AliExpress Dropshipping: How to Dropship From AliExpress and Make a Profit
AliExpress is one of the most popular places for sourcing products. There are plenty of success stories from sellers who’ve used this marketplace to find that winning item for their business from a variety of niches.
By dropshipping from AliExpress, you can start a low-risk business without the need for a significant investment upfront. In this guide, we will examine how you can use AliExpress dropshipping to make money on Amazon or any other online marketplace.
Table of contents
How Does AliExpress Dropshipping Work?
Dropshipping with AliExpress is a method for sourcing and fulfilling eCommerce product orders. With this method, you find a product on the site that you want to sell. Then, you list the product on a third-party marketplace (like Amazon or eBay). You can also list the items on your own eCommerce site.
When a customer orders something through your sales channel, you place the order on the AliExpress website.
When completing the order, you provide the supplier with your customer’s delivery information.
The supplier then ships the item directly to the customer.
To operate as an effective AliExpress dropshipper, you’ll need to understand the dropshipping rules for the markets you want to use. For instance, Amazon has a specific policy you must follow if you want to dropship.
Amazon’s policy states that you must be identified as the seller on record for all packing slips, invoices, and the external packaging. You must also be responsible for handling all customer returns.
While AliExpress is an online marketplace, their suppliers are well-prepared to comply with any marketplace rules. This helps make AliExpress a great option to set up your dropshipping business.
Where You Can Sell Products?
First, you need to pick a platform to market your supplies. Below are the most popular choices for dropshipping:
Amazon - The world’s largest marketplace for anyone who wants to sell products online. Amazon allows dropshipping, but they also require you to take ownership for any issues that arise.
Shopify - A website-building platform that specializes in e-commerce. By using Shopify, you get your own unique storefront and you own the traffic completely. Shopify also lets you link to Aliexpress dropshipping directly.
BigCommerce - An alternative to Shopify that enables users to build a website and sell online. BigCommerce is usually preferred by larger, online-only businesses. BigCommerce also has a dropshipping Plugin for AliExpress.
These top e-commerce platforms suit different needs, depending on how much time you have. If you are able to devote more time, you can actually build a whole website on BigCommerce and Shopify. Otherwise, you might prefer to start on Amazon’s marketplace.
How to Dropship With AliExpress: Step-by-Step Guide
Regardless of which platform you choose, building a successful e-commerce business involves the same steps. To learn more about these steps, read below.
1. Find a Winning Product
Before you start selling, you need to find a product that’s in-demand. Below are some proven methods and instructions to help you find winning products.
Using Product Research Tools
Regardless of what you sell, you need to take a data-driven approach in order for your business to be effective. One proven approach is getting data from Amazon, which provides a useful pulse for other products on the wider e-commerce market. Below, you’ll find out how to use tools built for Amazon to gather data for any dropshipping business.
Looking for ideas with AMZScout’s Product Database
Go to the AMZScout Product Database.
Start your free trial by entering your email.
Search for products based on criteria that’s important to you (i.e., price, sales, reviews). To find popular products, set your preferred sales number to a minimum of 1000. You can also check the box Trending products to see what’s trending on Amazon now.
Select Find Products to get some ideas.
Review these products and choose the ones with the most potential.
Evaluating the niche with AMZScout’s PRO Extension
Install the AMZScout PRO Extension
Go to the Amazon website and use the search bar to find a product or niche that interests you, or enter the ideas you found using the Product Database.
Click the AMZScout icon in the top-right corner to open the extension.
Click the Niche Score or Product Score to check that niche or particular product’s potential for reselling.
Open the Product History to see if a product has had stable sales over the last two years, or if sales tend to fluctuate.
Evaluate product profitability. For those who plan to sell with Amazon FBA, open the Profit Calculator and enter your anticipated costs to see your potential profits.
The product ideas you get from AMZScout’s tools can be used to become a dropshipping reseller on any platform.
When looking for specific product categories, use AliExpress’s search feature to help you find products, sort by order quantity, or find new and trending items.
The site includes several different options for sorting through products. Some of these include the number of orders, price, and how new they are.
