Is it Safe To Import Anything From AliExpress, GearBest or Banggood in India(or any country)?

Siddharth Giri/ 24th Mar, 2021/ Importing Guide

AliExpress, GearBest, and Banggood are the three most popular Chinese shopping websites but still, every new customer hesitates to buy anything from this website just because of the safety problem. So today, I will try to explain are these shopping websites Safe to import products or not.

UPDATE:

I am getting a lot of complain about GearBest so it’s better to avoid GearBest. You can purchase products from AliExpress or Banggood.

Pros and Cons of AliExpress, GearBest, and Banggood:

Like every other product and service, each company has its pros and cons. Here are the pros and cons of these shopping websites that I experienced.

If you will compare these websites with our country’s shopping websites like Amazon or Flipkart then it’s not safe because when we purchase from Amazon or Flipkart, we get our product delivered within 2–5 days.

Also, Getting a refund and replacement from Amazon or Flipkart is very easy because we are doing everything within the country. So, they can easily pick up the product and issue you a refund or replacement.

But, When it comes to international shopping, it’s completely different compared to national shopping because:

  • Delivery takes 2–5 weeks instead of 2–5 days.
  • You may have to pay customs duty.
  • You cannot cancel the order after the shipment of the product.
  • Refund or Replacement isn’t easy.
  • Cash on Delivery isn’t available.
  • The price of the product depends on the Exchange rate.
  • Bank will charge you a currency conversion fee for payment in USD.

My Experience From These Websites

Actually, I am importing products for the last 4-5 years and I’ve imported lots of products and I received most of the products within a month and in a safe condition.

Here’s the list of some products, which I imported from these websites.

If you want to see the full list of my imported products then you can visit this page.

However, I don’t like two things about these shopping websites:

  1. Shipment Time:
    1. AliExpress: Actually, the shipment time of products depends on the seller. Some seller ships the products within 1-2 days while some seller takes more than 4-5 days to ship the products.
    2. GearBest: GearBest takes around 3–5 days to ship the item and sometimes even more than that because they mark any product as “Product is in Stock” even if the product is out of stock. And, They mention the shipment date under the “Shipping” option on the product page.
    3. Banggood: Banggood shipment time is faster than the GearBest at least for me. They take less than 3 days to ship the product.
  2. Refund Time:
    1. AliExpress: AliExpress refund time depends on the dispute. Sometimes, you can get a refund within a week, and sometimes, a dispute can take more than a month. You can read this article to know more about the dispute.
    2. GearBest & Banggood: Both are almost similar. It takes more than a week to solve any normal issue. So, If you will face any big issue then they will take extra time to solve your issue.

Some Tips To Increase The Security of The Product:

1) Shipping Method:

I always receive my products within a month because I always select a shipping method with a valid tracking number.

So, I can always check the current status of the package. And, If a parcel lost in transit or for some reason I do not receive it in time then I can use the screenshot of the tracking result as proof.

Always remember to choose a good shipping method even if you have to pay for it because it increases the security of the product. You can also read the below articles to know more about the shipping method.

2) Payment Method:

No shopping website is perfect. So, If you don’t want to lose your hard-earned money then always pay using a secure payment method.

For example, I always use PayPal to make payments. Till now I haven’t faced any refund-related issues from any of these websites but I use PayPal because if they will refuse to refund my money then I can contact PayPal for help.

However, AliExpress doesn’t accept payment from PayPal. So, We don’t have an option, You can pay using your preferred payment method. Normally, I use a Credit card.

3) Customs Duty:

Customs duty is the biggest problem when importing products because Customs Duty / Import Fee is very high in India, especially in electronics products, which also increases the Product’s price.

Most of the time, When I use Registered Post I receive the product without customs duty in India but this isn’t a guaranteed way to receive the product without customs duty.

So, If you’re importing any product worth $100 or less then you can use a registered post but importing any costly product using a registered post is risky because If you’re lucky then you can receive it without customs duty. Otherwise, the Indian customs department can charge you customs duty.

They can also add a penalty to your customs duty because these websites mention the low value of the product on the parcel instead of the invoice value to save you from customs.

Sometimes, the Indian customs department charges the wrong customs duty on the product, and in that case, you won’t able to do anything. You have to pay the customs duty to receive the product.

Also, the Indian customs department takes a very long time to clear any product. Sometimes, they take less than 7 days and sometimes, more than 15 days, and sometimes, more than a month.

So, It’s better to use a private courier service like DHL or FedEx for costly products because they will handle the customs process on behalf of you and you will receive your product within 5–7 days by paying normal customs duty.

4) Shipping Insurance:

If you will follow all three steps then you don’t need to buy the shipping insurance for your parcel but to give it an extra layer of security you can also buy shipping insurance. So, if you will receive damaged products then you can claim the insurance for that product.

Note: AliExpress doesn’t offer any shipping insurance but in case of a damaged product, you can open a dispute to get a refund.

As you can see that you have to face lots of problems while importing a product but still, I would say that AliExpress, GearBest, and Banggood are safe shopping websites. But you should choose one between them, depending on the product cost. For example,

  • AliExpress is best to find cheap and unique products like fashion products, smartphone accessories, replacement parts, etc. You can also purchase a costly product but the safety of any product depends on the seller.
  • GearBest is best only for costly items like Smartphones, Laptops, Electric Tools, Home & Garden Tools, etc… because Cheap items of GearBest are very costly compared to AliExpress and Banggood.
  • Banggood is the combination of cheap, unique, and costly products but before purchasing anything you should compare the price or product with GearBest and AliExpress. The advantage of using Banggood is it accepts payment from all types of Indian payment methods like UPI, Net Banking, Rupay Cards, etc. You can read this article to know how to pay on Banggood.

I think all the above details are enough to tell that these shopping websites are Safe but I want to answer one more question.

Why We Find Lots of Negative Review of These Shopping Websites?

One thing I notice that when people get scammed by a website, they write a very detailed negative review about that website everywhere because they want to aware of everyone that they get scammed so you shouldn’t try this shopping website.

But, When that same people get a perfect product, they don’t get time to write a positive review of that website. For example, you can see an answer on Quora about AliExpress. Currently, this answer has more than 28 answers and more than 75% of answers are negative.

So, I want to ask you, If more than 75% people say that these shopping websites aren’t safe then Why AliExpress, GearBest, and Banggood are the three most visited Chinese shopping website?

If you can answer the above question then you will get your answer.

I hope you found this article helpful but, If you still have any questions, feel free to ask in the comment section below. You can also subscribe to ShopAbroad YouTube Channel.

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1 Comment

  1. Gearbest might take your money and not send your goods!!!!
    Here is the support history – 220 days of waiting for nothing!!!
    http://angielskiego.com.pl/algorytmy/gearbest.jpg

    Consider yourself warned!!

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