Based in China, AliExpress is an online retail service launched in 2010 by the Alibaba Group.
Being one of the largest marketplaces in the world, AliExpress has gained significant popularity among both customers and businesses.
Since the company is based in China, customers now have access to rare and cheap products they might not find anywhere else.
Business owners have found a great companion in AliExpress due to its drop shipping options and huge customer base.
Despite its inexpensive merchandise from China and popularity among producers and customers alike, AliExpress has established a tarnished reputation.
People have started questioning their ethical practices and if the company is legit.
They have also been dismissed as selling “worthless junk,” which may not be far from the truth in most cases.
This article will discuss what AliExpress is and if the company is ethical.
AliExpress is owned by the Alibaba Group, a multi-billion dollar corporation specializing in selling portals and business-to-business buying.
One of Alibaba’s most successful stores is AliExpress.
The company is a popular online retailer that serves as a consumer marketplace for customers worldwide.
AliExpress is based in China and allows small business owners in the region to sell their products internationally at low prices.
What needs to be reiterated here is that AliExpress is not a producer or seller.
The company is merely a third party connecting different businesses to consumers worldwide.
Every seller is different, and you can get products from various.
AliExpress is not directly selling these products; they provide a platform to other sellers.
Here, you can find anything.
Since AliExpress is a marketplace, it sells everything you could think of.
There is no limit to the kind of stuff they offer since the material comes from various vendors.
At AliExpress, you will find products ranging from woman’s fashion to automobile accessories.
You can shop for dresses, shirts, bags, shoes, jewelry, accessories, and intimate wear for all genders, ages, and sizes.
There are tech products for your gadgets and electronic items for all appliances.
You can find stuff for home decor, toys for your pets, athletic items, skincare products, cosmetics, pottery, etc.
What stands out about AliExpress at a glance is how cheap most of their products are.
You will notice that even the most glamorous items are priced lower than you would find at any other store. There are several reasons for this occurrence.
The first reason why products at AliExpress are so cheap is that you are buying these products directly from the manufacturer and avoiding going through the supply chain, which saves you a couple of bucks.
Moreover, the production costs in China are relatively lower than you would find anywhere else.
The laws of intellectual property are also poorly implemented, which contributes to the lower prices.
Another reason why these products may be cheap is that you are probably buying a fake product.
Since China has no lack of counterfeit products, many of the products at AliExpress are fake or rejected.
Many companies reject products due to a lax quality.
These products that never make it to the original merchandise find their way to AliExpress.
Another major reason and a commonly applied trick are that some sellers attach the price of the accessory instead of attaching the price of the main product.
The cost of the main product is mentioned only when you open the webpage and notice the price quotation.
This practice misleads many customers into thinking that the product is extremely cheap while it has actually been listed as a trick.
Now, the question of AliExpress being ethically correct or not is an important one.
Many people have complained about their unethical practices, and it is crucial to address this issue before endorsing the company.
One of the reasons why AliExpress is being questioned about its ethics is that the company is known to be involved in drop shipping.
What exactly is dropshipping? Dropshipping is an order fulfillment method that allows businesses not to keep the products it sells in stock.
The technique enables eCommerce businesses to outsource and ship products to a third party.
AliExpress practices drop shipping by allowing businesses to list products from AliExpress and then mark it up on their website.
After you have marked up that product, it will enable the company to run Facebook or Instagram ads.
Using these advertisements, businesses can hype up the products as much as possible. Users are bombarded with these ads and face a lot of spam.
Users will find these ads popping up left and right as they scroll down their social media.
There will be videos and posters exaggerating the excellence of the product, which makes you want to buy it instantly.
This practice is unethical because the businesses involved in drop shipping allow them to sell cheap products at a ridiculously high price.
These products are not even of high quality yet are made to cost so much. The amount consumers are made to pay is not worth the product they are being sold.
Moreover, what makes this practice even worse is that these exaggerated ads will entice consumers to buy their products by spicing up their features and constantly spamming them.
Influencers will try to get your attention. Posters will dazzle you. Ads will keep bugging you until the consumers give in and get something that they might not like.
Another downside of dropshipping is that they don’t target a specific audience which means that people from all backgrounds and ages can fall prey to it.
Older people with no savvy knowledge can easily fall for the low prices. It is easier to trap them in a bubble of apparently low prices.
This business model is harmful to genuine customers looking for affordable products from a trustworthy marketplace.
To entice people and play with their emotions while not delivering what they asked for is unethical and wrong.