Are you having trouble getting your Shopify store to work or don’t even know how to start one?
Are you having difficulties finding the proper dropshipping resources?
Luckily for you, this is THE definitive guide on how to dropship from Aliexpress. We’ll keep it simple and concise, but after reading through this guide you will have more than enough knowledge to get started.
Dropshipping isn’t a get-rich quick scheme, but the hours upon hours you invest into yourself and your business can pay off like nothing you’ve ever experienced before.
There will be many obstacles along the way and as time passes on, you will massively grow your knowledge and expertise.
But don’t stress, we will be here for you every step of the way.
Let’s dive in.
Who Are We?
We at Verum Ecom started dropshipping from our college dorm rooms in 2017 and have been doing it full-time ever since.
Over the course of over 3 years we have seen a lot of success and gained a deep understanding of the dropshipping business model.
This knowledge and experience has allowed us to generate over 8 figures in sales.
Furthermore, as we started gaining a reputation in the dropshipping community, beginners would commonly ask us for help.
For this reason, we launched our own YouTube channel where we teach in-depth dropshipping content for completely free.
As of today, our channel has 100,415 subscribers and millions of views.
Click here or the image above to subscribe to our YouTube channel.
Furthermore, we have a Facebook group with 53,154 active dropshippers who are willing to help each other.
Click here or the image above to join our group and stay up-to-date on the dropshipping ecosystem.
With our background out of the way, let’s get right into the topic of today.
What is Dropshipping?
Many beginners are still confused on what dropshipping is.
This is because there’s a lack of reputable resources and a lot of conflicting information regarding the space.
However, the business model itself is quite straightforward and we narrowed it down into 5 simple steps.
Here it is:
5-Step Dropshipping Model
- Build an e-commerce store using Shopify
- Find products to sell from Aliexpress and import them into your store
- Run advertisements to bring customers to your store
- Customers order product(s) from your website
- You order the product from Aliexpress and ship it directly to the customer
As you can see, the business model is easy to understand.
Let’s talk about the benefits.
Dropshipping is unique because it allows you to build an online store without holding any inventory.
The supplier from Aliexpress ships the product directly to your customer.
This is beneficial for many reasons:
- Don’t need a significant amount of money to get started
- Low-risk way of testing multiple products
- Buying a warehouse and large stock of product is unnecessary
- Anyone with a laptop and a few hundred dollars and can started
Dropshipping is the new age of entrepreneurship because of the amount of knowledge and wealth you can achieve without needing much business experience to start with.
It’s the way of the future because let’s face it, most individuals would prefer working for themselves than working a grueling corporate job.
As long as you’re willing to put in the work, not give up, and intuitively learn along the way, there is nothing stopping you from achieving the success you always wanted.
We at Verum Ecom will be here to hold your hand every step of the way, so don’t get worried if you feel lost.
Just take a deep breath and get ready for an incredible journey.
Aliexpress and Dropshipping: A Match Made in Heaven
Without Aliexpress, dropshipping would not be what it is today. It has enabled thousands of people just like you to achieve paramount success in eCommerce.
What is Aliexpress?
Aliexpress is an online marketplace based in China that is similar to Amazon with an endless amount of products.
Here’s what the homepage looks like:
As you can see, it looks similar to any other traditional online shopping website and is very easy to use.
Although Aliexpress is a Chinese company, the website is in English (with other languages available) and the prices are much more affordable than Amazon.
You can literally find anything there with its millions and millions of product listings.
Just the men’s clothing category itself has 1,324,482 product listings.
This wide variety of products paired with it’s affordable prices makes it an incredibly vital tool to run a dropshipping store.
Furthermore, the global reach of Aliexpress allows customers to ship to over 220 countries.
Aliexpress was specifically made for international customers. People in mainland China aren’t even able to shop on Aliexpress.
Let’s talk about how to use Aliexpress:
Using Aliexpress for the first time can be a confusing process, but we at Verum Ecom have developed a simple seven-step action plan.
You should already have your Shopify store created, ready to import products from Aliexpress.
If you still need to create your store, learn how to by reading “How to Set Up A Shopify Store”.
Here’s the plan:
Seven-Step Aliexpress Action Plan
Step 1) Selecting a Niche/Products
The first step in using Aliexpress to dropship is finding what kind of products to sell.
To do this, feel free to reference this video and this video.
Furthermore, here are some easy tips to finding a winning product:
Aliexpress Dropshipping Center
The Aliexpress Dropshipping Center is our favorite tool for finding dropshipping products.
Best of all, it’s completely free.
