Best Practices for Ordering Items from AliExpress in Pakistan [Guide]

AliExpress, owned by the AliBaba Group, is one of the world’s largest online stores. It is made up of mostly small Chinese businesses and individuals offering products to international buyers around the world at “lower than market prices”, often with free shipping at their door steps.

Over the last two years, AliExpress has become increasingly popular in Pakistan. The prices are low and for most of the products you don’t have to pay any kind of tax or custom duties, since they’re sent marked as “gifts”.

However Pakistani customers do face some issues while receiving their purchased items. Sometimes the orders from AliExpress take good 40-50 days to get the product delivered and at times you just don’t get them delivered at all.

Our previous coverage on non-deliveries of Ali Express items is available below:

Based on these stories, and countless requests that we get, here’s our guide of ordering products from AliExpress in Pakistan.

Let’s get started.

Ordering Items from AliExpress – And Actually Getting Them

AliExpress offers excellent buyer protection, so in case you don’t get the product, it’s broken or something else goes wrong, you can always get a full or partial refund. For that you’ve to be very honest and provide sufficient evidence to back your claim.

In these cases when your product isn’t delivered, sometimes it is the fault of sellers, but most of the time it is the involvement of our custom officials and the negligence of postal and courier companies.

Here we are listing some essential buyer guidelines and tips for AliExpress users. Follow these and the chances of your purchased items getting lost will be much lower. You can add up suggestions in the comments section below too.

Please note that by no means, this guide should be taken as a rule book as circumstances keep changing and these best practices must not be taken as a guarantee from ProPakistani for getting your products delivered.

Always Look for “Registered Air Mail”

There are items and sellers that ship through “Registered Air Mail”, while others don’t. Don’t go for “Standard Shipping Methods” or any other method than “Registered Air Mail”.

Items shipped through “Registered Air Mail” are usually shipped free, but at times may come along a small cost.

Our experience tells us that anything shipped through “Registered Air Mail” is more likely to get delivered, while other (free) methods may cause issues.

Always Select a Trustworthy Seller

First thing you should be concerned about is the reputation of the seller. AliExpress has a feedback system, so the users who have already purchased from a seller can leave their feedback. Always select the one with positive feedback and high number of orders.

Also look at the ratings and comments left by other buyers. They will give you a fair idea of the seller’s reputation.

Look for Buyer Protection

AliExpress offers full or partial refund if you haven’t received the product or if it doesn’t match the specifications mentioned on the site. Make sure you are buying from a store that has Buyer Protection badge.

Buy Original Products

If you’re buying a product from some renowned brand, make sure it is the original one. You can get an idea from its price, obviously. If a Gucci bag is going for PKR 1,000, it’s safe to assume it’s a fake. Don’t just look at the title for word “original / authentic”, dig into the item description. You can always send a message to the store asking if it is original or not as well.

Some stores have “Guaranteed Genuine” badge you can find under a product description which means that AliExpress guarantees the originality of the product.

Free Shipping Isn’t Always A Good Option

If by spending a couple of bucks you can get Registered Airmail shipping, there is nothing better than that.

This way you can track your shipment and there are less chances of your purchased item getting lost. This gets more important for expensive products.

Ordering Mobile Phones from AliExpress is a No Go

You should know that after the recent wave of terrorism in Pakistan, the courts ordered PTA to block all the imports of Smartphones in Pakistan without Type Approval.

Moreover, mobile phones are usually sent through DHL. So first you will have to pay courier fees and then in order to get the phone cleared you will have to get Type Approval from PTA and again pay fees for that.

There are chances that even after type approvals your mobile phone won’t be cleared, so in the long run you aren’t saving anything big.

You are better off saving yourself the hassle and buying locally.

Just to mention, PTA doesn’t give NOC / Type Approvals for phones that aren’t available in Pakistan. Xiaomi phones for instance, or other Chinese smartphone brands, that are not approved for Pakistan already won’t be allowed in any case.

So just do not order any unknown brand even if you are able to bear shipment charges, as customs will never clear these alien models in Pakistan.

Avoid Purchasing Larger Items

As per my personal experience and general feedback from public, products that are big in size are less likely to arrive at your doorstep.

Either they go missing or get broken. So don’t just buy a ride-on car for your kid, as it is less likely to reach you.

Bluetooth & WiFi Powered Devices Are No Problem

Though mobile phones are banned from being imported without Type Approval, apparently it is very easy to get other gadgets.

Again we would recommend not to get big and bulky gadgets, but small ones. Even if they have wireless communication chips, they can get imported without much of a worry.

