Avoid AliExpress Scams: The Ultimate FAQ Guide

by Stanley


AliExpress is one of the top-trending and well-trusted e-commerce marketplaces worldwide. Before purchasing any product, there has to be a buyer-seller conversation. That is what leads to the purchase process and, finally, delivery of the product. 

However, sometimes we come across stories that claim AliExpress to be a scam website. If not, some buyers report facing a particular scam.

This article explains more about the trustworthiness of AliExpress. It will give a few essential tips to help you be on the high alert for scammers. So, don’t be afraid to dropship products from the site if you like any.

Let’s check it out!

Is AliExpress a Scam Website?

No. AliExpress isn’t a scam website. Since its establishment in 2010 under the Alibaba Group’s umbrella, it is flourishing. The site is very legit, and many people have evidence of products from the site.

aliexpress scam

The platform is famous for selling cheap products. Quality will vary from one brand to the other. But, not all that glitters is gold.

Like any other online marketplace, while the majority of sellers are genuine, a few are not. Some are unscrupulous and use the space to swindle money from naive buyers.

It is a common practice. But with the correct information in mind, you can shop safely. Ensure to take the necessary precautionary measures to buy goods.

Here the word “Scamming” doesn’t only mean paying for a product before delivery and not receiving it.

It could be that you are given a counterfeit package, and the seller goes mute or blocks you. There is a way forward once you notice a scam. Hopefully, you can get help.

Can You Get Scammed on AliExpress?

aliexpress scam

As a huge online marketplace, there are both genuine and fake sellers. So, depending on how much diligence you show, you might face any of these three situations.

You can lose your money partially, almost lose it, or escape the trap.

So, we cannot deny that there are no possibilities. On the platform, the buyer will depend on the few pictures of products and the description. Thus, it will be challenging to gauge the quality of what you are buying.

Because of this, some grubby sellers take advantage and bypass the system. They can use high-quality photos from other sites and use them to advertise. In short, what they are selling doesn’t relate to the quality of what you see in the photos.

How Can You Tell a Scam on AliExpress?

To enjoy the best dropshipping experience on AliExpress, you need to know how to detect scams. As a novice, this can be challenging as you are the first target because scammers assume you have no experience shopping on the platform.

AliExpress tries hard to fight such juggling acts by banning irresponsible sellers. But, the scammers can still find a way to get back to the site. This p explains how to be on the alert for these thieves.

1. Extremely Low and Doubtful Prices

The quality of products on sale on the AliExpress marketplace differs from one seller and brand to another. Meager and doubtful prices are red flags. They all don’t mean that you are getting a good deal. It could be crap or a fraudulent seller.

2. Cheap Brand Products

aliexpress scam

Here, we talk about business tycoons like LG, Samsung, Nike, Puma, Apple, and the likes. Be cautious when brand products are available at a low price. For instance, an iPhone 7 going for $20 is a blunt lie.

3. Check Reviews and Ratings

Reviews are a way to know the authenticity of a seller. If they have over 70 reviews, go through them. Try and pick out those that sound like scams. If the number alarms you, trust your instincts.

4. Check the Store’s History

Confirm how long the store has been operating on the platform. The longer, the better. But remember, scammers could have been there longer, too. Check how frequently they get buyers. It shows how active the vendor is.

Confirm their last sale. The seller could have been there for a long time with an older last sale date.

5. Engage the Seller

Strike a conversation with the seller and assess how they respond. You can take note of how they answer your questions. Ask about any guarantees and conclude if the conversation sits right with you.

What Are the Scams I Need to Avoid on AliExpress?

Now that you know some scammers exist on the platform, you can work around it. You need to know the types of scams to watch out for before you start.

1. Payment Scam

Some scammers, most of the time, use PayPal. After opening a dispute, they might convince you to close it. They promise to pay via PayPal.

The seller proceeds to fund your PayPal but waits until the buyer’s protection period elapses. The scam starts here.

The seller might initiate a chargeback on PayPal. Many times, they do it under the ‘non-delivery of service or goods’ clause.

