China is the world's leading exporter and home to the largest e-commerce market. While it’s difficult for consumers outside of China to buy from leading domestic platforms such as Taobao, JD.com and Pinduoduo, there are many China-based websites that specifically target overseas consumers who are looking to do online shopping, offering cheap electronics, basic clothing and household items. Here are the 10 top shopping sites from China where you can directly shop and purchase.
AliExpress, operated by Alibaba, is arguably the best-known Chinese online shopping store outside of China. Unlike Amazon, AliExpress doesn’t sell any items itself. Instead, it is a platform that connects consumers with third-party sellers. You can find everything from electronics to children’s clothing and pet products on it. Many vendors offer free shipping, but deliveries usually will take weeks or even months to arrive. You can also use DHL, UPS, FedEx, and other international couriers at higher costs, depending on the seller.
Joybuy is the official global online shopping site of JD.com. Unlike AliExpress which connects consumers with third-party vendors, Joybuy is more like an e-mall where Chinese brands set up digital stores. Consumers can easily sort products by brands and well-known manufacturers such as Xiaomi are featured prominently on the website.
It offers free shipping via the company’s own logistics service provider, though, like AliExpress, deliveries will sometimes take as long as two months to arrive. Third-party and international couriers are also available and some offer faster delivery options without charge, depending on the items.
Banggood, one of the oldest Chinese stores in the digital space targeting overseas consumers, is an alternative to AliExpress. It has been around since 2004 and offers an abundance of merchandise ranging from electronics to face masks.
As a big online retail platform, Banggood supports several payment methods. Credit cards, wire transfers, and PayPal are all supported, as are a host of third-party options like iDEAL and Dotpay. Some orders qualify for free shipping.
Gearbest is another popular shopping site outside of China. It is best known for the low prices on wholesale for electronics such as smartphones, laptops, smart watches, headphones. It also offers other goods such as clothes and pet items.
The site also features Chinese electronics manufacturer Xiaomi prominently on its webpage and offers great deals on the company’s list of offerings. It offers four shipping methods: Unregistered, Registered, Priority, and Expedited Shipping. Unregistered shipping is free and takes up to 40 days. The price of the fastest option — expedited — is calculated by weight. It takes three to seven days.
Headquartered in Beijing, DHgate is a fashion goods Chinese online retailer where you can buy bags, jewelry and apparel, though it does offer electronics such as Xiaomi products too.
The site ships worldwide and operates local warehouses in many countries, offering fast deliveries within 7 business days in some circumstances.
Shein specializes in fashion, especially women’s fashion, though there is also some menswear, children’s items and accessories available. Consumers get free standard shipping for orders over $49. Express shipping costs $12.90 but is free for orders above $99. It allows free returns for all orders.
LightInTheBox is a flash sale and discount website founded in 2007. The international shopping site's main draw is in its promise to deliver products to shoppers located in over 200 countries and territories. It sells products across three core categories: fashion, electronic gadgets, and home and garden. In 2013, it went public on the New York Stock Exchange.
The website supports several payment methods including credit cards and PayPal. Consumers can choose from several shipping options, all of which charge by weight. There is no free shipping.
DX, also known as DealExtreme, specializes in electronics products and home appliances ranging from cellphones to vacuums. It’s been in operation since 2006 and ships its products straight from its Hong Kong warehouse.
The site also sells a lot of branded products including Xiaomi, Lenovo, Sony and Asus. DX offers free shipping on all its items globally. Consumers have the option to choose express deliveries with couriers for an added fee.
Founded in 2012, Hong Kong-based GeekBuying prides itself by offering top-tier products at unbeatable prices. It also specializes in electronics and home appliances such as smartphones, TV boxes, computers, etc. It has warehouses in the U.S., China, UK, France, and Germany. Shipping is free if you use standard delivery. DHL and TNT are also available.
Chinabrands is a leading drop shipping company that offers one-stop e-shopping for consumers all over the world. It boasts a product lineup of electronics, fashion, home and outdoor, among many other categories. It operates global warehouses in many countries including the U.S., France and Poland and prides itself for providing fast delivery and good after-sales service. They also offer discounts and flash sales from time to time.
Note: This article should not be interpreted as an endorsement of the above-mentioned platforms