Ali Express is a name that’s not uncommon among buyers and sellers. From shopping enthusiasts to entrepreneurs, this e-commerce platform has served well for millions across the globe. Jack Ma, the owner of the Alibaba Group, is one of the wealthiest men in the world. Ironically, his business gives the most reasonable and cheap products anyone could ask for. This article delves into how Ali Express became one of the most affordable platforms.

Why is Ali express so cheap?
Image by 愚木混株 Cdd20 from Pixabay Copyright 2020

1. What is Ali Express?

Ali Express is a Chinese platform that sells products from Chinese companies. It has over 150 million buyers on a global scale. It is a retail website that unites many small producers and products ranging from anything to everything. It has also opened up the marketplace for non-Chinese sellers.

This has helped foreigners to sell products to consumers through the platform. There is an incredible selection of different goods at excellent prices. It is one of the leading B2C or e-commerce platforms across the globe.

The range of products, quality, and unbeatable prices draw millions of customers. It has everything from household items to hair and beauty products. When you compare prices to other online stores, you will find Ali Express more desirable. That’s why it’s preferred by small business owners, wholesalers, drop shippers, and consumers.

2. The Plethora of Cheap Products

why is ali express so cheap
Image by 200 Degrees from Pixabay Copyright 2016

You name it, you got it. This is precisely what Ali Express applied in their business. It is essentially an online supermarket, only better with a broader range of products.

The platform operates on a broad scale, aiming at a low margin, enabling them to pass those earnings to the consumers. The overhead costs are also absent, so all these reasons keep it very economical or cheap. They operate on a vast scale and have a strong bargaining power. 

They even use data analytics to use pricing strategies to help increase their profit margins. Accessibility is never a problem. From originals to dupes, it is just a click away. They never miss out on their quality. Moreover, the whole pricing and buying are eased, adding to its popularity.

3. What is the Difference Between Alibaba and Ali Express?

Buying on Ali Express would not be wrong if you want to do smart shopping. It is known for its buyer protection program. Understanding these reasons would help you have a good shopping experience. The business-to-customer model and competitive marketplace set off the affordability. If you are particular about what you want and know your desired design, this is the place for you. 

Alibaba’s online consumer marketplace is Ali Express. This helps Chinese businesses to sell products across the globe. Unlike Amazon, most of Ali Express’s sellers are third parties. It means that Ali Express is not the seller. It is only a marketplace or an invisible intermediary. 

Why is Ali Express so Cheap
Image from Alibaba.com

Ali Express is considered trustworthy for getting products cheaper than you would find at local stores. Alibaba is a large conglomerate focused on e-commerce and media. Ali Express is a subsidiary of the Alibaba group. The former is a B2B platform mainly beneficial for wholesalers and business people, while the latter is a B2C platform. Ali Baba has a market share of nearly 50% in Chinese retail.

Ali Baba should do it if you need customization and labeling services. You may not find those services in Ali Express. Negotiations are possible in Ali Baba. Ali Express almost has a fixed pricing system unless you go the extra mile to contact the seller for bulk orders. It is almost like walking into a supermarket with fixed market prices. It sells manufactured products, so it takes a shorter time frame than Ali Baba, which tries to connect the manufacturers and ease the production process.

Both platforms have a user-friendly interface, making it a go-to option for all. There are various payment portals, which makes it easy and saves time. Both platforms are designed to target different audiences, one mainly for wholesalers or producers and the other for retailers or consumers.

Although it has almost everything, items like weapons, ebooks, software, etc., cannot be purchased easily.

4. Low Labour Cost

There is a meager labour cost in China. This enables products to be offered at meager prices in China.

A fact about China that is known to all is that it is one of the most populous countries in the world. So, China has an extensive labour pool at a much lesser cost of hiring labour on a relative scale. This attracts sellers and businesses who want to reduce prices and increase their profit margin.

This might also be helpful for small businesses that do not possess enough investment and are looking to expand their business scale. 

why is ali express so cheap
Image by Quân Lê Quốc from Pixabay Copyright 2021

Chinese workers are known for their efficient hard work. Products are made quickly and at a low cost without compromising the quality. This keeps product prices down and makes the marketplace competitive for sellers. It contributes to the fame it holds among shoppers. 

Chinese labourers also have an eye for detail, enabling them to focus on quality. The low-cost labour, lower shipping costs, and quality control allow a good supply chain. The Chinese market online store encourages other online retailers to have a competitive pricing scheme.

