We are living in a digital age and our shopping habits reflect that. Online shopping has become a rage in the past few years, with more and more people turning to it. As the number of E-commerce sites increases, shoppers have got more options to choose from, at competitive prices.
Now, Indian shopaholics have another reason to rejoice as the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has entered the Indian markets. Though the attractive product listings and wallet-friendly pricing on its retail site, Aliexpress, might tempt you beyond control, you should always take certain steps to avoid fraud and disappointments.
After using the site extensively, here we bring you a site-review cum step-by-step guide on how to order things from Aliexpress to India.
NOTE: On 22 September 2021, India banned Aliexpress app.
What does above means?
You are no longer able to buy from Aliexpress. Only way is to use VPN. 2nd issue is that Chinese sellers may not be interested in sending items over since the risk of losing package is high.
What Aliexpress is all about?
AliExpress is the retail seller chain of the giant Alibaba around the world. The portal is a great place to purchase all types of goods. AliExpress comes to your rescue when you require any specific product for personal use, i.e. not in bulk. Whereas, with Alibaba, you are required to order a minimum number of units to get the most exquisite of the prices.
Well, AliExpress is providing the user with the same flavour of cheap prices and with an option to order single units as well. Custom duties around the world play a major role in determining the final price of the product. When it comes to the low-cost items, they get past the eyes of the people with the customs department.
But, when it comes to expensive or luxurious products, be ready to pay more. Expensive products come with an expensive custom duty tag.
AliExpress Custom Charges for India
One must try to compare the product’s price with the customs duty to the product’s price in their own country before making a purchase. When it comes to customs duty, different countries have a different set of protocols as well as rates. Customs duty is a fee that is charged by the excise and customs department of the respective countries. The custom duty rates depend on how expensive the product or item is.
When it comes to negotiating the customs fee, well bad luck, you can’t just do that. If the customer rejects paying the customs duty, the package will never reach you.
People generally declare lesser prices of their luxury items for the sake of escaping the customs duty, to tackle this, customs departments around the world have come up with their price list. The prices have been standardized based on the valuation they do internally. In some cases, it can be said that the final custom fee totally depends on the officer who’s handling your consignment.
What comes as a sad fact for the Indian customers of the revolutionary shopping portal AliExpress is that the Central Board of Excise & Customs has hiked the customs duty on the import of the personal accessories. In other words, you can bid goodbye to your cheap shopping experience at AliExpress.
Read also: Aliexpress vs DHGate – Which is better?
Categories under the radar for custom duty on gifts to India
Segments like jewellery, watches, bags, shoes, bulk clothing purchase and much more have experienced a hike in the customs duty by the Government of India. What comes as an intriguing fact is that, books have been added to the personal use category as well, in other words, reading your favourite author just got costlier.
Other segments like games, cosmetics, electronics, toys etc. have also been impacted by the same. What comes as a cumbersome fact is that, the calculation of the crucial custom duty is done by assessing the value of the imported item & not by its invoice value, as stated by the seller. When it comes to the Indian Excise & Custom services, you cannot just simply get the shipment cleared without producing a valid identification proof. Identification proofs like PAN card, Aadhaar card and even the voter ID card will do the job.
Not just AliExpress, purchases made on international portals like Amazon US, ThinkGeek and various under falls under the void of hiked customs duty. All of the personal items from these portals will cost more from now onwards.
The fresh tax rate stands at 41.49% on the items worth more than Rs. 2000 INR. On the other hand, items having a price under Rs. 2000 will be charged with a customs duty of 14.7%. When it comes to the goods that have been priced at Rs. 50,000, then the customs duty percentage stands at 41.492%, the item has to comply with the CTH 9804 policy as well.
Customers will get to know about the final value of the product after the shipping cost, as well as the customs duty, have been applied during the check-out. It can be a case where the absolute cost of the customs and shipping might exceed the actual price of your product, shocking right? Well, discounts get wiped off the table through an array of customs duties and higher shipping costs. Looking for the specific product locally can be a great option in this case.
If you want to buy from the international seller and you want to pay whatever is the sum, AliExpress accepts all types of credit as well as debit cards. They also accept the payments through PayPal, third-party wallets have been added for the viability of the user by the company. For the Indian buyers, there is a great news. Indians can pay for the foreign items in Indian rupees as well. On the majority of the products, the service is applicable. Currency conversion must be kept in mind when we talk about purchasing the items in Indian rupees.
