11Dec
By: Tomas Šlimas December 11, 2016

You will find plenty of stories about fake AliExpress suppliers circulating around the web. Recently, AliExpress.com has thrown many resources into fighting this, so dropshipping suppliers who scam are now a quite rare event. Although the platform is taking care of poor  dropshipping suppliers itself, we still suggest that you do a background check  on your drop shipping suppliers, so that you can guarantee your customers good service and product satisfaction. Also, this article will detail how to find dropshippers on AliExpress.

Don’t Always Go For the Lowest Price

Typically, the price on AliExpress.com goes down with the quality. Don’t get overly excited when you find the same product at a fraction of the price. Fortunately, there are a lot of AliExpress suppliers offering similar products. However, remember to compare prices different dropshipping suppliers set. If a number of sellers have similar prices on the same product, but one supplier has a drasitically different price, this often means the quality is lower, especially if the price is cheaper. Another key point is to look at the AliExpress suppliers reviews to determine if there has been any impact on quality.

Although a lower price does not necessarily mean lower quality and vice versa, we highly recommend you avoid the following situations:

Dont Always Go For the Lowest Price Oberlo

However, remember that drop shipping suppliers on AliExpress.com have very tight margins and understand them well, this is why a higher price normally means a better quality product.

dropship

Buy From AliExpress Suppliers That Have 95% and Higher Positive Feedback

Two of the most important factors while evaluating AliExpress suppliers are their Feedback Score and Positive Feedback Rate. The Feedback Score indicates the seller’s sales volume, while the Positive Feedback Rate represents the feedback rate that supplier has received. Always aim for 95% and higher positive feedback rate and at least a 2,000 feedback score.

Buy From Suppliers That Have 95% and Higher Positive Feedback

How To Select Dropshipping Suppliers on AliExpress

Obviously, this doesn’t automatically mean that dropshipping suppliers with a 500 feedback score can’t be trusted. However, it is a good general measure to go by.

Next, you should also consider individual product feedback and the order count. It’s much safer to buy a product that has been ordered a few thousand times with a 90% positive feedback score, than a product that has only been sold twice but has a 100% positive feedback score. Look for any unhappy customers. Usually, the unhappy customers help identify possible products defects and issues.

Look for any unhappy customers

However, if a certain product does not yet have any feedback, look up the other products that the supplier carries and check the feedback. Some sellers start selling other vertical products. Yet, you don’t want your customers to become the testers of those new products.

Be Careful With Dropshipping Suppliers Selling Brand Products

When figuring out how to find dropshippers on AliExpress, you need to make sure that the drop shipping suppliers are providing their own branded products and not knockoffs. However, genuine, brand name products on AliExpress.com are very rare. Always try to avoid popular brand name products in your store, as they are likely inauthentic.

AliExpress suppliers

Pay Attention to the Responsiveness of Drop Shipping Suppliers

Let’s say you have an emergency situation — a customer files a dispute on your PayPal account and insists on a reshipment. You want drop shipping suppliers to respond to you immediately, don’t you? Notably, the responsiveness of your drop shipping suppliers helps you answer the question ‘how to find dropshippers on AliExpress’ because it’s not just about finding a supplier but finding one who will be there to answer your questions when an issue arises.

In order to protect yourself against such situations, always check the responsiveness of AliExpress suppliers is before importing their product. Moreover, write them a message via AliExpress.com and see how quickly you will receive an appropriate response. Also, you can even create a fictional scenario where you say you haven’t received your order. Note how long it takes for your seller to reply and how they handle the situation.

drop shipping suppliers

How to Find Dropshippers on AliExpress by Ordering Samples

When the primary due diligence of the supplier is done and you have imported their products to your store, place a couple of test orders. Moreover, if funds allow, we suggest that you order 3–5 samples from different sellers. When determining how to find dropshippers on AliExpress, figuring out which product samples have the highest qualities will be helpful for finding the best suppliers. However, you won’t  be able to order samples of all products you are planning to sell, but try ordering from as many sellers in your store as possible to see how long the delivery actually takes, the quality of the product, and the packaging used for shipping.

While it makes perfect sense to order samples before selling them in your store, it may also be useful to wait until you have already imported their products. Provided that you’ve carefully checked the supplier before importing their products (contacting, feedback score, comparing, etc.), your actual sale could be the final validation step for whether to keep them as a supplier.

how to find dropshippers on AliExpress

General Safety Tips — Buyers’ Safety Programme

AliExpress.com guarantees a Full Refund if a customer doesn’t receive the order or Partial Refund if the item is not as described. So, if the order hasn’t arrived within the promised time, or if the product differs from the described, simply contact the seller or submit a refund request by clicking Open Dispute. There you can formally discuss possible solutions with the seller. If you are not satisfied with what the seller’s suggestions, you can Escalate Dispute to AliExpress.com. They will then mediate between you and the seller to resolve the issue.