2. Hoax Tracking Number Scam

aliexpress scam

After spotting a good deal on AliExpress, you buy it. You will get a tracking number that will show the delivery of your package.

But on your end, you don’t have the goods yet. This scam is different from the one where the package goes to another address.

3. Extra Money Scam

Such sellers will sob in your inbox with vague reasons. Often, they say they can’t send the package to you at such a low fee. They will send a link for you to pay more.

4. Fake Certifications

As we know, the bureau of standards sets quality compliance rules for the manufacturers and sellers. It helps ensure high-quality products in the market.

Moreover, a marketplace like AliExpress has massive competition among suppliers. As a result, some sellers prefer to circumvent quality rules by presenting fake certifications of the product.

In this scam, buyers get drawn to the fake images, descriptions, and certifications of the product. However, they end up getting a poor quality product.

This scam is quite common on most e-commerce platforms. Thus, always make sure you cross-check the seller’s authenticity before placing an order.

5. Closing a Dispute and Resending Scam

The seller will not agree to a refund when you open the dispute. It could be because you didn’t receive your package or it had an issue.

But, the seller might tell you to close the dispute, and he will resend your product. Once you agree and the buyer protection period is over, there is nothing you can do.

6. Incorrect Shipping Method

You will buy the product by paying extra for a suitable shipping method. But, the seller will ship the package with a different method. It will be a low-costly or slower one.

Nevertheless, here you can dispute the extra shipping cost.

7. Re-sending Package With a New Order

aliexpress scam

Most often, the seller agrees to send the product once again. He might propose you place the order once again. Here, the seller will adjust the pricing of a new order to $0.01.

You will receive a new tracking code. The seller ships the package to the new address, and you will forget about the dispute.

Once the buyer protection period ends, there is nothing you get. The second package can arrive or not.

How to Avoid Scams on AliExpress?

Staying away from scammers on AliExpress isn’t a tricky thing. However, you have to be on high alert and know how to pick them out. Here is how to avoid unscrupulous sellers on the platform.

1. Check the Store’s Duration

If the shop has been running for over two or three years, it could be believable. If it shows less than one year old, they are often yet to confirm their quality. So, it is better to switch to another seller or wait for a while.

2. Confirm the Buyer’s Protection Policy

Look at the store’s buyer protection policy. The seller should agree to a full refund in case you don’t receive the package.

If the item isn’t what you see in the description, they should give a partial or full refund.

3. Check the Buyers’ Feedback

You can find it in the rating and review p. Sift through the reviews to see what previous buyers are saying. Some have original photos of how the products look.

Check if they have any complaints. It helps you make up your mind whether you can trust the seller.

4. Check the Last Sale Day

If the seller’s last sale date is very recent, they might have many customers. It is a sign that customers are buying the product. How frequently they buy the product is also essential.

5. Inbox the Seller Before Making an Order

Please communicate with the seller via inbox and engage them. Ask about the product’s quality, shipping, and other concerns you have. Try to figure out how responsive they are to your queries.

In the end, it will help you know if they are legit or not.

6. Don’t Fall for Very Low Prices

There are times when you see so many sales on the platform. But, don’t fall for meager and insensible prices. If the package is very cheap than usual, even when there is a sale, be cautious as it can be fake.

7. Avoid Free Shipping on Expensive Products

Most scammers use free shipping on expensive products to lure you. It can be tempting but don’t risk it. Most often, they ship through the post office or other cheap shipping service.

In such cases, proper handling of your product isn’t a guarantee.

8. Pay Safe – Pay through AliExpress!

Whenever you buy something from AliExpress, don’t get tempted with lucrative offers that ask you to pay outside AliExpress.

Even if the seller tells you to give some hefty discounts on purchases, don’t make a direct payment to his bank account. Instead, you can choose to pay through the AliExpress platform.

That’s because AliExpress protection policies won’t apply to such direct payments. As a result, buyers turn more vulnerable to the AliExpress scam.

9. Test the Product before Confirming Its Delivery!

On AliExpress, there is an option that allows buyers to confirm the receipt of the product. Many customers make the mistake of confirming product delivery as soon as they receive the package. Don’t rush to approve the product receipt.

