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How to avoid scammers in Aliexpress?[Ultimate Guide]

E-commerce is on the rise and is revolutionizing the world and changing habits. Many people today are now adept at online shopping, almost leaving the ‚Äútraditional‚ÄĚ habits of the past behind, like going to a store for a purchase. Indeed, buying online not only saves us time, but also allows us to virtually cross the borders of countries. The procedure is simple, fast, comfortable and allows us to save some money. No need to travel to China to find a supplier or to make your purchases, AliExpress does it for us.¬† There are many other platforms as you already know, but if you are used to shopping online, and you know the platforms of the Chinese market, you have certainly heard of Aliexpress.

Here is an article that will help you to make purchases on AliExpress and to avoid any inconveniences.

Everything you need to know about Aliexpress

Online shopping has its own inherent risks. As opposed to shopping in a physical store, you are not able to see the item before purchasing.

ecommerce

 This suppresses an essential aspect of the buying process. You cannot touch or inspect the quality material in which the product is or have the opportunity to test electronics items components to ensure that all features work as described in the product's specifications.

 

Is AliExpress safe for online shopping? Many of the inexpensive white-label Chinese products on AliExpress, after all, aren't available in physical stores. Normally, the decision of buying is based on the description and a few photos alone of the item. That is why understanding what AliExpress is and how the platform works is very critical to the success of your purchase.

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What is AliExpress ?

E-commerce-shop-items

 

AliExpress is an e-commerce site of Chinese origin created by Alibaba Group back in 2010. It is necessary to know that the site itself does not conduct any sales. It is indeed a marketplace that gathers millions of buyers and suppliers for the majority Chinese.

AliExpress creates a direct communication between sellers (retailer or wholesaler) and buyers without intermediaries, which is sometimes justified by the low market prices compared to the same Chinese goods sold in Europe.  

The platform operates mostly like eBay and became in 2016 the best retailer site ahead of Amazon, and it is available in several languages.

How does Aliexpress work ?

AliExpress works like all the different generalist structures that deal with online product sales.

Firstly, you need to register for a free account by entering your email address in the registration form or by logging in via Google or Facebook. 

Then, some information such as your first and last name, gender, date of birth, nationality, and a selection of various shopping categories that interest you. 

Thirdly, other statistics requested of you encompass your material status, your children's birthdays, which industry you figure in, your common revenue, an estimate of how much you spend while buying online according to month, and other online stores you operate.

 You may discover any type of merchandise divided into categories this makes it easier to use the platform. When a buyer wants to purchase goods, all he has to do is to add it to the basket and follow the instructions leading to the payment fees confirmation. 

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What are the items available on AliExpress?

 AliExpress sells a huge variety of items.

Some product categories able to be found are listed below:

  1. Men’s, women’s and kids clothing
  2. Beauty and health product
  3. Shoes and accessories
  4. Sporting goods
  5. Jewelry
  6. Electronics devices
  7. Computers
  8. Furnitures
  9. Gardening goods
  10. Telecommunications and Cellphones

You  might not have the ability to shop on AliExpress products as: Weaponry, e-books, digital media, and software programs.   

When to get a refund on AliExpress?

You have possibility, as a buyer, to be reimbursed in the eventuality :

  • if the delivery date of the product has been exceeded, and you have not yet received your order
  • if you have received your order, but it is defective(broken, incomplete items, wrong size or color)

In this case, the return of the product will be at the expense of the buyer. Once the product returned to the seller, your money will be returned to you.

  • It is also possible to get as a buyer a refund if your order is still in your shopping basket and as not been sent yet¬†
  • It is also possible, if, the items do not look like the one shows on the buyer description
  • If the product is fake or counterfeit.teamwork-meeting

Different types of refund

There are basically two ways to get your money refunded at AliExpress. 

Full compensation

When the order delayed beyond the time frame specified by the seller or if the delivery never occurred. If the refund confirmed, the buyer will receive their money back in about 15 days. 

Partial compensation or full compensation

When the product description is inaccurate or if the product has not been delivered. The buyer can either resend the product for full compensation or keep it and get partial compensation. 

How does the buyer protection program work?

The following outlines the process of how the buyer protection program works and why it should benefit customers and allow them to buy safely. 

If any of the situation listed above occur; you can:

  1.  Firstly, approach the seller to see if the problem can be resolved privately
  2. Secondly, In the case the issue has not been resolved informally, the buyer should notify AliExpress assistance to report any problems with the order. The seller will be notified and given an extra opportunity to fix the issue.
  3. Thirdly, If the seller remains inflexible, the buyer can start a dispute procedure with AliExpress.
  4. If the seller remains silent and does not reply to the complaint, AliExpress platform will provide the customer with a total refund. 
  5. In the case the seller replies, AliExpress will provide a representative who  will mediate the dispute between the buyer and the seller, who will examine your complaint and make a decision.
  6. And last, if the matter settle in favor of the buyer, the purchase will be reimbursed within 15 days.

