How to buy on AliExpress: the most comprehensive guide

Despite the wild popularity of the Chinese trading platform, many people do not know how to buy on AliExpress, or are afraid to do it. That’s why we decided to put all the points over i, go through the buying process from beginning to end and tell about all the attendant nuances.

Registration and first steps

As elsewhere, on AliExpress, too, everything begins with it. Of course, you can search for products without registering for an account, but if you try to buy something, you will be asked to create your profile. It will be needed to access the history of orders, wish lists, communication with sellers, statistics. In general, without delay, we will register.

How to register

How to register on AliExpress
Registration form

The corresponding button is in the upper right corner of the site. When you click on it, the registration form opens. We will be required to provide an email address, first name, last name, and password. You can bind a Facebook account, in this case, you do not have to enter the email: it will be automatically pulled up.

Section “My AliExpress”

My AliExpress Personal Cabinet

After registration, you can go to your profile. There are a lot of interesting things here: orders, messages, reviews, wish list, disputes and so on. At this stage, you can only add a shipping address, everything else is not needed.

How to add an address

To add shipping addresses, you need to go to the side menu item of the same name. There can be several addresses. You will send any gifts to your friends and family? Will be, you will. Therefore, several addresses are convenient. When paying for an order, just select the one you need and you’re done.

How to add an address to aliexpress
Form of adding an address

Despite the fact that they ask us in Russian, we only need to fill out the form with Latin. It is important. The Chinese do not have Cyrillic keyboards and, perhaps, even encodings that correctly display it, so everything from the name to the address should be written in translit. It is transliteration, and not in English translation!

The Chinese do not care what to glue on the parcel, and grandmothers-postmen will rack their brains until they understand what you meant by Lenin avenue or boulevard of Peace.

  • Receiver name – indicate last name, first name and patronymic completely.
  • Street, house, flat – just write ulitsa Pobedy or pereulok Mostovoi. They will understand at the post office.
  • Postcode Is an important point. Even if you make a mistake with the address, the index will be sent to the destination. You can check the index of the nearest branch here.
  • Phone / mobile phone – do not forget that the numbers need to be entered in an international format, starting with the country code.

Choice of goods and purchase

Well, everything, formalities are met, you can go shopping. Do not rush to order the first product and go after the lowest price. First of all, let’s define with what.

Which language should I choose?

AliExpress automatically includes Russian. If you want, you can choose any other one or switch to English, but for convenience it’s better to leave Russian. The only time when it will do more harm than good is reading the descriptions. Curve translation can lead to such jungle that you do not immediately understand what it is all about.

Which language to choose on AliExpress

In such situations, you just need to click on the link “View name in English” – everything will immediately become clearer. If you want the entire interface to be in English, click Go to Global Site in the upper right corner.

How to search

Product search on AliExpress
AliExpress search result

Since there are millions of goods on AliExpress, it’s not difficult to find the right one. It is much more difficult to choose from thousands of search results. You can quietly search in Russian, but if there are no results or they do not suit you, try to formulate the query in English. To narrow down the search, it is useful to use filters and additional sorting functions.

  • Price – we filter out too expensive goods or search in a certain price category.
  • Free shipping – You can immediately filter out the crafty sellers who put part of the cost in the price of delivery, so that their goods look cheaper.
  • Only by the piece – We reject offers for wholesalers.
  • 4 stars and more – do not waste time on substandard goods.
  • Sort by – choose the sort by the number of orders or the seller’s rating – you will not lose.
  • Sending from – for popular products there is an option to send from local warehouses, choose it if you do not want to wait long.
  • Group related products – the option should remove from the issuance of the same type of goods, but it does not work perfectly.

In our example, I’m looking for a mini-figure of Darth Vader LEGO-format. So I write in the search, not forgetting to choose free shipping, piece goods and sorting by the number of orders. The figure that I need appears on the fifth position in the search.

