Aliexpress fraud overview: how to avoid it

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Good day to you!

Could you please tell me if there are ways to completely eliminate the possibility of being deceived and defrauded on the part of sellers on AliExpress?
asked Jan 25, 2017 in Internet by Vival

1 Answer

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Good day!
I’ll tell you straight off – there is a way to eliminate the chance of fraudulence on AliExpress; just follow my further recommendations on how to do that.
You should understand clearly that AliExpress is a usual market, despite the fact that it is located in the Internet. Just like any other market, it hosts both honest sellers, who have great reputation and huge stores, and crooks.
Market (AliExpress) management has established rigid rules for sellers, which enable to eliminate possible fraudulence completely. But a buyer should keep these rules in mind and follow them closely, and only in this case he will be 100% protected. There are 4 basic types of fraudulence on AliExpress and lots of their variations. But you can be 100% sure that there is a way to avoid all of these situations.

Purchase shipment fraudulence

This is the easiest and the most common type of fraudulence. The seller informs about having shipped the goods and provides you with a tracking number. Such a number can even indicate something, but in fact it’s a fake (or somebody else’s) number. You will never receive your merchandise as it hasn’t been actually shipped to you. And the seller will hope that you’ll forget about your purchase and he’ll get the money for nothing after the delivery time is over.
It’s extremely simple to avoid this situation – just don’t forget about the goods you’ve bought and keep tracking the delivery time left. It’s indicated in each order’s card:

Purchase shipment fraudulence on AliExpress

2-3 days prior to expiration of the delivery time (buyer’s protection time) you should initiate a dispute or require prolongation of the protection period (if you have required the prolongation – make sure that the seller has implemented it). You can find detailed information about such a case in my article: My package hasn't arrived, what should I do?
To keep track of your purchase and the buyer’s protection time, you can, for example, set a reminder in your phone.

Fraudulence with disputes initiating and closing

This kind of fraudulence supposes that a buyer isn’t aware of AliExpress rules and to avoid it, you should simply know these rules. 
When making any order from AliExpress, a buyer can initiate a dispute and return the money in whole or in part. However, it’s of crucial importance to know that such a dispute can be initiated only once for each order.
The fraudulence scheme is as follows: The seller allegedly ships the purchase and then informs the buyer that the goods he has shipped contain some minor fault. For example, it can be the merchandise of wrong color or have other package contents. The seller offers to compensate for this mistake and to return 10-50% of the goods price. An unprepared buyer takes the bait and agrees to such a freebie. The seller asks to initiate a dispute and to stipulate the previously discussed percentage of refund. The buyer does it and the seller confirms the dispute. After that the buyer receives the stipulated sum, but the dispute is now closed and cannot be initiated again. AliExpress Management considers that the order is complete and the buyer is satisfied, so they transfer the whole order cost to the seller.

Fraudulence with disputes initiating and closing on Aliexpress
As the result, the buyer receives no purchase, because, in fact, the seller hasn’t shipped anything. However, he cannot initiate a new dispute as there has already been one. The seller receives a great part of the order price just for nothing.
How to avoid: Never initiate a dispute until you get the purchase.

Counterfeit/low quality goods fraudulence

The gist of this method is described in its name – you receive the parcel with you purchase, but find counterfeit or damaged goods in there.
How to avoid: Open the parcel immediately after receiving it and examine all the goods. If you ordered a storing device, a memory card or a flash drive, you can follow our instruction to check it: h2testw: Download and user guide.
If your purchase is expensive, it is obligatory to catch the unpacking process on video – it can be easily done, using any modern smartphone. 

The right way to make a video about the parcel opening:

  1. Make a single uninterrupted recording with no edits and joins;
  2. The parcel and the goods should always be fully present on the screen;
  3. Before opening the parcel, demonstrate it from every side to the camera, in order everyone can see that it is undamaged. Make sure to take a close-up of the sticker, containing your address and number to show that this is the parcel in question;
  4. Open the parcel carefully and take out the goods one by one, showing them to the camera from every side;
  5. If there are fewer items than there should be – be sure to demonstrate the empty parcel. 

With such a video you get a 100% guarantee of winning the dispute.

PayPal fraudulence

It shouldn’t necessarily be PayPal, this can happen with almost every payment system. When you have an opened dispute (no matter what’s the reason), the seller offers to compensate for the goods, using PayPal or any other system. At the same time, you should stipulate zero compensation in the dispute and close it.
Is the buyer agrees, he receives money on his PayPal account and the dispute is closed…However, sometime later the seller starts a new dispute in PayPal system, arguing that he has sent the money by mistake. PayPal has no reasons to refuse returning the sum and the buyer is left with nothing.
How to avoid: Never agree to accomplish any financial operations outside AliExpress.

If you have read our article carefully and memorized all the advice, you can buy from AliExpress without being afraid of any fraudulence – there are simply no other ways to deceive you. Proceed to AliExpress website and buy with confidence!
Good luck to you!
If you have any questions left or need more details – please, ask a question or leave a comment.

answered Jan 25, 2017 by Expert Brian (5,410 points)
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