Shopping online can be a dream come true or it can be a nightmare. The key is finding trustworthy stores. Well if you’re here, you probably know this and it's why you are going through AliExpress reviews online. Well if you want to know the truth, we have everything you need to know, including the good, the bad and the ugly. So, let’s get right into it, shall we?
What is AliExpress?
AliExpress, found at AliExpress.com is an online platform that allows independent merchants to sell their products This includes phones, computers, electronics, household goods, clothing and fashion items. According to Wikipedia, AliExpress is a subsidiary of e-commerce company AliBaba Group meaning it’s a brainchild of Alibaba founders Jack Ma and Peng Lei. Anyway, AliExpress was founded in 2009 and has a local office in San Mateo, CA 94402-1741.
Since there are different merchants the pricing will vary. So let’s take a closer look at how much stuff costs here.
AliExpress's women’s clothes go for anywhere between $3 and $100, while women’s accessories and jewelry sell for anywhere between $1 and $50, although you can find a few items below the $1 mark and also above $100. The bestselling women’s shoes are priced at $30, give or take.
Men’s clothes also sell for anywhere between $5 and $50, but you can find a few items for $100 or more. Rarely will you find men’s shoes going for less than $10 or more than $100. Men’s accessories like ties, scarves, fedoras and socks generally range from $1 to $20. You can also find men’s jewelry for as little as $5. Same goes for boys’ girls’ and children’s’ clothing and accessories.
Smartphones and tablets go for $150 on average, and their accessories barely cross the $10 mark. Laptops and office supplies start at $50. Same goes for car headlights, LED lamps and accessories. Cameras, electronics, TVs and the like go for anywhere between $100 and $500.
Home improvement items including kitchenware, bathroom fixtures and gardening supplies can reach lows of $1 and highs of $30 depending on what you’re looking for.
AliExpress Refund & Return Policy
Keep in mind that AliExpress it's just a platform that has many sellers. So when something goes wrong with your order, you're dealing with that individual vendor first. So your first step is to contact the seller you bought from. Each seller has their own contact information. Both of you will discuss the issue and reach an agreement on how to solve it. If you can’t agree, AliExpress will come in and make a judgment call on the issue, based on their Buyer Protection policy.
Bottom line is, you have 15 days from the time you got your order to open a dispute with AliExpress if you and the seller can’t resolve the issue by yourselves. Fortunately when you buy from one of the Aliexpress vendors, your money will be kept in an Escrow account to protect you as a buyer. So the seller can't screw you over. Your money will only be released to the seller when everyone’s satisfied and there are no refund claims.
AliExpress Payment Options
AliExpress has a bunch of ways you can pay. Here are the most popular ones:
- Credit card (Visa, MasterCard, American Express)
- Western Union
- Boleto Bancario (for Brazil customers)
- Bank transfer
- Web Money
It’s hard to say if all AliExpress sellers ship globally, but it seems most of them do. Again, there’s no telling whether you’ll pay for shipping or not, or even how long shipping will take. AliExpress doesn't have a standard policy. You’ll know the shipping options that once you get to the ‘orders’ page of each product.
But we took time to observe how shipping works on this marketplace, including contacting AliExpress Customer Service. Here’s the feedback we got. Shipping depends on such factors as where you’re ordering from, the price of the item, size and weight. For example, most fashion items, cheap electronics, small accessories and home improvement items ship for free. But things like 3D printers and TVs have shipping costs you’ll have to cover.
So there’s no guarantee you’ll get free shipping, or even how long it will take to get your purchase. Perhaps you’re better off shopping on Amazon.com from verified sellers and you don’t have to worry about shipping costs when you can use the FREE Guaranteed Amazon Prime Delivery.
AliExpress Customer Service
AliExpress Customer Service is available 24/7. To reach out to them, go here and answer a few questions so that they know what department will best help you out. But you’ll need to have a membership account if you haven’t already signed up for an AliExpress account with just your email address.
AliExpress Coupons or Promo Codes
There are always coupon and promo codes on their website. You can also collect AliExpress coupons from different sources around the web. But the best way to get cash back, coupons and discounts is to use a site like Rakuten.com. You can also use Swagbucks.com which allows you to get cash back and earn FREE gift cards and cash that you can use at AliExpress or any store you choose.
Well this is the part of the review you’ll want to read if you’ve ever lost money on the internet. If you want to know whether AliExpress is worth your time, here are a few things you might not like about it.
Terrible Customer Service
Here’s the problem with AliExpress customer support. They don’t have phone numbers, you’ll have to write to them and sing Kumbaya praying that you get a reply. As mentioned earlier, we contacted them while writing this review and it took them a sweet 48 hours to get back. Anyway, some customers say in come cases it take weeks or even months to get things solved.
Buying Cheap Could Cost You More
Most of what is sold on AliExpress is cheap, that's the selling point right. But of course there is a catch. In this case it's the shipping costs. If you have a problem and need to send stuff back, it's going to be sent to China since most of the vendors are located there. And guess what? Shipping to China can be more expensive than what you actually paid to get the product in the first place. So you may end up losing money if the initial shipping was free. Most sellers, if not all, don’t ship for free both ways so you’ll need to be careful while buying cheap from these sellers.
“Where’s My $h*t!”
Most sellers on AliExpress are honest business people, but there are some crooks there as well. Some customers say they never got their order from certain vendors. But that's probably why Aliexpress has buyer protection so you don't lose money. But there is a chance you may order something and never get it.
Some of these complaints may not sit well with you, so it’s only reasonable you may want to shop elsewhere. If that's the case, then you can feel confident shopping at Rakuten.com or Amazon.com with FREE guaranteed 1-2 day Amazon Prime delivery. So you have other options, either way.
Is AliExpress Safe?
AliExpress is simply a gamble. You’re never really sure if everything will go well with the vendors. One of three things may happen. One, you may get your order and everything goes well. Two, you may get it but chances are it will be some piece of junk you won’t use anyway. Or three, you may never get your order so you’ll have to take your case up with the unreliable AliExpress customer service.
But with buyer protection at least you know chances are you won’t lose money. Their Better Business Bureau rating is also positive. All in all, just make sure you check out the seller's reputation, and follow up on your order closely, fingers crossed.
Personally, I wouldn’t shop at AliExpress when you can shop in peace for quality items on Rakuten.com or Amazon.com from trusted retailers with better customer service. You can also earn free cash and gift cards at Swagbucks.com that you can use to shop anywhere like trusted stores you already know. But hey, it’s all up to you.
Well, that’s my two cents about AliExpress. Feel free to chime in on the comments below with your feedback or thoughts about this company. If you still have questions about the company, you can read their FAQs page here. Thanks for reading our AliExpress review. Liked what you read? Check out more real reviews on popular online stores here.
Until next time
Eddy “With a Y”
AliExpress has made quite a name for itself in the e-commerce industry. But how safe is it to shop on the website? Read our shocking review and find out!