Is AliExpress legit and safe for global buyers?

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Many people, when they want to place an order on AliExpress.com, ask themselves the question ‘Is AliExpress safe?’. In order to get the answer to this question, they often look for some opinions on the Internet. Our last two articles concerned the AliExpress.com platform. In our first text, we briefly explained what AliExpress is and how to purchase goods on this website. In the second text, we checked if the customers are satisfied with their purchases, as well as we described the main reasons of negative opinions of AliExpress. In the following article, we will answer the question ‘Is AliExpress legit?’, as well as explain what one can do in order to minimalize the risk of being cheated while doing the shopping on AliExpress.com.

Is AliExpress safe to purchase goods then?

We personally think the AliExpress.com platform is a good way to purchase some products for private use, as well as for small-scale importers who want to purchase goods in small quantities. However, we need to be careful while choosing the product or the supplier. It is worth to stress that AliExpress.com does not influence much on the entities that sell their goods on this website. It works in a similar way to ebay.com, i.e. it gives the possibility to different traders to sell their products within the website. Considering such a big number of buyers and sellers, it is not able to prevent all frauds, however it tries to do as much as possible. Some sellers try to sell their real products and earn money this way, but the others just want to cheat the customers and steal their money, so the suppliers and goods that they offer must be verified.

Is AliExpress legit without precise verification of suppliers?

The short answer is: no. Thanks to the precise verification, it is possible to avoid the most common types of frauds which we mentioned about in last article. In order to minimalize the risk of frauds, we should:

  1. Avoid making transactions with the sellers who have received a small number of comments on their profiles or they don’t have them at all. If the seller does not have any comment or the transaction history on their profile, the risk of fraud is very high. A lot of such frauds create their account to make a few transactions, and when they get the money and the buyer gives a negative opinion about them, they create a new one and do the same. The chance of getting your money back in such a situation is very low.
  2. Check the transaction history. The more transactions have been made, the better. It is a proof that we deal with a reliable seller and the risk of fraud is lower.
  3. Pay attention to the price. If it significantly varies from other offers, it is a sign that it is needed to take a closer look at it. The frauds often offer prices that are a few times lower than other offers in order to encourage too trusting customers to purchase their goods.
  4. Check how big the online shop is. We should check how many products the seller has in their offer. The bigger number of products, the better, just like with the transaction history or the number of comments. A reliable shop should offer a lot of products. If the supplier sells only one or a few products, we recommend to find a new one.
  5. Pay attention to the way the seller contacts us. When they do not respond our e-mails including some questions about the product, do not order the product sight unseen. Every reliable supplier should respond to the messages sent by customers, even when they are obvious and questions asked by clients are senseless.
  6. Check an appropriate payment method. When we order a small quantity of products, it is worth to use such a payment method that allows to withdraw our money in case of a fraud, i.e. payment cards, PayPal etc. Don’t make any transactions with the seller outside of AliExpress because the guarantee won’t be work.

Is AliExpress safe if you want to order high-quality products?

If it comes to the quality, there is one way to make sure if the product is characterized by good quality without reading the comments left by the customers or using above tips. We can do it in a following way:

  1. We carefully read the description of the particular product and look for some information about the producer. On AliExpress.com, we can often encounter warehouses which sell products that they bought from Chinese manufacturers. The producers sell their goods themselves very rarely. We should try to find the name of the producer in the description. If it is not possible, it is worth to send a message to the seller and ask about it. What is more, we can also ask the seller for a photo of the product with an apparent name of its producer. Then, we can try to find a profile of the producer on some trade portals, e.g. Alibaba.com, and read the opinions about it. The way how to do that we described here. Thanks to that, we can be sure what product we can get.
  2. In addition, in terms of delivery, we recommend to ask the seller how they pack their products. It is worth to ask about some special protective measures while packing it. It allows to prevent some damages that can occur while transporting goods.

Is AliExpress legit? Our final verdict

In our opinion, the answer to the question ‘Is AliExpress safe?’ is positive, however we should secure our purchase in order not to be dissatisfied and to avoid worrying about it. If one uses our above tips, the risk of being cheated should be very low. Of course, there is no chance to have 100% guarantee that there won’t be any problem with our purchase, however paying special attention to some issues lets us to significantly minimalize the risk of fraud.

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About ChinaSafeImport Blog
Our blog contains articles about trade with China. Publications available on this blog allow you to find very important information and practical tips about import from China. We add new articles every Wednesday.


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