Top 8 things to know before buying from Ali Express

Ali Express

AliExpress has become one of the worlds largest online store based on China and sets record-breaking single sales of USD 30.8 billion during its global shopping festival on November 12, 2018.

It is setting new highs on sales volume and surpassed Amazon and eBay combined.  Many online shoppers across the world prefer Ali Express as this platform connects millions of sellers and customers. 

Yes, AliExpress does not directly sells the products but rather provides the platform by connecting the sellers with the customers.

There is always the risk of not getting the product that was ordered or declaring false specifications of the products. AliExpress has overcome the risk by focusing on important things like rules for sellers, buyer’s protection, payment security and the easy arbitrage process if it occurs between the seller and the buyer.

Based on my own experience and observation, I have listed down 8 simple things you should note when you are placing your first order on AliExpress.

1. Seller’s rating

First thing to do while searching the product on AliExpress is to find a reliable seller who make sure that the product meets the product description. Sellers rating on Aliexpress will provide you information on three factors;

Are buyers getting the same item as described?

How is the seller’s customer service?

Do buyers receive the order on time?

When you click on any product, at the left end of the post you will be able to see the sellers rating in percentage and if you click on the arrow below the rating number, three will be three separate ratings on the above questions.

If the rating percentage is of 85% to 95%, and the average rating number is above 4, it is safe to assume the sellers deliver satisfactory results.

2. Product ratings

The best way to ensure you are getting the same item as described on the order is through the product rating.

Every product posted on the site has the rating in the form of stars. The 4 stars indicate that the product has satisfactory results.

And the votes on the lift side will give you an idea on how popular this product is among the buyers. The greater the number, the better are the chances of getting a good product.

Ali Express Product Ratings

3. Buyers reviews

The product rating is given by the other buyers. Take a look in their feedback that will show you the reaction buyers have on the product.

Aliexpress Shoppers Ratings

Some even post the pictures of their order to show others how the item looks in person. I personally look for reviews that have a picture attached with them.

4. Coupons and other discounts

Some even post the pictures of their order to show others how the item looks in person. I personally look for reviews that have a picture attached with them.

I admit, the prices available on the site are enough to seal the deal but if we have the opportunity to get Ali express coupons and other promotional benefits why shouldn’t we take it?

You can avail coupons by simply clicking on the coupons option available in the product description. They are offered separately by sellers, so coupons may differ from seller to seller.

A fair warning though, if due to some reason you want to claim a refund, you will only get the part you have paid for, not the coupon amount.


5. Buyers Protection

This is one of the important points you need to consider before placing an order. If the item you receive is faulty or is not what was mentioned in the product description, you can’t claim a refund unless the seller has given a guarantee on that product.

Aliexpress generally provided two basic types of type of guarantees.

Full refund

In case the order is not received within the timeframe mentioned by the seller or you didn’t receive the parcel at all.

Partial refund

In case the order received is not as it was described.

Make sure to check the type of buyer protection the seller offers on the product description before placing your order.

aliexpress buyers protection

6. Shipping Methods

A lot of problems can be easily solved simply by choosing a correct shipping method.

The site usually provides three types of shipping methods;

Standard shipping– It usually takes on average 40 days to deliver the parcel.

China registered Airmail– It is comparatively faster than standard shipping and based on my experience, one of the safest shipping methods for delivery.

There is always a chance you might not receive your order in standard shipping but it is not the case in China Airmail, mostly because the seller always provides the tracking details so you can easily check your order movement.

Other courier services– One of the fastest ways to get your item is through other courier services like DHL, but then again, what is the point of purchasing a $15 item when you have to pay $40 shipping charges on it.

What shipping method you choose will determine how safe your parcel can be delivered and how long it would take.

I would generally prefer the registered airmail since it offers the tracking facility and it the recommended choice. 

shipping methods

7. Product Tracking

At the right end of every shipment option order tracking availability is mentioned. Not every shipment method provides this service. Choose a shipment method that has a tracking option available.

You can easily keep an eye on your order movement through AliExpress tracking service available on the site.

AliExpress shipment tracking
AliExpress shipment tracking2

However, there are also a number a third party tracking website that you can also used to track your product

8. Resolving Disputes

The need for dispute arises when the product you have received doesn’t match with the item described on the order. That is the reason Seller’s rating is mentioned at the top of my article.

If the seller communication rating is above average, there is a possibility you might not even have to face this issue. But it is important to know the time period in which you can open your dispute which usually is a 15 day period after the order is received.

 After that, well you can still open a dispute but why wait?

Luckily, AliExpress does send reminders through emails about the dispute expiry date and how to open a dispute. Just Keep yourself updated on the emails and don’t miss any email.

I believe with these tips in mind, you can confidently buy from AliExpress. And once your order is received, it will be a good gesture to the future buyers if you provide your own feedback on the seller as well as on the product you received so others can benefit from it just like you did.

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