AliExpress dropshipping is one of the most popular business models in the eCommerce world. Many sellers have already built profitable businesses on it and continue to scale by the day. But can a beginner do the same when they lack the proper knowledge?
Not to worry, if you’re looking to learn about AliExpress Dropshipping and start your eCommerce empire, you’ve come to the right place.
And guess what? It’s a lot simpler than you think! The central premise of AliExpress dropshipping involves finding hot products and selling them for a profit in your store. The rest is just details.
To demystify the process, we’ll give you a complete guide to dropshipping with AliExpress so that, in the end, you’ll be ready to join the winning ranks.
What Is AliExpress Dropshipping?
AliExpress dropshipping is a business model where we sell products online without holding inventory. Each time a customer makes a purchase, we buy the item on AliExpress and have the seller send it directly to our customer.
The difference between what the customer pays us and what we pay the supplier becomes our profit.
So why use AliExpress out of the many suppliers on the market? Because AliExpress boasts plenty of benefits, including:
- A selection of over 100 million products
- Numerous product categories
- Some of the lowest prices on the market
- Global warehouse
With such great benefits, Aliexpress has become the go-to supplier dropshippers use to fulfill orders. It allows us to import cheap products to our stores and sell them anywhere in the world with high-profit margins.
Are We Allowed To Dropship From AliExpress?
Yes, we are! Dropshipping from AliExpress is legal and mainstream. However, you should pay attention to comply with regulations.
So what rules should you follow when dropshipping from AliExpress?
- Avoid listing or selling copyrighted products.
- Refrain from selling anything dangerous.
- Don’t sell special categories like supplements or medical devices.
As you can see, most dropshipping rules pertain to the products you sell. To steer clear of copyrighted products, check if your product is located on the eBay VeRO list and don’t list it if it is. Following this rule can protect you from potential legal troubles as some sellers on AliExpress list knockoffs of popular brands.
Additionally, avoid selling dangerous products or those that may require a license (Weapons, Alcohol, tobacco, etc.).
To make things simple, follow Facebook’s commerce policies. Those rules cover most product pitfalls, giving you the peace of mind to dropship from AliExpress to any selling channel.
Most importantly, there is no need to worry too much about the strict rules attached to specific categories of products. You can sell millions of other products from AliExpress at high-profit margins and with zero legal or copyright issues.
What Are The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Dropshipping From AliExpress?
There are many advantages to dropshipping from AliExpress. Some of them include:
- Access to millions of low priced products
- Global shipping to almost any country
- Dropshipping oriented services and solutions
It’s no secret that AliExpress gives you access to plenty of products at prices you won’t find on domestic supplier sites. As a result, you can sell any product for a low price and higher profit margin.
Additionally, because AliExpress ships globally, you’ll be able to sell to almost any market with relatively fast shipping speeds. Moreover, each order also comes with tracking information so you can keep your customers updated at all times.
Finally, AliExpress is a dropshipping-friendly supplier. For one, if anything goes wrong, we are protected by extensive buyer protections. Second, the platform showcases the latest product trends in a beautifully designed AliExpress Dropshipping Center, so you always know what to sell.
The third reason AliExpress is dropshipping friendly is that it allows us to pay for items with PayPal, making order processing a breeze.
Conversely, there are some disadvantages to dropshipping from AliExpress, including:
- Long shipping times from China
- No bundled orders
- Language barriers
First and foremost, dropshippers can expect long shipping times, especially when compared to domestic suppliers.
Additionally, you cannot bundle orders into one shipment. Each AliExpress item ships separately, adding to your shipping costs.
Furthermore, language barriers can become an issue with some sellers whose first language is not English.
To counter these issues, always check a seller’s ratings and the types of shipping they offer before listing a product.
Is Dropshipping From AliExpress Still Profitable In 2021?
Not only is dropshipping from AliExpress profitable in 2021, but it will also become more lucrative in the future.
According to Statista, global eCommerce sales stood at more than $4.28 trillion in 2020 and are projected to reach $5.4 trillion in 2022. Because dropshipping is an essential branch of eCommerce, you can expect it to grow at the same rate, if not faster. And that is the perfect reason for you to hop on board.
On the other hand, remember that dropshipping, like any business, requires you to put in the work. Your success will depend on making good decisions. For example, to get a high sales volume, you must conduct fruitful product research.
Similarly, to ensure your business functions optimally, you’ll need the right tools at your disposal.
We’ll get to these soon!
How Long Does Shipping Take From AliExpress?
Depending on which country the items ship from and the delivery method you choose, shipping can take two weeks to two months.
