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Amazon is one of the largest retail giants in the nation due to their excellent customer services and extremely low prices. However, most people don’t realize that they can get these same products at only a fraction of the price by using AliExpress. Not only that, but we’re going to teach you how to save an additional 7% on all AliExpress items.
What Is Amazon Marketplace?
Amazon Marketplace is an e-commerce platform in which third-party sellers can sell used and new products on Amazon. Because of this service, most of the search results you find on Amazon are coming from another source. Here’s how it works in 3 easy steps:
- Sellers buy products for cheap.
- They send them to an Amazon Fulfillment Center.
- Prices are marked up heavily in order to turn a profit.
Although you’re buying from third-party sellers, you’re still getting the same, great customer service from Amazon. As long as you see the text “Fulfilled by Amazon” on the product listing page, Amazon is handling the delivery, return and customer service for the product.
In the example below, you can see that Amazon is fulfilling the order, but it’s sold by a third-party.
If you see text that says “Fulfilled by Seller” on a product listing page, then the seller is shipping the product themselves. Even though Amazon isn’t handling your delivery, keep in mind that if something goes wrong, you’ll still be back by Amazon’s support, so there’s nothing to worry about. Just keep in mind that seller-fulfilled products usually take a bit longer to arrive.
Most Sellers Source Their Products From China
For most of these third-party sellers, their best option is to look toward China when sourcing their products. While the shipping speed may be a bit slow, the prices are ridiculously cheap.
The majority of third-party sellers on Amazon buy their products in bulk from China using a website called AliBaba. They work out deals with suppliers from China, knowing they can mark it up when selling it in the US.
There’s AliExpress For Buying Single Items
As a buyer, most of the time you’re only going to want to buy a quantity of one instead of buying in bulk. In this case, we can use a service called AliExpress.
AliExpress was made for the average consumer with prices a bit more expensive than what you’d find on AliBaba. However, these products are still much cheaper than Amazon.
If you decide to use AliExpress over Amazon, there are some things you need to keep in mind when shipping from China.
The great thing about Amazon is that you usually don’t have to wait longer than a week to receive your order. Sign-up for Amazon Prime and you can have it in as little as two days for what’s considered a small annual fee of $99.
When going with AliExpress, you’re going to end up waiting a lot longer to receive your product. Orders can take as long as 39 days before they arrive at your door. Yet if you’re patient enough or not in a hurry, this can help you save 50% or more on your purchase.
Most of the time the shipping is free. However, if you want to speed up the process, you do have a few options. The ePacket option isn’t that much more expensive for small items. This speeds up the process by about two weeks. Not only that, but tracking is usually available almost immedaitely.
If you decide to stick with the free/extremely cheap China Post option, tracking numbers can change frequently. You’re less likely to know where your package is at any given time. Sometimes I even forget that I have a product coming since it’s taking so long.
Although I know I can almost always get my product on AliExpress for that much cheaper, sometimes I still stick with Amazon. They’re great with customer service and I’m getting my product that much faster.
Finding The Product
If I find a product on Amazon, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it exists on AliExpress. The product listings can have different listings on each site. Because of this, sometimes I spend an extra 10 or 20 minutes finding the same product on AliExpress.
Not only that, but sometimes I search long enough only to come to the conclusion that the product was not sourced from China. It is possible that a third-party seller bought their product from somewhere else, or they made it themselves. If you’re looking to shop on AliExpress to save some money, be prepared to do a little digging first.
AliExpress has been around for many years with a solid reputation, so you don’t have to worry about anything when getting your product. However, we still recommend that you buy from sellers with a positive rating.
The reason for this is because it can be a little bit more difficult dealing with their customer service department when shipping from overseas. There’s a greater likelihood that shipping may get lost, and some sellers have a reputation of shipping the wrong product or not shipping at all.
You can check the seller ratings on the product page. Use your best judgement. If it seems like a seller isn’t living up to their expectations, it’s almost a guarantee that there will be plenty of other sellers with the same product.
Now that we’ve explained clearly how to get Amazon products at a fraction of their price, let’s take a look at some examples.
1. Nessie Soup Ladle
This is the example that we’ve been using throughout this post. For only 3 cents more on AliExpress, you can use ePacket shipping for a total of $1.49. You’re also getting the product for under a third of the cost, but you do have to wait up to 20 days to receive it.
2. Mobile Projector
Who doesn’t want this cool mobile projector? It may look expensive, but you can actually get it at a decent price by just going with AliExpress over Amazon.
3. Toothbrush Head Replacements
We put up this item since it’s a product that people can buy over and over again. If you own an electric toothbrush by Phillips, you’re probably going to buy these things at least once a year. Only wait for shipping once by buying a couple of sets at once on AliExpress.
How To Save An Additional 7% On AliExpress
We’ve taught you 40 different ways to save on Amazon, but you’re most likely still going to save a lot more by using AliExpress – the price difference is just too high. We can increase our savings by an additional 7% using an online shopping portal.
Shopping portals are online websites that are partnered with thousands of online retailers. When making this partnership, they agree that if they help sell a product on a retailer’s behalf, they earn a small commission. They do this in the form of affiliate links.
When you click on a link to retailer on the portal page, what you buy and how much you buy it for is tracked by the retailer. The retailer recognizes this purchase and gives the portal a commission.
Instead of the portal keeping this money for themselves, they give the majority of it back to you in the form of cash back. Most of the time you’re actually receiving 100% of the commission.
The Best Portals For AliExpress
TopCashBack and BeFrugal are one of the most popular shopping portals on the web. More importantly, they give the highest percentage of cash back when shopping at AliExpress. Here are the steps you need to take in order to get cash back from one of these portals.
- Register for a free account at either BeFrugal or TopCashBack.
- In the search bar, type in AliExpress.
- Click on the button that says “Get Cashback.”
- After pressing the button, you’ll be redirected to the AliExpress page. Make your purchase like you normally would.
- Usually within a week’s time 7% of your total purchase price will appear in your portal account.
- Once your portal account reaches a minimum amount ($10 on TopCashBack and $25 on BeFrugal), you can withdraw it to PayPal or in the form of gift cards.
The great thing about these portals is that they can be used for more than just AliExpress. Simply change your search term to the store that you’re looking for. Since they’re partnered with thousands of retailers, there’s a high probability that you’ll be able to get some cash back for the store you’re looking to shop at.
BeFrugal and TopCashBack also give you a $10 bonus just for registering as a new user. However, keep in mind that this does not count as cash back. You won’t be able to withdraw it until you reach the minimum amount in earned cash back.
Want to take a look at other cash back portals? You can view our top 10 list here.
Use A Cash Back Credit Card To Save An Additional 2%
When mentioning different ways to save money, we always bring up the fact that you can use a cash back credit card to save a few more percentage points. The Discover It Card gives you 2% back on all purchases your first year. It also comes with no annual fee, plus you can get up to 5% back on certain categories. Let’s take a quick glance at the card:
- No annual fee
- 1% cash back on all purchases (2% your first year)
- 5% cash back on products from specific categories
- Free overnight shipping for lost cards
- Excellent Discover Deals Shopping Portal
- Free FICO credit score on every statement
If you don’t want to go with Discover, you can also go with the Citi Double Cash Card. It also gives you 2% cash back on all purchases and comes with no annual fee.
If you’re willing to be a little bit more patient and wait a few extra days to wait for your order, stick with AliExpress. As long as you’re buying from a reputable seller, you’ll get your product at a fraction of the cost that you’d find on Amazon. The only downside is that you may have to wait a few extra weeks for it to arrive.
Don’t forget to use BeFrugal or TopCashBack to save an additional 7% on all AliExpress purchases. Have any other ways to save on AliExpress or Amazon? Let us know in the comments below. Thanks for reading and happy frugaling!