Guide to avoid scam on Aliexpress

 

Alert-E-shop-Scam

 

 

Despite  precautions taken by the platform to avoid all types of scams, many cases of fraud continue to occur. I have always been asked how I shop on the AliExpress platform and still avoid any kind of fraud. I have indeed been a victim of a few but over time, I have learned how to take more precautions and avoid fake sellers.

 How to find the right seller?

AliExpress is one of the most important online marketplaces that exist these days. The platform is full of sellers and agents, which makes it easy to run into a scammer. Here are some tips to assure safe buying on AliExpress :

Compare prices

Despite AliExpress has been known for its budget-friendly prices, it's best to stand away from the really tempting deals. Items with unbelievably low prices are most probably fake or very low-quality items.

 Indeed, before any purchase of an item, compare the price from different sellers of the same item. An item that costs 3 times less than those of other sellers leaves to be desired on the product quality and the reliability of the seller. Do not expect to buy the latest iPhone for less than $500 without being scammed. Stay away from all that glitters.

Also, be careful when buying expensive electronic products.

Compare the number of sales

The quality of a product or the reliability of a seller cannot 100 percent being defined by the number of sales made, since there are new sellers all the time on the platform.

 On the other hand, a seller with a zero number of sales should get our attention too. Seek out sellers who have conducted many successful orders; because  the greater the sales the less likely problems will arise.

Look through reviews and ratings

The rating review is a way to have a point of view of those who already bought from a buyer you are interested in. 

Look through the feedback tab and compare the number of positive reviews to the number of negative one.  It is obvious that the more positive reviews are, the more confidence the reliability of the seller established. Less positive reviews are a form of alert we must take into account before buying. Remember, today several means allow the seller themselves to register false reviews. An example of illustration: some sellers help each other by rating each other page with five stars. 

At the bottom of the page review, you can find the ratings subdivided into Item as described: Communication and Shipping speed. For each subdivision, you can see if the seller has been rated higher or lower than the site average.

Contact the seller

Interacting with the seller before your purchase is a good precaution. Asking for more information about the product could be a tip to confirm certain points such as: the delivery date, and if possible, ask for another picture of the item you want to purchase, so you can compare with the one on the description. Feel free to ask for clarification about a feature of the product.

¬†Remember, you are within your rights as a buyer to seek information that will put you in confidence. In order to reach a buyer on AliExpress, select the ‚ÄúFeedback‚Ä̬†button on any product and select the "Contact Now" button on the left sidebar to communicate.¬†

If the seller does not answer, it is better to avoid placing an order from his store. 

Never rush to confirm delivery

Take your time, never be too quick to confirm delivery, make sure to receive what you have ordered first and inspect it. Make sure there are not any problems, only then will your payment will be release to the seller. If you confirm your delivery beforehand, it becomes more difficult getting your money back.  

Check the seller guarantee tab

Check the ‚ÄúSeller's guaranties‚ÄĚ tab to see if the seller commit to the buyers' interests. These include offers such as:¬† On-time delivery, returns and refunds, domestic returns.

Please be aware that product warranties are not always the same. A seller may provide different warranties for different products.

Establish a relationship with sellers

do not go for a different seller all the time you're purchasing a good, specially when you are buying an item you have ordered before. If you find a credible seller, stick with them because changing sellers each time increases the risk of falling into the wrong hands.

Pay attention to famous brands

When I first started¬† ordering on¬† AliExpress, I bought a famous brand of slippers called ‚ÄúSupreme‚ÄĚ. The slippers itself were very good quality material, but instead of ‚Äúsupreme‚ÄĚ as the original brand, it was written ‚ÄúSuperm‚ÄĚ. However, I can assure you that the picture put forward by the store was exactly like the original brand.¬†

The second time, I came across a pair of shoes of¬† ‚ÄúBalenciaga‚ÄĚ brand and placed my order, after receiving and inspecting the item, instead of ‚ÄúBalenciaga‚ÄĚ as the original mark spell it, it was rather spelled¬† ‚ÄúBalanciaga‚ÄĚ. This small detail could have¬† gone unnoticed because the shoe received was identical to the original made by the brand. These are examples of what you may encounter when ordering branded products on AliExpress.

Shopping for branded products on AliExpress is a bad idea. Different brands can be commercialized on the platform, such as those mentioned in my examples, but also Nike, Apple, and Samsung are the most common ones, but most of them will not be authentic. Don't be too excited when you see branded items sold at a low cost.

Don't be tricked by free delivery

Another observation made about how scammers operate on AliExpress is how some of them waive the shipping charges on expensive items to fool the buyer. Free shipping is a good thing, but it is also a way to get scammed. 

Verify how long the seller has been on the platform

Not all new stores are scammers, but the older the store, the more trustworthy the seller.

It is preferable to avoid stores that have been open for under a year.

Docshipper Tip : if you want more information about finding a good supplier, read our article: the best ways to find a good supplier on AliExpress

Pay attention to the payment method

 

payment-method

 

AliExpress offers various payment methods via:  Visa card, credit card, Mastercard credit cards, American Express debit cards, iDEAL.