Therefore, you should always check an item’s delivery time before listing it.
However, don’t worry too much if a hot product shows an extended delivery time. You’ll be surprised how long customers are willing to wait for an item they like.
The most important thing is to ensure the seller provides tracking. It will allow you to update your customers about an order’s whereabouts at any time, giving both you and them peace of mind.
Will Buyers Know That Their Items Are Coming From AliExpress?
In general, if a buyer wants to know where a package came from, it is not that hard to find out. However, if the item received matches what they saw in your store, most customers won’t care about its source. They are just happy to receive what they paid for and ordered.
Some dropshippers still want to keep their product source anonymous. Doing so goes a long way in developing a store’s brand.
Here are some guidelines to help white label your packages:
First, if at all possible, don’t select the ‘AliExpress Standard Shipping’ option. Instead, select another shipping option while ensuring that whichever method you choose provides tracking for your protection.
Second, you can message the seller and let them know that you are dropshipping the product. Ask them not to include any identifying information about the package’s source or the company that shipped it.
When it is all said and done, dropshipping happens all the time, and customers know they can find the product for cheaper. Yet, for a multitude of reasons, they often buy it for a higher price. So feel free to dropship from AliExpress, and don’t worry too much about the package.
Does AliExpress Offer Worldwide Global Shipping?
Yes. Worldwide shipping is what makes AliExpress a top choice as a supplier. However, not every item ships to every location.
If you want to see which products ship to your target market, go to the homepage, click on the language tab at the top and choose a ‘ship to’ location from the drop-down menu.
Alternatively, you can check individual products for shipping options on product pages. Doing so is helpful when you want to dropship to more than one country:
First, select a ‘ship from’ location. Then, pick a shipping destination right above the ‘Buy Now’ button. A popup window opens, and after choosing a country, AliExpress tells us whether or not shipping is available.
Should I Open A General Or Niche Dropshipping Store?
As you get started dropshipping, you probably want to know what products your store will sell. Should you avail customers of multiple categories, or should you focus on a particular niche of interest?
For best results, you should not limit yourself to a particular category from the start. Your goal is to test products and see what is bringing in sales. Then you can start focusing on the categories that are most profitable to you.
Beginner’s Tip: Always start a general store with multiple types of products. When you see that one product is gaining sales, begin adding variations in different colors, sizes, or forms. Then, repeat this process for every hot item in your store.
Finally, once you’ve built up several categories that are selling well, you can decide whether to pick one niche or stay with the general store.
How To Start Dropshipping With AliExpress
Are you ready to start a rocking AliExpress dropshipping business? The good news is that no prior experience is necessary. All you need is a laptop/computer and a reliable internet connection.
Once you have that, you can get started setting up your business.
So without further ado, let’s look at a complete step-by-step guide on how to start dropshipping from AliExpress.
Before you begin, here is a quick overview of the steps:
- Find A Winning Product
- Choose A Selling Channel
- Select An Automation Software
- Import Your Product
- Fulfill Orders
Next, we’ll take a look at each of these steps in detail.
1. How To Find Winning Products On AliExpress
Contrary to popular belief, we don’t need to waste time spam testing products to find the golden egg. Instead, our goal is to test high potential products in our store, and work from there.
So, how do we find the products with high potential on AliExpress?
There are several ways to find suitable products. For starters, take a look at the fabulous AliExpress Dropshipping Center. It contains excellent tools to help you spot hot trends, search for products and analyze a product’s performance in the market in real-time.
For an in-depth guide on how to find profitable dropshipping products with this system, we recommend reading Aliexpress Dropshipping Center – Find Trending Products & Sell.
Additionally, you can start your product research through the home page. There are two excellent sections where you can begin your search:
- Top Ranking
- Flash Deal
Top Ranking tells you about the latest trending products on the market. On the other hand, Flash deals give you access to high-quality products at a lower cost, increasing profit margins.
How To Evaluate AliExpress Products
Regardless of product choice, before listing, it is essential to:
- Research the seller
- Analyze product performance
Only pick sellers that have above a %95 positive rating. In addition, message them about the product to see how responsive they are. Unresponsive sellers are bad for business, especially if any issues come up with customer orders.
The final step before choosing a product is a performance check. We want at least some evidence for demand on the market.
If you primarily sell on Shopify, perform a Google search for your product. Then, go into store results and use the Koala Inspector to measure the performance of the product. Keep in mind that the Inspector only works on Shopify stores.
eBay sellers need not bother using Google or chrome extensions. Instead, they can find out a product’s performance by conduction an internal search as follows:
- Copy the product title from AliExpress,
- Paste it into the eBay search bar and click on the search icon.
