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Avoiding Fraud on AliExpress.com

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AliExpress is China’s top online marketplace, a product of China’s best known online property, Alibaba. Like all marketplace (online and offline) the good and the bad can be found on AliExpress. This article offers some common sense tips on how to stir clear of the wolves waiting to defraud you on AliExpress.com.

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AliExpress have a lot of systems in place to help you avoid fraud, but there are very smart con stars ready to tap on your greed or ignorance of the system.

Taking full advantage of AliExpress fraud protection systems will go a long way in helping you avoid fraud on AliExpress.

Here are a few ways to reduce your chances of falling victim to scam or fraud on AliExpress.com:

1. Do not Pay Seller Offline

AliExpress provides a payment system within the website backed by a buy protection protocol. When you see a product you like, you pay by clicking the Buy Now button on the Supplier’s product page.

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When you pay through the Buy Now button, AliExpress will withhold your payment until you confirm that the supplier has delivered the product. The supplier only gets access to your payment if you confirm the product has been delivered.

This offers you some protection and ensures the supplier delivers the product to you. However, a fraudster can pose as a supplier and ask for payment outside of the secure AliExpress payment system.

They may offer to sell the product a lot cheaper than if you pay through AliExpress.com just to entice you.

Paying any supplier offline is risky as your payment is not protected by AliExpress, hence if the seller is not for real, you will lose your money.

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To be safe, always pay through the Buy Now button. If you do so, you will be covered by the buyer protection system and get a full refund if the supplier fails to deliver the product you ordered.

2. Communicate with the Seller via AliExpress

It is a good idea to contact the seller before making payment for any product. Especially, if you need some clarification about a feature of the product.

To contact a supplier on AliExpress.com, just click on the Feedback tab on any product page of the supplier and then click on the Contact Now link on the left sidebar to leave a message. Communicate with the seller and confirm the features of the product.

Some suppliers are selling inferior ‘look alikes’. Years back, I saw a Galaxy S4 on AliExpress with a 4.7-inch display instead of 5.0-inch.

To ensure you get exactly what you want, confirm all key specs with the supplier. This can come very handy if any dispute arises.

Remember that not shipping the correct product is as bad as not shipping any product at all. You can get full refund if you can prove that you made every effort to ensure the supplier delivers the correct product.

Don’t assume anything, even if it is listed as a feature on the product page. Contact the supplier to confirm every detail.

3. Buy from Credible Stores and Suppliers

AliExpress offers a rating and feedback system for suppliers, sellers, and store. This system ranks suppliers according to their good reputation.

Once you visit a product page on AliExpress you will see the store rating of the stores that is selling the product. To be on the safe side stick with credible suppliers.

The best buying strategy is to stick with sellers with high positive feedback score of at least 90%.

Also check for customer reviews to get a feel of the experience other buying had with the product.

Buy products with positive consumer review score of 4.5 or more and more than 100 items sold.

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4. Check the Quality of Product Delivered Before Confirming Product

Like stated earlier, AliExpress has a buyer protection system and hold on to your payment until you confirm delivery of the order. Only then will your payment be released to the seller.

This is why you must open the parcel and check if the delivered item is exactly what you ordered before confirming delivery. Because, if you confirm delivery before, it becomes more difficult getting your money back.

5. Be Cautious of Products with Prices that seem too Low

If the deal is too good to be true, it probably is. Focus more on seller feedback rating and product consumer review rating than price.

6. Build Relationship with Suppliers

When you find a credible supplier on AliExpress stick with them and build long lasting relationships with them. Do not go for a different supplier each time you shop except if your existing supplier does not sell the product you want to buy.

Changing supplier each time increases the chance of falling into the wrong hands.

Building relationships is also good for business as the supplier will trust you and may offer you better deals as the relationship progresses.

Dealings on any marketplace always come with risks, but responsible marketplace like AliExpress.com offer protection for both buyers and sellers. Take advantage of the protection system and you will be safe.

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Paschal Okafor
Paschal Okafor
Paschal Okafor is the founder of NaijaTechGuide. A Graduate of Electrical and Electronics Engineering, Paschal is passionate about Technology and since 2006 has written over 4000 articles covering Mobile Devices, Consumer Electronics, Digital Marketing, Mobile Apps, and Online Services. Over the past 16 years, he has managed to turn a blog that started life on a Google Blogger subdomain into the Largest Technology Blog in Nigeria and quite possibly the largest in Africa. Paschal has been Building, Analyzing, and Maintaining Websites for over 17 years and also shares his wealth of knowledge and experience about building and managing websites on NaijaTechGuide.

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