How to Escalate AliExpress Dispute?

AliExpress is an awesome marketplace. The prices are low, and the product abundance is mindblowing.

If you follow these safety tactics, the risks should be minimal. But what happens, when the things go South? Let's find out.

How to Escalate AliExpress Dispute?

To this day, I have 270 orders on AliExpress. Some of them have more than one product and shipment; but to avoid confusion, let's say there were 270 individual products.

Out of these 270, not a single one has been lost in the mail – all 270 have been delivered, sooner or later.

Just one order was damaged due to poor packaging (more on that later); which is surprising, because I live in Canada, so the package goes a long way; and, I assume, gets handled by a lot of different people.

However, there have been a few cases where I had to resort to starting a dispute with AliExpress, and escalating it to the dispute resolution team. So far, out of the all orders that I have, a total of 6 had some sort of issue with them.

AliExpress dispute summary
The summary of my latest dispute for this string light

How does AliExpress Buyer Protection work?

Every purchase you make on AliExpress is covered by the Buyer Protection. The Buyer Protection typically lasts for 60 days since the order was placed; and since recently, for 15 days more after you confirm the receipt of the goods (a warranty of sorts).

The Buyer Protection protects you against:

  • Damage in transit
  • Loss in transit
  • Wrong item shipped
  • Item severely not as described

If you have a problem with either of these, or maybe a few, you need to contact the Dispute Resolution team.

To do that, go to Orders, and click “View Detail”.

How to start AliExpress dispute

Then on the order detail page check the box, and click “Open Dispute”.

How to initiate AliExpress dispute

What to do when you receive a product that is not as described?

Before you start a dispute, ask yourself: “Am I being totally reasonable?” and “Is it worth it?”

There are issues directly caused by the seller's incompetence, and there are issues beyond their control.

For example, when you receive a wrong size or color, you can expect a partial refund. It never happened to me, but it appears that most people get 20-50% back, depending on the price of the product (the more expensive it is, the smaller the refund is).

If the product is completely wrong, the seller can either issue a full refund, or they could theoretically arrange a return shipment. I say theoretically, because I never heard it ever come to that.

Unless you have an A4 account (~$2,000+ in orders per year), disputes may take a couple weeks, as they usually involve a few back-and-forth's with the seller. Otherwise, your account should not be taken into the consideration too much when the Resolution team is arbitrating the case.

How to deal with the damaged item, or product (severely) not as described?

  1. Ask for a full refund. If the resolution team believes you are entitled to less, they can change the refund amount; so why play against yourself?
  2. Best to not agree to return the goods at your expense. If you receive the wrong product, you should not be have to pay any return freight. The seller is unlikely to refund it, and you also become liable for the product if you ship it (if it gets lost or damaged).
  3. Be extremely polite, concise, and provide all the evidence. Pictures and videos are helpful; but remember that YouTube is blocked in China, so you will need to upload the video file to AliExpress.

And remember to always stay civil and respectful. Mistakes happen, most of the processing is done by real humans; and you are more likely to get respect and consideration that way.

Thank you for reading, friend!

I hope you have a prosperous celebration and a happy New Year.

See you again in 2016!


  1. Essie January 17, 2017 at 9:30 am

    I have made quite a lot of orders from aliexpress myself and many sellers were reliable. Out of my 50 orders around 6-7 of them did not arrive or had some type of defect (in my personal opinion too much for a large company like aliexpress). I have received a refund for all of these orders…expect one. Do you know how I can resolve this issue? The seller rejected my dispute proposal and is ignoring my questions. It’s concerning a dress from the Tangada woman Store that I purchased four months ago but never recieved. The aliexpress customers service are just robots that don’t offer me any solution. What can I do in a case like this?

    1. Admin January 17, 2017 at 11:03 am

      Hi Essie. Once you start a dispute with AliExpress, unless you have bought more than $2,000 worth of products in the last year, chances are you have a non-prioritized account, and it can take up to 10 days for AliExpress to even look at your dispute. I created my most recent one on Jan. 10 and it said that I should not expect a reply earlier than Jan. 17. But on the 16th I received a refund from the seller, so I cancelled the dispute before AlIExpress had a chance to step in. I have checked that store’s homepage, and it seems to be a very big store with lots of customers, so this is probably why they don’t bother replying to every single request… Over the 400+ orders I’ve had over the last 3 years about 5 didn’t arrive, and I got refunds for all of them.

