AliExpress Review: The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

Have you ever heard the name AliExpress and wondered what It is? If you have been shopping online or are a drop shipper, AliExpress is a familiar name to you. It is an e-commerce platform launched by the famous Alibaba Group in 2010. The main focus of AliExpress is to connect sellers and buyers worldwide, offering a wide range of products.

Since its launch, AliExpress has experienced massive online growth in e-commerce. 

Between July and December 2023, AliExpress received approximately 2.9 billion visitors, and the number of visitors stayed below 431 million per month. AliExpress is a genuine B2C platform for both buyers and sellers. 

AliExpress offers different protection methods to keep the seller and buyer safe using the platform. Before you start selling on AliExpress, there are thorough seller verification methods to ensure they filter all the scammers. Also, the platform uses Escrow services, and the payments are released to the seller once the buyer confirms receipt.

In this AliExpress review, we will discuss everything about AliExpress, whether you want to buy from the platform or start dropshipping on AliExpress. We have every detail you need to familiarize yourself with the platform.

What are the pros and cons of using AliExpress for dropshipping? Let’s take a quick tour.

What is AliExpress?

AliExpress is a Chinese marketplace that sells products from different Chinese companies. The site allows small businesses to sell various products, such as accessories, clothing, electronics, and sports items. 

This platform was founded in 2010 by the Alibaba Group. It connects small producers from China to sell their items to consumers worldwide. AliExpress functions like eBay and Amazon, but the difference is that the suppliers on AliExpress are Chinese, and the platform doesn’t have its products but showcases products from other people. 

Aliexpress review

AliExpress is a Chinese platform that sells to customers outside China, but people from China do not need access to it. 

The website has established itself in Russia, Spain, the United States, and Brazil. Lately, it has been operating in the European Union, like Italy.

Since its launch, AliExpress has become a well-known marketplace, increasing each day. At first, AliExpress was an online platform offering services to businesses like Alibaba. However, with time, it started to focus on companies and consumers, allowing sellers to connect with buyers around the globe. 

AliExpress offers secure payments, a wide range of products, buyer-friendly features, and competitive prices. These factors make the platform increasingly popular as one of the best online marketplaces for buyers and sellers.  

How Does AliExpress Work?

AliExpress functions like any other online marketplace that focuses on selling products. With AliExpress, you can get any product except a few prohibited ones. 

aliexpress review

When you visit AliExpress, it has different product categories for buyers to make their shopping journey easy. Under each category, you will find products that fall under that category. Additionally, to make the search process easy, you can use the search bar to search for the product you want. 

The most categories on AliExpress include;

  • Home and Garden
  • Men’s Clothing 
  • Accessories
  • Home improvement and lighting
  • Automotive and motorcycle
  • Consumer electronics
  • Phone and telecommunications
  • Babies and kids
  • Toys and games

As we said, there is everything for everyone on AliExpress, and the list continues.

However, specific product categories are prohibited on AliExpress, such as drugs, guns, and pornographic content, among others.

Shopping on AliExpress is seamless. Once you see an item you want to purchase, add it to your cart and proceed to make the payment for the product. 

You can use any electronic payment method, as AliExpress supports them all, making payment convenient for buyers. However, Alipay is the preferred method, similar to PayPal. 

AliExpress shipping time has been extended. Depending on the product’s origin and location, receiving it can take over a month. 

How to Buy from AliExpress (Step-by-Step)

Have you considered sourcing products from AliExpress but need help figuring out where to start? Buying from AliExpress, just like other platforms, is quite simple. However, this process may seem quite complicated. Thus, here is a simple guide to buying products from AliExpress.

Register an Account

The first step before buying is to register an account with AliExpress. To do this, you must browse and search for AliExpress and click the link that directs you to the official AliExpress website. Alternatively, you can download the AliExpress app on your mobile device. 

You can sign up on AliExpress now. The process is simple: Go to the “Account” section at the top right and click the “Register” icon. After clicking the icon, you will be directed to a small window to register your account.

Aliexpress review

Provide your details as required. You must enter your email address and location and set your password. Ensure the email address you provide is active, as you will use it to verify your account. 

Once done, a verification code will be sent to your email; enter the code on AliExpress to verify your account. Now your AliExpress account is ready, congratulations.

With your account ready, return to the account section again; now, you can see your account name and the Sign-out button. Before we continue with our AliExpress review, it is essential to understand other options available under that section;

Aliexpress review

My Orders: Now, you can see all your orders on AliExpress in this section

Message Center: This is where you send messages to stores or AliExpress. Any message you receive will appear under this section.

