Why is AliExpress So Cheap? Is It Worth It? (Read This!)

Do you like buying products on AliExpress? I know I do. There are so many products to choose from and all are so cheap. 

AliExpress, a Chinese B2B eCommerce retailing behemoth operates in the same manner as other prominent competitors such as Amazon or its parent company, Alibaba.

The retail group displays products from various suppliers all over the world and it ranks among the world’s top e-commerce sites.

I did some research to know how come AliExpress retails all its products at such a cheap rate. Due to my research, I found out exactly how they manage to do so. 

I thought you might be as curious as I am…so, I came up with this blog and decided to share my insight about this topic. 

In this article, I will cover in-depth the following:

  •  why exactly is AliExpress so cheap?
  •  Are their products of good quality?
  • Is it safe to buy on AliExpress?
  • Should you buy stuff from AliExpress?
  • Tips for shopping on AliExpress

And much more!

So, without further ado, let’s get into it. 

Why is AliExpress so Cheap? 

AliExpress is a popular online store for purchasing products at significantly lower prices than Amazon and other comparable services.

Alibaba, a massive Chinese multinational company focusing on e-commerce and computing, owns the store, which was founded in 2010.

So how come AliExpress retails goods at such low and cheap rates? Well, here’s what I found. AliExpress’s low prices are due to its direct-to-customer business model, China’s competitive business environment and emphasis on manufacturing, and fake clone products that are super cheap and merely copies of the real thing.

So, because of these three reasons, if you know what you’re looking for then you can secure high-quality items at really low, almost rock-bottom prices. 

If you have visited AliExpress’ site then you are well aware that it is pretty much diverse. It has countless categories of products that are wide-ranging.

It is not much different from Amazon in this sense since it has products from all spheres of life i.e from books to clothes, electronics to toys, furniture, and accessories. Whatever you can possibly think of, they got it all. 

Looking at the design of the site, the UX is well-mapped out and user-friendly.

The battery of items here is well-sorted in my opinion and you can easily click on one category to find out multiple items which serve as options for you to choose.

There are a lot of retailers and suppliers. You can run a background check on these guys who are selling the product that you are eyeing before adding it to your cart. 

Here’s a PRO TIP for you  – Something that you need to keep in mind is the fact that testimonials of the customers that have previously bought the items are something you must check out before buying the product. 

Now let me come down to the main reason as to why AliExpress is retailing goods at a low price is primarily that China is quite literally the manufacturing factory of the world.

Its customer-based model is directed towards withstanding global competition. The concern about their business model is related to profitability at the cost of lowering quality but customers are simply happy to find cheap dupes of high-end products on this site.

People buying on AliExpress don’t particularly care that the quality of the products is compromised. 

China’s business model as a country has been to outbid its global competitors. AliExpress is carrying this methodology by cutting down on quality and diversifying the range of products.

AliExpress is oriented towards retailing its product to the masses and not to the classes.

This is precisely why they are able to cut down on the production cost that affects quality but still generates sales due to how affordable it is. 

In a world where inflation rates are touching the skies, AliExpress is gaining popularity day by day as an E-commerce website due to its cheap and affordable products that have a wide range that is sure to capture the interest of each and every customer. 

Are AliExpress Products of Good Quality?

No, the products that are being retailed at AliExpress are not of good quality. They are cheap and affordable finds. 

Aliexpress compromises on quality and gives you cheap products. China is a manufacturing giant and the locale of the company is based here. If you think about it, this all makes perfect sense. 

China is on a mission to outbid its global rivals in business. The way to tackle this competition that AliExpress faces from established E-commerce giants are by reducing their prices for the customers. 

Now think about it in this way: Stella is a sixteen-year-old teenager who is into trendy clothes. Her monthly allowances aren’t much though since she comes from a normal middle-class family. 

In a world where materialism is a growing need, Stella won’t simply be satisfied with buying one good outfit. No, she would rather have six sets of trendy clothes at the cost of one. Here comes in AliExpress to save the day. 