The principal one are: Credit card and iDEAL

No direct payment to the seller allowed. When buying from AliExpress, avoid sending  money by other means like MoneyGram, PayPal, Western Union. Sending money directly to the seller's bank account is very risky, doing so makes buyers vulnerable to fraud because they will no longer be covered by AliExpress’s buyer protection policies. Do not make any offline payment.

Is delivery by AliExpress reliable?

 

E-commerce-Transport

 

After confirming the payment of your order, the package will be sent for transport. The company in charge of delivering your order depends on the delivery method selected. Once the order shipped, a digital tracking number will be sent to you, allowing you to track your package.

The shipping companies generally used are: AliExpress standard shipping or China Post, which are the cheapest. Delivery takes between 15 and 45 days from the date your package has been sent. 

On the other hand, the delivery through AliExpress premium shipping service takes only between 7 and 15 days. It should be notified that the delivery fees are more expensive than the first two. 

The platform provides different shipping services that are reliable and secure. The shipping costs vary according to two aspects: the location and delivery speed.

Other shipping services like DHL, FedEx, UPS, EMS are the most reliable courier shipping.

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How to avoid customs tariffs on AliExpress

Do I need to pay customs fees and import taxes when shopping on AliExpress? I have heard this question several times.

As far as customs are concerned, I have already made more than 100 purchases on the AliExpress e-shop and none of my orders has ever encountered a problem with customs.

If you want to avoid customs taxes, it would be better to choose the standard shipping mode or by postal shipping such as: China post, post office, Hong Kong post and others. If the seller offers domestic shipping, you won’t be asked to pay additional taxes and customs duties.  

 Customs duties and taxes may be applied depending on where your order has been shipped, the type of items you’ve ordered, the item's value and the weight of the package.

If you choose to send your goods via  DHL, UPS, EMS or FedEx, it is most likely to get your order stopped by the customs service leading to a loss of time and money. That loss occurs because customs fees are usually around 20%, adding on to the freight forwarder's fees. It is important to think about these additional costs in advance because they can reduce or eliminate the savings gained on the purchase price. 

Please keep in mind:

  • ¬†When you shop on AliExpress, you are buying from foreign sellers and tax policies may vary from country to country. It is best to confirm with the seller.¬†
  • Duties and taxes are not usually part of the item's price you are purchasing, and are also not usually included in the shipping costs you pay to the seller, nor covered by the AliExpress platform.
  • The seller is not responsible for delays cause by your country customs department¬†

To prevent getting into a situation where you are required to pay taxes or customs fees:

  • Ask the seller if there are any additional import fees associated with your order or depending on the country you are in.
  • Contact your local customs office to find out about customs duties and tax regulations in your country.Importation Alibaba

 

 Are discounts on AliExpress legit?

 

Discount-Online

We enjoy AliExpress for its great variety and friendly prices. Buying on AliExpress is more cost-effective than in physical stores, especially if you get a discount. Yes, discount sales, coupons, promo codes on AliExpress are legit. It is important to remain vigilant to prevent possible fraud attempts. Avoid unrealistic discounts on lower quality products offered by some sellers to gain the trust of excessive and innocent buyers. Do not jump at any kind of discount before confirming the initial market price with different sellers.  

How do coupons work on AliExpress ?

When you are purchasing on AliExpress, there are three types of coupons:

AliExpress coupon, Store coupon, Select coupon. All three types of coupons are legal.

You can get AliExpress coupons by playing games or redeeming your coins for coupons. You can use them on mixed orders from different stores, but you can only use one coupon per order. AliExpress' coupons can also be used at any store on the platform. 

Store coupon is the type of free voucher given by the sellers on their store page. They can only be used at the exact store that provides them. Only one coupon can be used per order. 

Select coupons can be obtained in the same way as store coupons by redeeming coins. You can check your item detail page to see if you can use a select coupon. Filtering your search result will help you find products that allow Select Coupons to be sold. Select coupons can only be used in selected stores and the number of coupons allowed to use per order depends on the store policies.      

Does AliExpress monitor all sellers on its platform ?

Becoming a seller on the AliExpress platform involves providing legal information that must be reviewed and approved before creating a seller account. 

This information includes legitimate personal information and documentation such as: 

Your Name, Email, Phone number. If you are a sole proprietor or legal entity, be prepared to provide a copy of your business license. Then, you may ask to provide the same information for a legal representative of your company. 

After completing all the required information, the next step is to submit an application for review. 

Only when the application approved, you proceed to launch your store

Seller verification ensures that the platform contains only legal sellers.

Many stories made about the lack of reliability of AliExpress. If the platform's concept is a scam, AliExpress would not have become China's leading online marketplace.  As on any other e-commerce platform, there are many risks, but this should not condemn the reliability of the entire platform. I have been shopping on AliExpress for over two years now, and I thoroughly enjoy the experience.  If you are a careful buyer, you can make your purchases safely.

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