Aliexpress is a great alternative to purchase items, including jewellery, phone accessories, and household items. Buying through this platform is a safe, convenient, and affordable means of bringing things into the country. You may even realize that some of the prices on Aliexpress are half or less than half of the local retail price in Kenya.
However, like with anything else, you need to be careful so that you can make the most out of your online shopping experience. You must do your due diligence and realize that all that glitters is not gold. Because the refund and exchange policy on Aliexpress may be cumbersome and you may end up losing your money. Here are some of the things you should look out for:
- Read the complete item details and description
If you have not had a bad online shopping experience then count yourself one of God’s favourites. Few things are as heartbreaking as realizing you just spent your money on something that isn’t worth it. It’s even worse when you realize that the mistake is on you for not reading the description carefully. Don’t fall into that trap. Take your time and read through.
Counter-check the dimensions, materials, specifications, compatibility, quality, and pricing. Do not place the order by just looking at the product title and photos. Check the description as well. There may be certain explanations that the seller has left for the buyers. Make an informed decision so that you don’t end up disappointed.
- Use the ‘least to highest price’ filter
At the end of the day, we’re all just trying to save our coins. If you can get something at an affordable price with the same quality, then why not? Make use of the least to highest price filter. Sometimes you will even realize that similar goods are priced differently depending on the seller or the distributor. However, know that cheap is sometimes expensive. Make sure that you read carefully what the product contains and all the details to do with it.
- Be ready to wait
Shipping your items through Aliexpress is not an overnight process. It could take weeks and sometimes might even stretch to an entire month or two. So, make sure you order in good time especially if it something that you can plan ahead for. That way you won’t get disappointed even if the item is delayed, as compared to the expected date of arrival.
- Buy from established sellers
Aliexpress has many different sellers. Different items belong to different distributors. Once you pick an item, make sure to check the star rating of that particular seller. This will give you an idea of their credibility. Buying from established sellers will make your experience smooth since they will be available to respond to many of your questions.
- Clarify with the seller through direct messaging
Online shopping can be a terrifying experience. Before you put your money into anything, you should probably ask all the questions that you need to. Clarify anything that seems vague and ask for actual pictures if you need more assurance. Make sure that you have all your queries answered satisfactorily before you decide to buy from Aliexpress.
- Make use of the ‘free shipping’ filter
Isn’t it annoying when you have to pay more for shipping an item than you paid for the actual item? Well, luckily for you, Aliexpress has a ‘free shipping’ filter. This will display all the items that are shipped into the country without any transportation costs. Again, remember to do your research, lest you get caught up in buying cheap, poor-quality goods in the name of saving a few extra coins.
Also important to note, free shipping is not advisable for fragile goods. Free shipping is usually sent via the National Post service and takes longer to arrive. There is an extended risk of items being delivered as broken or even never reaching the destination. So, while free shipping is okay for low-priced goods, you may want to consider paying for it when buying items with high prices.
- Customs may be charged
It is important for you to note that once your goods arrive in the country, you may have to pay the cost of an additional custom. This is dependent on the size, value, and cost of the items. So before concluding that shipping things directly from China are cheaper, find out the customs charges on the item. Low-cost items usually get past the eyes of the customs department, but there is a high chance that you’ll incur import duties for expensive products.