AliExpress: What is it, how does it work, and is it safe?

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Posted 17th Oct
Please note: This is our first attempt at pulling together the key info on shopping on a Chinese retailer like AliExpress — as such we really want all your feedback on anything extra you'd like to know, your experiences with AliExpress, and (hopefully not) any mistakes we’ve made...

Buying items from a new site you've not heard of before can be daunting — but increasingly some of the hottest deals we're seeing are from Chinese retailers such as AliExpress.

So we've pulled together this guide to help you decide whether to click the mouse on that checkout basket. It covers whether it is safe to use, how delivery and customs costs work, and how to get the best bargains.

So, what exactly is AliExpress?

AliExpress is an online retailer based in China, owned by the Alibaba Group (which is sort of like the Chinese eBay). Launched in 2010, it sells products from small and medium businesses in China and other locations, such as Singapore, to international online buyers.

AliExpress is different to Amazon, because it only acts as a platform for third-party sellers to use, and does not sell its own stock directly to customers.

Interestingly, customers in China can’t buy from AliExpress themselves. Instead, different platforms operate in China such as Taobao (also owned by AliBaba Group) which is the world’s biggest e-commerce website.


Is AliExpress safe?

This question is probably best split into two halves — will your payment be secure, and are the products that are sold safe?

On the first, provided you pay via credit card then all should be good. The AliExpress website itself is secure, and there were any serious problems like fraud then your card provider should step in to help out. Paypal provides some similar protections, but many sellers don’t accept it as a payment method, or they do but charge you a percentage to use it.

AliExpress also has its own buyer protection in place. This isn’t legally binding protection, so factor that in, but it says that if an item doesn’t turn up within the ‘expected delivery time’ (which is fairly long due to products shipping from China), or arrives but is not as described then you should be able to get a no-questions-asked refund. Let us know in the comments if you’ve ever had any problems getting AliExpress to honour this guarantee.

In terms of the products themselves, the key thing to know is that they may not meet EU regulations, which can be pretty stringent in categories such as toys, electronics, beauty products. This is simply because they are not being sold within the EU itself. The regulations differ hugely by different type of product, but often set a minimum safety level — so here there is no guarantee they are met.


How long does delivery take?

A very general and rough rule would be… this isn’t the place to buy last minute gifts for a loved one! These items are coming all the way from China, and often from small-ish retailers, so there can be quite a wait. But if you’re not in a rush, many people will find that the rock bottom prices make this a minor annoyance.

However, there is some degree of certainty. Each item on the site states an estimated delivery time, often stated as a (pretty wide) range such as ‘delivered within 20-40 days’, or a latest date it will arrive by. The AliExpress buyer protection states that if your product isn’t received within the guaranteed delivery time.

If the order doesn't arrive within the seller's guaranteed delivery time, you can submit a refund request up to 15 days after the order was supposed to arrive. So make a note and set a reminder for the date the item is supposed to be delivered by, and if the item hasn’t turned up you can open a dispute in the order details page (annoyingly, you can only open one dispute per order).


Will I pay taxes and import duty?


If you buy an item and it is less than £15, it is unlikely to incur VAT or import duty. That is why AliExpress is good for small cheap items, if you are happy to wait for them a bit longer than other sellers.

If the order comes to more than £15, then you may have to pay 20% extra in VAT. However, VAT is 20% of the whole package value, not just those items over £15, and will be charged on any products from outside of the EU. So if you buy 10 charger cables for £1, and a power bank for £20, for example, then you will pay VAT on all of the items in the package — so 20% of £30 (or £6).

Then, if the item has a value of more than £135, you’ll need to pay custom charges — and unhelpfully, the amount you pay depends on LOADS of factors, including what the item is, where it comes from and its value. On average, this should be around 7-9%, but we would suggest that for a rough rule of thumb, you should budget for this to cost up to 20% of the item’s cost.

Royal Mail will charge you an additional £8 for a customs charge-handling fee, and other couriers have varying fees. This will only need to be paid if there is a customs charge.


