Shopping Discussion

AliExpress Freebies Experience

  • Last Updated:
  • May 28th, 2019 3:56 pm
Sep 24, 2007
23 posts
Maple Ridge

AliExpress Freebies Experience

Thought I would share this as it may help someone else navigate a "Freebie" from AliExpress in the future. I have been using AliExpress with about 90% success rate for the last year, ordering things like phone cases, drones, bicycle apparel, shoes, and staying away from anything more than $50. I noticed a few months ago that they had a Freebies section so have been applying for Freebies on almost a daily basis because who doesn't like free stuff? Well, I finally won a Freebie about a month ago! It was a bicycle light that mounts to your helmet that has a headlight on the front and red rear light. It retails for about $17CAD and I was excited to get it for the $0.01 + $0.73 shipping. Upon being awarded the freebie, I was sent a message from the vendor telling me I won and that they were looking forward to a good review of the item which I was told would provide me a greater chance of more freebies in the future. That seemed reasonable to me and a good business model on their part...provide an almost free item for a positive rating in hopes that people read the review and order the item at full price.

Shipping was only a couple weeks (which is fast for almost every other order (most taking about 45 days) and I was excited to unpackage the light. Unfortunately the light appears to be defective and so I posted a review that stated that although communication and shipping from the vendor was fantastic, that the light did not work as advertised. I was very quickly "chastised" by the vendor who told me that before posting a review, I should have contacted them (more on that below). My experience with AliExpress has always been that you get what you pay for and sometimes things work and sometimes they don't, so in my mind I was justified to post a review stating that the item I received was defective so that future consumers know that there is a chance that the light won't work as advertised (after a bit of research, I found another youtube video showing the same problem). After some back and forth with the vendor, they basically said (not explicitly but almost) that a freebie should be an automatic high rating. Hmmm...

Things I learned about AliExpress Freebies:
1. The vendor feels entitled to a good rating regardless of their own ability/willigness to do quality control.
2. Freebies expect a 5 star rating, so if you are unwilling to give it, prepare to be "chastised."
3. Freebies are not a scam and you can actually win one!

I know that some of you may be thinking that I should have contacted the vendor prior to posting my review as a courtesy to them. My thinking on this is that I am reviewing for the benefit of the consumer, not the vendor. If the vendor chooses not to check the quality of their product, they should expect some negative reviews and as a buyer, I would want to know that. In my review I said that the shipping service and communication with the vendor was very good, which as a review reader would reflect positively on the vendor. Finally, the item is worth less than $20 and is a "throw-away." If I'm ordering from China, there is always a risk that the items won't be as expected and the likelihood of seeing a refund or getting some kind of fix is fairly low. I would be amazed if a vendor in this situation was willing to send out another light without asking for the original back and I am not going to pay to ship it back and don't expect them to foot the bill. I admit some assumptions on my part.

I realize that for those of you who don't use or know about AliExpress, you may now decide to compete for the Freebies with me, but hey, RFDer's unite!
4 replies
Deal Expert
Jan 17, 2009
18860 posts
I've never won any freebies I've applied for and even the "$0.01" section that refreshes each day (or however it works) is always 0 by the time I check it. I feel like bots get to everything first.
Sr. Member
Jun 5, 2016
589 posts
It might have been damaged in sipping or something. IMO its always best to give the benefit of the doubt and Aliexpress vendors are usually ok at offering a refund or replacement. I've never won anything for "free" though so I dunno if the process for replacement would be different.
Sr. Member
Jun 5, 2016
589 posts
BobSagget wrote: I've never won any freebies I've applied for and even the "$0.01" section that refreshes each day (or however it works) is always 0 by the time I check it. I feel like bots get to everything first.
From what I've heard the 1c section is scooped up by bots immediately after posting. I'm not sure why they don't try to stop that
Nov 24, 2013
248 posts
I have been applying for the freebie section since I stumbled on it a few months ago. I actually won something but didn't realize I won until after the payment time expired. Neutral Face
So far I haven't won anything anymore, but that's ok - figured I will still try lol