Intro: Is AliExpress Reliable?
The internet has made it possible for people to shop for goods from a nearly limitless number of sources. AliExpress is one of the largest of such sources; it allows sellers from all over the world to set up their own storefronts to sell goods ranging from electronics to home decorations.
However, you may be asking yourself: Can I trust AliExpress? Is AliExpress reliable?
This is where our research comes in. Read on to find out the answers to these key questions about AliExpress.
Is AliExpress Real and Safe to Use?
Shopping online carries some inherent risks that traditional brick-and-mortar stores don’t usually carry. The primary question that an online shopper has to ask themselves is whether or not the shop they’re using is trustworthy.
In this instance, the answer to “Is AliExpress a legit website?” is a firm yes.
Image Source: Is AliExpress Reliable
Alexa, the most reliable source for online website popularity rankings, puts AliExpress at #53 in the world. And although popularity isn’t necessarily the number one indicator of site reliability, the fact that so many people do business with it around the world does speak positively to answer, “Can I trust AliExpress?”
AliExpress is owned by Alibaba, a large online marketplace corporation. Forbes lists Alibaba in its top 200 global companies list and estimates its value at $200 billion USD. The fact that AliExpress belongs to such a massive conglomerate lends credibility to AliExpress’s reliable services and should reassure doubtful users of the site.
Is AliExpress Reliable?
AliExpress operates on a direct-to-buyer model, meaning that sellers sell directly to potential customers through their online store. In this way, it is similar to sites like Etsy and eBay, which facilitate transactions but do not ship goods themselves. Therefore, if you are wondering whether AliExpress is reliable in terms of the quality of goods and services offered, it depends on the seller.
Sellers on AliExpress have individual feedback scores left by previous buyers. This allows users to research if AliExpress is reliable on a per-seller basis while evaluating shipping times, customer communication, and more. The products sold on the site also have reviews, so previous purchasers can inform other potential customers of the quality of items for sale.
So, if a seller is good and their products are good, is AliExpress reliable? Absolutely. It is as reliable as other, competing online marketplaces. But what if things go wrong? If there’s a problem with a seller or an item, you will want to know, “Is AliExpress a safe website for dealing with disputes and issues?” Their Buyer Protection policy covers that information.
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In order to make buyers comfortable trying new goods and sellers on their site, AliExpress has a Buyer Protection system in place. Their page on the service details the process by which buyers file a claim. Buyers can opt for a full or partial refund, depending on the circumstances.
Image Source: AliExpress
Full refunds are offered to buyers who do not receive items or who wish to return items that arrive not as described. Partial refunds are available if the product is satisfactory but not as described. These available refunds should quell any fears of customers asking themselves “Is AliExpress a reliable website?”
The full page of guarantees also lists the following protections for members of the AliExpress marketplace:
- On-Time Delivery: Orders are guaranteed to arrive within a timeframe specified by sellers, or else they can be refunded for the full purchase price.
- Returns and Refunds: Available for items that don’t match their description, this service allows buyers to have peace of mind in the event that something goes wrong.
- Domestic Returns: Items that have the Domestic Returns badge on their page allow for unconditional refunds, even if the product arrives on time as described. This protects buyers who wish to try out new goods without knowing whether or not they will be right for them.
- Guaranteed Genuine: Items bearing this mark are authentic and original, and are covered by refund guarantees if found to be counterfeit. Some buyers sell replica versions of more expensive products, which is usually disclosed and not guaranteed to be genuine.
So, is AliExpress a safe website? It is indeed – just look for the guarantee badges and contact the seller or customer service if there are any issues with a purchase. AliExpress benefits from repeat customers just as much as individual sellers do, and they want buyers to feel safe on their marketplace.
AliExpress is safe for its sellers, too. Sellers on AliExpress are also covered by guarantees, including a maximum timeframe for buyers to pay for items and a protection against feedback abuse from buyers. Buyers who open too many dispute cases in order to receive free products are banned from the website, as disputes are to be used professionally and in accordance with site rules.
