AliExpress $38 scam
Update: AliExpress reimbursed me in the end.
A month ago, I ordered a PC test bench and a PCI-e riser cable from AliExpress. According to the seller, both items were sent in the same package. Three weeks later, I received the package in the mail. Upon unpacking the box, I noticed that the PCI-e riser cable was missing. Unfortunately, I didn't film myself unpacking it, so I lack undeniable proof of the missing PCI-e riser.
I submitted a refund request on AliExpress, attaching a picture of the opened package as supporting evidence. However, my request was rejected within minutes of submission. I wasn't surprised since I could have easily removed the riser cable from the box before taking the picture. This was my first time ordering something on AliExpress, and without an established reputation on the site, I find myself at a disadvantage in disputes. I contacted the seller, but I haven't received a response yet, and I doubt I ever will. Even if the seller is honest and simply made a mistake, it's difficult to trust people on the other side of the world with whom one has no prior relationship.
I am now $38 poorer and will have to buy a PCI-e riser cable from a local retailer. I am willing to accept this loss without bitterness since the amount is relatively small. It would be unreasonable to be upset over this. At least I managed to acquire a PC test bench at a cheaper price than what it would have cost me at a local store.
Don’t purchase expensive items on AliExpress. If you do decide to order something from there, make sure to record a video of yourself opening the package. It seems to be the only way to protect yourself from being scammed when ordering multiple items from the same seller. I'm grateful that this lesson only cost me $38.