Testing AliExpress: My Experience Buying Cheaper Products Online

in Geek Zone6 months ago

In my region, every time we need to order a product online, the first marketplace to go to is always Jumia or Konga. This is because we can easily buy products using our banks and our currency, the naira, without having to worry about paying in dollars.


Buying goods that would be shipped from outside the country always requires paying with a dollar card or having a dollar account that has to be funded with dollar cash. So it is difficult to buy stuff online. Jumia had always made it easy for us to get things from their marketplace, even though they would be shipped from abroad.

But this time, I got two products from an international marketplace and paid with a dollar card issued from the PayDay app. Their service is quite cheaper than chipper cash—contrary to what their name implies.

I noticed products in AliExpress are quite cheaper sometimes compared to when buying from Jumia and other local online markets. It felt like some vendors were buying from sites like AliExpress and now reselling through Jumia to make their profits.

When I noticed this, I tried to test it out by ordering a photochromic glass and an RGB light.


These were the two orders I went to collect at the pickup station. I had a long walk under the sun, which is why I am sweating in the picture above.


I had to take lots of pictures so that you could see the extent of the long walk I had and how much I was sweating. I was happy that I received my product earlier, which was two weeks after I ordered it.


Now let's talk about the first product I ordered. This product is a photochromic glass, which also has protection from blue light. This is how the product was packaged, and you can see my signature and the date when I collected the package from my letter.

Ordering this product cost me only $1.4 with a free shipping fee. I was amazed when I first saw this item on AliExpress and how cheap it was. I could not resist ordering the item.

Over here, if I were to get photochromic glasses from the local market, I would probably be charged about $10 at least. I know this because I have once asked a buyer online who deals in selling these kinds of glasses for his price ranges, and I was surprised with the amounts he was calling for me.


I removed the product from the package it was in and found it to be white nylon. The glasses had a different plastic feel.

It has an attractive look, and I had to go test out the photochromic features immediately after bringing it out.

Since my last pair of glasses had broken, it had been months since I used one, so I had totally forgotten how it felt to be wearing glasses.


I had totally forgotten to snap the glasses before going under the sun, but if you look at the glasses, they have changed colour to a different colour. It is no longer pure, transparent white like it used to be. So I decided to remove the label from the glass so that I could show you the difference between how the glass was and after it was taken under the sun.

With Label
Without Label

Now the difference is very noticeable. Since that part of the glasses had not felt the effect of the sun, it did not change its colour.


Let's move on to the second package that I ordered online.

This is a RBG light. Some people call it a Christmas light because of the different colours it has and because it looks like the lights they place on Christmas trees, but this one is placed on the wall.

I already have one that I am using, which I bought at a local store, but I found this particular RGB light to be different from the one I have before.

What amazed me about this type is that it has a Bluetooth connection, which means that it can be controlled with your mobile phone without having to use the remote that comes with the light.

For the particular RBG Light I have, there is nothing like a Bluetooth connection on it. So I was intrigued by that feature. This product cost me $4.7 for a 5-metre length, while the one I ordered on AliExpress cost me $3.5 for a 2-metre length.


The picture above is of the LED strip and the remote control. I was surprised that the remote control did not come with a battery. I later understood the reason why they did so: so that people would try out the Bluetooth connection. If they placed batteries in the strips, many people would only rely on the remote control and not think of going through the stress of downloading their mobile app and also connecting the LED strips through Bluetooth connections.

At first, I wasn't at my place but at my former place. I walked back to my place so that I could add the new RGB LED strip to the one I had before. Here is a picture of my apartment with the LED strip I previously had.


So when I got to my side, I thought of extending the lights down the wall, but something unexpected happened that made me change my mind about using the newly acquired RGB LED strip light. So here is what happened:


When we tried joining the old LED strip to the new one, we noticed that the power of the new one was greater than the one I previously had and that the light brightness was not even. The bulbs on the new strip were bigger, and they took a lot more energy than what the old strip could supply, causing this to happen. You can see the way the light did not brighten up evenly in the images above and below.


Since it did not really make sense like this, we decided to remove it and not use it. I later gave the strip to my cousin, who came around that day. I told him it wasn't useful for me, but it would help beautify his room.