Wish List: You can add all the items you want on AliExpress to the wish list. If you click “Wish List,” you will be taken to the wish list section on your account. 

My Favorite Stores: Over time, you will have a favorite store from which you shop primarily. You can add that store. When you click “My Favorite Store,” you will be taken directly to the store. 

My Coupons: Occasionally, you will receive discounts and offers from other stores or the AliExpress team. All these offers and discounts will appear under this section. 

Search for Products

On the left side of the home page, you will see a menu “titled Categories.” Choose any category you want to shop products from, and then you will see the subcategories under that category. Once you see the ones you need, click them to see all the products available and the price each product goes for. 

For example, if you want to buy a men’s suit. Select the “Men’s Clothing” category, then under choose the “Blazers and Suits” subcategory, then choose Suits. You will see different men’s suits available, then select the one you want that aligns with your budget. 

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Another way to find products to sell on AliExpress is by using the search bar and typing the keyword of the product you will find. Different products with that keyword will appear on your screen. 

One advantage of AliExpress is that it helps you save time, as two features make the process easy. You can filter if you want products with discounts or want to get free shipping.

You don’t have to search item by item until you find the one you want. Also, please indicate the price range you wish the item to be in. 

Now, many products on the screen fall within your category and requirements. But how do you know which is the right product and whether the supplier is reliable?

Don’t worry—this AliExpress review will give you the correct answer. One tip is to ensure the supplier is trustworthy before adding the products to your cart. 

You need to review each supplier’s review and the unit of products the supplier has sold.

The best product should have a high number of items sold and a high number of positive reviews under the category. 

Next, click on the item, and a new page will appear. It will give you more details about the products. You need to select different things, like the color and size of the product. 

You will get shipping information on the right side, such as the days to receive the products. Buyer service protection allows you to return the product if it arrives late or is wrong. 

How many pieces do you want?

Choose the quantity, then click the “Buy Now” or “Add to Cart” button. If you choose the “Buy Now” button, you will be directed to another page where you can fill in your shipping address and select the payment methods. Then, click the “Place order” button to finalize the buying process. 

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However, if you don’t want to purchase the product immediately or want to add other items to your cart, you can click “Add to Cart.” Also, if you’re going to buy after days and don’t want to lose the link, add the item to the “Wish List” by clicking the “Heart” icon.

Enter your Shipping Information and Select Payment Methods

When shipping an item from a different location, you must provide the shipping details of where you want the product shipped. Click on the Shipping address, then add a new address. Provide all the necessary information needed, then confirm the address. You can also set the address as your default shipping address. 

The next step is to choose your payment method. You will be given many payment options: card, Paylater/PayPal, and wire transfer. 

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However, these methods vary depending on the country you are ordering from. If you select the card payment option, add all the needed card information, such as the card number, cardholder, month and year, and CVV, then save and confirm. 

Visiting your bank to get the wire transfer information would be best. 

Now, everything is set. You have saved your shipping information and payment details. Let’s place the order now. Click on the button provided, “Place Order.” Congratulations, you have made your first purchase from AliExpress. 

AliExpress Shipping Methods

AliExpress offers different shipping methods to its customers. Each method has its own delivery time, cost, and tracking option. Some of the significant techniques on AliExpress include; 

AliExpress Standard Shipping

AliExpress standard shipping is the most common and most used shipping method on AliExpress. The delivery time is typically 15 to 45 days, varying with your location, and the shipping fee is mostly free or low-cost. 

To track orders using this shipping method, go to the “My Orders” page and choose “Track” to see the shipping status of your products.

AliExpress Premium Shipping

If you want a timely delivery, AliExpress offers a premium shipping method with fast delivery times in any location worldwide. The shipping time is usually 7 to 15 days. With 

AliExpress Premium Shipping: The shipping fee varies depending on the package’s destination, size, and weight. Tracking is also offered; thus, you can track the shipping progress on the AliExpress website. 

ePacket

ePacket is a popular shipping method for lightweight and small items. Compared to Standard Shipping, ePacket shipping is faster and gives the buyer all the necessary tracking information.

The delivery times vary, usually between 7 and 30 days. Some sellers offer ePacket shipping for free, but some charge a small fee. 

FedEx, DHL, UPS, and Other Express Shipping

These options are the best for quick and fast shipping. If you use these methods, you will receive your product in 3 to 10 business days. Furthermore, they provide faster transit times and reliable tracking. 

However, using DHL, UPS, FedEx, and other express shipping methods is more expensive than using ePacket and standard shipping. The cost depends on factors like size, destination, and package weight.

