Friday Series, shopping

ALIEXPRESS MINI HAUL AND SITE REVIEW (Philippines)

Are site reviews a thing? I am not sure tbh. Anyway, I wanted to share my experience shopping with this site.

DISCLAIMER: I wasn’t paid to write this. (I wish I was paid to write anything but I’m not lol)

A little background on this site: it’s an e-commerce platform owned by Alibaba. It’s like Taobao but global and like Ebay without the auctions.

One quick thing I will address before I start: There is no such thing as Aliexpress Philippines. I just put Philippines in the title for those who wants to read a review/post from someone in the Philippines who has bought something from that site.(Confused? I’m sorry lol) And YES, when I say free shipping, it means free shipping to the Philippines. Anywhere in the Philippines. (Though you still have to pay Php 112 per package in the post office upon claiming your goods. Sucks right? From what I’ve read it’s not actually a “post office fee” but “Presentation to Customs Charge”. I’ll write a separate post about it soon. Read this if you want to know about getting your packages from the post office (Philpost))

This is actually the fourth time I got something from Aliexpress. I usually buy some make up tools or some electronics or cables that are so difficult to find in my city. Most sellers are from China and Hongkong so a lot of the items have free international shipping or really cheap international shipping fees. Most sellers also offer different shipping options if you are in a hurry but of course, it comes with a price.

Here’s a run down of what I like about it:

  1. Their app is very user friendly. It’s easy to navigate and almost all of the useful features are there.
  2. Their website can take some getting used to especially those to newbies of online shopping but it’s well-organized and easy to navigate after a few visits. Refunds and disputes are also more visible and easier to manage with a lay out like this.Screen Shot 2016-09-05 at 11.14.21 PM
  3. For orders that have tracking numbers: you can track the orders in the app or site itself. From my experience, most of my orders came with a tracking number.

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  1. Their shopping cart is useful and functional. If you are from the Philippines, like me, you will find yourself liking this feature a lot. Ebay.ph doesn’t have the “shopping cart” feature so you’ll have to pay the items individually (I know there is a “Request total” button but almost all international sellers I bought from ignored this request.) and it most likely, they’ll think they are purchased individually. Even if you write numerous messages telling them to combine all your stuff, you might still end up with multiple parcels. Here’s the problem with having multiple packages for one order: as I mentioned, our post office requires us to pay Php 112 for EACH PARCEL even if they arrived on the same day and from the same seller. One time, I ordered a sim adapter, jelly camera lens and a lens hood for a dollar each but the seller (despite my messages in Paypal and Ebay) shipped them separately so I had to pay Php 336 ($7.14) for a Php 141 ($3) order.

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  1. You can see the feedback and actual pictures of the ITEMS. Scroll down the item you like and you’ll see the number of orders and reviews and actual, real life pictures of the items from people who have purchased the items. Of course, not all of them has feedback but I usually choose products that have high feedback/orders.Screen Shot 2016-08-27 at 12.12.51 AM

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  1. Shipping options. It’s so easy to choose a different shipping method. You’ll also be able to see the prices of other shipping methods immediately. (If you want to know which method I prefer, I’d say Registed Mail/Post. FedEx/DHL might overcharge you with “customs taxes” that you probably won’t even have to pay if you chose to have it delivered via post.)Screen Shot 2016-08-27 at 12.07.50 AM
  2. FREEBIES! Their app has this freebie scheme where they offer freebies that you can apply to win for. (I haven’t won any yet but I hope I will in the future lol.)
  3. COUPONS! COINS! $1 off of $15 ? Yes, please. (Offers depend on the sellers)
  4. Buyer protection. Just like Ebay, you can file a dispute and ask for refund if you weren’t able to receive the items or they aren’t as described. Screen Shot 2016-08-27 at 12.11.09 AM
  5. Lots of shops usually have sales during major Western and Chinese holidays. This can be seen on the site’s homepage.

What I don’t like/other observations:

  1. (Some) PICTURES LIE. The sellers’ pictures that is. Seller A would most likely use the same photo for the same item Seller B is selling. The end result could be different so ask for actual pictures from the seller if there isn’t any available in the feedback part.
  2. FAKE STUFF. I don’t dislike fake stuff what I dislike is a seller trying to pass off a fake stuff for an original one. Tbh, this isn’t really a big of an issue for me because this might happen on other sites like Ebay or Amazon too. Just be vigilant. On the other hand, I like that even though there is a lot of fake/replica items there, at least the sellers are honest enough to admit that they are indeed a knock-off version of the original one. In my country, online sellers would likely say they are “Singapore authentic” rather than admit that it is indeed fake.
  3. NO PAYPAL. This is mainly an observation as Paypal might be important for some people (like me). To be honest, I feel much more secured when paying thru Paypal. They do have Alipay though. It is indeed convenient but I still have tiny doubts about the security.Screen Shot 2016-09-05 at 11.29.17 PM
  4. SLOW SHIPPING. I’m sure it’s not the sellers’ fault though as some countries just have really strict customs regulations. From experience, the products usually arrives in the country after 4 business days or so and after that, it makes its long journey to my local post office.

      5. CURRENCY OPTIONS FOR THEIR CURRENCY CONVERTER. Again, this might not be a negative aspect for some and I am not really bothered by it but it would be nice to know the prices in my currency as I usually go overboard when I buy in dollars.Screen Shot 2016-09-05 at 11.30.07 PM.png

6. Some people might want this pointed out: Most stuff are more expensive here than in Taobao. However, Taobao is mostly in Chinese and sellers probably don’t offer free shipping worldwide.

Now that I’ve finished that, on with the stuff!

IPHONE 5/5S PHONE CASES from here.

I bought a total of 5 cases.

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I recommend buying from this seller. The cases were beautiful, the texture feels nice and it’s close to the photos on the website. Usually when ordering this kind of hard cases, only the back part has a print while the sides remain transparent. In this case, all sides were printed on and the case itself doesn’t feel cheap. It’s also frosted or matte which I REALLY, REALLY LIKE. Cases of this quality might retail to more than Php300 each in my city but I got ALL them for approximately Php 500. What a bargain right? Even if you include the Php 112 fee from the post office, I still saved a lot of money. Also, the seller sent this thru registered mail so I was able to track it from its destination in Shenzhen to my local post office. (Side comment: Tracking items upon its arrival in the PH kind of sucks because it’s vague and sometimes it just doesn’t work.)

CONSTELLATIONS. $1.94

The stars and names are clearly printed and not pixelated. If you want to search for other cases of this design better type in the keywords stars, sky and case. The quality of these cases are really high as I actually dropped my phone in a cave and this didn’t break nor suffer major scratches. I would not recommend this kind of cases though, for when doing extreme sports/ rough activities as it does not fully protect the phone.

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Black Marbled. $1.51. There are many color options for this.

 

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“You look so cool” Maroon case. $1.75. The other color is grey.

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Floral/Cherry Blossoms (?)  $1.94. I lost this! Huhu

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Candy colored/Pastel Colored Patterns

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This is from the second batch of phone cases I ordered. I only got one for myself as the others were gifts.

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I also bought other stuff but they’re mostly cables so I won’t include them here.

Overall: I like this site. I currently like it more than Ebay.ph.