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💸 How To Save Money on AliExpress: FULL GUIDE

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Buying things on AliExpress is already saving you money, compared to buying them from virtually anywhere else. There is a minimum involvement of third parties, shipping is cheap (or free), and the sellers are open to work on a thin profit margin.

But not prices are equal. How can you get cheaper things on AliExpress? Are there any additional ways to save?

Well, of course there are! We’ve been shopping on AliExpress for many, many years, and we’re happy to share our own tips.

MONEY SAVING TIPS FOR ALIEXPRESS

Why is AliExpress so cheap?

There are a few reasons:

  • Amazon is pricey to begin with. For instance here you can get products for as low as $0.10, including shipping!

  • Shipping out of China is very, very cheap for a few reasons: volume discounts and government subsidies.

  • Most AliExpress sellers are middlemen, getting their items from a large manufacturer, and the things are produced geographically closer to them than they are to you. And these are often the exact same things that you will buy on Amazon – but because there is less people involved = less overhead.

  • Sometimes you get quality stuff that is simply overstock. Other times it’ll be stuff that didn’t pass retailer quality control due to minor issues or products from ‘night runs’ made with super cheap materials during factory down time.

New User Offer

New user offers are provided when you create a new account. Right now, the first product you are buying is heavily discounted -up to 90% off). Then you add additional products for up to $10 total to qualify for free shipping.

If you’re just trying out AliExpress for the first time, it’s not a bad deal – given the generally low price nature of the website.

💡 Pro tip: the first ever item you buy will get a MASSIVE discount. Pick something in a $10-20 range, you should be able to get it for ~$1-2.

We track new user purchases in our affiliate portal as well, and we collected the most common items that people get as a part of their first order. It’s a list of things that you can get for $1 or less.

>> Claim NEW USER offer

AliExpress Sales (11.11, Black Friday, Anniversary sale)

aliexpress sale

AliExpress sales are by far the best way to save money. Every year we go through the list of discounts, pick the best ones, post them here and send them to our audience via newsletters (so be sure to subscribe – the form is below).

The biggest sale of the year is 11.11 sale, that happens on November 11th every year.

There also is a March Anniversary sale, which happens on March 27th.

Black Friday is a good time to buy gadgets and other electronics-related items.

There is also an odd one here and there, which varies every year, so it’s best to subscribe to our newsletter and get notified about them as they happen.

AliExpress Coupons

aliexpress coupons

Another option to save good money on AliExpress during or outside of sales is with using coupons.

There are three types of coupons: Select coupons, Store coupons and AliExpress coupons. The difference between them is described in this post.

AliExpress coupons are the best coupon type out of the three. These ones are provided by AliExpress, and come out of their marketing budget. These coupons are provided from playing games, or by visiting the coupon center. Certain accounts (Platinum and Diamond – depending on how much money you spend annually on AliExpress) have them preloaded to the accounts.

Select coupons are generally a waste of time – the payout is small, and they are not accepted by most sellers.

Store coupons are a loyalty offer from individual stores. Usually, they are available year-round, and “big brand” stores offer special ones for 11.11 and other sales.

‘Value’ Deals / “Choice Day”

aliexpress super value deals

Super Value (or Flash) deals are daily offers. This was how I got my first product on AliExpress. They are always different, and you can find them on the main page of the website.

The deals will get better the more interesting the more you browse and buy (your shopping behavior affects them).

See today’s daily deals

Best AliExpress Finds by Aliholic

best aliexpress finds

We have been around since 2014, and we have posted TONS of great deals from AliExpress. The products are listed in two formats: Collections and Shop section

Collections are lists of products with a certain common theme. The most popular ones are :

Shop Section is a seemingly endless list of great AliExpress finds. You can sort them by categories as well, but I think they are best viewed as a general list – you never know what you will find! We add new products almost every day, so it’s definitely worth bookmarking that page.

I also recommend subscribing to our Newsletter – this way you won’t miss out on any deals.

Best AliExpress cashback

Cashback Extension (for desktops)

Cashback App (for mobile users)

Cashback offers are extremely simple: you buy using a special link and get a certain % of your money back. It’s that simple. People who are not using cashback offers are seriously missing out.

There are many cashback offer sites, and by far the best one is EPN by BackIt. It has 1,000,000+ installs on Android, and many more on iOS and web.

Usually, you will get 5.5 – 12% from each product (and sometimes up to 90%, if you are lucky enough to come across a generous seller).