Avoid Bulk Orders

If you are ordering 5 pieces or less, then it’s probably fine. But if you’re importing them in bulk to sell them here in local markets, then it might not work.

Most of the packages you get are marked as gifts in order to avoid custom duties so if you get 100 Bluetooth speakers as ‘gifts’, it will raise suspicion.

Women’s Jewelry is the Cheapest Thing

There are so many categories of items that are available on AliExpress but we mostly end up buying electronic items from there. However, women’s jewelry is among the cheapest type of items available on AliExpress.

Compared to the local market,  you will see up to 50% discounted prices for jewelry. However, you can’t check them in person so you have to rely on the customers’ feedback and seller ratings.

Don’t be in a Hurry to Open Disputes

One thing you should always keep in mind is that honesty is the best policy. Having said that if you have an actual issue and haven’t received the product weeks after the deadline, you can open a dispute.

However first make sure that your buyer protection period is about to end. Don’t just open a dispute after 2 days or placing the order. You will always get a favorable result if you provide correct information to AliExpress. The seller will refund you even if it wasn’t its fault, so be patient.

Buy from Mobile App to Save Extra

AliExpress offers some special discounts if you make purchases from mobile app. It is always recommended to use mobile app instead of desktop version to purchase items, as you might save few dollars by just doing that.


    • Every country’s official postal service uses registered air mail services for international post with internationally defined tracking codes which start with R and any other letter, than few digits and end on country’s code. Like if it is coming from China it might be as RS123456789CN. And if it is going from Pakistan post it might be as RF123456789PK

  • agreed 100% perfect guide it will help for readers since being A3 Member i have 90% order received success ratio.

    • What should be the shipping address, do they deliver at home? or I have to go to Post office to collect. I am in lahore. What PO Box should i used. thanks

  • I am using ali express since 2012 and I already ordered 100+ items 98% orders received infact some time I get item within 10 days and even got RS: 50 worth item at door step.
    this is an local stores monopoly to do not use AliExpress.
    I always recommend order only that Items which are not available in Pakistan because some time seller ship low quality product so try to first buy that item from local market.
    Do not order large item in size and weight some time custom/post officer will ask you for extra charges (I’ve order a Sports bag and they charged me RS: 600).

    • I ordered mobile accessories two times but they did not reach Pakistan even after wait of 60-90 days. I got refund but success rate was zero. How do you get 98% success rate?

    • Majid can u please give me your email ? i need to discuss this custom thing with you in detail. I am about to receive some items that are not marked as gift. u can get in touch with me at [email protected]

    • hi,is custom duty charged on toys too?i ordered a toy that walks(battery
      operated)worth 10.69 dollars and a couple of small stuff toys?i

    • Dear Sir,
      Im very much interested to import a mobile but after reading the post and comments im afraid.
      my product it around 170-200 USD dollar. can you please guide me further on my whatsapp 03434889450. Thanks in Advance

  • I made transaction with Meezan Bank Debit card, and it worked fine…
    Only i had to activate session by calling on helpline….

    • To activate session, they charge 50Rs fee.. Can you tell me a part of it, is there any International Transaction Fee for payment or Conversation charges from PKR to DOLLAR through MEEZAN DEBIT CARD?

  • Yes, you are right woman jewelry is cheap on Aliexpress, but I ordered many times, but did not arrive, mostly Pakistan customs steals the items.
    from aliexpress I had ordered a hearing aid and jewelry, but got lost after arriving Pakistan as per tracking info then I had ordered only hearing aid which is arrived in 25 days, then I had ordered jewelry in 3 orders, but all are lost in Pakistan (as per tracking info) but thanks to the sellers they returned the money as per my opinion Aliexpress is honest but our government rules and staff who process local post and customs department are not honest and they are ruining our countries name.

    • Thanks Saqib for advising and guiding us; your feedback is really helpful. So, we should not be purchasing jewelry at all. Can we ask the Seller to mention Gift Item on the parcel…? Will it work…?

      • if you ask seller to mention as gift they do but in my case they didnot reach you can try may be you will get

  • There is no any issue with registered parcels, if u buy in bulk then u will be charged custom duty, which is paid on delivery, by Pakistan Post.

      • Every ordinery or registered package delivered by Pakistan Post, but if u select express fast shipping It will be Delivered by Armax, DHL, and some other private companies, within 7 days, after shipmnet.