Seller’s Shipping Method

Some AliExpress sellers have their shipping methods for shipping products to their customers. However, the cost and time of delivery vary from one seller to another.

Before using these services, it is essential to check the estimated shipping cost and delivery time the seller offers. Also, ensure you can track your package and the shipment progress under the “My Orders” page on AliExpress. 

All the above methods are reliable for shipping from AliExpress to your preferred destination. However, to choose the suitable one, you need to consider factors like the delivery time, your budget, and the supplier’s reliability. Most sellers make it convenient for buyers by offering different shipping methods; thus, you can choose your needs. 

Track your Order

Placing your order on AliExpress doesn’t mean the process is complete. The order is still with the supplier and may not be released for shipment. But with AliExpress, you can track each step of the order and know how far your order is. 

It gives you order tracking information, such as the order status, location, and the date to receive the order. Keep track of the order to ensure seamless and hassle-free delivery and make necessary arrangements to receive the parcel. 

But how do I track my order on AliExpress?

Once you place an order with AliExpress, you will be given an order tracking number that you can use to track the status of your order throughout the process. 

AliExpress can help you track your order or use a third-party tracking website. 

  • To track with AliExpress:
  • Go to the “My Orders” section. You will see all your orders with AliExpress.
  • Choose the order you want to track.
  • Click “Track Order” on that item.

That section will show you the order status and the order tracking number.  

Remember, your order number is different from the order tracking number. The tracking order number differs in format depending on the courier service used. Most start with two capital letters, followed by numbers, and end with two capital letters like HK, CH, or CN if using Chinese payments.

Here is an example: ZA247945542HK.

AliExpress offers real-time details on your orders. Under the order tracking statuses, you will see every step of the order delivery process. It would help if you were under the status to stay informed about the product.

Order Received: This shows that the supplier has received your order. They will contact the buyer with the necessary shipment and tracking information. 

Awaiting Clarification: The buyer has yet to give the supplier the product link, and some vital information, like size, color, and quantity details, is missing. Thus, more information is needed before the order is processed. 

Order Unfulfillable: The selected product cannot be delivered internationally.

Order Amount: The seller updates the buyer with the amount of the product, including the shipping charges.

Order in Progress: Now, the buyer is trying to buy a particular product. 

Purchased: The buyer has purchased the item, and it is awaiting dispatch at the warehouse. 

Order Packed: The order is packed and ready for shipping. 

Order Consolidated: The order is now packed into one single parcel. 

Order Invoice: The invoice for the order is generated.

Shipped: The package has now been shipped and is on the way.

Order Canceled: The buyer has canceled the order.

Order Refunded: The seller requested a refund for the order.

Order Abandoned: No information is available, mainly because the buyer needs to communicate. 

After you receive your order, you first need to analyze whether the package you received is the right one, including the quantity, size, and color. 

If you still need to, you can request to return the product for a refund or exchange. If the product is correct, confirm receipt so the seller can receive the payments. You can also leave a review for the seller.

AliExpress Buyer and Seller Protections

AliExpress is one of the genuine and safe places to purchase products online. With the rise of crime rate and scammers increasing online each day, AliExpress ensures they protect both their sellers and buyers from such using several protection methods; 

Escrow Service

Escrow is a standard system used to ensure safe business transactions online. It is an agreement between two organizations or people in which a third party keeps property or money until a specific set condition is met. 

AliExpress uses the Escrow system to ensure safe payment. Simply put, the payments are held until the buyer receives the product and confirms receipt, then released to the seller. This system offers layered security, ensuring buyers aren’t scammed on AliExpress. 

Buyer Protection

AliExpress offers a Buyer Protection program. As a buyer, if you receive a product with a defect that differs from the description, you can open a dispute to request a replacement or refund. AliExpress mediates the dispute and offers a fair resolution that won’t affect the buyer or seller. 

Seller Verifications

AliExpress has a seller verification process that helps filter scammers and genuine sellers. Most sellers on the platform have established themselves online with positive customer ratings and reviews. 

Before joining AliExpress as a Seller, they undergo a verification process. The top-rated sellers offer good customer service and reliable products.

Secure Payment Methods

AliExpress understands how crucial financial details can be. Thus, the platform ensures it offers secure payment methods, including credit cards, wire transfers, and escrow services. This helps protect financial information.

How to Start AliExpress Dropshipping

Have you ever wanted to start dropshipping on AliExpress? AliExpress offers buyers cheap products, making the platform suitable for sourcing products for any business model. Additionally, the platform is highly secure to use. 

 If you have ever wanted to start dropshipping on AliExpress but need help figuring out where to start, here is a step-by-step guide to help you begin the journey. 

