How do you safely buy from Alibaba

Definitive Guide to AliExpress: What is it? How do you shop?

“How does AliExpress work?” Although AliExpress has been around for a few years, this question is still asked quite a lot, so in this article we will explain how to shop on AliExpress.

This is an in-depth guide with all the steps you should follow before buying a product from this famous online store and we will answer the most frequently asked questions you ask us in the comments section of the blog. We show you how you can find branded products, how a good seller recognizes which payment methods this Chinese platform offers for online shopping, how you can contact the sellers ... So if you are new or have any doubts, read on! This article will help you a lot.

What is AliExpress? Is It Safe To Shop From This Chinese Site?

AliExpress has become one of the largest online selling platforms in the world. This Chinese shop sells three times as much as Amazon and eBay combined and in many countries it is establishing itself as the top shopping platform. There are millions of people like you who shop on AliExpress. However, one thing should be made clear: in reality, AliExpress is not an online shop but a platform that acts as an intermediary, bringing together thousands of sellers with millions of buyers.

That is why AliExpress takes care of very important issues. This includes checking that the sellers adhere to the agreed rules, protecting the buyer in the event of a problem, withholding your money until you have confirmed receipt of your product, and mediating any problems between the buyer and seller . AliExpress really doesn't tolerate sellers who don't follow the rules and will penalize them by closing their stores and banning them from the platform.

How to Identify Trusted Sellers

As we mentioned before, AliExpress is a platform that mediates between the buyer and seller, so the seller is responsible for ensuring that the order is shipped correctly and that the product conforms to what is promised in the product description. That is why it is very important to find a trustworthy buyer. We have to judge whether the seller has the best products and a good reputation. This is done by following the steps below:



  1. Look for the seller's rating, which is located in the top left corner of the page. Medals (good reputation), diamonds (very good reputation) or crowns (excellent reputation) are displayed. If you click on these ratings, you can see the seller's ratings for "Item As Described", "Communication" and "Shipping Speed". If the ratings are green, it means they are above the AliExpress average. The opposite is true when they are red. Remember that these reviews are distributed by AliExpress using the reviews that other buyers have given the seller, so that neither AliExpress nor the seller can change them.
  2. The second step is to study the ratings and comments from consumers. This gives us a good indication of the quality of the product and the general satisfaction of the buyers. We also receive information about the delivery time and whether the product is really as described by the seller.
  3. If we want, we can also see how many buyers have bought this product from the seller. If there has been a fair amount of sales and consumer ratings are high (the stars and the percentage) we can be sure that this is a trustworthy seller.
  4. Whenever we have doubts (as small as it may be) it is best to ask yourselfdirectly with the sellerto get in touch so that he can remove this doubt. We can ask him about the authenticity of the product, ask whether the logo is right or ask him for real photos. In short, when in doubt, it is very important not to be afraid to ask. This way we avoid unpleasant surprises when the product arrives at home.

You see, it's easier than you think to find a trustworthy seller.

Distinguishing an original product from a copy

When we shop, in many cases it is difficult to distinguish an original product from a fake on AliExpress because the copies are very good. When we're looking for a product that is 100% original, there are a few things that will help us determine. First there is the price: if we see that a product is not much cheaper than in an official store, we can assume that it is an original (on the other hand, the fakes areverymuch cheaper).

Second, see if the name of the product includes the word "original". If so, the seller indirectly undertakes to send you an original product. And similar, but even safer, are the products with this “Guaranteed Genuine” seal.

When we see this seal, we can be sure that the product is genuine. AliExpress is very strict about this. If a seller is not honest and adds the seal in the product description, AliExpress will close the shop. If you've purchased a product and it turns out to be fake, all you need to do is contact AliExpress so they can take action. Once you prove your product is counterfeit, they'll refund you your money, close the seller's store, and in most cases you can keep the product.

How to Buy / Payment Methods / Buyer Protection

Two of the methods we will describe below include buyer protection(EVERYTHING IS EXPLAINED HERE). This means that if something happens to your order, you will be protected by AliExpress. When a purchase is made and paid for, AliExpress will withhold the money until the product arrives at home and you confirm everything is OK. AliExpress will only pay the seller if you confirm that everything has arrived safely.

Basically, an escrow system is used in which AliExpress is the intermediate item that keeps the money and only pays out money once we have confirmed receipt or when the order protection time has expired.

1 - Escrow / AliPay - Risk for the buyer: none

The Escrow / AliPay method is very similar to the PayPal payment method. When using escrow, a third party withholds the money, who only pays out the money when the buyer has confirmed their satisfaction with the product. Escrow is a fairly popular method for AliExpress, and for online transactions in general, as it protects both the seller and the buyer. You just have to be oneOpen an account with AliPayand top it up with the amount of money you want in the account. As we said before, it's a very secure method, designed by AliExpress itself, so you come with a lot of guarantees.

2 - card - Risk for the buyer: none

When you pay by card at AliExpress, you also use the escrow system, so your money is completely safe until you have confirmed receipt of the product. It's a very easy payment method. AliExpress accepts Visa credit and debit cards, Mastercard credit cards, and Maestro debit cards.

And if you are afraid to pay by card, you can also ask your bank about the famous “prepaid credit cards” or “prepaid cards”, which are specially designed for online purchases: They provide a limited amount of money that we top up ourselves Available. Make sure it's Visa or Maestro.

3 - bank transfer - Risk to the buyer: medium

This is a less popular payment method and it can only be used to pay for an order with a minimum order value of USD 20 (and USD only). We therefore do not recommend it if you still have another payment method. In addition, banks also tend to charge a per transfer fee, especially when it comes to a foreign currency and an international transfer. Even so, your money is safe if you choose this payment method as AliExpress will hold it until you confirm it.

