Perils of AliExpress shopping


Sometime ago I placed an order on the great Chinese marketplace called AliExpress. I have to date made a total of 90 orders, this may seem to be a shitload but do note that an order is created for more or less each individual item as they are usually from different sellers. Only once have I experienced any kind of problems. The problem that I experienced was that I was sent the wrong item. The ordered item and the received one had more or less the same function but they didn’t look even remotely similar.

Naturally I set out to on a 20 day quest to set things right!

Day 1

I started with contacting the seller to complain.

Day 4

The seller finally got back to me asking me to send some pictures of the package.

Day 7

I sent the requested pictures to the seller. (I get lots of emails from AliExpress which I delete the second I see them hence the late reply from my side.)

Day 8

dear, can work it?

Yongming

That was the sellers prompt reply. At least this guy is straight to the point.

Day 9

I was somewhat confused as to what the seller meant with “can work it?” but I, a bit naively, interpreted it as he (when I googled images for Yongming all results contained a man so it must be a man’s name, right?) wanted to know if it could work out with the item I received. I just told him “No”.

Day 10

dear, can you ask some repairing store to fix it?

Yongming

Apparently I misinterpreted him. I replied with “You sent me the wrong item!”.

Day 10 (a couple of hours later)

dear, can work it?

Yongming

This guy is a professional!

Day 14

I got tired of dealing with this guy so I opened a dispute.

Day 15

dear, can work it?

Yongming

Surprised? He also offered a discount on my next order and complained that I haven’t contacted him before opening the dispute… I just said no, again.

Day 16

dear, How about I give you a discount in your next order to make up for you? Is that ok for you? Could you please close the dispute first? As you know it is very harmful to us.-(

Yongming

Notice the sad smiley at the end. I was far from being tempted by his offer for a discount but I was curious to know how big of a discount they were prepared to offer.

Day 19

dear, How about I give you a discount of $1 in your next order to make up for you? Is that ok for you? Could you please close the dispute first? As you know it is very harmful to us.-(

Yongming

One dollar may not seem that much but considering the order amount was only 0.96 USD, it was pretty good. Still I wasn’t interessted in doing any further business with this guy so I asked if he could give me a refund of 0.48 USD (half of what I paid).

Day 20

To my surprise the beloved Yongming accepted my request and gave me a refund of a staggering 0.48 USD.

Conclusion

Out of my 90 orders on AliExpress I have only had problems with two, this one and another one that got lost in the mail or something. So I would say that it is generally safe to shop on AliExpress but you should keep in mind that if you open a dispute the seller will most likely try to rip you off. If you close a dispute the order will be marked as done, the seller will get your money and you won’t be able to give them a bad review or open another dispute.

Happy shopping!