The signup process for PC/Mac users (non-mobile):

  1. Create an account in EPN
  2. Install the plugin
  3. Open the plugin and click “AliExpress” (or any other store where you plan to shop on)

how to get aliexpress cashback

You need to activate cashback each time before you buy anything on AliExpress!

The process for mobile users is similar:

  1. Install the cashback app
  2. Create an account
  3. Activate the cashback through the app (click on the store icon) each time before you buy anything.

The amount of your cashback is going to be shown in your account. It can be redeemed once it reaches a certain point. Thresholds are listed on the website and depend on the payment method (some are as low as $0.01!)

>> Sign up for EPN by BackIt cashback (Browser extension for PC/Mac users)

>> Sign up for EPN by BackIt cashback (for mobile devices)

How to shop on AliExpress, and is it safe?

What needs to be mentioned:

1. AliExpress is a marketplace, it consists of a ton of individual sellers. There are shipping facilities in certain areas, similar to the Amazon’s model, where the seller would give their product to AliExpress, and then AliExpress will send it to the buyer, but in most cases the item will be shipped to you by the seller directly.

The threshold to become a seller is approximately $1,200 USD, which will cover the cost of disputes, if there are any.

Shipping is usually free (well, included in the price), or really cheap, but in most cases is slower, compared to Amazon Prime, for example. I have to say, lately (2023-2024) it has been comparatively quick – 1-2 weeks compared to the 3-6 weeks previously.

The kicker here is that countries have agreements with each others, so China pays to ship it within China and to the destination country, and the destination country handles the leg once it reaches its’ border and to your home/PO box. There are expedited options if you want to pay extra.

More expensive items ($20+) are often shipped with expedited shipping as a courtesy. If you see a courier like “Cainiao”, “e-Packet”, “UniExpress” or “China Post Air Mail” – you’re in luck! Your package is in good hands.

2. The seller does not get paid until you confirm the order. Order is confirmed either by you clicking “confirm”, or after 60 days. If 60 days passes, and you don’t do anything, AliExpress will assume everything is fine, and will close the order and pay the seller. If you don’t receive the order, or if you receive something other that what you ordered, you can start a dispute.

3. The sellers do not have the access to your payment info: instead, it is handled by AliExpress. This means only a small number of people is involved in processing the payment, thus making it more secure.

My tips for the best AliExpress experience.

1. Before you buy, make sure to check product feedback. There will be a section for it on the bottom of the page. AliExpress community is very active, and many people leave detailed reviews with pictures of the product. Whenever possible, only buy things with feedback.

2. Don’t buy clothing from famous designer fashion brands, as it will likely be fakeAliExpress cracks down on sellers that sell it, but it can still be found. Instead, there are a lot of Chinese brands with the quality that is comparable to the things you buy at stores, just much cheaper (including more high-end Asian clothing brands).

However, this does not include electronics: there are genuine products from global brands like Samsung and Lenovo sold on AliExpress.

3. Keep an eye out on the delivery timeAliExpress will send you emails when the order is about to be closed. It is often happens that there is a backlog with the mail, which is not really seller’s fault, so I ask for Purchase Protection (e.g. 60 days maximum allocated for the delivery) to be extended for another few days. If the Protection is about to run out, and the seller is not replying, you can open a dispute. Usually, US buyers get their packages within 1-3 weeks if sent with regular mail, and 2-3 weeks for Canadians.  Expect a noticeable difference in March, October, and November, because of the increased sales traffic.

4. If there is a problem with the item you purchased, try to mediate with the seller directly. If you can’t come to an agreement, you can escalate it to the AliExpress Resolution Team, and they will step in and decide who is at fault. Out of all my 500+ orders I had 11 issues total, 10 of which were closed by the AliExpress team in my favor, and one was mediated with the 50% refund (for the drone batteries that did not fit, which was a questionable issue to begin with). If you are not happy with the resolution, there is an option to appeal. [how to escalate a dispute on AliExpress]

5. If you can, pick expedited delivery options. E-Packet is usually cheaper than EMS. Both take around 2-3 weeks to arrive. There also are FedEx and DHL, but they are pricey, and you might need to pay for brokerage fees. There is also Cainiao (sponsored/owned by AliExpress) and China Post Air Mail – all are excellent and trackable options.

6. If you need to ask a question, keep your questions brief and the language simple. Many sellers use online translators, or speak limited English. No need to be rude or patronizing, they work very hard, and for long hours so that you can get a pair of cheap socks.

