AliExpress works under the Alibaba Group, which is one of the biggest providers of e-commerce services in the world. Alibaba caters to the business aspect of the group whereas AliExpress (launched in 2010) serves as an online company selling Chinese products to consumers around the world.
However, AliExpress does not have products of its own and handles third-party products sales on its platform. Most of the vendors or product providers on the site include small businesses and factory owners in China who sell to individuals and customers worldwide.
Interestingly, mainland Chinese citizens cannot purchase products directly from AliExpress. Instead, they need to shop on a completely different platform. Most professionals compare the operations at AliExpress with eBay, since it is a leading e-commerce website and a competitor of AliExpress. It is because AliExpress, like eBay, offers a wide variety of products for its users.
Products on the AliExpress platform are popular because of their lower prices. These products are much cheaper because of the lower labor prices in China. This makes the platform a much more affordable place as compared to AliExpress or any other online seller.
How Alibaba Works
Alibaba, the parent company for AliExpress does not offer products directly, as you cannot purchase anything from their site. Instead, it is a directory of Chinese manufacturers and dealers. Moreover, Alibaba works more for wholesale deals. This means customers cannot buy single quantity products from the site. Instead, it only allows dealing with large commercial orders.
It allows customers to add directly with the suppliers, and personalize orders according to tailored requirements. You can create unique products that aren’t primarily available on the internet. This comes under private label selling and allows you to present unique products to the market.
However, placing an order on Alibaba means you need to handle a minimum order requirement and pay upfront for the bulk amount for your order. This can make your initial outlay into thousands of dollars but its unit cost will still be much lower than the rest of the market.
Is AliExpress Safe?
Despite popular belief, AliEpxress is a safe website to buy online products and goods. It is quite safer to purchase from as compared to several other suppliers like eBay. This is because AliExpress has a customer protection policy, which ensures that your money stays safe.
This also means that you get a full refund if your product doesn’t reach on time or as described on the site. The best part is that there are no technicalities here because the policy applies to every/ any product you find on the site. You can take advantage of the Customers Protection policy if your products never arrive, using the following steps.
- Contact the complaint center and AliExpress and notify the site and the seller that your product did not arrive.
- The sellers need to rectify the problem for the client according to the latest policy on-site.
- You can open a dispute with AliExpress if the seller does not accommodate your complaint.
- Fortunately, AliExpress will settle your payment if the seller does not respond to the disputed call.
However, you should note that AliExpress takes around 14 days (2 weeks) to refund your amount. In addition, you should know that the dispute process may take a bit longer if the dispute goes back and forth between the customers and the seller.
Why Do AliExpress Products have A Bad Reputation?
If AliExpress and its services are professional, then why do its products have a bad reputation? It is because the customers have unrealistic expectations. Every product you buy in the retail market in the US goes through rigorous quality control processes before reaching the shelf.
However, the products from AliExpress come directly from the factories, meaning that there is little to no quality control in this process. Therefore, it is why most customers aren’t satisfied with what they receive in their orders.
There is no concept of recognizable brands on the site, and the quality standards are mostly different from what most consumers in the US are used to. Moreover, there is also a chance that you may receive knockoff products in the mail.
However, there are still tons of products that you can choose from on AliExpress to buy from while making your purchase.
AliExpress is a great place for online purchase, considering it has one of the lowest prices in the open market. The platform provides you with products directly from the manufacturers, which is why they are affordable. However, there is little quality control in these products, which may dissatisfy some customers. Nonetheless, AliExpress is mostly a safe website for online shopping.