Finding the right supplier for our dropshipping business is essential for our success. To explain, the right supplier will enable us to build a stellar product catalog and offer an awesome shopping experience for our customers. With that in mind, AliExpress is a reliable and trustworthy dropshipping supplier that offers an extensive product range and amazing sourcing prices.
So, in this article, we’ll take a look at what makes AliExpress a great dropshipping supplier and some key features. On top of that, we’ll also go through a complete guide for dropshipping with AliExpress.
What Is AliExpress Dropshipping?
Uniquely, dropshipping is an eCommerce business model in which dropshippers do not keep products in stock. Instead, dropshippers work with suppliers. When a customer orders a product, the dropshipper then purchases the item from a third-party supplier. At last, the supplier ships the products directly to our customer’s door.
Notably, dropshipping is an ideal way for entrepreneurs to start their online stores with little upfront capital. It also helps us save on storage space and other costs since we don’t need to stock inventory.
Now, when we dropship with AliExpress, 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.
Notably, AliExpress boasts plenty of benefits, including:
- A selection of over 100 million products
- Countless product categories
- Some of the lowest prices on the market
AliExpress has become the go-to supplier for dropshippers 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?
The answer is yes! We sure 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.
Pros & Cons Of AliExpress Dropshipping
As with any supplier, AliExpress has both pros and cons we need to consider before starting our collaboration with them. They are both the biggest and most used Chinese supplier, but that can bring some extra characteristics we need to consider.
Pros Of AliExpress Dropshipping
Since AliExpress is one of the biggest and most popular dropshipping suppliers, it’s characterized by a lot of advantages. On that note, some of AliExpress’ most relevant advantages for dropshipping are:
- 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 we won’t find on domestic supplier sites. As a result, we can sell any product for a low and competitive price while enjoying a higher profit margin.
Additionally, because AliExpress ships globally, we’ll be able to sell to almost any market and build a global presence ourselves. Moreover, each order also comes with tracking information so we can keep your customers updated at all times.
Finally, AliExpress is a dropshipping-friendly supplier. If anything goes wrong, we are protected by extensive buyer protections. Plus, the platform showcases the latest product trends in the AliExpress Dropshipping Center, making it easy for us to find best-sellers.
Cons Of AliExpress Dropshipping
Conversely, as a Chinese supplier, AliExpress does come with some disadvantages worth noting. The cons of dropshipping from AliExpress, include:
- 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. This is because the orders are being shipped from China and it takes longer for them to arrive to our customers.
Additionally, we can’t bundle orders into one shipment. Each AliExpress item ships separately, adding to your shipping costs. Plus, not all orders will be shipped or arrive at the same time. Furthermore, since most of the sellers are Chinese, there is a language barrier, making communication more challenging.
To counter these issues, always check a seller’s ratings and the types of shipping they offer before listing a product. It’s also a good idea to go through the reviews and see what other customers are saying.
Is AliExpress Dropshipping Still Profitable In 2024?
Not only is dropshipping from AliExpress profitable in 2024, but it will also become more lucrative in the future. As a matter of fact, the value of the dropshipping market size was forecast to grow to 476.1 billion U.S. dollars by 2026. And, with eCommerce continuously on the rise, the potential from dropshipping does not show any signs of slowing down.
On the other hand, remember that dropshipping, like any business, requires us to put in the work. Our success will depend on making good decisions. For example, you must conduct solid product research to get a high sales volume.
Plus, the dropshipping business model is low-risk and high-reward, opening the door for us to make a hefty profit with minimal investment. With that said, it’s obvious why the dropshipping market will see continuous growth.
How Long Does Shipping Take From AliExpress?
AliExpress is known for having slightly longer shipping times. But these shipping times depend on two main factors:
- What warehouse do we choose to source products from
- The shipping method selected for the order
Since the majority of AliExpress sellers are from China, most shipments come from China. Therefore, we 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. Oftentimes AliExpress offers better shipping times for a higher cost.