This tool allows you to easily find trending products as well as detailed stats on how many orders per day the product is receiving.
To use it, login to your Aliexpress account and go into the Dropshipping Center.
You may need to google “Aliexpress Dropshipping Center” and click the first link.
Once you’re inside the dashboard, click on ‘Find Products to Sell‘.
This is the main tool you will be using to find your next winning product.
Once you’re on the dashboard, we recommend selecting ‘Orders’ by ‘All Countries’. Since Aliexpress is so global, we don’t want to pigeonhole ourselves by narrowing the product selection to one country.
You will now see the products on Aliexpress sorted by most orders.
The columns show the product name, price, orders, DS orders, rating, sales performance, and actions.
‘DS Price’ and ‘DS Orders’ stand for dropshipping price and dropshipping orders. However, these numbers are usually inaccurate, so we choose to ignore them.
You only want to look at the amount of orders the product has and use the ‘Analyze’ button.
Under ‘Actions’ you will see a button called ‘Analyze’.
The analyze tool allows you to see the daily sales volume of a specific product in the last two weeks.
Our Best Dropshipping Tip
The analyze tool will become your best friend when looking for dropshipping products.
We recommend finding products that are selling at least 50 units per day.
If the product is selling above 50 units, there are two possibilities:
- Normal online shoppers are consistently buying the product which means the product is trendy and sellable
- Another dropshipper is consistently selling the product which means the product is sellable
Either way, the product is consistently moving units and is a good choice to try selling.
Here’s an example of a product with over 50 sales per day.
Here’s an example of a product that isn’t selling 50 units per day.
Even though this product had one day with 100 sales, the inconsistency can’t be ignored and we would look for another product.
As you’re browsing the Aliexpress Dropshipping Center, you can also sort products based on category or type in product names.
So if you are interested in a specific niche, you can easily find the trending products in that specific category.
Aliexpress Dropship Center Tips
For each product you look at, try to think about the potential marketing angle you can base your advertisement on. Think about the problems the product could solve and the results a potentail customer could achieve.
Products that enable you to instantly think of a marketing angle are great options to choose
Save The Links
After each product you think you could potentially sell, make sure to save the product page.
Either bookmark the Aliexpress product link or save the URL in a document.
It will make your life so much easier later on if you have all the products saved somewhere already.
As you’re looking at potential products, we recommend pricing the products for at least 300% of the price the supplier is selling it for.
Remember to factor in shipping costs into the total product cost.
For example, if the supplier is selling the product for $12 + $5 for shipping. You should sell the product for at least $51 ($17×3).
The 300% markup is important because it will help sustain your store’s profit margins after factoring in advertisement costs.
If you think the product would be too expensive at the 3x markup, we recommend looking for another product.
Pick a Niche that is Related to your Hobbies or Passions
These stores tend to do well because you already know so much information about the products you’re selling and can grow a business related to something you love.
For example, I personally have a passion for playing soccer. Since people are less likely to buy cleats that aren’t top name brands like Nike or Adidas, I would focus on training equipment and gear. I could look for cones, small training goals, agility ladders, and training shirts. I would focus on training equipment and clothing and buy samples of these items on Aliexpress. Since I’ve played soccer for 12 years, I know what equipment is effective and what clothing is comfortable.
Use the Aliexpress Dropshipping Center and search for items related to the niche you’re passionate about.
Reference our article How to Find Products to Dropship for more resources on selecting a niche.
Remember this key information when looking for products:
Avoid branded and knock-off items. Selling items with real brands like “Adidas” or “Nike” is illegal and is something we do not permit.
Products that contain a logo should be avoided. You want to find products without random logos and look for plain items. Furthermore, you can communicate with the supplier to either remove the logo or put your own custom logo in.
Step 2) Shipping
Shipping times are a key factor in dropshipping. Customers who wait too long will be angry and look to chargeback or refund their product.
Since the products are most likely shipped from overseas, there’s a few shipping services you need to look for.
ePacket Shipping is the best shipping service on Aliexpress. They usually deliver within 2-3 weeks and is either free or very affordable.
Aliexpress standard shipping is another option if ePacket is unavailable. Over 90% of the time we always go for ePacket, but there are rare cases where Aliexpress standard shipping is the only option, but still delivers in a reasonable time.
You can also communicate with the supplier to see if you work out a plan to get the product even faster to the customer.
Step 3) Suppliers and Supplier Relationships on Aliexpress
The most vital part of a dropshipping business is supplier relationships.
The supplier plays a big role in determining the success of your business.
