A popular dropshipping FAQ we often hear is, “How can I sell products from AliExpress if shipping takes two or three weeks or longer?” To find out the answer, I decided to run my own investigation and ordered several popular items with various shipping times to my home country: Canada.
The experiment enabled me to learn how fast or slow the shipping times really are for AliExpress products. It also motivated me to write this AliExpress Standard Shipping guide, where I’ll walk you through all of the platform’s shipping methods and their speeds.
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Where does AliExpress ship from?
When it comes to AliExpress shipping, most sellers are based in China. However, non-Chinese seller registration is available on AliExpress. This means you may find retailers who offer to ship items from a local warehouse or store in your home country. To get AliExpress products from your desired location, select the country in the “Ship from” field.
How long does AliExpress take to deliver?
For this case study, we experimented with a mix of AliExpress free shipping and AliExpress Premium Shipping services. Specifically, we tried the following shipping methods:
- AliExpress Standard Shipping
- SunYou Economic Air Mail
And these are the products we ordered:
AliExpress Standard Shipping
AliExpress Standard Shipping is an affordable shipping method. It’s usually one of the cheapest. In some cases, it can be a free shipping option on AliExpress.
The Buddha figurines, one of the products ordered, were delivered via AliExpress Standard Shipping. They arrived in 26 days, which beat the maximum time listed on their product page by four days. In this case, the AliExpress Standard Shipping was changed to ePacket, another shipping method. Cost: Free
The heart necklace was also delivered with AliExpress Standard Shipping. The product arrived in 16 days. The estimated AliExpress delivery time listed per the product page was 15 to 30 days. Cost: $4.05
AliExpress Standard Shipping was the seller’s shipping method for the fake lashes ordered. They were delivered in just 13 days. The estimated AliExpress delivery time was 15 to 30 days, which means it beat the earliest estimate by two days. Cost: $4.63
AliExpress Standard Shipping was the shipping method of choice for the bowtie shoes. They were delivered in 22 days. The AliExpress delivery time range for the product was 15 to 30 days, proving that they were delivered within that range. Cost: Free
EMS is one of the most affordable AliExpress shipping methods and reaches customers faster than traditional shipping methods of the same price range. It’s similar to ePacket shipping, which AliExpress discontinued earlier in 2022. EMS uses airmail to deliver customers’ packages and offers shipment tracking for most deliveries.
EMS was used for the women’s watch. The watch was delivered in 18 days. The AliExpress delivery time listed was estimated at 16 to 28 days. Cost: $4.
The bracelet set was also shipped by ePacket. It was delivered in 15 days. According to the product page, that’s one day earlier than it’s minimum guideline of 16-26 days. Cost: $2.94
The bracelet set was also shipped by EMS. It arrived in 15 days. That’s one day earlier than the expected delivery time of 16 to 26 days. Cost: $2.94
SunYou Economic Air Mail
The calendar keychain was shipped with SunYou Economic Air Mail. It was delivered in 50 days. The estimated range for AliExpress free shipping was between 40 to 70 days. This was one of the slowest delivery times during this study. Cost: Free
FedEx is one of the premium shipping options on AliExpress. Boasting one of the largest fulfillment networks, FedEx offers one of the shortest ecommerce shipping times. Unfortunately, it also has one of the highest costs.
The beads stone bracelet was shipped via FedEx. It had the fastest delivery time of only three days. The estimated delivery time on the website was between 7 and 15 days. Cost: $23.84.
Which AliExpress shipping method is best?
The best shipping method will depend on the purpose of the order. If you’re shipping to yourself to perform a quality check, you might order via FedEex to get your products quickly. However, if you’re shipping to customers, your best options are AliExpress Standard Shipping and EMS, which consistently offer fast shipping. SunYou may be another good alternative, but the estimated delivery times are a bit lengthy.
What packaging do AliExpress products come in?
Despite using various AliExpress shipping companies, all packages came in a similar durable plastic packaging. Of the 11 packages ordered, only one came in a yellow envelope. Reputable shipping companies like FedEx and UPS had their brand name on the packaging. However, smaller shipping methods like ePacket, AliExpress Standard Shipping, and China Post tend to ship in discreet, unbranded packaging.