What’s the best way to pay?

As mentioned above, for safety it is best to pay using a credit card. Certainly, just like if you were buying from a website you weren’t sure about in the UK, never use bank transfer or other payment systems you are not familiar with.

The other thing to consider is whether to pay in US Dollars (which is the default) or Pounds. Provided you use one of the best fee-free cards for spending overseas, then the dollar option should work out cheapest as AliExpress does the currency conversion itself, and doesn’t always use the best rate.

You can select the currency you pay in (as well as which country you are in) by toggling the option at the very top right corner of the website (next to Language)


Can I get a refund for items bought from AliExpress?

When shopping online, the right to return an item is pretty crucial — whether because the wrong item has been sent, it is damaged or not as described, or just because you have changed your mind (eg, an unwanted gift).

Even though here items are coming from - and need to be returned to - China, AliExpress’s policy under its Buyer Protection policy is that you can return any item provided it is either faulty, unopened, counterfeit or if it doesn’t arrive at all. There may be some retailers who don’t stick to this though - please let us know in the comments if you have had any problems.

However, exactly how this works, and whether there is a cost to you, depends on what policy each retailer uses.

First, check if you can return for free

Some retailers are taking part in AliExpress’s Free Returns trial scheme in the UK - it’ll say this under the red Buy Now button:


3310660.jpg
If so, you have 15 days after receiving the goods to decide whether you want to return them. To do so, simply print off and fill out the returns form and take the item to a post office. The goods must be in perfect condition and in the packaging they came in, and the free returns scheme excludes anything over £1,000 as well as products such as mobile phones, underwear, food and customised merchandise.


No free returns? You can return but you’ll need to pay

With other merchants not using the free returns scheme, the old rules apply. Which means you’ll need to contact the seller to find out how they can help you further and if they will accept your return. You have 15 days after delivery to decide if you want the goods under the Buyer Protection policy, and a two-year manufacturing warranty should your item be faulty.

If the seller accepts your return, then package it securely with the returns address on, take it to the post office and pay for return delivery costs (unfortunately there is no way around this if the seller is not part of the Free Returns scheme) to receive a shipping number. Then, add this number to the dispute and when AliExpress receive the return, you will get a refund.

If you are unhappy with the seller’s answer, you’ll need to raise a dispute with them via AliExpress. To do this, sign in to My Orders, and select Open Dispute. Note that you must do this before your Buyer Protection time has run out. If the seller agrees to the refund request, or does not respond within 5 days, the refund will be processed by AliExpress.

If for any reason, you are unsatisfied with the result of your dispute or the Case Management Team have closed the dispute, you can raise an Appeal within 7 days of receiving your answer, or the case closing.


Are products sold on AliExpress real or genuine?

Be aware that fakes and counterfeit products are produced in vast quantities in China and so some can and will slip through the net, so it may be worth buying only unbranded products. Use your common sense when buying something. If an item is marked down to only a fraction of the normal retail cost (fashion labels, for example) then it is probably fake.

However, AliExpress says it has a ‘Guaranteed Genuine’ policy, and says you’ll get a full refund (including shipping costs) if you receive a counterfeit product.




How to shop smart on AliExpress

AliExpress feels overwhelming at first, because they sell EVERYTHING. You can buy electronics, kitchenware, fashion, home appliances, and so on. You can even buy unusual niche products like fishing accessories and paintball gun parts. The only thing it doesn’t sell are perishables like food.

The best way to get to grips with it is by knowing what sort of thing you want, otherwise you risk getting lost in the seemingly infinite options online. Plus, you might spend a fortune on stuff you neither want or need — a bit like Amazon but cheaper and with hilarious grammatically-suspect descriptions.

One really appealing feature is the wide availability of either free or very cheap shipping to international buyers.

In terms of what you can buy, some of the best known Chinese brands are for sale on AliExpress. For example, you can find lots of products from Huawei, OneTen, Xiaomi, Asus, and IceBear. They have a dedicated page for big Chinese brands — The Brand Zone — most of which will have features similar to famous western brands.

