Jan 14

When it comes to China shopping websites, Lightinthebox.com and AliExpress.com are definitely the best-known and biggest in terms of company size, international reputation, business scope as well as customer base. If you are interested in shopping in bulk from China, you should really consider these two companies.

China Shopping Website Lightinthebox.com China Shopping Website AliExpress.com

Nevertheless, though both targeting small and medium-sized businesses, Lightinthebox and AliExpress do have some differences. Below we’re going to do a complete comparison between the two China shopping websites. Hope the information can help interested parties make a better choice.

Business Model

Lightinthebox.com: In essence, Lightinthebox is a China-based online shop combining B2b and B2C. It targets not only small and medium-sized merchants who source different products for their businesses, but also end consumers who look for various items for personal use. The shopping website takes care of everything involved in the transaction process, including stocking items, listing items, selling items, receiving payment, arranging shipment and all other pre-sales as well as post-sales services. The website has online chat service representatives to ask your questions about the products or services there. Also, like most mature and legitimate online shopping websites, Lightinthebox adopts a set of Return and Exchange polices to assure you of quality items and services.


  • All items are verified and shipped out by Lightinthebox staff and thus quality assured;
  • In the event that any problem occurs, Lightinthebox.com can handle it directly and efficiently.

AliExpress.com: Unlike Lightinthebox, AliExpress is wholesale transaction platform rather than a big seller. Items for sale there are provided by thousands of different Chinese suppliers instead of AliExpress itself. As a third-party outside of the transaction parties, AliExpress supervises the whole transaction process between the two sides and offers Escrow service to protect the payment as well as interests and rights of both sides. That is, when a buyer places an order, he or she makes the payment to AliExpress first instead of to the supplier directly. Then, only after the buyer receives the item and confirms successful delivery, will AliExpress release the payment to the supplier. Once any dispute arises between the buyer and the seller, AliExpress takes care of the mediation work and will make a refund to the buyer based on ample and valid evidence.

It’s true that we can often find 1-piece minimum order quantity items on the China shopping website, but in reality the company focuses on small wholesale business. The majority of its customers are small or medium-sized merchants or resellers from all over the world.


  • Given such a variety of suppliers, buyers can take advantage of the pricing competition among the suppliers and are able to get the lowest prices;
  • Protected by the Escrow service provided by the impartial third party AliExpress, buyers are able to enjoy risk-free transactions.

Business Scope

Lightinthebox.com: So far Lightinthebox.com is specialized in supplying a limited number of categories, including fashion & accessories, electronics, car tech, home wares and beauty. In particular, its wedding dresses, special occasion dresses and cell phones sell extremely well among global buyers. The online shop owns a professional team of experts who are responsible for digging out the best items for its customers. Also, all products are displayed on the site through real photos shot with real items and models.

AliExpress.com: Comparatively, AliExpress is slightly bigger in terms of business scope. There you can find a huge array of item categories. In addition to supplying what Lightinthebox offers, AliExpress also has sporting goods, toys & hobbies, luggage and more commodities. Besides, each category has a significant number of sub-categories that cover almost everything belonging to the very category. As mentioned above, as there are various suppliers doing business there, chances are the same item may be offered by different suppliers at different prices.

History & Background

Lightinthebox.com: Officially launched in 2006, the China shopping website was founded in Beijing by Qiji, Guo, the former CSO (Chief Strategy Officer) of Google China. The company has been developing really fast over the past years. Now it claims to have more than 600 employees, most of which are working in its headquarter Beijing while the rest are in its branches located in Shenzhen and some other cities. In the late half of 2010, we see the company launches an unprecedented campus recruitment campaign to attract more elite graduates. Obviously, Lightinthebox is working hard to enlarge its company size.

AliExpress.com: The website was officially made live in April, 2004. It sounds AliExpress is still very young in the arena of international wholesale business. But after you get to know its background, you won’t say that again. AliExpress is not an isolated website like Lightinthebox. Instead, it is one of the newest wholesale channels of Alibaba.com, the world’s most renowned wholesale giant founded in 1999 by Jack Ma. Before AliExpress was born, Alibaba Group had focused on big quantity wholesale business only. AliExpress was created to offer express and small quantity orders to global buyers who are SMEs. Minimum order quantities are as low as 1 piece only and suppliers there are required to ship out the items ordered by buyers within 1 week. Thus, the whole transaction period is dramatically shortened and small and medium-sized merchants are able to run their businesses on a more flexible capital flow.

If you want to read more reviews about China shopping websites, you can search for whatever you are interested via the search box in the top right corner of our website.

Go to Lightinthebox.com >>

Go to AliEpxress.com >>


One Response to “China Shopping Website Reviews: Lightinthebox VS. AliExpress”

  1. Sale Alert: Discounted 2011 Christmas Lights Now Available at AliExpress.com Says:

    […] on our knowledge, AliExpress is a legitimate company that connects the greatest number of qualified Chinese suppliers and […]

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