It's been described as the Amazon and eBay of the East, but it's really both of them. "That's a fair assessment because last year it had sales of over $248 billion, which is more than those two companies combined," said Mike Prospero, reviews editor at Laptop Mag.
Alibaba is made up of three commerce sites, Taobao, Tmall and Alibaba.com.
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Paying for goods on Alibaba is safe, according to Prospero, especially when using Alipay, which works much the same way as PayPal.
Americans can shop on Alibaba now, he said, but there is a pitfall the company and consumers still have to contend with, fake goods.
"One thing consumers do have to look out for though is that there are still a lot of counterfeit goods available on Alibaba's site. The company is taking some steps to counteract that but there are still plenty of fakes to be found there," said Prospero.
—By CNBC's Christina Medici Scolaro