Drop shipping is business model where a seller obtains a product from a manufacturer and sells it to the buyer without necessarily keeping inventory. The manufacturer is the one who delivers the product to the final buyer.
It is one of the easiest ways to start an online shop. You pay nothing to your product supplier until you make a sale.In this post, I will be teaching you how to dropship from Aliexpress with 50 dollars or less, so hang on with me as I take you through.
*there are affiliate links in this post, please see my disclaimer policy*
To learn how dropshipping works, please read my post on 5 easy steps to running a drop shipping business. In this fresh post, I will be writing about how to dropship from Aliexpress.
Aliexpress is an online marketplace much like Amazon, except that it is for Chinese sellers. In Aliexpress you get a congregation of manufacturers or big-time whole sellers who sell products to you at the manufacturer’s price, which means they sell at a lower price than you will get at your normal everyday store.
If you want to start selling online without holding inventory, to drop ship from Aliexpress will be the best method to follow.I have been part of forums where people do not understand how to dropship using Aliexpress, hence the need for this post.
The first thing about selling online is that you have to determine what you want to sell i.e defining your niche, if you don’t know what to sell then it will be difficult for you to know how to market or sell your products.
Defining your niche will help you narrow down to what you want to sell and hence decide where you want to source for those products from.
To read more about discovering your Niche please get my free ebook: From stay at home mom to Mompreneur, I dedicated a section to write about finding your Niche.
The next thing to do when you discover what you want to sell is to find suppliers.
For the purpose of this post, I will only be treating using Aliexpress as a supplier to your Business. There are other ways of finding suppliers, you can read that up in my earlier post.
How to Choose a Supplier when you want to Dropship from Aliexpress
The first thing to do before you start searching for your suppliers in the Aliexpress platform is to register on the site.
Register on Aliexpress
Your registration on the platform will give you the opportunity to send emails or messages to your supposed suppliers, you will also be able to Follow a store, this helps you save your suppliers so that you don’t keep searching afresh each time you want to make a purchase.
I suggest that once you have adjudged your supplier to be the one you will use, you follow the store immediately so it is saved in your account. Anytime you want to use that supplier you just check your account and click on the store to go directly to that store without necessarily searching for the store again.
Please note that you cannot search for store names, you can only search for products.
Registration does not take more than a minute, it’s no different from registering on Amazon.com
Before you start choosing a supplier for your products when you want to dropship from Aliexpress, there are certain key metrics that you must look out for.
Metrics for Choosing a Supplier
1 How long has the supplier been open for Business:
Before you choose to order from a supplier the first thing that you should check out is how long has this store been selling on this platform. This will give you a sense as to how reliable that supplier is. It will do you no good to pick a newcomer on the platform who is still trying to get off on his business. There will not be enough reviews for you to know if that person has been consistently delivering to her customers. I will normally go with someone who has been in business for over two years.
2 Check for Feedback scores:
On the Aliexpress platform, all shops have a feedback score attached to them which are usually graded in percentages, this feedback score is a sum total of an average number of people who returned a good feedback on the products they bought from the shop.
Most times, the shop owners are always encouraging you the buyer to leave a good feedback. In fact, they often remind you via emails to come back and leave a feedback so that they will know you were satisfied.
Your feedback is often in form of written notes, star ratings and perhaps even pictures to show that you received the item. This score is perhaps what Aliexpress uses to grade a particular seller. I will go with sellers that have a 98% feedback score and upwards. Sometimes you will see a seller who is considered a Top brand, such sellers may not have a feedback score percentage attached but they have a top brand badge on their platform, this indicates that Aliexpress trusts the quality of products sold by that store.
3 Number of Orders
Before selecting a supplier for your products, you need to check for the number of orders they have processed, it may be for your particular product or for another product from the seller. This is because you want to know that the person you are going to buy from is really selling products consistently. You want to check out the hot selling products and the number of orders that product has sold out.
