Retail therapy is perhaps one of the last remaining glimmers of fun in my life in these unprecedented times of isolation. But in the face of a looming Great Depression 2.0, it pays to be a little more thrifty. And unlike Depop, where teenagers sell lightly-worn second-hand “vintage” t-shirts for $40, exploring AliExpress has been a fun – and thankfully economically savvy – adventure.

Heralding from China, AliExpress is a mammoth online platform for third-party sellers. It’s similar to Ebay (and has similar financial protections and prophylactic refund policies for buyers), but the Chinese sellers bulk buy straight from the Chinese manufacturers – which reduces prices and increases supply.

At first, I was skeptical, but a friend of mine is an AliExpress disciple of many years, and she convinced me to give the site a try. Common sense is a virtue, and I’d recommend starting small with $1-2 purchases if you’re unconvinced (my first purchase was a pair of socks).

Here are some more tips and tricks to bear in mind:



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Chloe Luo