AliExpress Review 2017 : is AliExpress Reliable ?
What is your opinion about AliExpress (and those of consumers)? Is AliExpress a reliable site or not? Here are some questions that people ask me constantly. To answer, I wanted to write this article where I explain why it is possible to trust AliExpress, despite the fact that the company is on the other side of the world.
You should realize it : buying from China is not that risky. You just have to take some precautions. Certainly, it’s not because it’s a reliable site that you should buy everything and anything with your eyes closed.
Is AliExpress reliable, or should we be wary of it? My opinion
How AliExpress Works
How does it work?
Remember that AliExpress sells nothing. The site only connects sellers, mainly Chinese, and customers from around the world looking to get the best deals. In exchange, AliExpress charges a commission to sellers based on the volume of sales they have made on the platform. Prices are roughly the same as those invoiced to Chinese buyers. Thus, AliExpress seems not to apply a “surtax” to Europeans, who often have better income. This is where it becomes extremely interesting, because AliExpress offers American or English people products at the same price as the price paid by an Asian, while their salary is generally much lower.
You therefore have a higher purchasing power than a Chinese (on average), and the products that are offered to you are billed at the same price. As a result, they seem much cheaper in your eyes. It should be noted that U.S. stores tend to overbill this kind of products.
How can AliExpress offer such low prices?
When you buy a product in a store in Europe, it has already passed through many people, who have received a commission on the product. The shop must also pay a variety of expenses: rent, personnel costs, taxes… For this, the stores are forced to take large margins on the products they sell and it is not uncommon to see some sell a product 3 or 4 times the price at which it was purchased.
With AliExpress, none of this : the only intermediary is the site itself, as it will charge a commission to the seller. You are thus in an almost direct relation with Asian manufacturers, which allows you to benefit from very attractive prices.
Unfortunately, one can worry about small French shop owners… It has become very hard for them to be able to compete with the Internet, and there is no doubt that some will have to close down because of Chinese sites.
Slow delivery … but free
One of AliExpress’s strengths is that it offers free shipping on all products on the site. And even if you only order a small gadget at 1 dollar. This is a bit surprising, as American and European e-commerce sites often ask for a minimum order to offer free delivery, even though they are sometimes only a few kilometers from your home.
To offer free shipping, AliExpress uses the Chinese Post, which has partnered with the largest European carriers. Since the website makes a lot of sales, it is possible for its sellers to benefit from very attractive rates on the shipping costs. That’s how they are able to offer them for free.
Is the delivery time important? Everything is relative. I remind you that the sellers are based in China, and that the delivery is free. Often, you can receive your items in 15 to 35 days. If you don’t want to wait, you can opt for a paid delivery using a European carrier. Be aware, however, that you are more likely to pay possible customs duties.
My opinion about AliExpress: Reliability depends on the type of product.
The specialty of AliExpress: electronic products. The site is full of more or less useful gadgets, which are either not found in Europe or sold much cheaper. AliExpress also offers many garments, whose quality varies greatly depending on the fabrication.
Nevertheless, the standards are not the same as in Europe, and some indications such as SAR indications will not be available, which can sometimes be of concern to some buyers. You can find a whole lot of products, offered at prices much lower than what is practiced in Europe. It should be noted that most electronic products found in our stores are imported from China and resold with a large margin. By shortening the distribution circuit and connecting customers and suppliers directly, it is possible to obtain gadgets such as Bluetooth headphones or external batteries at an unbeatable price.
The quality is not always as good as what can be found in the major European brands. I advise you to pay attention to the materials that are used, and to the size. I advise against the purchase of suits or work shirts: prefer European brands that you may have tried on in-store. On the other hand, for t-shirts, dresses or underwear, treat yourself!
Warning: I am not saying that the products sold on AliExpress are all of poor quality, and that it is impossible to find good quality clothes that can be worn to go to work. I’m just trying to warn those who believe they’re going to be able to suddenly stop buying in physical shops or in European online stores.
Remember that if a piece of clothing does not fit you, you can send it back at your own expense.
