We’re sure that at some point in the past year, you’ve been scrolling social media and come across a picture carousel of attention grabbing products ready to buy in just a few clicks. That is a hallmark marketing technique of two consumer goods marketplaces: Wish and AliExpress.
You may have an idea that they are similar, but you want to know what makes them different, and more importantly, whether Wish or AliExpress is better.
To tell it straight, there is no easy answer to that question, as whatever one you choose to use will involve a tradeoff. On Wish, products tend to be more expensive, but shipping times are a lot faster. On AliExpress you can find some of the cheapest prices for products on the internet, but shipping can take up to two months.
In this article we will take a look at what each platform is good for, their pros and cons and who would be best using them. Then we compare the pricing and shipping for two similar items on each marketplace.
The aim of this article is to help you understand what each site can help you with, whether you be an individual buyer, dropshipper or another type of business owner.
Hint: This article mentions dropshipping a lot. Dropshipping is a global phenomenon where you can sell products online without ever having physical inventory. When a buyer places an order, you can get the supplier of the product to directly pack and ship the item to the customer! Want to find out more about dropshipping? We’ve come up with a guide to get you started in just five steps!
Wish is an online marketplace with an impressive range of products, largely serving the US market. While many of its suppliers are from China and also sell their products on AliExpress, the company itself is based in California.
Wish charges a higher commission to their sellers than AliExpress does, which can often be reflected in their prices being slightly higher, too.
AliExpress is a China-based global marketplace. It was launched in 2010 to compete with two household names in eCommerce - those being Amazon and eBay, no less! On AliExpress, you can find products of all categories, from exceedingly niche to general use.
Known for its (almost unbelievably) low prices, but long shipping times, AliExpress can be a great place to source a range of items, just probably not if you need them in a rush!
|Extensive Product Search Filters
|Range of Shipping Options
|24/7 Customer Service
|Free to Use
|Mobile App Available
What Type of Products Can I Look For On Wish and AliExpress?
- Electronics & Gadgets
- Novelty items
- Homeware & Decor
Look elsewhere for:
- Food or consumables
- High quality clothing
- Raw materials
What is Wish good for?
The Wish marketplace features a huge range of products at inexpensive prices, much like AliExpress.
Wish has a pleasant user experience, where its product gallery view lacks the clutter of AliExpress’. However, Wish offers far fewer search filters than AliExpress so it may be more difficult to find your perfect product.
Most Wish suppliers are China-based, but shipping can take from 15-30 days, so you may not want to use the site for urgent purchases.
Wish charges their sellers a 10% commission per sale, which is double the AliExpress commission. This is often reflected in their slightly higher prices.
Wish has less products listed than AliExpress, but considering both have listings which are in the millions, then this may not be an issue for you.
Screenshots of Wish Marketplace
Strengths of Wish
- Good user experience: The site has been well designed so that it is easy to navigate and not too much of an information overload.
- Reasonable shipping times: Shipping on Wish is far quicker than on AliExpress, but you usually have to pay more for it.
- Pay in parts with Klarna: Wish integrates with Klarna, which offers you the option to pay for your order in four interest-free parts, rather than upfront.
- Buyer protection: Wish offers a 30-day general refund policy if you are unhappy with your order once it has arrived. Wish also offers a money-back guarantee for orders that don’t arrive within the delivery timeframe.
Disadvantages of Wish
- Less products: Notably less products than on AliExpress so you may not be able to find exactly what you’re after.
- Less search filters: It may be harder to find exactly what you’re after on Wish because search filters are limited compared to AliExpress.
- Higher prices: Wish charges a higher commission to sellers than AliExpress does, which is reflected in general higher prices.
- Higher shipping costs: Shipping is faster, but it comes with the associated price tag.
Who should use Wish?
Wish is likely to be best for people who don’t mind paying a premium price for faster shipping. It may also be for buyers who want to support a US-based company.
Wish’s easy-to-navigate platform, with clear product information and pricing, may provide a better user experience than AliExpress.
Wish may also be useful for dropshippers who are looking to dropship their products on the platform. The main benefit of using Wish for this purpose is because you benefit from traffic of people who are already searching for your type of products.
The main downside of using Wish to dropship is the level of competition on the platform and the 10% commission on each sale that you will need to pay Wish.
What is AliExpress good for?
The AliExpress marketplace is a great place to find a whole range of products at extremely reasonable prices that can be purchased individually, much like you can on eBay and Amazon.
With a virtually inexhaustible amount of products on the site, you can be pretty confident you will find something for your needs. Just don’t be expecting it to arrive anytime soon!
The AliExpress site states that shipping can take up to 45 days. When you don’t count weekends, that can be a two month delivery time.
Additionally, any supplier can easily list on AliExpress and there is no vetting process to ensure each is legitimate, so you need to tread cautiously to ensure you won’t get ripped off.
Dropshipping on AliExpress
Many suppliers on AliExpress will dropship for you on request. To remind you, dropshipping is where you sell products online, but the supplier of those products will ship orders directly to customers on your behalf, meaning you don’t have to carry any inventory or bear the associated costs.
If you are interested in dropshipping, there are lots of tools out there that can be used in combination with AliExpress to help you easily import AliExpress products into your online store.
Tools such as SaleHoo Dropship work in complement with AliExpress by vetting millions of AliExpress products that can be easily imported into your online store. This can save you a lot of time finding reliable products that you know are going to be high quality.
You can also use tools like this to automatically upload product information into your store, saving you the hassle of a manual input. On top of inventory and order management system features, using a dropshipping tool is a seriously worthwhile consideration if you want to grow your online business.
Screenshots of AliExpress Marketplace
Strengths of AliExpress
- Lowest prices: AliExpress offers some of the cheapest prices on the web, easily beating sites like Amazon and eBay.
- Biggest range: Products are virtually inexhaustible on AliExpress. You are likely to be able to find one that’s right.
- Extensive search filters: Heaps of useful filters like, free shipping, minimum price, style, size and much more can make it easy to find what you’re looking for.
- Buyer protection: AliExpress offers a 60-day money back guarantee if your order doesn’t arrive.
Disadvantages of AliExpress
- Information overload: Product galleries can appear cluttered and overwhelming at first but you may get used to this.
- Time consuming: Because there are so many products on AliExpress it can take significant time to find the right ones and evaluate the trustworthiness of their suppliers, especially when sellers hack the system by using irrelevant tags and metadata for their products.
- Slow shipping: Shipping can take up to 45 business days to arrive.
- Language barrier: You may find it difficult to communicate with sellers and customer support representatives on the site, which may cause frustration or diminish your buying confidence.
Who should use AliExpress?
AliExpress is best suited to buyers who are looking for a huge range of low-cost products. It is also suited for business owners wishing to dropship their products, as many AliExpress suppliers are open to providing dropshipping services.
Wish vs. AliExpress Product Comparison
We decided to try and find two of the same products being sold on Wish and AliExpress to compare their pricing and shipping options.
Here is what we found:
On Wish, we found a gaming keyboard and mouse set for $23 USD, plus $6 shipping, which can be delivered between Feb 15 - Feb 28 (this is the estimate provided on 3 Feb, 2022).
On AliExpress we found a very similar product for $15.30 USD with free shipping from AliExpress Standard Shipping. The delivery is estimated to be on March 26 (this was when we found the product on Feb 3, 2022). This was the only shipping option available for this item.
Overall, you pay more on Wish but will receive far quicker delivery, whereas on AliExpress you get a cheaper product and free shipping but it takes almost two whole months to arrive.
By now, we hope you have a better understanding of the differences between these two popular platforms.
You don’t have to just pick one to use, so it may be the most useful for you to go on ahead and take a look at each for yourself.
For business owners, there are a lot of tools out there that can be used in combination with Wish or AliExpress. You may wish to use a dropshipping tool that can help you import products directly from AliExpress into your online store to sell.
We have included some relevant articles below to help you consider some of your options for selling online.
Another option you might consider is using a supplier directory to find trustworthy suppliers that have undergone a vetting process. There are also lots of wholesale supplier directories available out there. Most will charge a modest amount to access.