What Is AliExpress?
AliExpress is an online retail service that offers business-to-consumer (B2C) and consumer-to-consumer (C2C) services. The company is based in China. However, its services are available in numerous countries and territories worldwide.
AliExpress was founded in 2010. The service has grown tremendously in popularity over the years, sometimes ranking alongside renowned e-commerce giants like Amazon and eBay. It’s currently the most visited e-commerce platform in Russia. And while AliExpress is mainly known for its B2C and C2C services, the retail service also offers cloud computing and online payment services.
But how legit is AliExpress? Should I transact on this platform or consider alternative e-commerce services? Those questions shall be the focus of this post.
- Name: AliExpress
- Industry: E-Commerce
- Year Founded: 2010
- Owner: The Alibaba Group
- Country of Origin: China
- Availability: Worldwide (for buyers) and China, Russia, Spain, Italy, France, Turkey, and Brazil (for sellers)
- Current Status: Active
- Official Website Link: http://aliexpress.com/index.html/
What Is AliExpress’ Business Model?
AliExpress borrows heavily from eBay’s dropshipping business model. The company generally doesn’t maintain real stock inventory.
Instead, it merely acts as an e-commerce platform where independent sellers can offer their products to buyers. Sellers can be companies or individuals.
Is AliExpress Available In My Country?
As AliExpress is a Chinese company, it’s not surprising that most sellers on the platform are based in China. However, buyers can access the e-commerce service from over 190 countries and territories around the world.
Interestingly, AliExpress’ doors remain closed to sellers from numerous countries. Presently, the website only accepts sellers from China, Russia, Spain, Italy, France, Turkey, and Brazil.
How Do I Transact On AliExpress?
You need an account to buy or sell on AliExpress. Here’s a brief signup procedure for a buyer account;
i. Launch your browser and visit the aliexpress.com website.
ii. Click on “Account,” followed by “Join.”
iii. Select the “Register tab.”
iv. Choose your location from the dropdown menu.
v. Enter your email address and choose a password.
vi. Click on “Create account.”
vii. AliExpress will send a confirmation code to your email account, click on “Verify email” to confirm your new account.
viii. Once the home page loads, click on the “Language/Currency” dropdown menu located at the top and confirm your “Ship to” location.
ix. Be sure to double-check the “Language” and “Currency” options.
x. Complete the signup process by clicking “Save.”
To sign up as a seller, you’ll need to follow this link (https://login.aliexpress.com/join/seller/unifiedJoin.htm) and select your country.
You’ll then be prompted to enter your email address, set a password, and check the Membership Agreement before hitting “CONTINUE.”
Next, confirm your account by clicking on the link sent to your email address.
Once the account is verified, you can now enter your business information and begin selling on AliExpress.
What Can I Transact On AliExpress?
AliExpress offers a wide variety of products. The items on this e-commerce website fall into the following categories;
• Bags and Suitcases
• Beauty and Health
• Car and Motorcycle Accessories
• Clothing Accessories
• Clothing for Women
• Men’s Clothing
• Computers and Accessories
• Electronic Components and Systems
• Home and Garden
• Home Improvement
• Jewelry and Accessories
• Lights and Lighting
• Mom and Baby
• Office and School
• Security and Protection
• Telephone and Telecommunications
• Toys and Hobbies
• Weddings and Events
What Can’t I Transact On AliExpress
Despite offering an array of product options, there’s equally a wide range of products not available on AliExpress. That includes illegal items and products that contravene AliExpress’ policy. Examples of goods you cannot sell or buy on AliExpress include;
• Beverages like coffee
• Alcoholic drinks like wine
• Media products, including books, audiobooks, CDs, and DVDs
• Illegal products like narcotic drugs
• Illegally-traded products, i.e., those otherwise unapproved by AliExpress
How Much Commission Does AliExpress Charge?
AliExpress commissions vary depending on the product category. But you can expect to pay anywhere between 5% and 8% for every sale.
It’s also worth pointing out that AliExpress only charges commissions on actual sales. There are no listing fees.
