Is aliexpress legit and reliable?
Why I haven’t received my parcel after 2 months of delivery?
How can I know where my package is ?
Why did the seller make me wait for a few more days after I filed a dispute?
Many customers who place orders with Aliexpress have this question. Therefore, many customers will be insecure on Aliexpress and have a doubt.
In this article, I will objectively analyze the following 8 most talked about problems and why they occur. Then, I will give you the most practical tips to help you avoid these problems and have a happy shopping on Aliexpress.
- What is Aliexpress?
- How Does AliExpress Work?
- Why Are Items So Cheap on AliExpress?
- What to Expect When Using AliExpress
- Why do some people think Aliexpress is a scam? (4 reasons)
- Why does it take so long for Aliexpress to deliver?
- What if there is no tracking information or Aliexpress tracking is not updated?
- What is the right time to open a dispute and file a claim?
1. What is Aliexpress? Is Aliexpress legit?
Aliexpress is a popular online store for buying products at much cheaper prices than Amazon and other similar services. The store was founded in 2010 and is owned by Alibaba, a large Chinese multinational company focused on e-commerce and computers and one of the world’s largest Internet companies.
AliExpress is considered to be a reliable place to buy products at cheaper prices than in China. AliExpress is part of the Alibaba Group, a large and established company focused on commerce and media. AliExpress also offers shoppers a full refund for products that are damaged, arrive late or not at all.
2.How Does AliExpress Work?
To use AliExpress, you will first need to register for a free account through the registration link in the upper right corner of the official AliExpress website. Create a new account by manually entering your email address in the registration form or by logging in with your Facebook, Google or VK account.
After your initial account is created, AliExpress will ask you for your first and last name, gender, date of birth, nationality, and to select a few shopping categories that interest you, such as men’s fashion, technology accessories and consumer electronics.
Other information asked of you includes your marital status, your children’s birthdays, the industry you work in, your average salary, the estimated amount you spend each month when shopping online, and the other online stores you use.
Once your profile is set up, you can browse AliExpress and search for products through the search bar at the top of the site. Products can be purchased from their individual pages by selecting the “Buy Now” button, or added to your cart by selecting the “Add to Cart” button.The shopping process on AliExpress is very similar to most other online stores such as Amazon or Target.
3.Why Are Items So Cheap on AliExpress?
As we all know, China is the “factory of the world”. Unlike Amazon, 95% of the sellers on Aliexpress are Chinese. All of their goods come directly from Chinese manufacturers. This keeps costs down and means they can afford to offer free or very cheap shipping. In addition, products are shipped directly from China, with no first or second middlemen.
4.What to Expect When Using AliExpress?
Lower prices: When shopping on AliExpress, you can expect to see products sold at a much lower price than other online or brick and mortar stores.
Adding an address and payment method: Unlike other sites that typically have you add your shipping address and payment method to your profile when setting up your account, AliExpress will require you to add this information during the checkout phase of your first order. Once this information is entered, it will be saved in your account for use on future orders.
Missing Locations: Some regions and cities may be missing from the drop down menu when adding an address on AliExpress, but you can manually enter this information in the text field for the apartment number or street name.
English: The English language on AliExpress is very good, although you may occasionally encounter some grammar issues that will prompt you to pay extra attention. Overall, however, despite the fact that this is a Chinese language site, you should have no problem understanding the English language on AliExpress.
5.Why do some people think Aliexpress is a scam? (4 reasons)
I noticed that 70% of the bad Aliexpress reviews are caused by shipping delays and unpleasant public disputes and claims stages. Gradually, many customers believe that sellers on Aliexpress are unreliable and they cannot get good protection of their rights from the platform.There are 4 main reasons why customers feel insecure，
- There was a long delay in receiving the package.
- Tracking information was not kept up to date.
- Buyers received items that were not what they expected.
- Some buyers think “buyer produced” is not effective.
There’s a long delay in getting the parcel
In general, it takes about 30-50 days for shipments using the free shipping
Service, in some places is 20-30 days. But in many countries and regions, the delivery time may exceed 60 days, or even 75 days.
But in many countries and regions, the delivery time may exceed 60 days, or up to 75 days. The worst case scenario is that the package is lost in transit.
Despite the low price of Aliexpress, if the customer cannot receive the parcel after a long period of time, which can be frustrating if the customer does not receive the package after 60 or even 75 days. Most of them will ask for a refund.
The tracking info is not updated timely
You may find that the package is always at the same airport in China or the destination country, without any other updated shipping information 1-2 weeks after the order is placed. If you haven’t received the package after 60 days, you won’t be able to tell if the package is still in transit or lost.
You would then ask the seller about the shipping status of the package, and in fact, the seller would not know the exact location of the package. I will explain why the seller does not know the shipping information in question 3.
The items buyers received is not what they expected
If you receive the wrong item, a poor quality item or a damaged package, 99% of sellers are willing to resend the product to you. But if you don’t want to wait a long time, you can choose to ask for a refund. The seller will agree to refund you.
