There are hundreds of articles that cover what to buy on Aliexpress, but nobody writes about what not to buy on Aliexpress. Most blogs don’t cover this because they don’t make any money out of writing articles like that. We at Best Chinese Products are different.
So what goods does Aliexpress suck at? What products should you not buy on Aliexpress?
Related : Things to buy on Aliexpress
Here’s a quick fire summary on all the things you need to be careful about on Aliexpress
Is Aliexpress Jewelry Safe?
Aliexpress Jewelry as in real gold and silver, I would NOT recommend at all to buy. A lot of it is gold plated and they are overpriced. Cheap trinkets, earrings, and bangles and necklaces is GOOD to GO. But if you get ultra cheap ones, like I got for my wife, it’ll start eroding because the quality is bad. So under a $1 jewelry is very bad in terms of long term quality. But if you are just looking for a quick fashion fix, then Aliexpress jewelry is great!
Is it safe to buy on Aliexpress?
Food Related & Plants related that are illegal
Countries like US, Australia and UK have super strict policies in terms of what products you are allowed to import into the country. They don’t want seeds and plants that are not indigenous to these countries to infiltrate their lands. So if you are looking to get some cool seeds and shrubs and plants or animal product into the country like minks and furs, check with your country’s customs office, otherwise it WILL get confiscated at customs and you will never receive it and it’s also illegal.
#1 — Cheap Products on Aliexpress
Okay this is super obvious but still people fall for it. I know Aliexpress is made for cheap products, but there’s a limit to how cheap. If you are getting something that is 10x cheaper then you’ll definitely need to be a bit careful.
You can’t expect ultra cheap products to last long. This includes $1 earphones, $5 headphones, $2 slippers and $2 shirts. You get the drift. There are exceptions, but generally something very cheap will not be high quality. The return and replacement policy on these products will also be negligible.
Don’t buy cheap cables, cheap flash drives from unknown stores.
If you are going for cheap, then go for stores that are known for cheap, but great products, like the Baseus store.
#2 — Safety Products on Aliexpress
Another product category that you should look to avoid is safety products. This includes hard hats or certain other products that are part of a policy or compliance in your country. Most of the products on Aliexpress follow the Chinese compliance and may not ascribe to the rules of your country.
Another thing about safety products is, you need to test them, touch and feel them before you make a purchase. I wouldn’t recommend buying safety products online even if its a site from your country.
It’s better to buy safety products offline!
#3 — Some Cosmetic Items
Take a look at the image below. Without the review below, it’s a decent offering. A 12PC set at around $18 and designed beautifully. But, check the review below!
This is a tricky topic and cosmetic manufacturers in China will hunt me down for saying this and I don’t want to generalize. But some small brand cosmetic companies are not good. And you need to be super careful.
Why? You don’t know the raw material and how it affects your skin. You don’t know the ingredients gone into the concoction.
Best bet? Buy from big brand cosmetic products from brands such as Focallure, O.TWO.O, Sace Lady. There are many good quality cosmetic sellers on Aliexpress, buy only from there.
#4 — Seeds
Seeds. Just don’t buy seeds. Most cases, they aren’t legitimate and they don’t grow at all. You cannot confirm that the seeds you’ve received are from the plant it’s meant for. Also it’s illegal to carry seeds into certain countries and it will get seized.
Seeds are a big no no!
#5 — Things you can get in your country for cheap
Buying from Aliexpress can be a hassle. There are people who buy toilet paper and tissues from Aliexpress thinking they don’t get cheaper in their home country. But if you really look at the right places, you can find super cheap products. Don’t buy from the big box stores and try out local stores in inexpensive areas and you will find cheaper goods.
#6 — Life changing products
Any product that could alter the course of your life like consumables or condoms. These are a big no. You don’t want to end up with a below par product that could really affect the outcome of your life.
#7 — Batteries
It’s not a complete non-no, but you can go wrong with buying batteries on Aliexpress, especially the super cheap ones. You don’t know how they’ve been manufactured and how long it’ll last. Because it’s cheap, people don’t mind, some batteries don’t work.
If you care about quality, then aim for quality batteries like this one.
