30Jun
By: Andrew Roach June 30, 2017 Topic: How to Find a Product

If you’re sourcing products for your dropshipping store’s inventory, you’ll be glad to hear that there are a variety of different platforms which you can use to find high-quality products at an affordable price point. AliExpress is one of the largest platforms for ecommerce entrepreneurs to find dropshipping products. The majority of suppliers who list their products on AliExpress are legitimate business owners, but there are some who list counterfeit or copyrighted goods on AliExpress, which can cause issues for dropshippers. We’ve created this article to inform you how you can avoid counterfeit goods on AliExpress, and to detail the implications you’ll face if you’re found to be selling these goods.At the end of this article you’ll be equipped with all the knowledge that you need to ensure that your dropshipping business is selling goods legally. 

Let’s go.


Sourcing Products on AliExpress

avoid counterfeit goods on aliexpress
When you’re sourcing products for your ecommerce business, AliExpress is a great platform to take advantage of.
Searching for dropshipping products on AliExpress is simple. You can simply enter a term related to your desired products in their search bar and you’ll be presented with a wide variety of related listings. The enormous number of products available on AliExpress is a blessing for dropshippers, but there are also some counterfeit and copyrighted goods on the platform which you should do your best to avoid.

As a general rule, it’s best to avoid copyrighted products in general when you’re sourcing inventory from AliExpress. This includes products which are related to movies, TV shows, video games, or any other media outlets that may have merchandise.

It’s also important that you avoid sourcing counterfeit goods from AliExpress. The term ‘counterfeit’ refers to goods which are fake, but have been made to deliberately resemble genuine products. Not only will selling these products give your online store a bad reputation, it could also, in the worst-case scenario, get you into trouble with the law.


Legalities of Selling Counterfeit or Copyrighted Products

avoid counterfeit goods on aliexpress
As an ecommerce entrepreneur, there are various ways that you and your ecommerce business can be negatively impacted by selling counterfeit or copyrighted products. We’ve put together a list of issues that you may run into when you’re selling counterfeit or copyrighted products below:

  • Issues With Your Payment Gateway: You may run into issues with your payment gateway if you’re selling copyrighted goods. Payment gateways may ask you to provide a reseller agreement for the products which you’re selling, just so they can clarify that you’re legally allowed to do so. If you fail to provide this documentation, then you’ll be blocked from using the payment gateway, which means that you won’t be able to receive money from your sales. The only way that you can get around this issue is to provide the payment gateway with a reseller agreement, or start a new business selling legitimate products.
  • Issues With Your Facebook / Instagram Accounts: If you sell counterfeit or copyrighted goods from your online store you may run into issues with your Facebook or Instagram accounts. If you’ve been working hard to build up a following on these platforms you face the potential of having your accounts permanently banned if you’re found to be selling counterfeit or copyrighted goods. This can be especially problematic if you’re using the platforms to advertise your business. If you’ve been finding success with these platforms then you’ll need to find a whole new channel to drive traffic to your store, so it’s essential that you avoid selling illegitimate products. 
  • You May Need to Close Your Store: If you’re found selling copyrighted or counterfeit goods on your store then you may be contacted by the producers of the original product. In this situation, you may be asked to remove the product from your store, shut your store down completely, or face legal action. Taking this into consideration, it isn’t worth stocking these items in your store’s inventory and facing this risk.

Best Practices for Sourcing Products From AliExpress

avoid counterfeit goods on aliexpressAlthough there are some counterfeit products on AliExpress, the majority of the products are legitimate, and are perfect for your online dropshipping store. It’s critical that you know how to avoid the illegitimate products when you’re adding products to your inventory. Here’s a list of best practices that you can follow when you’re sourcing products from AliExpress:

  • Check Product Reviews: When you’re sourcing products from AliExpress it’s always a good idea to check out the product reviews. Here you’ll see a general idea of how customers feel about the product, and you’ll likely find images of the product too. If you check out the product reviews you’ll get an idea for the quality of the product, the shipping times, and you’ll also gain an understanding of who your target audience is. We highly recommend doing this when sourcing products from AliExpress — simply check the ‘Feedback’ section just underneath the product images and you’ll find all the information you need.
  • Check Product Star Rating: AliExpress has a product star rating for each listing on the platform. You can use the star rating of a product to identify if the product is legitimate in two ways — the overall rating, and the number of reviews it has. You can locate this information just above the product description. If you find that the product has a high overall product star rating and lots of reviews it’s likely a legitimate product that is high-quality — a perfect addition for your dropshipping store. If you see that the product has poor reviews then it could be best to avoid sourcing these products. 
  • Check Supplier Feedback Score: When you’re sourcing products from AliExpress it’s also a great idea to check the supplier’s feedback score. You can access their feedback score at the top left corner of the product listing. If you find that the supplier has a great feedback score then it’s a strong indication that their products will be legitimate. You can also see how long they’ve been active on AliExpress, which will give you a good idea of the legitimacy of their products — if they’ve been active for a while then you can assume that they’re reliable suppliers.
  • Create a Test Order: It’s always a great idea to create a test order for any products that you’re sourcing from AliExpress. This will mean that it’ll take you a little longer to start making sales, but it’ll pay off in the end as you’ll be able to analyze the products that your customers will be receiving. Think of a test order as your very own quality assurance! 
  • Try to Avoid Trending Items: It’s usually a good idea to avoid trending items, especially if you’re late to the surge in popularity. The reason for this is that you may be unknowingly selling counterfeit products, which can land both you and your business in legal trouble. Some suppliers will try to cut corners when the demand for their product increases, so it’s best to be vigilant of this.

