AliExpress Standard Shipping: Avoid Hidden Costs (Get the Truth)

Tired of long shipping times and uncertain package tracking when ordering from AliExpress? AliExpress Standard Shipping might be the solution you need.

This blog post will explain what it is, how it works, its cost, reliability, and answer the most frequently asked questions about this shipping method.

WHAT IS ALIEXPRESS STANDARD SHIPPING?

AliExpress Standard Shipping is a convenient and generally affordable shipping option that offers the peace of mind of tracking, making it a popular choice for shoppers who want a balance between cost and the ability to monitor their order’s progress.

Standard Shipping is offered by the AliExpress marketplace. Here’s what makes it different from other options:

  • AliExpress as Middleman: Think of AliExpress as stepping in as a middleman in the shipping process. Instead of your package going straight from the seller to you, the seller sends it to an AliExpress shipping center. AliExpress then takes over the responsibility of getting your order to your doorstep.
  • Partner Carriers: AliExpress works with various shipping partners to deliver packages worldwide. These include established postal services like China Post, Singapore Post, and sometimes commercial couriers. The exact carrier used might depend on your location and the package itself.
  • Tracking Included: A major advantage of AliExpress Standard Shipping is that you get a tracking number. This lets you follow your package’s journey from the moment it leaves the AliExpress warehouse until it arrives at your door.

HOW LONG DOES ALIEXPRESS STANDARD SHIPPING TAKE?

While AliExpress states a typical delivery window of 15-45 days for Standard Shipping, the actual shipping time can vary depending on several factors:

  • Destination: Where you’re located plays a huge role. Shipments to countries like the US, Canada, or those within Europe tend to arrive faster than those to more remote areas.
  • Distance and Shipping Routes: The sheer distance between China (where most AliExpress sellers are based) and your location will impact shipping times. Packages traveling longer distances naturally take more time.
  • Customs Clearance: All international shipments must pass through customs. Delays can occur here, especially during peak seasons or due to additional scrutiny.
  • Peak Seasons & Holidays: Expect delays around Chinese New Year, Black Friday, Singles’ Day (11.11), and other major shopping events, as the volume of packages increases significantly.
  • Unexpected Events: Global events, weather disruptions, or logistical issues can all cause unexpected delays in shipping.

How to Get a More Accurate Estimate:

  1. Product Page: Each product page on AliExpress displays an estimated delivery time specific to that item and your location.
  2. Seller Communication: Contact the seller directly if you need a more precise estimate for your area.

Remember, estimated shipping times are just that – estimates. While most packages arrive within the given timeframe, it’s always good to allow some extra time for potential delays.

HOW DO I TRACK ALIEXPRESS STANDARD SHIPPING?

AliExpress Standard Shipping comes with the perk of tracking, giving you updates on your package’s progress. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Find Your Tracking Number:
  • Your AliExpress Account: Go to “My Orders,” find the relevant order, and click “View Detail.” Your tracking number should be listed there.
  • Order Confirmation Email: Check the email you received when your order shipped. It often contains the tracking number.
  1. Choose a Tracking Service:
  • AliExpress’s Tracking: You can track directly on AliExpress within your order details.
  • Universal Tracking Websites: These offer a consolidated view of package progress across different carriers. Popular options include:
    • 17TRACK
    • ParcelsApp
    • TrackingMore
  • Carrier-Specific Websites: If you know the carrier (e.g., China Post, Singapore Post), you can track on their website.
  1. Enter Your Tracking Number: Paste your tracking number into the designated field on your chosen tracking service.
  2. Understanding Tracking Updates:
  • Common updates include “Shipment left country of origin,” “Arrived at destination country,” “Out for delivery,” and “Delivered.
  • Be aware that updates might not be real-time and there may be gaps between scans.

Troubleshooting:

  • No Information: If you’ve just received your tracking number, it might take a few days for information to appear.
  • Stuck Status: If a status update hasn’t changed in a long time, contact AliExpress customer support or the seller for clarification.

HOW MUCH DOES ALIEXPRESS STANDARD SHIPPING COST?

Unfortunately, there’s no single answer to this question as shipping costs on AliExpress vary widely. Here’s why:

How to Find Exact Shipping Costs:

  1. Product Page: On the product page of the item you are interested in, there’s a section dedicated to “Shipping”. Here you’ll see:
    • Available shipping methods to your country
    • The estimated cost of each shipping method
  2. Checkout: Once you have items in your cart, proceed to checkout. Before payment, AliExpress clearly displays a breakdown of the shipping fees for your order.

Important Notes:

  • Not Always the Cheapest: AliExpress Standard Shipping might not always be the cheapest option. Sometimes, sellers offer lower-cost, untracked shipping methods.
  • Combined Shipping: If you’re ordering multiple items from the same seller, they often combine shipping, which can lower the overall cost.

IS ALIEXPRESS STANDARD SHIPPING RELIABLE?

