There are two really different kinds of online Chinese stores. One is the store that sends you the products themselves. The other is nothing more than a virtual market place: the online shopping malls in China. For example AliExpress.

When you deal with an online market, how can you be sure that the service is great?

This weekend I was with my wife and two daughters in Lille, France. Althought Lille has a wonderful museum, le Palais the beaux arts, my wife told me we would go shopping!! That’s what happens with 3 women and one man in one house…

Lille is a real shopping city. There are many streets with al kinds of stores.

But there is one shopping mall I like to mention: Galeries Lafayette. And this is not because it is that good…

Galeries Lafayette and no smile…

Galeries LafayetteGaleries Lafayette is a store with all kind of very expensive products like Gucci, Armani, Rolex, Ray Ban and a lot more of these names. The store is an open space divided in small little sub-stores. All sub-stores have their own personnel.

BTW I have no clue why people want to spend so much money on normal stuff. I Just don’t understand why you should pay 250 Euro or USD 280 for a pair of blue plastic sunglasses for you kids. Just because the name Ray Ban is printed on it…??

What was most disturbing, the place was not crowded at all. It was pretty empty. And the personnel looked bored and were waiting for something to happen. How comes!

It was not me being treated with courtesy by the personnel. It looked like it was a favor that I was allowed to walk there… 

In just a few minutes we went out side. This is not my world…

AliExpress, the biggest online shopping mall

Visit AliExpressWhen you want to buy online from China, at one day you will visit AliExpress.

AliExpress is this shopping mall where all kind of Chinese manufactories and little stores sell their products. It’s a big market place. And every seller tries to win your favors with their low prices, special offers, competing on the front page of AliExpress.

When you buy at AliExpress you need to keep in mind that the perfect customer support you got one day, doesn’t mean this will be good the next time. And visa versa. It totally depends on the reseller you are dealing with.

And that’s why I always try to contact the seller before I purchase something at AliExpress. (If it is worth the trouble).

Aliexpress ratingA way to see whether a store at AliExpress is good or not, is with the review column on the right side. Here you can find the store name ( in case ‘To see the world’). Below the name you find the average feedback score in percentages. And the diamond score.

The diamond score is the sum of all Star Ratings. These scores have been converted into points.

  • Conversion: 5 Star or 4 Star Ratings = +1 Point
  • 3 Star Ratings = 0 Points
  • 2 Star or 1 Star Ratings = -1 Point

For this store ‘To see the world’ this means that they have at least 841 more positive reviews than negative feedback.

When you would buy something at AliExpress, this store would be a great store to use. They will do everything to get you satisfied!


And that’s how I use AliExpress and will visit again and again. Something I cannot say from Galeries Lafayette. I’m curious what would happen if the manager would add a rating service to the sub-stores of Lafayette??

I love to hear if you have bought at AliExpress too and what were your experiences? Do you look at the store ratings?

Wishing you safe purchases!


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Founder of StartBuyingInChina. It all started as an hobby. I liked to categorize the few Chinese stores I knew. After 6 years over 150 blogs were published. I created a wonderful online course about Safe buying online in China, and served over 1.000.000 people. Thank you for being here!

    8 replies to "Online Shopping Malls in China – AliExpress"

    • Rada Anpilova

      I love AliExpress! Truly a place where anyone can find whatever they might be looking for. Have about 30 orders placed there and don’t ever recall having any problems, except once when, for some reason, my domestic postal company put their info sticker on a badly damaged package from Ali, declaring that the box sustained damages due to being incorrectly taped or something like that, this had never been happening to me before or after the incident. Nothing from my order was missing though, and the portable mediaplayer I got was still working OK. Its a bid incovenient personally for me that AliExpress doesn’t support PayPal, but I guess it’s simply because their own system AliPay is designed to be it’s direct competitor in the region.

      • Bastiaan

        Hi Rada, I’ve nothing to add to your comments! Thanks.

    • Tcharlx

      Aliexpress is my favourite online shopping site. …!

      • Bastiaan

        So is mine.
        Yesterday I got an new iPad case with bluetooth keyboard from AliExpress. The product was fine. But the packaging was awful. Some plastics wrapped around the iPad case and sent in what looked like a garbage sack. Strange, but it worked…

    • Jen

      I’ve purchased everything from lighting to underwear from there and I’ve found that you get good and bad with both product and customer service. I go back regularly and love shopping there. I no longer feel buying is a risk, though I did have one time (out of literally about 100 purchases) that my item did not arrive. I opened a dispute and within a month or so the money was returned. This is very rare and in my case only once. Everything else has arrived. Try this shop. I think you will be mind blown!

      • Bastiaan

        I agree. I’ve had a few disputes. Some times I got the money returned, sometimes I got new products. Most sellers don’t want to have a dispute because it reflects bad on their ratings. They try to solve the problems before the reclaim period ends. But you need to contact them.

    • Rakesh

      Aliexpress is a BAD EXPERIENCE.
      I have not received any GOODs that I ordered on them till date.

      Also they do not respond to querries.

      • Bastiaan

        AliExpress is not a single ‘store’. You are dealing with different suppliers/sellers. Bad and good. There is no ‘they’. That’s why I suggest to check for the seller ratings before purchasing anything.

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