In all but one package, there were two layers of packaging protection. For fragile products such as figurines, watches, or shoes, bubble wrap or foam was used. The supplier did this to protect the product from damage during shipping. The other products were wrapped in a plastic bag or envelope.
After unwrapping the final packaging from the AliExpress shipments, I got to see the actual appearance of the products. And to my surprise, they matched the photos on AliExpress for the most part. Overall, the products received were in excellent condition.
Here are a few closeup pictures I took so you can see for yourself how they arrived:
These are the small Buddha figurines. They look exactly the same as in the photo. I ordered these with separate shipping details, as I made four separate orders, but they all arrived in the same package, which is likely what a customer would prefer.
This is the photo from the actual product page:
I also ordered shoes, which came with a little bit of foam inside the bow to give it some volume, so they didn’t ship flat. The picture doesn’t show it, but there is a bit of space between both sides of the bow so it looks more voluminous.
And below is the picture I took of the purse. It was a bit bigger than I expected, but that’s good. The inside of the purse had a striped pattern design, which nicely complemented the outer purse.
The navy t-shirt below is actually a men’s XXL shirt. Unfortunately, it doesn’t fit my husband, who wears large clothes, so it’s a bit too small. We had heard that clothing from China is smaller than American sizes, so we ordered a few sizes up. Although it still wasn’t the right size, I got lucky because it was a bit loose on me.
Is AliExpress Standard Shipping worth the wait?
AliExpress Standard Shipping is the most recommended shipping method for getting products. Here are a few reasons why:
1. It offers the best pricing
The best product prices aren’t on Amazon; they’re usually on AliExpress. Since the products are made in China, and most AliExpress suppliers are Chinese, it makes sense that they’d offer the best prices on the most popular ecommerce platform in their country. Entrepreneurs are then able to offer affordable prices to their customers who are looking for a great deal.
With lower shipping costs, customers are more likely to wait for the product patiently. All you need to do is set realistic expectations for them. You can include AliExpress shipping times on your product page or ad to help set the right expectations for your customer.
2. You can track the package
Ordinary shipments do not offer package tracking outside mainland China. But AliExpress Standard Shipping offers an international tracking number, which gives you an idea of how and when the shipment will be delivered. Improve your post-purchase customer experience by providing an estimated delivery time based on the current status of the package.
3. Profits are good
AliExpress Standard Shipping is good for business. It doesn’t eat into your margins like Premium Shipping, and you don’t have to increase your product price to absorb shipping costs. With non-standard shipping, costs are so high that you’ll be forced to price above retail value, which means you might get fewer sales.
Choose the right AliExpress shipping method
Sourcing through AliExpress allows you to build a profitable business over time, since the shipping costs don’t eat away at your margins. As you can see from some of the findings above, many shipping methods allow you to receive or dropship products for free.
However, free shipping is often associated with longer delivery times, though the customer may receive the package well before the estimated delivery date in some cases. The best way to know about the product quality and shipping times is to order some products for yourself. On average, you’ll find that suppliers meet or beat their estimated timelines listed on their product page.
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AliExpress shipping FAQ
How long does AliExpress take to deliver?
The shipping method you choose will determine the time it takes for AliExpress sellers to deliver the products. Options include:
- AliExpress Standard Shipping: 15–45 days
- EMS: 7–30 days
- SunYou Economic Air Mail: 40–70 days
- Cainiao Super Economy: 30–50 days
- China Post Ordinary Small Packet Plus: 20–90 days
- FedEx: 7–15 days
- UPS: 0–14 days
- DHL Express: 15–45 days
Does AliExpress notify you when your order is delivered?
AliExpress doesn’t send alerts about order status changes, so merchants will need to check the current status of their order manually.
Can I cancel the order if AliExpress takes too long?
AliExpress lets you cancel an order only when the seller has not shipped your package. If you have cleared the payment and the package has been shipped, order cancellation is only possible with the acceptance of the seller.
Want to Learn More?
- What is ePacket?
- I Ordered Product Samples. This Is What I Got.
- 10 Dropshipping Myths That Need to be Debunked
- 7 Headache Preventing Tips for International Shipping