Guest post by LeeLineInsourcing
Dropshipping is a really popular business model in 2019. It’s very easy to get started because you don’t have to worry about product inventory, order fulfillment, and shipping. You set the price and market the product, and your supplier takes care of the rest. You need a reliable supplier and this can be difficult to find on the internet. If you are thinking about dropshipping, AliExpress is a good option.
AliExpress makes it easy for you to find the right products to sell on your store. It is the most highly rated and credible platform for e-commerce sellers wanting to dropship across the globe. It has a wide selection of items that you can dropship from AliExpress with Oberlo.
There’s no upfront fee with AliExpress, and with Oberlo, you can easily upload the AliExpress products to your store in a couple of clicks. You will get beautiful pictures and detailed product descriptions, and you can use these original products in your product listing. You can test a wide variety of products without any financial commitment.
It’s easy, but there are a few tips and tricks that will help. This blog will help you on the road to success and give you the best tips to start your business.
How to Start Dropshipping with AliExpress?
1. Choose your niche on AliExpress
First and foremost, you have to consider your niche and products. You need to determine what you will sell on your store. There are millions of products on AliExpress to choose from. Ideally, pick something you know very well, such as products related to your hobbies, and interests. Or you can look at what’s popular and trendy. For example, if you take skincare seriously, skin cream, skin moisturizer, and makeup tools could be options for your business. Picking something you know well will help your business.
Use the internet for inspiration; look at online stores, product listings, promoted products, and bestsellers across different platforms such as Amazon, and eBay, etc.
What’s more, go to social shopping sites such as Pinterest to look for product ideas from customers. You can create an account and subscribe to the categories and lists of interests and groups to keep an eye on real market product needs.
Once you determine your products, search for them on AliExpress. Remember to avoid branded products, fake products, and knockoff items. If there’s a logo or tagline on the product, avoid them. To ensure a legal business, try to stay away from these potentially bad products. Only consider items with over 4.5 stars rating. Last but not least; seek the products which have a high-profit margin potential.
2. Identify a reliable supplier
Next, you have to determine your dropshipping supplier. It’s a tough task for a beginner. These tips will help you:
- Check the product price
It’s not all about price. On AliExpress you will find a number of suppliers who offer the same product. It’s true that you have to seek the best price for the best margin, but you have to keep the product quality in mind. Research and compare suppliers. Note that a lower price on AliExpress normally means reduced quality.
- View the suppliers’ feedback and ratings
Choose suppliers with higher positive feedback. You can evaluate the supplier via their feedback to determine the product quality, service quality, and reliability. Viewing the supplier feedback helps you narrow down your options.
- Look for ePacket delivery
The product shipping time for dropshipping is especially important. ePacket, the AliExpress Premium Shipping, is the best balance between cheapness and speediness. Look out for suppliers offering ePacket.
- Pay attention to the responsiveness of the supplier
What if there is something urgent? How will the supplier respond to resolve the issue? Test their response. Raise an urgent issue and check how he/she responds. Pay attention to the response time, his/her communication skills, the ability to understand the issue, and figure out the most effective solutions within a limited time. A supplier who responds with a generic and meaningless message will never help you.
- The main questions you have to ask your supplier:
What’s the final price?
How long will it take to receive my order?
What’s the minimum order quantity？
How much will it cost to ship the product?
Do you offer samples?
Do you have any reference?
3. Set up your dropshipping store
Once you have chosen your products and supplier; it’s time for you to set up your dropshipping store. You can choose the platform and start to build your store by creating product listings. The most popular platform is Shopify. It offers several different templates, tools, and plugins for you to build and manage your shop. For beginners, it offers a free 14-day trial. It works well with Oberlo. If you are using BigCommerce, you can use the AliExpress Dropshipping app to begin setting up your store. The app offers a free 3-day trial and $10 a month after that.
To set up your store, you have to write product descriptions. Make them unique, use high-quality images, and be clear about the product shipping policy; include availability, price, and shipping. You can use the tracking plugins to track your orders and keep the customer informed.
Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to power your dropshipping store with Shopify and Aliexpress.
4. Use tools to automate your business
There are a number of tools that help you automate dropshipping on AliExpress. Use these tools, and you will save lots of time and energy. You can use the automated order tracking tool to help you track and update the order info for the customer automatically. Integrate the system into your business, and you will get the order info in the system too.
How about using an email autoresponder? You can customize the content based on your business needs, and send emails automatically to your business subscribers. It will save you time with email marketing and surveys.
You can integrate the inventory management tool to keep up to date with stock levels.
Besides, there are tools that help you forward the order to the supplier and prioritize the supplier automatically. Technology can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your business. There’s a solution for whatever you need.
5. Be clear about the payment methods of AliExpress
You need to be able to pay your supplier and AliExpress offers a worldwide service and several payment methods for suppliers. The most common way is using a credit card. You can use Visa, MasterCard, Maestro, and American Express. Credit card payment offers you some protection in case of returns, refunds, or poor quality product; you can file a dispute with the credit card company which is a big advantage.
Otherwise, AliExpress offers a wide range of additional payment methods including Wire Transfer, TEF, Webmoney, iDeal, West Union, Sofort Banking, DOKI, QIWI, Mercado, SMA payment in Russia, Boleto, Cash Payment, Bancontact, and AliExpress Pocket.
Generally, it will take two to five days for AliExpress to verify your card details when you first sign up so remember you can’t start placing orders during the period.
6. Determine the shipping method for your orders
As a dropshipper, you have to determine the shipping method for sending products to your customers. Generally, the faster, the better. On AliExpress, there are two major methods to manage product delivery.
- The AliExpress Standard Shipping
The shipping time differs depending on where the parcel needs to go. It can range from 12 days to about 2 months or more. For instance, if you want to ship the order to the United States, it may take 19 to 39 days, which is too long. However, it’s normally free or costs little.
- AliExpress Premium Shipping
AliExpress Premium Shipping is the ePacket delivery option. It’s quicker than the typical shipping method, and it’s the one we recommend. Faster shipping means happier customers and a more successful dropshipping business. The service is cost-effective and reaches more than 30 countries.
Remember to be clear with your customers about shipping and don’t forget to take into account the time for order processing as well as shipping.
7. Know the return and refund policy of AliExpress
There is an AliExpress Buyer Protection designed to ensure your orders and your legal rights. However, the fact is that many suppliers will not offer returns or refunds. In this case, you have to create a plan to deal with returned orders and refund requests.
Your customers are likely to ask for a refund if they don’t get what they ordered. Contact the supplier to resolve this issue and figure out a way to diffuse the customer’s anger. Give them a refund or replacement.
What if a product is damaged during product transportation? Ask the customer to take photos of the damage. Figure out the possible reason for the issue, speak with the supplier, and show them the pictures. You have to compensate the customer or negotiate a solution for your customer.
8. Promote your dropshipping business
When you’re set up, it’s time for you to market your business. Your target customers should be aware of the products you offer, so target your promotions towards them. If you are a full-time dropshipper, you get lots of time to promote your business.
Create a multi-channel marketing plan to promote your business across different channels. Utilize social media platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter, etc. Build your social media footprint to reach out to customers to increase sales. Advertising is another way to help you gain a wide range of customers instantly. You can advertise on different platforms, such as Google and Facebook, etc.
It’s very easy for you to become a dropshipper with AliExpress. You don’t need any inventory, an order fulfillment process, or a huge budget. We’ve covered what you need to understand related to dropshipping on AliExpress. Now, it’s time for you to go ahead and start your own dropshipping business online.
Sharline Shaw, the founder of a leelineSourcing.com, is an expert on Chinese export trade. With 10 years of experience in the field of sourcing in China, she is familiar with all relevant regulations and laws about China’s exporting. She loves to share her experiences with people and has written many helpful articles.