All of the best AliExpress deals found by our users can be found on the dedicated AliExpress on hotukdeals page.


Using AliExpress coupon codes - there are loads of them!

The coupon system is both relatively straightforward and absolutely prolific. A huge number of items allow you to save further by applying coupon discounts.

And these discounts are easy to spot. On a product page they look like this...

3310660.jpg

This is where you see which coupon is being applied at the checkout screen

3310660.jpg

There are also various places on the site you can go to check the different offers that are available at any given time - such as the New User Zone or the Coupon Center for existing users - where they display like this:.


3310660.jpg

Extra features in the AliExpress app

The AliExpress app, much like any other shopping app, is phone- and tablet-friendly with all the features found on the website. Search, Flash Deals and Freebies are all there, plus a few cool extras.

  • Use your camera to take an image of a desired item and the app searches through literally millions of products to find a similar match.
  • The feed, which recommends products similar to those you have bought previously, or searched for, or even liked.
  • The message feature is akin to Facebook’s Messenger but with customer service in mind rather than a chat with friends. You can find out about orders, promos you might be interested in, and trends among the community.
  • Amusing gamification features, like the app-exclusive coins you can use to either play basic ‘games’ — Lucky Forest, Bubble Challenge and Flip ‘n’ Win — for coupons, discounts and more coins, or alternatively you can convert the coins directly into coupons to get discounts on purchases.

    You can get free coins by clicking on the Coins & Coupons tab, which increases the free coins daily (one on day 1, two on day 2, and so on until day 8 when you get 16). But you can also gain coins by completing daily tasks, such as liking a feed post or using the image search, for example.
You can download AliExpress on iOS or Android.




So, there we have it! Hopefully this thread has served as a useful resource, and you can venture out into ALiExpress with a renewed confidence, and maybe pick up some cracking bargains along the way.

Got any tips or suggestions? We'd love to hear them. Drop us a comment below

See: All AliExpress Deals
Community Updates
Top comments
Blimey! How much are aliexpress paying hotukdeals?

Rename this site to hotalideals.com?
jamie1512/11/2019 01:48

TLDR: AliExpress is Chinese eBay but cheaper, with potential customs fees …TLDR: AliExpress is Chinese eBay but cheaper, with potential customs fees and long delivery.


This is what confuses me as generally lots of eBay deals get pulled as unsuitable for this site. Not enough feedback too small a seller and so on

Yet AliExpress deals are allowed even though there is surely greater risks of scams, fake products, and of course the customs fee and taking forever to arrive if they even do arrive.
Edited by: "myusernamehasgone234" 12th Nov
Genuine question to the mods (although its more rhetorical, I think I know the answer) - how come deals via aliexpress - a non UK marketplace with non UK sellers who do not need to abide by UK consumer law and in many cases openly flout it are allowed, but non UK sellers on amazon where the item is UK stocked, fulfilled by amazon and therefore have protection under UK law are not?
Edited by: "jaydeeuk1" 12th Nov
50 Comments
Did anyone proofread this before it was posted? There's a bunch of weird grammatical errors, redundant statements, contradiction and factual inaccuracy
phox11/11/2019 18:29

Did anyone proofread this before it was posted? There's a bunch of weird …Did anyone proofread this before it was posted? There's a bunch of weird grammatical errors, redundant statements, contradiction and factual inaccuracy


Hi. Yep we did, but as mentioned it's a first bash - we wanted to get something out for Singles Day

Please do let us know anything in here that you don't think is right - we want to add to it and improve it as time goes on. And I'll take another look through for grammar etc shortly.
Edited by: "Planty720" 11th Nov
Useful guide, there's always questions on here. I'd say I spend more on aliexpress than any other single site these days.

