Why you have to be careful with AliExpress.com

More than 15 years working as an editor for the Dutch PC Mag taught me a thing or two about buying online, but you’re never too old to learn.

Remember this radio? Now I don’t care about these at all, as they’re not really suitable for Ham radio purposes. A local construction company however was very interested and asked me if I could help them buy 10 of those and program them. I agreed, for a small fee, and under the condition that they would pay me in advance.

After studying the small print on AliExpress.com / Alibaba.com, I figured that it was safe to place the order, as long as I sticked to their Buyer Protection Program and used a credit card instead of scary things like Bank Transfer and Western Union. Good I did. Within one hour after ordering and paying I got the following mail from the seller:

“Dear Hans

Thanks your order . but I am very sorry to tell you we make mistake . This cost is no include shipping cost.As this is my fault .I willing give you discount . You just need pay another 35USD to me. You will get 10pcs. If my boss just receive 216USD, he will not alllow me ship 10pcs to you. Pls help me.

Best Regards and Thanks”

Darn. I should have listened. I heard of AliExpress problems in the past, and some ham operators stated that this company should be avoided like a leaking nuclear power plant. All of this made me stick to eBay and 409shop.com.

Time for action, of course. I immediately e-mailed customer support and asked what to do next. Soon afterwards I replied to the seller:


this is my first ever order on AliExpress, normally I use eBay. Asking for extra money after I paid never happened to me. Because I’m also new to AliExpress, I forwarded your e-mail to AliExpress customer service and asked them what to do. I will get back to you as soon as I know more.

Best regards,


Within a few minutes, the seller replied.

“Dear Hans
Very sorry , I will ship 10pcs to you. As this is my fault I bear the lost for this order by myself. I will ask my boss allow me ship 10pcs to you. Hope next time you continue support my business.
Best regards and thanks

Apparently the problem is solved, but I can’t be sure until DHL dropped the shipment on my doorstep. Until that moment my payment will be withheld by AliExpress.

P.S. If these radios ever arrive, I’ll give them a quick review.

Update: seller raised the price from $216.50 / 10 pieces to $300 / 10 pieces.

11 comments on “Why you have to be careful with AliExpress.com

  1. I have also good service from 409shop, only the name as such: AliExpress sounds funny to me, have good experience with Hong Kong Express, (you don’t need DHL),
    and they don’t give your package to the neighbours…

  2. Hallo Hans, weer wat geleerd.Heb inderdaad ook al wat van problemen gehoord. Dit is dan wel het bewijs. Vreemd dat als je een mail doet naar klantenservice er ineens geen verzendkosten meer hoeven. Dat ruikt naar oplichting. 73, Bas

  3. Ergens anders op deze blogsite las ik ook al, dat PayPal geen zaken meer doet met AliExpress, dat moet toch ook wat zeggen, en als je kijkt bij de klanten service, dan zie je ook een heleboel “hetelucht” staan over hun zgn. security…..

  4. Raised the price ? (i see in your update) how should one call this ? racketeering ?
    In Dutch we call these people “klussers” and are wanted by the police…….

  5. I’ve ordered a few things from aliexpress now (4 items from 4 different sellers) and everything worked out just fine. The only problem with aliexpress is that it’s not as easy to find a good seller there, as on ebay. There are also a lot of bad products (like fake usb flash drives sold as “512GB” but actually only having very little memory).

    You just have to be very careful when ordering stuff from there.

  6. I have ordered several dozen various items from many sellers on AliExpress, some fell thru. I always got my money back or satisfaction from the seller. There are crooks every where, but I am happy with how Aliexpress protects me regarding $$$

  7. Christine Matthews
    I got the wrong item from a seller on AliExpress and returned it to the address the seller gave me – he left out part of the address so China post sent it back. I lodged a dispute and AliExpress found in favour of the seller. How can this be honest. I have the wrong item and I’m out of pocket for the postage. Be very careful if you buy from AliExpress. Use eBay.

  8. Pls cancelled a SATA hard drive since 2014.12.18 by 6:27 with an Order No. 65091606632554. My bank account has not been credited & l need the money for new. This is more than ten(10) working days now and no reply to my messages. I’m very bothered. I dn’t even have their official email address, can some help me with their email address?

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