AliExpress Dropshipping 101


Thinking about utilizing AliExpress dropshipping? Not an easy task. You need to do a lot of research before starting up with your dropshipping concern. If you are thinking about starting it without any prior preparations, it would be like jumping into a pool not even knowing how to swim. Isn’t it? I think its better if we prepare ourselves well as they rightly say it “Prevention is better than cure”. So, it would be better to prevent yourself from any losses and common mistakes rather than trying to compensate for them later.

Be prepared, do lots of study regarding your dropshipping venture and you need to follow certain guidelines as you are totally new to this. Through this post of mine, I am trying to provide you with all you need to know before starting up with your AliExpress Dropshipping venture. So, lets begin.

ALIBABA DROPSHIPPING OR ALIEXPRESS DROPSHIPPING?

Before starting up an e-commerce dropshipping business, many people come up with a very usual query and that is “Is Alibaba Dropshipping or Aliexpress Dropshipping a better option for them?”. Don’t confuse yourself. Clarity is must. You need to know the difference between the two if you want to find out that which would be suitable for your business.

The choice of the website you need to use depends upon the type of your business. Alibaba Dropshipping is a ‘business to business’ concern. If you want to purchase in bulk directly from the manufacturers at a wholesale price, you should go with Alibaba. Actually, this is the website where you can’t buy three or four items as per your needs. You need to buy in lots. The more you buy, the more discounts they offer to you.

  Aliexpress Dropshipping is a retail website owned by Alibaba itself. It is an online store which allows you to order goods even in meagre quantities. You need not buy in bulk and can order for two or three items or as you like. It is more of a ‘supplier to customer’ relation than a ‘business to business’ one.

 

DROPSHIPPING BUSINESS : WHEN IS IT SUITABLE?

Starting up with a dropshipping business unit. Why don’t you start up with a brick and mortar store? Why are you preferring a dropshipping business over it? The reasons are many. So many factors make it seem that dropshipping would be more preferable for you. Some of those factors are:

LOW INVESTMENTS

You don’t have much to invest. Want to start up with your business unit but lack the capital to build up a concrete store for yourself or maintain inventory stock or arrange warehousing facilities for yourself. No problem. Dropshipping is meant for such entrepreneurs.

FLEXIBILITY

Want your business to be flexible enough? Want to have the authority to try new products, maintain diversity in your product line? Dropshipping offers you all. You don’t need to keep your business limited to a particular product line or the same strategies while dropshipping.

CREATE A BRAND

If you are manufacturing something and want to sell your products under your particular brand, dropshipping would be quite suitable for you as it offers you this facility.

PRICE CONTROL

Remember, you are getting a fraction out of the profits you earn on the products sold. It is up to you to decide about the margin you would add up in the price of your product. You can decide a suitable profit margin for yourself in the dropshipping business.

 

HOW TO START AN ALIEXPRESS DROPSHIPPING BUSINESS?

Starting up a dropshipping business is not easy. It requires immense hard work. You need to follow a fixed procedure to carry your AliExpress Dropshipping business to the next level. You need to do a lot of research work and proceed with a step by step guide. If you have decided about starting up a dropshipping business, follow the following steps:

SELECT A NICHE

The selection of the right niche or the range of products you are going to sell for your dropshipping business is the most important concern. While selecting the niche, make sure to:

  • CHOOSE HIGH PRICED PRODUCTS-Choosing high priced products is really important. Remember, you are going to get a fixed percentage of the gross revenue. Getting something out of the profits means that you need to be sure that the revenues are enough to get some good proportion left for you.
  • TARGETED MARKET-A really significant phenomena. The target market affects your sales. You have to decide in advance that which section of society you want to focus on more than the others. Try to choose your niche as per the needs and demands of the upper middle class if you want to keep your sales high otherwise you will have to really work harder if your targeted market is some other section of the society.
  • MOST SEARCHED ITEMS-Try to focus on the items that are searched the most. Visit a number of well-known sites like amazon, e-bay and try to find out the latest trends.

LOOK FOR SUPPLIERS

After choosing a suitable niche for you, now you need to search for suppliers who are ready to dropship. The most difficult task, I would say. There are so many suppliers but getting the right one can be really arduous work. While locating the suppliers, don’t just browse over the first page and think it to be enough, you may have to go over 30 pages or so because these online suppliers do not worry much about the marketing techniques.

PREPARE YOUR QUESTIONNAIRE

Remember well, ‘No hesitation, Only confidence’. That is the most important rule for an entrepreneur. Most of the people going to start a dropshipping business hesitate while contacting the suppliers or ask a sufficient number of questions from them. This is a negative aspect. You need to be well prepared with your doubts and just don’t hesitate. You may note your queries so that you feel well prepared at the time of putting them forward.

