Issues with Buying from AliExpress

k.beale Forumite Posts: 3
Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
edited 30 June at 10:09AM in Praise, vent & warnings
We bought a mirror for £118 from AliExpress, and it was shipped to me from China. When it arrived it was poor quality, but was also damaged. The seller offered 40% discount to keep it, but it was not wanted irrespective of any compensation amount. The seller therefore asked us to return the goods, which we discovered to be at our cost (AliExpress Policy), and it was to cost us a further £59. The package got stuck in customs, and was beyond our control to get it cleared and delivered to the seller, even though we provided all the relevant information and documents to him. A dispute was raised and awarded to the seller on the grounds that the package did not reach the end destination. The point of this is to make other would be AliExpress buyers aware of the risks involved because, whilst there are probably some great sellers on their platform, a rogue seller can sell poor quality (and for all we knew already damaged goods) and the buyer is not protected. Even if the returned goods reached the seller, then the return postage cost would only be reimbursed to the buyer in the form of a voucher with your next purchase, but then the seller is free to resell his poor quality and damaged goods to the next unsuspecting buyer. To make the buyer responsible for the return postage takes away any real buyer protection, but worse still, the quality control aspect of the goods is non-existent. Anybody else had similar experiences, then please share on this post.


  • soolin
    soolin Forumite, Ambassador Posts: 71,256
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Photogenic Name Dropper
    edited 30 June at 9:06AM
    I am sorry to hear of the problems you had.

    Unfortunately the warnings are already out there but buyers just get pulled in by the headline prices and don't factor in return costs to the Far East.

    On the warning boards here on MSE (and I will ask the team if this is best suited to be moved there) there are numerous threads, regulars will usually warn A) not to bother delicate or expensive items from China and b) if it does go wrong not to waste money trying to return the goods as they don't ever get to their destination.

    Aliexpress is brilliant for smaller less delicate items that can afford to be damaged and not cause financial issues, I used to buy a lot of craft and other things from them to support a local special needs centre, and they were brilliant at supplying smaller bits and pieces at a very cheap price. 

    When buying from overseas it does pay to be familiar with any local requirements re return costs, but also factor in the fact that returns never seem to actually reach their destination, as it does not pay them to have a reachable geographic address. 
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  • the_lunatic_is_in_my_head
    the_lunatic_is_in_my_head Forumite Posts: 6,503
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Photogenic Name Dropper
    Sorry to hear OP.

    Sadly if you buy from China then these are the pitfalls, as you've found out it's not really worth returning the goods so it's best to only spend what you are willing to write off. :) 

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