- Filter the results by ‘Sold Items.’ (Pro Tip: Uncheck ‘Completed Items’ for accurate answers)
From the list of results, you’ll be able to see the number of times a product sold and the price buyers paid for it.
Unlike eBay or Shopify, there is no direct way to check the performance of a product on Facebook Marketplace. However, the good news is that it won’t matter. As a relatively new dropshipping platform, the likelihood of competition is low. We get to be pioneers and find answers by trial and error.
2. Choose Your Selling Channel
Speaking of selling channels, you’ll need one to serve as a dropshipping platform to list and sell AliExpress products.
Luckily, there are plenty of options to choose from, but we’ll focus on the top three:
- Facebook Marketplace
If you’re looking for a fully customizable store with relatively low selling fees, go with Shopify.
The platform is the go-to choice for many eCommerce entrepreneurs. It gives us complete control over our store, from design features to the types of products we sell.
Furthermore, Shopify does not limit the number of products we sell at any given time. Last but not least, you’ll have access to plenty of apps to help import and monitor your AliExpress products.
However, be prepared to invest time and money into marketing, as organic traffic does not come easy at first.
Conversely, eBay is an established marketplace with plenty of existing organic traffic. Marketing here will be the least of your concerns. Nonetheless, compared with other marketplaces, selling fees on eBay are quite high.
Facebook is a marketplace in its own category, giving you the best of both worlds: low selling fees and plenty of free organic traffic. The social media giants boast close to three billion users worldwide and charge a mere $0.40 or %5 per sale (whichever is higher).
Additionally, as a relatively new selling channel to the dropshipping scene, you’ll face little competition from other sellers. As a result, you can earn and scale fast.
3. Select Your Dropshipping Automation Tool
Now that you have a selling channel, you’ll need a way to import products from AliExpress, monitor stock and price changes, and process orders quickly.
If you want to earn high profits and quit your nine to five, managing a dropshipping store manually is a nonstarter. That’s why your best bet is to use dropshipping automation tools.
So what are the best automation tools for AliExpress Dropshipping?
While there are various tools on the market, none of them can perform all tasks in one place.
That’s why AutoDS is your best choice. The all-in-one dropshipping tool takes care of every aspect of managing a profitable dropshipping store. From automatic product importing, constant monitoring to a fully automated ordering system, with AutoDS, you can turn your store into a passive income source.
4. Import Your First Product
So you’ve lined up your favorite selling channel and a reliable automation tool. Good job so far. Now it’s time to import your first product from AliExpress to your store!
Since we already know that we’re not importing the slow and manual methods, here is how we can use AutoDS to automatically and quickly upload our first product.
Step 1: Sign up for AutoDS and download the Chrome AutoDS Dropshipping Helper Extension.
Step 2: Pick a product for your store on AliExpress and head to the product page.
Step 3: Click on the ‘Import to AutoDS’ button.
Step 4: Go to the AutoDS draft page, optimize the product title, images, and description. Click Import.
You did it!
You can always use the bulk importer to download tens, hundreds, or even thousands of AliExpress products in a few clicks to the AutoDS drafts page.
Or, for a more customizable import process, copy the product URL/ID from AliExpress and paste it into the dedicated section on AutoDS.
5. Fulfill Your Orders With AliExpress
You Got Your First Sale! Congrats!
It’s an exhilarating feeling, isn’t it? Your hard work is starting to pay off! But this is no time to rest; we’ll need to quickly get ahead of the game and process our first order.
Just like with the import process, you have two choices. Process the order manually or automatically.
Manual order processing involved copying your customer’s information from your store and pasting it on AliExpress. The manual approach takes hours when you have lots of orders to fulfill.
However, you can save time and let AutoDS process orders for you the automatic way. Using a program called Fulfilled By AutoDS, the platform processes orders automatically at any time (Yes, even while you’re asleep).
Customer Service And Returns
Once a flow of orders starts coming in, you can expect some customer service questions or issues to come up. Customers may request a return as part of that process, which is not always straightforward with AliExpress.
Remember that returns are only free if the customer received the wrong item or a damaged one. Other than that, it is a paid return.
Not to worry though, AutoDS makes managing customer service and returns with AliExpress a breeze. With all communication taking place on a dedicated page and returns processed automatically, you can feel a sense of control when dealing with any AliExpress issues.
What Are The Best AliExpress Extensions?
Once you start dropshipping, you’ll want to speed up processes, save money, become more efficient, and most importantly, scale to higher profits.
