Is It Safe to Order from AliExpress? How to Avoid Scams?
It’s not always easy to stay safe when you shop online. There are still hundreds of people who want to take your money and run away on any legitimate and reputable website, and then, of course, you will never get it back. If you want to avoid fraud and scams, it is important to research the website you are buying from. How do those websites protect buyers? Is it easy to avoid fraud and scams?
AliExpress is an online website that attracts many consumers around the world. How often do you order from AliExpress? In this article, let’s learn about AliExpress and answer the question Is It Safe To Order From AliExpress & How To Avoid Scams?.
Table of contents
- What is AliExpress?
- Is it safe to order from AliExpress?
- Is AliExpress safe to use a Debit or Credit card?
- How to safely order from AliExpress & Tips to avoid scams
- Other sites like AliExpress to source cheap products
What is AliExpress?
Alibaba launched its AliExpress distribution division in 2010. The way it works like eBay more than Amazon, meaning AliExpress is a storage platform that allows third-party companies to sell their products.
AliExpress is an extremely large online shopping site owned by China’s Alibaba Group, providing many retail services to businesses and consumers around the world. In April 2016, it overtook Walmart to become the largest retailer in the world. To get a better look at Alibaba, just look at its sales on November 11, 2017 (Chinese Singles Day): $ 25 billion worth of goods exchanged for the day.
With Aliexpress.com, you will be overwhelmed with the extremely rich and diverse goods with many types and quantities, for you choose freely. According to statistics, currently, on the Aliexpress.com website, there are more than 6000 different types of products from 45 different industries in China.
Although it is one of the leading e-commerce websites in China, the language in Aliexpress.com does not use Chinese as the main language, because the Aliexpress website specializes in selling to customers in different countries. No sales in the Chinese domestic market. Aliexpress has grown widely with widespread popularity to more than 200 countries and regions worldwide.
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Is it safe to order from AliExpress?
Although Aliexpress.com has a clear origin and has received strong support from Alibaba, whether buying on Aliexpress is safe? is still a concern of most customers. To answer this question, we are looking at these factors: product quality, payment, shipping process, AliExpress’s buyer protection policy, and dispute resolution.
Product quality, payment, and shipping process
To be listed on the Aliexpress website, all types of goods will be carefully selected and strict about the source. Because the set goal is to sell to foreigners, all products will be subject to strict quality control, do not sell poor-quality or toxic products that adversely affect health.
Up to the present time, it has not received much negative feedback about the quality of products sold on the Aliexpress e-commerce site. Faced with comments about the quality of Chinese products too poor, here, the products are still completely assured of high product quality, durability and always receive good feedback from customers. If you buy on Aliexpress and you find that there are many errors or the product is not the same as the picture, you can return it with a 100% refund.
Many people favor the Aliexpress e-commerce site because of product quality and because the website is designed with many convenient languages for customers, cheap product prices. Currently, Aliexpress implements a free ship policy for foreign merchants, bringing many benefits and values to buyers.
However, besides those advantages, Aliexpress still has some disadvantages as well as difficulties for customers when buying. It can be mentioned that there are so many different quality products on the website, so customers want to choose a quality product that suits their needs is quite difficult.
If you do not have an acquaintance in China to integrate your debit card with your bank card, the payment process will become more difficult, encounter many obstacles, and less secure. We’ll discuss this more details in the next section. Not to mention, if problems are arising when the goods are not as expected or the goods are damaged during transport, it will also be difficult to contact the seller to negotiate and resolve the problem as quickly as possible.
If customers use Aliexpress’s shipping service, they will not guarantee the goods on time, this will slow down and greatly affect your business. And if you use the form of direct shipping from China, the shipping cost is quite high, sometimes even higher than the money you buy.
Buyer protection policy
Buying online always comes with undesirable risks. Unlike when you shop in city stores, shopping online means you cannot see products before checking out.
This eliminates an essential part of the buying and selling process. You cannot sense the product for quality control or inspect the electronic item to make sure every function works as described.
If you buy from a popular brand, you can read reviews or head to the store to report problems. But in the case of AliExpress, where there are loads of cheap Chinese products out of the store, you’ll have to deal with it yourself. Usually, you will make a decision based on the description and some photos. Therefore, the website must have a strong buyer protection policy. Luckily, AliExpress has that.
The company offers 2 key commitments:
- A full refund if you do not receive the item: If the product does not show up or even if it is not delivered within the time given by the seller, you can issue a full refund.
- A full or partial refund if the product is not as described: If the product is different from what you expected, you have two options, to return the item to get a full refund enough or keep the product and get a partial refund.