Ive placed hundred of orders for thousands of pounds and rarely have an issue, any issues I do occasionally have their support has always sorted it.
Edited by: "dcx_badass" 11th Nov
TLDR: AliExpress is Chinese eBay but cheaper, with potential customs fees and long delivery.
Blimey! How much are aliexpress paying hotukdeals?

Rename this site to hotalideals.com?
jamie1512/11/2019 01:48

TLDR: AliExpress is Chinese eBay but cheaper, with potential customs fees …TLDR: AliExpress is Chinese eBay but cheaper, with potential customs fees and long delivery.


This is what confuses me as generally lots of eBay deals get pulled as unsuitable for this site. Not enough feedback too small a seller and so on

Yet AliExpress deals are allowed even though there is surely greater risks of scams, fake products, and of course the customs fee and taking forever to arrive if they even do arrive.
Edited by: "myusernamehasgone234" 12th Nov
matt345412/11/2019 07:27

Blimey! How much are aliexpress paying hotukdeals?Rename this site to …Blimey! How much are aliexpress paying hotukdeals?Rename this site to hotalideals.com?


There were a lot of deals from Chinese retailers yesterday as it was Singles Day, the huge shopping event in China.

Lots of members post deals from AliExpress, so we wrote this to help explain the pros and cons, as we know lots is site users have never bought from China before and don't know how it works.
myusernamehasgone23412/11/2019 07:33

This is what confuses me as generally lots of eBay deals get pulled as …This is what confuses me as generally lots of eBay deals get pulled as unsuitable for this site. Not enough feedback too small a seller and so onYet AliExpress deals are allowed even though there is surely greater risks of scams, fake products, and of course the customs fee and taking forever to arrive if they even do arrive.


The aim of this guide is to help explain all the things you mention, and allow people to make an informed decision whether to buy.

We now allow non-UK Amazon sellers with good feedback who use Fulfilled by Amazon, as the protections there are similar to this.
myusernamehasgone23412/11/2019 07:33

This is what confuses me as generally lots of eBay deals get pulled as …This is what confuses me as generally lots of eBay deals get pulled as unsuitable for this site. Not enough feedback too small a seller and so onYet AliExpress deals are allowed even though there is surely greater risks of scams, fake products, and of course the customs fee and taking forever to arrive if they even do arrive.


To be honest, I think AliExpress is a bit better. Not just anyone can set up a store, you have to be a registered business and pay an annual fee. Though low feedback deals should still not be allowed it's not as bad.
myusernamehasgone23412/11/2019 07:33

This is what confuses me as generally lots of eBay deals get pulled as …This is what confuses me as generally lots of eBay deals get pulled as unsuitable for this site. Not enough feedback too small a seller and so onYet AliExpress deals are allowed even though there is surely greater risks of scams, fake products, and of course the customs fee and taking forever to arrive if they even do arrive.



jamie1512/11/2019 08:10

To be honest, I think AliExpress is a bit better. Not just anyone can set …To be honest, I think AliExpress is a bit better. Not just anyone can set up a store, you have to be a registered business and pay an annual fee. Though low feedback deals should still not be allowed it's not as bad.




We do actually have some minimum guidelines in place to ensure sellers from AliExpress featured on the site are established. If you spot any posts that may be of concern, please let the team know and we will look into it.
msmyth12/11/2019 10:30

We do actually have some minimum guidelines in place to ensure sellers …We do actually have some minimum guidelines in place to ensure sellers from AliExpress featured on the site are established. If you spot any posts that may be of concern, please let the team know and we will look into it.


To be honest I pretty much ignore all deals from AliExpress.

It’s not my thing. The trainers they sell are fakes, and the long shipping and customs lottery is not my cup of tea.

38964670-IOw8K.jpg38964670-Y1h0j.jpg
Edited by: "myusernamehasgone234" 12th Nov
Genuine question to the mods (although its more rhetorical, I think I know the answer) - how come deals via aliexpress - a non UK marketplace with non UK sellers who do not need to abide by UK consumer law and in many cases openly flout it are allowed, but non UK sellers on amazon where the item is UK stocked, fulfilled by amazon and therefore have protection under UK law are not?
Edited by: "jaydeeuk1" 12th Nov
I actually find it strange the site is allowed when it is clearly promoting illegal activity in the form of counterfeit good like this.

