AliExpress and dropshipping are a common combination suggested by many entrepreneurs. If you’ve seen them recommended, then you’re likely wondering if it’s a good idea (legitimate and profitable) to use it for sourcing products.
I’ve owned and run several dropshipping ventures myself, and I’ve also used AliExpress when doing so. Let me give you my insight into this topic.
First, let’s answer your question: it’s definitely not a bad idea.
You can source your products from this marketplace without too many risks and see successful deliveries for your customers. The only risk associated with using AliExpress is falling for bad suppliers, but this is easier to avoid with AliExpress than with other methods. You can access insight about the different sellers and their reputation before making a choice.
Since it’s the foundation of dropshipping, having a good source for products is a primary requirement. You can’t take it lightly, so you always want to research your suppliers and where you’re getting them before taking action.
As I said, I have plenty of experience with AliExpress, so let’s dive into what it is and how you can benefit from it.
AliExpress: what is it?
AliExpress is basically Amazon but from China. It’s an internet marketplace listing millions of products from thousands of suppliers to customers all over the world. It’s even more popular than Amazon in Russia, being the #1 eCommerce site there.
AliExpress provides users with great prices thanks to China’s economy and exchange rates. This doesn’t just mean people can save money there; it also means it’s an amazing opportunity for businesses looking for products.
Besides, AliExpress has lots of reliable payment solutions as well as protection for its users.
You can use different debit and credit cards. If you don’t like to use your own information, you can also use prepaid virtual cards on the platform; you can buy them from AliExpress as well. You never need to give out information you’re not comfortable providing.
You also have access to countless products spread in many categories. You have clothing, electronics, health and beauty, toys, etc. You don’t need to worry about not finding a niche and products within it in this website. AliExpress even shows you best-selling products through different pages, like featured brands and top selections.
AliExpress belongs to Alibaba, and it’s designed for smaller orders. Whereas you always have to purchase in bulks from Alibaba, you can buy individual items from AliExpress.
You simply pay for your product, choose how you want your shipment, and wait for it to reach your location. You have different options for shipping as well, so it’s a great solution for dropshippers.
How do you implement AliExpress to your dropshipping?
The catalog in AliExpress is made up by products from individual suppliers and manufacturers. In that regard, it’s more similar to eBay; you work directly with each business instead of AliExpress.
Since dropshippers don’t produce or keep any products in an inventory, it’s important to find a reputable suppliers that can process your orders accordingly. You also want cheaper prices that give you more flexibility in how much you charge for (and profit from) them.
Dropshipping is great because of that: you don’t have to invest money in products other than when someone orders from you. Even then, you’re basically buying with your customers’ money. You only need to ensure the products and those handling them are reliable.
AliExpress is great for that purpose. It offers cheap products from reputable suppliers while still offering protection to its users. That’s why it’s such a popular platform.
So, how do you use AliExpress for sourcing products into your dropshipping store? Well, we can deconstruct the process into easy-to-understand steps.
First, you build your eCommerce store. Then, you want to find products that you can focus within a niche; this makes it easier to find a good audience to target. After you’ve determined that, go to AliExpress and search your products.
When you’re looking at the results, make sure to check every offer and its supplier. You want to verify they have a solid reputation with positive feedback from previous customers.
Once you’ve found a good supplier, you need to contact them. In this step, you can negotiate your rates and discuss anything relevant like your expectations and how long deliveries take. You should also consider buying a sample of their product so that you can check its quality.
Your supplier should give you all the information you need about the product. Use this information to build the pages for your products. If you ordered a sample, you should add photos of your own to complement your supplier’s images.
Then, you want to acquire customers. You need to advertise your products through different marketing platforms, and these can be either paid or free. With every sale, your customer must give you their relevant information along with the payment, especially their address.
You then go to AliExpress and order the product yourself. Don’t ask for invoices on your package since you’re keeping the product yourself. When ordering, use the same information provided by your customer; this is how your supplier will ship the product to your client.
You then do the same for every order you receive.
You don’t have to take each step in the same order, and you can even include additional ones. I’m just giving you the basic flow of the model.
Delivery varies greatly depending on your customers’ locations, but it’s usually between 1 or 2 weeks. You should always be transparent about your shipping times and offer tracking options (where available) to make your customers feel more comfortable.
If you don’t take your time to research and end up working with a bad supplier, or any accident happens, your product might not reach your customer.
In this case, the first step is to reach out to your customer and confirm they:
- Wrote the address correctly.
- Can’t find the product anywhere in their area or their surroundings.
If the problem persists, then you must contact your supplier. Check whether or not the package was actually sent and ask for the package’s tracking information. This is what you need to identify the issue together with your service provider.
As a side note, you should give this information to your customer as well so that they can also check on their own.
If the problem still isn’t solved or you’re getting suspicious about your supplier, then contact the AliExpress support. They’ll be glad to help.
You always need to check both sides since some customers will claim they never god their products just to get a refund or an extra one for free. There are also poor suppliers, and you might accidentally work with one if you didn’t check their profiles.
However, any business has risks, and dropshipping isn’t the exception. If you market your products properly and work with verified suppliers, you should have more than enough money to cover for these rare cases.
Can you make money with AliExpress?
AliExpress is a legitimate way to source products when dropshipping, but whether or not you can make money from it depends entirely on you.
Even with dropshipping being one of the most profitable business models right now, you simply won’t make any money without a solid grasp on all the steps you need to take.
If you want to ensure you profit from dropshipping, then I’ll recommend you grab eCom Elites, a course by Franklin Hatchett. It’s only $197 for the standard license, and it’ll teach you all the knowledge necessary to become a successful dropshipper for yourself: from building your store and sourcing products to marketing and building on your success as you start making money.
AliExpress is one of the most popular platforms for dropshippers looking for products. It offers supplier reviews, safe payment methods, and customer protection, so you don’t have to worry about falling for a scam as long as you’re responsible and research your suppliers to choose the right one.