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If there’s something you need that you can’t buy locally, you’re likely to find it on AliExpress. It’s a huge online marketplace, based in China but offering products to online buyers worldwide.
AliExpress may have pretty much everything, but how easy is it to use if you live in Malaysia?
In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about shopping at AliExpress in Malaysia. This includes shipping times, payment methods, order tracking and more.
Plus, how to save money when paying in other currencies using smart solutions like Wise.
|Table of contents
Absolutely! AliExpress is based in China, and orders from AliExpress.com can be shipped all over the world, including Malaysia. In fact, free delivery between China and Malaysia is available for many products.
When you start shopping on AliExpress.com, simply change the ‘Ship to’ dropdown at the top of the page to Malaysia. You can also select your preferred language, and change the currency to Malaysian Ringgit (MYR).
AliExpress is owned by Alibaba, which is an established, reputable multinational company. Of course, this doesn’t automatically make it 100% safe to shop there, but it is reassuring to know that the site is owned by a credible company.
AliExpress also has a number of Buyer Protection policies in place. These offer customer-friendly features such as guaranteed refunds, on-time delivery and a dispute process to help resolve disputes between buyers and sellers¹. You can find out more about AliExpress Buyer Protection here.
Lastly, you’ll have the protection of your debit or credit card provider when you shop online at AliExpress.com.
Shopping on AliExpress is just like using any other retail website. You’ll need to follow these steps:
- Open an AliExpress account. If you already have an account, simply sign in.
- Set your shipping location to Malaysia, and choose your preferred language and currency (if you want to). This will filter out all products that can’t be shipped to Malaysia.
- Start shopping. Once you’ve found the product you’re looking for, you can either click ‘Buy it Now’ or add it to your cart and carry on browsing the site.
- Complete the checkout process, including entering delivery and payment details. You’ll also need to choose a shipping method.
- Wait for your order to arrive.
And that’s pretty much it. We’ll look at things like payment methods, shipping and order tracking next.
It varies from seller to seller, but most will accept the following payment methods on AliExpress³:
- American Express (AMEX).
You may be surprised not to see PayPal on this list. After all, it’s used by online retailers all over the world as a convenient payment method.
However, not all sellers have activated PayPal on their AliExpress store, and there are also only a limited number of delivery countries eligible for payment by PayPal³. Unfortunately, Malaysia isn’t on this list. If PayPal is available for your chosen order, it will be automatically displayed as one of the payment methods.
AliExpress standard shipping typically takes between 15 to 45 working days², although the exact time depends on the item, seller and where the order is shipped from. On many items we checked, the average shipping time to Malaysia is around 27 days⁴.
For many people, this is too long to wait. The good news is that there is also a premium option, offering express shipping to speed things up. You’ll pay more in shipping costs for Aliexpress Premium Shipping, but you’ll get your order between 7 and 15 working days².
Some items also have options for express shipping with other companies (i.e. UPS). To give you an idea of how this works, let’s look at an example.
Imagine you’re looking to buy a Samsung Galaxy J7 phone on AliExpress.com. Here are the available shipping options to Malaysia (at the time of writing), including fees⁵:
|AliExpress Standard Shipping
|Cainiao Standard for Special Goods
|UPS Express Saver
You can keep an eye on the progress of our order using AliExpress tracking. You’ll find tracking information in the ‘My Orders’ section of the AliExpress website. You should be able to see the shipping company, tracking number and any updates on the progress of the shipment².
Be aware though that this will only be updated within 5-7 days after the seller has dispatched the order².
If you have a question about shopping on AliExpress or there’s a problem with your order, here’s how to get help from customer services:⁶
- Visit the AliExpress Help Center page - here you’ll find FAQs, advice and information on everything from payment to shipping.
- Contact a customer service representative via live chat - this is available 24/7 on the AliExpress website.
Along with the price of the item, there may be other costs to pay when shopping at AliExpress. These include shipping costs, plus customs duties and/or import taxes. Lastly, there’s currency conversion to factor in. For example, if you’re paying in MYR and the seller only accepts USD.
As we’ve already touched on, shipping costs can vary on AliExpress depending on the speed of delivery. However, the item size, weight and sending/delivery country can also affect the cost.
In some cases, AliExpress offers free delivery - even internationally. But this can be quite slow, so you’ll need to be prepared to pay much higher shipping costs if you want express delivery.
If you’re receiving a delivery from abroad, there may be import fees and/or customs duties to pay. AliExpress doesn’t cover these, and they’re not included in the listed price of the item or any of the displayed shipping costs³.
Customs duties and taxes can vary from country to country, so you may need to check with either the seller or your local customs authority before purchasing.
AliExpress only accepts payments in certain currencies, depending on the seller. The short list includes EUR, GBP and USD⁷. However, the platform’s standard currency is USD⁸.
What this means for shoppers in Malaysia is that a currency conversion will need to be carried out when you pay in MYR. You’ll be given an estimated cost in MYR, and these are the prices you’ll see throughout the site (once you’ve set your delivery location as Malaysia).
The exchange rate for the conversion will be determined by your debit/credit card issuer³.
As the rate is likely to be poorer than the mid-market rate (the one you’ll find on Google or currency sites like XE.com), this could make your AliExpress purchase more expensive than you expect.
The good news is that there’s a way round it - using the Wise international debit card.
Open a Wise multi-currency account and you’ll have a money-saving way to shop on websites all over the world, in the local currency. This includes AliExpress. The beauty of this is that no currency conversion will need to be carried out by your card provider.
With your Wise account, you’ll be able to get your own international debit card. This can be used for contactless payments in person in 160+ countries, or for online shopping on sites like AliExpress.
You’ll always get the real, mid-market exchange rate with Wise. So, you’ll be able to load up your Wise account with USD, taking advantage of the fairest exchange rates around.
Then, you can shop to your heart’s content on AliExpress in SGD, CNY, USD or wherever else you want in the local currency. It could save you a small fortune, especially if you use AliExpress a lot or you’ll be buying high-value items.
Sources used for this article:
- Aliexpress buyer protection
- Aliexpress shipping
- Help Centre - payment methods
- Example product 1
- Example product 2
- Help Centre
- Aliexpress payment methods
- Aliexpress payment methods - Wise
Sources checked on 27.06.2022
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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