As you know, your money is safe on AliExpress until you receive your purchase. But, what happens if you don't receive your purchase, or you are not satisfied with it? Should you open a dispute if the item is not what you were promised?
Many of you have doubts about when to use this tool offered by AliExpress to claim your money from the seller. So in this post, we will tell you in which cases you should not hesitate to do so.
What is a dispute?
Main article: Open a dispute on AliExpress
When you buy something on AliExpress, the platform acts as an intermediary between you and the seller, keeping the money until you receive the order and confirm that everything is fine.
Remember: the page to open a dispute on AliExpress is this one.
If you are not satisfied with your purchase when you receive it, you have the option to open a dispute explaining the causes of the complaint, attaching evidence (photos, videos, conversations…), and indicating the amount you want to be reimbursed (partial or full refund).
The seller may or may not accept the dispute, or he may even offer you a new proposal. In case you do not reach an agreement, AliExpress will mediate and offer you a solution.
It is important to be clear that AliExpress is usually on the buyer's side, as long as the reasons for your dispute are well justified, and you do not turn it into a recurring tool to save money or get free purchases.
So, when is it necessary to open a dispute?
Let's take a look.
When to open a dispute on AliExpress
The reasons for dispute can be divided into two main blocks: order received and not received.
The description of the item does not match what you received, or you received a different item than the one you ordered
The item you received may not match the seller's size chart, it may be a different color, it may not include the features described, or you may have received a completely different item. Don't forget to attach pictures in your dispute to prove it.
The quality is not as described by the seller
This happens when, for example, you buy an item of a certain material or characteristic, and you receive another, usually of poorer quality. It is not always easy to demonstrate this: try to provide a video, as this is where this action would help your cause the most.
The item received is damaged
If you receive a product that is broken or tampered with, even if this occurred during shipping, you can claim a refund. It is the seller's obligation to adequately protect the shipment and, in any case, it is not your fault if the courier company mistreats the packages.
You did not receive everything you ordered
You may have ordered several units of the same product and they do not match what you received. For this reason, when you order several items from the same seller, it is a good idea to record a video of you opening the package so that you can prove the issue later in a dispute.
Expired product (in case of food items)
Although it is not the most common thing to buy food items on AliExpress, you can also purchase them through this platform, and you must receive them before the expiration date has ended.
Order not received
Your purchase protection guarantee is about to expire
When the protection time is about to expire and the package is still in transit, the seller will usually extend this time without your request. In this case, you should only open a dispute if you have previously asked the seller to extend the protection time, and they have not done so. In the dispute, you can also attach a screenshot of this conversation.
You have no tracking information
Similarly, you should always talk to the seller first when you do not have tracking information or your order has been stopped at the same point for a long time. In case they ignore you (which is not usual), you can open a dispute by attaching a screenshot of the conversation and the tracking of your package.
The courier company has returned my package to the seller
Here you may be at risk the most: if the order has been returned because you did not go to pick it up at the delivery office (after they tried to deliver it to your address), it is very likely that AliExpress will prefer to help the seller over you.
If this is the case, the most reasonable thing you could do is to ask for a partial refund and try to get the seller to accept the first time, so AliExpress does not have to intervene at all.
The package is held in customs
Another option for which you can open a dispute, but it will not always be favorable: if the package is held in customs because they claim a tax (e.g. customs duties) and you do not want to pay it, AliExpress will be on the seller's side. On the other hand, you may be asked to pay VAT on an item that you have already paid for and the seller has not declared it correctly. In that case, you have the option to pay the VAT and claim the money back later with a partial refund, or refuse the order and ask for a full refund.
The package was not sent to the correct address
If the seller has sent your order to the wrong address, you can easily claim your money back. But if it was your mistake or if you asked the seller to change the delivery address after you placed the order, and they did not do it, you will not be able to get your money back.
The package is listed as delivered, but you didn't receive it
This can happen because of an incorrect tracking number, the package was delivered to a different person, the delivery person marked the package as delivered or the protection time has expired and AliExpress has automatically confirmed the delivery. Try to find out first what is the reason and talk to the seller. In this post, we explain in more detail how to proceed.
How to open a dispute?
Now that you know in which cases it is convenient to open a complaint, you may need to know how to do it: in this extensive guide, we explain step by step how to fill out the AliExpress form.
In conclusion, although the dispute is a tool that you can use in all your purchases (whenever you consider it appropriate), we recommend that you do it only when it is really necessary, and you can justify it with evidence.
If so, AliExpress will take you seriously and will certainly always resolve it in your favor.