But there’s another scenario: you think you received an inferior item simply because it didn’t meet your high expectations.
For example, you paid $30 for a pair of supposedly up-to-date Nike shoes with free shipping, and you find that it’s not as good as the original, so you claim that the seller is a scammer. In reality, as long as the quality of the shoes can match the $30 value, that’s fine.
Some buyers think the “buyer production” doesn’t work well
Some buyers feel that the Buyer Protection Service on Aliexpress does not act as a qualified mediator to protect their rights well.
6. Why the delivery times of Aliexpress is so long?
Why are the products on Aliexpress so cheap? Many people assume that products made in China must be cheap, and while this is indeed one reason, another important reason is that sellers on the platform choose a low-cost logistics. Logistics costs are an important factor that affects the profitability of sellers.
Therefore, if they offer you free shipping services, they will definitely choose an economical shipping method, such as China Post Air Mail.
Although the cost of this shipping method is low, the shipping time is inconsistent. For those buyers in remote areas, it may take more than 60 days to receive the package. Moreover, customers cannot check the delivery information in the destination country. In addition, packages can easily get lost in transit.
Therefore, as I mentioned above, 70% of disputes are caused by delivery delays. But many people have a question: Why is air freight so slow?
There are 6 main reasons as below，
- There are some unqualified packages.
In China Post’s security inspection process, they usually check the whole bag directly instead of unpacking the bag. If there are some unqualified goods in the bag, there will be a lot of additional procedures, such as unpacking the bag for inspection and refilling the bag.
Due to the small size of postal parcels, a whole bag contains many parcels, and it is time-consuming to unpack and inspect and refill the bag. This is also an important factor affecting the customs clearance time of international logistics.
- Delays in connecting flights
Most flights require connections. If 2-3 connections are required, it can take a long time. In addition, in case of bad weather or other unforeseen circumstances, the transit time can be even longer.
- Whole aircraft logistics warehouse takes a long time
Due to the high cost of air freight, logistics companies will not deliver your package until the airplane logistics space is full. Therefore, it may take a relatively long time to collect the package.
- Low efficiency of customs clearance
Postal cooperation between China Post or other logistics companies and postal companies of other countries is the cheapest way of international logistics. 70% of international e-commerce parcels are delivered through postal services. In addition, customs clearance and delivery are carried out by public officials in each country.
Due to limited fiscal budgets, many countries are reluctant to invest in additional manpower to assist with customs clearance. The immediate impact is that clearance and delivery can take quite a long time, especially for small postal packages. If you want to speed up customs clearance, you can spend more money on dedicated logistics.
- Changing customs checkpoints
If a customs checkpoint suddenly announces that they are not accepting large quantities of international parcels, these parcels will be transferred to another customs checkpoint. At this stage, there will be some other accompanying problems, for example, rescheduling flights and customs clearance will take a long time.
- Major holidays and major shopping days and events
On major holidays, customs staff or logistics and distribution staff will also be on holiday. Therefore, it will take more time to operate customs clearance and delivery of packages.
Generally, there will be a lot of parcels piling up in airports and customs warehouses after each shopping node, and the logistics speed will obviously slow down accordingly.
In addition, during international events, such as the worldwide COVID-19 virus in 2020, most international flights are forced to be cancelled and many staff members simply stay home. Therefore, if you purchase a product on Aliexpress in February or March, you will have quite a long time to receive your package.
7. What if there’s no tracking info or Aliexpress tracking not updating？
Although products on Aliexpress are very cheap, international logistics services are a headache between buyers and sellers. For some budget logistics, you can only know that your package has arrived in the destination country and the expected delivery time. You can’t get specific shipping details.
In addition, some logistics companies just tell you that your package has been shipped from China with no other logistic information. Therefore, it is easy to lose the parcel.
Generally speaking, there are 4 types of logistics on Aliexpress, as shown in the following chart for your reference.
Economic transport: This is a way of transporting low-value, light-weight goods on Alibaba. It has a cheap logistics shipping rate, but you can’t check the delivery information in the destination country.
Economical shipping: It provides registered postal service and you can check the tracking information of some key steps, such as delivery and buyer’s signature information.
Standard shipping: including registered postal service and special line service, you can check the tracking information of the whole shipping process.
Premium shipping: Commercial express and postal express services, which provide fast shipping and tracking information of the whole shipping process. high-value products on Aliexpress, such as electronic products, are shipped in this logistic way.
If you buy a product on Aliexpress for less than $5, the shipping method is usually economy shipping. You can’t get detailed shipping tracking information and there will be a rather long shipping time. To avoid these problems, you can pay extra money for standard shipping options.
Since the free shipping service offered by the seller is usually the economy shipping method, once you choose this service, all you can do is wait for the arrival of the agreed delivery date. (Usually up to 60 days) The reason is that the seller can’t check the status of the package either and can only tell you to wait a few more days.
