The dropshipping is an excellent way to start an e-commerce without having to worry about inventory or shipping. Simply put a product up for sale on your website and send an email to your supplier so that they can send the item on your behalf whenever you receive an order.
While starting a dropshipping business is a great way to set up an e-commerce, searching the internet to find a reliable supplier can be tricky. However, there is a convenient market that you can use for dropshipping.
The AliExpress makes finding products to sell in your shop, without having to worry about inventory or shipping. You can buy products at wholesale price and have them shipped directly to your customers via dropshipping.
Why AliExpress for Dropshipping
AliExpress is a giant market that contains a wide selection of products that you can sell in your online store. Due to the fact that most AliExpress sellers consist of international manufacturers, their prices are highly competitive.
Although AliExpress positions itself as an online retailer, most AliExpress sellers understand that most of their customers are resellers and are much more interested in dropshipping.
It is very simple to do dropshipping with AliExpress.
There are no upfront costs or fees, that is, it is possible to test products without financial commitment. You can start dropshipping with AliExpress today and for free.
Many sellers on AliExpress have great product photos that you can use on their website, as well as detailed product descriptions, to help you describe them in your online store.
Finally, making dropshipping through AliExpress is as simple as ordering the product on AliExpress, after receiving an order, and entering the customer’s address.
I’ll talk in more detail about how it all works, as well as what to look for in a product and a salesperson, and how to position yourself for success – but it’s nothing more complicated than what I described above. Dropshipping with AliExpress is a great way to start selling online, once you’ve got everything ready.
Why Would Someone Buy From Your Online Store If You Can Buy The Same Products On AliExpress?
With a dropshipping business through AliExpress, your competitive advantage will not be your price or your exclusive products. Your competitive advantage will be to reach your customers before your competitors.
This is known as retail arbitrage.
Doing good marketing and reaching customers first can be a competitive advantage. You can also add more value to your customers by building a brand, creating content and providing excellent customer service.
Setting Up Your Online Store
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Now that we know how AliExpress can function as a dropshipper, and how you will position your online store, let’s first set it up before placing your first order.
Selecting Your Niche and Products
The first part of setting up your online store is defining your niche . If you don’t know where to start, start with the product categories offered by AliExpress and start deciding what interests you most or what you would be most comfortable selling.
Once you have a niche in mind, it’s time to start choosing some products that you would like to resell in your online store. In this example, I chose running shoes as a niche for my online store.
As you will discover on AliExpress, there is a huge selection of products to choose from. It can be impressive. And it can also cause headaches if you don’t choose a quality product from a reliable supplier.
Although it is not perfect, I have created a list of criteria for choosing a product. There is nothing scientific about it, but so far, it has helped me select trusted sellers. Here are some aspects I look for when choosing a product on AliExpress to do dropshipping :
No brands, fake products and replicas : I discard any brands, to avoid selling fake products and replicas. Look for unbranded products. If there is a logo on the product, I avoid it, even if it is genuine. I don’t want to take any chances, because I’m not a licensed reseller and I don’t know if the product is really true. This can limit your options significantly, so choose a niche in which brands don’t matter, such as electronic accessories or clothing.
Delivery via ePacket with free shipping : whenever possible, I try to resell only products that offer delivery via ePacket, as this option is free. Since most products on AliExpress come from China or Hong Kong, delivery via ePacket is not only the most economical, but also one of the fastest for small items destined for the United States.
Over 300 orders : a product with many orders tells me something. First, he tells me that there is demand for the product. Second, he tells me that the supplier must be trusted, as I believe that some of these orders are placed repeatedly by current customers. Sometimes, when looking for a new product, I organize the products according to the most requested.
Rating above 4.5 stars : I also like to make sure that the products I plan to resell have a high rating (above 4.5 stars), and that the dealer also displays highly positive feedback. Just to get a second opinion on product sellers, I use a Chrome extension called AliExpress Seller Check .
That way, I can count on a detailed overall assessment left through an external app. I found this measure much more reliable than simply using the AliExpress rating system.
Low price with high margin potential : depending on the product I want to resell, I like to stick to buying products within the range of R $ 4 – R $ 75. This reduces the risk when I lose money on a sale – and these products can be sold for $ 75 – $ 170 or more. For example, I can find running shoes on AliExpress for around R $ 75 and sell them for R $ 170. In that case, I maintain a 60% profit margin.
Lots of cool, unbranded product photos : do your due diligence to make sure the photos are really from your manufacturer, not taken from another online seller. Performing a quick image search on Google will help you check whether the product photos are from a real brand or from the manufacturers themselves.
Communicative and helpful salesperson : Don’t be afraid to ask the salesperson questions before closing an order with him. A highly reliable seller will answer all your questions quickly. If the seller does not respond to messages, this is a great warning sign.
