Today I shall be reviewing my first and last experience ordering from Aliexpress. I ordered 2 pairs of shoes from 2 different Aliexpress stores. I will review both pairs of shoes separately. The negative experience mainly stems from the pink shoes but the purple shoe order was not a great deal better (although the shoes were much better than I expected). If I was being generous, I would say the purple shoes order was more of a neutral than a negative experience but I still feel it deserves a negative rating.
My general opinions of Aliexpress themselves is that I didn't feel that my money was ever as "secure" as they made it out to be. With Alixexpress you pay by credit card, not Paypal which means you are relying on Aliexpress if things go wrong (which they did). You can open disputes but the seller can simply refuse your dispute and then you are stuck until you can reach an agreement. If the seller doesn't respond then eventually the dispute will be escalated directly to Aliexpress. I didn't have the opportunity to do this because both of the sellers responded to their disputes right at the last minute. The general feeling I got was that both shoe sellers were not willing to put the effort in to providing good service but were very determined to do whatever possible to hold on to your money.
First up, I shall review the pink shoes I ordered from here- Pink shoes
I placed this order on the 4th of March and I was given a processing time of 3-5 days. The first thing I noticed is that the shoe chart given on the listing seemed incorrect. I literally had to guess which size I would be and thankfully I did guess right. It didn't exactly fill me with confidence though. So I waited for the order processing time to finish and Aliexpress give a little countdown clock to say when the processing time finishes. If the processing time clock reaches zero then the order is automatically cancelled. The seller was taking their time processing the order so I decided to open a dispute just as a sort of prompt to get things moving. Right at the very last moment, the seller "shipped out" (the quotation marks will become apparent in a moment) the shoes and then refused my dispute, saying the shoes had already been sent out. So I had no option but to accept that the shoes were coming and I couldn't seem to cancel this order no matter what I said in my dispute to Aliexpress. I paid a bit extra for EMS shipping because I wanted the shoes quicker and the waiting time for this shipping option is 5-10 working days. I trust EMS and I was given a tracking number for my order. Immediately I was suspicious because my tracking number did not work at all on either the Chinese EMS website or the UK Parcelforce website. Then, out of the blue on the 23rd of march, I got a message from the shoe seller saying they had given me the wrong tracking number and here was my correct tracking number. So I put this new tracking number in and discovered my package (which was supposed to have been shipped when they refused my dispute) had only been posted on the morning of the 23rd! So the seller had lied about shipping my shoes to me to get around the Aliexpress processing time. I was so angry at this dishonesty. If they can't abide by the terms that Aliexpress puts in place then they shouldn't have a store on there and it amazes me how easily the sellers can get around these rules. My shoes eventually arrived on the 27th- 15 working days after I placed my order and much longer than stated on the website. But what upset me the most was the dishonesty of the seller.
My shoes arrived wrapped in a plastic bag which was very well sealed up. I gave the parcel a gentle shake and the shoes didn't seem to move inside.
Inside I found the shoe box and the shoes inside were wrapped up in little fabric pouches. I think they should have stuffed the toes with tissue paper to help maintain the shape.
And here are the pink shoes. At first glance they look quite cute. The colour is not quite what I was expecting from the listing. The listing gives the impression they are a bit more pastel pink (at least that is how they appeared on my monitor). The shoes were a bit narrow but I had managed to get the correct size. I like that the straps had a bit of elastic to offer more size flexibility, although the elastic isn't that attractive looking.
And after examining the shoes I spotted this big chip where the colour has come off. You can also see a slight tinge along the sole line where the glue is visible. I was very angry about this because I felt that after everything the seller had put me through, I should at least have received damage free shoes. It just made me feel like the seller didn't care about my order at all and was determined to drag it out as long as they could. I put in a second dispute, this time to get a partial refund. As most of the cost was shipping and not the shoes themselves, I felt I could only put in a refund request for about $6. I received an email saying the seller refused my dispute but later found that they had in fact offered to refund me. But it is alarming to think that the seller can simply refuse a dispute and get away with sending damaged shoes. There was no way I was sending the shoes back because I would have to pay for the shipping.
So I decided to test the shoes and after a few hours of wear I found the shoes to be quite comfortable. This was just walking around my house though. I dread to think how they will handle a downpour so that will be interesting to find out.
Next up is the purple shoes which I got from here- Purple shoes
This order was also placed on the 4th of march. Unlike the pink shoes, the purple shoe seller marked the shoes as dispatched long before the Aliexpress processing time had ended. I was given the tracking number but once again, it would not work. I waited 10 business days after the shoes had been supposedly been shipped and when they didn't arrive, I opened a dispute. The seller refused the dispute and asked me to give the shoes a bit more time. Out of the blue, I decided to give the non-working tracking number another go and I was surprised to find out that it was now working... and the shoes had only been sent out that morning. So once again, the seller had lied about sending the shoes out. The seller was clearly in a panic and stalling for time so I wouldn't escalate the claim directly to Aliexpress. The shoes did eventually turn up on the 30th of March. I was really unimpressed.
Again the shoes were quite well wrapped up when they arrived and the package was well sealed. The shoes had no room to move inside either.
I opened up the shoe box and strangely, only one shoe was wrapped in a bag. This picture is literally how I found the shoes when I opened them up. I was pleasantly surprised that the colour was exactly what I was expecting. And this time, the colour was not chipped or damaged in any way. In fact, the shoes were in perfect condition.
The only issue was that the shoes fasten in a weird way and I couldn't quite figure them out. Again, the strap was elasticated but the elastic is well hidden, as the photo shows.
I wore the shoes around my house for a couple of hours again and they were quite comfortable. They seem quite sturdy. I wanted to do a side-by-side comparison with my Bodyline purple shoes to compare the colours. I discovered the lavender colour of my Aliexpress shoes is a good match for Sugary Carnival. The shoe design is a bit more attractive than the Bodyline ones too.
So I have to say, I have been put off putting in any more orders with Aliexpress. I know this is only 2 sellers but I thought I was going to get better service than I did. And the dispute progress that Aliexpress use does not fill me with confidence. I would be really concerned if my demands were not met because there is a possibility that your money is not as protected as they claim. The pink shoes are not what I was expecting but I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the purple shoes. So I wont be recommending Aliexpress to any of my friends. It is not worth the stress.