AliExpress / Alibaba - for low cost Home Automation - Warning

I have been experimenting purchasing zigbee and zwave devices from AliExpress, knowing there is a risk, somewhat mitigated by paying with a credit card.

I have purchased, over the last 2 months, about £200 of odds and sods.

All but one arrived quicker than the 40 day shipping promised.

I have run into one scam, that may cost me about £20.

Ordered a Tuya Temp Sensor from "Special Line-YW"

They took the order then alerted me to a long delay in shipping due to covid.

They then record on the Aliexpress that they have shipped the item.

This automatically blocks you from raising a dispute until the 40 day delivery window is closed.

They report it has shipped and message you to say they can't ship.

There is NO WAY to get to anyone in AliExpress so the only recourse is to document all the messages and attempts to get to AliExpress and file a dispute with the credit card company.

The devices are about half price so have saved about £200 and potentially lost £20, not entirely unexpected.

A lot of the things I have ordered I have not found for sale in the UK.

But has certainly soured the whole Aliexpress experience.

Just be aware of this scam they are running.

Out of curiosity I searched for Tuya Temp Sensor on google, clicked on the AiliExpress link.

the Tuya Temp Sensor was offered by: Store: haozee Official Store.
So maybe they figured out they had a bad supplier. Or maybe it's because I'm in the US or maybe just the store dejour.

Anyway thanks for the warning.

Actually just added it up, £300 spent, with one bad supplier

This is what I had ordered

NEO Tuya Smart Zigbee Temperature Humidity Sensor Built-in Siren Alarm 3 In 1 90DB Sound Light Sensor Use 5V 1A USB Port Power

Thought I would have a play with it.

A big issue that has prevented me from using them is they wanted me to send them a copy of my US drivers license to "verify" my account!!!!! Really??

Sorry not playing that game.. they can get my info on the dark web like everyone else...


Odd I have an AliExpress "account" (for the one item I purchased from them). They only asked for my email and password. I don't recall if they even verified my email.
BTW I only use PayPal for Asian purchases.

Since we're in the Lounge, I recently received an email from eBay, they are severing their relationship with PayPal and will be doing their own. They told me I had to give them my bank account number (fat chance) and last 4 digits of my SS, if I wanted to keep selling on eBay.

I was about to just either pull the few things I'm selling or have a "fire" sale. I'm only selling some useful items I've collected over they years. Still thinking if its worth the effort to get another "disposable" checking account.


Don't worry...I just forwarded them your license and CC info for you.

Don't thank me, it's just how I roll. :wink:


Damn you !!! I used yours!!!

1 Like

I have come to expect no less awesomeness from you!!! thanks again for having my back.. :rofl:


I would have mentioned that my license is fake anyway. Purchased it from China :slight_smile:


Who can be bothered with a license anyway too much paperwork


Who needs a license. We cannot go anywhere. :wink:


I ordered some xiaomi lux sensors from AliExpress about six months ago and apparently I refused delivery ??? I opened a dispute and got my money back minus the shipping.

I have ordered from AliExpress maybe 6-7 times and this has only happened once.

1 Like

As of now, it looks like I have placed 85 orders through Aliexpress since Jan/2012. There were some shady issues early on, but my impression is that it is mostly cleared up ... at least to the same extent as ordering items from China via eBay.

The last few disputes that I files (over the course of a few years) - 1 for damaged product, 1 for item not received, and 1 for incorrect model. Sellers are often responsive, and Aliexpress stepped in on the one occasion that they were not.

1 Like

The %age of incidents is similar to my experience with Amazon. Amazon has always made good for any damage/not delivered etc issue.

Of the 300 odd orders on Amazon over the last year I have had to return 3 items and they were all low drama, easy and quick.

So all in all Amazon has been an outstanding success especially over the extended lock down periods in the UK.

My inexperience with AliExpress meant that I missed how crucial the Feedback on each supplier is having being largely insulated by Amazon and their more dodgy marketplace vendors.

Looking at the trader on AliExpress - YLCWISDON Life - they have an awful feedback at 58% showing that 42% of their customers rated them a 1 or 2 Star in the last month.

These guys are on the ball, they report to aliExpress immediately that they have shipped the item, this BLOCKs ALL Customer Service Disputes from being raised. They have entered a shipping number that cannot be traced so stops the 10 Dispute Clock from starting.

They have written to me saying they expect to receive stock at the end of March (one month after the order - where they commit to ship within 5 days).

They say I have to cancel, but block me from cancelling.

AliExpress Customer Service is not accessible at all and you are forced down a Dispute escalation which you are also blocked from taking.

The only recourse now is to file a claim with American Express and let them reclaim the money.

Lesson learnt - AliExpress is as good as it's store owners, if the store owner is bad AliExpress will not do anything about it. So if you want to get goods much cheaper, you have to accept the risk and grief, especially if you are dealing with a store owner with less than a 98% good feedback.


Truer words have rarely been spoken.

True for all online marketplaces. And most marketplaces before the internet too.

My biggest concern re: buying direct from a seller in China is more re: knockoff safety certifications being included on the listing or even the device itself. I’ve ordered some battery powered sensors since the price was right, but I’m just too uncomfortable to consider something that plugs in :exploding_head:.

1 Like

I got complacent, so used to the insulation Amazon provides from bad Marketplace vendors, I forget to check out the seller - my bad.

I don’t even rely on Amazon to mediate disputes with what turn out to be :face_with_symbols_over_mouth: third-party sellers anymore, I try to avoid them unless their seller feedback indicates no red flags.

Even in the US, where I know Amazon will make it right financially one way or another, it’s just not worth my time.

Toggling the prime shipping filter is a quick way to hide most marketplace sellers (and it’s generally less of a hassle to return something shipped by Amazon even when sold by a third party).


Fair point

Download the Hubitat app