Which vendor to choose

Choosing a vendor on AliExpress
Product page with description and other details

But such mini-figures are at once at several sellers. What to choose? In this particular case, you can simply choose at random, because the goods are worth a penny. But when buying expensive things, it’s better not to do so, because the quality of the product depends on it, its conformity to the description and whether you will get it at all. Therefore, we open several potential options in the new tabs and look carefully at the following:

  • Rating – those same medals, crystals and crowns, next to which points are displayed. The rating is calculated on the basis of positive reviews for the lifetime of the seller. The higher it is, the better. This is an indicator of reliability and reputation.
  • Percentage of positive reviews – the number in percentage, showing the ratio of positive evaluations of buyers to the total number of all reviews over the past six months. Should be as close to 100% as possible.
  • The number of orders – there must be a lot of them. Bad goods will not buy. Choose the seller with the highest number of orders for this product.
  • Evaluation of goods – the quality of the goods on a five-point scale based on customer feedback. Goods with hundreds and thousands of orders are usually valued at 4-4.5 and higher.
  • Reviews – this is the most important thing, you can start the comparison with them. We carefully study what the people who bought it say about the product, how they respond about the seller, how long the delivery takes, and so on. Very helpful.

With a mini-figure, everything is quite simple: it has a minimum price and the first seller has more than two thousand orders with an average rating of 4.7 points. Next you can not look, take this one.

Order and payment

Well, we came to the most interesting, but not the most difficult. After the search and the agony of choice, you need to make an order and pay for our purchase (in fact, it will have to wait, but it does not depend on us).

How to order

To order, you need to click the “Buy Now” or “Add to Cart” button depending on whether you are going to immediately go to payment or want to continue shopping and pay for all the goods together. Before this, you need to specify the size, color or model, as well as the number of products. Please note that depending on the color and model, the price may vary.

How to order goods on AliExpress
Confirmation of an order

After clicking on the purchase button, we get to the order registration screen. Here you can double-check all the data about the product (color, quantity), select the delivery address, if you have several, and leave a comment for the seller, use the coupon code and, in fact, choose the delivery method.

A standard delivery method is a normal dispatch without the possibility of tracking (ordinary). For inexpensive purchases, as in our case, it does not matter, but for valuable goods it is necessary to choose a delivery method with a track number (registered). The final price will increase by 1.5-2 dollars, but you will be calm and will be able to track all movements of your parcel.

What you need to know about payment

How to pay for a purchase on AliExpress
Choose a payment method

Pressing the “Checkout” button switches us to the payment screen. Here you need to choose one of the suggested methods available for your country.

  • Map – Credit or debit. The easiest way that most people use.
  • QIWI Wallet – electronic wallet, which is easy to replenish through terminals. Option for those who do not want to use cards.
  • WebMoney, Yandex.Money“- Electronic payment systems. A convenient option if you get money on them.

Payment by card is the most popular method. Do not be afraid of it: it is absolutely reliable. All your data is recovered via a secure connection and visible only to AliExpress, but not to sellers. We recommend that this option be considered.

Which card is right for you?

Any Visa and MasterCard cards that support Internet payments are suitable for payment. Recently, AliExpress began to work with rubles, so Russians can pay an ordinary ruble card. Residents of other CIS countries can not avoid automatic conversion to the standard currency of the site – dollars.

To pay for an order on your card, Internet transactions should also be included. Many banks have special Internet cards designed specifically for these purposes, sometimes even virtual ones, the content of which is very cheap. Before paying for the goods you need to open a bank application or a website with Internet banking and specify the following details:

  • Card number – those same 16 digits.
  • Validity – month and year of expiry. Four digits on the front of the card, for example 12/19.
  • CVV code – three-digit security code on the back of the card. For virtual cards, you can find it in the application or on the Internet banking website.

How to pay

Armed with this data, you can choose the payment method “Card” and proceed to fill out the form. We just need to enter the number and expiration date of the card, the CVV code and the owner’s name.

Payment on AliExpress
Payment by card

After clicking on the “Pay Now” button, the page of your bank will open where you will enter the transaction confirmation code (it will be sent to the SMS or via the mobile application).

If you did not make a mistake, you will be notified that the payment was successful. The card number can be saved by tying to your AliPay account, so that you do not enter it in the future and save time on your next purchases. But this is not necessary, you can not tie anything down if you do not want to.