For more information, go to AliExpress Buyer Protection

Share your tips on how to find dropshippers on AliExpress in the comments below.

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  • Made Suparta

    thanks for the details..anyway..do you any tips how to research the market ( e.g. us market )before doing the dropship business.thanks

  • Hey! Check out this guide: https://www.oberlo.com/blog/what-should-you-sell-online/ It covers all the basics of selecting the right product idea for your store.

  • Nivash Dhina

    HI Tomas, Thanks for a very useful informative post. All i want to know about dropshiping is its cycle. Is it oberlo who buys the product and send it to the customer(end-user) or the direct vendor does it. How about the taxing ie. customs taxes, suppose we say iam in india and i wanted to sell kids cloths to my own locality. Can i use oberlo for dropshipping how long will it take for the package to reach the customer.

  • Hi Nivash,

    You should do it yourself. You can watch a short demo video about Oberlo here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FaDdT3olWac

    If you were to dropship to the US, the delivery usually takes around 15 days (using ePacket) / to India it would probably take around 30 days. There are usually no taxes/customs for small quantity and low value products.

    You can download a free eBook on how to launch a successful store at the bottom of this page: http://www.oberlo.com/success-stories/

  • Nivash Dhina

    I need to know one more thing i imported few items in my store named https://www.felcyfashions.com now iam seeing the amount in USD and when i change the settings in shopify it is not calculating the current amount rather it is showing the exact figure with the RS symbol in front. How to overcome it….

  • You should change your currency to USD again and install one of these apps: https://apps.shopify.com/search/query?utf8=%E2%9C%93&q=currency

    Or you could use the RS symbol, but change your price multiplier on Oberlo. For more information: http://support.oberlo.com/hc/en-us/articles/206585469-How-do-I-change-my-currency-

  • Ashwani Kumar

    Hello Tomas Slimas thanks for your very useful post i have a question to ask. i am from india and i want to sale products in USA and Australia so how can i do and also is there any shiping cost aliexpress will charge from me
    Thanks

  • Hi Ashwani,

    Thanks so much!

    I suggest you review this section of our HelpCenter regarding the shipping times and prices: http://support.oberlo.com/hc/en-us/sections/201630145-Orders-Delivery

  • Kostas Stathis

    hi and thanks in advance for very informative website and articles! I am interested in starting dropshipping business and selling to us and european markets, but i live in greece and we have very strict tax laws in effect at the moment so my question is this: will i be able to obtain an invoice from aliexpress suppliers to give to my accountant?

  • I can’t guarantee that. You could message your supplier and ask him/her if he could provide you with the invoices in advance. Also, you might consider not accepting orders from Greece and the accounting would be much easier when you don’t import products to your country.

  • Kostas Stathis

    Hi again and thnx for your prompt answer! I really dont care to sell to greek market but only to usa and european market, so i was just wondering as my accountant asks, how will cost of goods sold be accounted for if you are not able to get an invoice from supplier so u can in return send a receipt to your own customer… I would really like to get some feedback on how you get around this matter either from you or any other dropshipers…i would really like to get into this but i dont see it possible, if you are not able to get invoice from suppliers, how do you account for items and cost of goods sold?…

  • Kostas Stathis

    It would be great if aliexpress had an automatic invoice sent to the dropshipper much like fiverr does…

  • Vanessa

    When Aliexpress ships the item to your customer, won’t the customer see the Chinese labeling on the packaging? How do you prevent them from knowing the item is coming from China?

  • You could ask what other dropshippers are doing on our forum http://ask.oberlo.com/. I was getting invoices directly from our supplier via email (back when I was dropshipping), but others might have other methods (like printscreening order receipts on AliExpress).

  • Kostas Stathis

    Thnx again for your replys, i will go the forum and check it out

  • Chris Busbridge

    Yes, but you can arrange with Oberlo (or with seller) to provide either plain packing or your own custom packing from your store

  • Boss Lady and Company

    Hello,
    Can Oberlo work with different sites like Alibaba, if so, how do I use it?

  • Hey, Oberlo works only with AliExpress. We believe that no other marketplace is suitable for dropshipping – and don’t recommend to do automated dropshipping with other websites.

  • angela

    How do I work with Oberlo to change the packaging?

  • Maria Pirona

    Hi Tomas,
    How do we get plain packaging for our products from Ali Express or how do we get Oberlo to do packaging for us? Thanks.

  • Hey Maria, Oberlo doesn’t offer custom packaging option right now. We might introduce this service in the future, but you now should contact your seller and arrange the custom packaging individually.

  • Eve Rascanu

    Tomas, thank you for the article! I’m new to Oberlo. Is it possible to upload my own pictures of the product from Aliexpress? Or I can only use theirs on my Shopify?

  • Is it worth asking the supplier for a sample? sorry if you have been asked this before.

  • Justin

    Shipping: Im feeling quite lost. I have some questions: when importing a products must i choose a shipping country? How can i know where a product will go? Ive imported a few products to practice but they have no shipping country. Can i add one or should i leave it blank?

    Price varients: is there any guide on entering pricae varients?

    Products photos: Do photos go with a product when you select a push to store? If not how can i get them?

    Refunds: is it very complicted to refund a customer?

    How do i get paid and where: Am i right a customer orders a products and pays me? Do i then pay the supplier? Is the money put in and taken out of the same place eg Paypal?? Do i need a paypal account and a credit card on the paypal account?

    Thanks if any expert can help??

  • Hi Gerald, sorry for being late with the answer. It’s worth it, but it’s definitely not a must. I’d recommend trying to sell a product first, and if you see there’s a high demand for it or you plan to receive more orders for it, you could order a sample and see if it meets your expectations. You don’t want to order samples of products you’re not sure you’ll be able to sell, right?

  • Hi Justin,

    Shipping: I recommend you read this section on out Help Center: http://support.oberlo.com/hc/en-us/sections/201630145-Orders-Delivery It might look tricky at first, but it’s really easy. You just import products, and set up your shipping rates on Shopify. Most of the products on AliExpress are shipped worldwide, just make sure you double check the shipping prices to the countries you’ll sell the most.

    Price Variants: I suggest you review this article on our Help Center: http://support.oberlo.com/hc/en-us/articles/206585439-How-do-I-set-my-markup-margin-price-

    Product Photos: Yes, you can even select which photos to push the store on your import list. We push the ones that go with variants on AliExpress by default.

    Refunds: I suggest you read this article for more information on this: https://www.oberlo.com/blog/why-you-should-care-about-aliexpress-dropshipping/#how-do-you-handle-aliexpress-dropshipping-returns-and-refunds

    Payments: In dropshipping, you get paid first and then pay your supplier to ship the products directly to your supplier. You get paid via the payment gateway you set up (https://www.shopify.com/payment-gateways), and pay your supplier via AliExpress with you credit card.

    I recommend you download this free ebook: https://www.oberlo.com/start-your-ecommerce-business/ It covers everything from setting up your store to start selling 😉

  • Justin

    Yes but imagine….i push some shoes through to my store…i have no idea who will buy them or where they will be shipped to? How in gods name can i select a country to ship the product to? This question applies to ALL products. Can you only choose one country and one shipping price for each product?? Is it a lottery of luck? What happens if you choose the US as a shipping price and a buyer from Tokyo orders the product!?! Will it just not be shipped??????

  • You should have an idea who’ll buy from you – it will be hard to sell something to someone you don’t know.

    Oberlo doesn’t work the way you think. You can import a product, and ship it to any country you want. Most of the AliExpress sellers sell worldwide and there won’t be any problems with that.

    When you select a shipping country on Oberlo product search, you can see how much it will cost you to ship that product to a particular destination. It doesn’t mean that the product will only be shipped to that destination, it’s just a price check for a reference. So you don’t sell a product that costs $100 to ship to the US.

    However, that rarely happens. Most of the AliExpress sellers have free or almost free shipping worldwide. You just might want to double check whether the shipping is really free to all countries you plan to sell to.

  • glaros

    thank you for the article!
    i have in my site list with 150 Dropshipping suppliers

  • alhakeem2001

    Hi Tomas, I’m Omar from the Netherlands, Despite I’m a newbie to Oberlo I have read a lot about the app and I think I will go for it however, I have a question which it could be asked and answered before, the question is: I know that we can browse all the suppliers from AliExpress and add products to our stores directly from the app and even order the product for the customer but does that mean we don’t need to do any initial contact by (phone OR E-mail) with every dropship supplier on our store before I start adding their products to my store ? I know I should do that if I want to make any arrangement for labeling or adding my logo of my store on the package but, in a normal situation would we still need to contact the supplier to introduce our self and try close a contract with supplier ? Thanks

  • Hey Omar! Yes, you can import products without getting in touch with your suppliers. Though, it’s sometimes a good thing to do, just to get a better understanding of how the supplier responds to your messages.