7. Stay aware. Most sellers are honest, hardworking and reasonable, but there are some who aren’t. Don’t give your payment info to the seller directly (they don’t process payments, AliExpress does); if the item does not arrive, start a dispute, if you’re offered compensation via PayPal it’s up to you whether you want accept it (AliExpress seems to adjust seller ratings whenever there is a refund or a dispute, so they prefer to do PayPal refunds instead). You can insist on a normal refund, or if you decide to accept PayPal, don’t close the dispute before you get the refund. Many people are against PayPal refunds, but I’ve had no problems with them. You may want to ask them to send it as a personal payment (they can’t be reclaimed) for an extra piece of mind.

Is AliExpress Legit?

There are people every day that find this miraculous website with offensively cheap prices, that make Wal-Mart seem like a flashlight salesman on the night the power is cut, and after the few moments of blissfully looking through the listings, they think, “Is it too good to be true? Is AliExpress legit?“

I have been there, and that was my exact reaction when I first found AliExpress.

This was not my first time on a website that sells cheap stuff, before that I have bought from eBay, DealExtreme, and FocalPrice; all of which are real sites, but none of them really made it feel “legit” or “trustworthy” to me.

Nowadays, Chinese manufacturers are not only producing low-quality copies of Western product , they actually make them. Of course, there still are companies that make iPhone copies of a questionable build, and stuff them with iOS-styled Android guts; but there also are companies like Foxconn; companies that assemble the parts into real iPhones, Blackberries, Wii U’s and BMW’s.

Huawei store on AliExpress

 

In my opinion, AliExpress is one of the few sites that actually gives us, people outside of China, a taste of the real Chinese market; we get an an access to goods of a quality that is comparable to the quality of the goods you see at local stores, only at a fraction of prices that you are used to. For instance, we get an easy access to brands that are very popular on the Asian market, that are trying to gain exposure on the global market – brands like HuaweiXiaomi (the second largest smartphone seller in China) and RS TAICHI (which was around since 1975, started to gain popularity in the West in the past 5 years or so).

How to be safe on AliExpress?

Aliexpress is just like eBay or Amazon. These are all individual sellers, and to avoid being burned, it is better to buy from somebody who has a decent feedback rating. Also just like ebay, research the item being sold. Even if the seller is a good guy, the product may not be.

Anytime someone complains about AliExpress, the root of their problem boils down to breaking one of these simple rules. I’ve bought a lot of stuff from Aliexpress (over 250 orders, some of which have 2 or more items), and so far my experience has been mostly positive. I have set a few guidelines for myself, that have kept me safe with not only on AliExpress, but on all online shopping platforms in general.

Some of my recent orders
    1. I buy from large volume sellers, and avoid knock-offs. For electronics and clothing I shop for Chinese name brands. The same way as you would look up reviews on Dell, HP and Apple products, you can look up reviews on LenovoHuawei, etc. Usually, the same product will be sold by a number of different sellers, and unless it is a product that just appeared on the market, you should be able to find listings that have reviews, or search online for the product overview.
    2. I always check seller rating. There are sellers that sell so much they simply can not be bothered with the buyers that received damaged or wrong product.
    3. I always check the product review – even if the seller is a good guy, the product may not be. Unless the thing you want to buy was just introduced to the market the day before (you won’t see a lot of those), chances are that someone else has already bought it.
    4. I use common sense. The “too good to be true” is a statement that can be stretched pretty far, if you are new to AliExpress; but it is not difficult to understand that a 52″ 4K TV can not cost $300. If you have doubts, look closely at the seller page and see if they have any other products that are priced way too low. It is also helpful to look at the weight and the dimensions of the package – if it is a fake listing, chances are the seller did not pay attention to such small details.
    5. I always keep my eyes on the tracking status, and report issues, if any, in time. If the product got lost in the mail (which by the way has not happened once with any of my purchases), or if you receive he wrong item (sellers are humans, and that could happen too) it is up to you to report it.

I have also heard a lot of concerns from people about worrying over paying with their credit card on AliExpress. I have went through two different cards, neither of which had any unauthorized transactions – I use my card often, and check my balance every day. The Alipay system they currently have in place, should you choose to use it, prevents you from having to enter the card number in every time, which is good against keyloggers.

Having said that, I heard about cases when the seller would request credit card information to “verify” something. Never do that! The seller does not get your credit card information at any point; instead, AliExpress use ESCROW system, which means they take the payment from you, hold on to it, and credit it to the seller’s account once you confirm the receipt of the goods.

So instead of worrying about the legitimacy of AliExpress, focus your efforts on dodging dodgy sellers.

AliExpress is a real website; it is an awesome marketplace, way better than Amazon and eBay in my opinion. If you are willing to spend some time there (or if you read my blog :), you are looking at very handsome savings.

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