Shopping online on Chinese shops and portals is a great way to buy high quality consumer electronics, interesting gadgets, fashionable clothing and accessories and other stuff that you won’t anywhere else, and all that at the very low prices. Before you start shopping, however, you should know some basic tips that will help you avoid problems and get most from your Chinese shopping. Read our guide below and buy safely in the biggest shopping portals from China: GearBest, Aliexpress, DHgate and many others.
Shop only on trustworthy websites
Among many Chinese shopping online stores and portals that you can find on the Internet, several of them are biggest and most trustworthy and you should focus on them. At the end of this article you will find a list of those tried and proven sites, which are recommended by us. Other smaller stores are not as reliable, have worse customer service or do not offer any warranty or returns if there are any problems with purchased goods. Reputable and trustworthy stores provide secure connection, have many payment methods and get positive reviews online. Remember that by buying in suspicious shops you risk not only, that you goods won’t be delivered. Fraudulent store operator can steal your credit card details, so choose where you buy wisely.
List of GearBest certificates and payment methods. This popular Chinese online store supports a number of additional payment methods such as PayPal and Webmoney and is certified by McAffee, which ensures that your purchase is safe and secure.
Know your warranty and refund terms
Even the most credible and respected shop can sometimes send you the wrong goods by mistake or sell you a faulty product. In that case, you should check the available warranty and refund terms. For example, GearBest has a very transparent return policy and its warranty covers one year from the date of purchase, plus you can apply for a refund of the return of your product to China if you have paid through PayPal (may depend on the country). The terms of warranty and refunds for each portal can be found on the pages like “Return & Refund Policy,” “Buyers Protection” or similar, and you can read them before making a purchase, which might be important especially when you buy more expensive products.
Know the difference between online shop and e-commerce platform
Not every Chinese shopping portal is actually a shop. Some of them are e-commerce platform providers, enabling the sale of products by individual sellers. The most popular among these kind of portals is Aliexpress. If you shop on Aliexpress, you may want to check the seller’s feedback, expressed in the number of transactions made and by his rating. In case of any problems with your order, you will not arrange refund with the portal itself, but with the seller, and only when both sides fail to reach an agreement, Aliexpress steps in and resolves dispute. And if you purchase from a store like GearBest or Banggood, there are no middlemen – you contact the store directly.
An example of seller feedback on Aliexpress. This seller has many points (sold goods to 13926 buyers), has been active for 6 years and has a good average rating of 97.4%, which means that you can safely buy from him.
Choose a secure payment method
The most popular method of online payment is credit card, but it might be also least secure. Credit card details might be intercepted by a fraudulent shop, so be sure not to buy anything from small and unknown stores. If shopping portal offers alternative payment methods, then you should use them. For example GearBest has PayPal payment option, Aliexpress has many local, country-specific payment methods and DHGate allows payments through wire transfer and Western Union. Some of these methods also provide additional buyer protection, so that is another reason to use it.
Payment methods available on Aliexpress. The selection is huge, which is always beneficial for customers.
Read the product description carefully
Since you are buying from Chinese shop, you can’t always count on the description of an item in proper English and many things may be unclear to you, so read it carefully before you buy. If you still have doubts, you can contact the store and ask seller a question. Most Chinese shops offer contact via contact form, live chat or mobile app. Remember that if you are from Europe or the United States, you should expect that you might get your answer the next day, because China is in a different time zone, and the hours of operation of the Chinese store are different than your local working time. Also, always try to be concise and straight to the point, because Chinese sellers don’t speak perfect English, but their language is very understandable and ultimately you shouldn’t have any problems communicating.
We recommend buying on GearBest where you can buy inexpensive Chinese products, most often with free delivery. You can also read our reviews and find out more about items from from GearBest on bestgear.me.