SET UP AN ACCOUNT

After clearing all your queries and finding looking for a suitable supplier, you need to open up a reseller account with the supplier. Sometimes, the seller may demand completion of reseller application to open an account. A Tax ID and business license may also be demanded.

BUILD YOUR E-COMMERCE WEBSITE

The next step you need to accomplish is to create your e-commerce website. There are many e-commerce platforms available that allow you to do so and that too really easily. You don’t even necessarily need a tech background, to begin with, it. Click here to know more about these platforms.

THE PRODUCT IS SOLD

You added 10 products on your website. One of them sold. Congrats! Your first sale. The customer placed an order and you have been paid. It’s better to use online processors like PayPal for instant payments. Place the order with the dropshipper and he will ship the product to the customer under your company name and address.

FOLLOW UP

The biggest mistake new entrepreneurs commit is that they think the process gets over when you have placed an order with the dropshipper but it’s not so. Never forget that if some defect occurs during the whole process, you will be held responsible in the eyes of your customer and not the dropshipper. It is you who is trying to build up the goodwill.

 

WHAT ARE THE DOWNSIDES OF DROPSHIPPING?

Though Dropshipping may seem to be really easy to start up with, we all know this very well that ‘Every coin has two sides’. Nothing comes with the positive aspect alone. Similarly, Dropshipping has some negative aspects as well. Some of the problems you might face in your dropshipping business are:

LOW PROFIT MARGIN

Though the investment one has to make in a dropshipping business is really low. A great relief, right? But, remember the profit margin is low as well. You can’t expect huge returns on your sales as a dropshipper because you act as the actual supplier of the products only in the eyes of your customers but you know that very well that it is not so and you are the one who is getting a part of revenue only for masking the sale possible.

NO BARRIERS ON ENTRY

Making your entry possible in the dropshipping business is quite an easy task. You may consider it a positive point when it comes to your dropshipping business but What about others? Won’t it be easy for new entrepreneurs to enter the dropshipping business? Now, it seems to be difficult. There will be so many retailers who would be dropshipping exactly same products and that too at same prices or may be less than yours. So, before making an entry you have to be prepared for lots of competition.How To: Successfully Market A Dropshipping Business Using Facebook Ads

LESS CONTROL

You are going to make the sales but you are not the one who possesses a control over packaging, delivery of goods and other related tasks. What if something goes wrong? Who will be held responsible? For your customers, it’s only you because for them you are the only one they are dealing with and there is no third party involved.

LACK OF INFORMATION

You don’t possess the entire information about the product you are selling. The customers may come up with any queries and you can’t answer them unless your supplier has provided you with that very information.

 

HOW IS ALIEXPRESS DROPSHIPPING BETTER THAN OTHER E-COMMERCE BUSINESS MODES?

Still confused regarding the choice of your e-commerce business mode? Yes, there may be many options present before you. So many choices. The confusion you have is quite natural as there is always a comparison held between dropshipping and other e-commerce business forms especially FBA Amazon. Let me make it even simpler for you. I need to clarify the difference between the two modes firstly.

FBA AMAZON

Fulfillment By Amazon is the sum total of advanced fulfillment networks created by Amazon and the expertise provided by it. It is a kind of service where ‘We sell it and they ship it’. What we need to do is to store our products with Amazon Fulfillment Centers and they do the rest for us. They pick, pack and deliver our products. You are selling your own products and are able to get the world-class expertise of Amazon and trusted customer service.

ALIEXPRESS DROPSHIPPING

As already explained to some extent, dropshipping is a retail method where the seller does not maintain the inventory stock. He gets an order for some product and he just purchases the product from a third party and gets it shipped directly to the customer. All the tasks related to the actual sale are performed by the third party. You just made the sale possible. Therefore, you get a margin out of the total revenue. Click here to get a better insight into both the e-commerce models.

CONCLUSION

Though both the modes are quite well for a new entrepreneur if everything has been planned well, I would prefer Dropshipping as it would be better for a person lacking much initial capital and the one who is not at all willing to take a risk in the very beginning. Surely, Amazon is a big name and associating with it can render huge returns but you need to make huge investments before that. Only then, it is possible.

ALIEXPRESS DROPSHIPPING:

WHAT IS IT?

Aliexpress is a huge marketplace with a great diversity of products offering you an opportunity to sell those products in your own online store. You don’t need to maintain an inventory while working with Aliexpress. Get orders from customers, contact Aliexpress and they do the rest. You don’t need to incur heavy upfront costs to start up with Aliexpress. You can do it quite simply by adding a few products from Aliexpress to your store and then testing them.

