The AliExpress marketplace is the brainchild of renowned Chinese entrepreneur Ma Yun and one of the companies that make up the Alibaba group. In fact, this is not an online store, but an electronic "bazaar" : there are many sellers who compete with each other. A person who wants to buy a Chinese smartphone will find on AliExpress a lot of offers of the same product, moreover, great value.
Among Russians, AliExpress is extremely popular - according to data for 2015, the site of the trading platform is in the top 10 most visited sites in Russia. The reason for the popularity is commonplace: low prices . One of the main principles of the "guru" of Ma Yun's company is to bet on buyers who are not burdened with an excess of money , namely on "provincials." Residents of small towns make up an impressive part of the army of AliExpress buyers.
Even those who did not buy anything on the AliExpress portal heard it. The crooked translation on the site has become a “talk of the town” - it is in every possible way ridiculed in social networks . They are not in a hurry to fix such a problem, despite all its obviousness - it is possible because with correctly compiled cards there will be “not the same” AliExpress.
This annoying moment is not the only drawback of the site. The design of the portal is unnecessarily simple, even primitive.
It is striking that Alibaba employees did not take care of any New Year's design (the review was carried out 3 days before the beginning of 2017), while, for example, the M.Video portal is fully adapted for the New Year theme. Despite the fact that the Chinese celebrate their New Year, usually coming in early February, an impressive part of the portal's customers are foreigners, for whom this holiday has special meaning.
The start page in Russian ( www.ru.aliexpress.com ) is overloaded with advertising : the most attention is paid to the new MALL service, which makes it possible to distribute goods through AliExpress and Russian “dealers”. The portal states that the MALL service offers the Russians a host of advantages, including faster delivery and warranty service. However, at the same time, it is silent that the prices at MALL do not differ significantly from retail prices, and it was the low price that has always been a decisive argument in favor of AliExpress. In addition to “MALL”, on the start page there are collections in the spirit of “ Hot Products ”, “ Quality Mark ”, “ Reviews ”. In each of these collections the goods are “stuffed” completely unsystematically - cosmetics and children's backpacks are next to the clothes.
In the review of the Euroset portal, we noted the high customer focus of the online store. The AliExpress portal in this regard is the complete antipode - it seems that here no one cares about what the client really needs . In terms of the quality of website design, AliExpress loses not only to Euroset, but also, for example, to the well-known GearBest online store. The last defeat is the most painful, because GearBest more and more seriously lays claim to the laurels of the best seller of Chinese goods and aims to move AliExpress “on the throne”.
Assortment of goods and catalog
Establishing sufficiently accurately how many smartphones are sold on AliExpress is very problematic, since this portal is precisely a trading platform where sellers constantly come and from where they periodically leave. Experts say that there are several tens of thousands of available gadgets, so from the point of view of the assortment, AliExpress significantly outperforms any Russian online store, whether it ’s Svyaznoy or M.Video , or even the much-praised GearBest, where 50,000 mobile devices are on sale. However, the exact number does not matter: no matter what the name of the smartphone the user drives into the search bar, the results will certainly appear. For example, we tried to find the UMI Z model exotic for the Russian market and found that you can buy this smartphone from 7 sellers!
By clicking on the product image, the user is in the catalog card. The card leaves a good impression due to its high information content.
At the top of the card you can see the name of the store-seller, the number of years of work on the market, as well as the proportion of positive reviews in their total number. Experts do not recommend cooperating with stores with the latest figure below 96%. The seller we chose, the Guophone Digital Store , barely passes this requirement.
The presence of a huge number of photos of the smartphone from different angles is also pleasing: some of them are located to the left of the main image, some are below the specification.
A listing of product characteristics is located directly below the main image, and this is convenient - on GearBest, for example, a visitor has to go down almost to the basement of the site to find out what the parameters of the smartphone are. However, “Ali” cards have a drawback: they do not contain video reviews of devices - something that GearBest can brag about.
Prices and affordable payment methods
Prices on AliExpress were really low at the “dollar for 30 rubles”, because the Chinese “businessmen” initially determine the value in American currency. Then prices are converted into rubles at the current rate. After the dollar almost doubled, buying on Ali was not at all as profitable as before: prices remained lower than retail prices , but not so much that the discount could compensate for the inconvenience of a month and a half delivery.
