AliExpress – a Better Online Market for You
The Papua New Guinea (PNG) online shopping experience is quite limited. There are a number of factors. However, the most important would be shipping.
Most retailers on online markets like eBay etc. do not ship to postal addresses. However, there is the option of communicating with vendors directly and coming to some sort of arrangement. For example, I am currently in communication with a supplier from Australia to buy 4×4 suspension parts for my first generation Isuzu Wizard who did not have standard shipping options to PNG.
Fortunately, Alibaba’s online retail market AliExpress ships almost anywhere.
AliExpress – Smaller Bites of Alibaba
AliExpress was opened in 2010 is the retail arm of Alibaba and focuses on servicing individuals while the ‘mothershop’ is focused on bulk orders. The items are usually cheap and shipped out of China, and you can order almost anything under the sun – almost like eBay. However, the shopping experience is better for Papua New Guineans.
AliExpress offers shipping to PNG and the mobile app shows prices of items in kina (K) which usually includes shipping. The payment options are something Papua New Guineans will appreciate.
Apart from the standard card payment options you can also make payment through Western Union or Bank Transfer. For the later, you might have to confirm with your local commercial bank but it’s an option.
Now, the downside is they don’t have payment options for Paypal, Payza etc. However, they have their own payment processor called Alipay which can be used as an alternative.
The Fast Road to China
AliExpress can be seen as the digital Silk Road connecting small Chinese businesses to the outside consumers and is reportedly the most visited e-commerce site in Russia and 10th in Brazil.
Interestingly, shoppers in mainland China are not allowed to buy on this platform. Instead they use Taobao – and anyone who’s ever stayed in China will tell you; it’s quite efficient.
Anyway, if you can’t purchase on eBay and Amazon, then AliExpress is the way to go.