Is AliExpress Safe? A Basic Guide for Importers!

AliExpress

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AliExpress article and permission to publish here provided by Dave Chadha.

You may have heard of the e-commerce platform AliExpress. If you haven’t, Alibaba, which is owned by Jack Ma, is the parent company of AliExpress.

The platform has risen enormously in recent years, and so has people’s skepticism, questioning the possible risks of buying from AliExpress

Is AliExpress Safe? 

The answer to this question is yes.

Customers of AliExpress may claim their rights called Buyer Protection. If something goes wrong, the seller or AliExpress team will assist you as soon as possible.

Customers’ rights are limited by time restrictions, but this is entirely reasonable. After all, the seller shouldn’t be liable constantly. It starts once payment is processed. You can always see how many days, hours, and weeks are left. If it’s about to expire, you can prolong the date to avoid future issues.

Buyer Protection is useful when:

  • The goods are broken or defective and do not match the description. Customers may receive a different or inferior product. When that happens, the customer is entitled to a complete refund, or get a partial refund and retain the item.
  • They were delivered late or not at all. To safeguard the buyer, the delivery guarantee always lasts until the end of the estimated delivery period. If you didn’t get your order in time, you can request a complete refund.  

The buyer protection policy will enable you to get your money back. It’s a big benefit when buying from AliExpress.

Returns and Refunds, Guaranteed Genuine, and Domestic Returns are other guarantees. You can verify if they apply to your case by checking the conditions. 

On a side note, a lot of the goods you see in marketplaces come from Chinese sellers who offer their products on AliExpress for much lower pricing for bulk exportation to other nations.

It’s also worth noting that Chinese citizens can’t buy directly from AliExpress. Instead, native Chinese must shop on a different market.

In any case, eBay is the closest comparable marketplace to AliExpress. Like eBay, AliExpress has a vast selection of products across almost every category.

With AliExpress situated in China, this means that items are substantially cheaper than anywhere worldwide, including the United States.

AliExpress Vs. Alibaba

AliExpress allows for single-unit purchases, whereas Alibaba is focused on wholesale. On AliExpress, everything is purchased and sold exactly as described in the product listing, with no room for customization.

While AliExpress costs are competitive globally, they are virtually always higher than buying in bulk from an Alibaba supplier.

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You can’t get a free sample from AliExpress to check the quality before buying. It offers buyer protection, though, so the danger of acquiring inferior goods is reduced.

Moreover, buying from a manufacturer on Alibaba requires a minimum order size, which involves paying in advance for a large number of items. The initial investment is often in thousands of dollars, but the unit price is almost always much lower than on AliExpress. Besides, you can’t order directly from Alibaba’s website. In most cases, you’ll need to send a purchase request to your supplier, and then negotiate for pricing and shipping arrangements.  

How Dropshipping With AliExpress Works

Dropshipping is when the customer buys from your site and you order and ship from your supplier in China. Therefore, you don’t need to worry about packaging, shipping, and inventory.

You need to set up an e-commerce store when dropshipping in AliExpress. You may also opt to sell the products. You’ll utilize an application that you’ll integrate into your system to start importing products from AliExpress.

Your storefront software should allow you to sync AliExpress imports. It’s common for many to use AliDropship when syncing. It’s a Chrome extension that lets you import directly from AliExpress. Direct import takes you to AliExpress, where you may add and update products.

You must then define a markup price for the products. Immediately after the consumer buys, you’ll place an order on AliExpress. If the seller does not wrap and ship the items, you keep the price difference.

Almost no one knows the item came from AliExpress. Instead, they’ll think it’s from your store because it meets all requirements.

Indeed, the business of e-commerce has come a long way.

Buying Guide

You may reduce your risks and boost your chances of long-term success by ordering products from AliExpress. This is possible through the following:

1. Source Products And Supplier

Unlike Alibaba, where each Gold Supplier has extensive verified information, AliExpress supplier profiles are limited. This complicates supplier selection. Here’s the breakdown on how to better do it:

  • Analyze the supplier’s performance. In the product listings, you can see the seller’s performance with the positive feedback percentage next to the seller’s name. This includes the item as shipping, item as described, and communication rating.
  • Read the customers’ reviews.  Even if you used the ‘4 stars and above’ option in your search, you should still read customer reviews. You can read more about the items in the user reviews section below the product details.
  • Communicate. If you found a supplier who meets all of the criteria above, then good. You should now contact them and evaluate their communication skills. The purpose of opening this communication protocol is to see how quickly the source responds. If the supplier does not answer within 24 hours, you may decide to move on to the next supplier. You wouldn’t want your buyers to wait two to three days for a response.
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Choosing a supplier on AliExpress is also about product selection. If you wish to extend your product line in the future, stick with one or two reputable suppliers rather than finding new ones every time you need to restock. 

2. Price Research

Consider utilizing AliPriceCompare. This tool allows you to filter your AliExpress purchases. It compares products and pricing. You can see the best deal by comparing features and prices. This is also useful when your order is out of stock in your provider. AliPriceCompare makes it easier to find the best deals.

Furthermore, a better deal may be obtained by directly negotiating with the supplier. To do this, you can prepare an Excel file containing product links and quantities you want to be quoted.

3. Confirm Order and Payment

After confirming the product quantity and vendor, it’s time to order and pay. Using PayPal, you can add extra terms to the invoice for increased protection. PayPal will freeze the funds until the supplier complies with the requirements. 

An order confirmation will be sent to you from the supplier after making the payment. It certifies receipt and acceptance of your order. This agreement also assures the buyer that the service or goods will be delivered.

Conclusion

AliExpress isn’t flawless, yet it has several advantages versus buying locally. You’ll receive access to a huge inventory with no minimum order quantity and get incredibly low costs with free shipping on most products. Overall, AliExpress is a great resource for finding suppliers for you and your e-commerce business.

Dave Chadha

Dave Chadha is a native New Yorker. He started his successful online store in 2016. He enjoys sharing his marketing experiments and strategies with other online entrepreneurs. His free time is mostly spent doing yoga.

Originally written for Supply Chain Game Changer and published on January 20, 2022.

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