Adding Products to Your Online Store
As soon as you set up your store on Shopify , it’s time to add a product. It is important to detail this step, as it is not enough to just copy the images and description of the AliExpress offer and paste it on your website.
Instead, if you want to position your online store successfully, there are a few things to take into account.
Write your own product descriptions . The descriptions of many of the products on AliExpress were not written by editors or are not intended to explain the benefits in detail. Creating your own content will serve your business better in the long run (Google ignores duplicate content) and will help you convert your product pages.
Inform the delivery times to customers . It is a good idea to include on the product page (or anywhere on your online store) the information that your customers must wait at least 20 days (depending on the supplier) until the order arrives. Since most suppliers on AliExpress are located in China, shipping times may be longer than average.
Use an order tracking app . With delivery times longer than people are used to, you will often receive emails from customers asking where the purchased products are. Use an order tracking app from the Shopify App Store to keep your customers up to date on the status of their purchases.
Offer free shipping . This can become one of your competitive advantages, so I strongly recommend that you offer free shipping to your customers, taking advantage of the free / economical shipping offered by many sellers on AliExpress.
Price products appropriately . Consider pricing your products at twice the cost. Risking a 50% margin will make it worthwhile to manage the business, in addition to covering marketing expenses.
Add products to your online store via apps . There are a few apps you can use to make importing AliExpress products to your online store a lot easier.
Instead of manually adding AliExpress products to your website, you can use one of the apps above to quickly add products to your store.
How to Use AliExpress for Dropshipping
Now that your online store is full of products ready to be sold and shipped via dropshipping, what should you do when you receive your first order?
Dropshipping with AliExpress works similar to any regular dropshipper. When receiving an order, purchase the item on AliExpress and enter your customer’s name and shipping address. The AliExpress seller will take care of the rest.
It is a good idea to keep a spreadsheet with the list of all the products on your site handy, the sale value of each one, the price they cost on AliExpress and a link to the offer of each one on AliExpress. That way, whenever you receive an order, it will be easier to find the supplier on AliExpress, as well as keep track of price changes.
Alternatively, you can use Oberlo , which is able to take care of all this for you, including facilitating your orders on AliExpress and also viewing price variations.
When placing an order on AliExpress, it is a good idea to inform the seller that you are doing dropshipping. Thus, the supplier will not include invoices or promotions within the package sent to its customer.
At checkout, you can leave a message to the seller. I recommend that you write something like this: “We are doing dropshipping. No promotions and invoices, please! ”.
As I mentioned earlier, try to opt for delivery via ePacket, if the supplier is in China and this shipping option is available. Many vendors offer this option for free.
Depending on your seller’s processing period, you will receive an email shortly, stating that your order has been shipped.
Click the link in the email to view the order, which will allow you to check its tracking number.
Access the administrative area of your Shopify and process the order. Make sure to enter the tracking number in addition.
Ready! Now, just wait for your customers to receive the order. When it arrives, AliExpress will send you an email requesting confirmation that the order has been received. Wait a while for the customer to contact you if there is a problem. In this way, it will be possible to take the issue to the supplier through AliExpress, so that they can resolve it.
What about Refunds and Returns?
Many AliExpress suppliers do not offer returns. This means that you will have to deal with returns and refunds in some way. When there is a problem with an order that a customer has placed in your online store, this is usually because the order has not arrived or because your customer is not satisfied with his purchase.
In the first case, a lost order must be forwarded to the AliExpress supplier. In this situation, contact the supplier to resolve the issue or use the AliExpress Buyer Protection Program.
If your customer is simply not satisfied with the product, I suggest that you offer a refund. If the product is damaged, ask your customer to take pictures, send them to the AliExpress seller and continue from there.
Expanding Your Dropshipping Business
Once you’ve made your first sales, it’s time to start looking at how you can grow your dropshipping business and make more money.
Eventually, you will begin to discover who are reliable, quality suppliers – and which are not. Consider building relationships with those who are trustworthy. This will allow you to get better prices and priority in order processing.
I found that most AliExpress providers use Skype. If you place frequent orders with the same seller, it is a good idea to ask their Skype user in order to develop a business relationship. As soon as you demonstrate that you can make recurring purchases, some vendors will allow you to insert your logo on products, as well as include personalized invoices or brand inserts on packaging.
The best part of doing dropshipping with AliExpress is that it allows you to quickly test and validate ideas and products for your online store. Are you unsure whether you are able to sell a particular product? Add and test it in your online store! Unsuccessfully? Just remove the item from your store and try some other product.
Since you will not own or manage any inventory, and because there is no upfront cost, there is very little risk in this entire assembly.
Try it and return with your impressions. Have questions? Leave your questions and comments below. I usually participate and respond to everyone.