Jun 4, 2022 12:35:00 PM | Insights Shoplazza | Ultimate AliExpress Dropshipping Guide 2021

Learn what you need to know before dropshipping on AliExpress and how to determine the Best-Selling products.

During the pandemic, we have witnessed a surge of Shoplazza account subscriptions, massive traffic towards Shoplazza built-in extension specifically designed for dropshipping – SKUowner, more existing merchants came to us and inquired about how to sell on hybrid by selling inventory with dropshipping items.

AliExpress dropshipping is the next generation business model for most success-longing eCommerce entrepreneurs, and the proven reasons for that include:

  • It is easy to start
  • Requires minimal investment
  • A source to earn quick money

The irony is all these statements above are true. Yes, AliExpress dropshipping is profitable, easy to start, and not dead yet. Many people have raised this concern about starting dropshipping with Aliexpress due to the ongoing US-China trade war.  But, so far, it has not affected the dropshipping model.

Table of content:

  • Reasons to dropship on AliExpress
  • What you need to know before dropshipping on AliExpress
  • How to determine the Best-Selling products
  • How to determine the best supplier on AliExpress
  • Import customer reviews from AliExpress to Shoplazza Stores
  • FAQs

What is Dropshipping? Before we dive any deeper, let’s do some recaps for dropshipping and AliExpress newbies who have fewer ideas what is dropshipping or AliExpress.

Dropshipping is an online business model, it allows the online merchants to only display the products and relevant supporting information (product feeds) on their own platforms (online stores, marketplaces) while not keeping any physical inventory.

When an online shopper places an order at merchant’s online store, the merchant directs that order to the end-supplier along with the shopper’s purchasing details. In following, the supplier will fulfill the order, meaning that supplier will complete the packaging, shipping out to the shopper.

What Is Dropshipping | How Does Drop Shipping Work? (2021)

What is AliExpress

AliExpress is an global eCommerce marketplace where the majority of China-based suppliers and manufacturers list their products from almost every product category to the global buyers. When we tell you almost every category, it means literally every product niche. You will find millions of products from an expanding product pool.

Since AliExpress is based on Chinese manufacturing capacity and its integrated supply chain, the products listed on AliExpress are at a significantly lower cost comparing to any other platforms. In China, people often use “factory price” describe the price for anyone who buys in volume or the product at a significantly cheaper price. The manufacturer only adds on a slight margin on the cost of product.

The competitive purchasing price derives from the incredible manufacturing power in China. That is why many of the dropshipping apps constructing their system over AliExpress. Without a proper profit margin, it will be extremely hard for any dropshippers to reach their threshold by covering all possible costs and expenses.

How to Start Dropshipping with AliExpress? - Mailmunch

What is AliExpress Dropshipping

You, as merchant, who opt the suppliers from AliExpress to package and ship out your sold dropshipping product, meanwhile both of you and AliExpress will abide the aftersales rules set by AliExpress to ensure a safe and satisfactory shopping experience from you and AliExpress platform.

Some pros and cons

Here, I list some pros and cons to ensure your better comprehension regarding the benefits and drawbacks of this business model before you jump into it.

Pros:

  • Simple, fast to start and set up.
  • No need of requiring heavy investments on system, on fulfillment and especially on inventory where merchants usually spend the most on.
  • Easy and quick to scale.
  • Low risks, because with minimum capital requirement and investment.
  • No inventory or stock required.
  • No warehouse, shipment, or delivery management, simply to track.

Cons:

  • It takes time to determine and research on products, suppliers regarding credibility.
  • Unforeseeable shipping delays and complexities.
  • Supplier stock issues, particularly on sizes, colors.
  • Profit-margin requires careful design and consistent customer support which you as merchant need to set up.

Why people still dropship on AliExpress

AliExpress is the biggest B2C product sourcing platform that offers competitive product price, several options of express shipping and aftersales guarantees. Common dropshipping apps like Oberlo or DSer, they all connect and base their product recommendations and ordering system on AliExpress.

For AliExpress, it is free to sign up, and the suppliers are very agile to corporate and usually offering very customizable services.

Many people have the stereotypical impressions or misconceptions that if Chinese suppliers may have language barriers to comprehend and deliver the demands of the products. It is totally wrong; we never hear a single case about complaints on linguistic communications. Almost every supplier offers English communications, some even offer French, Spanish, German, Japanese etc., depending on their destination market.  AliExpress is made to serve the international market, it is not serving any product in China. In China, people use TaoBao, TMall.

What you need to know before dropship on AliExpress

Sell through your online store from SaaS Shopping Cart platform like Shoplazza

Before landing on AliExpress and starting conversing with the suppliers, you will definitely need to set up an online store to execute following key functions in order to complete an order and receive your hard-labor proceedings.

  • Display products feeds which you crawl or sync from AliExpress, Amazon or eBay.
  • Setting up your selling price which satisfy your profit margin targets.
  • Setting up payment process to allow shoppers to purchase in their favorable ways.
  • Offering flexible payment options to allow shoppers to purchase greater value items with ease.
  • Offering customer supports and aftersales services.

I personally highly recommend Shoplazza, as it provides most of the tools with no charge or any subscriptions to support and optimize AliExpress dropshipping functions, such as through SKUowner. (Click to read article, Quick guide on dropshipping by SKUowner from SHOPLAZZA.)

Through SKUowner, you can fast sync any product feeds from AliExpress and Amazon, then display them in your store.

What is SKUowner?

Shoplazza-exclusive built-in plugin, SKUowner, helps you to one-click import product feeds from AliExpress directly to your online store, and it will automate the order process by sending the order that you receive from your online store directly to the designated supplier on AliExpress. You can download and use it with no any charge from Shoplazza AppStore. It helps you release the expensive routine expense and easier to achieve your threshold point.

SKUowner automates the functions to import products to your store, therefore, you won’t have to add products manually. It also syncs your store with AliExpress, so if there are any changes on price or inventory, you as merchant will get notified instantly.

When you receive an order from your store, simply you just need to inform your AliExpress supplier with customer information to prepare and ship out the product.

ePacket Delivery

EPacket service is a result of an agreement between the Chinese and Hong Kong governments with US postal serving to make the delivery faster within 7-15 days with shipping cost almost equal to none.  The products (mostly) are coming from China, so ePacket shipment is the quickest and cheapest way to deliver goods worldwide, especially to the United States market.  The cherry on top is that ePacket allows product tracking on EMS (Express mail service) and USPS (US postal service) via 13-digit tracking number on the parcel.

To get ePacket deliver, download Wechat first

Well, not a significant requirement, but you would need a WeChat to converse with your Chinese suppliers. Once you break-the-ice on the chatting option on Aliexpress, the suppliers would demand you come to WeChat to resume the conversation. As you probably know, Facebook messenger and WhatsApp do not work in China. (Click here to read full guide on ePacket delivery from Shoplazza blog.)

 

If you purchase by volume, get some cash reserve

Aliexpress is completely free to use; however, you need to pay the suppliers right away once they release the products, if you do purchase by large volume. You will receive full payment from the customer, but PayPal or other payment options take some time to clear the payment. So, you will need some cash in hand to pay the supplier on time in order to ensure the shipping speed from the supplier.

How to find best-selling product on AliExpress

Before starting on anything, you need to select a profitable niche. Only after figuring out your niche, then you may proceed to browse, search and finalize your hot trending items to sell in your online store.

To figure out best-selling products, here may be a simple remedy for you to consider. Here, I will introduce few places where you can look into in order to find reference on best-selling products proven by the global demographical data.

Source 1. Go to Amazon best seller

Amazon is one of the largest ecommerce marketplaces, if some product is the bestseller in this market, then there are favorable chances that it would be trending worldwide.

Let’s take a simple example; let’s say, if I sell t-shirts and hoodies. Here I am looking for a unique and trendy product to sell in my niche. I simply went to Amazon Best Seller categories -> Clothing & Shoes. Then you can sort out the items by volume, by ratings etc.

Source 2. Google Trends.

I have to be double sure about how many people are looking for this item. For that, Google trends are the best option I have there. This item is killing it right now, showing the best trends in the last five years. In just two steps, I found the product that could become the bestseller product of my store.  Now, the only requirement left is to find a suitable supplier on Aliexpress to dropship this product. 

How to Select the Best Supplier on Aliexpress

Once you know what product you want to import in your store, it is time to select which supplier deserves to become your associates.

