Editor’s Rating: 4.9/5
reviewed December 7, 2015

With Ali Express, you get to take advantage of wholesale prices even though you are only buying a few items. Most sellers force their customers to purchase bulk orders to take advantage of these discounts, you get discounted prices whether you are buying one item or a hundred.

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I never really thought about how much money I spent until I had my first kid. As a single man without any dependents, I didn’t have to make a lot of money to enjoy a good life. If I wanted some new clothes, I simply went out and bought them. The same went for electronics. When something new came out, I was the first person in line to buy.

That changed when I had my daughter. Suddenly, I had to put someone else’s needs ahead of my own wants. Every dollar I spent on myself was a dollar taken away from her.

Ali Express - China's largest online shopping store for electronics, fashion, jewelry, toys and more

I knew that I had to change my spending habits to build a better future for her. At the same time, I didn’t want to completely deprive myself. I need nice clothes to feel confident. I need some electronics and accessories to stay current with technology.

Realizing that I had to make changes, I went to the Internet to find a website that could help me lower my spending. At first, I expected to rely on sites that would let me buy secondhand goods. I was surprised to find out that I could save just as much (and sometimes even more) buy using Ali Express.

Since discovering Ali Express, I have been a committed customer. I don’t deprive myself or my daughter of the things we need. Still, I have slashed my discretionary spending in half.

Ali Express - China's largest online shopping store for electronics, fashion, jewelry, toys and more

About Ali Express

Ali Express is one of several companies owned by Alibaba Group. Unlike Alibaba.com, though, Ali Express sells directly to consumers. The good thing about this is that you get to take advantage of wholesale prices even though you are only buying a few items. Most sellers force their customers to purchase bulk orders to take advantage of these discounts. With Ali Express, you get discounted prices whether you are buying one item or a hundred.

Top Features of Ali Express

There are a lot of things that I like about Ali Express. I’ll focus on two things that really stand out to me. There are a ton of discount websites out there, so you might as well choose one that matches your unique needs.

Large, Diverse Catalogue

A lot of websites focus on specific categories. They might sell clothing, but they won’t have electronics, toys, or jewelry. Those online retailers might be able to offer good deals by focusing on specific categories, but I don’t like such limitations.

Ali Express has something from practically any consumer category you can think of. The types of items I buy most often include:

Men's and women's clothes
Men’s and women’s clothes

Phone accessories
Phone accessories

Sports equipment
Sports equipment

Home and garden
Home and garden

Health products
Health products

Consumer electronics
Consumer electronics

Ali Express - China's largest online shopping store for electronics, fashion, jewelry, toys and more

Despite having more than a dozen categories, Ali Express still manages to keep its prices as low as possible.

I don’t like the idea of shopping at a lot of different sites. I would much rather purchase everything I need from the same company.

If nothing else, at least shopping with one website limits the number of times that I have to give out my payment information. Ali Express seems to have good security features, but you really can’t be too careful about your personal info. I mean, even the IRS got hacked! With Ali Express, I don’t have to worry that my information is out there on dozens of sites. It seems to me that the fewer sites you use, the safer you are.

With Ali Express, I can use fewer sites without limiting the types of items that I buy.

Mobile App

Over the years, I’ve started using laptop and desktop computers less and less. Unless I’m working, I prefer using my smartphone.

I was glad to see that Ali Express has a mobile app that lets me shop no matter where I am. I just pick up my phone, open the app, and start shopping.

Ali Express - China's largest online shopping store for electronics, fashion, jewelry, toys and more

This is an especially useful feature for people who like to comparison shop in the stores. If you see something that you want to buy, you can always use the Ali Express app to make sure you aren’t spending more than necessary. A lot of times, there are comparable products on the Ali Express site that cost considerably less than items sold in stores.

Ali Express Prices

Ali Express obviously has low prices that can help you save money on everyday purchases. In addition to those low prices, though, the site gives you plenty of opportunities to save even more. It mostly does this by giving shoppers chances to earn coupons.

I take advantage of every chance to earn coupons. Sometimes you get them for writing reviews of the products you buy. Sometimes you get them for sharing information about your purchases. I even got a coupon when I signed up to shop through the site.

Ali Express - China's largest online shopping store for electronics, fashion, jewelry, toys and more

Considering how easy it is to get coupons, it only makes sense to use them. Even if I only save a few dollars on an order, it’s worth the small effort.

Criticisms of Ali Express

Ali Express has made it possible for me to fill my closet and home with quality merchandise without forcing me to drain my bank account.

With that said, there is one serious criticism that you should consider before deciding whether Ali Express is the right online store for you.

The only problem I have with the company is that the shipping can take forever. Most of the time, I get my order in about a week. I understand that these packages are coming all the way from Asia, so a week seems pretty quick. There have been times, though, when my orders have taken 15 days.

That feels a bit long to me. It’s not a big deal if you’re just buying some cute clothes that you want to add to your wardrobe. With those things, it doesn’t really matter when it arrives.

For other things, though, the irregular shipping times can become problematic. Like, if you’re buying a replacement part for your computer. You don’t want to wait two weeks to get a part that you need for your computer to work well.

Ali Express - China's largest online shopping store for electronics, fashion, jewelry, toys and more

Special events can also make shipping delays problematic. Don’t order a kid’s birthday present a week before the special day. There’s too big a chance that it won’t show up on time. Then, you will arrive at the party with nothing but a card. Kids don’t really care for cards.

If you have some time restrictions, I would not recommend ordering from Ali Express. Then again, I wouldn’t recommend ordering from any online store that ships from outside of your country. It can take a while for packages to get through border checkpoints. Since it’s unpredictable, you shouldn’t take the chance.

When time is an issue, you will just have to spend more money at a local store. Of course, you could always try planning ahead so that your order will arrive on time. I’m not particularly great at planning that far ahead, though. If you are, more power to you. You’ll save even more money.

Ali Express - China's largest online shopping store for electronics, fashion, jewelry, toys and more

Customer Support for Ali Express

I have only had to contact Ali Express customer support once. I had bought a pair of pants that didn’t fit me the way I expected, so I wanted to return them.

Reaching out to the company via email gave me the help I needed. They gave me a return address so I could send the pants back. They also made sure I got a refund quickly.

Ali Express - China's largest online shopping store for electronics, fashion, jewelry, toys and more

Since I’ve only used the company’s customer support services once, I don’t want to make myself sound like an expert. In my experience, though, the support staff is quite helpful. I got exactly what I needed, so there is nothing to complain about.

The website offers 24/7 support. You can send an email or use the site’s virtual assistant. Either way, you should get a speedy response that will take care of your problem.

Ali Express - China's largest online shopping store for electronics, fashion, jewelry, toys and more

Pros of Using Ali Express

    thumbs up
  • Cheap prices
  • Quality items
  • Large, diverse catalog
  • Plenty of opportunities to save money
  • Good mobile app
thumbs down

Cons of Using Ali Express

  • Shipping can take a long time

Conclusion

Ali Express - China's largest online shopping store for electronics, fashion, jewelry, toys and more

There are a lot of websites that promise low prices on quality goods. I’ve used a few of them, and some are solid companies that follow through on their promises. Others are pretty much scams that just want to take your money without giving you much in return.

These days, I prefer shopping with Ali Express because I know that I will always get a good deal. That helps me save money so I can put more towards my daughter’s happiness and education.

The lengthy shipping times haven’t been a big problem for me, but it is something to think about before choosing an online retail store. Planning ahead has made it simple for me to get the items I need without any stress.

If you’re looking to save money on everyday purchases, Ali Express is probably the right solution for you.

Ali Express - China's largest online shopping store for electronics, fashion, jewelry, toys and more
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