  • Michael Hulse

    Hi

    In regards to import duty of a country. I don’t want customers receiving a parcel along with a bill for import duty. How can this be paid without the customer getting a surprise bill when an item is delivered?

  • From my experience, customers rarely have to pay any customs charges. Usually, the packages consist a single low value item and don’t qualify for any taxes.

  • Vanja

    Since I own a few facebook page with a lot of followers, I am interested in selling some TV show/Tv personality products that I found on AliExpress. How do I know if those sellers have copyright license for t-shits,posters,etc…?

  • jfreemom

    You can use your own images. You can take screenshots or create images and add those to the store.

  • cool

  • Alek Ivanov

    what you do is you go to the oberlo settings and then go to *Suppliers* There you have an option to leave a note for suppliers when you check out. To do this you have to have the oberlo extension installed tho. Then you fill in the note and when you order product for your customers, oberlo automatically sends the note to the supplier.

  • Alek Ivanov

    Most of them don’t. And even if they do, doesn’t mean you do. I’d avoid branded products in general.

  • Question: When I have a large list of imports on my storefront, how do I keep track of the product still being available on ali? I dont want a customer to order an item I imported months ago only to find out it’s no longer available.

  • Cha Chi Diamat-Arzadon

    love it

  • Nudge

    Hi
    Had a go at doing this in the past. Have a quick question for you. When I sell an item on Ali Express, they send me message later saying “I am writing to confirm that if you received your order?
    We have extended the protection time for you to avoid the order being closed.”

    As I am not the customer receiving the order, how can I confirm that the customer has received it?

  • Gidon Lev Eli

    Just ask the customer when do they get it…

  • Nudge

    So if you have hundreds of customers with thousands of products, you have to email each one to ask if they’ve got their item. And if they haven’t, you have to keep asking them!
    I hope there’s an automation facility through Oberlo for that.

  • Davud

    What happens if I have multiple suppliers? Is there a way to have the supplier t create my own branded packaging?

  • K Pk

    Are you kidding, do you think Walmart wants to pay duty or custom fees when they bring all their sweatshop products here to sell? I don’t think so. In fact, the reason we have to dropship is because it costs us 10 times more to ship to our next door neighbor, then it does for someone to ship the same item from China. So no, thanks to the wonderful trade agreements our corporations have implemented, we also don’t have to pay duty or custom fees when we buy cheap crap directly from China. By the way, that e-package is a result of a handshake deal made between eBay China and eBay Hong Kong, and our very own USPS. Funny how our rates are the only ones going up. Do you see what I see?

  • Mario Flores

    When selecting the shipping country (United States) most of the quotes are between 10-30 days and can cost as much as $30 – $40. Is that the amount of time my customers should expect to wait to receive their product? is that $30-40$ truely the cost of shipping a single item? I am beginning to think I am interpreting the information wrong, or looking at suppliers that are truly unreasonable to use for U.S sales.

  • Virlyn

    If you are dropshipping small items, you can use ePacket shipping method. It usually cost under $5 🙂

  • Stoian Kirov

    Hi there. I see that there was a discussion about the Chinese labeling, address and prices. I got in touch with several suppliers and they all say the same:
    The Chinese customs require an address and a price on the packaging and there is no way to remove them. So the customer will see that the item comes from china and the price is lower.
    How do you handle that problem?

  • Maurice Nyongesa

    what happens to dropshippers who deliver their products to buyers ib 3-7 days when most of the shipping is done between 7-60 days?

  • Maurice Nyongesa

    i think Alibaba is a pure wholesale store wgere goods have MOQ but AliExpress i look at it as a retaile shop where you can order for just a single item and is shipped to the address given to them. Is it so Tomas?

  • Maurice Nyongesa

    i think another way to help do that is when you see an item on your store being orded so much you can order it in large numbers to your store and then you brand them to ship them to your customers though i think it may be different from dropshipping but you do it the right way.

  • Visi Falemaka Foketi

    So Thomas I just snipe out the products and do all adjustments n push to shopify. Any other questions just communicate via oberlo n suppliers will receive them. Thanks

  • Matthew Bourdon

    What do you do if you don’t sell enough to order the MOQ? And what happens if your customer does not get their product for 3-4 weeks and is upset? That’s really the only thing holding me back from drop shipping.