Is buying on AliExpress a good idea? This is hurting jobs and the Spanish economy
When we think that maybe buying on AliExpress is not a good idea It crossed our minds that their low prices impact quality, shipping takes long time or sometimes there are customs issues. To misfortune, he economic damage and jobs in Spain This outweighs any other drawbacks.
Between AliExpress's low prices and discount coupons, it's tempting to choose the online trading platform, which now also has Mirabia as its store for those looking for a more premium experience, similar to a national store.
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Competing with AliExpress is tough and, though current law does not take unfair competition into accounttheir activities are very detrimental to the country's business and industrial order, because it is impossible to catch up with them.
we consumers must consider what types of businesses we want to supportWell, let's not forget in the free market that our voice is the money we spend.
List of contents
Seller, warehouse and tax office in China
First of all, we must remember that AliExpress is a marketplace, a platform that connects professional sellers and consumers, but it doesn't sell anything directly. Of course, it intervenes in the buyer when fraud or other incidents arise.
In practice, mostly sellers are Chinese, where they own warehouses and infrastructure. When you buy on AliExpress, the money will almost certainly end up entirely overseas, and so will the jobs that are generated.
AliExpress itself is the international branch of the Alibaba Group headquartered in Hangzhou. That is, the commission that the platform takes also stays in China, no one goes abroad.
When we buy a products made in China to Spanish stores contribute to the local economy. It could be a lot or a little, depending on the case, but at least some wealth was being created in the country.
For example clothes the made-in-China clothes that Zara sells leave a lot of margin. A separate case are technologies like Apple, which create jobs in Spain, but whose tax strategy undermines public finances by paying taxes abroad.
Abuse of the Spanish postal system
AliExpress's popularity was made possible thanks to a postal agreement with China that cost Spain dearly, and it wasn't designed for the huge volumes of e-commerce. That free shipping cost which we pay with our taxescovering most of Correos' activities.
It's possible to create purchase €0.01 and get it for free, even though the postman's fee to bring it home is much more. Not to mention that many products are subject to VAT at customs, but are not inspected.
Recently, law Requires prepayment of customs dutiesand shipping costs are no longer so low, but they still have an advantage over many competitors thanks to Cainiao, a logistics subsidiary of the Alibaba group.
AliExpress is especially committed to making this happen Lettera semi-public company whose quirk makes it accept customers who pay very low prices. The Universal Postal Service, financed by the budget, forced the Post Office to have postmen in disadvantaged areas, but they provided essential public services in "emptied Spain".
Because it can't do without this infrastructure, Correos sometimes enters into agreements with clients like AliExpress or Amazon, which pay a very small amount for each package, but allow it to extract some additional performance from the postal network.
It is also true that AliExpress's low shipping costs are made possible due to the large number of buyers accept long lead times and lost delivery issues as a normal part of the platform. In Spanish shops the expectations are different, and no one is going to accept that a package takes weeks to arrive.
Unnecessary ecological impact
Placing an order on AliExpress means that packages arrive at our homes from thousands of kilometers away one by oneincluding home delivery, which implies a sizeable carbon footprint.
If we buy the same product at a local bazaar, even if it also comes from China, things change. It comes in containers that make better use of space, is distributed to local stores from a central warehouse, and destination city contamination is avoided by avoiding home delivery.
The ideal is to consume local produce (which is called "kilometer zero"), but globalization has pushed international trade to such an extent that in many cases there is no choice. So at least avoid platforms with the highest impactlike AliExpress.
Another related aspect is that sometimes purchases on the internet are made just for fun, with no real need to satisfy. The next time we buy on impulse on AliExpress, Amazon, or eBay, we have to think that we are helping destroy the planet faster.
Another important detail is that Enforcing warranties against Chinese sellers is usually impossiblealthough in theory we have, so planned obsolescence affects items in Asian markets first.
Is AliExpress Plaza any different?
AliExpress Plaza is The Spanish section of the online store, which is a limited part of its local sales. At the Plaza things are a little different, although it could hardly be considered "Spanish".
At Plaza, fast delivery, we have easy returns and local guarantees. So it is the activity of AliExpress and its sellers left several jobs and wealth in a country.
However, many of Plaza's vendors are not strictly Spanish, and they limit their local presence as much as possible to reduce costs. They subcontract warehouse and technical services here, but they are still a Chinese company that pays taxes in their country.
AliExpress doesn't offer anything that doesn't exist in Spain
It is very difficult for a small country like ours to compete with leading technology companies like Google, Apple or Huawei. It is important to support national innovation, but for Spain to design smartphones or lead in artificial intelligence is almost impossible at the moment, so we have to assume that we have to get them from abroad.
Rather, we can say that The only thing AliExpress exports is vulnerability, because its growth was made possible thanks to low wages in China, is impossible for Spanish employers to replicate. What AliExpress offers can be done by Spanish shops, but that means reducing wages, increasing working hours and impoverishing the country.
In fact, in the Asian giant there is 996 days: from 9 am to 9 pm for 6 days a week. When the Chinese government started regulating these extreme days in 2021, one of the disapproving voices was Jack Ma, the millionaire founder of Alibaba.
It is true that many Spanish companies are not as committed to the progress of the country as they claim to be, and they take their tax headquarters abroad, evade taxes or impose poor working conditions, but will never be on the same level as AliExpress.
Therefore, we must think carefully if the low price of aliexpress will not be expensive for us to the Spaniards, in the form of higher unemployment rates, lower wages, an unstable labor market and, ultimately, a weak economy that is dependent on foreigners even in the most basic terms.
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