AliExpress is probably a name you have heard before and thought to yourself “Let’s have a look…”. Pictures look nice, prices are low, what’s the catch? You probably also heard stories about Wish and other Chinese shops sending goods that are quite different from what was ordered in the first place, so what about AliExpress? Are they reliable?
What is AliExpress to begin with?
Is it a shop? a Plane? Superman? No, it’s essentially a marketplace where many individual shops and sellers gather to sell their products. The upside is that there is a lot of competition and prices remain low. When hundreds of sellers propose the same products, they need to find ways to attract your attention. The downside is that in a sea of respectable sellers, a few bad apples are unavoidable.
So, should I buy shoes from AliExpress?
Yes and No is the confusing answer I can give you. In reality, you can have super great deals in AliExpress but also some really crappy ones. Try to avoid anything that is too cheap or too expansive, the cheaper ones will suffer from poor quality and the for the very expensive stuff, you will just get scammed. As a whole, quality from Chinese goods can be a lot better than what you think, and if you see shoes with a style you really like for a decent price, go for it, just keep in mind the 3 pitfalls I describe later on.
Pay attention to these aspects when ordering from AliExpress:
US and Chinese sizes have a different scale, if the seller provides a conversion table, better, if not, take a look at this one:
|US Men’s Shoe Sizes||US Women’s Shoe Sizes||Chinese Shoe Sizes|
Pay attention as well to other aspects of the shoe, not only the global size but also the width. In China, the size is common for Men’s and Women’s shoes.
Pay close attention to the reviews, if there are not enough, avoid that specific seller, others will probably have the same goods available. Quality can be hit or miss, Chinese manufacturers are capable to produce the best and the worst at the same time.
Many big sellers will have warehouses all over the world filled with shoes to ship in a timely fashion, however, if you need to wait for shipping directly from China, be prepared to wait, a lot… Up to a month on worst case scenarios.