Additionally, AliExpress does offer some international warehouses, including US warehouses. As such, we can cut shipping times for available products and appeal more to buyers by selecting a different warehouse.
AliExpress Shipping Methods
As for shipping methods, AliExpress offers plenty of shipping options. Choosing the right one is critical since time and money are a factor. Additionally, you need to provide tracking information.
This is important since it allows buyers to track their shipment progress. Additionally, it helps us avoid ‘item not received’ cases since we have proof of delivery.
There are multiple delivery types, both with and without tracking. So, be sure to choose one that does provide tracking.
The main AliExpress shipping methods that provide tracking are:
- AliExpress Standard Shipping – This is one of the cheapest shipping options offered. You can expect to pay between $1 to $3, although it is often free. Shipping takes approximately 8-15 days. In many cases, you can find suppliers that will do standard shipping and tracking for free.
- AliExpress Premium Shipping – Premium shipments are typically at a higher cost depending on the package size and destination. All Premium shipments get delivered by private companies such as UPS, EMS, DHL, or AliExpress itself with its AliExpress Premium Shipping.
- AliExpress Saver Shipping – The average shipping duration with saver shipping is 30 days but in most cases arrives before the estimated date.
- Cainiao Standard for Special Goods – AliExpress’ Cainiao standard requires separate payment and is a good choice for costlier orders. Shipping takes between 30 to 50 business days.
- China Post Air Parcel – Although not the most popular method, China Post Air Parcel is still a certified shipping option. However, the shipping time is rather long as it normally takes 52 days for products to be delivered with this method.
- Turkey Post – If our main customers are in Europe, then Turkey Post is an excellent option for shipping. With tracking updates, product deliveries typically take 7-30 days when using this carrier.
- FedEx– As this is a well-known shipping carrier, we can guarantee our customers accurate tracking updates. However, as FedEx is a private courier, they can be more expensive in comparison to other options. Nonetheless, the shipping time with FedEx is approximately 24 days.
- DHL– Similar to FedEx, DHL is a private courier company that can cost us more than other carriers. The shipping time with DHL is around 21 days.
It’s important to mention that each shipping method’s time differs according to the shipping company, package size, and final destination. But don’t worry; you can see the total shipping time when selecting one of the options.
Moreover, we can filter products by warehouse locations to score faster shipping times at lower costs. With this in mind, it’s crucial to choose a warehouse in the same location as our target audience to ensure quick delivery and, thus, customer satisfaction.
Will Buyers Know That Their Items Are Coming From AliExpress?
In general, if a buyer wants to know where a package came from, it’s easy to find out. However, if the item received matches what they saw in your store, most customers won’t care about its source. Still, some dropshippers want to build their store’s brand and keep the source anonymous.
In this case, if possible, we need to avoid the ‘AliExpress Standard Shipping’ since, as the cheapest or free option, it doesn’t give us the chance to hide the source. Instead, we can select another shipping option that allows us to conceal the source of the product. But it’s important to choose a method that provides tracking information for both our protection and our customers’ convenience.
On top of that, we can often message and ask the seller to remove any identifying information about the package’s source. That way, we don’t have to show that the package is coming from AliExpress.
And, in the best-case scenario, we might even find sellers that offer white-label products. In fact, there are some white-label products on AliExpress, but they are much more limited. This allows us to brand our package with our store info and logo and build brand recognition.
Does AliExpress Offer Worldwide Global Shipping?
Worldwide shipping is what makes AliExpress a great dropshipping supplier. As such, it allows us to target a broader market and boost sales. However, not every item ships to every location.
If we want to see which products ship to specific locations, we just need to adjust the location setting on AliExpress. To do so, we just need to click on the language tab at the top and choose a ‘ship to’ location from the drop-down menu. Alternatively, we can check individual products for shipping options on product pages.
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.
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 testing random products to see what works. 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 using AliExpress?
