Alibaba is the world’s biggest online shopping (e-commerce) company and is a subsidiary of Alibaba group which was founded in April 1999 by a Chinese man named Jack Ma. Alibaba provides consumer to consumer, business to consumer and business to business sales services through its websites.
Alibaba.com is mainly used by big Importers and exporters in over 240 countries who deal in large quantities of goods. Alibaba has many subsidiaries which include; Taobao which is China’s biggest consumer-to-consumer e-commerce website and has almost a billion products listed on it, Aliexpress is an international website for smaller importers and exporters who wish to buy or sell small units of goods, 1688.com is similar to Aliexpress and offers cheaper products than Aliexpress but was designed for use in China only although you can use Google Chrome browser to translate the site from Chinese to English and ship your goods to a Nigerian shipping agent in China who will then forward it to you in Nigeria for a fee.
Other smaller subsidiaries include Tmall.com, Juhuasuan.com, eTao.com, Alipay, Alibaba cloud computing, China Yahoo!, Aliwangwang, Laiwang, Alibaba Pictures, Youku Tudou, Alibaba Group R&D institute, Xia Mi, 365fanyi.com, South China Morning Post, UC Web and Ali Health.
Alibaba has its own online payment service called Alipay which is widely used by its customers, Nigerian ecommerce website, Konga.com recently launched something similar called KongaPay. Alibaba was named the world’s largest retailer in April 2016.
Now unto the main gist!
Alibaba.com and its subsidiaries especially Aliexpress are good online ecommerce websites where you can buy many different goods at very good prices. Aliexpress is the main site for individuals who wish to buy just a few products, the website is in English language and the goods are sold in dollars therefore you can easily use your internet banking enabled debit card(ATM card) to purchase anything on Aliexpress. Products sold on Aliexpress range from clothes, shoes, bags to furniture, phones and much more.
To start buying goods from Aliexpress, simply visit Aliexpress.com and create an account and start viewing the products available, you can view the products without registering but in order to buy you must register. Once you find something you like, you can simply add it to your wishlist for future purchase or to your cart for immediate purchase and then simply fill in your address details and pay using your debit card. One of the best things about Aliexpress is that most sellers offer free delivery services although goods which are delivered free usually arrive in 3 weeks or more after purchase. The goods are usually sent to the post office closest to the address you select. Once they arrive, a post office staff usually calls the phone number you put during purchase and then you go and pick your goods up.
Many people in Nigeria and worldwide use Aliexpress to make cool cash because most products there are sold at a cheap rate, you can do so too but you have to “SHINE YOUR EYES” because there are many scammers on Aliexpress. Here are some tips for shopping on Aliexpress and any e-commerce site.
- When you find a product you like, check the site for the same product and compare prices: This is because there are many sellers on Aliexpress, Aliexpress itself does not sell goods, they only provide a platform for traders to sell their goods and make money from commissions paid by the traders on every good sold therefore some dubious sellers tend to inflate the prices of items to an amount far higher than what it is worth.
The easiest way to find the lowest prices for goods on Aliexpress is to get the name of the product you want and then search for it using the Aliexpress search box, after searching you then apply the price filter (low to high), this will sort out the goods in ascending order of prices and so you will know which is the cheapest. To get best results, also apply the “free shipping” filter together with the price filter to get the cheapest goods which have free shipping.
- Always read reviews of the products before buying: Many goods sold on Aliexpress are fake, of low quality or not as shown in the pictures so to avoid heartaches please check and extensively read the reviews or feedback of people who have bought it to know whether or not to buy. If the product has no feedback, I advise you not to buy it except you don’t mind losing some cash.
- Always check the post office closest to your selected address from 3 weeks after you buy your goods till you receive it if you choose free shipping option, this is because the post office staff may not call you and if you do not receive your goods after 60 days and you do not open a dispute, your money will be lost completely.
- Always open a dispute if you do not receive your goods after 55 days of buying it because purchase protection will end after 60 days of purchase, also open dispute immediately if your goods are not as described or if they are damaged so that you can get a full or partial refund.
You can open disputes, place orders, cancel orders, send messages to suppliers,etc on Aliexpress mobile app or desktop site by logging into your Aliexpress account.