Use Oberlo Supply to Source Products

If you’re using Shopify to run your dropshipping store you can take advantage of Oberlo Supply. You can access Oberlo Supply by installing the Oberlo app through Shopify’s App Store. Oberlo is the leading platform for ecommerce entrepreneurs to find and sell dropshipping products. Oberlo Supply is a dedicated marketplace that allows ecommerce entrepreneurs to find reliable suppliers who offer high-quality goods at an affordable price point. Suppliers on Oberlo Supply have been onboarded by our own specialists, so you won’t need to worry about sourcing illegitimate goods for your store.

That’s it, now you know everything that you need to ensure that you’re sourcing legitimate products for your ecommerce store. If you’ve got any questions about AliExpress, or ecommerce in general, let us know in the comments section — we’re happy to help!

 

 

  • Randy Dinkins

    Andrew great article and thanks for the information.

  • Yiannis Stanis

    i did not understand what was stated in the last paragraph. I use Oberlo. I use it to import my products from Aliexpress to my store. Does this mean that the illegitimate products will not be allowed to be imported?

  • Fasahat Salim

    This is a great article. Thanks a lot!

    As far as the plug for Oberlo Supply goes, I have my concerns. Mainly because I have been using the facility to source a few products for my store. However, as recently as last night a range of those products just disappeared from oberlo supply all together. This is worrying and makes me doubt the reliability of the suppliers and indeed the service in general.

    Thankfully I was not using any of these products in any marketing material and I had not received any recent orders for them, otherwise this would have caused a whole lot of unnecessary headaches. So when you say the suppliers on your service have been ‘onboarded by your specialists’, I would hope they also undergo a ‘reliability’ test as well.

  • Ty’Jamin Roark

    No lol not at all. Go type in yeezys and you can import it no problem

  • Ty’Jamin Roark

    The Oberlo suppliers are still in most cases just aliexpress suppliers, comes from the place in china and all of that.

  • Ty’Jamin Roark

    The thing that sucks is that every one of us is all selling the same stuff lol. I looked at a lot of shopify stores using Oberlo and they all look the same. What happens when customers find out we are from aliexpress, which they can easily do, we will be done for.

  • Fasahat Salim

    I’m aware of that and it is absolutely fine that they are. However, one of the benefits of the Oberlo Supply feature is supposedly the ‘vetted’ nature of these suppliers.

    I always contact any supplier personally on Aliexpress before I start using their products in my store. Mainly to verify communication, response rates and stock/inventory levels. This is to ensure I am never caught off guard. If I still have to do that anyway, why would I continue to use Oberlo Supply? Why wouldn’t I just go direct in Aliexpress?

  • Ty’Jamin Roark

    Because Oberlo just makes it easier to automate things. I get a lot of sales so it makes sending out orders way easier.

  • Fasahat Salim

    I agree. I love Oberlo and use it the same way you do. It is a fantastic app and I highly recommend it to everyone who dropships. However, I’m just referring to my personal experience of the ‘Oberlo Supply’ feature.

    Since you get a lot of orders, I’m sure you can appreciate the severity of unexpectedly losing a range of products from your supplier without any trace of them ever existing. Especially if you have orders to fulfil.

    It is difficult to justify the convenience of what Oberlo Supply products are meant to provide when that happens. I’d rather stick to sourcing products from dependable suppliers direct from AliExpress and just manage them through Oberlo instead.

  • Ty’Jamin Roark

    Oh yea I get what you are saying. Yea I don’t really use their supply. No reviews or anything.

  • Regarding copyrighted products, what Oberlo has to say about, say, batman key chain, I’ve already been able to import into my store.
    Does not this product infringe copyrights?

  • Andrew Roach

    Glad you enjoyed the article, Randy.

    Have a great day!

  • Andrew Roach

    Hey Marcio.

    Sadly, I can’t advise you on individual cases.

    It’s always best to avoid products which you have any doubts about.