AliExpress extensions can make a big difference in those areas. Here are five of the best extension for your AliExpress Dropshipping Needs:
- AliExpress Free Invoice
- AliExpress Search By Image
- Up Assistant
- AliExpress Parcels – My Orders
For a more comprehensive list of must-have AliExpress extensions, check out our Top AliExpress Extensions article.
AliExpress Free Invoice
There are many reasons why you would need an invoice from AliExpress. It could be for record-keeping, verification, or to clear customs when an order gets held up.
Instead of getting an invoice from each AliExpress seller, the AliExpress Free Invoice Generator can help you extract an Invoice PDF hassle-free, saving you time and work in the process.
After downloading the extension, head over to the AliExpress orders page, and near any order, click ‘Download PDF Invoice.’
The AliSave Extension offers a simple yet powerful solution. It allows you to download all images and videos for any given product at the click of a button.
Using this feature saves you from having to download images or videos individually. Once saved, you can access them for any purpose, whether for uploading a product, editing an image, or using the video to create an ad.
AliExpress Search By Image
Aliseeks’ AliExpress Search by Image is a neat little extension, super helpful for your AliExpress research needs.
Whenever you spot an image of a product you like on any website, simply right-click it and click on ‘Search AliExpress by Image.’
The extension then redirects you to a list of product results from AliExpress that match the image. You’ll be surprised how often AliExpress sells the same product for cheaper.
If you like what you see, click on the result, and it takes you to the product page on AliExpress.
As mentioned earlier in this article, it’s always important to review seller information before importing a product. Usually, it comes down to the level of positive feedback the seller receives.
However, Up Assistant gives a more accurate ‘seller rating’ based on various metrics and analytics. Instead of looking solely at a seller’s feedback, Up Assistant includes in its ratings the length of time the seller has been on AliExpress and how effectively they communicate with buyers.
Once installed, you can view the Up Assistant seller rating represented by a number posted to product thumbnails. Alternatively, click on the product to view a detailed report on the product page.
AliExpress Parcels – My Orders
Tracking packages on AliExpress can become a tiring process. Every time you want to track a package, you’ll have to navigate to the orders page and check the status. Doing so is especially burdensome for a busy store with multiple orders per day.
The AliExpress Parcels – My Orders extension saves you loads of time, making all of your orders available to track any time in a couple of clicks.
So how do you use the AliExpress Parcels Extension? Simple.
Install the extension, and head to the orders page on AliExpress. Next, go to your desired order and click on ‘Add Tracking.’ From that point forward, dropshippers can track the order on the extension with one click.
How To Increase Your Profits On AliExpress
AliExpress’ low prices provide you the ability to earn higher profit margins. But what if there were a way to further increase your profits dropshipping on AliExpress? The good news is that you can lower the amount you pay for merchandise, thereby improving your margins.
Below are a couple of proven methods to get products for the best prices:
- Search other sellers for a better price
One way to get your products for a better price is through the use of cashback and coupons.
To that end, there are plenty of apps and extensions that help dropshippers find the best Cashback offers or coupons. However, the Giving Assistant Button chrome extension stands out from the pack as a top choice among experienced AliExpress dropshippers.
When visiting AliExpress, the extension works in the background to find you the best offers. Then, during the checkout stage, Giving Assistant alerts you about any available coupons or cashback.
Search Other Sellers For A Cheaper Product
Besides getting discounts on orders, you can also search AliExpress for similar products with lower price tags. By sourcing your products for less, you’ll be able to earn more on each sale.
However, most dropshippers simply don’t have the time to compare multiple sellers and listings, so they settle for paying more and, as a result, miss out on higher profits.
Little do they know that an excellent Chrome Extension can do all the hard work for them. The Alitools Shopping Assistant is made especially for those looking to find AliExpress products for a better price. As a result, the Alitools extension is a perfect solution for dropshippers who want lower prices.
Here is how to use it:
First, install the extension. Then, go to any product page of interest and select ‘Similar’ from the toolbar at the bottom left. AliExpress populates a list of similar products with their price tags. Simply click on any to get more details.
AliExpress dropshipping does not have to be such a mystery. As long as you’re motivated to become a successful entrepreneur, nothing can stop you. All the tools and information you need are available to you.
Moreover, the article you just read has everything you need to get started and succeed. Every necessary step and the best tools to help you on your journey are right here.
But it doesn’t end there. You can always join the major leagues and take your AliExpress dropshipping business to the next level.
Want to be like the pros? Take a look at these resources to give you a leg up on your journey: