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Is AliExpress Legit And Safe For Buying And Selling?
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Aleksandra -
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Chief of Content Marketing
Aleksandra teaches marketing and management at various levels in High School. She writes about marketing, the economics and logistics of the dropshipping business and ecommerce in general.
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Chief of Content Marketing
18 minutes

Do you have doubts about whether to shop on AliExpress? Or maybe, a million other questions pop up in your mind, like Is AliExpress legit? Why is it so cheap? Is it Safe to buy?

And, you are not alone. There are dozens of people asking the same. And yes, there might be some bargains and challenges. But, we got your back! 

In this article, we will answer all these questions in-depth, and even more! So, let’s dive in!

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What is AliExpress?

AliExpress is an online marketplace of Alibaba that connects buyers with sellers from around the world. It offers an extensive range of products at competitive prices, making it a go-to platform for many online shoppers.

In fact, AliExpress is particularly known for its vast selection of products, ranging from electronics and clothing to home decor and accessories. With millions of items available, you can find almost anything you need on the platform. 

Plus, you have various vendors selling the same product. So, this wide variety of choices gives you the freedom to explore different options and compare prices before making a purchase.

Also, one of the key aspects AliExpress is famous for is its relatively low prices. And, you are wondering why

Well, sellers on AliExpress often offer products at competitive rates due to factors such as direct sourcing, bulk purchases, and reduced overhead costs. So, if you are a budget-conscious buyer, this one is for you!

But, let’s see is AliExpress Safe?

Is AliExpress Safe?

YES! Safety is a major concern for any online buyer, and AliExpress understands the importance. Therefore, when it comes to buyer safety, AliExpress implements several measures to protect your interests.

Firstly, AliExpress provides a buyer protection system, which acts as a safeguard for your purchases. This system ensures that your payment is held by AliExpress until you confirm receipt of the product and are satisfied with your purchase. 

Moreover, if any issues arise, such as non-delivery or receiving a damaged item, you have the option to open a dispute within a specified timeframe. AliExpress mediates these disputes, aiming to find a fair resolution between the buyer and the seller.

Secondly, AliExpress encourages buyers to leave honest and detailed feedback on their shopping experience. Thus, this feedback system plays a crucial role in building trust and transparency within the AliExpress community. 

So,  by reviewing the seller’s ratings and feedback, you can gain valuable insights into the reliability and quality of their products.

Is AliExpress Legit?

And, the most common question is – Is AliExpress legit? Let’s start with this – As of this moment, AliExpress has over 150 million active buyers with over 200 million visits. Plus, they have around 20M visitors per day!

What’s more, AliExpress is #9 in the eCommerce & Shopping > Marketplace category and #62 Globally according to Similarweb data.👇

So, Is AliExpress legit? 100% Yes, AliExpress is Legit for both buyers and sellers!

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AliExpress Products

As we already mentioned above, AliExpress is famous for its vast selection of products, offering a diverse range of items to cater to the needs and preferences of buyers worldwide. 

So, whether you’re searching for the latest electronics, trendy fashion apparel, unique home decor, or niche accessories, AliExpress has you covered.

💡 Tip: Discover the 9 Reasons About Why Is AliExpress So Cheap [Truth Revealed]

Therefore, you can find items from different categories, ranging from consumer electronics, fashion and accessories, beauty and health products, home and garden essentials, to sports and entertainment products.👇

Not to mention the options you have under a specific category. For example, let’s search the women’s clothing category. Once we click on it, a huge fly-out menu with multiple sub-categories was displayed!👇

And, this is the case for every single category on the website!

In reality, this platform is a one-stop shop. So, you can explore numerous options without having to visit multiple websites or physical stores.

👉 Check out the Top 11 Dropshipping AliExpress Chrome Extensions.

AliExpress Shipping Times

There’s no exact answer for shipping times. However, we must point out that it is not fast. And this is another reason that brings the question – Is AliExpress legit?

When it comes to delivery times on AliExpress, there’s a range of estimations displayed on each product page. 

However, in my experience, relying on these estimates can be a wild goose chase. The delivery times provided, typically spanning from 20 to 60 days, often prove to be wildly inaccurate.

Plus, the delivery time usually depends on the shipping provider. However, the shipping costs also vary. For example, let’s review the changes in shipping times based on different shipping companies.👇

Adding to the frustration, the COVID-19 crisis has prompted AliExpress to extend the “Buyer Protection Time” to a maximum of 90 days. In simpler terms, this means you might find yourself waiting for a whopping 90 days before being eligible for a refund in the case of non-delivery.

To keep track of your order’s progress, it’s advisable to reach out to the seller if you haven’t received a tracking number within 10 days of placing your order.

