AliExpress, a subsidiary of Alibaba Group, is one of the biggest online marketplaces in the world. Sellers from around the world and particularly China, use AliExpress as their base of online operations. The marketplace has gained popularity globally, thanks to its low prices, guaranteed shipping and refund policies. The shopping portal has also been gaining users in Pakistan for the past few years.
Pakistani shoppers can get unique and rare items with ease, by ordering stuff from AliExpress. It is also cheaper than any local online store. Even e-commerce stores tend to import stuff using AliExpress as it offers a safe and easy method to buy items in bulk from China.
For the past few months we have been receiving complaints from our readers regarding AliExpress package shipping in Pakistan. Several readers have informed us that for the past two months or more, items ordered from AliExpress have failed to deliver. Whenever tracking information is available, the items get lost after they have arrived at the Karachi port.
All items ordered through AliExpress are handled by the shipping company of origin, until they reach Pakistan. Once packages reach Pakistan, they go through customs clearance. Customs officers have the authority to open the packages and repack them if there’s any doubt regarding the item’s description. The packages are then forwarded to Pakistan Post, which delivers the package to the buyer.
However, this process is being handicapped by someone. The packages are getting misplaced as soon as they get to Karachi, and the list of culprits is pretty short. We aren’t aware whether this is a rogue government department or a competitor who is concerned about the volume of orders being placed on AliExpress by Pakistanis. Hampering delivery would certainly benefit some stores in Pakistan.
AliExpress sellers have been refunding the buyers for the time being, but if this continues any longer, we won’t be surprised if they stop shipping to Pakistan altogether. The online retailer could put Pakistan on its blacklist, or the sellers themselves might stop delivering to Pakistan.
This is unfair play and someone is guilty here. The forces behind this must be apprehended before Pakistan is shamed in front of the world yet again. It will not benefit the public, the customs, the e-commerce industry or the delivery service providers if such an instance happens and could fend off interest from international retailers like Amazon and Ebay.