No way are any of those Nike trainers the real deal.
jaydeeuk112/11/2019 10:40

Genuine question to the mods (although its more rhetorical, I think I know …Genuine question to the mods (although its more rhetorical, I think I know the answer) - how come deals via aliexpress - a non UK marketplace with non UK sellers who do not need to abide by UK consumer law and in many cases openly flout it are allowed, but non UK sellers on amazon where the item is UK stocked, fulfilled by amazon and therefore have protection under UK law are not?


Hi,

We recently changed the rules on non-UK Amazon sellers - see hotukdeals.com/dis…175

Thanks
Dan
myusernamehasgone23412/11/2019 10:40

I actually find it strange the site is allowed when it is clearly …I actually find it strange the site is allowed when it is clearly promoting illegal activity in the form of counterfeit good like this.No way are any of those Nike trainers the real deal.


Again, this is covered in the guide - but we would love feedback if people have experiences that don't tally with what's in there ie, AliExpress tell us all counterfeit goods will receive free refund

We created this guide because members post AE deals all the time - and editors do too as we see good ones - and they often go very hot, so we want people to be more informed.
Planty72012/11/2019 10:48

Again, this is covered in the guide - but we would love feedback if people …Again, this is covered in the guide - but we would love feedback if people have experiences that don't tally with what's in there ie, AliExpress tell us all counterfeit goods will receive free refundWe created this guide because members post AE deals all the time - and editors do too as we see good ones - and they often go very hot, so we want people to be more informed.


Come on every pair of Nike trainers on there are Fake.

Doesn’t matter if you get a refund or not you are turning a blind eye to something that is illegal.

Don’t make it right if you get your money back and some knock off nigel trainers for free.

Are products sold on AliExpress real or genuine?

Be aware that fakes and counterfeit products are produced in vast quantities in China and so some can and will slip through the net, so it may be worth buying only unbranded products. Use your common sense when buying something. If an item is marked down to only a fraction of the normal retail cost (fashion labels, for example) then it is probably fake.

However, AliExpress says it has a ‘Guaranteed Genuine’ policy, and says you’ll get a full refund (including shipping costs) if you receive a counterfeit product.
Planty72012/11/2019 10:46

Hi,We recently changed the rules on non-UK Amazon sellers - see …Hi,We recently changed the rules on non-UK Amazon sellers - see https://www.hotukdeals.com/discussions/reintroduction-of-non-uk-amazon-marketplace-sellers-fulfilled-by-amazon-to-hotukdeals-3302175Thanks Dan


Still doesn't answer why the likes of aliexpress are allowed where the item isn't even located in the UK, let alone requires 95% feedback, and the item is likely to be fake, and you have zero comeback and are at the mercy of aliexpress policy.
Planty72012/11/2019 10:48

Again, this is covered in the guide - but we would love feedback if people …Again, this is covered in the guide - but we would love feedback if people have experiences that don't tally with what's in there ie, AliExpress tell us all counterfeit goods will receive free refundWe created this guide because members post AE deals all the time - and editors do too as we see good ones - and they often go very hot, so we want people to be more informed.





By continuing to allow the deals, it lulls consumers in to a false sense of security that the site must be safe to use as it appears on HUKD’s who only allow trusted retailers.
myusernamehasgone23412/11/2019 10:40

I actually find it strange the site is allowed when it is clearly …I actually find it strange the site is allowed when it is clearly promoting illegal activity in the form of counterfeit good like this.No way are any of those Nike trainers the real deal.


If you go looking for fakes, 99% of the time you will find them. Amazon sellers as well as eBay sellers also have been found to be selling fakes, that doesn't mean we outright ban the platform.

