If you’ve been thinking about starting a dropshipping business, you’ve come to the right place. Whether you’re just starting out with your ecommerce business or you’re a seasoned veteran looking to switch up your business model, we’ve created the ultimate guide to dropshipping businesses using Shopify and AliExpress dropshipping.

If you have any doubts about starting your own dropshipping business with AliExpress, this post will change your mind. Below, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about dropshipping on the world’s most visited ecommerce website.

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What is AliExpress dropshipping?

what is AliExpress?

Established in 2010, AliExpress stands as a popular online marketplace, with more than 100 million products ready for sale. It serves as a reliable sourcing hub for dropshippers, offering affordable items from jewelry and women’s clothing to baby apparel and kids toys

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Because AliExpress is owned by China-based ecommerce company Alibaba, most AliExpress suppliers are overseas manufacturers and wholesalers selling their goods at a lower price.

AliExpress allows you to dropship items to any location in the world. You can directly import product content from AliExpress.com to your store, with millions of diverse items readily available. Plus, AliExpress gives you the freedom to set your prices and markups on the goods you sell.

After selling a product, the simplicity of the process becomes apparent. You purchase the product from an AliExpress supplier who then ships it directly from their warehouse to your customer. There’s no upfront cost or fee to dropship from AliExpress, so you can explore products without any financial commitments.

What are the benefits of dropshipping on AliExpress?

If you’re looking to become an ecommerce entrepreneur, AliExpress dropshipping is one of the easiest methods you can use to start your online business. 

Through AliExpress, you can access a huge variety of different products available on the AliExpress marketplace. Whether it’s fashion, electronics, toys, beauty, or the next trending product, AliExpress simplifies finding products from suppliers worldwide. You can instantly add these items to your own online store using the dropshipping model.

Once you’ve made a sale, your supplier will ship the products from their warehouse straight to your customer’s doorstep—you’ll never need to worry about storing, packaging, or shipping your products. Instead, you can focus on the things that really matter—growing your brand and making sales.

There are several benefits to dropshipping AliExpress products:

  • It doesn’t require much capital to get started. In fact, we wrote an article highlighting the low startup costs of dropshipping and the minimum you’d need to get this business started.
  • You don’t need a physical store. Since we’re talking about ecommerce here, you can run a successful dropshipping business from anywhere in the world. And you don’t have to stock any of the inventory yourself.
  • Everything you might need to learn is available for free online. You can use the vast number of articles, videos, and other educational materials to learn on the go and achieve success.

How to dropship with AliExpress

While we’ve already covered many of the benefits of dropshipping from AliExpress, the process can still be a bit difficult to grasp. So, before we go on, let’s explore how it works, step by step.

How to to use AliExpress for dropshipping:

  1. First, set up your online store using a platform such as Shopify.
  2. Next, use an app like Automizely to import products from the AliExpress Marketplace. Automizely helps you to streamline and sync your imports from AliExpress with your own store by notifying you of any inventory or price changes from your supplier, and it can aid you in sending tracking codes to your customers once their orders have been dispatched.
  3. Finally, when a customer places an order with your store, you’ll then go to your supplier and order that exact same item to be shipped directly to them.
  4. Choose ePacket shipping whenever a China-based supplier offers it. Often, suppliers provide it for free.
  5. Give customers time to report any product or delivery issues. Then, you can address these problems with the supplier through AliExpress.

How to find suppliers for your AliExpress dropshipping store

With AliExpress dropshipping, you can easily lose control over the customer experience, since the product is shipped directly from your supplier’s warehouse to your customer, never crossing your path.

If you’re trying to provide top-notch customer service, which is a must, dropshipping could become a liability. Although AliExpress as a marketplace does its best to weed out unreliable suppliers, we still suggest being very careful when selecting your dropshipping suppliers.

Here are some top tips from our dropshipping guide on how to select the best suppliers:

1. Don’t go for the lowest price

Consider this example of how the AliExpress dropshipping marketplace works:

A supplier called Original Hoodies starts selling a high-quality product labeled “blue hoodie” for $40. Then, another supplier named Competitive Hoodies manufactures the same hoodie, but reduces its price to $15 by adding more polyester in place of cotton.

When a merchant such as yourself searches for a blue hoodie, they see two that look the same, but one is selling for a lower price. In most cases, the merchant will pick the cheaper one. The first supplier, Original Hoodies, becomes unhappy with its sales and also replaces its “blue hoodie” cotton materials with polyester and reduces the price to stay competitive.

While opting for the lowest-priced product might seem like the obvious choice, remember that this kind of competition can cause the quality of marketplace products to go down. Suppliers try to be price competitive, and each product usually has a number of very similar variations, often at artificially reduced prices.