Unfortunately, as with other e-commerce websites, getting a refund for lost, damaged, or incorrect products is not as simple as clicking the Refund button. You have to go through a rather complicated dispute. On AliExpress, the dispute process involves three steps:
First, you need to get in touch with the seller and raise the issue directly with them. If you appeal before the ordering is complete or more than 15 days after it’s completed then this is the only option you have.
If you are still in the pre-completion stage and the seller refuses to cooperate, you must wait until the ordering process is over and claim the problem with AliExpress. Sadly, if it’s already been over 15 days and the seller refuses to cooperate, you have no other choice.
Second, if it’s still within 15 days and you are not satisfied with the seller’s response, you can open a disputed ticket. This makes the process formal.
Third, if you are not satisfied with the formal discussions, you can report the matter to AliExpress. The website will then act as a mediator between you and the seller to reach a solution.
Is AliExpress safe to use a Debit or Credit card?
Don’t be afraid to give your credit or debit card number to AliExpress as this is a very secure system. Your private data will be protected and from fraud. The payment amount will be sent to the seller when you have the item in hand. It is therefore not surprising that this is the most popular form of payment on AliExpress.
However, no security is absolute. Hence, to ensure the safest possible payment, here are a few measures I recommend:
Make sure you are visiting the official AliExpress website. Because there may be fake websites created by frauds that are attempting to do bad things like stealing your information or hacking personal accounts. To access the official website, you can visit the link at aliexpress.com, access to AliExpress from the Megabonus AliExpress site, or its official mobile app.
Don’t respond to emails asking you to read or change your card details on AliExpress because they are fake emails.
Don’t show your card details to a store or someone on AliExpress even if they ask you to.
If you want to feel even more sure, you can choose not to save your card details and enter your information each time you pay for the order.
How to safely order from AliExpress & Tips to avoid scams
How to safely order from AliExpress
AliExpress’s interface is quite simple and easy to use. After you visit AliExpress, you can always search for the product you want to buy. The search results can be sorted by price, relevance to the keyword you search.
Step 1: Select the item you need to buy
After searching, you choose to sort the product price from low to high and you will see a lot of irrelevant results. So let you sort the search results by default, and then look through the many results pages to choose the 3-5 providers with the best price to move on to the next steps below.
Step 2: Check seller rating
After choosing from 3-5 suppliers with the lowest price, the next step, you must pay attention to the provider’s reputation. This point is not fundamentally different from the shopping experience on Lazada. Here are some considerations when checking a seller’s reputation on AliExpress.
Pay attention to the number of years they have been in business
The first item you’ll see next to the vendor’s name, Open (Years) is the number of years they’ve sold on AliExpress. The higher the number of years, the better, the more experience they have selling on AliExpress, the easier it is to trust new stores.
Next to the number of years in business, you may see a Top-Rated Seller score. This is a credit score for providers who provide excellent service and get good feedback from customers.
This list of Top-Rated Seller is reviewed by AliExpress periodically every month. You should prefer suppliers with this logo if the prices are similar.
With each successful order, customers can rate the seller from 1 star to 5 stars. And each of these ratings will be converted to seller points as well as a positive feedback rate. If based on the below scale of AliExpress, I will prioritize the bottom half of the suppliers with 2,000 points or more.
Read customer feedback
When you look at the score above, you will see the overall rating of the supplier. And if the supplier is new then it’s important that you also read the most recent customer reviews. Thereby, you will know about the quality of goods and services.
And next, you can refer to detailed reviews of customers who have already purchased. If someone is not satisfied, their Feedback is often very long and detailed.
Sellers with good ratings will usually be willing to accept returns, helping you if problems arise during the purchase process. It is said that reputation is more valuable than gold, and people with a lot of good reputation will often do their best to avoid negative feedback from customers.
Read product details
Since AliExpress is a Chinese exchange, you will have to be very careful when buying here. China is a country that produces many cheap goods but also produces the fakest goods in the world. Be careful with products that are too cheap compared to normal, and remember to read the complete product information before making a purchase. After carefully reading the product information, please continue to the Seller Guarantees section to see the delivery, warranty, or return-exchange policies.
At AliExpress you will always be able to make a dispute if the item you received is not as described. However, that is just the last backup tool. And of course, no one wants to take the hassle out of buying, so it’s always extremely important to learn about the seller.
Step 3: Purchase and pay
After you have selected the desired item, you need to make the purchase and payment right below.
Put the goods in the cart and enter the delivery address
After carefully understanding the seller and the goods, the next job below will be quite simple. That is the purchase process. To make a purchase, you will need to sign up for an AliExpress account and then log in to your account. Next is to choose “Buy Now” or “Add to Cart” if you intend to buy multiple products at the same time.