Instead, you can take time to look through the product and test it. Only after you feel satisfied with it, go ahead and confirm the receipt.

Is It Safe to Use Credit or Debit Cards to Avoid AliExpress Scam?

aliexpress scam

Yes. It is safe to pay via debit or credit card. But, most people are afraid of their data. If you pay using your credit card, you get points. You can also dispute payment if the buyer protection is taking long.

What Should I Do if I Have Been Scammed on AliExpress?

If it is possible on your end, file a dispute with the seller. You will have to explain the reason for opening the dispute. But, there is a period before the buyer protection turns invalid.

A buyer must wait for not less than ten business days after seeing that the site approves the shipment. AliExpress gives you five business days to settle with the vendor. If there is no settlement or agreement after this, AliExpress comes in.

It will take somewhere three business days for the company to decide. Even if the seller messages you to close the dispute, don’t do it. Wait until you feel confident. There will be a p to upload evidence.

Ensure that you attach as much evidence as possible. Make your explanation simple enough. That’s because it avoids any language barrier problems with customer care.

How Does a Dropshipping Agent Help You Avoid AliExpress Scams?

Using a Dropshipping agent is a great way to avoid scams on AliExpress. The agent will buy goods on the payer’s behalf. You have to select what you want and send them. They do quality checks for you to receive the correct goods.

aliexpress scam

They also have dependable suppliers for shipping globally. It can take anywhere between 3 to 21 days. But, it will depend on your location, too.

The agent will get rid of unnecessary packaging. They also combine your orders to create one package. What’s more, the efficiency of shipping will be higher. In short, you get relief from the time-consuming tasks, like packaging and shipping.

Are you interested in having a dropshipping agent to ensure your product’s safety? Worry no more! You can avoid potential AliExpress scams through tailored services like product sourcing and worldwide fulfillment. Get them now!

Final Thoughts!

AliExpress is a safe marketplace. We attribute this statement to all the safety measures the company is enforcing. An example is the buyer and seller guarantee that cushions both parties.

But, there are preventive measures that every shopper has to exercise.

Ensure that you use the information in this article to stay away from scammers. Know how to identify them. Also, doing your due diligence is very important.

The best advice would be to use a reliable drop shipping agent. If you don’t feel confident buying goods on AliExpress by yourself, they can play a vital role in ensuring the safety of your products.

In case you buy a product and realize the seller was a scammer, there is a way out. Filing a dispute if you are within the buyer protection period can help.

Lastly, if you come to the point of filing a dispute, ensure that you attach as much evidence as possible. There are high chances that you will get a refund.

As of now, this article might help you shop without risks on AliExpress. Happy dropshipping!

About the Author

stanley nieh ceo


Over 10 years of experience in foreign trade
Helped 2k+ customers improve their dropshipping businesses

8 thoughts on “Avoid AliExpress Scams: The Ultimate FAQ Guide”

  1. I have been a customer of AliExpress for many years. Buyer protection is in theory excellent, but in reality, it is the greatest scam! A couple of years ago I usually ended up with just judgements in disputes, but it took a lot of work. Now I rarely get any justice as they have changed dramatically and use return and refund instead of only refund. For me, the return cost is about $28, which is stupid for most orders and I end up paying a lot to end up with nothing. This is used by both sellers and the platform as blackmail. They might agree to your dispute but judging for a return knowing that it is just stupid to return the item as you will not get the money back. AliExpress lay almost all responsibility on the buyer and does nothing to stop plain fraud, dishonesty and lies, and there is a lot, and they are in reality protecting dishonest sellers. They recently changed both the dispute and appeal processes and they are now just a parody of justice! There are still decent shops on the platform, but if you end up with a dispute, you are very likely to not get your money back! Unless you are willing to lose your money and can accept that warranty, user rights and support are in reality close to zero, you should avoid AliExpress. eBay is much better, even if prices normally are higher!