Do you get my point? The target audience of AliExpress isn’t people who are looking to buy lavish and expensive clothing.

That kind of target audience is meant for stores like Louis Vuitton and Gucci amongst others. AliExpress targets the middle-classes, people who want cheap dupes of the original. 

Through this AliExpress delivers just what it promises – cheap and affordable finds. 

Is it Safe to Buy on AliExpress?

According to the customer testimonials and most of the reviews that I’ve read, shopping on AliExpress is indeed safe. I advise you to still be cautious and realistic as there is a flip side to everything.

Even big E-commerce sites with big reputations have occasional incidents where customers are dissatisfied. When it comes to AliExpress, these chances amplify further because the accountability becomes a little questionable. 

When it comes to seeking an alternative. Many of the same sellers that you find on AliExpress are now listed on Amazon.

Given that Amazon provides significantly better consumer protections, I’d recommend purchasing from them over AliExpress whenever possible.

This can cost more but it can be worth it is given that there is greater accountability to pay attention to the customer and look into their dissatisfaction if any. 

This does not mean that you should simply cross out AliExpress as an option. If there is a particular item that you like a lot and wish to fish out at the cheapest possible rate, then trying out AliExpress is a good idea. 

If your product does not arrive on time, AliExpress like Amazon guarantees a full refund. This is an ideal deal and safeguards your interest as a customer. 

If you are still apprehensive about making a purchase then according to their policy you don’t have anything to worry about.

AliExpress promises to safeguard the customer’s interest. The company ensures that in case there is an issue, they will try to solve it within a fixed duration of time. 

Now imagine if the product doesn’t come at all or is different from the image. Here’s how to take advantage of buyer protection if something like this happens to you:

You should first contact AliExpress customer service to report the issue with your order.

Then, the seller will also be notified and given the opportunity to correct the situation. You will get the product delivered to your doorstep if it never arrived in the first place.

Next, if the seller is unwilling to assist, you can file a dispute with AliExpress. Now, you don’t have to worry about any legal issues or anything. 

AliExpress will refund your money if your reason is indeed genuine and you have been tricked into buying the product since the seller put a false image that is entirely different from the actual product.

Then if AliExpress resolves the dispute in your favor, you should receive your money within two weeks. 

Analyzing this policy, I can confirm that purchasing from AliExpress is completely risk-free and you don’t have much to lose by giving it a try.

Keep in mind, that these products are only dupes of the original thing. Obviously, they will be of poor quality.

Have realistic expectations and complain only if there’s a real problem. Any complaints related to quality are not likely to be entertained. 

Should You Buy Stuff From AliExpress?

If you are looking for cheap and affordable finds then AliExpress won’t disappoint you. So yes, you could buy stuff from AliExpress. Keep in mind though, that if you are looking for quality then AliExpress isn’t for you. 

One of the primary reasons why AliExpress products have a bad reputation is due to the unrealistic expectations set by some customers. Just think about it – how can you realistically expect a $45 prom dress to look like the $250 gown? That just doesn’t add up. 

Obviously, the quality of the product is going to be compromised if you are finding it at a price that sounds too good to be true. 

When you buy something from a retail store in the United States, it goes through a rigorous quality control process before it is placed on the shelf. So the quality is high and premium. You also spend a decent amount on it. 

Now, when you buy from AliExpress, you are frequently buying directly from the factory, and there is little quality control.

After all, there are no checks or regulations. As a result, it’s sometimes difficult to predict what you’ll receive.

There is no recognizable brand and quality standards are frequently different from what you would expect. 

In the worst-case scenario, the product turns out to be completely different from the projected image that is shown on the website. You will feel cheated and scammed if this occurs. 

However, by complaining on AliExpress about the seller, they will take legitimate action and you will get a refund. 

5 Tips For AliExpress Shoppers 

I dropped the hint in the previous section that there are chances of getting scammed on AliExpress. Now that you know about this possibility and are still inclined to test out the products on the site for yourself, then I have some helpful tips for you.

I read about these and completed a list of the topmost 5 helpful tips that will make your shopping spree on AliExpress a good experience. 

So, let’s get down to the key tips which will assist you as you will your shopping cart on AliExpress.

1. Have Realistic Expectations

I’ve said this again and again throughout the length of this article.  AliExpress does not sell branded goods. It sells copies, mere dupes of the real thing.

If you are thinking that a fake Gucci purse is going to resemble the real thing i.e it will be an exact replica then brace yourself for disappointment. 

Have realistic expectations with AliExpress and the products it retails. It is obvious that if you are finding cheap copies of brands then it is likely that the quality will be utterly compromised to a great extent.

Holding onto false expectations will only put you in a sour mood. Even if you complain about the quality later, you will not get your money back. I suggest you think twice before buying. 

2. Say No To Branded Items On AliExpress

It’s better not to purchase branded items on AliExpress, especially technological items. This will not end well. 

This is something that I read about – the customs official will seize what they consider a branded product even if it’s not legitimate.

Then you need to get into the hassle of paying the dues. In short, you will need to spend more money out of your pocket for a fake product that isn’t even worth it in the first place. 

Instead, I recommend you to buy products that are not branded copies. Simply buy things that you need and feel will be genuinely helpful to you.

Accessories, nail art designs, etc are popular options that you can consider buying. Basically, stick to simple items.

Don’t go overbroad and fetch something that you will regret. Remember, ‘real’ is much different from a ‘reel’. You don’t have to copy the Kardashians and try to get cheap items to look like them.

You don’t have to copy anyone. Materialism at the cost of your sensibility is something that is not worth the trouble. 

3. Only Purchase From Established Sellers

Testimonials always help to get an idea about the product. If the previous customers of the product have left a good review then you can consider purchasing that item from the seller.

Basically, carry a thorough examination of the feedback from customers to see if the item is worth purchasing or not. 

Here’s a pro tip for you – on the product page, you can search for “Top-Rated Seller,” “Feedback Score,” and “Positive Feedback.”

This will help you determine the popularity of the seller. The better reviews a seller has, the more chances that the product being retailed is worth the hype. Reviews don’t lie.

4. Read The Full Product Description, Carefully 

This is something that you should always do. Read the full product description. Don’t just look at the image. Often the projected image is different from the real thing. So, don’t just read the name of the product and see the image. 

As buyers, you can understand and grasp the metrics better by analyzing the product description. This will help you to make an informed decision.

All the attributes, features, and the warranty period will be listed in the description box – this makes it vital information that ought not to be skipped. 

You can avoid buying products that don’t contain detailed product descriptions. Chances are that there’s something fishy going on.

5. Track The Shipping

This is a feature that most e-commerce sites offer once you make a purchase from them. You can keep a track of your product till the moment it reaches your doorstep. It is an easy and smooth process that will keep you updated. 

Most of the time, you will get your product within a month’s duration.

If this is too long for you and you don’t wish to wait that long then you can simply request fast delivery. You will have to pay extra for this lightning-fast delivery option obviously. 

So make sure to use these tips when you shop on AliExpress. 

In Conclusion

So now we have reached the end of this article. I hope you got a good idea about why exactly AliExpress, this E-commerce giant retails its products at such a low cost.

If you are looking for high-end products then AliExpress won’t be your cup of tea.

However, if are looking to find cheap and affordable products that won’t put a hole in your pocket then AliExpress won’t disappoint. Ultimately, it all comes down to what you are looking for. 

My suggestion would be to carefully read the reviews of the product as well as the seller feedback before buying anything.

Don’t make haste!

Make sure that you don’t instinctively buy a product based on the image that is projected by the seller. Also, if it sounds too good to be true, it obviously is. So, don’t have any unrealistic expectations. It will lead to disappointment. 

Overall, I would recommend you to purchase products from AliExpress only if you are willing to compromise on quality.

It’s not worth it even if you are an E-commerce business in an early stage or a dropshipper, AliExpress should always be your last option.

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