They dictate the quality of the product, the shipping time, and must also have enough inventory to supply all your orders.
Here’s how to find a reputable Aliexpress supplier:
Once you’ve found a product you’re interested in, look at the top-left of your screen where it says the store’s name.
As you can see, this Aliexpress seller’s store is called JACKET CORDEE Store and has a 95.6% positive feedback.
We recommend looking for suppliers with above 95% positive feedback.
You can also see they have a ribbon icon labeled ‘Top Brand’. The ‘Top Brand’ award is given to Aliexpress sellers with the highest ratings and best quality.
Although not completely necessary, we recommend finding sellers with the top brand icon.
Furthermore, if you hover your mouse over the store name, you can see the detailed seller ratings and when the store was opened.
As you can see, the detailed seller ratings describe the overall ‘item as described’, ‘communication’, and ‘shipping speed’ ratings.
Sellers with above 4.5 stars out of 5 in each of these categories are trustworthy.
You can also click ‘Visit Store’ and then ‘Feedback’ to look at more in-depth reviews.
The seller feedback page has a summary of all the Aliexpress seller’s reviews in the past 1 month, 3 months, and 6 months.
We recommend finding as seller that has a few thousand ratings in the past 6 months.
If you find a reputable supplier that you’d like to use, ask them for their Skype ID or any other line of communication.
Having their Skype contact allows you to quickly communicate with each other.
It’s important to build a healthy relationship with your supplier, so your business can sustain any success it might achieve.
Key Tip About Picking Dropshipping Products
It may be enticing to just import all the products with the most orders for your niche, but we recommend against this.
Too many suppliers is a no-go for Verum Ecom.
Because if a customer orders 10 products from your store and these 10 products are all from different suppliers, the customer will receive 10 different packages at 10 different times.
This is extremely confusing and frustrating for your customer because they are used to receiving all their items at once.
- For long term business success, we recommend just a few (1-5) reputable suppliers.
- Finding a few suppliers with high quality products and a good reputation for quickly shipping your products to customers is the key to a sustainable dropshipping store.
Step 4) Importing Products into Shopify
Once you’ve chosen the product you want to sell, import the product into your Shopify store.
You should already have Oberlo installed on your Shopify store and the browser extension installed.
On the product page, click the Oberlo extension icon and then click ‘Add to Import List.
The product will show up on the import product section on Oberlo inside your Shopify backend.
Here’s the product upload and product listing timeline:
- Find product on Aliexpress
- Import product into Shopify using Oberlo browser extension
- Find the product in your ‘Import List’ on the Oberlo application inside Shopify (*The product is not live on your store yet)
- Customize the product title, description, pricing, and images
- Click ‘Import To Store’ to make the product go live
- Any further edits to your product can be made from Shopify Dashboard -> Products -> The Product You Want To Edit
Customizing the Product Listing on your Website
Before fully importing the product into your Shopify store to make the product go live, you can edit a few details:
Choosing the name of your product
Take your time to think of clever names for your products. For example, if you are selling a Grey Hoodie, a better name than Grey Hoodie would be “Comfort Cloud Knit Hoodie”.
It sounds much more luxurious and interesting.
Changing the pricing
We recommend beginners markup the product at least 3x or more. If you buy the product for $12, sell it for a minimum of $36.
You can change the product price under ‘Variants’.
Furthermore, you can set a compared-at price as well. If the set the compared-at price at $50 and the product price at $25, your website will display a 50% off on that product.
You can use this tool if you plan on running promotions or sales.
From there you can gather data and adjust as you go along!
Selecting which pictures you want to import
Only add the high-quality and clear pictures onto your store.
We recommend not adding pictures that contain text or look tacky. Your goal should be to make the product page look as legitimate and high quality as possible.
Make sure the picture sizes are all the same too. This provides a better experience for customers browsing the website.
Writing the description
Write your own descriptions. Use your creativity to vividly paint the product in the best light possible.
Also, give specifics in terms of sizing and components if needed.
Step 5) Your First Order and Fulfillment
Boom! You received your first order.
There’s nothing like the adrenaline and rush from this moment. All the initial hard-work has paid off and the real fun is just getting started.
Use the Oberlo application in Shopify and click ‘Orders’ on the left-hand side.
Next, select ‘Order Products’.
Your web browser will open a new tab that automatically adds the product to cart and enters the customer’s shipping information. Then, just enter your payment information.
Furthermore, in the “Leave a message for this seller:” section, Oberlo automatically fills in the form, telling the supplier you are a dropshipper.