  2. AliExpress has changed recently, something is going on there, and it’s not good. They are now flooded with “stores” selling fake or extremely low quality versions of products. Years ago, I had very good experience with them, had made many purchases, but now, horrible experiences, will not go there again.
    It seems they have abandoned any sort of quality or fraud control. Anyone can sell anything, and Aliexpress does not care, and they’ve made the dispute and refund process almost impossible to use.
    Sorry, but that’s just how it is.
    No, I’m not complaining about slow shipping and so on, I’m citing outright fraud, very obvious selling bogus products, the most recent being completely fake USB external drives that either didn’t work at all, or did not have anything even close to the advertised capacities

  3. AliExpress is a hit and miss place, have been shopping more than 10 years, many items, so many orders… some good, some bad. Just recently, as of 2023 January, they have lots of sellers using fake USPS labels and the items get stuck in the postal office due to shipment fees not paid. The only way to get them out is to pay postage fees and it does not work always. If the buyer cannot get the items out of USPS and open a dispute on AliExpress, there is only half of the amount paid is refunded. So the buyer gets nothing and pays half the price plus the headache. My impression so far AliExpress and other Chinese venues is their serious issues with integrity. There might be some exceptions but there is a significant number of Chinese sellers who are dishonest and always keep an open eye to scam buyers if there is a possibility or a legal cavity. I am not sure if this comes from Chinese culture, government, perception of life or something else underlying, but honesty is a big piece is missing nowadays. And it is so unfortunate that they are the largest hardware and material supplier of the entire world.

  4. I got disappointed by AliExpress recently. As per 2023, you will have problems to get your money back if the seller ships you whatever in a tracked mail.
    Had it that I received a completely worthless different item instead of my order.
    Ali just offers to refund if you return the product and pay insanely high shipping fees towards China. And I won’t count on the parcel to actually arrive and refund happens. Potentially the seller later claims that the returned product is not his and refuses further the refund based on this.
    Shop itself was around many years and had relatively good ratings. Maybe situation is different for higher priced items where shipping costs are neglectable. I will try to avoid Ali as much as possible. Unfortunately, some products/electronic components are only available there as non-commercial buyer.
    Some shops seem to offer “local returns”. That might be an option, but I have never tried.

  5. Hi, I have similiar problems with AE.
    I bought from 2 sellers LFP cells – of course new, of course grade A. But after testing it occured these are e-waste, old, used, worn cells. It was very difficult to get AE confirm the fault is the seller but they agreed I sent back the faulty cells on the seller expense. Of course I have to pay for the return shippment but they will pay me back.
    The problem is both sellers do not intend to customs clearance the packages because they have to pay an extra tax and duties. So they never receive the return thus never confirm they get it. And it makes impossible to close the claim and get the shipping cost money.
    EliExpress is a scam 🙁

  6. I have just been deceived, the seller put a photograph of the product, and sent me a completely different one, Aliexpress is a place where scammers abound, it is not reliable, I prefer to pay a few dollars more on Amazon or Ebay, but I know that I will not be scammed and The products are quality products, what you see in the photograph is what arrives in your mail. I never will buy on Aliexpress again.

  7. Aliexpress buyer protection has become fake this year. In the past I bought a lot from AE with really little problems which were always solved in a proper way. But now AE cooperates with fake shipping companies like Fardar that have fake hotlines and WA numbers and email addresses that are never answered. These companies forge Proof of delivery and then AE closes the buyers dispute without any evidence that parcel is actually delivered. They even do not disclose which shipping company they contacted for the Pod, how they contacted this company and who signed for the delivery. Everything they keep hidden that is very tricky. Only option is to contact your credit card company and try to get your money back. But then AE and buyer have been succesfull because they have the money without delivery the parcel !

  8. Putting AliExpress up on a throne is a real false claim. Two out of my last four orders were delivered to the wrong address. After may nasty Emails from AliExpress following my refund request, They said my request was invalid. I lost all the money. This started when AliExpress went to PiggyShip delivery service. Piggyship provided a photo of the delivery location, which was not my house. When confronted with the evidence, both Piggyship and AliExpress told me to go to hell. Don’t buy from AliExpress if shipped by Piggyship. Don’t buy from AliExpress.


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