In short, the price on AliExpress.com goes down with the quality. If you’re trying to create a successful ecommerce business, you’ll need to research and compare the prices offered from different suppliers. If a number of sellers have similar prices on the same product, but one supplier has a significantly lower price, this usually indicates that they have compromised on the quality of the product.

AliExpress price strategy

2. Buy from suppliers with 90%+ positive feedback

A way to generally assess an AliExpress dropshipping supplier is through their positive feedback ratings. The rating systems for products and sellers are extremely important to every marketplace. Imagine you’re walking through a flea market and someone shouts out that the guy in the next booth is a scammer. Would you buy from him? Probably not.

The same applies to the virtual AliExpress marketplace. Pay attention to what other merchants say about each supplier, and learn from that feedback. Essentially, look for the highest-rated suppliers in order to identify the most reliable ones.

Find the feedback ratings by visiting a given supplier page on AliExpress.com and clicking on the feedback tab. The scores listed are broken down as follows: Feedback Score indicates the seller’s sales volume, while Positive Feedback represents the feedback rate the supplier has received. When you’re sourcing AliExpress dropshipping products for your store, you should always aim for a supplier with a 90% or higher in positive feedback. Also, don’t forget to look at how long the supplier has been an AliExpress seller and the reviews they’ve received from customers.

aliexpress supplier feedback

3. Be careful with branded products

Most ‘branded’ products on AliExpress are a replica of the original item. This could include items that are questionably similar in design to well-known brands or that include logos resembling those of more established ones. If you notice a copyright infringement or a counterfeit item being sold on AliExpress, you should report it.

However, remember that not all branded products are fake. AliExpress often organizes partnership promotions with brands such as Lenovo as well as others. Just remember to exercise caution, and use your best judgment in order to avoid any dropshipping mistakes. Items featuring names of brands like Nike and Chanel are the type of products to avoid dropshipping.

AliExpress fake brands

4. Pay attention to a supplier’s responsiveness 

To evaluate a supplier’s responsiveness, you can make up an urgent issue and message a supplier about it to see how they respond. Things to take note of include the supplier’s response time and his or her command of English, along with their ability to understand your problem and provide you with clear information. If they just respond with a generic, meaningless message, you can cross that supplier off your list.

After all, chances are good that, at some point, you’ll have a real situation like the one you made up, and you’ll want to know your supplier will handle it correctly. When you’re trying to create a successful ecommerce business with AliExpress dropshipping, your suppliers are essential, so always choose wisely.

AliExpress supplier responsiveness

5. Look for ePacket delivery

When using AliExpress for dropshipping, make sure to evaluate your shipping options. It’s true that this is a common hurdle that most dropshipping ecommerce entrepreneurs must figure out how to deal with. To do so, start by always keeping your eye out for AliExpress dropshipping suppliers that can offer the best delivery options possible for your ecommerce store.

AliExpress Premium Shipping is the best balance between cheapness and speediness. ePacket shipping, also known as AliExpress Premium Shipping, is ideal. With ePacket, most deliveries arrive within 30 days, door to door, and include a tracking code, which your customers can use to check for the location of their order.

AliExpress ePacket 14-days delivery

How to choose the right product to sell

Choosing the right dropshipping products matters greatly when dropshipping with AliExpress. This process starts by generating a large list of potential items. Then, eliminate any that don’t seem promising. What’s left are a few standout products, perfect for advertising. Add more related products to the store to maintain a natural, diverse selection.

Consider these top three resources for discovering product ideas:

1. Your mind

Great product ideas already occupy your mind. Contemplate your hobbies, favored products, and observed trends. Make time to brainstorm and jot down all ideas. Don’t worry about potential bestsellers at this point, just add to your list.

2. Other online stores

For inspiration, explore other stores. Look at their offerings, bestsellers, and featured products. Major online retail sites with loads of data and dedicated product-selection teams offer valuable insights.

3. Social shopping sites

Sites like Pinterest, Fancy, and Wanelo offer untapped potential. They feature millions of unique products. They might not be your first thought for product ideas, but their value is immense as social media becomes increasingly influential. Create an account on each, subscribe to relevant categories and lists, and monitor trending product feeds. Identify popular items and add them to your list.

Filtering AliExpress dropshipping product ideas

When you’re satisfied with the length of your product list, it’s time to refine it down so it only contains the very best ideas.

