PayPal is one of the biggest and oldest online payment processors in the world. Not only can you use it to make purchases online, you can even keep your balance in it, and then send money to someone, or receive money from people. It is rare to find a company that does not accept PayPal as a payment method. But does AliExpress accept PayPal? Can You Use Paypal on Aliexpress?
For a time, you could. AliExpress and PayPal were in partnership in 2010. During that year, PayPal and Alibaba entered into an agreement where Alibaba, the parent company of AliExpress, can use PayPal as a payment gateway for its customers.
The thing is, only the buyers on AliExpress that used PayPal benefitted, while the sellers suffered from fees. Apart from the fees they had to pay AliExpress, they had to pay PayPal a fee for receiving money.
In 2011, AliExpress removed PayPal as one of its payment gateways. The reason for this was that PayPal wanted a 7% processing fee. This percentage is big, and sellers were hurt in terms of profitability.
And because of this, AliExpress built its own payment system called AliPay. So, can you make purchases on AliExpress with PayPal? The answer is both yes and no. But most of the time, it is a no. If you ever receive any advertisement claiming that it is possible, then it is very likely that it is a scam.
Today, PayPal can only be used as a payment system if the buyer on AliExpress is from the United States or from the United Kingdom. This is also not a guarantee that it will work. In some cases, the shipping address must also be in the US or the UK.
Since this cannot be done, let us talk about a few alternatives to making purchases on AliExpress. We will also cover some important topics like security and buyer protection, in case you are afraid that these payment alternatives are no match against PayPal’s services.
Payment Options on AliExpress
Although AliExpress started out as an online store targeting the Chinese market, it has now grown into an international marketplace. Anybody in the world can buy something here, and the seller who listed the item in AliExpress will ship it.
The payment options have nothing to do with the seller’s preferences, as it is AliExpress that charges the buyer, and then AliExpress will transfer the funds to the seller’s account after it has deducted the fees.
Here are the payment options you can use if you want to buy something from AliExpress:
- Credit cards
- SMS Payment in Russia
- AliExpress Pocket
The payment methods above can only be used if you are using the AliExpress app. If not, you actually have more payment methods to choose from if you are using a desktop.
These are the payments to choose from if you checkout from a computer:
|Credit cards||Wire Transfer||Webmoney|
|Giropay||Sofort Banking||Carte Bancaire|
|Przelewy24||SMS Payment||Cash Payment|
For credit cards, both the app and the browser site accept Visa, Mastercard, Maestro, and American Express. But on a desktop, you can also use Diners Club and Discover.
Buyer Protection on AliExpress
PayPal is popular because it offers buyer protection. It all started when PayPal became the official payment method of eBay. There was even a time when a seller who has already received a payment may experience a negative balance if a buyer filed a dispute, and it turns out that the buyer won the dispute.
In cases like that, PayPal would pay the buyer the refund amount, and charge the seller’s PayPal account. If the account is at $0 balance, the account will show negative after PayPal forced to charge the seller the cost of the buyer’s purchase. If a seller funds that account soon, PayPal will charge the money that is owed until the balance is brought back to $0.
Buyers loved this protection. But since PayPal is not available in AliExpress for all users, how can they be protected? AliExpress has two types of buyer protection. The first one is called Basic Guarantees, and the other one is Advanced Guarantee.
There are two ways you can be protected from the basic guarantee. You can file a dispute if the item is really different from what was offered on the store, or if the product arrived late. For the first case, you must be able to prove that the item you received is really different from what was delivered, such as receiving a dress when you ordered a pair of shoes.
The thing is, you need to return the item, so you will spend money for the return shipment. This is tough, especially for international purchases. Also, you only have 15 days to file a dispute from the date that the order was completed, not the date you received it. In AliExpress, the completed date is the date the seller shipped the item to you.
You are not covered if the item got stuck in your country’s customs department. If you bought an item that your country considers illegal, and the government did not clear it, you cannot file a dispute.
The Advanced Guarantee is a 2-year warranty. This guarantee usually only applies to European countries, and you need to apply for it and be approved for it. It is not automatic. If you get approved and the item is defective, you can only bring that device to the local service center of AliExpress. They will fix it within 15 days after you drop it in the service center.
What Is Alipay?
Alipay is a payment processor that works like PayPal. It is an eWallet, and it can be used by both sellers and buyers in AliExpress and other online store platforms like Taobao. It is the second biggest online payment system in the world, and it is much bigger than PayPal. Alipay has one billion users worldwide.
Alipay is great for merchants because they can sell physical goods on their brick-and-mortar stores and receive Alipay payments. In this case, the merchant has a QR code for the product which he will show the customer, and then the customer simply has to bring out his smartphone, launch the Alipay app, and then scan the QR code. The customer has to tap some confirmation buttons, and the merchant will be notified that the payment has been successful.
How Does Alipay Work?
It's an eWallet that you need to fund. To be able to use it, you must attach another financial information to it like your credit card details. It is from this credit card that Alipay will draw money, and then use that money to pay the merchant.
There are three ways on how you can sign up with an Alipay account. The first method is by scanning a QR code found at the merchant’s site and then proceed with the sign-up process. The second one is by going to Alipay’s website and signing up for an account. And the third is to download the app and complete the sign-up process from there. Once you have an Alipay account, you can now enjoy the Alipay Member Protection Program.
Here are the features of the program:
- Privacy protection – Alipay uses encryption technology. What this means is that all information you supply to the system is jumbled into a code. Only the Alipay system can decode and interpret that information. Your information is also not passed on to another company.
- Secure online payments – the system has robots that can detect any suspicious activity. It is ready to protect your account from unwanted and unauthorized transactions. This system is similar to the ones used by banks to avoid fraud, detect money laundering, and cash advance scams.
- Member protection – you are protected for 90 days against unauthorized transactions. You will also get a full refund if you can prove that your Alipay account was used in an unauthorized transaction.
To be able to get a refund or reimbursement, you must first file a request for compensation. In this process, you need to provide the details, and then Alipay will investigate. The investigation will take a maximum of five business days, and then your account will be credited.
Can You Use PayPal on AliExpress?
Yes, you can use PayPal on AliExpress, but not all the time. This payment method really depends on your country. As of now, PayPal is only offered if you are shipping the product to the US or the UK. Also, you must be registered in these countries.
If you are from Asia, you will not be able to use PayPal as a payment option even if you change the shipping address to a US or UK residence. If PayPal is not showing as one of the payment methods available, your only other option is to contact the seller, and then tell the seller that you want to pay using PayPal.
If the seller agrees, then you can complete the payment via PayPal. However, you will no longer be covered by the AliExpress protection policy. Most sellers do not want to accept PayPal, though, because the fees are too high for them.
There are also reports of Chinese sellers being scammed where the buyer will pretend that he did not receive the item, even if the seller shipped it. The buyer gets a refund plus the item, and the merchant lost his capital and his profit for that item.
It is important to know, however, that many sellers prefer to issue a refund through PayPal. They will even cover the cost of your PayPal receiving fee. They will do this, but in exchange, you must close the dispute you filed on AliExpress. They want to keep a good record on the site so they will not be banned.
AliExpress Alternatives Where You Can Use PayPal
If you really want to pay via PayPal, there really is little to no solution to use this payment system on AliExpress. Your best course of action is to shop somewhere else.
Here are some sites recommended where you can pay with PayPal, and still find affordable items similar to what you find in AliExpress:
- Facebook Shops
Despite the differences in business practices between PayPal and AliExpress, there is still hope that the two can create a reasonable agreement that would benefit both PayPal and the sellers in AliExpress.