AliExpress, a subsidiary of AliBaba, is the number one online retailer in the world. It’s popular because you can get everything at wholesale rates through the website.
The largest shopping event by AliExpress is 11.11 or Single’s Day. Last year, it generated $14.3 billion in reveue and it’s expected to do even better this year.
Starting tomorrow, you can get huge discounts on a wide variety of products. Here’s a guide on how you can get started and get the best shopping experience.
Not everything on AliExpress is going at discounted prices. You have to look for a red 11.11 badge before a product’s title. Only items which have that in the title are going for lesser prices.
The sale will go live on 11th November. If you are using the mobile app, click on the product to view what its price would be on the day of the sale.
AliExpress also offers coupons you can use to get items at cheaper prices. You can also choose Rupeeco to get a 7% discount on items which aren’t a part of the sale.
Seller and Product Ratings
AliExpress actually comprises of thousands of sellers who have these mini online stores at AliExpress. Before buying, take a look at the seller’s Feedback Rating. If it is lower than 95%, leave the seller as it might be a risky doing business with such a seller or you might have trouble with refunds.
Another thing to look out for are Product Ratings. When customers buy products from a store, they can leave feedback in the form of comments, ratings and pictures. It’s best to go through the user feedback to get a real life view of the products and get an idea of the quality of the product and the seller’s relation with customers.
At the very least you should prefer to order a product which already has several orders.
If the whole process of checking seller history and what not seems too much of a hassle, there is a browser extension by the name of AliTools which can help you with this.
The extension notifies you when prices drop for certain items and also adds them to you Favourites. You can also check your Favourites’ price variation or any other product’s complete price history. This helps a lot when sellers increase prices before the sale, just to offer a discount and sell at the same price.
AliTools also helps you assess the seller’s rating. It can automatically analyze user feedback and the seller’s history on AliExpress to give you a quick glance overview of the seller’s trustworthiness.
The extension is available for Chrome, Opera and Yandex browsers and can be downloaded from here.
AliExpress has a pretty nice buyer safety setup which is the main reason for its popularity. Your parcel is lost, you get full refund when the purchase protection time is about to end. Item is defective or different, you can get a partial refund at the very least.
The process is simple, you need to open a dispute if the purchase protection time is about to end or you got a defective item. As a courtesy, you can ask the seller if they wish to resend the item or not. However, do not open disputes too early, it would only go against you. Also, mention complete details regarding your problem, attach screenshots of the order page if the item is defective or screenshot of the delivery information if you haven’t received your product.
It does take a couple of weeks but eventually you will get a refund.
Always prefer to order through “Registered Air Mail” options. Such packages are tracked throughout their journey and you stay updated with where your package has reached. Additionally, it can ease out in the refund process if you don’t get your package.
Some sellers offer free shipping through “Registered Air Mail”, look for them, or pay a little for the shipping because you are already getting your item at a discounted price on the sale.
If you remember, majority of the items ordered from AliExpress get lost at Customs Office in Karachi or when they reach the post office. When it is a Registered Air Mail, corrupt officials won’t be able to get their hands on your stuff.
Items Not to Order
You can get Smartphones at cheap prices from AliExpress. However, ordering a phone means a lot of hassle and more often than not, you won’t get one because you’ll have to go through a painful process and get an NOC from PTA. More often than not, you won’t be able to get your phone (from an unknown brand) through the Type Approval phase, especially if it’s a Xiaomi. However, you can order tablets and other stuff which only use WiFi and Bluetooth.
You shouldn’t order delicate items from AliExpress. While the sellers package stuff really good, Pakistan Railway messes up everything. Take a look here if you want to know more about what happens to your delicate stuff.
Do not order large items too. Large packages often end up being broken or being stopped at customs, which as you know, starts a painfully tedious process.
Also, be aware not to order dozens of the same product. AliExpress products are often marked as gifts. If you plan on selling these items, you will get noticed as nobody gets hundreds of packages as ‘gifts’.
Always read item description. Often times, sellers are selling multiple items under the same product title. You should read it in detail to know what you are getting. Also look for a “Guaranteed Genuine” badge in the description since a product title with “Authentic” or “Original” doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the original thing.
If there’s anything else we didn’t mention, sound off in the comments below to help your fellow citizens.