AliExpress is not just an online store; it’s a marketplace where thousands of different sellers, predominantly from China, come together to offer their products. Here, the same item might be available from multiple shops, and the decision-making criteria extend beyond just price or delivery times. Much like individuals, each store on AliExpress has its unique characteristics. Some sellers are dedicated and respectful towards their customers, while others may carelessly list products and fulfill orders just to make a quick buck. And then, there are those who might even try to deceive you. Finding reliable sellers on AliExpress is an art that ensures not only a successful purchase but also a pleasant shopping experience. Let’s dive into how to select such a seller.
On AliExpress, sellers are evaluated through a rating system, which should be your first point of reference. A high rating typically indicates a trustworthy seller. However, the current version of the site often shows a condensed version of these ratings. Moreover, some stores have various means to artificially boost their ratings. To gain a more comprehensive and objective view of the seller, it’s advisable to use additional tools like the AliHelper shopping assistant. This tool doesn’t just provide you with a detailed seller rating based on multiple criteria but also offers insights into price history, helps track your parcel or discount, and even finds similar products.
Always read customer reviews – they are your best source of information about the seller. Positive reviews are undoubtedly a good sign, but negative reviews can be even more important as they may reveal potential issues with the product or service. Consider how relevant these issues are to you. Sometimes, people might misunderstand the product features or have unreasonably high expectations. On the other hand, some problems may arise due to the fault of shipping companies, postal services, or pickup points, rather than the seller.
Pay close attention to photos attached to the reviews. Compare them with the content posted by the store in the product listing. Photos there might be edited or even taken from other online stores, bearing no resemblance to the actual product.
If you’re buying clothes, shoes, or accessories, look for reviews from people with your size or measurements. Pay attention to what size they chose, how they feel about the item, and how it fits them (especially if they’ve attached photos to their review).
Duration on the Platform
A seller’s long tenure on AliExpress often signifies reliability. It means they have earned the trust of customers and maintain high service standards. Although only a small fraction of newcomers are there to sell fakes or engage in fraud, it’s wise to lean towards offers that have accumulated some reviews. However, if a product has no reviews and is only offered by one seller, check the feedback for their other products.
Communication with Buyers
Evaluate how open the seller is to communication. Quick and comprehensive responses to your queries show that the seller is interested in providing quality service and is ready to assist you if issues arise. Remember, though, that often the person on the other side of the screen may only speak Chinese, and at best, a bit of English, so try to converse in this language.
Return Policies and Guarantees
Check the return policies and the availability of guarantees. Sellers offering clear and understandable return policies and assuring the quality of their products are usually more reliable. This is especially important for electronics. If you’re ordering gadgets from Chinese manufacturers, understand beforehand who you can turn to in case of a malfunction.
Detailed Product Description
Examine the product description thoroughly. Reliable sellers provide complete, up-to-date, and accurate information about their products, enabling you to make an informed choice.
Be cautious of items priced significantly below the market average. This could be a sign of fraud or poor quality. Compare prices and look for a balance between cost and quality.
Promotions and Discount Codes
Keep an eye on special offers and promotions, which can be highly beneficial. Pay attention to discounts available for purchasing items of a certain value. However, remember that a low price during a promotion should not be the sole criterion for choosing a seller.
Personal Experience and Advice from Friends
If you have had a positive shopping experience with a particular seller before, that’s a good sign. It’s also worth listening to recommendations from friends and acquaintances who can share their experiences.
Common Sense and Intuition
Don’t forget to use common sense. If an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is. Be particularly cautious with items whose prices seem unrealistically low. For example, AliExpress fights against counterfeits, but sometimes fraudsters still manage to get onto the platform. Remember, branded goods at ridiculously low prices are most likely fakes. For instance, it’s unlikely that you would find a genuine Chanel bag for 20 dollars.
However, this caution applies not only to products but also to potential fraudulent schemes by sellers, which often become apparent after placing an order. Such cases may include attempts to extort additional fees, sending counterfeit items, or sending worthless items instead of the valuable ones you ordered.
By following these detailed tips, you will be able not only to confidently choose reliable sellers on AliExpress but also to enjoy the shopping process, avoiding unpleasant surprises and disappointments.