Make sure you choose the correct shipping method (ePacket or Aliexpress Standard Shipping), and then you are good to go!
Aliexpress Payment Methods
Aliexpress is extremely worldwide and global, so many forms of payment are accepted. Most commonly, users pay with Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Maestro.
Using your personal or business card on Aliexpress is perfectly safe and secure.
They also offer:
Wire Transfer, Webmoney, Western Union, QIWI, Yandex Money, iDeal, TEF, and many more that you can find on their website.
Step 6) Follow Up and Customer Service
Customer service is one of the four key pillars of a successful dropshipping store.
Since you are a new store, customers will likely be more cautious and curious about their order. You may receive emails from them asking about tracking times.
It is vital to be quick and responsive if these emails come up.
Be courteous and compassionate at all times in your responses.
Put yourself in the customer’s shoes. Make them feel safe and comfortable.
Since you already ordered a sample and tested the quality, you should feel confident that the customer will indeed receive their product soon and that the product is of high quality.
Step 7) Refunds and Returns
Most suppliers on Aliexpress do not offer returns unless the product is damaged.
If the product is damage, tell the customer to send you photos of the damage and then send them to the supplier. You will usually be refunded.
If the customer is complaining about the product not arriving, you must contact the supplier or use the ‘Aliexpress Buyer Protection’ feature inside of Aliexpress.
Another reason that customers may want a refund is because the product didn’t fulfill their needs.
Maybe the quality wasn’t up to par or it didn’t look like the product images on the website.
This is why it’s vital to order a sample of the product before selling it and choosing accurate product pictures. In this case, you need to use your judgement in whether to give the customer a refund or not.
It’s important to avoid chargebacks, so usually giving the refund is the best option. Chargebacks are where the customer calls their credit card company and asks them to refund the purchase. Too many chargebacks can ultimately lead Shopify to shutting your store down, so putting the customer first is a must.
7 Step Aliexpress Action Plan Conclusion
At this point, you should fully understand how to find dropshipping products, import them into your store, and how to fulfill orders.
This being said, let’s talk about some common questions that beginners have about Aliexpress and dropshipping.
Why Wouldn’t Consumers Just Order From Aliexpress Themselves?
The main reason people don’t use Aliexpress themselves it that most consumers don’t even know what Aliexpress is.
It’s also unlikely that a casual consumer would order something from China rather than a locally-shipped product from Amazon.
This allows you to provide the customer a unique experience. You give them the rush of finding a product they like while scrolling through Facebook or Instagram, and the curiosity of finding a new store.
You are creating moments for your customers and enabling them to find things they didn’t even know they wanted.
How to Run Facebook Ads for Dropshipping Store?
While reading this walkthrough, you may have realized that we didn’t talk about a very important part of dropshipping: the marketing.
The marketing is the most difficult task in dropshipping because it requires a lot of experience to start gaining an understanding of it.
For this reason, we have dedicated multiple in-depth YouTube tutorials on how to run Facebook ads.
You can find them here, here, here, and here.
We recommend that you watch through these videos a few times each and take notes as you do so.
Thereafter, you can try running your own Facebook ads using our methods.
What are the key Elements of a Successful Dropshipping Store?
The key elements of a successful dropshipping store are the product, marketing, operations, and customer support.
If you are able to garner a high quality in each of these four conditions, you are guaranteed to see success.
4 Pillars of Success in Dropshipping:
- Product: Good quality, quick shipping time, competitive pricing, reputable supplier
- Marketing: High quality advertisements, well-placed targeting
- Operations: Order fulfillment, store management
- Customer service: Quick and helpful responses, put the customer first
Aliexpress vs Other Online Marketplaces
Why is Aliexpress the best supplier website to use for dropshipping?
The answer is simple.
It’s easy to use, integratable with Oberlo, and has affordable prices.
People often ask about Alibaba or other wholesale websites. The answer is that Aliexpress suppliers are already extremely familiar with the dropshipping business model.
Furthermore, Alibaba usually forces the customer to buy bulk orders, rather than a single product. This makes it impossible to dropship with these types of wholesalers.
Is it safe to use Aliexpress?
Aliexpress has been a trusted dropshipping website for years.
However, a lot of this depends on the quality of your supplier.
A lot of merchants sell the same product, so looking at each of their ratings and finding the one best-suited for the dropshipping business model is the way to go.
Aliexpress also offers buyer protection, so you can feel safe and comfortable when using the website.
Aliexpress Dropshipping: Pros and Cons
- Affordable pricing. Since the products come from China, the products are cheaper than what you can find on Amazon. The suppliers also often offer free ePacket shipping.
