Shopify 101: Dropshipping with AliExpress

Dropshipping

Why AliExpress for Dropshipping

AliExpress is a huge marketplace with a wide selection of products that you can sell in your storefront. Because most of the AliExpress sellers are overseas manufacturers, their prices are very competitive.

AliExpress is not just an online retailer, most sellers here understand that a large number of their customers are resellers who are much more interested in drop shipping.

Dropshipping with AliExpress for your Shopify storefront is very easy.

There’s no upfront cost and you can test out their products without any financial commitment.

How To Set Up Your Store

The first thing to do is to decide on your niche. If you don’t know where to start, check the product categories and select  what interests you the most or what you’d feel the most comfortable selling.

Store setup

Once you have a niche in mind, it’s time to choose the products you want to resell on your Shopify store.

As you’ll find with AliExpress, there’s a lot of products to choose from. And yeah, you’ll be overwhelmed. Thank me later, because I’ve developed  a list of criteria for choosing the product. So without further ado, here are a few things to look for when selecting a product on AliExpress to drop ship.

Avoid fakes or knockoffs: It’s best that you avoid any brands to avoid reselling fakes and knockoffs. Look for the unbranded ones. If there’s a logo on the product, you might want to avoid it, even if it may be legitimate. You don’t want to take the risk since you are not a licensed reseller and also because you don’t actually know if the product is legit.

ePacket delivery with free shipping: As much as possible, try to only resell products that offer ePacket shipping that’s free.

Over 300 orders: A product with a good number of orders tells you a few things. First, it tells you that there’s demand for that product. Second, it tells you that the supplier is a reliable one since a few of those orders are repeats.

Tip: When looking for a new product, sort products by the most orders.

Over 4.5 stars rating: Always look for products that have a high product rating (over 4.5 stars) and a seller that has high positive feedback as well. You might want to use a Chrome extension called AliExpress Seller Check.

Seller rating

Low price with a high margin potential: Depending on the product that you want to resell, choose within a $1-$20 price range. This makes it less risky when you lose money on a sale, and these inexpensive products generally can be priced at $10-$50 or even more. For example, you can find running shoes on AliExpress for around $20 and sell them for $40. This provides me with a 50% profit margin.

Product photos: Do your due diligence to make sure that the photos are actually from your manufacturer and not stolen from another retailer online. Doing a quick Google image search will help you know if the product photos are a real brand and retailer or from the manufacturer themselves.

Good seller: Don’t be afraid to ask questions before placing an order with your seller. A good seller will answer all of your queries quickly. If a seller doesn’t respond to your messages, that’s a big red flag.

How To Add Products To Your Shopify Store

Once you have selected your products, it’s time setup your Shopify store. Adding your products to your store is an important step because it’s not as simple as copying the images and description of the AliExpress listing and placing that on your Shopify storefront.

Here are a few things that you should consider.

  • Write your own product descriptions.
  • Let your customers know about delivery times.
  • Use an order tracking app: This will keep your customers up-to-date with the status of their purchase.
  • Offer free shipping
  • Set your price appropriately
  • Add products to your store with apps. There are a few apps that you can use to make importing products from AliExpress to your Shopify store a lot easier. Here are some of them:
    1. Oberlo
    2. Expressfy

    Instead of manually adding products from AliExpress to your Shopify store, you can use one of the above apps to quickly add products to your web store.

How to Use AliExpress to Dropship

Now that you have your Shopify store filled with AliExpresss products that are ready to sell and dropship, what do you do once you get your first order?

Dropshipping with AliExpress works the same way with any regular drop shipper. Once the order has been placed in your store, you just need to purchase it on AliExpress, provide your customer’s details (name and shipping address), and they will handle the rest.

It is a good idea to have a spreadsheet with a list of all the products on your store, the amount you’re selling them for, the amount they cost on AliExpress, along with a link to the AliExpress listing. This way, whenever you get an order, it will be easier for you to find the supplier on AliExpress, and to keep track of price changes.

Spreadsheet

Or, you can use Oberlo to handle everything for you (purchasing orders on AliExpress and watch for price changes).

When ordering on AliExpress, you must let the seller know you are drop shipping. This way, the seller won’t include any invoices or promotions in the package being sent to your customer.

On checkout, you can just leave a message for the seller. You may leave a message such as: “We’re dropshipping. Please don’t include promotions & invoices!”

As I mentioned earlier, ePacket shipping is recommended, especially if the supplier is in China. Many suppliers will offer this shipping option for free.

Depending on your seller’s processing time, you’ll receive an email in a couple of minutes to let you know that your order has been shipped.

Order has been shipped

Click the link in the email to view your order. This will show you the tracking number for the order.

Head over to your Shopify admin to fulfill that order. Be sure to enter the tracking number, too.

Shopify admin

You are done! Now it’s just a matter of time for your customers to receive their order. When the order arrives, AliExpress will send you an email to confirm if your order was received. Give it some time for the customer to get back to you just in case there are any issues with their order. This way, you can bring up the issue with the seller through AliExpress for them to correct it.

The best part about AliExpress drop shipping is that it allows Shopify business owners to quickly test and validate ideas and products. If you’re unsure if you’re capable of selling a specific product, you can add it to your Shopify store and test it. If it doesn’t work out, you can simply remove the item from your store and test something else.

Because you’re not carrying or managing any inventory at all, and there’s no upfront cost. However, there’s little risk involved in setting this all up.

Try it out and report back. If you have any questions? Leave them in the comment section below.

 

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