AliExpress Shopping Secrets. How to Get the Best Deals from AliExpress
If you have recently discovered AliExpress and want to try it, read this article first. We will talk about how to find great products, trustworthy sellers, payment options, buyer protection guarantees, solving disputes, and many other useful tips.
What is AliExpress?
AliExpress is a part of Alibaba online marketplace, which recently surpassed Amazon and Walmart and became the largest online store in the world. It is based in China, but is becoming popular worldwide. Trying something totally new with the reputation of China products can be intimidating at first, and understandably so. However, those fears are often baseless, because AliExpress can be as safe as Amazon or eBay, with a bit of knowledge.
AliExpress is not a store, but a platform where third-party sellers offer their merchandise, kind of like eBay. The main of function of AliExpress is to control the seller and protect the buyer. AliExpress is extremely strict with its sellers and will punish unethical ones right away by reducing the rating or closing the store down completely.
How can you tell if the seller is good?
Before you pay any money for any merchandise, do some research about the seller. The first thing to look for is the evaluation that AliExpress has given the store. On the top right corner of the page you will see medals, diamonds, or crowns. Crowns signify the best reputation that comes from three categories: items as described, communication, and shipping speed. Above average scores will be green, below – red. Stay away from red.
The second thing to check is the customer review section. People talk about the quality of the product and the customer service experience. You will be able to get a pretty good idea about shipping speed and package size. Stores with below 90% customer rating are usually not worthy of your trust.
One more thing to look at is the amount of previous customers. If the store has a lot of loyal and happy customers, it’s probably worth your money. If the store has two wonderful reviews and 3 previous customers, you might want to try somebody else.
If you have any doubts prior to purchase, try to write to the seller and ask as many questions as you like. This will help you feel more confident about the investment. There is no reason to be afraid to ask and the sky is the limit when it comes to the kinds of questions you might want to get answers to.
Original brands vs replica
Just like with every online purchase, it might be hard to separate an original from a replica. This requires a clarification that most branded products we buy in US are made in China, so there goes replica debate.
If you are set on finding 100% original brand, there are some things to think about. First of all, it’s the price. If you find something that is too cheap to be true, it is probably not true. You shouldn’t expect to buy $10 iPhone anywhere. If the price is similar to other major stores for the same item, it is probably original. The biggest problem is with items that are priced half-way between a fake and an original. This might signal an amazing deal or a very good quality replica. This is when you should do more research or contact the seller with questions.
If you find words “original” or “authentic” in the item description, you are pretty safe, because AliExpress is known to be intolerant of sellers that send items that differ from description.
Guaranteed Genuine badge under the product is a very sure way to know if you are buying an original. AliExpress closes down stores that lie about this, so sellers don’t joke here. If you receive a fake with this badge, you will need to contact AliExpress and will get to keep the item and get double money back. Sounds like a good deal to us!
All your purchases should go through AliExpress, not directly to the seller. The platform holds your money until you receive the product and are satisfied with it. Only then, 15 days after the order is complete, AliExpress pays the vendor. If anything is wrong with your order, you will get the money back.
AliPay / Escrow
This method is very popular due to safety measures. It works like PayPal – AliExpress holds your payment until you confirm your satisfaction. This way both seller and buyer are protected. To use this method you have to open AliPay account and put some money in the account for online purchases.
There is no risk for the buyer here too. Your payment will also go through AliExpress and will be held until you inform that you are happy with the purchase.
It used to be unsafe as the money went straight to the seller without AliExpress interference or protection. It got changed since then and now works the same way as the previous two methods, so it’s perfectly safe.
If you are a victim in one of the rare cases of receiving defective or fake product, there are some things you can do. First of all, open a dispute with the seller. AliExpress does not get involved here. Most of the time these cases are solved for your satisfaction and you get your money back or a new product delivered to you. 95% of the time the seller is afraid to damage its reputation and cooperates with you.
Once in a while you might be unlucky to deal with a bad seller. If your claim is not answered in three days or the seller refuses to give you money back, get AliExpress involved right away by filing an Official Claim. AliExpress investigates such claims and helps you solve it. Make sure you don’t wait for 15 days after the completion of the purchase to take those steps because then you are on your own.
In conclusion, AliExpress is a reputable store where you can find amazing prices and shop with the same level of comfort as you would at eBay.
Aliexpress Black Friday Deals
As it turns out, Black Friday can be very small, when compared with Singles Day shopping sprees in China, that is, where $17.8 billion can be spent in 24 hours.
Shopping site Alibaba recorded $12 billion in in the first 12 hours, with $7 billion coming in the first two hours in 2015. Imagine what it will be this year!
So what is this Singles Day?
It started as an opposition of Valentine’s Day in the 90’s, but quickly became the most notorious shopping day of the year in China. This biggest shopping day in China and the world is on November 11th.
November 11th is written 11.11, so the date is perfect for celebrating all the non-coupled people. Students of Nanjing University decided that being single is cool and started celebrating this day, known in China as “bare sticks holiday”, hence the numeric looks.
E-Commerce giant Alibaba, kind of like China’s Amazon, adopted this day in 2009 and made it into a huge shopping celebration, when it’s OK to buy gifts for yourself, and buy a lot, apparently.
This day is often called the Bachelor’s Day, because years of one-child’s policy left the country with great gender imbalance. Currently there are more boys than girls in China, which plans to abolish the policy in hopes of evening out the gap. There are 20 million more women than men under 30 today with expected discrepancy widening to 35 million by 2020. Experts think that by 2030’s about one fourth of men will have never married.
How did Singles Day become a shopping holiday?
Alibaba executives spotted a great shopping opportunity on that day in 2009 when online retailing was just starting. Double 11 deals were created and filled the gap in retail between China’s Golden Week national holiday in October and Christmas.
It started slowly, with $5 million spend shopping at 27 participating retailers the first year. By the time 2011 rolled in, $500 million were spent at Alibaba on that day. It was 11.11.11 after all.
The next year sales increased fourfold and Alibaba trademarked the name. Lots of sales on that day are truly coming from single people – think boyfriend pillows and travel tickets for one, but in recent years the holiday became very inclusive and is now loved by couples and families too.
Alibaba is based in Hangzhou, founded and still ran by Jack Ma, who is the second richest man in China. The eccentric leader calls this day the 11.11 Global Shopping Festival.
Black Friday vs Singles Day
The winner is definitely Singles Day, no question. Last year people of China bought $13 billion of products from Alibaba on that day, last year this amount was beat in 15 hours. These shopping sprees are more than double the total sales of Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Thanksgiving together.
What are this year’s expectations for Singles Day?
Alibaba has been advertising the deals and merchandise even earlier this year, so people expect great things. Live-streamed fashion show took place on October 23rd and there is a virtual reality shopping experience available.
Sales are expected to surpass $20 billion this year, as Taiwan and Hong Kong are adopting the model via Tmall and China’s rural middle class is entering the market. Even Victoria and David Beckham will be on hand for advertising and shopping extravaganza in November. Before them, Katy Perry was scheduled to appear, but had to cancel.
While everything started with Alibaba, many other companies are stepping in now too. Last year Chinese competitor JD.com and American retailers Zara and Macy have offered discounts on 11.11.
Despite China’s economy slow down and its recent currency devaluation, consumers were ready to spend $200 on average per person on Singles Day in 2015. This number is higher for the current year, according to Nielsen. Mobile shopping is thriving in China and 37% of all goods are bought via smart phones, as compared with 13% globally.
Is Singles Day coming to UK and US?
The success of this day is definitely encouraging western retailers to take part and boost sales. Chinese consumers desire overseas goods and that is not overlooked by various brands, like Topshop, Macy’s, and Zara.
British Hut Group, which owns beauty sites and Protein World, is offering discounts on hair care products and expects to double its sales. Burberry also benefitted from Singles Day sales before with personalized cashmere scarves and no discounts.
However, the holiday is not expected to become very popular in Britain because it falls on Armistice Day. There is a high chance of American popularity in the future as more people of Chinese descent immigrate here and as both countries’ economies and trade get even closer.