When it comes to online shopping sales, Amazon has Black Friday deals in the US, Flipkart has Big Billion Days sale in India and Amazon India has its Great Indian Shopping Festival among others. But, when talking about world s biggest online shopping sale, there is nothing bigger than China s Singles Day Sale that is conducted by Alibaba. Celebrated on November 11, it was started as anti-Valentine s Day for being single. The sale was designed to encourage single customers to buy something and treat themselves with. While the sale has already started and will continue till 5PM IST tomorrow, even you can make the most of this shopping extravaganza and get products delivered here in India. But before you go ahead to make your purchase, here s what you need to know. Also Read - Best wearable gift ideas under Rs 5,000 for Father's Day 2021Also Read - Another Xiaomi folding phone set to launch after October with Mi MIX Fold specs
Alibaba.com is the business-to-business (B2B) platform, whereas AliExpress.com is the company s retail website for delivering products across the US, UK and also in India. The Chinese retailer is having some blowout sales across different product categories and with free shipping; and you can get the products delivered in India in roughly two-three weeks. To begin with, head over to AliExpress.com and create your account. There is also an option to sign up using your Facebook account. Enter all the details such as your full name, email, delivery address and contact number. Once that is done, you re all set to go. Once you login with your credentials, the top right of the page has an option to choose your country and currency (choose India and INR). Also Read - Best smartphones for photography under Rs 20,000 to gift for Father's Day
One of the best things about AliExpress is the wide range of products that are available. You can choose from clothing to consumer electronics, jewelry to bags and shoes, toys, sports, health and beauty products. While a lot of this stuff you can buy in India too, there are some products that are sold only in China. For instance, Xiaomi products such as smart shoes, smart toothbrush, sweeping robot, the recently launched mini wireless mouse, toy block robot, waterproof jacket and much more. You can check more Xiaomi products here. ALSO READ: Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air launched: Price, specifications and features
You can also buy the Mi 5s, Redmi Pro, Mi Noteboot Air and more, which are not likely to come to India. Then there are some interesting products too, such as mpow MBS5 Armor Bluetooth speaker, which comes with a shockproof design, it is waterproof and comes with a 1,000mAh battery too, with up to 12 hours of playback time. What s more, it also doubles as a powerbank for emergency purpose, in case your smartphone runs out of power. ALSO READ: Here s how Xiaomi Redmi Pro s dual-camera setup works
Tips for safe shopping on AliExpress
There are few things you should know before making a purchase. As the products aren t sold in India, you won t be able to get them repaired in case of any problems. You also have minor risks, where the device you order may not start at all, and sending it back isn t an easy task. Secondly, most of the products are shipped via China post, which takes a lot of time. Some vendors also offer express shipping option, which is a bit expensive.
Buy from established sellers
Being a marketplace model, it s easy for merchants to create an account and sell products. But, some of them sell low quality and fake products too. To ensure that you don t fall in the trap, ensure that you buy from the reputed seller. Just below the product photos, you have a section where you can find information such as sold by, feedback score and percentage of positive feedback. The feedback score ranges from 200-499, so better look for the one with higher score. Clicking on the store link, you can also check how long the seller has been on the site. It will also be a good idea to check customer feedback before you buy a product from the seller.
Read item description and seller guarantees
There are times where people just look at the product name and price before buying. But you should also read the description before placing the order. There are times where sellers do mention if it is a brand new box packed product or an open piece. Some of them also mention if it is original or replica of the product, which can make your buying decision easier. A lot of sellers set their own guarantees. Some of them charge for returns (if you have to send back the faulty one), some of them don t accept returns at all, nor some let you cancel once product is shipped and you change your mind. To ensure you don t get stuck in such a situation, it is better to look for these things in advance to avoid further disappointment.
What about the custom duties?
This is the trickiest part when ordering stuff from abroad. At times, some vendors ship products with lower price tag, say under $30 (or approximately Rs 2,100) to avoid duties. However, it also depends on your luck. If the custom official inspecting your device thinks something is wrong, you may end up paying duty along with an extra fine, which may cost more than two times that what you spend for the device.
Ideally, for a $150 (approximately Rs 10,000) smartphone, the import duty could range between Rs 1,000 to Rs 3,000. You can use dutycalculator.com, enter the source and destination country, weight and product pricing to get an idea about the import duties in India. I tried to add Mi Notebook Air to my cart, and it shows me the total pricing of $843 (approximately Rs 57,000), which includes $701 (approximately Rs 47,000) for the laptop and $132 (approximately Rs 9,000) shipping charges using DHL. However, they don t mention if the DHL shipping charges are inclusive of custom duties.
So, if you re ordering, be sure to keep some extra cash handy to pay to the courier person when he brings the package. But remember, don t pay whatever he asks for, do ask for the receipt to know exactly what and where you have been charged for. Last time, I had ordered HTC One M8 from the Amazon (US), I paid Rs 24,000 for the smartphone and Rs 1,750 as import duties.
Apart from AliExpress, there are other sites too gearbest.com and banggood.com from where you can purchase stuff. But the same caution is advised before making a purchase.