#8 — No brand name Products
A really good way to avoid bad products on Aliexpress is to avoid products that don’t have a legitimate brand name. Again, take this with a pinch of salt as this doesn’t apply to all products.
But generally brand names have a reputation to maintain and they have been around for a bit and they have multiple products as well. if you want to see an example of a product with no brand name, check this.
As you can see, there’s no brand name on the Title. There’s no Logo on the laptop, looks like a generic picture and doesn’t have clear cut details. Avoid these type of products.
Top brands on Aliexpress are generally verified by Aliexpress themselves and pass all safety tests.
Bigger brands have customer support, return policy, warranty on products and have a reputation to upkeep. The same goes for stores with no name. If you find stores that have no name, no Top Brand insigna and have not a good number of followers or a positive rating, stay away! No matter how good the offering.
#9 — Art
Although China’s plagiarism laws have become much stricter, there are still certain cases where they are lax. In terms of art, they are very lax. In a lot of cases, the Art you buy on Aliexpress might be copied or is another artist’s work. It’s difficult to tell and it might seem like it’s something very original.
If you want to avoid blatant plagiarism and copyright issues, then you might want to avoid buying art from Aliexpress. If you are buying it for private consumption, for placing it at home, Aliexpress is the best place to buy art.
But if you are looking to buy and sell, then definitely no!
#10 — Expensive Jewelry
Jewelry on Aliexpress is meant to be cheap. You get pendants and rings for as cheap as $0.50. Aliexpress Jewlery that are cheap are one of the most popular products. You can buy these. But don’t ever buy expensive things that the sellers claim are real Gold or real Silver or real Platinum.
If you want to buy any real precious stone, go to a jeweller nearby and purchase it from there.
How to avoid getting scammed on Aliexpress?
#1 — Buy from Verified Sellers
If you have been around Aliexpress, then this is fairly obvious. A seller with good ratings and reviews has a profile that looks fundamentally different from a seller who doesn’t have much ratings and reviews. Before you commit to a product, check out the listings. Here is how you can identify a top seller.
- Good number of followers
- Top Brand logo
- High Positive Feedback
#2 — Read the Product Description Thoroughly
Genuine sellers don’t want to go through the trouble of returns and replacements. This is why in the description they give you the details of the products and list out the most common queries from the customer. This is very important to look at before you make a purchase.
#3 — Check out the Guarantees from the Seller
Every seller decides to list out their guarantees for their products. They can either choose a 30 day return policy or certain other rules set by Aliexpress.
#4 — Talk before you shop
If you have questions regarding the products, always ensure to reach out to the seller. More often than not, they would love to help. This also ensures that you could get all your queries answered before you actually make a purchase.
#5 — Free shipping isn’t fast shipping
Be prepared to wait for a long time if you choose free shipping. It’s the most slow and cumbersome process and it goes through China Post. Free shipping also goes through your own company’s local post which might be slower than private players. I once got a watch after 3 months because of free shipping.
#6 — Be doubtful of super cheap products
I’d always be careful of uber cheap products because no matter what, certain quality will demand a certain price and you can’t get it for cheaper than that.
#7 — Custom costs depends on your country
It’s not the seller’s fault when it comes to the customs in your country. If the customs levy a tax, it isn’t the seller’s fault. They try their best to understate the price, but if the customs in your country decide to open the box and check the value of the products, then they will.
#8 — Aliexpress Buyer Protection
Aliexpress has instated the buyer protection policy which saves the end buyer from any fraudulent activity or defective product or wrongly advertised product from the seller. This includes 90 day return policy, refund policies and more.
Is Aliexpress Safe?
Aliexpress is absolutely safe and the amount of issues that the end users have encountered has dropped considerably over the years. There are much more safety precautions that stops any fraudulent activity.
Is it safe to use a Credit Card on Aliexpress?
There are concerns amongst shoppers from other countries with regards to the safety of their credit card. But it’s absolutely safe to use a credit card on Aliexpress because of the safety measures that are in place.
Is there any product that’s illegal to buy on Aliexpress?
Aliexpress doesn’t sell illegal items. But there might be some items such as knives and swords that require special permission to buy, especially from the customs. Some types of plans and seeds are illegal to buy because they are no legal to grow in some countries.
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