Thats why the guidelines are in place, not only for AliExpress, but also for Amazon as well as eBay. As I said previously, we have minimum guidelines in place to protect members, and by adding this guide, we hopefully enable you with information to help make informed buying decisions, because beyond the possible items of concern, there are genuine bargains to be found.
Edited by: "msmyth" 12th Nov
jaydeeuk112/11/2019 10:58

Still doesn't answer why the likes of aliexpress are allowed where the …Still doesn't answer why the likes of aliexpress are allowed where the item isn't even located in the UK, let alone requires 95% feedback, and the item is likely to be fake, and you have zero comeback and are at the mercy of aliexpress policy.


Because this HUKD’s will be receiving substantial amounts of money from people purchasing theses deal from AliExpress. They get nothing from Amazon
msmyth12/11/2019 11:06

If you go looking for fakes, 99% of the time you will find them. Amazon …If you go looking for fakes, 99% of the time you will find them. Amazon sellers as well as eBay sellers also have been found to be selling fakes, that doesn't mean we outright ban the platform.Thats why the guidelines are in place, not only for AliExpress, but also for Amazon as well as eBay. As I said previously, we have minimum guidelines in place to protect members, and by adding this guide, we hopefully enable you with information to help make informed buying decisions, because beyond the possible items of concern, there are genuine bargains to be found.


By continuing to allow the deals, it lulls consumers in to a false sense of security that the site must be safe to use as it appears on HUKD’s who only allow trusted retailers.

If I type Nike into AliExpress every single trainer is fake. I’m not looking for fakes I’m looking for trainers.

If I put Nike into Ebay or Amazon there will be plenty genuine Nikes and perhaps a handful of fakes.

It’s very different.
You forget that not everyone is consumer savvy.

I posted a deal once for some Nike Air Max 90 for around £60 and some guy popped along saying he been getting his for years for £50 off AliExpress.

Myself and few others informed him it wasn’t a fair comparison as his were fakes.

He was adamant they weren’tfakes and the genuine real deal.

Even posting a photo for us of what were some clearly very fake Nike trainers and he was genuinely shocked when we informed of the bad news he’s been buying fakes for years.
Edited by: "myusernamehasgone234" 12th Nov
myusernamehasgone23412/11/2019 11:09

By continuing to allow the deals, it lulls consumers in to a false sense …By continuing to allow the deals, it lulls consumers in to a false sense of security that the site must be safe to use as it appears on HUKD’s who only allow trusted retailers.If I type Nike into AliExpress every single trainer is fake. I’m not looking for fakes I’m looking for trainers.If I put Nike into Ebay or Amazon there will be plenty genuine Nikes and perhaps a handful of fakes.It’s very different.


If you searched on eBay for an Apple lightning charging cable, the majority of cables are not genuine, with a handful of genuine cables. Not to mention the bait and switch of item location when businesses are located in China, and actively try to hide this.

You are right, it is different, dependent on the product and scenario given. This is why this information is useful, to help members like you make informed decisions. The guide is a starting point and I'm happy to add something you may feel is useful or a topic that needs more attention.

As I said previously, we have guidelines in place for sellers posted on hotukdeals. If you feel that there is a reason for concern, let the team know and we will be happy to look into it
Edited by moderator: "Typo" 15th Nov
msmyth12/11/2019 11:15

If you searched on eBay for an Apple lightning charging cable, the …If you searched on eBay for an Apple lightning charging cable, the majority of cables are not genuine, with a handful of genuine cables. Not to mention the bait and switch of item location when businesses are located in China, and actively try to hide this.You are right, it is different, dependant on the product and scenario given. This is why this information is useful, to help members like you make informed decisions. The guide is a starting point and I'm happy to add something you may feel is useful or a topic that needs more attention.As I said previously, we have guidelines in place for sellers posted on hotukdeals. If you feel that there is a reason for concern, let the team know and we will be happy to look into it


I can only do trainer analogies @msmyth

I see your point though ban them both
myusernamehasgone23412/11/2019 11:19

I can only do trainer analogies @msmyth I see your point though ban them …I can only do trainer analogies @msmyth I see your point though ban them both


myusernamehasgone23412/11/2019 11:19

I can only do trainer analogies @msmyth I see your point though ban them …I can only do trainer analogies @msmyth I see your point though ban them both


I know this is tongue-in-cheek, but it leads nicely into what I think is the main point here. We want hotukdeals to be the place where people - long-term members, occasional posters and browsers, and total newbies - come to find the best deals available from all over the internet (and in stores!). Everything we do is aimed at this, and there will often be decisions we need to take that are a delicate balance, and many will (and do! :)) disagree.

AliExpress is popular - on here, and in general. People buy from it, the prices are great, but there are legitimate reasons to have concerns. So our solution here is to be careful when doing our own editor research about it, delete obvious counterfeit products (please report if you see them), and now produce these guidelines to help people make up their own minds.

Similar with Amazon marketplace - there are some great sellers/products, and some not-so great ones. We have tried to set the rules and operate moderation to maximise the good and minimise the bad. We hope this works mostly, but we may make mistakes, or need to update the rules.

We could just ban both, or at least be way more draconian in what we allow, but we think that would be worse for our overall aim of being the best place online to find the best deals.
Been shopping on Ali express for a few years now. There have been instances where an item has been delayed or has not turned up or not as described. I have always gotten a refund or agreed part refund. So in terms of protection, I am satisfied. Not had any bad experiences from shopping with them.
Edited by: "waxsta" 12th Nov
I've said this on watch forums and people have generally been disbelieving, but I wonder if customer service varies depending on how valuable a customer you are to Aliexpress.

I usually buy small fry stuff like phone cases or screen protectors, so I definitely don't spend big bucks. But when I've had things like, not receiving an item, or most recently, a smashed screen protector (the seller gave me a few pennies' refund and I wondered where the rest went - so went on Live Chat!).

Aliexpress Live Chat is a frustrating experience in itself - a limited character count so you have to tell your story in short bursts - editing all the way as it won't let you submit under XX characters, to a person who doesn't have a great grasp of English, saying they'll email back.

Twice this has happened now, no emails, no escalation. I've only been a few £ out of pocket but it doesn't give me faith that they'll help me when large purchases go wrong.

I always submit pictures when I have a complaint, no matter where I buy from online, so I have plenty of proof. Personally I think Aliexpress need to improve customer service/protection for ALL customers.

It's not just me, my sister has had similar experiences - though she's spent much more than I have (formal wear dresses, handbags, the lot).
Edited by: "louiselouise" 12th Nov
louiselouise12/11/2019 12:21

I've said this on watch forums and people have generally been …I've said this on watch forums and people have generally been disbelieving, but I wonder if customer service varies depending on how valuable a customer you are with Ali.I usually buy small fry stuff like phone cases or screen protectors, so I definitely don't spend big bucks. But when I've had things like, not receiving an item, or most recently, a smashed screen protector (the seller gave me a few pennies' refund and I wondered where the rest went - so went on Live Chat!).Aliexpress Live Chat is a frustrating experience in itself - a limited character count so you have to tell your story in short bursts - editing all the way as it won't let you submit under XX characters, to a person who doesn't have a great grasp of English, saying they'll email back).Twice this has happened now, no emails, no escalation. I've only been a few £ out of pocket but it doesn't give me faith that they'll help me when large purchases go wrong.I always submit pictures when I have a complaint, no matter where I buy from online, so I have plenty of proof.


I’ve only ever bought bits of cheap tat from China and issues like non arrival, poor quality, broken items and had a nightmare obtaining refunds.
I couldn't for one second imagine buying anything remotely valuable like some of deals posted on here.

I know many in here say they buy all the time and never have any issues but I feel sorry for the poor folk who do have issues and it’s likely to be a quite few.
As for counterfeit items on Aliexpress, let's not kid ourselves, they do exist and they're not hard to find.

