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Is AliExpress real? Is it good?

 
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Before buying something online, I do a reverse image search to see if it's available elsewhere.  Maybe get some reviews.

I was going to buy an item that was $22, with $12 shipping.  But then I found it on AliExpress for $4 with $6 shipping.  That's wholesale prices.  How can it be that cheap?

Is it a real website?

Why do they need a cellphone number to check out?
 
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I check Ripoff Report.   To a lesser degree I use Trustpilot.
 
pollinator
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AliExpress is real and it is good. I have no problem spending $20 or $100 on AliExpress. If I was buying something for $800 I would be more cautious. While it isn't quite Amazon.com its at least as good as Ebay.com
 
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My understanding is that AliExpress ships directly from China, whereas Amazon usually ships from the USA. So you might experience a longer shipping time if you buy from AliExpress. But then, Amazon's shipping time has slowed down in the past year.
 
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AliExpress is based in China and owned by the same company as Alibaba. One of the differences is that on AliExpress one can buy a single of something, whereas on Alibaba it's more geared toward wholesale and usually requires purchasing a high minimum amount.
Because the things on AliExpress are shipped straight from China, they can sometimes take 1-2 months to arrive. Also, there is a lot of junk on there. A lot.
I read someone comparing it to eBay. I would tend to disagree. One of the nice things about eBay (besides having a huge assortment of used things which is wonderful if one is into recycling) is that one gets a 30 day warranty on pretty much whatever one buys. That is a really nice feature when buying things without seeing them. On AliExpress it is quite difficult to try to get one's money back if the thing falls apart in a day or a week, assuming it works as it should in the first place. I would be quite cautious buying from AliExpress.
 
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Info per my husband:

AliExpress is owned by Alibaba. However, AliExpress does have warehouses in the USA. When you purchase an item, you can choose to have it shipped from the USA if available. (That cuts down shipping time.)

AliExpress is very popular among resellers/drop shippers. AliExpress has agreements with partner companies like Shopify so that if someone orders from your Shopify store, Shopify then orders the item from AliExpress and ships it directly to the customer. It's generally hands-off to the store owner, other than picking out which items they want to sell in their online store.

Chances are if you've ever bought something from an online retailer, you've probably bought at least one item from AliExpress.
 
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One catch is that as most things are shipped from China, the buyer is responsible for customs. Depending on your location that can be quite a nightmare.
 
pollinator
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I have made several purchases from AliExpress, and for the most part been satisfied.

Customer service is basically non-existent, so I avoid things that are complicated, or have a need for an instruction manual. I also avoid electronics or things that "plug in" as I worry their regs do not meet NA standards.  I also do not order time sensitive stuff asagain, their shipping times do not include sitting in customs, at times for months (Canada). As of yet, I have NOT had to pay custom/brokerage fees, but I am sure that is item/counrty dependent and would be worth researching; it would suck if a $20 item cost $100 in duties and taxes.

So, in answer to your question, yes it is real. The price factor is because you have cut out the middle man and deal with the manufacturer directly and/or are buying in bulk.
 
Sebastian Köln
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In Germany you customs can halt your package and tell you to come and open it in front of them as well as bring the recipe so they know the purchase price.
The actual fee is 25%, but having to go there can be quite annoying if it is far away.
 
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Lorinne Anderson wrote:I also avoid electronics or things that "plug in" as I worry their regs do not meet NA standards.



This is valuable. Lots of cheap, Chinese electronics are really very unsafe. There is a fantastic YouTube channel, Big Clive, who often tears down such items.
 
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