After talking to a friend back in the summer about all the new clothes I wanted to buy, she suggested I have a look at AliExpress because of the endless affordable options that are available. The minute I went onto the website and I saw what was available I wanted to buy everything. Within seconds my basket included items worth more than £500 (damage done there). In the end I didn’t even buy half of what I added to my basket because I realised that not everything was of good quality or from a trusted/established seller. There are so many sellers and options available that you need to be careful what and from who you are buying. So in this post I have tried to put together a list of hints & tips that will help you
Now some of you might say that everything sold on the website is a copy of the high end brands…BUT isn’t this what all high-street shops do anyway? I mean look at ZARA’s latest pieces…if not all, most of the items are copies of the luxury brands. This is something I love though, because it allows all of us to wear stylish affordable clothes.
Read Complete Item Details/Description
Do NOT place the order by just looking at the product title and photos, instead check the description because there might be specific information provided by the seller such as the features, specifications, compatibility, and quality of the item and whether it is a replica or an original product.
Read the reviews and photos provided by other buyers
I find this the most important thing to do before buying anything! This is because most of the time the photos provided by the sellers are professional and make the product look wonderful (this is the goal of the seller anyway). But sometimes in real life an item is completely different to how it is presented in the seller’s photos. So the photos provided by buyers who already bought the item give you a more detailed idea of how the product’s quality and size in real life.
Think twice for items with a super low price
If you spend some time on the website you’ll realise that there a many replicas are sold at very low prices. For example, when I saw a replica Gucci dress worth about £50 when its real value was about £1000. When I had a closer look at the seller’s photos and compared it to the actual dress I realised that there were a number of obvious differences and this put me off. If you feel that the price of a particular item is much lower than its real value, it’s better to avoid it. These are most probably the Chinese knockoffs which look like a genuine product, but are not in reality. This, however, is a personal decision. Some people don’t mind buying replicas of luxury brands whereas I am more of a genuine buyer. If I like something so much, I prefer to save and buy the original product rather than buy a replica.
Buy from Established Sellers
Always try to buy from sellers which are selling for quite some time and have good reviews overall. These sellers generally care about their ratings and are happy to help you in case there is a problem with your order. On the product page take note of the following things:
- Open (years) lists the number of years has the shop existed on AliExpress. The older, the better.
- Top Rated Seller is a badge given to sellers who have provided excellent service over a period of time.
- Feedback Score shows the number of 4 or 5 star ratings received by the seller (minus) the number of 1 or 2 star feedback received. Sellers with high feedback score are well established and are expected to provide good support.
- Positive Feedback shows the percentage of positive feedback received by the seller during the past 6 months. The higher the positive feedback, the better. But do compare the Positive Feedback with Feedback Score as new sellers will also have close to 100% positive feedback because they haven’t sold enough and hence no real feedback from end users.
- Number of product orders try to choose a seller that has sold a large quantity of the product you want to buy.
Communicate with the Seller before buying
Use the Chat or Messaging system that is provided by AliExpress to communicate with the seller to clear your doubts, ask any item details, shipping or delivery questions you may have.
Customs/Import Duties may be charged
Before placing your order make sure you check what is the lowest value of imports your country’s customs will accept before starting to charge duties. You don’t really want to end up paying an extra £50-100 before receiving the goodies you were waiting for so long! Different countries have different rates at which duties are charged for imports. For example, in the UK you can import items from a non-EU country worth up to £135 without being charged customs duties. The value includes the price paid for the goods and postage, packaging and insurance.
Items are shipped from China so it usually takes about 3 weeks for them to be delivered.