Other payment methods

AliExpress also accepts: WebMoney, Western Union, Yandex.Money, QIWI, DOKU, MercadoPago, Boleto, American Express ... But most of all, and most importantly, you should never pay outside of AliExpress as they won't be able to help you if you get one Have a problem with the seller. If you want more information about the payment methods AliExpress offers, click on the link and it will take you straight there.

Disputes and complaints

Sometimes the product may arrive defective. If so, we can do two things. The first is to open a dispute with the seller to resolve the problem. All you have to do is go to the order and look for the "Open dispute" button, fill in a simple questionnaire where we have to attach pictures or evidence so that the seller can see the problem and offer you a solution.

From this point on, different things can happen:

  1. The seller agrees with you. The dispute will be closed in your favor and in a few days you will receive your money.
  2. The seller suggests another solution, for example less money. If it seems appropriate to you, the dispute will be closed by simply clicking on "Accept" and in a few days you will receive the money.
  3. The seller suggests another solution that you disagree with. In this case, you can decline his suggestion and offer him another suggestion. Or if you really think you are right, you can wait a few days and AliExpress will automatically mediate the dispute and propose another solution.

We would like to make an important note: Pay very close attention to what you write when you fill out the form, as we have between "refund only "(that means that we only ask for money) or "Refunds and Returns "with which we agree to return the product. We have to cover the shipping costs to China, which in the end can be more expensive than the product itself.

There is one more thing to watch out for: if the seller asks us to close the dispute in order to re-ship the order, click "Cancel" and never "Accept Dispute" because AliExpress will place the order closes and we therefore cannot complain again if the product does not arrive.

delivery time

Another frequently asked question is: How long will it take for my order to arrive? There is not a single answer, as the duration depends on the shipping method, the country of delivery, etc. But the order is protected for a period of 60 days, which means that this is the maximum time it can ship. It is very important that we open a dispute to claim our money or to extend the duration of the protection if the product does not arrive in the 60 days.

Warranties of purchases from AliExpress

For some time, AliExpress has been offering a guarantee for many of its technology products: cell phones, USB sticks, etc. But what is it? This guarantee, for which you have to pay extra but whose costs are usually already included when you buy the product, is an independent service from the seller, so you don't have to worry about getting into a bad seller. You can use it without talking to him. You can find more information here.

You just have to be sure that the product you buy has this guarantee (as it is not available in every country). If your product stops working within a year of receiving your order, you will need to locate the order in your AliExpress account, click the "Request Warranty" button and fill out the form. As soon as they receive the request, you have to send the cell phone to a national warehouse and you will receive your new cell phone within 10 working days.

Other frequently asked questions

In this guide, we've tried to list everything it takes to learn how to buy, but there are a few questions you should ask us in the comments section of the blog so we'll go over the most popular questions to help you out. If your question doesn't appear here, we recommend checking out this page, where AliExpress resolves most of the frequently asked questions you ask us.

My address contains umlauts and AliExpress indicates that it is invalid

If your address contains umlauts, AliExpress will indicate that it is invalid and that it only accepts English letters. The solution is simple: do not write umlauts and replace them with English letters (e.g. an A for Ä). Just remember that the Ä does not exist on the English keyboard.

AliExpress / AliPay cancels my order if I pay with a credit card and asks me to send documents ...

Lately we have seen an increase in comments on the blog addressing this topic. In light of this, we at AlixBlog got involved in this matter and contacted AliExpress directly so they could explain everything to us. As a result of your comments, we've also given them a list of all the things that should improve the platform. You have sent us a fairly long email and we have selected the most important jobs:

AliExpress - “We have noticed an increase in questions about the AliPay payment system. We understand the problem and we apologize for the inconvenience this may cause. We are working hard on AliPay to resolve this issue as soon as possible so that the shopping experience for AliExpress shoppers will be more intuitive and enjoyable. ”

We also explained to them the general frustration one feels when an order is canceled. We explained to you that when the money is withdrawn from their bank account and the order is later canceled, buyers feel a bit powerless. They answered us the following:

AliExpress - “Please note that your money is safe. Due to security checks, the money will be withheld and AliPay will not deduct anything from the amount deposited ”.

It seems like AliExpress knows there is a problem and that they want to fix it asap, knowing that it is doing them badly. They also want us to know our money is safe when an order is canceled.

As a result of the email, we sent you another one with more specific questions. If you answer us, we will expand this paragraph :). For now, we are providing you with the steps that should be followed and are explained on this page.

Can I cancel an order?

This is another common question. And there's a simple answer to that: for now, AliExpress allows you to automatically cancel an order while the payment is being verified (a few hours after paying), and the money is automatically refunded. However, as soon as the review process is over, we can request the cancellation of the order, but the seller must agree to it, so that it is possible that he will not accept it if he has already submitted the order.

I am not receiving any money from the return

If the order is canceled or if a dispute is positive, we will receive the money with the same payment method that we have already used. However, it is not an immediate process, as AliExpress has to take a few steps first and then begin the return process, which can take a few days.

To know what the status of our return is, we need to go to the order (from the PC) and hover over the button "Return status". If the 3 dots are orange, as in the photo, the return process has already started and we will receive the money in 3-15 working days. You can find out more information about returns by clicking here.

Our opinion

So far, this is the complete guide to buying from AliExpress. In our opinion, AliExpress is a godsend in all its aspects, a store where you can find many different products. As with all e-commerce businesses, precautions must be taken before making a purchase.However, if we follow the steps in this guide we can eliminate almost all of the problems that can arise when shopping in this type of store.

Go to AliExpress.