AliExpress vs Amazon 2020

by Tim Howard

Have you ever ordered something off an eCommerce site and wondered if it was available elsewhere with better deals?

Well, that’s kind of the predicament I face on a weekly basis while ordering online. With a growing trend of online shopping, one is bound to buy something from a single site only to find out later on that it was either cheaper or came with better shipping times on another site, it’s the same with AliExpress and Amazon.

AliExpress has products listed much cheaper than Amazon but most Americans will still stick to Amazon because of their delivery times and that Amazon is local to them. Why not try AliExpress once? Maybe things might turn out different..

Let’s take a look at how similar and how different AliExpress and Amazon are at the same time.

AliExpress vs Amazon 2020

AliExpressAmazon
Price ComparisonExtremely cheap prices as compared to other eCommerce sites and retail stores.Marked lower than retail rates and in store rates. However, not cheaper than AliExpress
Range of ProductsAppliances, Toys, Apparel, Electronic Goods, Health ProductsAppliances, Toys, Apparel, Electronic Goods, Health Products
ShippingLonger shipping time due to the fact that goods are shipped from China.Has centers in all countries so shipping is normally done within 1-5 days.
Customer SupportQueries are resolved in a ticketed form where the first point of contact is the seller of the product.Customer support is available around the clock with queries being resolved within 24-48 hours.
SafetyBuyer protection and a protected gateway.A-Z guarantee for most products and the option of Amazon Pay for a secured payment.
Verdict3/54/5

What is AliExpress?

AliExpress is the child of Jack Ma and Joseph Tsai, the founders of Alibaba.com, the largest retail hub in China where businesses serve other businesses and customers, at the same time. Having been around for ten years now AliExpress has grown at an exponential pace taking the Alibaba brand to #5 in the list of largest internet based companies in the world.

What is Amazon?

Founded by the current richest man in the world, Amazon was started in the garage of Jeff Bezos in 1994 and since then has grown into a multinational corporation that deals in everything you can think of, depending on where you’re located.

Price Comparison

Over the past few years, AliExpress has slowly been gaining popularity across Europe for the cheap products available on their site. 

  • AliExpress is also known for their famous online sales such as the Chinese New year sale in the month of January and the Singles day sales that just ended. 
  • Sellers on AliExpress tend to quote lower than margin prices for their products only because they can afford to. Products are normally manufactured and sourced from locally making them cheaper than the marked up prices in other countries post exporting the goods.
  • AliExpress runs on discounts and other promo codes that make these cheap products available at an even lower rate. 
  • Amazon on the other hand is more like an algorithm designed to retain customers with lucrative offers and daily deals. Products retailed on Amazon are listed at slightly lower than sale rates making them cheaper than physical stores but expensive as compared to AliExpress.
  • Amazon has a subscription service called Prime Membership which allows registered users to avail faster delivery and lower prices through sales such as the Amazon Prime Day.
  • Let’s take a look at an example of the difference in prices. On AliExpress, a pair of Sony MH750 earphones is available at $3.70 whereas on amazon, the same product is available for $14.99
AliExpress vs Amazon
AliExpress vs Amazon
  • Another fine example will be the rate of the OnePlus 8GB 128GB version which is about $100 cheaper from AliExpress, as compared to the retail price of $649 on Amazon.
AliExpress vs Amazon
AliExpress vs Amazon

It is quite clear that AliExpress does in fact have the same products listed at a highly discounted price than Amazon. Again it’s important to remember that the reason for the drastic difference in the price of products on AliExpress is because of the lower commission rate charged to the sellers, so sellers are happy to sell their goods with discounted rates.

Winner: AliExpress for Cheaper prices

Range of Products

Both AliExpress and Amazon have all that you’re looking for. Both sites have new and used products from various sellers. 

These are the top 5 most sought after products listed on both AliExpress and Amazon.

AliExpressAmazon
Tempered Glass and other mobile accessoriesAlexa Dot
Charging DocksCamera film and accessories
Bluetooth earphones and headphonesGift cards
JewelryNintendo Switch

Shipping

Both sites have different shipping policies and methods they follow.

  • When it comes to the shipping of these products to your destination, Amazon has it delivered from within 24 hours to a maximum of 7 days depending on the availability of the product.
  • Whereas, AliExpress goods will be shipped from their Chinese warehouse and would take on average, about 30-50 days to reach. 
  • Shipping costs vary on both sites and unless you have Amazon Prime Membership the shipping cost on Amazon would vary between $2 and $4 per order. 
  • AliExpress provides users with a range of shipping methods that either provide faster delivery times but at a premium, or free shipping with a longer wait time. 

Winner: Well, Amazon wins for their faster delivery times. While AliExpress tends to take more time as they’re located overseas.

Customer Support

The similarity between both sites is that in order to have any query resolved you will have to sign in to the website or application first. They don’t provide sales or support to guest accounts.

  • In both cases, you’d be reaching out to an AI bot that provides you with reasonable answers to your query. 
  • With AliExpress you’re instructed to reach out to the seller of the product first and only in the instance where there is no resolution provided on the complaint or query will the Support team of AliExpress step in. 
  • When it comes to Amazon, they have a pretty decent customer support team that manages to resolve your query within 24-48 hours. This is applicable only after the seller is contacted and questioned about the order at hand. You can do this by reaching out to them through your signed in account with a query pertaining to your current order via the website or app.
  • Both AliExpress and Amazon have money back guarantees for the products sold through their platforms, AliExpress follows a buyer protection program which allows customers to receive a refund in the case where no resolution has been provided by the seller.
  • Similarly, Amazon has an A-Z guarantee that enables them to provide you with a refund on your physical orders  if the seller has not provided a resolution in 48 hours. A refund is guaranteed if certain criteria are met.

Winner: Amazon winds this round with their ability to resolve queries much faster than with AliExpress.

Safety

AliExpress and Amazon are safe platforms to buy from as payments are made on a secure webpage guaranteeing your card details and bank information keyed in are safe.

  •  AliExpress lets you save your preferred cards and bank accounts for faster payments and guarantees that all transactions are secured. 
  • Amazon has the same payment methods but also includes Amazon Pay which is a virtual Amazon wallet that provides you with benefits after each transaction.
  • AliExpress and Amazon come with a buyer protection policy that’s ideal while making payments online, because who knows what could go wrong.

Winner: Well it’s a tie between AliExpress and Amazon. However Amazon may gain +1 considering it has Amazon Pay.

Overall Verdict

AliExpress vs Amazon proves to us that there are more than one prime shopping destination online. Both the sites are brilliant in their own way with AliExpress being the choice of millions mainly for their low prices of the products listed. At times paying a low price while waiting for a long time is not such a bad thing. 

Yes, items do get delivered and orders do get fulfilled but my personal recommendation for low cost international products will always be AliExpress.

Truth be told, it depends on what you’re shopping for, how long you’re willing to wait and if you want to pay a higher or lower price for the same goods. 

All in all, they deliver your money’s worth, every time. 

Can I drop ship on Amazon?

Drop shipping on Amazon is possible thanks to their Fulfilled by Amazon program. This allows you to ship products directly to Amazon and they will carry the inventory of goods and have them shipped to the customers who placed the order.

What is the most searched for item on Amazon?

Currently, the most searched for item on Amazon is the Nintendo Switch with a search volume of 1,020,000 times.

Does AliExpress sell fake stuff?

AliExpress has millions of sellers listed and of those there may be one or two who would try some gimmick. Yes, though the platform is safe to use and ideal to buy from in bulk, it still is an online marketplace and sellers can tend to take advantage of the situation. It’s best to be aware while buying online, no matter which site you’re using.

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