5. Low Cost of Inventory

The Chinese government can be credited to its policies that ensure suppliers purchase and source their materials at reasonable prices. It has a meager cost of raw materials and supplies that contributes to the affordability of Ali Express. 

This helps various businesses get their raw materials and supplies in bulk for reasonable rates. Ali Express facilitates getting materials for small business owners and drop shippers without having to warehouse them separately or incur additional costs.

why is ali express so cheap
Image by Oberholster Venita from Pixabay Copyright 2018

Raw materials get sourced locally, which further cuts down on costs. The massive size helps China produce certain items on a big scale. This lowers the production costs. All of this combined helps reduce the costs, thereby maintaining and increasing their revenues.

So it makes cheaper goods and reaps benefits from the low costs. But it never comes with the cost of quality as Ali Express still manages to meet the low price expectations and good quality standards.

6. Chinese Manufacturing

As the Chinese overhead costs are low, Chinese manufacturers can offer their goods at a competitive price and keep them ahead in the game. They need not worry about the return as their investment is less. So, even if their costs are low and they make good sales, they could profit reasonably from it.

China is also known for its technological advancement. So integrating the technology enables the producers to produce quickly and efficiently. A Chinese manufacturer can also customize the technology to give the clients what they need. It can also offer customized solutions.

Why is Ali express so cheap?
Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay Copyright 2012

It also has a subsidized warehousing. The government helps businesses. As you can observe, the field is very flexible and dynamic, giving an upper hand to Chinese suppliers and enabling them to provide a great shopping experience for the customers. Chinese manufacturing is essentially a powerhouse. A ‘Made in China’ tag is almost seen everywhere. The low taxes, duties, and the ecosystem of business relations make it easy to source it here.

7. Selling Replica

Ali Express is a vast marketplace. So here, originals, duplicates, and good-quality replicas are all available. It is a hub for third-party sellers and manufacturers who sell across the globe. Most of Ali Express’s sellers are from China and shipped out of China or Hong Kong. And their products are known to be the best replicas. They value making objects so similar to the original that they reach you through dupes of your favorite brands.

You get the closest replicas, which poses a challenge to authentic ones amidst the fake ones. To recognize them, you must check out the sellers and reviews and review them thoroughly before purchasing. If you find a price too reasonable to be accurate, it is likely too good to be true.

I BOUGHT FAKE DESIGNER ITEMS ON ALIEXPRESS... I DID NOT EXPECT THIS!

8. Shipping Fee

Free shipping attracts all buyers. It is one of the main reasons Ali Express is an easy choice for retailers and consumers. The production process is done as it sells manufactured products, and transportation is quickened. Free shipping and speedy delivery are attractive add-ons to Ali Express.

Ali Express offers very competitive rates for shipping. It attracts both parties. So whether you shop in bulk or for one product, you must pay little or none. It depends on the weight and size of your consignment. You can also be guaranteed its safe arrival with a tracking link without any wear and tear.

There is also an express delivery option if you need it quickly, which could incur an additional fee. The standard shipping method encourages exports at reasonable prices. This would also depend on the trade agreements between different countries. There are various types of shipping for different prices so that you can opt for the service at your convenience. For instance, the standard shipping can be negotiated by contacting your seller directly. Premium shipping services can be availed to specific countries under certain conditions and packages.

The products are often posted by manufacturers in China. Once an order is placed, sellers send their items to the Chinese hub in less than a week. The repackaging is done to fit in all the products and is moved in a day. For example, if the order is placed via Ali Express Direct, then the order will reach your door in less time. The orders, on average, take 15-45 days to the USA or the UK and a week or more to other Asian countries. There’s also a return and a refund policy provision within the specified time.

How To Get Fast Affordable Shipping On AliExpress For Dropshipping - The Ultimate Guide

9. Eliminate Middlemen

As mentioned earlier, this is the easiest way to maximize profits. This could be the trump card in this profitable game. Would you be shocked to know that removing the intermediaries could remove a huge chunk of the prices that they take?

So, how do they work this out? They directly connect you, the customers, to the manufacturers. So, you get to purchase now from the seller. The only middleman to exist is the website itself!

This helps to cut the price, and customers get to deal directly and get all the details they need. This allows sellers and shoppers to save money again, making AliExpress ideal and giving it a reason to have affordable prices.

