Author Topic: Does Anyone purchase through Alibaba or Alibaba Express?  (Read 1855 times)

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Offline daveyk

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Does Anyone purchase through Alibaba or Alibaba Express?
« on: May 15, 2019, 06:46:08 pm »
I'm curious with other experience with Alibaba or Alibaba Express.  is it a trustworthy site?

I am trying it for some hard to find parts sources in China. I have found what I needed, but am insisting on using PayPal.  So far with two vendors, that is not an issue.  One vendor never heard of it.  One vendor is very reasonable shipping ($20 for DHL and I have the parts in 2-3 days), other double the shipping price for every exta part you add to an order and then quotes 30+ days shipping.  Buying three parts, I am over the $20 DHL price.  Needless to say, I didn't order and messages them to set me up with a reasonable DHL shipping price a proforma invoice or a PayPal invoice.

I see there is a method to pay directly through credit card or debit card.    My wife suggested that I get a gift VISA card and put a couple hundred dollars on it and use it to order items.  That way, there wouldn't be a huge loss if it gets wiped out by thieves.  I'm probably being to un-trusting or cautious, I dunno.  I've never dealt direct with Chinese companies before.  Their abilities to find obsolete parts, or hard to find parts, and the the inexpensiveness of them, more than make up for expensive shipping.

Now with Trump's new 25% import tariff, if my parts won't get stuck at in-bound customs?

I'm curious of other's experiences shopping there (I still don't the difference between Alibaba and Alibaba Express).  I am only used to EBAY, Amazon, Digikey, Mouser and a few other companies here in the USA.  It took a long time, but I trust EBAY now - lol.

Dave
 

Online thm_w

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Re: Does Anyone purchase through Alibaba or Alibaba Express?
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2019, 07:36:59 pm »
Aliexpress = chinas ebay equivalent, for direct instant purchases.
Alibaba = vendor directory, usually for larger quantity or custom orders that require quotations.

Using CC on aliexpress is no riskier than any other web store, but you may avoid the "save CC" option just in case someone gets into your account. But using prepaid card or if your CC offers the ability to generate a new card number is never a bad idea.

You can find threads here discussing various aspects. Maybe post a link to the item in question to give more of an idea of what you are buying.
 
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Offline Bud

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Re: Does Anyone purchase through Alibaba or Alibaba Express?
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2019, 08:09:53 pm »
I buy occasionally from Aliexpress and did not have problems with payment security, though still use a prepaid Mastercard with small balance. Your bigger problem is going to be with parts, if they are genuine or knock offs or fakes or even dummies. There is a reason why you cant find parts anywhere but Aliexpress.
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Offline Chriss

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Re: Does Anyone purchase through Alibaba or Alibaba Express?
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2019, 08:30:21 pm »
I use Aliexpress frequently when I don't find some "special" and real rare stuff like connectors or electronic devices, parts...
and I never experienced any problem.
I'm paying through credit card with a small balance on it, just enough to pay what I wish to buy.
So, my logic how I use aliexpress is:

1. checking for the price range
When I wish to buy something I always check for the price range where other users also bought the same thing.
If some seller sell the same stuff for a significant lower price then I investigate what is the reason for that.
- cheating
- bad quality ( check buyers review )
- maybe new on Aliexpress
take care with this kind of seller.
Always stay in a reasonable price range and pay the price.

2. Check the ranking of the selle/store
If a store is lower ranked, check the reason why s that.
I found several stores who are lower ranked cos of shipping problem.
But the real problem is alway in the user reviews. I found out some time with this kind of sellers
does they have problem with delivery on some sort of region in the world, for me unknown reason but I also
saw does the same seller/store with lower ranking hase a good review from buyers from my region.
So, don't generalize the ranking but take with care and count this info too.

3. Always stay in the regulation of Aliexpress terms.
Never try to do something out of the regulation of Aliexpress, like paying to some seller through Paypal.
If you do so, and you got cheated Aliexpress won't help you to solve the problem.
If you stay in the garden of Aliexpress regulation, then Ali will help you solve the problem and also if needed refund the cost of the goods you bought and got problem.

Conclusion, read and be informed before you buy.

I hope my experience will help you.
My best regards.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2019, 08:32:29 pm by Chriss »
 
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Offline daveyk

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Re: Does Anyone purchase through Alibaba or Alibaba Express?
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2019, 09:46:58 pm »
"Aliexpress = chinas ebay equivalent, for direct instant purchases.
Alibaba = vendor directory, usually for larger quantity or custom orders that require quotations."

