AliExpress is an online store that allows Chinese merchants to sell world wide. Prices are generally lower than on Ebay.

Experiences[edit | edit source]

Rule of Thumb[edit | edit source]

  • Don't buy from sellers with low feedback or sellers that are really new. This isn't as obvious on AliExpress as it is on Ebay. Try to avoid sellers with lower than average ratings or feedback less than 98%.
  • Check your expectations. Most items are counterfeits or of low quality. Buying batteries, flash memory, computer parts would be a bad idea.
  • Don't spend more than you're willing to lose. I still don't quite trust AliExpress's dispute system even with the positive experiences.
  • Don't let buyer protection lapse. Contact the seller if it's about to expire. File a dispute if it does.
  • Video record yourself opening the package with everything in sight. This is in case something in the order was left out.
  • Combine shipping from the same seller by selecting the same shipping method for each item at checkout

Shipping[edit | edit source]

All the free or cheap shipping methods are slow. Prepare to wait over a month or more for anything that you order. Buyer protection lasts for 60 or 90 days after the item has shipped. Orders that take longer than usual to ship requires the buyer to ask for buyer protection extension from the seller. Once the order closes, you still have 15 days to open a dispute in case the item still has not arrived.

Disputes[edit | edit source]

Despite all the horror stories that are told on the AliExpress subreddit, I've had a good experience with AliExpress's dispute system. There were 2 occasions that I used it. First when I received counterfeit chips from a seller and second when I received the completely wrong package on an order which totaled over $72USD.

The first case with the counterfeit chips went in my favor since the seller did not respond within the dispute window and it automatically refunded the transaction after about a week.

The second was shipped with AliExpress shipping and the package mix-up was AliExpress's fault according to the seller. Unfortunately the dispute system only works for individual items rather than an entire order and I had to manually create a dispute for each of the 20 items in the order. However, AliExpress's dispute system automatically noted the tracking number had an issue (where the package wasn't shipped) and automatically refunded the amount almost immediately.

When requesting for the refund, the refund amount could be slightly less than the item total if the order had any coupon discounts.