          • Registered post full track record k sath hoti hy home delivery tak record hota hy is mai koi chance nahi hota gum ne ka, or non registered post cheap orders k liya hoti hy, is ka koi track record nai hota na he Pakistan post is per complain accept kerta hy.

            • to kiya normal post se anay k baad Agar ALiexpress se product 60 days me deliver na ho to kiya refund ho jata hai?

    • what if I purchase bulk quantity from aliexpress common things like school bag 2 dozen. There will be tax or duty? is someone has experience? Thanks

  • I think because of propakistani covering Aliexpress again and again, it will soon be blocked in Pakistan by the so called authorities.

  • If you can make online payment, Many Banks like HBL allows you do it with Debit card as well but as per State bank rule, you have activate International Transaction first, for HBL is opened after called bank number and remain open for 2 hours

    • Sir, could you please share your experience and let us know about all the tricks which works. Just asking, if in case we have missed something.

      Thanks in advance!

  • Well i have been purchasing form Ali Express since long & i have purchased dozen of things till now. I am a happy customer of Ali Express bcz till now i have received all the items means their delivery rate is 100%.

    • I want to order 02 very heavy items individually

      1. Optical Fiber OTDR (price $800)
      2. Optical Fusion Splicer (price $900)

      can anyone recommend ? package weight would be 8-10kg each.

    • what if I want to purchase bulk quantity from aliexpress common things like school bag 2 dozen. There will be tax or duty? is someone has experience? Thanks

  • Can we order under garments on AliExpress.com and receive it easily without any hassle from Custom?

  • After reading this guide i decided to register my self at aliexpress. I have been willing to order a few things and get them delivered here at my doorstep.
    I received an email from aliexpress in which i was asked to share my personal details. I was asked to attach a picture of my id/passport my concern here is will it be safe to send my id/passport scanned image to them? Because my registration won’t be complete if i fail to provide them with what they require which is my id/passport image. Please someone who has gone through this situation or can guide me in this matter i would be really thankful. Hoping to see someone helping me out here.
    Thankyou in advance.

  • I recently ordered Android TV Box at Ali Express and today parcel arrived at home, delivery guy showed me the custom receipt and asked me duty. Product I purchased was around 38$, and duty imposed on it cost me PKR 1050. Before this I have ordered Car Dash cam without duty.

  • i have ordered an earphone from ali express costing 2 $ almost 215 rs for me … and i have not said him to mark as a gift on it :( what about custom and posting charges on it? although that seller was offering free shipping …kindly guide me

    • What is the status of the parcel/shipment..? You can check with the seller if he/she can do something from that end.

      • what if I purchase bulk quantity from aliexpress common things like school bag 2 dozen. There will be tax or duty? is someone has experience? Thanks

  • Hello Everyone.
    Assalam Walikum.

    I ordered three items three weeks back & the first item cheapest one (2.52$) came to my doorstep & I was very happy as it was 100PKR lower than the market price.

    The second item came & the courier guy gave me a fee chalan from custom.The product original price was 5.50$ and they added 30rp Custom & 20rp repackaging caharges.

    I am currently waiting for the third item which cost 20$ & after receiving the first order I spent 60$ more & I want to know if the pack it as a gift why custom charged me ?

    Buy the way 2nd product was a tie.

    Overall experience was good.I will recommend that instead of waiting weeks for the product its better to buy from the nearbymarket.

    If its not present in the market or they cost you more than ali express then its worth waiting.:)

  • I have ordered 10 smartwatches (without sim) in two orders. 5 smart watches in each order. each order costs about $130 and the seller has not marked it as a gift. Could anyone tell me about custom duties on it please ?

  • what if I purchase bulk quantity from aliexpress common things like school bag water bottle 2 dozen. There will be tax or duty? is someone has experience? Thanks

  • can you please let me know about duties and taxes. what will be the procedure to pay all the taxes and duties involved in imported items?

  • After one time Scammed by One of the Online site i Think its not the time to do Online Purchasing In Pakistan for next couple of Years … Hope for the Best in Future !

  • Hello Sir, your post is amazing. I want to know about this what happen to me. I have been charged more than 5000 by custom officers. My products was marked as a gift and also price of items was mentioned. They played bad practice and charged me extra by specifying the worth of products.

