExpress Alternative: Make Passive Income Online
If you don’t want to do eCommerce or dropshipping with AliExpress, you might wonder if there is a better business model that can do it as a side-hustle.
Yes, I would suggest you get started with affiliate marketing. It is far easier and less time consuming as you don’t even need to handle customer service or physical products.
In affiliate marketing, you can run your business almost with zero cost. Most importantly, you don’t need to invest in creating and developing any products.
But How Much Can You Earn in Affiliate Marketing?
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