Dropshipping is a growing online business model of eCommerce entrepreneurs.
Its popularity comes from its ability to generate high returns from a small amount of investment, making it an enticing solution for people aspiring to sell online but who don’t have the capital to physically hold products.
Dropshipping is a relatively new online retail business model that involves the retailer never having to physically hold the product they sell. The retailer never actually sees or ships the item themselves.
Instead, once a product has been purchased online, the retailer contacts a third-party supplier who then ships the product to the customer directly.
The result is a relatively simpler version to conventional online stores without the hassle of needing office space, worrying about inventory, or shipping as the job is shared.
Whilst dropshipping can be a lucrative business model, its success rests largely on the supplier. Ensuring your supplier is reliable and trustworthy is essential to seeing progress in this business.
AliExpress is a leading dropshipping supplier with a vast marketplace of products available to buy in bulk. Their popularity comes from the competitive prices offered by the manufacturer.
The following guide will go through how to dropship on AliExpress. If you’re looking to start your own dropshipping business using AliExpress, the following will answer the questions you have to start your business successfully.
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Is AliExpress Still Good For Dropshipping?
AliExpress recognizes that most of its customers are resellers. As a result, they are increasingly more interested in dropshipping.
Not only is dropshipping a suitable arrangement for AliExpress sellers, but it also offers a range of benefits for the merchant.
As there is no upfront cost or fees merchants are free to try and test out products from AliExpress without any huge financial commitment.
This gives merchants more security in knowing what product quality is going to be shipped out to their customers.
Many sellers on AliExpress offer additional perks for merchants. For example, many sellers include existing product photos and product descriptions making it easy for merchants to personalize the photos and descriptions for their advertisements.
1. Choosing what you’re going to sell
The first step of your dropshipping journey begins with selecting the niche products you want to dropship. A good place to start is to select a niche market for your products.
If you are stuck on where to start, AliExpress already has a selection of categories listed so choosing from one of them may be a suitable option for you.
Once you have selected your desired niche, it’s time to narrow it down even further by choosing which products you want to list on your online store.
With so many products available to choose from, it can be daunting trying to select high-quality products from trustworthy suppliers.
2. Finding a reliable supplier: Things to look out for
Whilst it might be tempting to choose the cheapest products on the list, especially if you are on a tight budget. But, remember that quality matters. Numerous factors should be taken into consideration before placing any orders.
Avoiding existing brands and counterfeit items
Stay clear of any products with a recognizable brand name or logo. The last thing you want to do is start selling knockoffs or fakes by accident.
To avoid any mistakes it’s important to remain vigilant and do research on anything you are not sure about, the risk of reselling someone else’s product isn’t worth the trouble.
Look out for products that look like an existing brand or are similar to another brand. If you do come across any, it’s advised that you report them.
A good rule of thumb is to start by sorting product items by the highest number of orders. Those with 300 or more orders are most likely reliable as they have a large number of orders suggesting that previous customers have been happy with their service.
It’s also worth looking at how long the supplier has been in operation for as well as their product reviews. The longer they have been selling can be an indicator of their experience.
Along with looking at the order number of a product, it’s equally as important to keep an eye on the review rating. Any product with 4.5 stars is worth taking a closer look at. This rating or high, suggests that the majority of customers have had a positive experience with the product and supplier.
One way of checking the legitimacy of a manufacturer is to analyze the images that are featured.
Make sure that the images they have are not taken from another retailer and do belong to them. This can be done by doing a Google image search.
If you require further information, it’s in your best interest to reach out to the supplier before placing an order. This gives you a chance to ask any questions you may have.
If the vendor takes their time to respond to your messages or doesn’t reply at all, then they are not a good fit for you as this is a clear red flag.
It’s important to look out for dropshipping suppliers that offer alternative shipping options for your store. Being able to give your customers more shipping options and information will aid their customer experience.
EPacket shipping or AliExpress premium shipping is a great advantage that enables a faster delivery service with product tracking for the customers’ peace of mind.
3. Order samples
Once you’ve selected the products you would like to feature in your store, it’s a good idea to ask for a sample of the product you are going to be selling.
\The last thing you want is to have negative feedback on products that you haven’t experienced yourself. Getting a look at the product yourself and checking it is legitimate and of the quality you expected, ordering samples is a must.
4. Create your online store
Once you have selected your products, it’s time to put them on your chosen site. You can do this using sites like Shopify or Wix to create your online store.
Add your images and original product descriptions to market your products. It’s important to remember that as you expect transparency from your suppliers, your customers will expect the same from you.
Once your store is ready to go and you receive your first order, you can then purchase the product from your AliExpress supplier entering the customer’s name and delivery address.
The supplier then finishes the process for you. Always keep clear communication with your supplier, letting them know that you are a dropshipping business to avoid any branding mistakes.
Note – To keep track of your sales and orders, it’s a good idea to keep a spreadsheet for your organization.
Finally, follow up with your customer asking if they are happy with their product and their customer experience. This is a great chance to increase your reviews and gain some social proof.