 However, it’s important to note that you won’t be able to officially open a non-delivery dispute until the maximum delivery time specified has been surpassed. Plus, the tracking is not always accurate.

👉 Read about How to Reduce AliExpress Shipping Times.

💡 Tip: Learn about AliExpress Premium Shipping: The Key to Get Your Orders on Time.

Why Is AliExpress So Cheap?

There might be many reasons for the cheap prices you get on AliExpress, so let’s see why.

➡ Direct Sourcing 

AliExpress connects buyers directly with sellers, eliminating the need for intermediaries or middlemen. This direct sourcing model allows sellers to offer products at lower prices since they can bypass additional costs associated with traditional distribution channels.

Plus, you might buy directly from the manufacturer, and that’s when you get cheaper prices, and good products at the same time.

👉 Read about Minden Sourcing Review: Product Sourcing Services From China.

➡ Reduced Overhead Costs

Many sellers on AliExpress have online stores or small businesses with lower overhead costs compared to brick-and-mortar retailers. 

So, they don’t have to manage physical storefronts, pay high rents, or maintain large inventories. These cost savings are often passed on to the buyers in the form of lower prices.

➡ Bulk Purchases

Some sellers on AliExpress procure products in bulk quantities, which enables them to negotiate better deals with manufacturers or suppliers. 

By leveraging economies of scale, they can secure products at lower prices, allowing for competitive pricing on the platform.

➡ Fraudulent Products And Sellers

Unfortunately, this happens. And it is one of the main reasons people question whether is AliExpress legit.  

It’s no secret that China has had a reputation for being a hub of fake products, and AliExpress, being a Chinese-based platform, is not immune to this issue. 

👉 Check out the 11 Best China Dropshipping Suppliers [General & Niche Dropshippers].

While AliExpress does offer attractive deals, it’s crucial to approach certain products with caution, as not all of them may adhere to legal standards.

One aspect to consider is the exceptionally low prices of certain items. It’s important to recognize that an item being extremely cheap may indicate potential concerns. There are instances where such products may be counterfeit or even products that have fallen off the production line, potentially rejected due to stringent brand quality assessments.

However, it’s essential to note that not all products on AliExpress fall into this category. Many reputable sellers on the platform offer genuine, high-quality products at competitive prices.

Plus, there are lots of customer reviews claiming that they didn’t get the product they ordered. For example, I ordered a blue dress, and instead, I got a red one. 

However, we will talk through how to avoid these AliExpress scams, below in this article.

Alibaba Vs AliExpress

How Alibaba Works

Alibaba is the largest online commerce company. It is a wholesale marketplace for buyers looking to purchase large quantities of products at the lowest price.

So, the ordering process on Alibaba differs from AliExpress. Instead of placing orders directly through the website, you need to communicate your requirements to the supplier and negotiate a price.

Furthermore, unlike platforms like AliExpress, Alibaba is specifically designed for bulk purchases rather than single-unit quantities. Most customers on Alibaba engage in direct bulk orders with factories, aligning with its primary focus.

One of the key advantages of working with factories on Alibaba is the ability to customize and personalize products for private label selling. This way, eCommerce and dropshipping businesses create exclusive offerings. Thus, this helps them stand out from the crowd. 

Also, when procuring goods from a factory on Alibaba, it’s essential to acknowledge the minimum order quantity (MOQ) requirement. Thus, this includes an upfront payment for a bulk quantity of the desired goods. 

👉 Check out Alibaba Dropshipping 101: All You Need to Know to Start Dropshipping in 2024.

While the initial investment in inventory may often amount to thousands of dollars, the unit price is typically significantly lower compared to prices found on AliExpress.

How AliExpress Works

Shopping on AliExpress is pretty easy. You would spend the most time looking for what to buy since there are millions of products. Rest is a one-click job.

Therefore, first, you need to make an account on AliExpress. Next, you can search their catalog and place your products in your Wishlist, Shopping Cart, or Buy them instantly. 

However, it’s worth noting that while the prices on AliExpress are generally lower compared to global standards, they tend to be higher than if you were to purchase larger quantities from a supplier sourced through Alibaba. 

Bulk buying from Alibaba offers potential cost savings in such cases. On the other hand, there’s no private labeling there.

When it comes to assessing product quality before making a purchase, AliExpress doesn’t provide the option of requesting free samples. And, most of people question is AliExpress legit because it does not have option for free samples.

Another crucial point to consider is that the majority of goods bought from AliExpress are shipped directly from China. As a result, it’s important to anticipate longer delivery times, ranging from weeks to potentially months, depending on your location.

Plus, if you are an enthusiast that wants to open an online store and start dropshipping, AliExpress offers AliExpress Dropshipping services

💡 LEARN: Aliexpress Dropshipping Review: Is AliExpress Good For Dropshipping?

Alibaba vs AliExpress Summary

To wrap it all up, Alibaba and AliExpress are two different platforms owned by the Alibaba Group that serve different purposes in international trade.

Alibaba is mainly for businesses and focuses on wholesale transactions. Hence, it connects businesses with Chinese suppliers, manufacturers, and factories. 

Therefore, if you own a business and need products in large quantities or want to customize them with your own branding, Alibaba is a valuable resource. You can directly connect with suppliers, negotiate bulk orders, and create unique packaging for your brand.

➡ On the other hand, AliExpress is for individuals, small businesses, dropshippers, and entrepreneurs. It’s a place to buy products in smaller quantities for personal use, dropshipping, or retail purposes. 

What’s more, AliExpress offers a wide range of products from Chinese merchants, and you can order directly on the platform. While customization options may be limited, AliExpress provides affordable prices, lower minimum purchase requirements, and often features competitive retail prices.

👉 Read about Dropshipping from AliExpress to eBay: Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners.

How To Buy From AliExpress Safely Without Getting Ripped Off

Step 1: Create An AliExpress Account

First, you need to register. So once you land on the AliExpress website, in the right corner there’s a button “Account”, click on it, and choose “Register”.👇

To make it faster, they offer you to make accounts based on your existing accounts over Social media. 

Step 2: Start Shopping 

Next, you can start shopping. So, you can open their huge product catalog and start scrolling over product categories. 

Or, if you have a specific product in mind, you can type in a keyword and the platform will list items from the specific product.👇

Step 3: Check The Trademark Database

To ensure a smooth purchasing and selling experience on AliExpress, it’s crucial to check the USPTO trademark database for any product you’re interested in. This will help you avoid legal complications associated with trademark infringement.

Simply visit the USPTO website and search for the brand in question. If the brand appears in the database, it means it is trademarked and may require caution.

⚠️ NOTE: Many popular brand-name products found on AliExpress are likely to be counterfeit. Brands like Nike, Apple, and Gucci are commonly replicated, so exercise caution when encountering them.

For lesser-known brands, it’s still advisable to check the trademark database to ensure you’re not unintentionally violating any trademarks when reselling the products online.

Step 4: Check AliExpress Delivery Times

While most products on AliExpress are shipped from China, there’s a chance of finding items that can be shipped from local distributors within your country, although this is relatively rare.

Therefore, once you found the product you want to buy, navigate to the product page, and click in the “Ship to” section. Here, you can choose your shipping method, and check on delivery times.👇

As you can see, each of the methods differs in shipping times and costs.

In general, shipping times can range from as short as 2 weeks to as long as 2 months. The actual timeframe depends on your location and the seller’s efficiency in processing and dispatching the products.

Plus, regarding buyer protection, the delivery guarantee extends until the last day of the estimated delivery time published.

Step 5: Check AliExpress Payment Methods

So, if you place the products you want to buy in your shopping cart when you’re ready to proceed with your purchase, simply click the “Checkout” button. 

Or, once you find the product you want, you can simply click on “Buy Now”, and skip the shopping cart checkout.

Either way, you will have to provide your billing and shipping information, and you will be navigated to the same page.👇

There are three primary payment methods available on AliExpress: 

  • credit card
  • PayPal
  •  iDeal

For instance, I prefer and I do use a credit card. It offers rewards points, and it also provides the option to dispute payment if there are delays with AliExpress buyer protection.

Whether you choose PayPal or a credit card as your payment method, rest assured that you’re adequately protected. 

Step 6: Check Your AliExpress Order Right Away

Next, once you’ve checked everything from above about the product you want,  you can click on the red button “Buy Now”, on the product’s page.👇

Next, click on “Pay Now”, and shopping is done!👇

Given the extended shipping duration from China, it’s easy to forget about your AliExpress order by the time it arrives. However, it’s imperative to promptly inspect the products upon receipt.

Therefore, it’s crucial to thoroughly examine the goods for any quality issues and take immediate action if you receive subpar items. Failing to do so may require resorting to filing a dispute with PayPal or your credit card company.

Why Do People Think AliExpress is a Scam?

First things first, customers trust customers. That’s why they question whether is AliExpress legit. So, they read lots of comments and reviews. And, if you start digging into comments about AliExpress, here’s what you will find most time. 👇

And, here rises the question- Is AliExpress legit for real? 

