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Scammers running amok on AliExpress

AliExpress a subsidiary of the popular Alibaba ecommerce platform, and current sponsors of the UEFA Euro 2024, are failing to stop scammers from selling low quality products on their platform.


AliExpress has proven a hit among Amazon customers, mainly because they offer cheaper products, but with longer lead time for delivery. Almost all of these products are made in China, which makes sense since the parent company of AliExpress is based in China. Still, this doesn’t excuse the numerous negative feedback customers are giving about the quality of the products bought on AliExpress.

AliExpress | The Business Anecdote

Even giants like Amazon gets complaints about products sold on their platform but AliExpress has demonstrated an inability to deal with scammers. The most popular complaint about AliExpress is that the product delivered to them doesn’t match the description of the product they bought. Electronic devices tend to be the largest target of these scammers. They put exceptionally low prices on their products to attract customers, but never deliver.


We did our own personal investigation on a seller called Global SmartPhone Original Store. This seller runs an elaborate scam, putting low prices on smartphones and delivering poor quality products that don’t meet the description of what the customer ordered.

 
AliExpress scam | The Business Anecdote
 

Even though there were several negative reviews on AliExpress, about this company, they still managed to sell more than 10,000 plus products on AliExpress. The screenshot below shows they did this over the span of 6 months then deleted their inventory when customers started catching on.

AliExpress Scammer | The Business Anecdote

We did our due diligence by ordering a smartphone on AliExpress from this company in question. After waiting for two weeks, they posted us a phone casing instead of a smartphone. We requested a refund and received the following weird messages from the company.

 
AliExpress Seller Scam | The Business Anecdote
 

It became clearer this was a scammer when they asked us to drop our refund dispute, then sent us photos of the phone they claimed they were supposed to post. The problem is we ordered a Pova 5 Pro but they sent us a photo of a fairly used Samsung phone, as shown in screenshot below.

 

The screenshots below show several negative reviews from customers, about this company. All of these reviews paint the same picture of dissatisfied customers that have been scammed.

 
AliExpress Review | The Business Anecdote
AliExpress Review | The Business Anecdote
AliExpress Review | The Business Anecdote
 

We accessed some documents about this scam company on AliExpress. We found the company’s legal name was Kunming Soap Zao Trading Co. Ltd not Global SmartPhone Original Store. While you can call your store anything, we couldn’t help but notice “Soap” in the company’s name. Not to mention a quick internet search couldn’t find a single thing about Kunming Soap Zao Trading Co. Ltd. Below is the business license downloaded from AliExpress.

 
 

It is clear that on AliExpress there are companies that sell and deliver products as described to the customer. But there is a high risk that some of these companies are playing the long con. These scammers reel in customers with good reviews and high number of sales. They build up a large order on their products, using the long lead delivery times as a buffer. After which they deliver a product of low quality. Even if their online store is shut down by AliExpress they could easily open up another one under a different name.


One question that remains is where the money goes. Does AliExpress release funds from sales to sellers before or after the product is delivered to the customer? AliExpress has a lot to answer for and need to tighten up their due diligence on sellers or they will lose customer trust.

 

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