Unlike European sites, where it is easy and inexpensive to return a garment, a return procedure on AliExpress can involve several tens of euros. Be careful and buy only the products you are almost convinced that will fit you. To do this, you can rely on the opinions that have been given by previous customers and who may possibly provide you with information about the size of the product. Do not hesitate to exchange with the seller if you have your eye on a dress or a pair of jeans and you have some doubts regarding the size or the cut.
Products for which there is a need to be vigilant
Pay attention to electrical products compatible with European outlets. In fact, you may find products that are not adapted to the 220 volt outlets (Is rare, and it is generally reported). Even if there is a small risk, I suggest you pay close attention.
Products to avoid
I think it is common sense to stay away from certain products. If I try to save money by buying on the internet, I am not going to buy whatever thing I come across. Here is, for information purposes only, the list of products that I would never buy on a Chinese site like AliExpress:
- Cables or pipes, because the risk of leakage is too high
- Baby products
In short, I avoid any product that touches the skin directly. Even if the risk is low, I prefer to spend a little more on a European site or store, I’m too afraid of the possible consequences.
Reliability depends on the product and the vendor.
Do you want to be sure of the quality of a product? Do you want to be sure to be delivered well and on time?
The main thing on AliExpress is to make sure that the seller from whom you place your order is reliable. AliExpress has no interest in presenting on its site articles from unscrupulous sellers. However, nobody is immune to a scam, and I advise you to follow some basic tips to avoid getting ripped off. You will also have to see if the product pleased other buyers. At first, analyze the reviews posted on AliExpress. I wouldn’t recommend buying a product that does not have a rating of at least 4.5, unless it is justified and explained by the seller (he can “defend” himself in the comments of the buyers).
Unlike other sites where customers are harder in their ratings, buyers on AliExpress tend to give the maximum score when the item matches their expectations. We can therefore be wary when a product turns around 4/5, as this indicates that some customers have been disappointed by the product.
Do not hesitate to read the comments in order to know more about the reasons why they didn’t give the maximum score. You will then be able to analyze the seller’s profile to ensure that he is reliable and honest. For example, for this store:
We see that the seller has more than 6 000 points and that in total he has more than 97.8% of positive evaluation. It is therefore a serious seller, which you can trust. If you still have doubts about the product, you can contact him: either by mail or by chat if he is currently online. A good way to get an answer directly from the producer to the consumer!
I do not advise you to buy a product offered by a seller that has less than 90% satisfaction. Also avoid the “new stores”, which have too little length of service to allow you to get an opinion. Choose from well-established vendors who have proven their worth.
The guarantees offered by AliExpress
Do you have doubts about the reliability of AliExpress? Are you wary of the opinions you read on the internet about this website? Here are all the guarantees proposed by the site, which will possibly reassure you before placing an order.
Delivery on time
The sellers undertake to deliver after a certain number of days.
For example, this one undertakes to deliver within 7 days, as indicated in the data sheet of one of the products he proposes:
If after 60 days I still have not received my product, I have 15 days to contact AliExpress to request a refund. Simply open a dispute in the details of the order.
Well, personally I have never needed to resort to this extreme method! Sellers have always delivered me on time (and I have ordered a good hundred products since I started buying on AliExpress).
So I’m not sure how this kind of litigation works. Feel free to let me know in the comments if you have ever faced this problem so I can relay the information here.
Returns and refunds for items that does not match the description
If the item I receive is not consistent with the description given by the seller, I can either ask for a full refund or start a negotiation with the seller. For example, if I ordered a blue cap and I received a red cap, I can offer to the seller to keep the cap, but he refunds half the price of the product. That way, everyone is happy!
Small arrangements that sometimes have to be agreed …
The guaranteed genuine
Some branded products are guaranteed to be genuine. To do this locate the logo on the product description page:
This way it’s easy to get a refund if I think it’s a fake.
To end this review…
I really hope you’ve enjoyed this review, and you’ve realized that AliExpress is a reliable site.
You’d like to find brands on AliExpress ? You can check out this post !
You want to find other sites like AliExpress ? Check this post featuring a huge list of Chinese websites.