Why is Ali Express so Cheap
Image by Mohamed Hassan from Pixabay Copyright 2018

Some cities in China are known for producing and selling similar products or dupes. But that helps to have a solid and accessible network in the warehouse. The Chinese government imposes low taxes and duties on sellers.

The VAT to the customers and sellers are often exempted while exporting. This encourages manufacturers to keep selling at low prices. High prices come when costs are high. One can observe that the supplier-friendly system and D2C customer experience on Ali Express make it favorable and affordable. 

10. Competitive Suppliers

Do you know China accounts for over 28% of the world’s manufactured goods? Chinese products are everywhere, with reasonable quality for the prices. This offers consumers a wide range of choices.

It makes China number one in manufacturing. That means the competition between sellers is very high, so they keep prices low to attract buyers. Imagine getting a utensil. You will have thousands of search options. As you scroll, your priorities will change with your preferences, including your budget. Then you will check the reviews; if all are good, you will get it.

why is Ali Express so cheap
Screenshot from Ali Express

This whole mechanism can be summed up with the economic concept- The Law of Demand– Lower the price, higher the demand, and vice-versa.

11. Bulk Discounts

Dropshippers often use this as all suppliers offer bulk discounts. So, this would become feasible for small businesses or drop shippers, and suppliers would give an extra price cut. 

As per the seasons’ sales, this will often be shown on their page, attracting customers to add more and more and have more discounts. This is also an excellent opportunity to form good business relationships. This option will benefit small business owners, entrepreneurs, or Dropshippers.

How to Find Aliexpress Coupons (Best Methods)

Also, much of this will depend on signed trade agreements between nations and their export and import policies- as far as shipping costs are concerned. There are also Ali Express coupons that give good discounts to clients.

So discounts, free shipping, low overhead costs, everything you need is served on a platter!

12. International Shipping

Many sellers offer free shipping to buyers. The low shipping costs are desirable for both the seller and the buyer. Ali Express has a standard shipping protocol that is primarily offered. It makes shipping costs lower, and this could attract clients. You can quickly get shipping options from companies like DHL.

The expedited shipping costs attract many international buyers. Several Ali Express suppliers or online retailers offer lower prices. Be it a small or large parcel, you can find favorable pricing.

The platform has many initiatives to ease cross-border movements. An initiative like the Ali Express Direct is actively used in the Gulf countries, namely Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The delivery time ranges between 10-20 days. All the necessary facilities, like door-to-door delivery, tracking links, and timely customer support, are provided.

How To Get Fast Shipping on AliExpress (3-5 Day Delivery) 2024

You may create an account and find products within the Ali Express Directory to get this. You can add any number of products according to your interests or needs. The purchase must be over 40 USD for the Ali Express Direct in the Emirates or over 50 USD in Saudi Arabia. The premium discount will be applied automatically if your transaction reaches the minimum required value.

If you wish to use another shipping method other than Ali Express Direct, you may change it on the website.

13. No Complex Marketing

This is where Ali Express gets an edge over other online platforms like Amazon. They do not have many advertisements and marketing innovations, which cuts down on costs. Also, the United States may have a much more complicated marketplace than a relatively cheaper Chinese platform.

This cuts down a considerable part of the investment yet doesn’t cut down on sales, giving them a significant return. That, in turn, comes to the buyers through low prices.

why is ali express so cheap
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay Copyright 2019

Although there are many reasons why Ali Express is so cheap, it does come with a cost. You can get high-quality products on Ali Express. But you need to know how to shop right. There will be many sellers selling unscrupulously.

They end up discrediting legitimate businesses that exist. Just because a product is cheap doesn’t mean it is of inferior quality. Although it is true, many exploit this. 

14. Final Remarks

why is ali express so cheap
Image by Preis_King from Pixabay Copyright 2019

When you surf the Ali Express website, you can access many products, be it your Pinterest favourites or essentials, for a reasonable price. The first impression could be attractive, but you cannot ignore the possibility of scams. It is an online marketplace, so it is natural for shoppers to be cautious. The lower production costs give us lower prices, and the different payment methods help anyone access it.

Ali Express products are offered at meager prices and are often high-quality. It could be the first choice for a savvy shopper. Please make an account; the interface will help you right into it. However, like most good things, Ali Express has its Yin and Yang. Shop and sell responsibly, and don’t forget to share your experience with Ali Express with us!


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