AliExpress customers can view their order’s current status under the “Order Status” tab in their account’s orders section. Among the various statuses, one uncommon order status that some customers may encounter is “Returned to Sender”.

The “Returned to Sender” implies that the order could not be delivered for various reasons, such as having used an incorrect shipping address or unsuccessful customs clearance issues that do not get resolved, and has been returned to the original sender (the seller).

If you’ve noticed that your order from AliExpress has been returned to the sender, there is very little that you will be able to do, unless you speak to the seller or reorder your items and ensure that you provide the correct shipping details.

In this article we will go over some reasons why AliExpress orders are returned to the sender, how to resolve a “Returned to Sender” issue, and how to avoid returned items in the future. We will also answer some commonly asked questions at the end of this article.

Reasons Why Some Orders Are Returned to the Sender

An AliExpress order could be returned to the sender for numerous reasons. This includes if the shipping details were incomplete or incorrect, if the package was unclaimed, or if the package ran into customs-related issues that have remained unresolved for a period of time. Let’s explore these issues in more detail.

Incorrect or Incomplete Shipping Details 

If you have entered incorrect or incomplete shipping details for your AliExpress order, the delivery agent may not be able to locate and deliver your items to the correct address.

In that case, the delivery agent may attempt a few deliveries, and if each one fails, they will eventually return the order to the sender after a duration as part of their standard operating procedures.

Package Is Unclaimed 

Aside from having incorrect or incomplete shipping details, a failed delivery attempt may also occur due to unavailability. For example, the delivery agent may arrive at your home at a time when you aren’t there.

If this occurs multiple times, they will send the order to a warehouse or other predefined location for self-collection. It is also common practice for delivery agents to leave a notice at the delivery location after a few failed delivery attempts.

This notice would state the duration the courier would hold the item and the location of their facility for the buyer’s reference to claim the package. The package will then remain at this location, awaiting collection.

If you don’t claim your AliExpress package within the stipulated timeframe, it may either be discarded or returned to the sender. This timeframe is usually anywhere between 30 and 60 days, depending on the agent or courier.

Customs-Related Issues

In some cases, your item may run into customs-related issues. This can happen if there are outstanding import duties that have not been paid or if the package contains prohibited items.

While outstanding import taxes can be easily cleared by paying them within a reasonable timeframe, you may occasionally miss the notification to do so resulting in customs clearance failure.

If your package doesn’t clear customs, its content will be either disposed of or returned to the sender. Therefore, we advise that you use the shipment tracking feature on AliExpress regularly to ensure that your package is not held by customs and potentially sent back to the seller.

How to Resolve A “Returned to Sender” Issue

Resolving an AliExpress “Returned to Sender” issue can be time-consuming but you still have a chance. We have listed some steps to guide you through this process.

  1. Review the various reasons why AliExpress packages are returned to the sender and determine which one likely happened to you. You can also view the order’s shipping details through your AliExpress account. To identify the reason, you may enquire with the seller or AliExpress’s Customer Support.
  2. If the items have already been returned to the sender, you can message the AliExpress seller and inform them that you like them to reship the item. Alternatively, you can ask them for a refund.
  3. Review your shipping information and ensure that all the details are correct. This is especially important if your package was initially returned to the sender due to incomplete or incorrect details. Once the item has been reshipped, monitor your order tracking closely to check if the delivery process is on track.
  4. Familiarize yourself with customs regulations and requirements to avoid such issues in the future. Resolving this issue without using the AliExpress platform should be avoided as it could void your buyer’s protection.

How to Avoid Returned Items on AliExpress

There are some important tips and tricks to ensure that your AliExpress order does not get returned to the sender.

  • Be Available When Order is Delivered – Check your order’s tracking information regularly and note down the estimated shipping date and time. Once you have this information, you should ensure you are available at the address around the time the delivery is scheduled to be delivered.
  • Verify Your Shipping Details – Open your AliExpress account and review your shipping address before placing an order. Check the details carefully, ensuring it is complete and that all the information is accurate.
  • Contact the Seller – If you have changed your address after placing the order or have special delivery instructions, you should contact the AliExpress seller. The seller can then update your shipping details if they haven’t already sent out the item.
  • Ensure the Items Are Not Prohibited – Each country has specific laws and regulations on what items can or can’t be brought into the country. You should review the list of prohibited items and avoid ordering such items from AliExpress if you don’t want them to be seized by customs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below, you will find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions that were sent in. If you have any other questions, feel free to drop us a message and we’ll be more than happy to answer them accordingly.

Will I Still Receive My Order After It’s Returned to the AliExpress Seller?

There is no guarantee you will receive your order after it has been sent back to the sender. This is because the factors that prevented you from receiving the order in the first place may still be preventing you from receiving it again.

In addition to this, the sender or the shipping company may also have specific policies that prevent them from sending the shipment again.

If your order was sent back because you entered an incomplete or incorrect shipping address, you should update your address with the correct details and then ask the seller to reship the package.

If your order was sent back because it contained prohibited items, you won’t be able to receive them, even if the seller attempts to reship them.

How Do I Find Out the Reason Why It Was Returned?

Below, you’ll find the process for checking shipping updates on your AliExpress order. Simply follow these steps:

  1. Sign into your AliExpress account.
  2. Click on the “My Orders” link in the homepage’s upper right corner.
  3. Browse through your list of orders and locate the one you are interested in seeing details for. Then click on “View Detail“.
  4. Review the shipping information and the tracking number for the package, and ensure they are correct.
  5. Next, click the tracking number to view the shipping details.
  6. Check for the return reason in the order’s shipping details.

If the above steps haven’t helped you determine the reason why your package was returned, you should contact the seller or AliExpress Customer Support team. Either of the two parties should be able to provide additional details or assist you in resolving the issue.

Would I Be Refunded if My Items Were Returned?

You can receive a refund for a returned item in specific circumstances. This includes if your shipping details were incorrect or if you failed to collect your package from the post office.

In this situation, you would be refunded the item’s price but not the shipping costs as you had provided incorrect shipping details. On the other hand, if the seller made a mistake, you can get a full refund or ask them to reship the order without making any additional payments.

If your item was returned and is set to be reshipped, you won’t be eligible for a refund, but you will be receiving the order instead.

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Agnes Aui

Head of Marketing
at freightcourse

About the Author

Agnes is the Head of Marketing at freightcourse and seamlessly blends her strong background in content management with strategic marketing expertise.

She brings a wealth of knowledge to readers, specializing in various e-commerce topics such as order fulfillments, purchasing, payments, and more.