You will then be asked to enter a shipping address in Vietnam during the ordering process as below. You fill out the information and save it for the next time to use it without having to re-enter.
Check the order for the last time and fill in the Coupon
After filling in enough delivery information, scroll down below to see the product details you bought and a coupon to fill out. If you have a Coupon, you can complete it at this step to get a discount.
Note that AliExpress has a page that gathers all coupons issued by sellers by category. If the seller you plan to buy has a Coupon, you will find it on the product detail page immediately.
Pay on AliExpress
The most common form of payment for purchases on AliExpress is still the international credit/debit card. If you do not have a Visa / Master card then it can be quite difficult to make purchases on AliExpress. If you do not have an international credit/debit card or have no overseas income sources in these two types of e-wallets, you do not need to learn more about these two methods.
Fill in card information and pay for orders
In this step, you will enter the details regarding your credit card. If you are concerned about security, do not choose to save your card information when making a payment.
Once the payment is complete, you will be redirected to the payment confirmation page as below. Maybe here, AliExpress will give you a Coupon to buy for the next time. Each hour, AliExpress only has a limited number of Coupons for customers. So, after making a purchase, take advantage and get this Coupon for the next time you buy. Exactly, with this order after I make a payment, I just need to register an AliPay account (like Ebay’s Paypal) with the credit card information I used, and you will get 1 Coupon of 8 USD applied to orders from 59 USD.
Payment is complete, depending on the case, maybe AliExpress will have to confirm the payment before deducting your account. Then, in the item tracking section, you will see the payment pending status as below.
After that, once the payment has been completed, AliExpress will no longer send notification emails. After 24 hours, if your payment transaction has been processed, your delivery status will be changed from “Payment being verified” to “Awaiting Shipment” as below.
Note that you can only cancel an order without being shipped. The Awaiting Payment times are usually faster than expected as well, so you’ll have a few days to cancel your order if needed.
Once the item has been shipped, AliExpress will email you a notification and the order status will change as well. You can track the order as shown below.
Tips to avoid scams
Stay away from items with prices lower than common ground
Scammers often attract customers with extremely low prices, even “unbelievably low” prices, hitting on the buyer’s appetite for cheap. If you find the price is too low compared to other suppliers (maybe also on Aliexpress or Taobao / Tmall), chances are you are about to buy a fake, poor quality (different from the factory) or a certain trick.
Often, the suppliers in China also compete very fiercely on Aliexpress, so try to sort by price and see the average price range of the product. Overall, very few vendors can sell below this average.
Use AliPay’s Escrow service
Escrow can protect you in many cases.
First, the merchant will not have your credit card (Visa / Master) information, eliminating the possibility of them impersonating you and spending money on your credit card.
Second, the seller will not receive the money until you confirm receipt of the item. As a result, you can easily request a refund right from AliExpress without going through a lengthy, time-consuming dispute with the seller.
Check the seller’s reputation before buying: Seller’s reputation is shown through the feedback metrics that AliExpress statistics.
After buying, customers will be evaluated by the seller with three criteria: The goods are correct with the description, the transaction attitude with the customer, and the speed of purchase. Besides, these parameters will be tracked throughout the seller’s sale.
However, be fair, pay attention to the number of votes. The above indicators are only meaningful to a relatively number of voters. In my opinion, about 50 votes are reasonable.
Check goods carefully when receiving goods
Since escrow will protect you until you confirm that you have received the package, you should make sure that everything you buy, including extras and parts, is in the package. Also, please check that the product appearance inside is correct, as described on the web.
After confirming your receipt, you still have the next 15 days to open a claim with Aliexpress about the goods you received, but at this time the arbitration is decided by Aliexpress.
Don’t buy genuine items at AliExpress
Well-known items are often quite protected. If you buy counterfeit goods that are inspected and discovered by customs, the goods will be confiscated. Worse, if you buy counterfeit in bulk, chances are they will think you buy it for a profit, and you’ll be in big trouble.
Be careful with electronics from AliExpress
There is a common trick on memory chips, hard drives, memory cards, USB, etc. from China that you may have heard of. You buy a cheap 64GB memory card, open it up to check, and the computer is correct 64GB, so rest assured. You copy data into it up to a day; the total file size is 4GB, and the computer reports out of space. In this case, the firmware of the memory card has been tampered with to spoof the capacity. This technique is quite sophisticated and difficult to detect, and chances are that by the time you do, it is time to return the goods.