Designed by @ grisvisa

Starstrings01, also known as Giftedhands, attends the Federal University of Agriculture in Abeokuta to study mechatronics engineering. He is a lover of the hive, a guitarist from Nigeria, and a student.

His ambition on Hive is to be more than just an ordinary blogger; he wants to be someone with a purpose. That's why he started the newbies initiative @newbies-hive to help guide and support newbies. Please follow the @newbies-hive curation trail by clicking here.

He tries to juggle education with being active on the chain, but his love and passion for Hive keep him on track..

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Aliexpress is pretty good place for resellers or just to buy stuff. Be prepared for a bombardent of emails from sellers you didn’t sign up for.

Lol...I am already receiving lots of them.. I would unsubscribe to them now!

They will soon be in your WhatsApp too 😂

Haha, that email of a thing is what I have gotten tired of. They keep bombarding me with email notifications that I don't even need😏

Right, there is this one that keeps on sending weed pipes for sale, for some reason they even have my WhatsApp 😂

He/she probably thinks you would want it at some point😄

Wow. You do love ordering things online. Hehe. I see Jumia and Konga are adding some little fraudulent attitude to their businesses. But who can blame them? It is purely business.

You need to teach me how to create a dollar account please, those things are cheap and work fine.

I will buy you bobo or babadudu as a thank you gift.😂😂 scout honour.

you need to download payday app, then you can do the rest.

Hmm.... Payday. Roger that captain😁😁. Thank you

AliExpress is known for delivering well. I've not bought things from them yet but I've heard they are quite honest in their dealings.

I'm happy you got the worth of your products and the glasses look quite lovely. I've always liked people who had those lightings in their houses. That's nice

That is my favorite place of purchasing some cool gadgets. Give it a try.

This means you know quite some people that have those lighting. I saw it in a friend's room and I fell in love and thought of doing the same too.

Brother, the truth is that the led look pretty good, I have always wanted to buy things on AliExpress, but I would have to talk to someone close to me who has already bought something on AliExpress to know where to receive the things purchased.

Yeah that’s true but they always send emails on the location in which the item was delivered with the number of the pick up location to get details on how to get your item.

That’s how I got mine.

You are absolutely right, most products are cheaper in Aliexpress when compared with Jumia and Konga.

For about a year now, banks have made purchasing of products outside the country very difficult due to their policies. Firstly, the benchmark was 100,000 naira maximum before they brought it down to 10,000 naira while those who use doller card have no limit.

Well, I never knew that naira card have been stopped from being used to purchase products internationally until recently when I wanted to order for a new S-pen. Now, the only option I have is to get a dollar card.

For the dollar card, you can get it online. Just download the payday app on your mobile and fund it with at least $5 so that your dollar card can be activated. then you are good to go.

Okay, that's a good idea. I haven't used payday before. Can I transfer naira amout to it which will be converted to dollar equivalent?

Yes you can...but it is in black market rate.. and it is far better than using chipper cash.

Okay, that's cool. So the conversion would be done automatically or I will have to use the app to place the effect?

I just learned something about the dollar card and I will check the Payday stuff you mentioned so that I can as well try the Aliexpress.

Thanks for the update, I am sure your cousin will be happy to get the light.

Have you checked out the app now, and gotten your dollar card already?

I’ve never used Ali Express before. I guess I always thought their stuff will be more expensive than what I get on Kikuu. Truth is, I haven’t used online shopping in a long time. Maybe I should start doing some comparisons. The price difference seems to be significant especially with the photochromic glass.

The thing is that most people order from AliExpress then sell at higher rates on these local online marketplace so that they can make some profits from it.

Mmm sounds like a nice business idea. You can even start it with no money if you do it right.

Greetings friend, I have never bought on Aliexpress because I have heard a lot that the quality of the products are lousy, I guess I would have to try in the flesh.

Actually it is not all the products in AliExpress that are bad. There is always a place to check if they product has been bought by other customers. You can also see the pictures uploaded by other customers of the product they got. This way you would know the true quality of the product.

En aliexpress we can find many usefull things or also many cheap things, bar and My country Venezuela i have to pay almost the same money that i pay for the product 😂😂