Ahhh, thank you.   I was confused, but I did fine Alibaba useful for finding discontinued CTS 10K Joysticks with momentary contact switch.  I would as for a quote, for say 10 of them, from one vendor and then get responses from 3 or 4 other vendors that I did not query.  I find their message system very confusing.  From one vendor, I did but 10 of those CTS 10K joysticks and when received, they were perfect except none of them had the momentary switch, ugh.  I contacted the vendor.  They told me to keep them, but send the $21 more for shipping and they will send me 10 of what are supposed to be the correct joysticks.  I got the notice from DHL they will be here Friday (I only gave them the $21 yesterday morning!).  So hopefully, these new ones will be good.  I can not blame the vendor as their supplier probably sent them the wrong ones (both type are an identical part number with the exception of an "A" or "B" at the end.  I have another vendor on there guaranteeing me they have the correct ones.   So far, I am only out about $170, but if I can find the correct ones, I will order maybe 30 or 50 more from them.   Over time, they will make me 6 times what I pay for them.  They are rare, almost impossible to get and will keep an industrial instrument running for years to come. 

I see there is also a BangGood for the Asian markets?

Dave
 

Offline Technobabble_

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Re: Does Anyone purchase through Alibaba or Alibaba Express?
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2019, 10:00:26 pm »
To add to the previous suggestions, I recommend sorting by the "orders" button i.e. go with the seller that more people have ordered from (while also taking to account the aforementioned suggestions of reviews/store age/etc.)
 

Offline wilfred

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Re: Does Anyone purchase through Alibaba or Alibaba Express?
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2019, 12:19:16 am »
I've only rarely bought on Aliexpress. Most recent a month a go and it had been some years since last purchase. I had to renew the registration of my special internet purchase low balance debit VISA card. They will send a 1cent transaction to verify it. The error messages were unhelpful before I did that.

But I got my purchase without problems.

I use Ebay out of habit and I still have a positive PayPal balance from a massive cleanout I did on Ebay 3 years ago.
 

Offline Psi

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Re: Does Anyone purchase through Alibaba or Alibaba Express?
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2019, 12:54:00 am »
I've used aliexpress a lot and alibaba a little.

I always pick sellers with 9X% feedback score and never pick the cheapest item when ordered by price.

I've bought maybe 200+ items total over the years and only had issues with 3 items.
- One never showed up so i flagged it on their system as 'never showing up' and the seller refunded me.
- One showed up but was all broken (it was those fragile sunpower solar cells).  The seller sent me a new batch and they were all good.
- One was the wrong size.  Seller refunded the difference in value between the size i wanted vs what i got.

Note: i'm not including items i bought which worked, but were shit quality.
That does happen from time to time and i consider this my own fault for buying a very cheap item.
If it's super cheap then you cant expect it to be good quality.  This is why i recommend not getting the cheapest item when ordering by price. It's cheap for a reason. Go somewhere in the middle.
Example is a data projector lamp i bought for $20 (the usually sell for $150)  it works but flickers from time to time.  Can't really expect perfect lamp with that sort of price reduction.
I broke my own rule here, i should have got for the $40 ones.  ;D $20 was the cheapest

I've used Alibaba twice and never had a problem. It's a completely different method of purchasing though. I recommend sticking to aliexpress unless you need 100+ of something.
Both my alibaba orders arrived and were exactly what i wanted.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2019, 12:57:11 am by Psi »
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Offline scuzzyTerminator

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Re: Does Anyone purchase through Alibaba or Alibaba Express?
« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2019, 06:52:18 am »
I started using aliExpress last june and have since placed more than 500 orders, mostly small orders of cheap inexpensive stuff and a few in the $30 to $50 range. A lot of ICs and small PCB modules. I feel a little sad when my mailbox is empty. :(

I haven't used most of the stuff yet so I can't speak to the integrety of the ICs. Many look like they are from "other" sources.

Cheapest/free delivery has been very reliable with the median time being 3 weeks. Only about 10 items never came and I have always been promptly and properly refunded without hastle. Most items have fast (often expensive) shipping options. I have never used them. I get my need now stuff from digi-key.

I have dedicated a debit card to on-line shopping. It is for a checking account with a bank with which I have no other account so an overdraft will always be declined  and I never have more than a couple hundred in it so not much can be lost.

Quote
Now with Trump's new 25% import tariff, if my parts won't get stuck at in-bound customs?
:-DD HAH!  :-DD HAH!  :-DD HAH!  :-DD HAH!  :-DD HAH!  :-DD HAH!  :-DD HAH!  :-DD HAH!

I noticed shipping start to increase a few months ago when it was announced that the e-packet rates were going to be raised. Now I see that the base price of many things have gone down but the shipping prices that used to be free have gone to a dollar or so. I assume that tariffs are applied to the shipping price since that is destination dependent. It changes things. I had felt like a kid running down the Dollar Store isles. Of course it hardly matters for things you really want but it was fun throwing things in the basket without a care. Yeah, I need help.

