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How to order and import anything from Ali Express to Kenya

As a cycling enthusiast for commute and fitness, I love keeping my bike in tip-top shape as well as adding cool gadgets to add a rich experience as I cycle. Getting some bicycle parts locally is sometimes a headache and other times the cost is too high.

So it was quite a delight when I discovered by chance aliexpress.com. This is the retail arm of Alibaba.com where anyone can buy good in small or large quantities and ship them all over the world. You can get almost anything from this website from electronics, clothing, automobiles, sporting goods and so on.

The first things I ordered to test the system was a Bicycle flashlight, cork handle bar tape and an LED rear laser light. The order process was pretty straight forward, you can either order through their website or through their mobile phone app. It is worthy to note that they offer special offer prices for orders through the app. The best thing about Ali Express is that you get buyer-protection which somewhat insulate you from losses arising from unfulfilled orders to faulty shipments.

In my experience here’s how to go about ordering anything from Aliexpress.com

Register

Once registered on the site, explore various stores that sell the products you are interested in. The easiest way to identify popular and established sellers is by checking their ratings, reviews and positive feedback. You are most likely have a good experience with sellers with high ratings and positive feedback.

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Read Reviews & Feedback

Reading the experience of other shoppers will give you an idea of what to expect. The reviews May help in answering some questions like how long to expect shipping to different countries, condition of shipment and so on.

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Read The Product Description

This cannot be over emphasized. Sellers usually post more detailed product description about the product, quantities, packaging, sizes, dimensions, color, compatibility, brand name, refunds/returns, shipment, guarantee and what’s not included (if applicable). Reading these will help you make a decision to buy fully aware of the specifics.

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Check Shipping

Not all products listed are shipped to every country. Confirm the product you want to buy can be shipped to your country plus the shipping charges if applicable. You can also select your preferred mode of shipping. It is highly recommended to avoid free shipping for very expensive items. Free shipping works ok for items under $10.

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Contact Seller

If you are unsure about anything about the product or have any question before ordering, simply contact the seller by clicking on chat/contact seller. Most sellers respond instantly or within 24hours.

Ordering

Once you have checked out the above steps and you have identified the items, simply add them to the cart then once ready click on buy to go checkout. They accept Visa, Mastercard, Paypal, Western Union and Bank Transfers. Once payment is successful, payments must be verified which takes less than 24 hours then your order is sent to the seller for processing. You can also install the Ali Express mobile app from the play store and order items as well as manage your orders.

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Tracking

Once payment has been verified and the seller has received the order, order processing takes place within 7 days. Once the order has been shipping, you will receive an email notification and depending on your order, you will also receive a tracking number and instructions on where to track your shipment. This depends on the mode of shipment.

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Pick Up

Shipment for most orders takes less than 14 days but sometimes takes more. Depending on your shipping method your goods could be delivered to your door (DHL, UPS,). Others methods especially Post Office you have to go to the post office and collect. If your item attracts duty then you will get a notification on your mail box with the details else small packages less than 500gms will most often be posted on your mail box. If heavier you get a delivery chit to be collected from the post office counter. 

I have ordered many items and only one hasn’t arrived yet as of writing this article. All the others arrived as advertised.

Have you ordered any items form Ali Express? What was your experience? Let me know in the comments.

Tags: ali express, ecommerce, importation, cycling, importing from china to kenya