As you may have noticed, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find replicas on AliExpress due to the restrictive measures that this marketplace has been applying for some years.
Despite this, China is still a paradise for fakes and many sellers try to pass items as original when they're not.
Therefore, we'll give you series of tips to make sure you are buying something original.
How to avoid replicas
Choose reliable stores
This is the most important thing when buying original products.
Always choose stores with good reviews from buyers, that provide photos, their experiences and that also have a long history to back them up.
How do I know that a store is trustworthy?
It's very easy: just visit the store's homepage and look at the top, where you can find a summary of everything we have listed.
In addition, many of these stores are marked with the “Top Brand” label.
What does it mean for a store to have the “Top Brand” label?
Only the best stores and the stores that have been verified by AliExpress have this symbol of excellence that they have earned for their good ratings. In these stores, you can be sure that you are buying directly from the brand or from an authorized distributor.
In short, by buying in these stores you can be sure that the product you are getting is 100% original.
How to distinguish a replica
These are usually sold for a very low price in stores that have been established for little time (less than a year or even months) and also have few ratings.
As soon as AliExpress detects the fraud, it closes the store immediately and also penalizes the seller.
In addition, many of these stores can be recognized because their name is “Shop” or “Store” plus a numerical code.
Products that often generate doubts
In the comments you usually ask us if some products in particular are replicas or originals, so we are going to approach them one by one:
Apparel and sneakers (Nike, Jordan, etc).
The price tells you everything: yes, the $45 Nike Air Jordan sold by Shop912311343 Store, are fake.
iPhone and other mobiles
As we told you in the post about iPhones on AliExpress, these are original in 99% of the cases. Why are they so cheap? Because they are refurbished iPhones.
With the rest of the cell phones it is more or less the same: they are almost always original.
Perfumes and creams (The Ordinary, etc.)
If you find creams or perfumes that hide the logo or have a price significantly lower than normal (more than 20% cheaper), they are fake.
A good example is The Ordinary: a well-known brand of facial care products. Many sellers have products that are easily associated with this brand, but hide the logo very clumsily:
This is a counterfeit, and we do not recommend using your skin for experiments.
Nowadays there are quite a few JBL counterfeits, and it is difficult to distinguish them because they use the logo and the name explicitly.
To be absolutely sure that you are buying an original product, we recommend you to go to an authorized JBL dealer by clicking here.
And two other tricks:
- If the store is less than two years old, it's fake.
- If it has an incredible discount (like 55% off), it's fake.
There are some sellers who have the well-known Seresto flea collar at a very very low price. The normal thing would be to think that it is a counterfeit, but:
- These stores have been open for several years.
- They have thousands of sales.
- In the reviews users claim that the product is original.
Difference between clones and replicas
There are also sellers of what are commonly known as “clones” or “dupes”: products that imitate the style or design of a well-known brand, but are perfectly legal because they do not have the logo.
Sometimes it can also happen that you buy something thinking it is a clone without branding and you get a replica with the logo.
To avoid confusion, always ask the seller and read carefully the description of the item to know if the item comes with logos or is a clone.
I have bought something and the store has disappeared
If you have bought something branded and you just realized that the store has disappeared, it is probably because AliExpress has detected some anomaly and has automatically closed the store for selling replicas.
Many replica sellers also use the tactic of quickly opening and closing stores so that AliExpress does not have time to detect them.
First of all, don't worry: even if you write to the seller to ask them about your shipment, they will not be able to answer you, because they will not receive your messages.
What will happen to my order
If your order has already been shipped, the process will follow its normal course until it arrives at your home.
If the order has not been shipped, it is possible that the seller will still ship it, even if the store is closed (if they don't ship it, AliExpress will refund your money in a few days).
The moment you receive your package, it is up to you to open a dispute or not, depending on your degree of satisfaction or if you were aware or not of what you were buying.
I am not sure if my order is an original
There are many types of replicas, from the poorest (which imitate a product very poorly) to the so-called “original quality” (very difficult to recognize at first glance).
In the case of clothing or accessories, one reason to be suspicious is the quality of the material and the finish of the garment.
Poorly finished clothes, with many loose threads and traces of glue, may be a sign that the product is not original.
On the other hand, for electronic products such as cell phones, you should check that the technical specifications really match what you have received (camera megapixels, internal memory, operating system, device fluidity,…).
For electronic products: check the serial number on the official website
For many branded electronic devices, you can check their authenticity by entering the serial number on the brand's official website.
For example, in the case of iPhones, it is easier to recognize a replica because the operating system will never be iOS, but an interface that simulates it and therefore you will never be able to update it.
If it is clear to you: open a dispute
You already know that one of the advantages of buying through AliExpress is their buyer protection.
So if you have no doubts and what you have received is not what the seller had promised you, just open a dispute providing all the evidence you can.