If you’re starting a new online business and looking for a supplier, Aliexpress is a popular choice. This article will help you decide if it’s right for your business.
In this review…
- What is Aliexpress?
- Review of Aliexpress VS Alibaba
- Review of Aliexpress: Downside
- Aliexpress Website
- Review of Aliexpress: Payments
- Aliexpress Delivery
- Aliexpress Customer Support
- Check This Before You Buy!
What Is Aliexpress?
AliExpress is an online retail service based in China that was started by the Alibaba group 10 years ago. Alibaba and AliExpress are the world’s biggest platforms for connecting with manufacturers and ordering custom products.
Think of AliExpress like Amazon or eBay for Chinese manufacturers – a platform where different Chinese manufacturers advertise their products for sale to customers all over the world. Aliexpress is extremely popular in the UK, America, Russia and Latin America.
It’s a fantastic resource if you’re looking to:
- Find a supplier for a new online business
- Bulk buy products
- Import custom-designed products or packaging
- Save money on products you currently buy in
- Get great prices on retail items as an alternative to Amazon or eBay.
Review of Aliexpress VS Alibaba
Alibaba is the largest business-to-business marketplace in the world, mainly for used for manufacturers looking to sell products to businesses that require big order quantities. AliExpress has been created with more of a focus on smaller retailers that require less quantity or those starting a Shopify dropshipping business, where the supplies ships directly to the customer.
The minimum order quantities with Aliexpress tend to be significantly less than Alibaba, although the product prices may be slightly more.
Just like Alibaba, AliExpress has millions of different items on offer, including:
- Fashion Items
- Phones & Accessories
- Home & Garden Items
- Sports & Fitness Products
- Computer Equipment
Review of Aliexpress: Downside
The biggest downside of ordering products on AliExpress is the length of time they take to arrive.
As most the businesses that advertise on AliExpress ship their products from China, this can cause lengthy delivery times, especially at the moment due to the impact of coronavirus.
The quality of products on AliExpress varies dramatically depending on which seller you use. From looking at a number of different forums and feedback, some buyers have had great experiences of ordering high quality products for a low price, whereas other people have ordered some products they found to be substandard.
Make sure you read vendor reviews before ordering!
Much like Amazon, Aliexpress can be quite intimidating at first due to the millions and millions of different products on the website. In fact, AliExpress claim to have over 100 million different products available on their website!
Luckily there is a search bar and all the products are categorised in a simple way.
Review of Aliexpress: Payments
AliExpress supports PayPal, or you can shop using credit and debit cards, wire transfers and webmoney using the AliExpress secure checkout. When ordering, remember that order fees may be applied at the checkout for certain payment methods.
For example a $7.40 fee is applied for PayPal payments.
AliExpress offers a money-back guarantee if the item you have ordered is not as it’s been described. If the item has not been delivered within the buyer protection period you can request a refund with will be due 15 days after the claim has been processed.
Here’s an example of an Aliexpress listing. For this drone the seller is offering a 90-day money back guarantee protection and a free 15-day return – very reasonable!
Most sellers offer a free return service. Look for the icon on their listing page, like the one above. With the Aliexpress free returns service you get 15 days on top of the on-time delivery date to decide if you want to keep the item or if you want to return it, as long as it is unused unwashed and in its original condition and packaging.
AliExpress offers a range of different shipping methods. When ordering your item suppliers will display the delivery options available which often include:
- UPS (Excellent tracking system)
- China Post
- Air Parcel
The seller will be able to advise you what the cheapest or quickest shipping method will be for you based on your requirements.
AliExpress Customer Support
AliExpress has a fantastic help centre with lots of different FAQs where you can find all the different information you need if you have a question that’s not been answered.
Check This Before You Buy!
Overall, Aliexpress is a fantastic resource for sourcing products very cheaply which means you can save yourself money or order some fantastic wholesale products to sell-on for your business. Product quality can vary from supplier to supplier, and delivery times may be longer than expected – especially since the coronavirus pandemic – so it’s important to check the following before ordering:
Things To Check Before Ordering
- What is the returns period?
- Is the seller offering free returns?
- How good are the sellers reviews?
- Contact the seller to ask for further photos or answer any questions.
Remember some products listed on Aliexpress can vary from their original images so make sure you check the reviews on each listing.
Buying For Your Business
If you’re using Aliexpress to buy stock for your business, you need to make sure the products meet the right quality requirements for the country you plan on selling them in. Ask for quality compliance such as CE or FDA certification, and looking at previous buyer reviews on their listing relating to the quality.
If you’re buying items in bulk for your business you may be better off using Alibaba which operates in a very similar way but is better suited for businesses ordering in large quantities. There’s so much choice on Aliexpress, you’re bound to find new trends, product ideas or at the very least make a killer saving on a huge range of products.
Are you looking to build an eCommerce business to sell the products you buy on AliExpress? Check out our free comparison tool for website builders.
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