Most times, you will see that the hot selling products for that store have a lot of reviews, you should take your time to read the reviews not just the good ones but the bad reviews too. You want to know how the seller handles bad customer experience. It’s not enough to say that we will refund your money if you do not like our products, but do they actually do that? Of course, Aliexpress offers buyers protection but you may want to buy from someone who has integrity.
4 Check for shipping options:
What shipping options do they have? and do they offer epacket? I will always go with anyone that offers epacket because it gives you the opportunity to offer free shipping to your customers which will make the customer happy and encourage repeat sales.
5 How long does it take for your Product to arrive
Depending on where you are selling in, perhaps in US or UK or maybe you are shipping worldwide, you have to check what time it takes for your order to arrive. Orders that are shipped to the US take from 12-20 days to arrive via epacket. I sold an item during the Christmas period to a customer and my order reached my customer in 10 days. I was quite impressed. The time it takes for your customer to get their order is important since you dont want an irate customer that did not get his or her orders on time. I will suggest that you add a little lead time to your own product shipping time, this will give you leverage for any delay in shipping from your suppliers.
6 Communicate with your supplier by sending him a message.
Contact your intending supplier to find out if they dropship from Aliexpress. It’s important not to assume that every seller on Aliexpress must want to dropship. Some may not want to, so it’s important to check out with the seller and let them confirm to you that they are willing to dropship for you, should you make a sale.
7 Make a test order:
You could test order the product you want to sell so that you can check out the process, as this will enable you to know what the whole process will be like. It will also give you an idea of how the actual product looks like. Pictures don’t always tell the whole story. You may need to handle the product and packaging to know if its worth using that person as a supplier.
8: Take advantage of the App To Dropship from Aliexpress
Aliexpress has an app which you can download on your phone to use. I have noticed that goods are often cheaper on the app. You can take advantage of the app to get cost savings on your product sourcing.
After you have completed these preliminaries, you now want to start your online shop.
Cost of Setting up your Online shop
There are basically two options you can go with when you want to start drop shipping a product. You can choose to sell on an online marketplace e.g Amazon, Bonanza, or you can choose to sell on your own hosted ecommerce shop using such deliverers like Shopify, Big commerce or Wix.
I wrote a post on Online marketplace versus ecommerce shop, you can read It up to check out the pros and cons of using any of those methods.
Selling on Amazon as an individual seller is free while selling on Bonanza is free except for charges which you only pay when you make a sale.
If you choose to use an ecommerce shop deliverer as I noted above, it will cost you the following amount
Shopify- basic- $29
Domain name registration through each platform is – 10 dollars.
So the big question that is still hanging now is how to add these products to your e-commerce shop.
How to Add Products to your Ecommerce shop
You can choose to do it manually- quite time-consuming- you have to cut and paste each picture to your online shop. Plus you will have to manually maintain your pricing, ordering, and tracking.
or you can use this very important Plugin Alidropship which takes care of the following
Product Automation: This includes search and importation of products to your shop, pricing update, epacket filter options, Order fulfillment, auto tracking and also the auto update on product information. For more on how this plugin can change your dropshipping business, click Here.
Customization: This includes Free themes, built in product customization, unlimited products addition, woocommerce support, product variation.
Marketing: This includes, email lists, cart abandonment, discount coupons, product reviews.
Managing: This includes Live statistics, cashback system, payment gateway integration.
Please note: Aliexpress is different from Alibaba.com. Most people think they are the same but they are not, Alibaba.com caters to people who want to import physical goods and then distribute or ship themselves and they often require a minimum order number for you to use them.Alixpress selles to anyone even if it is one article you want to buy.
Other alternatives to Alixpress could be joining online directories who curate and qualify manufacturers. An example of such online directory is Salehoo. You pay an amount yearly to have access to suppliers in their database who are prequalified by them. The only thing is that you still have to do the due diligence of reaching out to each one supplier and creating a relationship.
Do you want me to help you do all the written due diligence above? contact me for consulting.
I will help you set up your first shop and ensure all the necessary job is done. I can provide a done for you shop as long as you have picked your Niche. send an email to email@example.com