      If it was 4 months ago, and if the Purchase Protection was not extended, it is likely expired, and you might be out of luck 🙁 But if you have an active dispute still going, you can escalate it to AliExpress (there should be a button “Escalate” or something like that). I don’t think the app or the mobile version of the site has this option, so it is best to use the normal desktop version of AliExpress. When you are doing so, it is best to provide screenshots from the tracking websites (both local and something like, and if you want to take an extra step you can screenshot the policy excerpts where it says that if you don’t receive it within 60 days you will get a refund. Best of luck!

    2. Dave September 27, 2017 at 5:19 am

      I Bought a radio which was ‘Functions not as described’. I ask seller for partial refund (return shipping was more than 1/2 the value of item), seller refused. I suggest I will destroy item and post photos for partial refund. seller refused. I escalate. Aliexpress makes judgement for seller to pay return postage and give full refund. Seller refuses to do so.
      I think Aliexpress has no power over sellers. It’s woth paying extra on Ebay for the peace of mind.

      1. Admin September 28, 2017 at 11:34 am

        I’m sorry to hear about this, Dave. But your first mistake was to ask for 50% of the item price back. It sucks but I suspect that their judgement is that if you were unhappy with the product, you would ask for all of your money back. This might be because in the past Russians, who I happen to be one of, like to bargain, and many people started using the dispute option while threatening the seller with bad feedback to receive additional discounts on their purchases.

        Often times sellers agreed, other times it was escalated to the dispute team, which on its own affected the sellers’ ratings. So to fight that and to save themselves the hassle of the mediation, which is a time and resource-consuming process, AliExpress resolution team took a different approach. Now they offer the buyer to send the product back, covering the postage, and the seller would issue a full refund (it makes sense, if you are ready to accept a partial refund, you probably would be ready to pay to send it back for a full refund).

        I think this is what has happened in your case, because not once I have seen it myself or heard it from others that AliExpress would make the seller cover the return postage and AND issue a full refund, especially when you are only asking for 1/2 refund. They either accept the proposal, if they see it as reasonable, or they suggest an alternative that is in their opinion more fair to both the seller and the buyer. I suggest you double-check the dispute. AliExpress holds the money in an ESCROW account until the purchase is complete, they have quite a bit of power over the sellers, plus the sellers have to leave a deposit of several thousand dollars before even opening the store.

  2. Josephian April 16, 2017 at 7:33 am

    Hi, I bought my wedding dress (usd 80) on aliexpress. It arrived a week ago but it looks totally different from the product picture. I checked with my local tailor, they said will cost me usd 45 to alter the dress and another usd 20 for materials. I want to open dispute but I do not know if I can ask refund for usd 65 (to cover all my extra cost ) when the price is usd 80. It’s about 80% refund. Any advice?

    1. Admin April 18, 2017 at 3:21 pm

      Hi. Really sorry to hear about this. With the clothing there is no easy ‘blanket’ answer. First, it depends on how different the size is. Most sellers are smart, and they usually add a disclaimer saying that 1-3 cm error is allowable, which isn’t exactly the most ethical way since 1-3 cm is an entire size. Similar with the color, they usually state that due to the differences in the monitors and camera lenses, the colors may appear different in real life. However, if the product is significantly different from what you expected, like incoherent sewing, many threads that stick out, different material, or something along those lines you could be eligible for a partial or even full refund, depending on the situation. If you are ready to tailor it, I can assume that the color is acceptable, but the sizing is off. If you honestly feel that you have to get a refund, and if the seller has really cheated you, you can start a dispute – it is possible to do so up to 14 days after the order has been confirmed. From my experience, I found that it’s best to ask for a full amount, and if AliExpress staff feel that you are eligible for only a portion of it, they will adjust the amount – I think they see partial refund requests as attempts to haggle.


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