What is AliExpress?

Last updated: August 15, 2016 - 2:49pm EDT

If you're into wholesale goods -- products straight from the manufacturer that skip the retail middleman -- then AliExpress is a name that you should know.  It's one of the largest wholesaling platforms on the Internet, with numerous manufacturers in China signed up to offer you direct-to-consumer goods at matching prices.  And that could save you some serious money.

So what exactly is AliExpress?

AliExpress is an e-commerce website that allows international buyers (like you) to purchase items from wholesale retailers in mainland China and have them delivered to you through common international courier services.  It is popular in Russia, but it also ships to 200 countries and regions worldwide.

How does AliExpress work?  5 things to know about using AliExpress

1. Browse or search for all sorts of goods

AliExpress offers a wide variety of goods, including clothing, home electronics, sporting goods, and toys.  Browse the categories and see what you find!

Browsing the AliExpress item categories

2. Clip virtual coupons for even more savings

AliExpress has general coupons that can reduce the costs of your orders.  Plus, individual sellers often issue coupons for items in their particular store, giving you more ways to save money!

Finding an AliExpress seller coupon

(Image source: AliExpress.com)

3. Keep an eye on your shipment with package tracking

AliExpress provides you with tracking information for your package from the courier that is handling it.  That way, you can know approximately how close it is to arriving on your doorstep!

Getting tracking information for your AliExpress order
(Image source: AliExpress.com)

4. Buyer protection promises help you shop with confidence

If your order doesn't turn out right -- or come at all -- AliExpress has you covered.  You can open a dispute with a seller and send AliExpress evidence of your plight, and you may be entitled to at least a partial refund... or maybe even a full one!

Example of an AliExpress returns policy

5. Customer service is there when you need it

If you have a question about how to use some facet of AliExpress, you can usually get a hold of a customer service representative via online chat.  You can also submit detailed complaints against sellers whom you believe break the rules of AliExpress.

How to contact AliExpress customer service


That's a brief introduction to AliExpress and how it works!  The rest of our AliExpress course will focus on how to use the website, from buying goods to tracking orders to returning items that you're not satisfied with.  We'll also have some safety tips for shopping at AliExpress, as well as a tutorial on how to get rid of your account if you no longer want it.  Check out AliExpress today and see if you can save some money by buying direct and skipping the retail middleman!


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