Choose the Right Products

When you first start a dropshipping business, you need to choose products. AliExpress has different categories of products that you can choose for your store. Choose something in high demand, spark interest, and you know about it.  

However, with the wide range of products on AliExpress, choosing the right products can take time and effort. 

To select the right category on AliExpress,

  • Avoid choosing any branded items; focus on the unbranded items. It helps in avoiding dealing with counterfeit goods. 
  • First, check the number of orders for the products; the higher the number, the higher the demand for the product.
  • Go for products rated 4.5 stars. These are likely to offer quality products. 
  • The best product prices range between $1- $20. It is suitable for setting prices that generate profit. 

Choose a Reliable Supplier

Dropshipping is all about finding customers for your store, and the supplier handles the shipping. To run a successful dropshipping business, you need a reliable supplier who consistently delivers quality products to your customers on time.

With the many suppliers available on AliExpress, how can you find the right one?

Analyze the track record of the supplier. How have they been delivering? How is their shipping? And for how long have they been active on AliExpress?

Review the suppliers’ feedback from previous buyers. Each supplier’s feedback rating is displayed next to its name. Select a seller with a satisfaction rate of at least 95%. This rate reflects how satisfied the customers are with the sellers’ services. 

Inspect product photos to check if they are original and if they belong to the manufacturer and not counterfeit products. Just Google the product and compare it to see if the images are original. 

Before purchasing from the suppliers, ask them questions before you place the order. A good seller needs to answer you instantly and clearly. If they take time to respond or don’t respond at all, that is a red flag. 

You can place an order with the supplier to test the products. You can test the customer experience, the shipping time, and the product quality.

Build your Online Store

You need to build an online store where you will post your products. One of the most popular drop shippers platforms is Shopify. The platform is easy to use and cheap. You also don’t need any coding or technical skills to design your store. If you plan to use Shopify, you will get a free 3-day trial and three months for $1 per month. 

One advantage of using Shopify is its seamless integration with chatbots like Ecommercebot. Thus, the bot takes over and automates all the activities, including communication, tracking, and marketing your products on social media channels. 

Register with Shopify and create your dropshipping store on Shopify. Creating a store is simple, and different templates are available to design your store. 

Add Products from AliExpress to Your Store

Now that your store is ready, you must add products for your customers to see. Don’t just copy the images and descriptions from AliExpress directly. 

You need a third-party app to help you add products to your dropshipping store. You can use different options—research to find the perfect one. 

It would be best if you were unique in drawing customers and strategically succeeding in this industry.

  • Ensure you write your product descriptions and optimize them for SEO
  • AliExpress offers free shipping on some products; you must also offer your customers free shipping.
  • Inform your buyers about the delivery time and when they are expected to receive their payments. 
  • Use an order-tracking app to track the product’s shipping process.

Your AliExpress dropshipping store is ready, and you have products to sell; what next?

How Does Dropship Work with AliExpress

When you get your first order, it might be confusing what to do next, but it is simple. Like any other dropshipping platform, dropshipping with AliExpress is simple.

Once you receive an order from your dropshipping store, go to AliExpress and purchase the product. Enter your customers’ names and add the buyers’ shipping addresses. The supplier takes care of the rest.

There are two different ways to order products: manually and automatically. If you use the manual method, you might need a spreadsheet to record all the orders you receive on your site. Add the link and cost, thus making it easy to find the supplier. 

You can use third-party software to make automatic orders on AliExpress. This method makes the process seamless, especially if you want to order many products. You only need to add the products you wish to order the software. Then, it orders the products automatically for you. 

Pros and Cons of AliExpress for Dropshipper

AliExpress has been in the industry since its launch, and the platform has gained a positive online reputation from users worldwide. 

Most drop shippers have recommended AliExpress due to its minimal risk, low startup cost, cheap inventory, and free shipping, among other benefits. 

However, the platform has downsides like long shipping times, a complex return policy, and quality issues. 

Pros

Minimal Risks

Before venturing into any business, there are two options: it either succeeds or fails. If a company fails, most people incur losses from their invested money. Starting a business is a gamble, and the risks are high.

However, the risks are low if you start a business model like dropshipping on AliExpress. Since you don’t need much capital to start your business on AliExpress, in case it fails, there is little to lose.

If you post a product on your store with low demand, you can delete it and replace it with another one. It allows you to try different products and see which works better for your store. 

Low Startup Costs

Most businesses require a lot of capital to start, whether online or physically. For example, you will need money to start a business at Alibaba, especially the subscription fee. 