I know people who buy counterfeit trainers and handbags from there (fully knowing they're not authentic, but would someone who isn't very internet-savvy know?). Generally they look pretty good but there are little "tells" if you know what you're looking for, close-up.

There was a recent thread on Watchuseek about homage versus counterfeit (specifically on Aliexpress). Obviously WUS forum doesn't allow promotion of counterfeit items at all, but "inspired by" or "sterile dial" (unbranded) watches are okay by me - they're not pretending to be something they're not.

Fake Rolex, Cartier, Omega etc are alllll over Ali (usually you have to message the seller first to confirm).
When buying a Xiaomi phone, does the phone come with a 2 pin or 3 pin charger?
shoaib1234113/11/2019 09:38

When buying a Xiaomi phone, does the phone come with a 2 pin or 3 pin …When buying a Xiaomi phone, does the phone come with a 2 pin or 3 pin charger?


No hard and fast answer on this - but it will usually say on the product page eg 'comes with EU plus' or 'comes with UK plug'
Planty72013/11/2019 10:37

No hard and fast answer on this - but it will usually say on the product …No hard and fast answer on this - but it will usually say on the product page eg 'comes with EU plus' or 'comes with UK plug'


Ok, cheers
myusernamehasgone23412/11/2019 07:33

This is what confuses me as generally lots of eBay deals get pulled as …This is what confuses me as generally lots of eBay deals get pulled as unsuitable for this site. Not enough feedback too small a seller and so onYet AliExpress deals are allowed even though there is surely greater risks of scams, fake products, and of course the customs fee and taking forever to arrive if they even do arrive.


There are rules in place for AliE too — over 95% positive reviews and more than a year trading.
myusernamehasgone23412/11/2019 11:14

You forget that not everyone is consumer savvy.I posted a deal once for …You forget that not everyone is consumer savvy.I posted a deal once for some Nike Air Max 90 for around £60 and some guy popped along saying he been getting his for years for £50 off AliExpress.Myself and few others informed him it wasn’t a fair comparison as his were fakes.He was adamant they weren’tfakes and the genuine real deal. Even posting a photo for us of what were some clearly very fake Nike trainers and he was genuinely shocked when we informed of the bad news he’s been buying fakes for years.


Nike have an 'official store' on there, and the trainers certainly look like the real deal. Probably just factory outlet stock, as they are often manufactured in China or Vietnam and finished off in the US - with tags being applied there, etc.
matt345412/11/2019 07:27

Blimey! How much are aliexpress paying hotukdeals?Rename this site to …Blimey! How much are aliexpress paying hotukdeals?Rename this site to hotalideals.com?


It is just a thread to let you know how it works, why wouldn't you want to know these things? It is objective, it doesn't laud AliExpress as a go-to site, so doesn't really act as a promotion.
phox11/11/2019 18:29

Did anyone proofread this before it was posted? There's a bunch of weird …Did anyone proofread this before it was posted? There's a bunch of weird grammatical errors, redundant statements, contradiction and factual inaccuracy


Can you point out these errors and inaccuracies, rather than just shooting and running. I would appreciate the feedback. Thanks.
Thanks for this information. I've always avoided using aliexpress as I didn't understand the shipping and custom charges. It explained everything, thank you.
Akira_Cat15/11/2019 10:25

It is just a thread to let you know how it works, why wouldn't you want to …It is just a thread to let you know how it works, why wouldn't you want to know these things? It is objective, it doesn't laud AliExpress as a go-to site, so doesn't really act as a promotion. Can you point out these errors and inaccuracies, rather than just shooting and running. I would appreciate the feedback. Thanks.


I tried but the HUKD app keeps force-closing on me.
I think I would like it split into two parts, one for buyers of products and one for people looking for deals there to post here. I had no idea that they didn't sell any products themselves directly. I often get confused with the reqwuirements for a seller to be accepted here.
I also think regarding import charges that the slowest mail USUALLY doesn't attract import duties etc.
I bought a watch. It didn't arrive. Opened case. Tracking says it's been signed for. Wtf. And I lose the case
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