AliExpress Payment Methods
AliExpress accepts a wide variety of payment methods at this time:
- Visa and MasterCard: All credit and debit cards from these companies can be used at seller stores, which has the added benefit of providing dual-layer buyer protection (from both AliExpress and the card issuer)
- WesternUnion money transfers: These can be purchased at many grocery stores and post offices in the USA
- Boleto payments: Used in Brazil, these payment slips serve a similar purpose to electronic checks and allow buyers to transfer money from a bank account
- Qiwi: This is a Russian online payment provider
- Maestro debit cards: Owned by and similar to MasterCards
- WebMoney: This is another online payment provider
- Direct bank transfers: For users who prefer not to use a third-party service
All methods of payment listed, including direct bank transfers, are covered by the Buyer Protection services. Customers who are concerned about privacy and double-layered protection would do well to use Visa or Mastercard or a payment service that offers its own protection as well. AliExpress is a safe website, but caution is always advisable.
At this time, AliExpress does not accept PayPal, one of the more popular online money services, due to the service’s high fees. Customers wishing to use PayPal balances to make payments can do so using a PayPal debit card, which carries with it MasterCard’s purchase protection services.
Can I Trust AliExpress?
As a service, AliExpress can generally be trusted. Some users have reported issues with the buyer dispute system, which may be related to the somewhat long refund times. Users who are concerned about receiving refunds would do well to use a method of payment, such as a Visa or MasterCard, that carries its own protections just in case.
Image Source: TrustPilot
Notably, the one-star reviews related to buyer protection policies usually have replies from AliExpress themselves about dispute appeal processes and other avenues frustrated buyers can take. The process doesn’t seem to be perfect, but it does seem like is an overall AliExpress reliable service.
There are also many positive reviews for the website and their services, but people with negative experiences are more likely to write reviews. For reference, eBay, a long-established, reliable website for online shoppers, also has a smattering of negative reviews on TrustPilot from frustrated customers.
Positive comments about AliExpress on TrustPilot seem to come from users who are happy to wait a little longer for their products because they are so pleased with the low prices. The common thread with these customers appears to be patience and reading every word of product description.
If AliExpress is a Legit Website, What Can I Buy on it?
Image Source: A listing of the categories of goods available
In short, quite a lot can be purchased at AliExpress. Each category in the image above has a large range of sub-categories to fit any particular need. Alibaba, the parent company, has 8.5 million active sellers, and the two sites have much crossover. It shouldn’t be hard to find specific goods on AliExpress – just follow the positive reviews.
Only mainland China sellers can sell on AliExpress, so prospective vendors outside that region cannot sell. Furthermore, there are restrictions on the categories of items that can be sold on the site in order to keep AliExpress safe for everyone:
- No artifacts or animal products can be sold, which prevents looting and poaching.
- Currency and stamps, due to counterfeiting issues, cannot be sold.
- Firearms, explosives, and other weapons are prohibited.
- Alcohol, food, and beverages, other than tea, coffee, and dried fruit and nuts, cannot be listed, because they pose a spoilage and health hazard.
- Tobacco cannot be sold.
- Hazardous, radioactive, and dangerous materials, such as uranium, absolutely cannot be sold and will likely land anyone who tries to buy them on some kind of list.
- Human parts cannot be legally sold in most countries in any situation, and as such are prohibited on AliExpress.
- Other prohibited goods are listed on the full page.
Anyone who wonders “Can I trust AliExpress?” or “Is AliExpress safe?” can rest assured that the goods sold on the site are guaranteed to be safe and non-harmful. Any sellers violating these listing guidelines are subject to discipline or removal from the site in order to maintain integrity.
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Is AliExpress a Real Website? – Conclusion
There’s no doubt that shopping at an online store for the first time can be a scary process. Anyone interested in shopping at AliExpress is encouraged to look around to ascertain the goods available and to ensure that any goods offered come from well-reviewed sellers and that they carry the guarantee badges.
Is AliExpress reliable? General consensus on the internet says yes. Like other online marketplaces, the quality of individual goods depends on the sellers that back them up – but AliExpress provides built-in tools to help buyers make the right choices for themselves. The homepage often features specific goods from well-reviewed sellers in order to give new and returning buyers an idea as to what can be purchased.Like with any online shopping site, buyers must be smart and careful about their purchases. Look for good reviews of sellers and products, and ensure that you read all specifications on the product pages of potential purchases. Happy shopping!
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