Dropshipping with AliExpress is the most beginner friendly way to start dropshipping. So, if you are thinking of starting a dropshipping business, this guide is for you to understand how dropshipping on AliExpress works.
I think more than 90% of the dropshipping sellers have started their dropshipping career by re-selling the products from AliExpress. Well, when I started, I used AliExpress to find products for dropshipping, and every dropshipping sellers I know did that too.
Even though I don’t use AliExpress for dropshipping anymore, I must admit that it is super easy to use AliExpress for dropshipping. The only drawback is, the product prices on AliExpress is a bit expensive than some wholesale sellers. So, when dropshipping with AliExpress, you cannot keep a large profit margin.
However, still dropshipping with AliExpress is extremely popular among the beginners, just because that process is super easy. So, this guide is for you, who are trying to understand how dropshipping with AliExpress works.
Don’t worry, let us answer all your pressing questions about dropshipping with AliExpress. Here is our content lineup.
- What is Dropshipping?
- What is AliExpress?
- Why AliExpress for Dropshipping?
- Why would someone buy from you, when they can buy the same product on AliExpress?
- What can you dropship from AliExpress?
- How to find good suppliers on AliExpress?
- How to import AliExpress products to your store?
- How much profit can you keep for AliExpress dropshipping products?
- What is the next step of dropshipping with AliExpress?
1. What is Dropshipping?
If you are a total beginner for dropshipping, it is better to start by understanding what this dropshipping is all about.
Dropshipping is a simple way to fulfill (deliver) the products that you “re-sell” on an e-commerce store. If you use dropshipping as your order fulfillment method, you don’t have to maintain a stock for the products that you sell. So, what you can do is, once you sell something online, you can just ask your wholesale supplier to deliver that product directly to your customer.
In this way, you don’t have to worry about maintaining an inventory or shipping for these products at all. Isn’t that simple? Also, think about how much cost and time that you can save by following this method. For example, if your supplier is in China and the buyer is in the UK, you Chinese supplier can directly ship the products to your English customer, instead of sending that to you (who is in the USA) first.
Since dropshipping is cheap and simple, many e-commerce sellers use dropshipping as their order fulfillment method. So, you can do that too. If you like, check this all in one guide for dropshipping to learn more.
2. What is AliExpress?
AliExpress is a huge online retail marketplace, just like eBay or Amazon. However, if you compare the prices on AliExpress, eBay, and Amazon, you will notice that AliExpress prices are remarkably lower than the other two.
I think most of the AliExpress sellers are wholesalers, who are just using AliExpress to sell to the general public at the retail level. So, their prices are much much lower than you could ever imagine. For example, you can find the same necklace on AliExpress for $5, which is being sold on eBay for $20.
Even though AliExpress is open for anyone, still it is not much popular in Europe and the USA. So, what dropshipping sellers do is, they re-sell the products from AliExpress on their e-commerce stores, and ask AliExpress sellers to dropship those products to their customers.
Are AliExpress sellers happy to dropship on your behalf?
Of course, they do. Almost all the AliExpress sellers know that their customers are (mostly) dropshipping sellers who are just re-selling their products. So, they support dropshipping very much. For example, you can just ask them to remove their business name or any promotional material from the packaging (where it is possible) to make them invisible to your customers. And they will be happy to do so.
3. Why AliExpress for Dropshipping?
Actually, we have discussed why AliExpress for dropshipping under the previous topic. So, please go back and read that. Come on, guys, scroll up a bit. It is good for your finger. The answer to why AliExpress for dropshipping is right there.
3. Why would someone buy from you, when they can buy the same product on AliExpress?
Well, many beginners have asked this exact question from me. It is a valid concern. Why would someone buy from your store (paying a higher price), when they can buy the same product from AliExpress for a much lower price?
All right, folks, the answer is MARKETING. It is like this. Let us say that you want to buy a lovely sterling silver necklace for your girlfriend. (If you are a girl, think it is for your boyfriend. Yes, I guessed your sexual preferences, sorry, Fu** I don’t know). OK, where were we, yes, the necklace…
Now, you want to buy a necklace. Then there is this AliExpress seller with a great necklace for $5. However, he doesn’t want to spend any money on marketing to reach you. He has a different business goal. He doesn’t find people to sell his products; he just waits there until someone comes to his shop.
Then, I come into this scene. I am a dropshipping seller, and I re-sell necklaces from that AliExpress seller. But, my business goals are different. I spend money on marketing to find those who are looking to buy a necklace. So, I can easily reach you and sell this necklace to you. So for all these efforts, I keep a margin and sell this necklace for a higher price. Well, that is pretty much how it works.