There are several ways to find potential best-sellers. To get you started, there are two excellent sections on AliExpress where you can begin your search:
- Top Ranking – The ‘Top Ranking’ page displays best-selling items from every product category. Use it to find new trending products for your store easily.
- Flash Deal – The AliExpress Flash Deal is a discount page full of hot proven products. Search here to spot trendy products with high ratings at a lower cost and increase your profit margins.
Notably, there are a few factors that can help us determine winning products:
- High demand
- Low competition
- Positive reviews
To conduct quality product research, there are a few additional methods we can take advantage of:
- AliExpress Dropship Center
- AutoDS Winning Products Hub
- AutoDS Product-Finding Blog & YouTube Channel
- Google Trends & Google Lens
AliExpress Dropship Center
The AliExpress Dropshipping Center is a powerful tool with the ability to find top-selling products. It contains excellent tools to help us spot hot trends, search for products, and analyze a product’s performance in the market in real-time. To find best-sellers, this tool looks at various factors like price range, category, and popularity.
AutoDS Winning Products Hub
Product research is very time-consuming, but we can automate our product research process with AutoDS’ Winning Products Hub. The AutoDS Winning Products Hub gives us the hottest, best-selling items in no time.
In fact, by going on the AutoDS Winning Products Hub dashboard, we can easily find popular items that are selling well, along with detailed analytics.
AutoDS Product-Finding Blog & YouTube Channel
Furthermore, an easy and convenient way to find winning products is with AutoDS’ blog and YouTube best-sellers playlist. From this content, we can get access to exclusive product suggestions, enabling us to scale our eCommerce dropshipping venture.
Google Trends & Google Lens
Google Trends allows dropshippers to analyze search data for a specific keyword over a particular period. As such, this information can help us determine a product’s or niche’s popularity and identify any seasonal or long-term trends.
Google Lens, on the other hand, is a visual search tool that can help dropshippers identify products and their suppliers. To explain, with Google Lens, we scan an image of a product, and the tool will provide information on the product’s name, manufacturer, and supplier.
2. Choose Your Selling Channel
To elaborate, selling channels are places where we can market and sell our AliExpress products. However, we need to consider the differences between a marketplace and a customizable eCommerce website.
We can utilize a customizable website if we want better brand development. Plus, this way, our customers will focus solely on our products without being pulled to someone else’s listing.
On the other hand, when using a marketplace, we have a lot of direct competition. But, marketplaces have a ton of organic traffic and a huge existing customer base that we can leverage.
With all that being said, the top selling channels are:
- Shopify, Wix or WooCommerce
- Facebook Marketplace & Facebook Shops
If we’re looking for a fully customizable store with relatively low selling fees, Shopify, Wix, or WooCommerce are all great choices. They give us complete control over our store, from design features to the types of products we sell. Furthermore, they don’t limit the number of products we sell at any given time. However, be prepared to invest time and money into marketing since they don’t have organic traffic.
Conversely, eBay is an established marketplace with plenty of existing organic traffic and a huge existing customer base. Marketing here will be the least of our concerns. Nonetheless, compared with other marketplaces, eBay has relatively high selling fees and limits the number of products we can sell.
Facebook Marketplace & Shops gives us the best of both worlds: low selling fees and plenty of free organic traffic. Notably, they charge a mere $0.40 or %5 per sale (whichever is higher). Additionally, as a relatively new selling channel to the dropshipping scene, there’s little competition from other sellers. As a result, we can earn and scale fast.
3. Automate Your Dropshipping Business
One of the best aspects of dropshipping is that we can automate our tasks! As such, dropshipping automation allows us to automate the entire dropshipping process. As a result, we save a bunch of time and effort while reducing errors in any of the steps. Plus, by automating our dropshipping processes, we can optimize our business and boost profits.
