How to Do Dropshipping with AliExpress?
Discover how to do dropshipping with AliExpress the right way and effectively, using this definitive guide to dropshipping with AliExpress as dropshipping is an excellent way to start an ecommerce business without worrying about inventory or shipping.
It’s as simple as listing a product for sale on your website and sending an email to your supplier to ship the item on your behalf whenever you get an order.
While starting a dropshipping business is a great way to start an ecommerce business, digging deep through the internet to find a reliable supplier can be tough. However, with Oberlo, you can find millions of products that you can dropship like products from AliExpress.
What is AliExpress?
AliExpress is a gigantic marketplace with a wide selection of products. Because most of the AliExpress sellers are overseas manufacturers, their prices are very competitive. Within AliExpress, you’ll find products ranging from women’s clothing and jewelry, to electronics and home decor. It’s a great place to source products if you want to sell stuff online.
What is AliExpress Dropshipping?
AliExpress makes it easy to find products to sell on your store without having to worry about inventory or shipping. Add the products you’d like to sell from AliExpress onto your store, set a price with a markup, and whenever you receive an order, you pay for that product at wholesale cost and the AliExpress seller ships the orders directly to your customer.
Why AliExpress for Dropshipping?
While AliExpress may position itself as an online retailer, most sellers on AliExpress understand that a large number of their customers are resellers and are much more interested in dropshipping.
Dropshipping with AliExpress is also comparatively easy. There’s no upfront cost or fee, so you can test out products without a significant financial commitment. You can start dropshipping today, for free, by using Oberlo to find and add AliExpress products to your store in only a few clicks.
How to Do AliExpress Dropshipping
Many sellers on AliExpress have existing product photos you can use on your store, and basic product descriptions are provided as well. However, when selling a commodity product don’t forget the importance of differentiated through positioning and how you polish the small details—it’s usually worth your time to invest in better photos and handwritten product descriptions.
Lastly, dropshipping using AliExpress is as simple as ordering the product on AliExpress after getting an order and inputting the customer’s address.
Below, we’ll share in more detail what to look for in a product and seller and how to position yourself for success, but truthfully it’s not any more complicated than what I described above. Dropshipping through AliExpress is a great way to get started selling online once you have everything setup.
Why would someone buy from your store if they can buy the same products on AliExpress?
With an AliExpress dropshipping business, your competitive advantage won’t be your price or unique proprietary products. Your competitive advantage will be reaching and serving your customers faster and better than your current competition—in other words, marketing, operations, and support are how you win.
Good marketing alone is a competitive advantage. Marketing is how you help customers find, evaluate, and buy your product; it’s meant to improve a customer’s experience with your store in addition to driving revenue. Marketing is also the umbrella of activities you do in pursuit of building a brand, like selecting the right domain name to creating content that’s helpful and entertaining.
Last but certainly not least is your customer support—a key differentiator, especially if your current competition provides lackluster service, or has a frustrating shopping experience. You can significantly improve your level of service by quickly answering customer questions and making it a priority to help them fully solve any issues they run into when buying from your store.
How to Set up Your AliExpress Dropshipping Store?
Now that we understand how AliExpress can help you source products as a dropshipper, and why it’s important to correctly position your store, let’s move on to getting your store set up.
How to Choose which Dropshipping Products to Sell?
The first part of setting up your store is selecting a niche, or the selection of dropshipping products you’re going to sell. If you don’t know where to start, start with the product categories AliExpress has and begin listing options based on what interests you the most or what you’d feel the most confident selling.
What are AliExpress Categories?
Once you have a distinct niche in mind, it’s time to start choosing a few products you want to resell on your store. In this example, I chose running shoes as my store niche.
As with many categories on AliExpress, there’s a huge selection of products to choose from. It can be overwhelming, and may lead to headaches if you don’t select a quality product from a reliable supplier.
While it isn’t perfect, I’ve developed a list of criteria for choosing a product. There’s no science to it, but so far it’s helped me select reliable sellers. Here are a few things I look for when selecting a product on AliExpress to dropship:
No brands, fakes, knockoffs. I skip products with any existing branding to avoid accidentally reselling fakes and knockoffs. Since you won’t be a licensed reseller unless you work out a legal partnership with the brand in question, the risk of selling a product with anyone else’s logo on it is not worth it, even if the product is legitimate. Yes, this may ultimately limit your choices, but it will also save you a lot of trouble, so stick to product categories where a recognizable logo doesn’t matter so much, such as with electronic accessories or clothing.
ePacket delivery with free shipping. Wherever possible, I focus reselling products that offer free ePacket shipping. Because a majority of products on AliExpress come from China or Hong Kong, ePacket delivery is not only the most economical, but one of the quickest options to ship small goods to the United States.
It’s important to mention that even if a seller offers ePacket shipping but it’s not free, I’d rather choose a seller that offers it over a seller that doesn’t. It’s simply the most cost-effective and reliable shipping option currently available to get products from China to the Americas and Europe.
Over 300 orders. A product with a lot of orders tells me a few things. First, that there’s demand for the product. Second, it tells me the supplier is more reliable than average, as that volume of orders means it’s likely that at least a few are repeat purchases. Sometimes when looking for a new product, I’ll start by sorting products by the most orders.
How to Search for the Best Products on AliExpress?
Over 4.5 stars rating. I also like to ensure the products I plan to resell have a high product rating (over 4.5 stars), and that the seller has mostly positive feedback as well. Just to get a second opinion on sellers on products, I use a Chrome extension called AliExpress Seller Check.
Using a third-party tool, I’m able to get an at-a-glance overview of a seller that’s more candid and unbiased. I’ve found this to be much more reliable than simply using AliExpress’ rating system.
Low price with a high margin potential. Depending on the product I want to resell, I like to stick with purchasing products within a $1-$20 price range. This gives me more wiggle room around spending marketing dollars to acquire a customer, as these products can be priced at $20-$50 or more. For example, I can find running shoes on AliExpress for around $20 and sell them for $50, which leaves me with a 60% profit margin before accounting for my marketing costs.
Lots of great, unbranded, product photos. Do your due diligence to ensure the photos are actually from your manufacturer and not taken from another retailer online. Doing a quick Google image search will help you see if the product photos are of a real brand and retailer or from the manufacturer themselves.
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