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Aliexpress: Excellent customer-friendly return policy

FlyingPotato_is_taken

We all here have probably bought at some point technology from Aliexpress, even though they are certainly not a perfect place for a consumer. I would like to focus on one positive aspect: Their return policy. Dozens of items on Aliexpress have free return shipping, which is great in itself, but Aliexpress has decided to take their customer service to the next level:


When you go through the return process, they display an estimated refund value, which is like you expect the item value. So far, pretty average and what the law sets as a legal minimum. But that's not all. Most retailers have different procedures for taking discount codes into account. Some deduct the full discount amount from the order, which means you may receive nothing on a return. Others spread the discount over the entire order and deduct that portion. Rarely sellers have a system that applies the full discount as long as the conditions for that discount are met. Aliexpress went behove and behoind by not deducting the discount at all! This is truly an amazing customer friendly way to handle discount codes.

 

Example

item price charged after discounts:

image.jpeg.3916b13f76ccdf68f3f0dcf35333c653.jpeg

 

offered refund without the discount coupons deducted:

image.jpeg.849473e809368506679824b33d0be735.jpeg

The actual refund matched this estimate.

 

 

When asked, they communicated that this was not a problem. Meaning this decision should be intentional and not an oversight.

 

As mentioned above, not everything on Aliexpress is good. Amazon has sometimes offered two options in the past: send it back for a full refund or keep it and get a full refund. 
You may be wondering who would send it back if you could keep it? You might return an item because it didn't meet expectations but often you just ordered the wrong variant meaning it's useless to you. Most items can be disposed of with household waste. Items such as electronic devices must be returned to collection points, so it is much more convenient to send them back.

This is one aspect that Aliexpress could improve. Their algorithm could decide that you don't need to return the goods, but they don't offer the option to send the items back. You might end up with hazardous waste (e.g. electronics) that you have to dispose of responsibly at a local collection point, which is often not in the city center and has limited opening hours.


Side note: Another bad aspect is that they charge in your local currency and run their internal system in USD. Subsequently the exchange rate fluctuations might cause an dispute/lost in shipping to be settled for less than the initial payment which is illegal in Europe. That's why the screenshot has an item price of 10,36€ with an estimated refund of 10,35€ but due to how they handle the discounts that might not be an issue with returns as long as their is a sale or otherwise a discount applied.

Latitude: 51.51313252247575 | Longitude: -0.21951026552290004

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5 minutes ago, FlyingPotato_is_taken said:

Side note: Another bad aspect is that they charge in your local currency and run their internal system in USD. Subsequently the exchange rate fluctuations might cause an dispute/lost in shipping to be settled for less than the initial payment which is illegal in Europe. That's why the screenshot has an item price of 10,36€ with an estimated refund of 10,35€ but due to how they handle the discounts that might not be an issue with returns as long as their is a sale or otherwise a discount applied.

This is a banking thing, not aliexpress. They charge in USD.

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@Levent They charge in EUR and communicate the price in EUR. If you withdraw from the contract they need to refund the same amount.

It's just that their system, hidden from you, runs on USD.

Latitude: 51.51313252247575 | Longitude: -0.21951026552290004

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14 hours ago, FlyingPotato_is_taken said:

This is one aspect that Aliexpress could improve. Their algorithm could decide that you don't need to return the goods, but they don't offer the option to send the items back. You might end up with hazardous waste (e.g. electronics) that you have to dispose of responsibly at a local collection point, which is often not in the city center and has limited opening hours.

This would be quite expensive for them, sending items to China is really expensive, and I don't think many people would be willing to pay for that.

 

Aliexpress is pretty good for buyers, as long as you're able to prove that the seller can't or isn't willing to fix your issue it seems like they will just refund the full amount.

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I have been buying from AliExpress for a few years now and I think most of sellers do want to establish a good reputable business. Over the years I probably have saved hundreds of dollars compared to if I only bought from Amazon or local places. I know some people that had some cases where the seller didn't want the item back but would return it as credit.

 

The type of business I find sketchy are one that:

  1. Do not have much history or enough ratings.
  2. Have only a business number without any name like they don't care about their business.
  3. Imitate big brands like the SSD that look like Western Digital or Samsung right down to the sticker label leaving only the logo.

There was one time I got burned on something, but I really should have known better but my curiousity got to me trying fake Samsung SSD, but I didn't want to send the item back because there is potential of data stealing security risk. I also recently had some difficulties with explaining to another seller they only shipped me half of a order which was 2 different items both with a quantity of two. Eventually I got credit for it, but took 2 weeks with time zone difference and perhaps language barrier being a factor. Overall I think I came out on top, but try to be quite cautious about things now.

 

Also if you do buy from AliExpress, there are somethings you have to watch out for when confirming received order. The item reviewing seems to be only a one time post so you can not go back to update a item you reviewed. If you didn't receive all items on a order do not mark any items as received. When I did confirm one item it seemed like the  next day the whole order was confirmed. Maybe I didn't uncheck all items, but I thought I had. I feel like these things do make it look like they don't care about the customers.

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19 hours ago, KaitouX said:

This would be quite expensive for them, sending items to China is really expensive,

They have a local warehouse for return processing.

Latitude: 51.51313252247575 | Longitude: -0.21951026552290004

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