    Please check the screenshots.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ae402453a6866738c0a13526b7ee896eddba55956a28d8136a943ce592f7287e.jpg
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4629ef415b876e26a0c64b6eba694f8d6b59974da92147c91699f906daa5061e.jpg

  • Aslamoalikum Thanks for ur information its really helpful for us Ok bro tell me i wants to buy bluetooth wireless headphones is it ok if i order it this is my first time. Thanks

  • i have paid on aliexpress using ubl wiz card and mcb lite card the message came on my mobile for transaction details but aliexpress after one day cancel the order due to security issue ???

    what can i do …… how can i transact on aliexpress

  • Is there any custom duty or something?
    IF I buy it via airmail so I’ll get it at my home in any city of Pak?

  • is it possible to get money back if our cellphone or any other item not get cleared from custom authorities?

    • Yes, but that’s against ethics. Since the seller has sent the item and its our customs making problems.

      BTW getting phone cleared from customs is easy, sometimes DHL asks extra money to handle it on their own.

      • if we are ordering $ 24 item and DHL Shipping is $17, should we go with Standard shipping? will it reach karachi?

  • hi,is custom duty charged on toys too?i ordered a toy that walks(battery operated)worth 10.69 dollars and a couple of small stuff toys?

  • hi there, can i pay through my allied band debit card for purchasing via ali express? or direct online transfer? is it really safe. please guide me

    • U have to ask ur bank first but u can either use MCB lite card or UBL wiz card for shopping from AliExpress and these transactions are safe.

      • But for that I must open a new account in new bank. Just for Aliexpress…..? :-p
        Is it safe to direct transfer from personal account?

        • Yes, Alipay is secure but paying through a debit card might be expensive. ABL can charge 500 – 1000 just for the online transaction, other than the actual charges.

  • Can someone please confirm the difference between the two delivery options:
    Pakistan via China Post Registered Air Mail and
    Pakistan via AliExpress Standard Shipping.

    @admin. Can you please share the stats on initiate a discussion to check which city has the most rejected orders.

    Thanks
    Arsalan.

  • asalam o alykum
    please koi bata sakta hai alibaba k through mai kaisay chezay pakistan mai mangwa sakta hn or door step pay mai nay chota sa on line busnis start karna hai on line plz help me

  • I pay through HBL many times but now when I tried to pay it rejects. I call the bank’s helpline and they said they blocked aliexpress payements. So HBL customer can not pay to Aliexpress now.

    • I called the hnl helpline today and the lady seemed to be a blonde, i asked her about Aliexpress payment and she was like you can use anywhere online and the maximum time limit she can allow online payments on debit card was 2 hours and this will eventually fail the payment as Aliexpress take 24 hours to verify the payments.
      Later i got this sms

      Dear Customer, starting 28th Apr 2017, your internet-based transactions will be automatically enabled on HBL DebitCard with enhanced protection of MasterCard SecureCode and Verified by Visa. For details, please call 021-111-111-425. T&Cs apply.

        • Hbl has now activated Internet banking by default so we dont need to call helpline to activate
          Place 2 order through Hbl mastercard one 15 days agao and second 2 days agao both werw successfull.

  • Hi. I want buy a 22 inch monitor cost about 700 $.. Is it work for me?? I am at karachi.
    Regard your help.

  • Hi,

    I am ordering first time from Ali Express to Pakistan Islamabad.

    Please tell me do I need to get a post box in Islamabad Post Office so I can pick up from the post office or I can simply put my address and the parcel will arrive at my door step?

    Thank you.
    Waqas Zafar

  • Hi,
    I want to buy Asus Zen Fone 3 from Ali Express … it’s common brand in Pakistan but price of that mobile is bit high in local market thats y I decide to buy from AliExpress Please let me know is there any custom duty for that phone or it will be free of cost?

  • I want to purchase panaflex printing machine from China . Is Ali express be right choice for buying said machine ?

  • Pakistan is the only country that doesn’t allow some things on aliexpress or other online stores. While the others countries allows everything. This is because the checking system of Pakistan is poor. The security is poor. People of custom don’t want to check deeply everything comes in to Pakistan even its their duty or not. Pakistan will be the only reason of Apocalypse.

  • now you can use your Easy Paisa Virtual Debit Card… its the best for online shopping everywhere where master card is accepted… tested…. google it..

  • I have used MCB Lite card and it always works. even got refunded by a seller. mostly small items are delivered i have also ordered a jacket but with extra shipping cost and it arrived within 15 days. The only thing from buyer’s side is to wait until the order is arrived.

  • what if i order a laptop from hp website, will i have to pay any kind of more fee i.e. custom duty, WHT or else as the product price exceeds 100K, and how it will be delivered to me,
    do i have take its clearance from Custom & Excise Dept ?
    or it will be delivered at my door by the company ?

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