- Product availability. Millions upon millions of products that you can test for your store. You will most likely find anything you want to sell.
- Seamless Integration. Aliexpress is completely integrable with Shopify through Oberlo. Oberlo makes the process of using Aliexpress seamless and easy.
- Suppliers. Suppliers understand the dropshipping business model and are willing to build relationships with dropshippers.
- Easy to navigate website. You can easily sort through the highest rated products, products with most orders, and the most reputable suppliers.
- Instant product ideas. There’s a trending section on Aliexpress where you can browse through the hot products.
- Flexible Location. You can live anywhere in the world and start an online business instantly. The founder of Verum Ecom, John Yoon, created an 8 figure business all in his parents’ basement. The possibilities are endless as long as you believe and put your mind to it.
- No Inventory. The ability to completely mitigate inventory eliminates a lot of risk and allows you to start a business without much capital.
- False advertisements. With a large database of products comes some issues as well. Sometimes the product won’t look like the image displayed on the website. This is why it is important to buy a sample of the product before selling it. Also, the better rating and reviews the product has, the less likely you are to get scammed. Due diligence is required to start a successful dropshipping store. So be patient in order to mitigate risk in the future.
- Longer shipping times. People are used to 2-day shipping from Amazon, so the 1-3 week shipping from China may upset customers. You must let them know on the product description page that shipping times are 1-3 weeks. Once again, having good supplier relationships helps you get the product to the customer quicker.
- Refunds and exchanges are much more difficult to deal with. Depending on the supplier, there is usually no chance of returning the product back to China. However, if the product is damaged, the supplier may be willing to send another product or offer a refund. Please always contact the supplier and build a relationship with them before using their products.
- Various Shipping Times. If a customer orders many items from your store that use different suppliers, they will receive the packages at different times. This is why finding a trusted supplier with a large database of items is the most convenient way to dropship from Aliexpress. A single supplier allows your shipment to be bundled into one single package that arrives at the same time.
- Suppliers may have difficulty speaking english. Most suppliers will be able to speak some english, but some may not. In this case, using Google translate will help. If not, we recommend you look for another supplier.
- Competitive. The growth in dropshipping’s popularity comes with higher competition as well. This is where Verum Ecom thrives. We are regarded as the best in terms of teaching the marketing and how to run advertisements.
Key Factors to Remember with Aliexpress Dropshipping
- Supplier relationships. A good Aliexpress supplier with make or break your business. The ideal supplier has quality products, fast shipping times, and is responsive and helpful in resolving issues and questions.
- Product Quality. We recommend you always order a sample of the product before selling it yourself. Think about it. If the product quality doesn’t fit your needs, would it fit the needs of your customer? You need the customer to be satisfied with your product in order to sustain your business. By ordering a sample, you can also test how long it takes to receive your item as well.
- Automate everything. Using the apps Oberlo and Tracktor are must when it comes to dropshipping with Aliexpress. Oberlo allows you to seamlessly integrate products from Aliexpress into your Shopify store. It also helps to fulfill orders with just a few clicks. Tracktor integrates with Aliexpress well and delivers the tracking code and updates to your customers.
- This is a marathon, not a sprint. You will quickly realize that patience and curiosity are the key factors of a successful dropshipping store. Everything you do should be done with attention to detail. Laziness and the hopes of making money quick lead to failure and quitting faster than anything else. Whether you lose $500 or earn $2000, there is always a lesson to be learned. Look at the reasons for your gain or loss. Is the product priced too high? Are my advertisements underwhelming? Are the descriptions uninspiring?
- Test, test, test! Everything in dropshipping is a test and learn situation. Don’t be afraid to try different products, advertisement styles, and price points. You want to keep on testing and testing until you find a winning product. We failed dozens and dozens of stores and lost thousands of dollars before finding something that was able to generate profit for us. The ability to never give up is a key personality trait of successful entrepreneurs. You need to have tenacity and a curiosity for everything that happens in your dropshipping career. Of course, it would be amazing to make money as quickly as possible. But you have to remember that entrepreneurship is a long term game. Every day you work you learn more and more. This daily growth in knowledge will naturally navigate your workflow into more calculated decisions and creativity.
- Verum Ecom will be here to guide you every step of the way in your Aliexpress dropshipping career. Whether through our YouTube videos or blog, there is enough information here to take you from 0 figures to 6 figures within a few months or year. If you have any questions about dropshipping on Aliexpress, please leave a comment below. We will answer back to you as soon as possible.