It is only reasonable to compare AliExpress prices with GearBest and similar stores - it is clear that domestic retailers will lose. We use the same UMI Z model and draw parallels:
UMI Z on AliExpress
UMI Z on GearBest
17 551 rubles
18 493 rubles
Number of sellers
From this comparison, it’s clear why AliExpress is still the “king of the hill." The prices for gadgets on Ali are lower, and there are more offers. However, there is a program on GearBest, thanks to which the buyer can get a discount on the product if he finds it cheaper - we talked about this in the GearBest review . Therefore, it is possible that the applicant for UMI Z will be able to buy a smartphone on GearBest at the price stated in the AliExpress catalog. If you do not look at such programs, we can say that AliExpress prices remain the lowest for Russians, even despite the strengthening of the dollar.
As for the ways to pay for goods, AliExpress offers a lot of possibilities:
- With a plastic card . The trading platform works not only with Visa and Master Card, but also with Maestro.
- With electronic wallets . It supports Yandex.Money, Qiwi-wallet, WebMoney.
- From a mobile phone account . Owners of SIM cards MTS, Tele2, Beeline, Megafon, but not Yota subscribers, will be able to pay in this way.
- Through the Western Union system.
- Bank transaction. This is a useful way for those who have a bank account but do not have a plastic card.
- In cash. The customer receives an SMS message on the phone number, which contains the payment code. This code allows you to pay in cash at mobile phone stores, at Russian post offices, or at branches of companies specializing in international transfers.
No other online store, except AliExpress, provides so many diverse ways to pay for a purchase - including GearBest, which is not friendly with electronic money.
Delivery of goods
Delivery of goods from AliExpress is free if carried out by China Post. However, the customer will have to be patient. According to the assurances of the portal AliExpress, the duration of free delivery is 15-50 days, but hoping that the gadget will arrive in 15 days is completely pointless. If the user is lucky, he will receive the order 1.5 months after placing the application. Otherwise, the customer should refer to the product card, where the limit of the waiting period established by the seller is indicated.
If the seller fails to meet, the buyer has the right to demand the full amount back . However, few people use this option for a number of reasons: firstly , the deadline for waiting for delivery is usually quite long, and the seller "has time", and secondly , the money is returned not immediately , but within 15 days.
The customer can shorten the waiting time for the goods if he uses the paid services of postal companies. EMS delivers orders in 10-20 days, FedEx in 4-8 days, SPSR in about 1 week. The cost of services of these companies is not fixed and depends on the price and weight of the order.
A useful option on AliExpress is the built-in package tracker , thanks to which the customer can always be aware of where his purchase is located.
According to the tracker, the order goes from China to Russia for about a month, the remaining time is spent on domestic delivery.
Unfortunately, the built-in AliExpress order tracking software is not always able to provide the buyer with accurate and detailed information. Let's say the service “Where is the Package?” Is a much more functional tracker.
Despite the rather nondescript design of the site, AliExpress remains the leading Chinese trading platform, and, apparently, will continue to be it for a long time. Here are a number of advantages that allow AliExpress to "rise" above competitors:
- Low prices . Products on AliExpress are cheaper than on GearBest, and much cheaper, weeks in Russian online stores.
- A lot of payment methods . AliExpress also accepts electronic money, which most online markets neglect.
- An impressive range. On Ali, the buyer will find gadgets of even the most little-known of Asian manufacturers, moreover, most likely, at once from several sellers.
- Built-in package tracker. With this program you can track the approximate location of the parcel.
- Free shipping. When applying for services to China Post, the customer does not have to pay anything.
AliExpress also has cons:
- "Curve" site . Even if we ignore the completely ridiculous machine translation, it cannot be said that AliExpress is a portal where you can have a good time.
- Long delivery . The buyer should not hope that the goods will be brought to him earlier than a month after placing the order.
- Marriage Negative reviews are multiplying on the Internet, in which buyers speak out that they didn’t get what they wanted from AliExpress.
Nevertheless, the attractive power of saving does its job. AliExpress can afford not to take care of its website, because this trading platform has long earned a stable reputation as a store where everything is fantastically cheap.
Have you ordered gadgets on AliExpress ? Write about your experience with this store in the comments! We look forward to hearing from you!