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Aliexpress. How does it work and what to expect?

Posted: Jun 15 2018 10:52am
by parabellum
I am new to aliexpress and many specifics are new to me, after using ebay and amazon.
I think, there is a need to have some compilation of things to expect and experiences to share about this platform.

1 thing I noticed is a supper slow and funny shipping, not corresponding to options you have available at the moment of purchase.

For example, I chose 6-13 days DHL shipping, which in my world was 6-13 days, but not in Aliexpress world.

In reality it is more like following:

a)Seller “Processing Time:5 Days” (this is also the term you will get invalid DHL tracking, my got valid “Shipment information received”, not package piked up or package received, after 7 days of purchase)
b)4PX carrier transports it from seller to DHL: “In time delivery, 4-10 days”
c)DHL: “Estimated Delivery Time:6-13 Days”

As result, I estimate, real via DHL shipping time is at best 5+4+6=15 days and worst 5+10+13=28 days. (Will share real terms when I get my order)
EDIT: My courier received the DHL sent order in 10 days after ordering. DHL published 2 days of tracking, time they where in possession of the package. (So, the seller apparently is relying on 2 days DHL shipping already and adds china 4PX snail mail on top)

Same thing is slow boot shipping, you get an sent status and invalid China post tracking number next day after purchase and 10 days after this number magically changes to valid one created a day before. So, CN post got the pack after 10 days of purchase and now add the shipping time of CNP.

Please write about your platform and seller related experiences, it will help others to avoid stress knowing what to expect buying there.

Re: Aliexpress. How does it work and what to expect?

Posted: Jun 15 2018 11:26am
by 2WheelsMovesTheSoul
Nothing new. I've been thru 50+ purchases on Ali. I expect nothing for 14 days, even when sold as 5-7 day. Stuff has shown up in a little as 4 days, others sometimes as late as 40-50 days from purchase.

Think of it this way... China is freaking huge. Massive chunks of the country are still undeveloped. There should be no surprise that it can take a local courier 3 to 7 days to make the initial delivery to the most common port city of Guangzhou, where most international shippers are located. From there is when you get the 6-13.

The other factor I've noted is the delivery time vs the shipping rate. In instances where I have paid extra for express, I generally get the item early with legit tracking along the way. When an item is free shipping or only costs a $1 or so, those items have bad or no tracking, take a month to show up stateside then spend 3-5 days in customs, then 3-5 more for USPS to snail mail it to your door.

As a rule of thumb I try to do biz with established sellers who have a minimal 4 star rating with recent feedback and customers who post pics.

Re: Aliexpress. How does it work and what to expect?

Posted: Jun 15 2018 1:34pm
by sacko
Been using it for the last 6 months a lot more frequently. Love it.

Most stuff gets to the UK within 14 days. No matter what shipping says, I always think its going to be a month. Anything sooner is a bonus.

Re: Aliexpress. How does it work and what to expect?

Posted: May 12 2021 7:49am
by K@mina
I do not know, sometimes if I do not track the package, it can be lost. And tracking is sometimes very problematic.

Re: Aliexpress. How does it work and what to expect?

Posted: May 12 2021 8:04am
by JeremyEt
I know what you mean, it was a big problem for me before, too. I once ordered gifts and Christmas decorations from different vendors. I ordered specially in advance, but it did not help. It took me a long, tedious time to track the packages. Something came on time, something came late, and something never came. I had to buy gifts on the spot and ended up spending twice as much as I should have. But now I started using china post ems tracking. Now it is not my job to track the parcel, it has made my life much easier.

Re: Aliexpress. How does it work and what to expect?

Posted: May 14 2021 2:35pm
by pwd
This site works great for *most* AliExpress shipping types and has the nice feature of being able to label your tracking numbers:

My advice for using AliExpress is never order anything you need soon and always pay attention to when your order's purchase protection runs out. If you don't receive the package, you can easily get a refund within so many hours of the "Your order will be closed in: 67 days 8 hours 27 minutes" time. If you miss that boat, it is near impossible to get a refund.