Frequently asked questions about masks and shipping.

Table of Contents

  1. What is AliExpress and Alibaba?
  2. Why should I trust AliExpress?
  3. How does buying from AliExpress work?
  4. How do you find a mask that fits?
  5. How do you properly wear masks?
  6. Can I reuse masks?
  7. How are you getting this DHGate data?
  8. Who are you?

What is AliExpress and Alibaba?

AliExpress is an e-commerce platform that connects buyers from all over the world with Chinese sellers. It's owned by Alibaba, a platform for finding Chinese factories and wholesalers to facilitate import/export deals.

Alibaba caters to businesses looking to import in bulk. AliExpress is consumer-focused, allowing purchases of individual items. It's more like EBay than Amazon.

Why should I trust AliExpress?

Alibaba is a public traded company, founded in 1999. In 2014 the Alibaba group was valued at $231 billion, making it the 59th largest public companies in the world (Global 2000 list). Over 700 million shoppers rely on it.

To protect buyers from fraudulent sellers, all transactions are facilitated through an escrow system.

In case of disputes, AliExpress provides arbitration. If all goes wrong, you can call your credit card company and initiate a chargeback.

The platform holds no inventory, it merely connects buyers and sellers. AliExpress is more similar to eBay than Amazon.

That does mean digging through listings to find reliable vendors with fair prices who aren't gaming the system is a much more involved process than simply buying the top-reviewed item on Amazon. That's where we come in.

How does buying from AliExpress work?

Buying on AliExpress is point and click. There's no need to negotiate with the vendor like on Alibaba.

Is delivery guaranteed? How long does it take?

We'll cover this in soon. Important aspects: processing time vs shipping time and optional refund on guaranteed shipping times.

Are there refunds on AliExpress?

Yes. If you can not reach an agreement with your seller, disputes can be escalated to the platform for arbitration.

Do products there have reviews?

Yes, buyers leave public reviews with photos. We've taken reviews into account while filtering vendors.

Doesn't AliExpress only ship from China?

Almost all sellers on AliExpress are Chinese companies. Some of those companies, however, operate warehouses in the US. We've prioritized those vendors who have inventory already in the United States.

Are packages safe to receive?

  • The Washington Post reports that the Coronavirus doesn't spread by mail.
  • There are no known infections from packages.
  • We've selected vendors who have products already in the US.
  • Any factories and distribution centers in China that have re-opened are doing so under scrutiny. The amount of testing (and mask wearing!) and level of quarantine enforcement in China is extremely aggressive.
  • If you're still concerned, it's easy to disinfect packages or simply leave them untouched for several days.

How do you find a mask that fits?

Surgical masks and N95 masks are typically unisize, or come in small numbers of variations (for instance, regular, large). Some reusable masks are available in different sizes. We'll cover more on mask fit and sizing soon. But in short, any mask is better than no mask.

How do you properly wear masks?

Details soon.

Can I reuse masks?

While there is an entire category of reusable masks, we're focusing on disposable N95 and surgical mask styles. These, however, can be disinfected and reused more than recommended by the manufacturer, if you follow the process carefully. Details here. We'll expand on washing and disinfecting masks (washing, ovens, UV) and back it with any research we discover.

How are you getting this DHGate data?

See our blog post on how to scrape DHGate

Who are you?

We're developers stuck in Thailand during the outbreak and have been wearing masks well before it started, to combat the air pollution here, which we of course researched extensively before committing to. More on this if anyone is interested.

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