With AliExpress, the startup cost is low. You will not need to pay any subscription fee; the platform is free for sellers and has no monthly or annual fee for sellers. For drop shippers on AliExpress, you don’t deal with the goods; the supplier takes care of them. Thus, you will not be paying for a warehouse, shipping labels, or even labels. 

Free Shipping

Most suppliers on AliExpress offer customers free shipping. As a supplier or dropshipper, offering free shipping is one of the best strategies for getting more customers to your store because it is an excellent way to save money. 

However, the free shipping takes long before the buyer receives the order. If your customers are okay with the long shipping hours, you can use AliExpress for your dropshipping store. However, you can also pay for dropshipping to receive the order fast.

Cheap Inventory

AliExpress offers affordable prices, whether you’re a drop shipper or a buyer. If you compare the prices of AliExpress and other marketplaces, AliExpress is the best for affordability. Products in all AliExpress categories are cheap. 

However, AliExpress’s pricing is alarming when it comes to quality. But if your main focus is not on quality, you can buy AliExpress wholesale products cheaply that you can’t find on other marketplaces like eBay and Amazon. 

No Minimum Orders

AliExpress has no minimum orders for its customers, unlike other wholesale marketplaces. With AliExpress, there are no minimum order quantities. It is not only for customers but also makes AliExpress the best place for sellers trying out the market. 

As a dropshipper, you can order products to try and test different suppliers to see which suits your business. You can order identical products from other sellers and try them to see which reliable supplier offers quality products.

Cons

Quality Issues

AliExpress products are cheap, almost to be given for free, and buying products at those affordable prices, you can’t expect them to be high quality. However, AliExpress has genuine suppliers who sell quality products and others whose products are of poor quality. 

Hence, it would help if you remembered that these products are shipped from far away, and before they reach you or your customer, anything can happen on the way. You might receive products that are already broken or have defects. 

Long Shipping Times

One major drawback of dropshipping with AliExpress is the long shipping time. Most AliExpress suppliers are from China, so shipping products to most countries worldwide is challenging. A product can take three weeks or even months before a customer receives it.

You can use other fast delivery services like DHL or FedEx, but they are expensive. Therefore, ensure you inform your customer about the shipping time or pay extra to ensure they receive items within a reasonable time frame. 

Complex Return Policy

Sometimes, a customer might receive products that they are unhappy with. But returning that product to the supplier is hard or sometimes impossible. Thus, you will have to cover the cost of the product unless your dropshipping store has a strict policy about return policy. 

Even though AliExpress has a buyer protection guarantee, it says you will receive a refund within 15 days. However, most reviews from AliExpress customers complain about this platform’s refund policy. 

Final Thoughts

In this AliExpress review, we have covered everything you need to know about being a buyer or a dropshipper. The platform has every feature for starting a dropshipping business or sourcing products for your brick–and–mortar store. AliExpress prices are friendly; it has cheap inventory, flexibility, free shipping, and no minimum order quantity. With all this, for ecommerce or people who want to venture into the ecommerce sector, AliExpress is a perfect platform.

For AliExpress drop shippers, especially on Shopify, you can integrate your store with Ecommercebot. It is an AI-powered chatbot that offers ecommerce businesses all the solutions they need to run a successful ecommerce business.

You can try Ecommercebot for free; no credit card is required. You agree to turn your E-commerce business into a success story by clicking the image below. 

Ecommercebot Free trial

The bot automates all the activities, offering your customers an exceptional experience. To try Ecommercebot, you can take advantage of our 30-day free trial.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I track my orders on AliExpress?

Yes, you can track your orders on AliExpress. To do so, go to the “My Orders” section, click “Track,” and select the item you want to track. You will then get all the tracking information you need and the order status of your product. 

Is AliExpress secure?

Yes, AliExpress is a secure online platform today. The platform offers sellers and buyers a protection policy to ensure their safety. They use the buyer protection program, Escrow services, seller verification, and secure payment methods. 

How does dropshipping work on AliExpress?

Dropshipping on AliExpress works just like any other dropshipping. You add products to your dropshipping store. Once a customer purchases a product, you buy it from the AliExpress supplier and give the customer’s shipping address. After paying for the product, you will keep the difference as your profit. 

How much does it cost to sell on AliExpress?

Selling on AliExpress is free, and you will only pay a commission for each product you sell. 

What are the cons of AliExpress dropshipping?

The primary cons of AliExpress dropshipping include long shipping times, quality issues, and a complex return policy. 

What are the benefits of using AliExpress for dropshipping?

AliExpress has cheap inventory, free shipping, low risk, and low startup for drop shippers. 

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