What you should do to avoid Custom Duty in India
For small packages
Advised your seller
DO NOT PUT ITEMS AS GIFTS.
Name the products and try not to reduce the price per package extensively.
The customs are not dumb.
For big packages
Advised your seller to print exact invoices and at least do a write up on what the product is.
Hope the above helps.
Best Tips Shopping on Aliexpress in India
1. Download Aliexpress app from app store to get better offers
This is the obvious first step and mandatory to buy something from this site. If you wish to buy without downloading the app, you can access the site aliexpress.com on your browser. Click on this LINK here to access to the Aliexpress mobile apps.
2. Browse the site for products and offers
There are various product listings under different categories and loads of ongoing offers. Check these out to save a few bucks. Under $5, $10 and Flash deals!
3. Open the details of the product you wish to buy
Simply click on the product you want and the details page will open. Here you can see its price, seller information, pictures of the product and customer reviews.
4. Check the credibility of its seller
Just as you wouldn’t buy stuff from a not-so-trustworthy vendor while shopping at your local market, you should not buy goods online without doing a little background check about the seller. Check the seller ratings and feedback reviews. You can see this at the bottom of the product page along with seller name. Higher ratings mean more satisfied customers, which indicate that the seller provides good services.
Avoid ordering from someone who has a rating lesser than 90%. Also, check how long the seller has been active on the site. The longer the seller’s age on Aliexpress, the more trustworthy it is. You can also chat with sellers before ordering the product from them.
5. Listen to other customers
The sellers usually exaggerate while mentioning the features of their products. The pictures can also tell a very unreal story. But user reviews never mislead. Whether it’s about the size/fit of the product not being as per what is mentioned on the site or the color is different from what is shown, user reviews will always give you a better idea of what the delivered product will look like. Moreover, a review indicating a happy and satisfied customer will give you confidence about your decision to buy that particular product.
6. Check for the estimated time of delivery
Since Aliexpress ships items from China, unlike its domestic competitors such as Flipkart, Snapdeal etc., your order may take quite some time to reach you or may even get damaged or lost during the delivery. Hence, it is advised to avoid ordering expensive and urgently needed things from this website. Before placing any order you must check the expected delivery window to save yourself from any disappointment later.
Also, all the products come with a purchase protection timeline. If your purchase protection timeline is about to end and you still haven’t received the product, be sure to raise a dispute and demand a refund from the seller against it. But don’t freak out too early because you only get one chance with raising a dispute, per order.
7. Selecting the delivery type
Aliexpress lets its customers choose between two types of deliveries. One is faster but paid and another is slower but free. Since, we have already told you that this site is not suitable for ordering costlier and urgently required items, you may opt for the standard free delivery. Paid deliveries defeat the whole purpose of ordering from the Chinese site as the cost becomes similar to the Indian markets.
Also, there is no point in spending a great deal on the delivery of a low-priced article. Both the delivery types are covered under purchase-protection scheme anyways.
Best Tip for Fast Shipping Aliexpress to India
1.Choose Singapore or HK post or AliExpress standard. (15days max)
2.Ask seller to ship via Taiwan Post (10days max) instead of Registered China Post immediately after payment, both cost same for the seller
3.Ask seller for GATI (7days max)
If you do this, you can reduce shipping time from 30 days down to 7-15 days keeping cost essentially the same.
Things to note: Indian postal department delays China Registered Post
8. Go Carting
Check the final price of the products that you added in your cart, before proceeding with the payment. Search and apply coupons, if applicable. Mind that all orders on Aliexpress are prepaid as this site doesn’t offer the Cash-on-Delivery service. This means you would have to pay for your shopping using your credit/debit card or net-banking.
Ensure that your card has an international payment feature activated. Also, at this stage, always tell the seller in the comments section that your order includes a gift. This would ease the process with the customs department as gifts don’t have prices mentioned on them (doesn’t apply to branded stuff) and help your order reach you faster.
9. Spread the word
After receiving the product, don’t forget about letting other customers know about your shopping experience, be it positive or negative. Leave a product review and give sellers, their due ratings. This helps other customers and makes the platform, a better marketplace.
10. Aliexpress India Price
Most of the prices are depicted in USD.
Happy Shopping! Go Get some Great Deals!