If you sort by orders, you can find items quickly that have had the most success. Keep in mind, this doesn’t necessarily mean they are the best items to dropship. Given their popularity, other sellers may have already listed them.
Another approach is to sort by newest products first. This will help you find profitable items before other sellers.
You can also sort by price if you have a specific interest in low or high-ticket items.
Below are some alternatives you can use for product research:
Google Trends - Focuses on trending search results of popular products.
Pinterest - Gives you information about popular products based on the number of pins.
Amazon Trend Report - An overview of trending product categories and other areas of interest.
AliExpress Bestselling - A list of the best-selling products on AliExpress.
Amazon Best Sellers - Provides you with information about top-selling products you can take anywhere.
Shopify’s Trending Products List - A separate list of trending product categories.
Reddit - Browse conversations on boards related to your niche to help you understand what people are looking for.
2. Find a Product and Supplier on AliExpress
When you find products that interest you, go to the product page on the AliExpress website to learn more about any item. Follow these tips to help you learn more about a product:
Look at the pictures. This will help you get a sense of whether the item will address your customers’ needs.
Check the reviews and ratings of both products and suppliers. This is a good way to tell if a product is legitimate and high-quality. If your customers have a negative experience, your business will not see many sales in the long term. Look at what previous buyers have to say to see what you can learn.
Make sure your supplier doesn’t sell on Amazon. If they do, you will not be able to compete with them. They will probably list the items at the same (or close to the same) price you pay to source them.
Test the products yourself. Reviews and feedback are nice, but you can’t be sure of a product’s quality until you test it. Because delivery times are slower, it will take some time for you to test a sample, delaying your product launch.
After you have found some products that you like, go ahead and sign up for an AliExpress account.
3. Negotiate with Suppliers
You need to communicate with your suppliers before selling your products. Negotiating can help you get the right price for the items, and can also ensure that you and the supplier are on the same page and have common expectations.
When talking to suppliers, you also need to discuss shipping costs. This will have a big impact on the profitability of your business. Faster AliExpress shipping methods can come with a heftier fee. Ideally, you want to find a supplier that offers free shipping.
Take note of each supplier’s shipping times, and look for those that offer ePacket shipping. This will ensure that items are delivered within approximately 14 days.
You should also find out about the supplier’s expected processing time. Find suppliers that can process and dispatch orders in one to two days. This will reduce the overall delivery time. It will also decrease the chances that your customer cancels the order.
4. List Items and Start Getting Sales
Listing items involves the creation of product pages. These pages need to include high-quality photos and descriptions to entice potential buyers into clicking your “Checkout” button. You also need to know how to create listings for the platforms you want to use.
This means you have one of two choices: you can join an existing listing, or create a new listing. Joining a listing that already exists is only an option if you sell on third-party marketplaces (like Amazon). This means you’ll compete with other sellers who are also selling the same product. If you plan to dropship on Amazon, keep this in mind.
Alternatively, you can create a new listing, which you’re more likely to do on website-building platforms (like Shopify or BigCommerce). However, there may also be times when you need to create a listing if nobody else has made one yet (which is unlikely if the product is available to other dropshippers).
5. Manage Orders
Your work doesn’t end once your products are live. You will need to make sure your products get to where they need to be. This is called “order fulfillment”, which is mostly a hands-off process for a dropshipper.
Dropshippers outsource their packaging and fulfillment processes to third-party services. In this case, AliExpress would be the service provider. Your job is to track orders and ensure they get to their destination.
Even if AliExpress makes a mistake, the customer will blame you. You’re ultimately responsible, which means your storefront (or seller profile on Amazon) might suffer if you don’t check on the results of your orders. In this case, your role becomes that of an “order fulfillment specialist,” maintaining incoming sales and ensuring products get to where they need to go.
Whatever you decide, there are ways you can automatically connect your selling platform and AliExpress. Automating as much as you can will help make your order fulfillment even more hands-off.
Benefits of AliExpress Dropshipping
Below are some compelling reasons you might consider doing AliExpress dropshipping.
Cheap products: AliExpess hosts numerous vendors who are constantly competing in terms of price. It’s easy to find inexpensive products you can import and resell for a profit.
