AliExpress is huge. The Chinese e-commerce platform offers it all: genuine items, high-quality replicas, and low-quality fakes.
AliExpress is the international platform of the Chinese Alibaba Group. It hosts numerous third-party sellers and manufacturers who sell globally and offer millions of products. Most sellers are Chinese, and most products are made and shipped from China or Hong Kong.
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On AliExpress, you can find anything you want, and you can find great prices. It is probably the largest platform to source products for online businesses. And it is easy to source products from AliExpress. To look for a product, all you have to do is go to AliExpress.com and type the term you are looking for in the search box.
It is simple to start a dropshipping business with AliExpress. List a product for sale on your e-commerce platform. Once you get an order, you send the information to your supplier on AliExpress.
The supplier (a manufacturer, wholesaler, fulfillment center, or another retailer) sends the item(s) to the buyer. In short, you take the orders, but you do not hold inventory or deal with shipping.
This model saves on costs. However, it leaves you little control over supply elements like product quality and shipping. Reliable suppliers are crucial.
Finding great deals but not getting scammed is your objective.
Should I buy on AliExpress?
If you are wondering if it is safe to buy on AliExpress, the answer is yes, but you need to know how to do it right. Yes, there are sellers to avoid, but there are also legitimate sellers with good deals. For your e-commerce business, you want your sellers to send you the products as promised so your business can successfully grow.
What are counterfeit goods?
Counterfeit goods are products that are identical to another product. They are copies or imitations intended to look authentic and deceive, and they violate intellectual property rights. They often carry the name and logo of a brand without authorization. Some of the most counterfeited items in 2020 included AirPods, Apple Watches, PS4 controllers, and many more.
Replica goods or knockoffs that resemble another product but are not identical. Even if similar, they do not carry the identical trademark of the original item.
On AliExpress, you can type brand names with indications that you are not looking for the real thing, like “copy shoes”. Some sellers even offer buyers the option to contact them and ask for brand logos on lookalike items.
It is forbidden to sell counterfeit items on AliExpress. Anyone who offers them is violating the law and risks getting de-listed from AliExpress. Still, there are counterfeits in every product category.
Although AliExpress does not allow fakes on the platform, they do exist. Illegal sellers hide counterfeit goods by brands that shoppers look for, such as Nike, Calvin Klein, Gucci, Armani, and many others.
AliExpress vendors often share hidden links to offer fakes. On hidden link pages, sellers present images of the original product together with a code and a hyperlink. When you click the link, it opens a page on AliExpress.
On this page, there are no images of the genuine product. Instead, the page shows a generic item and description. The generic item has a code that corresponds to the original page. A generic image of sneakers may have the code for buying a luxury branded watch.
The code indicates the product the buyer is really purchasing. As one link states, “you will see different item but you will get whats in picture.” They may also give instructions such as “remove the Aliapp from the device in the time of ordering!!”
Hidden links are shared for a limited time to reduce the chances of being detected. Sellers also share them through Facebook groups with names like “AliExpress hidden links”.
The links continue to be valid only if buyers do not mention the brand names in the communication or feedback, so they do not appear in search results. The same goes for images. Disputes over the quality of fake goods may cause AliExpress to shut down the shop.
Why avoid fakes if they are a good deal?
The answer is simple: it is illegal to sell fakes. If you sell fakes, you will be dealing with people who operate unlawfully, possibly backed by criminal operations. Illegitimate sellers may also have their stores shut down at any time. Some stores on AliExpress are there for some time before they are off and then pop up again due to issues, such as intellectual property violations.
Sellers that work with fakes and hidden links do not have star ratings like other vendors do. Usually, there is no way to get verified information about these sellers.
Counterfeit items may look like a good business opportunity, but they can damage your business. The intellectual property owners can not only demand that you move the infringing product from your store, but they can work to have your store shut down. In some cases, IP owners may take legal action.
Social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram may ban your account if they find that you are breaking the law. If you invest in your online presence and advertise your online store, and then have it banned, you may lose more than you win.
Fake items are often of inferior quality and may put the safety of consumers at risk. It is hard to know what is inside a cosmetic product, but if you source it for a low price from an unverified seller, the risks are obvious. Do not let low prices make you go against your better judgment.
Wiser Market Online Brand Protection
AliExpress and all Alibaba Group’s e-commerce platforms use the group’s IPP Platform for intellectual property protection and enforcement.
See more in our blog on: How to Protect Your Intellectual Property on Alibaba Group E-commerce Sites.
The complexity, scale, and sophistication of counterfeiters make it almost impossible to protect your online intellectual property without using technology.
If you are asking yourself how to protect your intellectual property online, Wiser Market’s cutting-edge technology and dedicated team is the answer.
Our advanced monitoring system scans multiple digital channels, detecting IP infringements which may affect your brand.
As an online brand protection agency, our team of experts implements unique eCommerce know-how to ensure that infringements are taken down quickly and efficiently, on AliExpress as well as on thousands of other online sites and platforms.
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