  • Look for niche products that are not as readily available on mainstream ecommerce sites or in stores. This will help ensure that you create a successful ecommerce business with products that are actually in demand. For instance, even if there is no specific market to pinpoint for selling a regular belt, you can easily draw the conclusion that cycling gear will be of interest among cycling enthusiasts. Choose your dropshipping niche wisely!
  • There are a few different product categories that have grown to large proportions in the past few years. Odds are, a mixture of large scale marketplaces and smaller shops have already seized the opportunity to sell these products. To avoid markets that are already saturated, cross off the following categories from your idea list: jewelry, books, clothing, and electronics. At this stage in the ecommerce game, you’ll need to be hyper specific in order to find a lucrative niche.
  • Let’s talk about product pricing. Based on industry standards, a price between $40 to $60 (with a 200% markup) seems optimal. This range factors in better conversion rates at lower prices and the increased customer support expectations with higher prices.
  • Scan through your product ideas and enter each one, as well as variations on its name, into the Google Keywords Analysis tool. Select “Keyword Ideas” and check how many searches each low competition keyword receives. When doing ecommerce SEO, avoid product categories that have little or no search traffic. The key is striking the right balance between keyword competition and search traffic.
  • Next, go to trends.google.com, search each of your product ideas, and look at the trends. Is the trend increasing or decreasing? Are there any other patterns worth noting? Where are the spikes occurring? Cross out products whose trends are fading, as well as seasonal items.

After crossing off any ideas that don’t prove to be worth testing, you’ll be left with a few potential winners. Now it’s time to open a store and try them out.

What are some of the best AliExpress dropshipping products?

Here is a list of the best dropshipping products to sell on AliExpress

  • Yoga mats
  • Electric toothbrushes
  • Kids’ face masks
  • Portable blenders
  • Acne patches
  • Squat-proof leggings
  • Tracksuit
  • Wine fridges
  • Ceiling fans
  • Soap dish
  • Bedside lamps
  • Pencil cases
  • Gaming monitors
  • Socket wrenches
  • Ergonomic chairs

How to verify product quality with samples

When aiming for a successful AliExpress dropshipping business, verifying product quality becomes essential. While ordering samples is an easy way to do this, it might not be cost effective for every store, especially those dealing with large inventories.

AliExpress samples

The smart move is focusing on products highlighted in advertising campaigns. Let’s say you’ve featured a few items in Facebook or Instagram ads and they received a good response. Those products deserve sample orders. By using this tactic, you can verify the quality of advertised items while building meaningful social proof for your new venture.

Does AliExpress offer refunds and returns?

AliExpress suppliers typically don’t offer returns for orders, which means you need a plan of action and a dedicated dropshipping returns policy. Two of the most common reasons for returns are:

The customer never received their order: In this instance, it’s essential to address this directly with your AliExpress supplier, as repeated instances can harm your business. You might consider choosing a different delivery option to avoid such issues. If it does happen, discuss with your customer whether a refund or return best suits their needs.

The product was damaged in transit: In the unfortunate case where a product gets damaged en route to a customer, it’s advisable to ask for images of the damaged goods and then issue a refund. If you think the packaging was insufficient, speaking with your AliExpress supplier might be necessary.

Start dropshipping with AliExpress successfully

Dropshipping with AliExpress originated from the needs of entrepreneurs and has since grown to facilitate countless ecommerce businesses. If AliExpress dropshipping aligns with your business plan, consider trying out Shopify dropshipping apps. These apps simplify the process of adding products to your store and handling shipping orders.

So what are you waiting for? Start your dropshipping journey with AliExpress and write your own ecommerce success story. An exciting adventure awaits.

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AliExpress dropshipping FAQ

Will customers know products come from AliExpress?

AliExpress packages are usually shipped without promotional materials or invoices. But to be safe, you can ask suppliers not to include these materials. You can also set up custom packaging and use AliExpress premium shipping or ePacket. But keep in mind, packages will have Chinese shipping labels.

Where does AliExpress ship from?

Most AliExpress sellers operate from China and ship items from there. However, AliExpress does not always show the country of origin in the shipment details. In some cases, the shipping carrier can hint at the item’s origin, but this isn’t a definitive indication.

Why would someone buy from me if they can buy the same product from AliExpress cheaper?

Why should you dropship? Because you can do it better! You could be an exceptional marketer, reaching potential customers before others. You also have the potential to build a trustworthy brand that gives customers a sense of security. Furthermore, your customer service can strengthen relationships with your clients.

What is AliExpress Premium Shipping?

AliExpress Premium Shipping is an ePacket delivery option. It typically delivers shipments to the US, Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, and several other thriving economies within 15 to 30 days.

Using ePacket is advisable wherever possible. This shipping option can enhance your ecommerce success and customer satisfaction when dropshipping from AliExpress.