Face masks are an essential item in the coronavirus pandemic. They provide protection from droplets which can carry the virus, and prevent people from spreading the virus to others. But masks can be difficult to find at your local pharmacy.
Fortunately, you can easily order masks from reliable suppliers online. AliExpress is an online global marketplace where many vendors are shipping masks. It’s not as easy to use as Amazon, but we’ll walk you through it step by step.
As of this writing (April 2020), the market price per mask if you buy 50+ masks, including fast shipping, should be between $1 and $1.50. Expect to pay about $100 for 100 masks, or about $65 for 50 masks.
1. Go to AliExpress.com and search for “medical mask”
2. Set 3 search filters to find reputable vendors shipping from within the US
- Select “United States” in the dropdown box, to select vendors shipping from the US
- Check the “4 stars and up” checkbox
- Click “Orders” to sort by vendors with more orders
3. Find a vendor that has filled a bunch of orders
Find the label on each listing that says “X sold” to see which vendors have a good history of filling their orders. Select a vendor that has sold at least a few hundred.
4. Check the listing and choose a quantity
Right below the price, you can select your desired quantity of masks. The price will update as you select different quantities.
You should also scroll down through the listing to make sure that it looks reputable. Most of these sellers are not located in the US, so misspelled words are ok, but make sure that the product page clearly shows the product, how it arrives in its packaging, and any certifications that the manufacturer may have. Many manufacturers have German, Italian, or UK certifications for their products and will post their certificates on the product page.
5. Choose a shipping method
Different shipping methods are available. When you’re ordering large quantities of masks, paying another $20-30 for shipping that arrives 1-2 weeks earlier can be worth it.
If the product you’re looking at doesn’t have a fast shipping method, go back to the search page and find another product.
6. Buy and checkout
Click “Buy now”, register, enter your shipping address, and use any US credit card for payment. If it’s the first time you’ve used AliExpress, your credit card company may text you or email you to make sure that it’s really you who’s making the purchase.