Generally speaking, shipping is more efficient in developed countries like Europe or the US. However, in some remote areas, if you choose economic shipping, it will be difficult to deliver the package on time, and it may even be lost in transit or checked by security.
You may have a question: why not try other logistics instead of China Post? Although China Post Parcel has disadvantages, it is still the best choice for shipping low-value and light-weight products due to its cheap price and wide range of services (it can reach most countries).
8. How to select the reliable sellers and the right shipping way？
In addition to scanning product reviews and store feedback, you should pay more attention to the product detail pages. A good detail page must be one that contains all the information you want. The following 3 areas are very important elements.
- Product main diagram
- Product listing
- Shipping ways to your country
Product main picture
The overall structure, details and shine of the product will be shown realistically in 6 product photos without too much embellishment. Many sellers will show how to use the product in the short video. For example, stores selling fish lures show how to use the lures in short videos.
In the product list, all parameters of the product are stated, including materials, packaging, operation instructions, delivery time, after-sales service, etc. Customers can get enough security from such a product list.
Taking a fishing tackle store as an example, since many small sellers or startups cannot provide such a detailed product list, especially the shipping schedule below, we can conclude that this must be a powerful seller specializing in fishing tackle.
The way of shipping to your country
As I mentioned above, cross-border logistics is the biggest concern for buyers. Therefore, if you want to buy high value products, you’d better pay extra money to choose standard shipping method.
For small low-value items ($1-$2), be prepared to take the potential risk of quite long delivery times or lost packages if you choose the economy shipping method (free shipping), especially during some shopping holidays.
If you have an urgent need for a certain product, for example, you need a swimsuit for a vacation in 1 week. It is recommended that you check if the supplier has a warehouse in your country, as this can reduce the shipping time to a great extent. As you can see in the picture below, you can choose the shipping location.
Before 2016 there was a phenomenon that customers could buy some brands from Aliexpress as knockoffs. However, this phenomenon is almost non-existent in the market now, because products without brand authorization certificate are prohibited to be sold on Aliexpress.
My advice: many products on Aliexpress are really very cheap, but you’d better buy products from a good supplier than just considering the cheapest price. Generally speaking, if the price is incredibly cheap, the quality or after-sales service will not be very satisfactory.
5. What’s the right time to open a dispute and file a claim？
There are many customer complaints about disputes. For example, when customers can’t receive their package after waiting for a long time, they ask the seller about the shipping status, but they don’t get any response from the seller.
Or the seller just tells them to wait longer, or simply extends the delivery time, such as changing 60 days to 90 days. In this case, the customer will choose to get a refund on the Aliexpress platform.
But there are rules for requesting refunds on Aliexpress.
Scenario 1: Your order is not received within the confirmation date
Your order is not received within the confirmation date (the confirmation date varies depending on the seller’s stated delivery time and is usually calculated from the seller’s confirmation that the order has been shipped, up to a maximum of 60 days).
Therefore, although you consider the matter to be urgent, you can dispute it after the agreed confirmation date. For example, if the agreed date between you and the seller is 75 days, you can open a dispute after 75 days.
After submitting an open dispute form, the seller has 15 days to respond and try to reach an agreement with you. If an agreement is not reached within the 15-day period, the dispute automatically becomes a claim (see Submitting a Claim). Claims are reviewed and mediated by the AliExpress Case Management Team.
If you do not hear back from the seller, or if you feel that negotiations are not progressing, you do not have to wait until the 15 day dispute period is over, you can file a claim within 3 days of opening the dispute.
So really, don’t worry too much, as long as you don’t get your package, you can of course get your full refund.
Second scenario: If you received the goods not in a satisfactory condition, open a dispute and fill out the dispute form provided. You’d better explain the problem with a clear video or photo, and then communicate with the seller about a partial refund or a full refund.
If you do not receive any response from the seller after 15 days, then the dispute will proceed to the claim stage. aliexpress will be directly involved in the dispute. In this case, if the seller should be responsible for the issue, you can of course get a full refund from Aliexpress.
Due to the uncontrollable international logistics of Aliexpress, it will provide sellers with 15 days to resolve these issues. Therefore, the refund process will be relatively slow. Also, the time to get a refund varies from bank account to bank account, all you need to do is to be patient and check your bank account.
Unlike Aliexpress, Amazon will handle the dispute directly, skipping the communication stage between the seller and the buyer, so you can get your refund much sooner.
Cross-border logistics information is often not updated in a timely manner, and can be affected by some force majeure, such as the previous logistics in Brazil, customs detention in Russia, a large number of ePacket detentions in some areas, etc. These are risks that no one can control.
In recent years, China and many countries have also opened dedicated logistics lines to improve timeliness. At the same time, AliExpress is working very hard to identify and eliminate suspicious sellers on the site.
Thank you for reading and if you have other concerns about DHgate, feel free to leave a comment and let me know.
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