By the way, if you like to start selling jewelry with dropshipping, check this startup guide about how to sell jewelry online. Also, if you are wondering about how this “marketing” works, we have a whole section for learning online marketing methods.
4. What can you dropship from AliExpress?
There are hundreds of thousands of products on AliExpress ready for dropshipping. However, that doesn’t mean you should start dropshipping any of these products. Selecting a product for dropshipping is a deliberate process. It is called selecting a niche or selecting winning products for dropshipping.
To be honest, even after years of experience doing the same sh** over and over again, still selecting the winning products for dropshipping is an overwhelming task for me. If you choose a bad product, everything you do after that (listing, marketing, etc.) will be a waste of money and time.
But don’t worry. As your business encyclopedia, we got you covered. Check this essential guide about how to find the best niche for dropshipping. There we talk about a 9-step process about selecting the best niche and best products for dropshipping. You can follow the same method to find products to dropship on AliExpress.
5. How to find good suppliers on AliExpress?
Guys, now you that you have selected a niche for your dropshipping store, you basically know which products you are going to sell on AliExpress.
So, let us get started. We will continue our discussion about that necklace.
Since it is a necklace, I am going to go ahead and select Jewelry and watches from AliExpress product categories. Then, under fashion jewelry, I am going to choose necklaces and pendants.
UPDATE: Sometimes, it will ask you to signup for an AliExpress account. If so, just follow the signup process.
Goodness, gracious! There are thousands of amazing products for dropshipping from AliExpress. But, let us hold our horses. First, we have to filter for the best dropshipping suppliers on AliExpress. To do that, we are going to use the filter section on listing pages.
Now, notice the things that I have selected in this section.
- I have selected the highest bar from that tiny bar chart – That highest bar indicates the best selling price range for this particular product category. So, we are choosing the kind of popular products.
- If you like, you can select to ship from China or the USA – If you are selling in the USA, and if you need faster shipping times, you can choose to ship from the USA. However, if you do so, there will be a less number of products left.
- I have checked free shipping – If you get free shipping products, you can pass that benefit to your customers too. Especially when it comes to less-expensive products, people prefer to have free shipping.
- I have selected four stars and up – That is for a social proof about the seller and the products. If the seller doesn’t mess things up, they will get more stars. However, also keep in mind that they can pay to get these stars. So, check the number of sold items along with the star rating.
6. How to import AliExpress products to your store?
There is a one added benefit of using AliExpress for dropshipping. Since AliExpress is a popular choice for many dropshippers, there are many different apps and tools developed around this process to ease your work.
For example, when I started dropshipping, I used to add products manually to my store. Well, still I do that for high-ticket products. However, when it comes to inexpensive items, as your store grows, it is harder to add products manually to your store. There will be hundreds of sales every day, and you will be selling hundreds of products on your store. So, it is not possible to track orders, fulfill orders, update stock levels, and adjust prices manually.
That is why you need an automated solution to do all these tasks.
So, there are some tools called plugins for importing products from AliExpress to your store. It doesn’t matter where you have hosted your dropshipping store; there is a plugin for everything. Check this article about the best AliExpress dropshipping plugins. There we have a list of best plugins that you can use to manage and automate your AliExpress dropshipping business.
7. How much profit can you keep for AliExpress dropshipping products?
Pricing your dropshipping products is another big hurdle for everyone. If you set your prices too high, people won’t buy them. If you set your prices too low, people will think that you are selling low-quality products. Also, remember that you will never win a price war when it comes to dropshipping. Always there will be someone who is selling for a lower price.
So, how can you select the optimal price point for the products that you dropship from AliExpress? Well, in some of the AliExpress dropshipping plugins that we have discussed above, there is a feature to select a smart price which is calculated based user data.
In my case, I always consider pricing as a trial and error method. When you introduced a new product, adjust your price and test until you get the best results. Well, check below two articles for more information. The first one explains the popular theories behind pricing the dropshipping products, and the second one describes how to test a price variation for the best results.
8. What is the next step of dropshipping with AliExpress?
I am pretty sure that you can get started with dropshipping with AliExpress now. So, go ahead and use AliExpress for dropshipping, at least until you get some traction for your business. It is easy, and it is simple.
However, what should be your next move? At the beginning of the post, I told you that the AliExpress product prices are a bit high compared to some other wholesale sellers. Also, as your business grows, you need to build a good relationship with your supplier for better customer support. So, at one point, you will start feeling like you need to break up with AliExpress and start working with other suppliers.
Once you get that feeling, read this article about how to find dropshipping suppliers. It explains the options other than AliExpress.
I think now it is time to stop this article about dropshipping with AliExpress. Cheers.