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Shajith Ali
Shajith Ali

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Buying on AliExpress: How to Stay Safe and Avoid Getting Scammed

AliExpress is the largest online dropshipping provider.

It's an online marketplace like Amazon where you can find anything you want to sell. It is the Chinese version of Amazon, and the vast majority of products come from China and Hong Kong.

Despite this, there are also many sellers on AliExpress who have warehouses in other countries like the UK, Germany, and even the United States. You just need to read their product profiles or descriptions to find out.

AliExpress is home to millions of products and thousands of manufacturers selling their products at a very cheap price. As such, you need to understand the implications of such a market. Where there is money, there is evil.

And where there are cheap products, there are also counterfeits and poor quality products.

AliExpress is full of high quality and low quality products. This is the best place to find products at a great price and products that you can sell via dropshipping .

Let's go through some tips on how to buy products on AliExpress safely and how to find good quality products, and how to spot people who are taking advantage of others by selling counterfeit products.

We'll also discuss some tips to help you choose vendors that can actually make your business a success rather than a massive failure.

How to buy products on AliExpress

Now we can say that the notes can be wrong. While that's true, we also have to consider that you can't fake thousands of reviews.

Also, you can't leave a product review on AliExpress if you haven't made a purchase. So, it doesn't make sense for sellers to fake this because they will pay transaction fees to AliExpress just to be able to fake a review.

The first thing you need to check is the Seller Ratings. To do this, click on the product you want and look at the top section of the product list.
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Here you can find an area that lists the overall seller average.

  • Item as described
  • Communication
  • Delivery speed

These three are rated out of five stars. They are also measured as below average, average or above average.

Ideally, the overall score should not be less than 97%. This means that for every 100 orders fulfilled by the seller, three are unhappy. It's up to you to lower your standards, but don't say you haven't been warned.

Next, do not deal with sellers who have two rating categories below average. It implies that this seller cannot do his job properly.
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Then click on the word that says Average, or any rating, and you'll be taken to a page that shows lots of details about that seller's performance. Take the time to read negative comments and see if they are justified or if you can live with them.

As AliExpress is an international marketplace, you will see reviews in other languages. Do your due diligence. Copy and paste them into Google Translate, then read them.

If the seller is underperforming, run away, no matter how good or inexpensive the product is. You will pay dearly for it, which we guarantee.

How to Find Safe AliExpress Sellers

The second thing to do is to investigate the seller as much as possible. If you are looking at a product listing, check in the top left corner of the screen and you will see the seller's store name.
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Now go to Google and review that seller's online presence. If the seller has Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, then you are probably looking for a serious seller who intends to do business. Go to these social media accounts and look for customer reviews.

A seller who doesn't have a social media account raises red flags. Stay away from these sellers as they are likely to only sell on AliExpress regardless of what their customers say about them.

You see, establishments that are present on social networks expose themselves to criticism. If they are not afraid of being criticized, they mean serious business.

It is much better if the company has its own website. You can see the quality of the company's website and find out if purchases can be made from there as well. What you are looking for is a seller who is actively engaged in the online world, not just on AliExpress.

A good example of this is SheIn, an international brand that sells on AliExpress. It has its own website which actively sells its products internationally. You can also see that the website has been designed with as much thought as it looks very professional.
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Read AliExpress Refund and Return Policy

Look for the seller's return policy. There must be one. If the seller does not accept returns, leave and seek a new supplier.

Just because the seller accepts returns doesn't mean you have to go. Make sure the repayment terms are reasonable. And how are you going to figure that out?

First, how long will it take to ship from China to your country? If it takes 60 days and the seller only accepts returns within 30 days, it doesn't make sense.

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Second, how will the seller issue the refund? Some AliExpress sellers only issue refunds through PayPal. Do you have this way to accept money? Otherwise, move on and look for a new provider.

Pay only on AliExpress

The site has a buyer protection program, and you can file legitimate disputes if you are unhappy with what you purchased, provided you did so on the AliExpress platform.

If a seller tries to remove you from the site and convinces you to transact outside the payment system on AliExpress, you are probably dealing with a scammer. Sellers like this don't want to pay their transaction fees, and there's no way to get your money back if they haven't shipped your item.

The worst thing that can happen is that even if you file a dispute, AliExpress cannot help you. You cannot prove that you purchased from this seller.

Read the Buyer Protection Program terms and conditions and follow the platform's expectations.
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Check the number of items sold

How many products have already been sold? If you are looking at a product listing, you should also check if that product is in stock and hot.

Naturally, people will never recommend a bad product to their friends. As such, you should never buy a trending product from a seller if they only sold a few pieces and the reviews are bad.

You can see the number of products sold just below the product title.
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You can also see the number of people who have reviewed the product and the rating of the product.
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Read the AliExpress product description

This is how people get scammed all the time. They think whatever they see in the photo is what they will get.

If you're a newbie to dropshipping and you're still learning the ropes and have that mindset, you're doomed.

See, just because the picture shows a woman in pants and a shirt doesn't mean you'll get both. Admittedly, only one is sold. It's either the pants or the shirt.

Read the description and you will also discover interesting details like:

  • Product does not come with battery
  • No box
  • Colors may vary

Beware, as this will let you know if a gadget is not compatible with a brand as opposed to what the product name said. For example, a charger might have a long product name like Samsung Apple Motorola Asus Samsung Charger.

And when you read the description, it is not compatible with Samsung. So why bother putting that mark on the title?

The answer is SEO. There are sellers that do this, so when someone searches for Samsung chargers, their product will show up on the listings. This is unethical to say the least, and you should stay away from sellers like this.

You should also avoid fakes. No seller on AliExpress will ever say that the product they sell, say Nike, is fake.

Instead, the seller will use terms like OEM or Original Equipment Manufacturer. Reading this, you would think he hit the jackpot. No he hasn't.

Think about it. If you are the original equipment manufacturer of Nike, do you really think that Nike will allow you to sell its products on your own?

No, it will be a breach of contract. The manufacturer will be sued and lose Nike as a customer. Therefore, it is not worth the risk. And so, anyone seller who claims to be an OEM for a brand is not an OEM but a scammer and hacker.

A $5 wristwatch? You laugh!

While it is true that you can find really cheap trending products for this price, you should note that the product must be of very poor quality. You need to understand that if manufacturers create products in volume, quality also leads to higher costs.

This is because raw materials are more expensive, processes are more rigorous, and there are experts who are paid to check the quality of a product before it finally rolls off the production line for sale.

Quality comes at a high price. And cheap products completely ignore quality in the name of quantity.

If a product is too cheap, you are likely to sell poor quality products that no one will recommend and no one will like. If you do this, you are guaranteed to have a huge headache for refund requests.

You should also expect your customers to put you down online. Angry customers are those who are more likely to take the time to leave reviews and write long, angry comments on your social media pages.

Don't risk this. Forget high profit margins and always think about quality. Consumers will not hesitate to spend money if they know that the product they are buying is sustainable.

Summary

Now that you know how to stay safe on AliExpress, all that's left to do is perform them. Never put your security at risk just because you want to operate your store immediately.

The internet is a place full of scammers, scammers, and people selling shoddy products. It's also a place where salespeople who have no idea about customer satisfaction can peddle their wares.

As mentioned, AliExpress can be a gold mine if you are looking for drop shipping products to sell. But beware and protect yourself.

Many people frustrated with dropshipping haven't researched good partners thoroughly. As a result, they lost money and then they claim that AliExpress is a fraud or the whole dropshipping business is a scam.

Don't be fooled. Your failure has as much to do with scammers and scammers as your lack of diligence.

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