Saturday, January 21, 2017

The Curious Case of Where the F*CK is My Order? My Review of AliExpress.com

Everyone knows the way to make money when you sell stuff is to buy as low as possible and sell for a profit.  Even little kids are aware of this concept.

The $100 Ebay challenge started on January 1st.  I'm spending $100 dollars on product (which I still have over half of the $100 left to spend) and will be recycling the profit made off of the products that are sold over the next 12 months to see what the final profit is at the end of the year.  It's an experiment of sorts.  How much profit will be made?  That remains to be seen.

Believe it or not, I found AliExpress on the Amazon boards.  I don't post on message boards but I do read them on a regular basis because they can be a plethora of really good information.  When the review TOS changed on Amazon, it created a huge buzz in the reviewer community and someone had mentioned the website as an alternative to getting the items through the review sites because the majority of it is the same exact stuff, and they were right.

AliExpress is an interesting site.  I purchase items on there for pennies and can resell them for a very large markup percentage.  Just like all sites where you are buying things directly from the country of manufacturer, you have to watch the quality very closely.  Some of the stuff is literal garbage.  The review sites were littered with this kind of stuff.

Anyway, I only told a few people about this site because I hadn't really tried it out to evaluate it and in all reality, I'm glad I didn't.  Chances of me using the site again are pretty slim and lean closer to not at all.

It costs ZERO to import something in the US.  No tax.  None, nothing.  Whenever I order something from Asia and it arrives, I have to look at the label to see if it is something that I purchased in the US or from outside the country.  What I pay the seller is what I pay.  Granted I do take advantage of this because it's there and set up that way but I think it should be different because it is a large NAFTA shaft that the US took in the deal.  I'll explain all of that but not now.  We'll get into that in a future  write up here.

I've almost completed two purchases on the site so far.  Almost.  The first purchase was for loom knitting hooks believe it or not.  I paid 50 cents each for them and have been selling them on Ebay for $3.99 each.  Not a large amount of profit but I'm more than doubling my investment with each one that sells.

Spudward sporting his bow tie.
Copyright 2016 by RB50, not for reuse without
permission.

This order was for dog bow ties.  People LOVE buying crap for their pets and the bow ties are cute.  I plan on selling them on one of my websites.  I paid 10 CENTS each for them and will sell them for $4.99 each on one of my websites.  Now that's a profit margin.  Problem is that I ordered them on November 26th, 2016 and they haven't arrived yet.  UGH.

I opened the dispute with the website because the seller's estimated delivery time was 20 to 38 days which is a reasonable time frame for items coming from China.  At the time, the tracking said the item was STILL in China.  I knew the shipping was going to be slow when the seller took 11 days after I purchased to even ship it.  I messaged the seller TWICE and the only response I received was the mysterious tracking updates that showed up.  That's it.  This transaction had all the signs of being a headache from the beginning.

Now all of a sudden, new tracking scans have emerged and the package will be delivered either today or Monday because it has arrived at my post office.  Huh.  I just hope the product is good because the cost of returning something to China from the US is horrendous, another consequence of NAFTA.  I just keep it or throw it away.  It's cheaper that way.

Hopefully they will arrive safe and sound and are the quality that I'm expecting so I can get them posted on the site this weekend.  At this point, I'm not holding my breath though.  IF I ever purchase another thing on that site, it definitely will not be from the same seller.  Part of my brain is telling me that just because one seller sucks that I shouldn't skip out on the rest of the opportunities on the site but the other part is so pissed that it makes me want to kick small furry animals.

All of a sudden the scans appeared after I filed the dispute.

I'll update if and when they arrive.  Maybe they will be so cute that I'll forget all about how pissed I am about this at the moment but it still won't prevent me from leaving feedback for the seller on the site on how much BS was with this order.

Customer service and seller follow through seem to have went by the wayside.  Now I know why I have so many regular customers at the markets, on Ebay and CraigsList.  Customer service is worth its weight in gold.

I hope you have a fantastic weekend!

**UPDATE 1/24/17-  The order FINALLY arrived and the quality was decent.  At this point I'm really not sure if I'll place another order with the site.