Another common tactic is the use of poor quality ingredients, just to get the product running regardless of its durability. The world of electronics is very complicated, and you may not know all the details of it. Therefore, my advice is to be careful.
These are just a few of my Aliexpress buying experiences. Again and again, AliExpress has designed a relatively tight system to protect its customers, and you should also be a little realistic that phishing can be everywhere. However, with just a few notes just now, hopefully, you will both save money and shop safely on this global electronic market.
Other sites like AliExpress to source cheap products
As mentioned at the beginning of the article, many websites allow you to shop online. If you are looking to find out about alternatives to AliExpress when you want to buy cheap and quality goods, then here are the five best sites for you:
eBay is considered a website specializing in selling online. It is a gathering place and sells many items and products from all over the world. EBay’s most unique difference is being a website where you buy products under eBay auctions as an outside auction. Accordingly, customers who pay higher will buy the item. However, many people can buy rare and quality goods at low prices.
Every day on eBay, there are millions of transactions of buying and selling tools, equipment, computers, watches, home appliances, motorcycle accessories, etc. You can find exotic items around the world that few reputable websites sell. Besides, you are guaranteed benefits when buying and selling on eBay when all transactions are through Paypal (the fee will be higher than when you pay with Visa, master. You will get back the money you paid for sellers if they find out that the sale is not as described, broken goods, etc.; Paypal will solve all problems).
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In the US, although Wish is not as famous as the two e-commerce sites Amazon and eBay, it has always had a particular foothold in consumers’ hearts in this country and other countries. The merchandise sold at Wish is also diverse, with good quality and affordable. Wish often focuses on its core products, rather than massively selling all consumer goods and products.
Most items sold on Wish offer a 50-80% discount, so customers don’t have to wait for coupons to buy soldering. Shoppers don’t have to wait to search for discount coupons to buy the products they love. Currently, Wish sales site is gradually developing and expanding its market to compete with other US sales sites. The Wish app offers a variety of convenient ways to order, arrange deliveries, and pay. If users sign up for Payoneer, payments will be processed quickly and easily. Wish also acts as a social media website on its app. Users can turn pages to see products they like and exchange Wish listings.
Wish has made mobile breakthroughs, focusing primarily on its user interface and mobile app design instead of dividing the focus among other revenue streams. This has brought better design, usability, geography, and other features to Wish’s mobile app. Wish has a clean, transparent mesh design that works seamlessly on screens of all sizes.
With Cashbackbase, buyers get a bag of products from the Amazon website at a discounted price, sometimes for free.
To enjoy this cool offer, buyers need to browse the Cashbackbase site first. Then, choose a product they want to buy and complete the website purchases to receive a discounted price.
Cashbackbase not only helps members buy good products at the best prices, but also offers other benefits such as the opportunity to earn points for gifts and great deals.
Bonanza is one of the friendlier markets you’ll find online. Bonanza has the same range of products as other markets. There are video games, video games, and pet supplies among its 22 million products.
But this site is more known for its quirky craftsmanship. With the slogan “everything but the usual,” Bonanza works hard to look like a home market. You can sell things like Women’s Fashion, Collectibles, Garden Decor, Pet Supplies.
You’ll reach a much smaller audience on Bonanza than on marketplaces like eBay or Etsy. The site boasts about 5 million unique visitors per month. It’s barely noticeable, but compared to some platforms it’s very small.
However, it is still possible to obtain international customers. Bonanza is popular in:
- The USA, where Bonanza is founded, and 75% of its traffic comes from.
- UK and Canada, where many Bonanza sellers are located.
- Outer space, possible. Bonanza claims it is sold in 199 countries - more countries than it actually is in the world.
In particular, American goods in general and American electronics always affirm product quality in the international market. Referring to American goods is to mention beautiful products, high durability, modern designs, and meeting many customers’ requirements, criteria, and desires.
Newegg is one of the best online websites for people looking to buy tablets, mobile phones, laptops, etc. This site also offers video, educational software, audio, educational software, antivirus, programming, and web development software. Newegg has over 3 million products and is very popular among tech addicts and online shoppers.
Currently, Newegg is considered one of the reputable, high-quality, professional service online websites. Newegg provides customers with an extremely diverse and rich quantity of goods, the product prices here are also very reasonable, customers can easily choose their favorite products.
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Purchasing on the Aliexpress.com website brings many benefits to consumers, but there are still disadvantages that many people worry about besides those values. The article Is It Safe To Order From AliExpress & How To Avoid Scams helps you deal with that worry. Besides, Avada gives you great tips to avoid unexpected problems while buying. Hope this post will be a useful reference source for everyone.
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