what NOT to buy from China. aliexpress guide.
a short simple guide on what you should and shouldn’t get from Aliexpress.
keep in mind that i can’t possibly cover ALL products. and common sense is still required.
what NOT to get.
unbranded electronics. especially chargers, powerbanks and other electricity storage devices.
because of the lack of safety regulations nothing is stopping sellers from selling used batteries in new cases, dangerous devices or other faulty hardware. official brands have to keep up their reputation and are thus more focused on selling quality products.
unbranded or fake aliexpress powerbanks and chargers are known to combust and cause fires.
2. security camera’s, children’s monitors connected to the internet. ect.
these cameras are often insecure and will often share your footage with every person who has the technical knowledge to access it. make sure to check external sources if you really want to buy a camera from aliexpress. and be cautious! no passwords are often required to share your video and audio with everyone.
3. skin care, medical devices, razors, hair care machines, ect.
because of the lack of safety regulations it’s better to not get any electronic devices from china that are meant to impact your body, hair or skin in any way.
kitchen, food and cooking:
what NOT to get.
1. things that cook or interact with edible cooked/hot/wet products.
there are no safety regulations concerning coatings and material, meaning the cooking pots or spoons you order can be coated with any chemical, and you’ll be eating it when it wears off!
this goes for water bottles, water cookers, pans, spoons, knives, all of it! don’t get it!
2. food and drinks, spices, powders, leafs, oil, ect.
no safety regulations mean that what you get doesn’t have to be what they say. they might contain chemicals, pesticide, or might be of low quality. or straight up poisonous. just don’t get anything in this category…
pets, farm animal products and animal toys
what NOT to get:
1. animal food or edible products. products that interact with wet animal food.
for the same reasons as human food.
2 technically complicated animal leashes and containment devices
there is no quality control of the strength and safety of these things. so if you buy cages with complicated locks. or leashes of interesting materials, be sure that these will hold your animal and safely before you use them! if you don’t have much technical knowledge, leave them in China!
3. animal toys, chewing devices, ect.
if your dog or other pet often chews up toys be careful with chinese toys, as these might contain chemicals in the paint, coating or cloth that might not be good for your creature!
especially be careful with puppies and rodents who will try to chew on everything!
sewing, painting, woodwork. creative tools, ect.
what NOT to get:
1. thin cloth.
reason: thin cloth is often loosely woven and of bad quality. to check if the quality is good, check the pictures others have shared in the reviews, NOT the pictures of the seller.
2. leather, fur, skins, animal products.
the leather and animals products are not sources with animal health in mind. if you don’t mind that, then you still have to be careful because the products might be treated in a way that make them unfit for certain purposes. like to be word on bare skin for long periods of time, or to interact with food or animals/babies.
3. cloth for use as clothing or care products.
cloth may be dyed in a slightly toxic chemical. which is no problem in bags or pouches, but will be when you use it to store bread, make cheese, or make products for small children, or even for clothing like underwear or tight jeans.
4. expensive tools (over 40$/€
products from china aren’t all bad. and often they’re not cheap either. but if you buy more expensive products you’re taking a big risk, the product will arrive, and if it won’t it will be refunded. but you will have to pay import tax, and when it breaks you can’t send it back for repairs. and after a few months you can’t get your money back anymore either. this is fine for scissors or knives, but not for expansive machinery.
you also need to take in mind that china doesn’t need to follow safety regulations.
5. paint, oil, ink or dyes.
no safety regulations mean these products can contain all kinds of chemicals, fine for simple drawing on paper. but not good for more diverse products and uses. like clothing or when working with multiple materials that might react.
children, children‘s toys.
don’t get toys from aliexpress or other Chinese shops, unless they’re meant for display purposes. the paint used can and often is highly toxic. and it will not follow safety regulations. meaning it can contain sharp or small parts. or unsafe electronics.
weapons, tactical, hunting and self defense tools.
1. knives, self defense tools, arrows/arrowheads.
be careful when buying weapons, arrowheads, knives,ect. these simple products are often of pretty decent quality. but they don’t follow any local laws. so you might be importing object that are highly illegal in your country. check your local laws on these objects first before buying.
2. tactical plate carriers
with no exception, the plate carriers i have bought where all relatively short. and not of the same quality as military products.
if you use them for costumes, cosplay, or once a month airsoft, you’re good. but don’t go use them for serious security/police use. (i am talking about the 25/20 $ vests of course)
3. bulletproof, knife proof vests/protective helmets.
don’t get them.
they simply do not work as advertised. don’t rely with your life on something that will most likely not work.
4. optical tools, scopes.
clothing, jackets and weather protection.
1. general clothing, jackets, vests, sweaters, jeans, pants, ect.
since a product has to work as advertised, and for only the single month in which you can open a dispute, look into what is written down in the add. but know that you’re at high risk when buying complexly sewn items from China
the fit is often not as well as advertised either. although not always. check the pictures people post in the reviews!
2. protective gear, face masks.
protective gear, glasses and face masks don’t have to follow any regulations, meaning these often end up not offering much protection against viruses, the weather, ect, but mainly are created to give the illusion of protection.
3. rain protection.
rain protection unless made from a single sheet and not complex is a risky item to buy.
the EU has regulations in place making sunglasses guaranteed protect you against the sun. China.. …does not.
this might feel depressing, that you can’t order anything from China, this is not true. there are a lot of things you can order from china, as long as you use your brain and inform yourself.
things like simple tools, knives, blades. or caps, simple electronics like flashlights, products like paper, photo paper, sticker paper, envelopes, ect. and way more. are often cheaper in china and of similar quality as here. but.. use common sense!
how to judge if it’s a good idea to order.
this is gonna be a quick guide. so i might miss certain information.
1. read the title/description.
it’s what aliexpress uses to hold sellers accountable.
2. reviews with photos.
only use the reviews with photos. the crappier the photos the better. look to the photos to see what you’re ACTUALLY getting. (the seller photos are stolen from the internet, not taken by them)
look in the reviews for actual information. and cons.
3. bot reviews.
if the reviews are all “arrived quickly, good item” then they’re made by bots. so don’t judge the item by those.
how to resolve issues with your order.
1. package not arriving.
don’t worry too much about the item not arriving, if that happens you can open a dispute trough aliexpress and get your money back! never talk to the seller, always do it trough aliexpress! and NEVER resolve issues with the seller directly or pay/get returns trough them!
2. item broken or not functional.
if the item arrives broken or not functional as advertised. click the “open a dispute” button in your app and send pictures of the item. i never have not gotten my money back, make sure to do it honestly as there is a reputation system behind this.. so messing around is not a good idea. again, don’t resolve issues directly with the sellers. always trough aliexpress.
thank you for reading. i hoped this guide helped you.
i’m a artist in my daily life, buy my art HERE