Buy stuff wholesale from China
Author: Tariq Abdulla
Date: 18 Jul 2014, tested on HTC One S
Intuitive interface, simple design, completely free
Not for everyone
Aliexpress for Android brings the massive online marketplace of the Alibaba group to your device; with a convenient, well-organised interface.
Alibaba is huge. In terms of sales, it's bigger than Amazon and eBay combined. Their Alipay escrow service accounts for half of online transactions in China. The Economist reported that the Alibaba group account for some 60% of the parcels delivered in China. It's that big!
There are sellers from lots of other countries too, of course, but Aliexpress is dominated by Chinese sellers. You are likely to find some prices on Aliexpress lower than Amazon or eBay, but there are a lot of other things to consider when buying from another country. If you have problems, are you really going to want to pay postage to return your item? As with all online shopping, it pays to tread carefully, read reviews, get in touch with sellers for more information. Think about what you are buying: designer brands aren't made in China, so you shouldn't be surprised if these are fake.
Most consumers will find Aliexpress handy for occasional bulk purchases, and probably won't find a need for the Android app. It may be more likely to appeal to small businesses who want to find suppliers. Examples might be, say, a wedding planner who wants to source decorations and favour boxes, or a small shop that sells unusual novelty items, or T-Shirts. Aliexpress for Android could help small business owners stay on top of their orders on the move. Of course, while their may be significant price advantages, it is worth thinking about the longer delivery times that are likely to be involved.
Overall, Aliexpress for Android is clear and well-organised. The mobile site is very good too, but the Aliexpress app will give you everything safely in one place, a bit more conveniently; and you won't need to keep logging in just to check messages.