AliExpress is a Chinese based online marketplace that sells products around the world. It’s owned by the Alibaba Group.
AliExpress does not sell products directly. It functions as a go-between for mostly Chinese manufacturers/retailers and consumers.
Their website is slick. You start getting discounts right off the bat.
And prices are cheap. Often much cheaper than similar looking products on Amazon or eBay. But…
Is AliExpress Legit?
If you are a regular reader of Consumer Press, you know our “Legit” stories are often somewhat of a mixed bag.
With many online marketplaces, there’s some good, there’s some bad, and a savvy consumer can navigate between the two successful.
When it comes to AliExpress though, we recommend taking a HARD PASS.
Why AliExpress Is Not Safe To Buy From
AliExpress users, consumer organizations, and even the governments of the US and India, have reported problems with AliExpress.
AliExpress has 173 (at publication time) unanswered complaints posted on their Better Business Bureau (BBB) profile.
The BBB has given the company an F rating.
In February, 2022, the Office of the United States Trade Representative added AliExpress to the U.S. government’s Notorious Markets for Counterfeiting and Piracy markets list.
This list identifies markets that are reported to engage in or facilitate substantial trademark counterfeiting or copyright piracy.
The government of India has banned the AliExpress mobile app due to security and privacy concerns.
On PissedConsumer, reviewers have claimed over $4 million in total losses.
Complaints about AliExpress
The majority of complaints posted about AliExpress relate to unreceived products, products not working correctly or working for a very limited time (suggesting counterfeits), and AliExpress finding disputes in favor of the company selling the product.
Some examples include:
This is a scam site. I ordered a $500.00 product in Aug. of 2021. and didn’t receive it until late November. The item never worked when I received it and I’m still trying to get a refund. I should of read the reviews before I placed the order. I guess I have to take the L. Please stay away from this site. (Tim B)
I made an order for 4 listings of christmas ornaments; for each listing, the quantity is listed as 6 pieces under the ?specification? section. The order arrived and I only got 1 piece for each listing. I submitted dispute cases for the 4 listings with Ali Express. The seller admitted putting wrong information for listings but refused to compensate and even insulted me when I requested a refund or shipment for the rest of the expected quantity of items. Ali Express frozen the status of my order and even cancelled the dispute without my consent nor a conversation with me. (Wendy C)
I ordered 4 lace fabrics to talking. 20 yards. After 2.5 months I received one. 5 yards. I never received the rest. I went to their website to complain, no one ever responded to this day. I cannot retrieve my money and I no one has explained why. They have ignored my letters. I will never shop there again. (Grace B)
I bought two products from a seller called SHEHDS on AliExpress the products didn?t work out of the box. I sent video and photos showing them, they just gave me the run around. After 10 days I put in for a refund and to return the products which they said was free. The return label AliExpress gave me was only good for up to 16 ounces and the post office would not take the label the weight was 29lbs. So I spent $70 out of my pocket and use FedEx to ship the products back to the address at 2732 Peachwood Ct San Jose California that AliExpress gave me for the product return. FedEx sent me a confirmation showing that it had been delivered to that address given by AliExpress. Later I get an email stating no refund because they couldn’t verify the return since I didn’t use their label. Their customer services sucks, you cant talk to anyone. Now I?m out $380 plus the $70 dollars I spent in shipping. (Pat B)
Bought product advertised as Airpods Pro. Received a fake product. Despite evidence sent to Aliexpress they sided with seller. I was defrauded by $154 by the seller with the help of AliExpress (Gene L)
More reviews can be found on the BBB’s AliExpress reviews page.
The Bottom Line
Considering the complaints, that AliExpress has been added to the notorious markets list, potential privacy/security concerns, and the risk of receiving counterfeit products, we recommend not buying products through AliExpress.
Have you bought items through AliExpress?
Tell us about your experience in our comments section!