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Alibaba's AliExpress - the Greatest Achievement of Communism

Many may be familiar with the e-commerce giant Alibaba, but about a month ago I was introduced to their more small scale AliExpress. While compared to Amazon. features a similar experience to eBay or Trademe. Unlike the regular business-to-business Alibaba store, AliExpress allows you to buy just one item at a time from small businesses in China.

What makes AliExpress so special is that you pay Chinese prices instead of New Zealand prices. I needed some cleaning tools for the Spanish 12 gauge shotgun I had just bought off Trademe. A bore-snake would cost me at least $20 here, compared to only $5 from China. Here, I'd either have to go to the shop or pay nearly $10 shipping, but from China I only have to pay $0 shipping. That's right, absolutely nothing. It doesn't cost me a cent.

I tacked on a few more accessories and went to the checkout, paying about $30 for what would cost me well over $100 in NZ stores. All with free shipping to my door.

You may ask, how is this possible? Thanks to the beauty of communism. That's right, communism has given us free international shipping via Air China. Courtesy of the subsidies generously provided by the Chinese taxpayer.

You may be asking, what's the catch? The catch is simple, since communism is not known for it's efficiency be prepared to wait two to four weeks for your goods to arrive. You're also going to get Chinese quality, but that's a given of course, and I must say that the goods I got were in pretty good shape for "Chinese quality".

The Chinese also seem to have a strange way of labelling things. One item arrived as a "gift" valued at $0.01. Another item was simply labelled as "rust". The item that took the longest was the only thing marked with the right value and description. It had a few holes poked through the packaging and the box was pretty beaten up, but all was intact.

I was very happy with the results, so the other day I ordered a few more things.

Go ahead, try AliExpress some time, communism has never looked so good.

Rating: ☭ ☭ ☭ ☭ ☭