With this in mind, the best all-in-one automation tool to use is AutoDS. AutoDS has a myriad of tools that allow us to scale and grow our dropshipping business:
- Price/Stock Monitoring
- Product Importer
- Price Optimization
- Complete Order Fulfillment
- Easy Inventory Management
- Automatic Tracking Updates
4. Import AliExpress Products To Your Dropshipping Store
There are two ways to import AliExpress products into our online store – manually and automatically. By manually importing our products, we have to individually copy/paste the product’s information from the supplier’s website. Then, we have to transfer the details one by one to our selling channel, which takes up a lot of our time.
In contrast, with automation tools like the AutoDS product importer, we can easily import products from AliExpress with just a click of a button. It allows us to import single items in bulk or even schedule a product import for a future date.
We can source item IDs or URLs and import them one by one. Or, grab full product pages in bulk using the AutoDS Helper item grabber extension.
To demonstrate, first, we need to click the “Add Products” button on the AutoDS platform in the upper left corner. In this case, from the drop-down menu, we’ll select the “Single Product” option.
Then, we just need to add our product URL and save it as a draft or directly import it to our store. We also have the option to make edits to the listing with the ‘Edit Now’ option.
If we choose to edit our product listings before publishing them to our store, it will take us to the editing page. Here we can edit the product title, shipping methods, and tags.
Additionally, we also have the option to edit the description, variants, images, and item specifications. This gives us the chance to optimize our listing and increase the chance of making more sales.
All in all, AutoDS makes the product import process much faster and easier.
5. Fulfill Your Orders With AliExpress
To ensure customer satisfaction, we must fulfill orders immediately. So, to fulfill orders on AliExpress manually, we start by getting all the shipping information from the order details page. However, we have to manually copy/paste every piece of shipping info to our AliExpress supplier, which enables us to make errors.
Undeniably, the sales will start pouring in. If we fulfill orders manually, we risk having errors and delays. As a solution, we can automate our order fulfillment process, save time and effort, and avoid making errors. With a tool like AutoDS Automatic Orders, the system can fulfill the orders for us using our buyer accounts.
Alternatively, when using Fulfilled By AutoDS, we need to load a balance to fulfill our orders. This tool uses an AutoDS buyer account with our suppliers rather than our personal one. So, there is no more worrying about getting any account locked.
6. Provide Excellent Customer Service And Returns
Undoubtedly, providing our customers with exceptional customer service is vital for our success. This is because it helps us differentiate ourselves from the competition and attain customer loyalty. So, customers will be encouraged to return if they have a pleasant experience when purchasing from our store.
To demonstrate, a general way to offer customer service is by providing frequently asked questions. Thus, we can try to help our customers without them even reaching out. Moreover, a more direct approach is through email/messages. To explain, once a customer sends us their query, we can resolve it by sending them an email or message with the answer or solution.
Returns On AliExpress
When dealing with returns for products from AliExpress, here is what you need to know. Although most sellers accept returns, each seller has its policy. To help us out, AliExpress steps in and provides free returns up to 15 days after receiving the product.
As long as the product is in its original packaging, you have up to 15 days to open a free return request for a full refund. Additionally, this covers damaged products or items that are not as described.
In returns past 15 days, the buyer will have to pay for return shipping no matter the reason for the return.
To manage AliExpress returns, use the AliExpress platform to open a dispute. Before doing so, make sure to:
- Get Proof Of Claim – Ask the buyer for proof/evidence for their claim (image or video showing the reason for return)
- Provide A Return Label – Make sure to charge the buyer for the return label
- Execute A Refund – Provide your buyer with a refund and continue to handle the return on AliExpress. This way, you still provide good service and don’t keep your buyer waiting.
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.
All in all, AliExpress is a stellar choice for a dropshipping supplier. It enables us to offer a huge variety of affordable products where we can add a solid markup and remain competitive. Plus, they’re there for us every step of the dropshipping journey, making it easier for us to attract customers and boost sales. It’s hard to come by trustworthy and reliable suppliers, and AliExpress is a great dropshipping partner.
Plus, to help us in our dropshipping journey, these articles provide valuable insight and are worth checking out: