AliExpress is a good place to shop

AliExpress - experiences & customs - how good is the china shop?

Since the trend towards orders from the Far East is picking up speed and is no longer a major hurdle for private individuals, we would like to take this opportunity to give you some tips on the shopping giant from the Far East "AliExpress.com" give. Some will already know the name or have heard of it, but behind the name is one of the largest global retail giants: the "Alibaba Group". The shopping platform can be mentioned in the same breath as Amazon and is becoming more and more user-friendly even for German private individuals and is enjoying increasing popularity.

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Meanwhile there are AliExpress also directly in German, which puts only very few hurdles in the way for potential buyers from Germany to place their first order with the retail giant. The direct address to reach the German-speaking shop is http://de.aliexpress.com or directly http://www.aliexpress.de. Although AliExpress is still struggling with a few smaller hurdles with regard to inadequate, German-language data protection information, these problems should soon be resolved. Until then, it is better to use the English version of the platform. A lot has happened here in the last few months alone.

The rather coarse, automatic translation into German is currently more of a problem than it translates brand terms too much and makes them untraceable by search query. Our recommendation is therefore to use the website in English.

AliExpress homepage - as of 09/28/2015

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Our 6 most popular deals from Aliexpress.com

AliExpress: experiences and ratings - how serious is the shop?

We anticipate this fact right away: AliExpress is very serious and not a fake shop. From our own experience, we can say that AliExpress is a really reliable shop and that the goods ordered are actually delivered and shipped. On Trustpilot (consumer portal), AliExpress has a very good score of 9/10 points with currently almost 38,000 reviews (as of May). Overall, this is an outstanding value and a sure sign of a reliable and reputable online shop, as the majority of customers have had a very good experience with the China shop. Of course, it should be clear that this is never a 100% guarantee that there will always be problem-free processes.

Image: Trustpilot.com

The best way to compare AliExpress is with the Amazon Marketplace or Allyouneed.com (formerly Meinpaket.de). It is a shopping portal for retailers who can use AliExpress as a sales platform. However, the dealers are subject to tests and controls by AliExpress and, similar to the Amazon dealer guidelines in Germany, also have to observe some guidelines in far-away China. Nevertheless, you will probably find out on your first visit to AliExpress that some products from well-known brands are being traded there at a fraction of the usual price. Common sense should sound the alarm here at the latest, as there is a high probability that it could be counterfeit.

AliExpress has been known over the years as a extremely serious is classified so that Fake products only in exceptional cases at a few retailers are to be found. A good starting point is here to pay attention to the dealer reviews, which often provide information about the seriousness. For more information, see the “The plagiarism & imitation problem” section.

exemplary, negative AliExpress merchant reviews

Since I have already ordered from AliExpress a number of times, I can fall back on personal experience at this point. Searching or rummaging through AliExpress can sometimes be confusing due to the sheer mass of products, but order and payment processing is exemplary. You can see the status of your order and the current shipping status at any time. Only the shipping time was on average between 25 to 40 days for my orders and should always be observed. Fast orders should therefore still be made in German online shops.

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Special features of AliExpress

  1. Shipping times of 25 to 40 days on average, sometimes express shipping possible (5-9 days)
  2. large number of products from various dealers
  3. Often significantly cheaper in direct price comparison with Amazon and Co.
  4. AliExpress relies on its own payment system called Alipay (equivalent to PayPal)
  5. own buyer protection program

large selection of payment methods

own buyer protection

partly free shipping

AliExpress acts as a trustee for payments

 

isolated fake offers, pay attention to dealer ratings

bad, automatic German translation

long delivery times (on average 25 to 40 days)

sometimes very high shipping costs

no paypal

The problem with plagiarism and product imitations

Almost everyone should know that the Chinese market is full of counterfeit and imitation products. So it shouldn't be too surprising that they found their way on AliExpress. Even if these are not welcomed there, we would like to give you tips in this section on how you can recognize counterfeits quite well in advance and why you should not buy them either.

Since AliExpress acts as a retailer platform like Amazon Marketplace or Allyouneed.com (formerly Meinpaket.de), an almost endless number of different retailers cavort with their offers on this marketplace. Of course, we want to keep the annoyance low that you first have to wait a long time for your order from China and then, in the worst case, discover that it is just a (bad) imitation. Our well-intentioned advice at this point is to pay attention to the dealer reviews in advance and to realistically estimate the product price, whether it could be an original product at all.

The Possession and acquisition of plagiarism are generally not punishable in privateHowever, when importing into Germany, customs can withhold and even destroy your parcel if they discover any trademark infringements. Yet you have nothing to fear legally and through the AliExpress own buyer protection called "AliExpress Buyer Protection"you are even covered and can claim your money back in the worst-case scenario.

Always make sure that you only order small quantities, otherwise in the case of trademark law, customs could assume that you bought for commercial purposes. However, AliExpress is not the only platform that has to struggle with plagiarism, because even in the Amazon Marketplace and on Ebay there are sometimes dubious retailers who try to sell their imitations to the people.

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Buyer protection

The big advantage of ordering via AliExpress is the in-house buyer protection called "AliExpress Buyer Protection". Because you cannot pay with PayPal on AliExpress, it is a decisive advantage that you are offered at least your own buyer protection for your orders. Because AliExpress manages your money as a kind of trustee, you have the decisive opportunity to actually get your money back in an emergency if you have the problem with a faulty / not arrived / damaged / confiscated / etc. Order credibly describes. Only when you have finally booked the goods receipt and are satisfied with the goods, you confirm the order on AliExpress and only then does the merchant receive his money. So you have the possibility to get your money back at any time in an emergency.

AliExpress always pays you back the entire amount including any shipping costs and thus even offers an advantage over PayPal, which always deducts the shipping costs from the chargeback amount.

AliExpress Buyer Protection and the possibility of using Buyer Protection (open dispute) before the deadline

There are usually different ways of finding a solution in the event of a dispute. You usually have the choice between sending it back or keeping the (defective / inadequate) goods and receiving a partial refund. In the case of any returns, however, it is up to the retailer to enable you to do so free of charge or whether you have to carry them yourself.

Since AliExpress takes a tough course on plagiarism, it is advertised in the event of the unlawful acquisition of plagiarism up to 300% of the original purchase price (excluding shipping costs) to get back.

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Payment options / payment with PayPal possible?

Even if you unfortunately have to do without PayPal, AliExpress still offers you a sufficient number of payment options that are popular in Germany. Payments by credit card, instant transfer and Giropay should be mentioned in particular.

Anyone who has access to a credit card can easily pay with it. I myself always process my orders on AliExpress via credit card. Sofortüberweisung or Giropay should also be payment options that are used quite often in Germany and can therefore be recommended without any problems.

How does AliExpress send the goods to Germany? (Inch)

Basically, for orders from non-EU countries From a value of goods (including shipping costs) of ~ 26 €, the subsequent payment of import sales tax of currently 19% is due. If, ideally, the package has been correctly declared by the retailer, you can Pay this additional payment conveniently to the postman when you receive your package. In rare cases, however, it happens that a parcel has not been given the necessary identification by the retailer, which declares the value and content of the goods on a sticker on the outside of your parcel. In this rare case, you will get a letter to your home that you have to pick up the order at the nearest customs office. Ideally, you should take a printout of your order with you in order to be able to prove the actual value of the goods and then to be able to make the necessary additional import sales tax at the customs office. It is important that from a goods value of 150 € (including shipping costs) a customs duty may be due in addition to the 19% import sales tax. In order to find out the correct customs costs in advance, we recommend that you use a customs calculator from Pandacheck, for example.

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Return policy (for defective) items

If you discover a defect after receiving your order, you have the option of validating a refund directly from the dealer via the AliExpress ticket system. You should capture the defect in a picture and ideally also a video to show it to customer support. In most cases this is enough to get a refund and only in rare cases do the goods have to be sent back. However, the return shipment must be out of pocket to be paid. When shipping back to China, it remains to be considered whether it is worthwhile, especially since devices with a permanently integrated battery can cause additional problems when shipping to countries outside the EU.

How good is the customer service from AliExpress?

Should problems or questions arise, you can also use AliExpress Ticket system to disposal. From experience we can say that these tickets are answered promptly and competently, even if one Communication in English is advisable. Sometimes there was a wait until we received an answer to a submitted ticket. Still you can in the cut expect a response to a ticket within 24 hours.

Shipped from Germany

Lately there are some retailers on AliExpress who already offer shipping from Germany. Not only one is used here short shipping time (2-3 days), but one more directly on some electronic devices 1 year guarantee / warranty free of charge guaranteed. Especially when buying technology you don't have to worry about any problems when shipping from Germany. Since the service provided by AliExpress is the usual accommodating one, there shouldn't be any major problems with warranty claims either. With our test order, we received our smartphone from Germany after just 2 days, as promised. The products can be recognized by the abbreviation "Ship from DE".

Some AliExpress dealers with shipping from Germany: