Nowadays, there are quite a few studies that show that not all Chinese products are that good. Sometimes, they contain too many harmful substances, or they are not safe for children. In this article, I will answer the question whether AliExpress is safe or not.
Dutch research concludes quality and safety are not always in check
A Dutch study conducted a test of 250 products from, among others, Wish, AliExpress and Ebay. Of the 250 products, 165 did not meet the European standards for products. Those standards are in line with standards from the US and UK. More than half of them were dissatisfying: a very large number. Therefore, it makes sense that people are concerned about the safety of AliExpress products.
Then what was not good about the products? Fire alarms that did not go off, USB chargers that gave an electric shock, or toys of which pieces simply broke off and children could choke on them. Other notable negative factors included jewelry that sometimes contained thousands of times too much of certain substances that people in Europe, the US or the UK do not consider acceptable.
Really, really… but seriously: really be mindful when ordering products like this on AliExpress.
All in all, there was quite a bit wrong with the products I ever ordered. The following question then quickly arises: are these products on AliExpress still safe? And can we just continue to order?
AliExpress and security: why is there such a big difference in security between products?
By no means are all products on AliExpress bad or unsafe. So despite the fact that the researchers rejected 165 products, there is still a sizeable group of products that are fine. How did the researchers determine which product was safe and which was not? Mainly by looking at Western standards of safe products.
Here you can find another example of a product you should probably NOT buy on AliExpress, if you care about the health of your baby.
In the European Union, all countries use the same rules for making products. The US and UK have their own rules about quality and safety. This way, unhealthy products or dangerous products do not enter the market. In China, on the other hand, these standards are at different levels, or they simply do not exist.
Therefore, while you can buy an unsafe product from China, the chances of buying something of dangerous quality in your own country are somewhat less.
Fortunately, there are some ways to avoid as many of these kinds of bad purchases on AliExpress as possible.
4 tips for buying only the best products from AliExpress
How the researchers assembled their sample of 250 products is not clear. It is also not clear exactly which product from which brand was tested. So we can’t say anything meaningful about the researchers’ selection procedure. However, we can give you some tips to greatly reduce the risk of buying something bad. And as always: if in doubt, just throw that product out of your shopping basket. Your health always comes before that few euros discount.
Ensure your safety with the following 4 tips:
1. Choose the best vendor
Every vendor on AliExpress gets reviews from their users. Especially when they have been around for a few years, you can see a long list of reviews and scores passing by. Although you can’t filter out all the bad products this way, it is an ideal way to separate the wheat from the chaff.
Great sellers have a score of at least 95% and are often followed by thousands of people. Of course, you can also simply order a well-known brand such as Xiaomi or Huawei through a smaller (reseller), as those products simply have a well-known origin.
2. Be careful with creams or any other stuff you consume
The researchers found that there were certain products – such as teeth whitening products – that were not really virtuous. Of course, as with creams like these, be careful when a product comes into touch with your skin for a long time or even with your mouth.
Of course, you don’t know exactly what’s in it, and as the researchers showed, in most Western countries the laws regarding product safety are slightly different. So make sure you always buy a reputable brand when you order creams or edibles, but prefer not to do it at all.
3. Buy stuff that has little chance of being wrong
Related to tip number 2 are, of course, products with which little can go wrong. A towel or a glass jar for a plant are obviously made of obvious substances. If you want to be sure your stuff is safe, buy products of which you can actually (almost) be sure they are safe. These are decorative products, products that have proven themselves in the past, and things that children or adults do not come into physical contact with.
4. Look for official manufacturers that have been around for years
Lots of items you own at home come from China. Just turn over a number of products near you, and you will see it for yourself by the label. It is not true that all products from China are bad. Mainly, the well-known manufacturers from China are forced to comply with the rules in your country if they want to get a foothold there.
When you buy products from those brands in China – think for example of Xiaomi or Huawei – then those products just meet the same requirements as in your country. By looking into which official brands are selling their products on AliExpress, you will come a long way in picking out products. Xiaomi, for example, sells hundreds of products on AliExpress.
So buying goods on AliExpress is still safe, even now that you know that some products are not so good. But let’s be honest: somewhere, the results of the study by the Dutch researchers are not very surprising. The key message is: use your common sense!