It is not very hard to validate a supplier. Aliexpress mentioned the last six months’ performance of a supplier so you can quickly check the authenticity of a supplier by reviewing their performance summary.

Step 1: Go to Aliexpress and Find Your Product

To find my product, I went to the categories of Men’s clothing, and as hoodies are already in trend, it showed me hoodies on top.

Step 2: Visit the Supplier’s Store

Before finalizing any supplier, always visit their store to check how much variety they have for a single product line.

Step 3 Positive Feedback (90% or higher)

This step is the most vital part of validating a supplier. You can get the feedback summary report. To get the summary, go to the top of the store page and click feedback.

The feedback is good, 97%. However, the communication rating lower than other sellers, and that could change my perspective about this supplier. Communication is crucial for me. So, I would rather check other suppliers then decide after evaluation. That’s how you need to evaluate an Aliexpress supplier.

Import customer reviews from AliExpress to Shoplazza

Importing reviews from AliExpress to your Shopify store is very easy. All you need is one of the free built-in plugin available from  SHOPLAZZA AppStore. For this example, we are using Ali Reviews apps to easily import products reviews from AliExpress to our Shoplazza store.

Simply go to AppStore from back console dashboard.

Scroll down find Review Crawler. Click to enter the app page and follow the instructions to install.

It is that simple to not just sync product feeds, also customer reviews with free and featured Shoplazza built-in extensions.

Aliexpress Dropshipping FAQs 

Q: Is AliExpress Standard Shipping better?

AliExpress standard shipping is an often free method of shipping that delivers all around the world. Even though ePacket is considered the best shipping option usually, but when ePacket delivery is unavailable, then AliExpress standard shipping is the next best choice.
Here are more details on AliExpress shipping.

Q: How to deal with AliExpress returns?

If you want to return an item on AliExpress due to any reason, then here’s a simple way of opening a dispute on AliExpress.

  • From your AliExpress account, click “My Orders”
  • Click Open Dispute in front of the order you want to dispute
  • Add your refund request and submit the dispute

Q: Are there any Aliexpress alternative suppliers in the US?

There are a number of alternatives out there. Even if you are only interested in dropshipping suppliers for US then there are tons of them.
Check out dropshipping suppliers like Dropship Direct, Ah Goo Baby, Amzer, Cost Tag, Dropshippers, and Kole Imports. 

Q: Can the customer see the actual price of the item when they track AliExpress order?

Just provide your customers with the tracking code, and they won’t be able to see the actual price of the item. Tracking details through third-party apps like 17Track, etc. only show the status of the order and do not reveal any prices at all.

Q: How to find Diamond suppliers on AliExpress?

Back in the day, top suppliers on AliExpress had a Diamond rating that meant they were one of the highest-rated suppliers. However, AliExpress got rid of this rating system. Now, all the suppliers have badges on their profile that show the quality of a supplier. The supplier with the most badges on their profile is the top-rated suppliers.

Q: Does epacket ship Worldwide?

Yes, ePacket ships worldwide as long as it’s available. However, some suppliers use AliExpress standard shipping instead of ePacket which also delivers worldwide.

Q: What products on Aliexpress can I dropship with 300-400% profit margins?

There are numerous products that you can sell for a high profit margin; these include, but not limited to Shapewear, Jewelry, and mobile phone covers. It all depends on your target audience and the market where you are selling.

Q: Is it safe to use debit/credit card on AliExpress?

Yes, it is completely safe to use your credit/debit cards on AliExpress. AliExpress is an international website owned by the reputable Alibaba group, so their online security is up to date.

Q: How does payment occur with AliExpress?

Currently, AliExpress supports the following payment methods on their platform: Boleto, Visa debit/credit, MasterCard, QIWI, Western Union, WebMoney, Maestro debit card, and bank transfer.

At last. 

That’s all for today, we covered enough topics about AliExpress and dropshipping. Nonetheless, you will always run into some new unforeseen issues, it happens to everyone of us. In that case, don’t panic, contact SHOPLAZZA merchant success team, let us work out the solution together.

 

Signup today to get 15% discount!

Written By: Luk.Chan

Read articles written by Luk.Chan and learn the essentials about developing eCommerce businesses on Shoplazza.