When I first learned about AliExpress I was really excited about the bargains. However, there are several drawbacks to buying directly from sellers in China.
I’ve experienced all of the following:
- Very slow deliveries.
- Difficult communications.
- Hefty foreign transaction fee.
- Customs delays
- Complicated and expensive import taxes.
- Low quality and counterfeit items.
For example, with my most recent purchase the saving seemed to outweigh the risks. Besides, AliExpress had a MONEY BACK GUARANTEE, “We promise your money back if the item you received is not as described, or if your item is not delivered within the Buyer Protection period.” Since I wanted to buy a Magicshine Seemee 200 Bike Tail Light, I ordered one. The seller estimated that the delivery time would be between 20-38 days. After waiting 80 days I requested a refund under the Buyer Protection period. Although the seller would not honor the guarantee and refused to give me a refund, I submitted a dispute with AliExpress and they quickly refunded my money.
When the item finally arrived the seller immediately sent me a message asking that I return the item but refused to pay for the return shipping. In retrospect, the minimal savings about 10% was not worth the hassle. In fact, I have since found the light from local sellers cheaper, delivered the next day and will pay the shipping for returns.
So if you are looking for bargains with Aliexpress sellers, buyer beware! The real cost in time and aggravation may be much higher than you think.