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Shopping for business supplies or retail products? One place to try is AliExpress, the international online retailer which offers an enormous range of consumer goods.
Owned by Alibaba, this popular shopping site stocks pretty much everything you could want, including fashion, jewellery, beauty products, homewares, electronics, power tools and much more.
Unlike Alibaba, you can buy products individually at AliExpress, rather than having to place a bulk order. This is handy if you’re looking for something in particular, or only want a small number of products. It also makes it a decent, low-cost option for retailers and dropshippers looking to fill gaps in their inventory.
|💸 Wise can save you money when you buy from AliExpress. Find out how
The main way to pay on AliExpress in the UK is using a credit or debit card. However, it does depend on the seller. Most will accept the following:
- American Express
However, an important thing to note is that the standard currency for payments on AliExpress is US Dollars (USD); however, you can easily change it on the website to show the items in your local currency. This way you won’t be surprised with extra fees from your bank for currency conversion.
If your local currency is not supported for payments in AliExpress, there is a way around it - Wise debit card. You can open an account in an instant and order a multi-currency debit card to use for all of your international purchases to help you save money on conversion fees.
Surprisingly, considering the ubiquity of PayPal on retail websites and ecommerce platforms, it isn’t a commonly accepted payment method on AliExpress. PayPal may be offered by some sellers, who have activated a PayPal account for their store. It all depends on what you’re buying and who you buy it from.
If PayPal is an accepted payment method, it will pop up as an option at the checkout screen. Be aware though that there might be a fee to use it, on top of other fees charged by AliExpress or PayPal (such as for international currency conversions, for example).
Paying for a purchase on AliExpress isn’t the same as buying from other retail sites, although it may feel like it as the customer.
This is because AliExpress uses something called an ‘escrow’ payment system, where your payment is held in an account until you receive your order and are happy with it. It’s designed to protect the buyer, making it easier to get a refund if your order doesn’t arrive or isn’t satisfactory.
You’ll enter your card details and checkout as normal, but the seller won’t receive the payment until you confirm satisfactory delivery. Alternatively, the money will be released to the seller after a certain amount of time has passed without you raising a dispute.
It’s sensible to be cautious when handing over your card details online. But you shouldn’t need to worry when using AliExpress.
Along with the escrow payment system, the shopping site has a number of other buyer protection measures in place. These include a Money Back Guarantee², where you can get a refund within 15 days of completing the claims process if an item is damaged, not as described or doesn’t arrive.
There’s also a structured dispute process, where you can raise claims if you have any issues. And when it comes to actually making card payments, AliExpress uses 3D Secure³. This is a protocol which adds an extra layer of security to online card payments.
However, you should always be careful when shopping online, as fraud and scams can still happen even with robust security measures in place.
|💸 If your suppliers bill you in different currencies, consider paying them using Wise to avoid exchange rate mark-up from your bank/provider. You could save over 3% on fees using Wise international transfer.
You can also benefit from opening a Wise multi-currency account and get an international debit Mastercard for faster and more secured payments. Not only can this be used in 200+ countries, but it’s also useful for online purchases involving different currencies - including at AliExpress, where debit cards are accepted.
You can use your Wise debit card to pay in any currency. If a currency conversion is needed, this clever card will do it automatically at the mid-market exchange rate. This means no expensive mark-up, and only a tiny currency conversion fee to pay.
This could save you a small fortune over time, especially if you’re an online retailer, dropshipper or you make a lot of purchases on AliExpress.
So, that’s pretty much it - everything you need to know about payment methods at AliExpress UK. Your options mainly boil down to just a credit or debit card, but this could be a good thing - especially if you use your Wise debit Mastercard to swerve nasty currency conversion costs.
And it’s good to know that there are buyer protection measures such as the escrow system and Money Back Guarantee in place, just in case anything does go wrong with your order. Happy shopping!
Sources used for this article:
- Aliexpress Help Centre - PayPal payment
- Aliexpress Buyer Protection
- Aliexpress Help Centre - 3D secure
Sources checked on 25-May-2021.
This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.
We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.
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