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Alibaba.com or similar?

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Hi all, like most of you I hate paying over the top for things ( especially when time is on my side ) so from time to time I want something probably made in India or China which carries a high premium by UK sellers. I've seen Alibaba.com which seems to offer what I'm after but I can't get my head around it. . . Do others find it easy to use successfully or is there other ways to shop online easier around the world? Cheers

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Your premium is for it being readily available in this country - buying from Alibaba/bangood/wish etc will usually mean a wait of a month to 6 weeks. I am currently waiting on a little video camera - cost £9 - been about a month now - and I can't remember which one I ordered it from :D


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2 hours ago, mgsontour said:

I've seen Alibaba.com which seems to offer what I'm after but I can't get my head around it

Alibaba is for B2B really, I.e. Importers looking to buy by the container/pallet load.  There isn't really intended to be an 'add to cart' button, which I assume is what you mean.

Aliexpress is more like what you're after, think of it as a chinese Ebay, but there are others, such as Banggood.com

I have found though, that you need to be careful, as price wise they can vary by the time you've included shipping charges.  Often times a UK seller will be within a couple of pounds, even if the 'seller' is just a chinese account with a UK warehouse/forwarding operation.

Caveat emptor applies here.  It's very easy to fall into the trap of knowing the price of everything, but the value of nothing.  A lot of this stuff is cheap for a reason, and could charitably be described as tat.  On the other hand, some stuff is produced in the same factories as quality European brand names, just with the label changed.

Finally, as a personal rule, I refuse to buy anything that plugs into the mains from any of these sites.

This video goes into some detail between Aliexpress knock-off and real Makita impact driver, will give you a feel for what you're getting into


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Alibaba is good for wholesale amounts of things. I have a pending order for 1200 items when I actually wanted 200. The minimum order was 4800 but after some haggling and getting the order number down the price was right. 

It will take close to six months from order to delivery as the supplier in China is having to import a component from Japan first, but the unit price works out at about 15% of what I would have had to pay in the UK so hopefully I can make enough profit on the excess to make the whole exercise worthwhile.


aliexpress is much faster for small numbers of things available off the shelf but generally considerably more expensive. 

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I use AliExpress all the time. Have placed over 200 orders over the last few years, mainly fishing, hunting and outdoor gear. 99% have gone well apart from long delivery times, 1 - 2 months. Where there has been a problem, AliExpress has been fast to refund the money. It fell apart a bit over the covid period. I have a few small items pending, lost in the post somewhere, maybe in NZ. I will just be patient. 

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On 03/07/2020 at 02:33, NoBodyImportant said:

I get about 90% of the stuff I order from wish.  I’m disappointed about 75% of the time.  But it’s fun to play own.  I get stuff all the time that I forgot I ordered. 


My wife orders from wish a lot. It doesn’t help that frequently the completely wrong item is sent, but it’s an entertaining game  😀

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