AliExpress is a wonderful place to shop online due to all the affordable items, but at times, this shopping platform is not always the best due to scammers. The reality is, shoppers will find that AliExpress has more fraudulent sellers than eBay, and that’s a real shame.
Is AliExpress legit and safe?
The website is based in China and owned by Alibaba, the largest online retail company in the country. In fact, Alibaba is almost as big as Amazon, which is why its founder, Jack Ma, is the richest man in China today. People tend to use Alibaba for buying items in bulk for their small retail business, while AliExpress is primarily used by us regular consumers.
Now, we won’t go into why this shopping platform has so many scammers looking to take your money an disappear in the wind. The point of this article is to provide users with information on how to protect themselves and make sure they come out on top.
How to prevent being scammed on AliExpress?
Some basic things you need to check first are when was the store opened and the frequency of purchases there and when the last purchase was made. This will give you an idea of how reputed the store is. Other things to look at are:
- Read Reviews
- Protection for Buyers
- Seller Guarantees
1] Read reviews
We suggest reading reviews online on a product before purchasing it on AliExpress. However, if it is a Chinese-made item that isn’t available everywhere, then read the customer reviews on the seller’s page. Doing this should give shoppers an idea of the quality of the item, and the trustworthiness of the seller.
Please, do not purchase objects from sellers who do not have reviews. Yes, it’s unfair to new sellers, but as a buyer, you must put yourself first above all others. Still, one must be wary of fake reviews, so always consider reading the ones with low ratings because they are usually accurate at times.
Additionally, you may want to look at the Feedback Scorer for every seller you choose to buy from. This section will show Detail Seller Ratings, Feedback History, and more. Once you feel comfortable with the reliability of the seller, go ahead and grab your product.
2] Buyer Protection program
Similarly to eBay, the folks at AliExpress have incorporate buyer protection features to help with your sanity. The website promises buyer protection, and it begins on the day the seller ships the item. Now, bear in mind there is a buyer protection period, so if you request a refund before the end date, AliExpress will look into refunding your cash.
Note that refunds have an up to 15-day waiting period, so keep that in mind before you lose your mind due to a long wait period. Furthermore, this is the only option available to the buyer, so if things aren’t going too well after the initial purchase, then escalate the problem to AliExpress, and from there, they will act as a mediator.
3] Seller Guarantees
Many sellers tend to have written guarantees posted on their page. It is then up to the buyer to decide if these guarantees are enough for them to initiate a business transaction. One should try and shop from sellers with great guarantees for better protection.
These guarantees can then be used against the seller in a dispute if they fail to live up to their word.
Overall, one just needs to be a smart shopper to be safe on AlieExpress, and that goes for any online shopping platform out there.
Read next: Avoid Online Shopping Fraud & Holiday Season Scams.