Receiving an order

Now, when the goods are selected, ordered and paid for, the most tedious is the waiting for delivery. After a few weeks waiting for the cherished parcel will be in your post office and you can pick it up.

How to know the status

The seller must prepare your order, package it and send it to you, providing the tracking number, if this is the method of delivery chosen by you. About all changes in the status of the order, AliExpress notifies you via notifications to the mail and profile on the site.

How to know the status of the order on AliExpress
History of orders

Go to the section “All orders” and look at the status of the latest products. There can be several:

  • Payment is pending – you confirmed, but have not paid for the order yet. After the time allotted for payment (you can find out on the page with the goods), the order is canceled.
  • Verify payment – AliExpress processes and confirms the payment transaction. Usually takes up to 24 hours, but during sales it can take up to 2-3 days.
  • Awaiting dispatch – The seller processes your order, packages and prepares for shipment. Usually 2-4 days, depending on the conditions indicated on the product page.
  • The order has been sent – your purchase is transferred to the delivery service and is already on your way to you. It takes from 15 to 60 days.
  • Verification received – you confirm receipt of the order.
  • Completed – The transaction is closed. Appears after you confirm receipt of the goods.

How to track a package

On average, the delivery takes about 1-1.5 months. If you paid the seller for the track number, then all this time you will be able to track where your shipment is at one time or another.

How to track a package
Package tracking

The seller must add to the order a track number within three days after sending. It will be displayed in the order line. Right here you can see a summary of it or use third-party tracking services.

The details of the departures are updated no more often than once a day (and even less often), so it makes sense to check your order 2-3 times a week. After sending, it may not be tracked for a week. Do not panic. Often sellers assign a parcel of a track number in advance, while it lies on the mail for several days and is waiting for sending.

How to receive a parcel

The waiting time flew by unnoticed (or dragged on painfully long), and, judging by the track, the parcel had already arrived. She can get to you in two ways: the postman will drop it into the mailbox (as often happens with small packages) or will bring you a notice that there is a dispatch for you that you need to receive.

Most often there is a notice and for the parcel you need to go to the nearest post office. At the same time, you should bring documents and the same notice with you.

Upon receipt, carefully inspect the parcel and, if the integrity of the package is violated, require an inspection report. Even if everything is fine with the package or the box, it’s worth checking the content right here, at the post office, and writing down the whole process on the video. In case of any misunderstandings, you will have evidence for the seller and a chance for a positive outcome when it comes to a dispute.

At home, when you fully test the product, do not forget to leave a review and put an estimate. This will help determine the choice for other customers.

Guarantees and protection

Sometimes you can run into a poor-quality or damaged goods, or even not get your order. For such cases, AliExpress provides for the protection of the buyer, which provides a guarantee of compensation or a full refund in the event of an unsuccessful purchase.

How protection works

Protection is valid for a certain period, which depends on the delivery time specified by the seller, and on average is 60 days. If during this time you do not receive the goods or it does not correspond to the description, you can open the dispute and after considering its AliExpress to return the money spent or receive compensation.

Details of the order on AliExpress
Details of the order

You can find out the end of the protection period in My orders by clicking “Details” next to the required purchase. If the protection ends, and you have not received your order, it can be extended. This is important, since disputes can be opened only to orders in the status “Sent” or within 15 days after receipt.

How to open a dispute

Usually the delivery of goods depends more on our mail than on the seller, but if enough time has passed and the parcel is not there, then you can open a dispute and ask for a refund.

How to open a dispute on AliExpress
Button for opening a dispute

The button with the same name is in the order details in the section “My Orders”. To open a dispute, you need to fill out the form, indicating the details of the problem and the amount of compensation that suits you, as well as attach a photo. In some fields, we simply select ready-made options, in others we write details.

After considering the arguments on both sides, AliExpress decides whether to return the funds (if the goods did not arrive) or compensation (if the wrong size, model or poor quality product was sent). It takes from two weeks to two months. Most often, the administration of the trading platform becomes the buyer’s side.