How to spot fake vendors on AliExpress

Aliexpress has grown to be a well-liked online marketplace for millions of users. With millions of sales done every day, Aliexpress has long been the top choice for customers from all over the globe looking to acquire a variety of items in every category. The site provides a wide selection of goods at affordable costs, but along with this ease of use comes the possibility of falling victim to fraud. 

Many fraud incidents persist even though the platform makes efforts to prevent all kinds of fraud. 

I’m this article, I’ll go over how you can spot fake vendors on the platform as well as how you can avoid getting scammed. 

How to Spot Fake Vendors on AliExpress

1. Payment for a friend account

    Some con artists can offer you to transfer money to their friend’s account, instead of sending the money on AliExpress. Since this account often serves as a stand-in for the fraudster, customers are in danger of losing their money if this scam is successful. 

    2. Very low costs

      To entice customers, scammers often promote items at absurdly cheap costs. After payment, it’s possible that the item won’t be dispatched at all or that the customer will get a subpar item.

      Avoid offers that appear “too good to be true” and, once again, stay away from shady vendors that don’t have any genuine ratings to avoid falling for this scam.

      3. Seller vanishes

        When you notice that the vendor you are buying from replies late to messages or refuses to reply at all, especially after receiving payment, it should cue you that you’re working with a scammer.

        In this fraud, the customer has little recourse since the vendor promptly shuts their account after receiving money. 

        4. Ship-and-switch

          Ship-and-switch scams happen when con artists ship customers incorrect or less expensive goods in the hopes that they won’t return the item.

          If you find yourself the victim of this scam, compare delivered products with the original listing and inform AliExpress and the vendor about any inconsistencies. File a dispute if required.

          5. False goods

            Certain vendors on AliExpress could provide items that violate intellectual property rights or are counterfeit. Once this happens to you, report fake goods immediately to AliExpress

            6. False tracking numbers

              To make it seem as if the product is en route, scammers may supply fictitious tracking numbers. You will notice that the tracking information is not getting updated as frequently as it should or not at all. Once you notice, file a dispute as you’ve most likely fallen into a scam. 

              7. Money transferred outside of AliExpress

                Buyers may be asked by scammers to pay via a different method—such as a Western Union or direct bank transfer—instead of using AliExpress.

                To be on the safe side, pay via the AliExpress platform at all times and utilize the safe payment options that AliExpress offers. Refrain from giving vendors access to your bank or financial information.

                8. They offer free delivery

                  While not all vendors who offer free delivery are scammers, one of the ways fraudsters work on AliExpress is that, in an attempt to deceive the customer, some of them waive the delivery rates on pricey products. While free delivery might be advantageous, it can also lead to scams. 

                  9. New vendors 

                    While not every new business is a fraudster, the seller is often more reliable the older the store. Stores that have been operating for less than a year should be avoided.

                    How to avoid falling into scam on AliExpres

                    1. Use VPN

                      While making purchases on AliExpress, a VPN may provide an extra degree of anonymity and protection. Scammers and hackers will find it more difficult to target you if you use a VPN, which encrypts your internet connection and hides your IP address.

                      2. Examine prices of goods carefully 

                        Even if AliExpress is renowned for its affordable costs, it’s advisable to avoid the very alluring offers. Unbelievably cheap pricing often indicates that the item is bogus or of very poor quality.

                        Always compare prices before making a purchase by looking at many suppliers of the same item. Three times the price of an item from another seller begs questions about the quality of the goods and the vendor’s dependability. Avoid anything that shimmers. Additionally, use caution while purchasing pricey electronics.

                        3. Compare the quantity of sales

                          The quantity of sales made does not always indicate the quality of a product or the dependability of a seller since new merchants are constantly joining the platform.

                          However, you should avoid sellers who have made no sales. Look for vendors that have completed a large number of orders successfully; the more sales there are, the fewer issues there will be.

                          4. Examine ratings and reviews

                            You may get insight into the opinions of previous customers of a buyer you are interested in by looking at their rating reviews. 

                            Examine the feedback tab and note how many reviews are good compared to how many are negative.  It is evident that the greater the number of favourable evaluations, the more trust the vendor has earned. Less favourable evaluations should serve as a warning that you should reconsider before making a purchase. 

                            Keep in mind that there are several ways available now for the merchant to submit phoney reviews. So if a vendor has only positive reviews, then that’s a red flag. 

                            5. Communicate with the vendor

                              It’s wise to communicate with the seller before making a purchase. Asking for further details regarding the goods might be a good idea if you want to be sure of a few things, such as the delivery date or if you can get a better image of the item so you can compare it with the description. Please don’t hesitate to ask questions regarding any aspect of the product.

                              Recall that, as a buyer, you have the right to request information that will instil trust in you. Using the “Feedback” button on any product and the “Contact Now” button on the left sidebar, you may get in touch with a customer on AliExpress. 

                              It is advisable to refrain from making an order from the seller’s shop if they do not respond. 

                              6. Never confirm delivery in a hurry

                                Take your time, don’t confirm delivery too soon, and make sure you get and check what you got first. Verify that everything is in order before releasing your money to the vendor. It is harder to get your money back if you confirm delivery in advance.  

                                7. Examine the tab for seller’s guarantees

                                  To find out whether the seller guarantees the interests of the buyer, click the “Seller’s guarantees” page. Offers like on-time delivery, refunds and returns, and domestic returns are among them.

                                  Please be advised that there are variations in product warranties. For various items, a vendor could provide a varied warranty.

                                  8. Build a rapport with the vendors

                                    Avoid choosing a different vendor every time you make a purchase, especially if it’s an item you’ve already bought. Stay with a reputable seller if you discover one; switching vendors often raises the possibility that the item may end up in the wrong hands.

                                    9. Avoid buying branded items

                                      Various companies, as well as the most popular ones like Nike, Apple, and Samsung, may be promoted on the site, but the majority of them won’t be genuine. When you find branded products on sale at a cheap price, don’t get too enthusiastic.

                                      10. Be mindful of the mode of payment

                                        AliExpress accepts several payment options, including iDEAL, Visa, Mastercard, and American Express debit cards. Payment to the vendor directly is not permitted. Avoid using money transfer services like Western Union, PayPal, or MoneyGram while making purchases on AliExpress.

                                        It is very dangerous for purchasers to send money straight to the seller’s bank account since they are no longer protected by AliExpress’s buyer protection measures. Don’t make any payments offline.

                                        Conclusion

                                        You may reduce the likelihood of falling for a scam by adhering to best practices, which include looking up the seller’s ratings, reading reviews, and exercising caution when it comes to unusually low costs. To guarantee a positive and secure online buying experience, be knowledgeable, watchful, and safe.

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                                        Habibat Musa

                                        Habibat Musa

                                        Habibat Musa is a content writer with MakeMoney.ng. She writes predominantly on topics related to education, career and business. She is an English language major with keen interest in career growth and development.

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