How Can I Pay On AliExpress?
AliExpress accepts a number of credit and debit cards, including;
• American Express
• Diner’s Club
Besides credit and debit cards, AliExpress also accepts online payment methods, including;
• Google Pay
• Apple Pay
• Giro Pay
Note that apart from PayPal, Google Pay, and Apple Pay, most of the other digital payment services are only available in selected countries.
What’s AliExpress’ Shipping Policy Like?
AliExpress maintains two shipping arrangements – AliExpress Standard Shipping and AliExpress Premium Shipping.
Merchandised shipped under the AliExpress Standard Shipping plan take between 15 and 45 working days, whereas those sent via AliExpress Premium Shipping take 7 to 15 working days.
Why Should I Consider AliExpress?
Variety is probably the main reason to consider buying and selling on AliExpress. The e-commerce marketplace allows listings from multiple product categories, ranging from fashion accessories to furniture, automotive, machinery, and telecommunication gadgets, to mention but a few.
AliExpress is also one of the most affordable websites, charging a paltry 5 – 8% commission per sale. For comparison’s sake, Poshmark levies a whopping 20% per sale.
The following are other reasons to consider shopping at AliExpress;
• Worldwide availability (for buyers)
• Friendly and responsive customer support
• Numerous payment options
• Favorable replacement and refund policy
Why Might I Consider AliExpress Alternatives?
One common drawback cited by most AliExpress reviewers is the limited product collection from popular brands. The website mainly attracts smaller businesses in China.
A longer shipping period is another downside to trading on AliExpress. In some circumstances, orders may take up to 45 working days to arrive.
Is AliExpress Legit?
AliExpress is a legitimate e-commerce website which doesn’t scam people. However, you’re never immune from scams when buying or selling on this platform. Here are some top scams on AliExpress to beware of;
1. Counterfeit Scams
Selling counterfeited products isn’t uncommon on AliExpress. Some sellers may be honest enough to hint that their items are counterfeits. But most won’t bother to do so.
You can avoid buying counterfeited products on AliExpress by engaging reputable buyers. Also, don’t be afraid to ask whether the product is real or an imitation.
2. Offsite Engagement Scams
This happens in virtually every online marketplace. You nail what appears to be an ideal buyer/seller and before you know it, they’re asking you to contact them off the AliExpress website.
It’s not illegal to acknowledge these requests. But it’s unethical considering you knew the person through AliExpress.
Besides, anyone asking you to do business off the AliExpress platform is most likely trying to scam you. And like most websites, AliExpress will not accept liability for any scams ensuing from engagements off the platform.
3. Purchase Returns Scams
Buyers are notorious for making purchase returns on goods they’ve already partly used or items that might have been damaged while in their custody.
As a seller, you can avoid these scams by ensuring you maintain clear records (including photo and video records) of your listings.
4. Tracking Number Scams
You purchased an item on AliExpress and are waiting for it to be delivered. You also have a tracking number to keep tabs on your package. Then suddenly, your tracking number shows the merchandise was delivered to some address.
The most logical explanation here is that your seller didn’t actually ship anything to your address. Instead, they simply gave you a tracking number belonging to someone else. Unfortunately, there’s little you can do here since the real package got delivered elsewhere and your order was marked as fulfilled.
Perhaps your only recourse would be to blacklist the seller. You can also leave a not-so-edifying review on the scammer and hope another buyer reads it in time.
AliExpress is a legitimate company that doesn’t scam its clients. However, the website doesn’t keep tabs on all its users, which means there could be scammers masquerading as genuine traders.
Fortunately, AliExpress has put in place robust measures to protect its buyers and sellers from getting swindled. Buyers are also encouraged to read a seller’s reviews before transacting with them.
Posted by: Igor
Igor is a SEO specialist, designer, and freelance writer. He believes that knowledge can change the world and be used to inspire and empower young people to build the life of their dreams.
When he is not writing in his favorite coffee shop, Igor spends most of his time reading, traveling, producing house music, and capturing light with his camera. He is a sucker for good coffee, Indian food, and video games.