I wouldn't quite call Ali Express the Chinese eBay - not at the experience level. Ali has been an incredibly smooth ride for me. Do I trust the vendors? Of course not but I thoroughly trust Ali.

EBay has been one really bad pill. As soon as I placed my first order on eBay my account was frozen. It took hours on the phone to get it straightened out. All they would tell me was that this was a normal thing to happen to new customers. It was like they didn't realize they were just telling me that everyone gets screwed. After a few orders they froze me again. That was the end.

I suggest you just try Ali with a safe payment method (gift cards are good) for a few small orders to get comfortable.

Don't forget to have fun.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2019, 07:02:21 am by scuzzyTerminator »
 

Offline blueskull

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Re: Does Anyone purchase through Alibaba or Alibaba Express?
« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2019, 07:02:29 am »
I assume that tariffs are applied to the shipping price since that is destination dependent.

I wouldn't quite call Ali Express the Chinese eBay - not at the experience level. Ali has been an incredibly smooth ride for me. Do I trust the vendors? Of course not but I thoroughly trust Ali.

Shipping going up is because US is negotiating with China and other developing countries on UPU deals, as such, to keep US to stay in UPU, other countries have to increase the price to make US more competitive in the UPU framework.

The greatest thing about AliExpress and Taobao is that they don't charge the stupid 10%+2.9% cut. For small players that don't make a living off Taobao, there's no transaction fee. For professional sellers, the cost starts from 0.5% for smaller players, to a higher value for bigger, more professional players.

OTOH, paid search optimization is much more expensive on Taobao than eBay. After all, we are Chinese, and we like bribing.

So if you buy/sell more unique stuffs that are less affected by search ranking, Alibaba systems is better for your interest. If you compete in a more crowded space, eBay system is better.
 
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Offline EEVblog

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Re: Does Anyone purchase through Alibaba or Alibaba Express?
« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2019, 07:32:16 am »
I'm curious with other experience with Alibaba or Alibaba Express.  is it a trustworthy site?

Yes, I use AliExpress all the time and never had single issue with actual delivery of goods.
The genuineness of the goods on the other hand is another matter...
 

Offline Psi

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Re: Does Anyone purchase through Alibaba or Alibaba Express?
« Reply #11 on: May 19, 2019, 09:12:17 am »
I'm curious with other experience with Alibaba or Alibaba Express.  is it a trustworthy site?

Yes, I use AliExpress all the time and never had single issue with actual delivery of goods.
The genuineness of the goods on the other hand is another matter...

Yeah, it's almost an art form, looking at an aliexpress page and trying to figure out the true quality level of the item being sold.
From rubbish you wouldn't take if they were giving it away to high quality goods and everywhere in between.

Occasionally everyone makes a mistake and gets something that is rubbish by accident, but overall you win and save quite a bit of money.
Greek letter 'Psi' (not Pounds per Square Inch)
 

Online Peabody

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Re: Does Anyone purchase through Alibaba or Alibaba Express?
« Reply #12 on: May 19, 2019, 02:28:26 pm »
What about AliPay?  Can foreigners use that?  Would it at least avoid giving your CC number to merchants?

With regard to genuine products, I've followed JYETech's attempts to stop the sale of unauthorized clones of the DSO150 kit scope on AliExpress.  AliExpress refuses to do anything, and also refuses to order refunds to customers who unknowlingly purchased clones (which can't update firmware).  So it appears you have no protection for genuine parts, even when you can prove they aren't genuine.  But I'm not sure it's really any better on Ebay.  And for those interested, genuine DSO150s can be found at Banggood.
 

Offline blueskull

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Re: Does Anyone purchase through Alibaba or Alibaba Express?
« Reply #13 on: May 19, 2019, 06:38:52 pm »
What about AliPay?  Can foreigners use that?  Would it at least avoid giving your CC number to merchants?

With regard to genuine products, I've followed JYETech's attempts to stop the sale of unauthorized clones of the DSO150 kit scope on AliExpress.  AliExpress refuses to do anything, and also refuses to order refunds to customers who unknowlingly purchased clones (which can't update firmware).  So it appears you have no protection for genuine parts, even when you can prove they aren't genuine.  But I'm not sure it's really any better on Ebay.  And for those interested, genuine DSO150s can be found at Banggood.

You never give your CC to the merchant in China.
 

Offline jonovid

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Re: Does Anyone purchase through Alibaba or Alibaba Express?
« Reply #14 on: May 19, 2019, 07:30:53 pm »
I'm curious with other experience with Alibaba or Alibaba Express.  is it a trustworthy site?

