It’s pretty surprising that many people still have not heard or shopped at the large overseas, online shopping conglomerate known as AliExpress. But we can certainly understand why – lots of stories of people being burned by the quality of items received, getting incorrect purchases, or just simply receiving nothing.
Unfortunately, I have had many of these experiences when I first started shopping on AliExpress. But luckily, through trial and error, I’ve been able to pinpoint, for the most part, what to look for and what to avoid when shopping on the website. If you’re new to AliExpress, here are some tips to help you be a smarter shopper and avoid getting ripped off.
1. Make sure the seller has a long history
If you spot something you like being sold by a particular seller, make sure to first check how long the seller’s online store has been open for. You can do this by looking at the top of the page, above the item’s image. This will show the store’s age. As tempted as the product may look, I’d be a little wary to buy if the seller has a recently opened store. Sometimes that’s an indicator that a previous store of theirs got shut down for several reasons, and they may be trying to open a new store under a different account.
2. Check the seller’s rating and feedback
If the seller has a long standing store, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good one. Check their feedback and reviews as well. The feedback score sometimes isn’t as obvious an indicator as it seems. Be sure to browse and read some of the sellers’ reviews as well. Oftentimes, the seller might try to deceive potential buyers by writing their own feedback and rating themselves 5 stars by purchasing their own items through different accounts. Be sure to read some of the reviews to see whether they are of good quality or not. Also, some buyers tend to take photos of the product they purchased to show it’s quality – this is usually a really good indicator.
3. Product photos quality and quantity
This is a big flag that I always look out for when purchasing on AliExpress. I always make sure that the seller has more than just one or two photos of the product they’re trying to sell. Also, having photos of the actual item really helps depict whether the item is exactly as shown on the photos with the models wearing it, or whether it’s a remake or replica. Oftentimes, it’s usually a replica or designer inspired item. But that doesn’t mean you should jump the gun and not buy it. More often than not, designer inspired items are made of good quality fabrics and good stitching. But if you see a product that has one or two photos, just depicting the model wearing it, that’s usually a red flag in my book.
If you find that the pictures showing the original item do not the product justice, then I wouldn’t necessarily overlook it entirely. Sometimes, items aren’t copied exactly 100% to their original (probably more expensive version), and this is for obvious counterfeiting issues. Many stores create designer inspired clothes all the time. For example, Bebe recently had several dresses that look very very similar to the much more expensive designer brand called Balmain.
4. Check the price of the item vs. photos
Many sellers on AliExpress love to post photos of clothes worn by models. Sometimes they might have photos of what looks like the ‘actual’ item they’re trying to sell. I put the word, actual in quotes because sometimes sellers will take photos from other stores in order to try to get a few sales themselves. This is likely because the seller isn’t selling as good a quality item as the seller they poached their photos from. Usually a good indicator is the price. These sellers will try to undercut the other sellers by listing their price much lower than the rest of the competition. Use good judgement here. If you think the price is too good to be true for the item, then it probably is!
By the way, during the time in which I wrote this post, was I in no way affiliated or working with AliExpress. This information is completely written by me and I had no outside influence.
I hope you enjoyed this post! Hopefully you will have positive experiences with AliExpress! Feel free to leave me a comment on any questions you may have!
Christine from Bynmix