No upfront fees: AliExpress doesn’t charge any upfront fees, making it unique compared to other dropshipping providers.
No need to pay sales tax on your order: AliExpress sells at wholesale prices, meaning you don’t have to pay sales tax.
Buyer protection program: AliExpress offers a 90-day protection plan in case you are not satisfied with your order.
Reliable suppliers: AliExpress allows fellow sellers to review suppliers, so it’s easy to find reliable providers.
All in all, AliExpress is an excellent place to get your products so you can sell them in various online marketplaces, which we will explore further in our next section.
Does AliExpress Give Refunds?
Yes, but you’ll need to submit an order dispute within 15 days after your order completion date. If your goods are received after the 15-day window, you might be able to request an exception.
In most cases, you’ll need to return the items you ordered. However, if the product is small and inexpensive (like a sample), they might just let you keep it, since it would cost more to ship it back.
Here are some tips when using AliExpress to drop ship items:
Watch Out for Fake “Brands”
AliExpress is an international marketplace, so it attracts people worldwide. Because of this, sellers who use AliExpress are from different legal jurisdictions, making it easy for them to pretend to be an actual, famous brand. It’s incredibly difficult, even for large companies, to catch creators of counterfeit products. But, if you choose to resell these products from AliExpress, you might get into trouble. AliExpress helps prevent this by allowing fellow dropshippers to write user reviews, so pay close attention to the reputation of your chosen dropshipping supplier.
Packaging is also an important part of the customer experience. You might want your packaging to align with your brand while adhering to your platform’s policies. You can achieve both of these objectives by getting custom packaging for your items. Keep in mind, you may have to search around for a supplier who offers custom packaging, as doing so for single orders can be risky and time-consuming.
Check Available Payment Methods
It is also helpful to check a supplier’s payment methods before ordering any items. You’ll want flexibility when buying your products. Check to see if they offer options like Paypal, as this will give you another option with instant payment processing.
Best Products to Dropship From AliExpress
There are plenty of products that work well for dropshipping from AliExpress. Below are a few top examples.
Toys & Games
Toys sales have solid demand throughout the year, with increased interest around the holidays. This helps make them an idealdropshipping product. Plus, there are plenty of toy suppliers on AliExpress.
Below, you’ll find a few examples of how popular kid’s toys can be.
Home & Kitchen
Home products are one of the most profitable categories on Amazon. This niche works great for dropshipping, since you can source larger products without worrying about fulfillment fees.
Below are a few examples of kitchen products and their demand in the market:
Beauty products are easy to source and provide a wide variety of options for sellers around which to center their catalog. This niche is steadily growing in popularity on Amazon and other marketplaces as well.
Below is a closer look at three examples of beauty products (hair gel, lash lift, and face serum):
These are just a few of the things you can dropship from AliExpress. You can check out our guide to the best dropshipping products to find more product ideas.
AliExpress Alternatives for Dropshipping
Here are some of the top AliExpress alternatives for sourcing drop shipping products:
Like AliExpress, Alibaba is owned by the Alibaba Group. While its sister site functions more like a traditional D2C site, Alibaba caters to wholesale and B2B buyers. There is an extensive platform for buyers that includes the ability to request quotes and manage communication with suppliers.
To help you find a reliable supplier, check out the AMZScout PRO Extension, which includes a Find on Alibaba button to give you some options.
DHgate is an international commerce site for buying both single and bulk purchases. They also offer dropshipping services with delivery times ranging between two to three weeks. On this site, you can find items from pretty much any category.
Best Buy is an omnichannel electronics retailer based in the United States. You can use them to source your products by ordering from their site and having them shipped directly to customers. Keep Amazon’s policy in mind and ensure that no Best Buy packaging is included in the delivery.
Made-in-China is another online marketplace to source various items located from China. Their layout is similar to Alibaba, with most listings intended for bulk orders. There are some suppliers here who provide dropshipping for individual items.
The steps in this guide will help you start dropshipping from AliExpress. If you want to be successful, remember that you can’t treat AliExpress dropshipping as a get-rich-quick scheme. You’ll need to put in the same amount of thought and effort as you would with any other business. Start by selecting a winning product, then find a way to make your business stand out from the crowd.