Yes, I use AliExpress all the time and never had single issue with actual delivery of goods.
The genuineness of the goods on the other hand is another matter...
I agree . same here!  but I have lost the odd delivery in 100 over the yrs.  ;D
Hobbyist with a basic knowledge of electronics
 

Offline rbm

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Re: Does Anyone purchase through Alibaba or Alibaba Express?
« Reply #15 on: May 19, 2019, 08:13:52 pm »
I see there is also a BangGood for the Asian markets?
I've purchased from Banggood a few times and have been completely satisfied with the products I received from the vendors and the service I've recieved from Banggood.  The selection is mostly consumer oriented rather than industrial (for example they don't have electronic parts but would have modules and other electronics).  I've used Paypal with Banggood. The only downside for me is the shipping time - typically 1 -2 months to Canada.
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Offline blueskull

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Re: Does Anyone purchase through Alibaba or Alibaba Express?
« Reply #16 on: May 19, 2019, 08:25:23 pm »
I see there is also a BangGood for the Asian markets?

Despite the unfortunate name, it does have some good stuff for cheap.

And since it is B2C rather than C2C, you have a bit more assurance. It's a bit like Costco vs Walmart, Costco knows what exactly they stocked, and Walmart stocks whatever they can source.
 

Offline Red Squirrel

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Re: Does Anyone purchase through Alibaba or Alibaba Express?
« Reply #17 on: May 19, 2019, 08:39:16 pm »
Rarely since I absolutely cannot stand their website, so it's enough to keep me off it. They have way too much javascript BS going on and it's just super clunky and annoying to navigate.  Modals are bad.  Modals that come back every single freaking page load are even worse.
 

Offline NorthGuy

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Re: Does Anyone purchase through Alibaba or Alibaba Express?
« Reply #18 on: May 19, 2019, 08:40:37 pm »
You never give your CC to the merchant in China.

I have had my CC on file with AliExpress for couple years. No problems so far.

As to the products, I only had bad luck - everything I bought was utter crap :( I understand this is just my bad luck, but I'm not eager to continue.
 

Offline blueskull

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Re: Does Anyone purchase through Alibaba or Alibaba Express?
« Reply #19 on: May 19, 2019, 08:42:43 pm »
Rarely since I absolutely cannot stand their website, so it's enough to keep me off it. They have way too much javascript BS going on and it's just super clunky and annoying to navigate.  Modals are bad.  Modals that come back every single freaking page load are even worse.

Yes. Taobao's design (which is what AliExpress also uses) is HORRIBLE.

The only reason is works is because it has massive amount of CDNs across the world.

If you happen to live in a place where you don't have access to a CDN for AliExpress, it can be very slow and non-responsive.

Since Taobao is designed for domestic market, it sometimes can be a bit sluggish when access overseas.

It surely has CDNs across the world, but not as many as AliExpress.

If you have to use a slow internet connection (3G in a crowded space, for instance), the user experience of Taobao is absolutely horrible.

It's probably their strategy to force you to use their app, but who knows.
 

Offline blueskull

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Re: Does Anyone purchase through Alibaba or Alibaba Express?
« Reply #20 on: May 19, 2019, 08:43:30 pm »
I have had my CC on file with AliExpress for couple years. No problems so far.

I did say merchants, not escrow services.
 

Offline soldar

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Re: Does Anyone purchase through Alibaba or Alibaba Express?
« Reply #21 on: May 19, 2019, 11:24:08 pm »
I see there is also a BangGood for the Asian markets?

I do not think Banggood is only for Asian markets.

I have used Taobao while in China and it worked fine. My Canon digital camera had a broken battery cover and the part was not available from Canon. Even if it would have been it probably would have been more expensive than it was worth. I searched in Taobao and found a same model camera with memory card, case and several accessories for something like $10US. Obviously used and from a private seller. I bought it and everything was fine. Two years later I am still using my old camera with tape over the battery compartment and the "new" camera is waiting its turn.

I have also bought from professional sellers a (stick) welding machine and many computer and mechanical parts.  Everything went fine but I have never used them from abroad and I do not know if they would ship or sell abroad.
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Offline soldar

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Re: Does Anyone purchase through Alibaba or Alibaba Express?
« Reply #22 on: May 19, 2019, 11:35:53 pm »
I had felt like a kid running down the Dollar Store isles. Of course it hardly matters for things you really want but it was fun throwing things in the basket without a care. Yeah, I need help.

He, he, I am the same. Always looking for cheap things I don't need but if it's under $10 who cares? I buy things that I never get to use because by the time I get them I lost interest. When I want to kill some time I'll buy cheap toys for my nephew knowing they'll give him just a few hours of fun before he gets tired but I had fun doing the buying. :)
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Offline Red Squirrel

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Re: Does Anyone purchase through Alibaba or Alibaba Express?
« Reply #23 on: May 20, 2019, 02:52:32 am »
I have bought too much cheap crap from Ebay for the same reason.  Most of it is in a bin, eventually I'll play with it.  :-DD
 
 


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