To sum it up, reasons why people may think about is AliExpress legit, or is a scam

  • Counterfeit Products – There are a lot of customers that received a wrong product, or a fake one. So, that’s one reason why people don’t believe in AliExpress’s quality.
  • Shipping and Delivery Times – As we already mentioned, shipping times are long compared to other online marketplaces. Thus, most of the time, customers wait 20-60 days. However, there are some cases of receiving goods in 2 weeks, but there are cases of receiving goods in 90 days, or maybe never as well. 
  • Communication and Language Barriers – Since most of the sellers are Chinese, it can happen that they are not familiar with any other language. But, as I am personally an AliExpress buyer for years, this has never happened to me. Hence, from personal experience, all sellers were highly professional and responded to all my requests.
  • Negative Experiences and Scam Reports – AliExpress has encountered instances where buyers have had negative experiences or encountered fraudulent sellers. While these reports may contribute to the perception of AliExpress as a scam, it’s important to maintain perspective. So, do your research before you judge.

4 Tips To Avoid Getting Scammed On AliExpress

🔸 Check the Seller’s Feedback Before Buying

Did you find a great product at an incredibly low price? What do you do next? Click “ Buy Now”. Wrong! So, instead of asking if Is AliExpress legit, you better check if the seller is legit.

The first thing you want to do is, click on the seller’s name. And, once you do, you will be redirected to their store. So, do yourself a favor, and click on Feedback.

Here you can check on the seller’s reputation, like see comments and ratings from customers. When it comes to seller reputation, feedback, and reviews serve as valuable indicators of their trustworthiness. If a seller has a history of defrauding buyers, you’re likely to find evidence of their misdeeds within the feedback section. 

Therefore, pay close attention to any mentions of undelivered items or substandard goods. Such red flags should raise caution and prompt you to reconsider your engagement with the seller.

Additionally, pay attention to stores that have generic names like “shop2344523478” and were created within the past six months.

These impersonal and recently established stores may carry a higher risk of fraudulent activity. By being aware of these warning signs, you can protect yourself from potential scams and make more informed decisions while navigating AliExpress. 

Also, AliExpress itself has a free extension for reviewing sellers. So, you might want to try UpAssistant. This tool gives a more accurate and complete rating that you can rely on when making purchasing decisions. Thus, this way you can secure that the supplier is AliExpress legit.

🔸 Do Not Buy Branded Goods

Most countries provide special protection to established brands. While you might not be concerned about the authenticity of a product, if you happen to purchase counterfeit goods and if your package undergoes inspection, those items will be confiscated. 👇

What’s more, if you’ve bought a large number of such goods and it appears that you intend to sell them, you may even face law issues. Plus, most of the cases that speak out about whether is AliExpress legit, dealt with such situations.

However, keep in mind that this is not the case with Chinese brands. Thus, most of them even have official AliExpress stores, which are an exception to this rule.

🔸 Do Not Give Your Personal Info To AliExpress Sellers

Keep in mind that there are sellers who seek your personal information. 

Thus, some of them may employ a more subtle tactic by redirecting you to an external website, urging you to log in using your AliExpress credentials. In fact, their reasoning typically spins around the supposed need to process your transaction, such as finalizing your payment or tracking your order.

However, it is crucial to be very careful and refrain from disclosing any personal or financial details under such circumstances. These requests are almost certainly fraudulent attempts at identity theft.

🔸 Do Not Pay Directly to An AliExpress Seller For Your Orders 

Last but not least, we advise you not to pay outside AliExpress, and here’s why! 

AliExpress provides a robust buyer protection program that safeguards your purchases. So, when you pay through the platform, you gain access to dispute resolution tools and the potential for a refund if the transaction doesn’t go as expected. 

Paying outside of AliExpress eliminates these protections, leaving you vulnerable to potential scams or fraudulent sellers.

Furthermore, it’s important to consider the implications for AliExpress itself. Paying a seller directly denies the platform of its rightful sales commission, potentially enabling the seller to cheat AliExpress out of their deserved compensation.

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Conclusion

Now, Is AliExpress legit? Let’s wrap it all up! 

AliExpress is a legitimate and safe platform for buying and selling products online. 

With millions of active buyers and a high volume of daily visits, it has established itself as a reputable online marketplace. 

Plus, when it comes to safety, AliExpress takes buyer protection seriously. They have implemented measures such as a buyer protection system.

In this article, we provided you with valuable insights about Is AliExpress Legit, how it works, how to shop securely & more! So, collect your info and shop!

About the Author

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Aleksandra Miteva
Aleksandra teaches marketing and management at various levels in High School. She writes about marketing, the economics and logistics of the dropshipping business and ecommerce in general.