AliExpress Standard Shipping is generally a reliable shipping option, especially when compared to cheaper shipping methods that often don’t include tracking. Here’s why:

  • Tracking: You receive a tracking number, allowing you to monitor your package’s progress and offering peace of mind.
  • AliExpress Oversight: Since AliExpress handles the shipping logistics, they have a degree of responsibility that some individual sellers may not, leading to a more accountable process.
  • Buyer Protection: If your package doesn’t arrive within the promised timeframe or arrives damaged, you are likely eligible for a refund through AliExpress’s buyer protection program.

However, there are some things to consider:

  • Delays Happen: While most packages arrive within the estimated window, delays can occur due to factors like customs clearance, peak seasons, or logistical issues.
  • Shipping Carrier Reliability: AliExpress partners with various carriers, and the specific carrier handling your package may influence its reliability.
  • Lost Packages (Rare): While uncommon, packages can sometimes get lost in transit, even with tracked shipping methods.

In Comparison to Other Options:

  • Untracked Shipping: Cheaper but very risky, as you have no way of knowing where your package is and limited recourse if it doesn’t arrive.
  • Expedited Shipping: Options like DHL or FedEx are faster but significantly more expensive.

AliExpress Standard Shipping strikes a good balance between cost and reliability. While not flawless, it’s a much safer bet than untracked shipping options.

DOES ALIEXPRESS STANDARD SHIPPING INCLUDE CUSTOMS FEES?

Sadly, the short answer is no. AliExpress Standard Shipping, or any other shipping method, doesn’t directly include customs fees or import taxes in the price you pay. Here’s why:

  • Customs Duties and Taxes: These are government-imposed charges on goods imported into your country. They are calculated based on factors like:
    • The type of goods you’re buying
    • The declared value of the goods
    • Your country’s specific import regulations
  • Buyer’s Responsibility: In most countries, it’s the buyer’s responsibility to pay customs fees and taxes when their package arrives.

How You Might Pay Customs Fees:

  • Upon Delivery: The carrier (postal service or courier) delivering your package might collect these fees before handing over the shipment.
  • Separate Notice: You may receive a bill or notice from your country’s customs agency with instructions on how to pay.

Important Notes:

  • Thresholds: Some countries have a minimum purchase value below which you don’t need to pay customs. Check your country’s regulations.
  • VAT: In Europe, AliExpress often collects VAT (Value-Added Tax) at checkout for orders under €150. This is different from potential customs duties.
  • Evasive Practices: Some sellers may undervalue goods or mark them incorrectly to help avoid fees, but this is illegal and risks your package being seized.

Tips:

  • Research: Find out your country’s customs regulations and thresholds beforehand.
  • Factor in Costs: Consider potential customs charges when budgeting for your AliExpress order.

CAN I EXPEDITE ALIEXPRESS STANDARD SHIPPING?

Unfortunately, you cannot directly expedite a package that’s already been shipped with AliExpress Standard Shipping. Here’s why:

  • AliExpress’s Control: Once your package is in the hands of AliExpress and their shipping partners, you have little control over the speed of the shipping process.
  • Set Shipping Networks: AliExpress Standard Shipping relies on established shipping routes and partner carriers with their own schedules and timelines.
  • Cost vs. Speed: AliExpress Standard Shipping is designed to be an affordable option, so faster delivery would normally come at a much higher cost.

Alternatives for Faster Shipping:

  • Choose a Different Shipping Method: When you’re ordering on AliExpress, look for these options if speed is a priority:
    • AliExpress Premium Shipping: A faster alternative offered by AliExpress.
    • Carrier Services (DHL, FedEx, UPS): These are significantly more expensive but offer the fastest delivery times.
  • Contact the Seller: Before ordering, ask the seller if they can arrange a faster method for an additional fee. Some sellers might be able to accommodate this.

Important to Note:

  • Expedited options often mean significantly higher shipping costs.
  • Even expedited shipping can face delays due to customs and unforeseen circumstances.

ALIEXPRESS STANDARD SHIPPING VS. CAINIAO

It’s easy to get confused between these two terms, as they are related but have important distinctions:

  • AliExpress Standard Shipping: This is a shipping method offered on the AliExpress platform. Here are its key features:
    • AliExpress partners with various carriers to deliver your order
    • Includes a tracking number
    • Offers a balance of affordability and tracking
  • Cainiao: This is a logistics company owned by the Alibaba Group (which also owns AliExpress). Here’s how it fits in:
    • One of the key partners for AliExpress Standard Shipping
    • Handles shipping logistics, warehouses, and transportation
    • Offers other shipping solutions like Cainiao Super Economy (a very cheap, often untracked option)

In Practice

  • You might see a Cainiao tracking number when using AliExpress Standard Shipping, as they often handle the package.
  • Not all Cainiao shipments are AliExpress Standard Shipping. They provide services for other Alibaba platforms as well.

Key Differences 

Feature AliExpress Standard Shipping Cainiao
Type Shipping method Logistics company
Scope AliExpress-specific Alibaba Group-wide
Tracking Included Varies depending on service
Cost Generally affordable Depends on service chosen

Before You Go

Now that you understand the ins and outs of AliExpress Standard Shipping, you can make better decisions about your orders.

Consider the shipping time, cost, and the importance of tracking when choosing whether this shipping method is the right fit for your purchase.

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