 

BEST PRODUCTS TO DROPSHIP

Choosing a suitable niche for your business is quite perplexing. You need to be careful while making a choice regarding the products for your dropshipping business. It is not as simple as it seems to be. Any first-time entrepreneur surely faces this problem. Here are some tips that would prove to be beneficial while choosing the right products to dropship:

GO FOR GOOD PRICED PRODUCTS

Choosing low priced products to dropship cannot help you. You are the only seller for your customers who place an order with You but You know that very well that You are like an intermediate between the customer and the original supplier. You are not going to get the whole revenue. Rather, You are going to get a fraction of it. Therefore, the products need to be well priced so that the fraction You get is sufficient enough when compared to your efforts.

TARGET MARKET

While making the choice of products, it is necessary to decide about your target market beforehand. It would be beneficial to concentrate on the upper middle class and to choose the products according to their needs and demands as they are the most potential buyers when it comes to online purchasing.

TOP SELLING ITEMS

Browse various online selling stores and try to find out the top-selling items that is the items which are more in demand. You need to find out a really hard combination if you expect your dropshipping business to be a huge success. The items you choose must be top selling but being sold by few sellers. I know it would be really hard but this is a sure tactic to increase your sales.

LESS NEED TO UPDATE

Always try to choose the items that do not need to be updated now and then. It would reduce the risk factor you may face otherwise.

HOW TO FIND SUITABLE ALIEXPRESS DROPSHIPPING SUPPLIERS?

There is a lot to do before starting up your dropshipping business. But, be very careful regarding the most important step that is the choice of the suitable dropshipping suppliers for you. Keep it in mind that ‘A good dropshipping supplier means good products as well’. If you are able to find a responsive, trustworthy supplier upon whom you can rely completely; more than half of the difficulties get ended up. So, here are some useful tips for you that can help you to find a suitable dropshipping supplier for you.

CLARITY BEFORE COMMUNICATION

Will it be possible for you to start up your business without any proper planning? Can you just rely on the outside sources only for success without accomplishing your own responsibilities? Will your business prosper if your aims are not clear? A ‘Big No’. You are the entrepreneur. The prosperity of your business depends more on you than the outside forces. Therefore, its important to be clear regarding certain things like

Which products you want to deal in?

Do you want to go with a particular line of products or would prefer diversity?

What are the various modes you would use to contact your suppliers?

LOW PRICES-ATTRACTIVE BUT A TRAP

All the suppliers selling ‘X Watch’ at a price of $7 or $6 and there is a supplier selling the same watch at $3. Getting tempted to buy it. Wait! Did you think why is that particular supplier offering the same product at such a low price? He won’t be giving up his own profits I think. Obviously, the quality of the product would have been affected. So, don’t always let yourself go after low priced products. Be careful.

PROMISING FEEDBACK

Feedback matters! A good feedback can generate a lot of positive vibes in your mind regarding the supplier. Always have a glance at the feedback score and positive feedback rate of your supplier. Its not that a supplier with a high positive score would always mean that he is a good one but positive feedback is must. You should always go with the suppliers getting a really high feedback score and can also consider the seller ratings.

REACTIVITY OF SUPPLIERS

Always remember, you and your supplier are like ‘Two Wheels running a Two-Wheeler’. One wheel not working well, it won’t work. So, we can say your business depends on your supplier as much it depends on you. A supplier who does not respond quickly to your queries or does not put in many efforts. Would such a supplier be reliable? For nobody, surely. While selecting a suitable supplier for you, make sure he is responsive enough and puts in efforts as much as you do.

STAY AWAY FROM SO CALLED ‘BRANDED PRODUCTS’

You may find many products with a particular brand name put on them but it is really very rare to find genuine branded products being sold by a dropshipping supplier. If some branded item is being sold, it may be the first copy but most probably not the original one.

COMMUNICATION WITH THE SUPPLIER

Communication can end up many issues and queries. Most of your doubts can be cleared if you communicate with your supplier directly. Many people who start up a dropshipping business are afraid of communicating with the suppliers but it is not a very difficult task. Instead, it can be really useful in the long run. There are a number of modes available that can be used for communication.

 

HOW DOES ALIEXPRESS DROPSHIPPING WORK?

Aliexpress Dropshipping works in the same way as any dropshipping model would work. As you can see in the above image, Aliexpress works in the very similar manner. Let me put down the steps for you:

  • Set up a store or use a suitable place like Amazon to sell your products.
  • Add products to your store from Aliexpress.
  • The customers makes an order.
  • You place the order with the seller on Aliexpress.
  • Seller ships the item.
  • You get a particular margin from the revenue earned.
  • It doesn’t get over yet. You are the only seller in the eyes of your customer so if any issue, problem or query arises regarding the product, You are answerable to the customer.

IS ALIEXPRESS DROPSHIPPING RELIABLE? 

Yes, without a doubt I would say that Aliexpress is a really reliable place for dropshipping. If you are a first-time entrepreneur, just go for it. It provides you with an opportunity to add hundreds of products to your store. If some products in the lot you chose for yourself did not work well, no worries. The next day you could populate your store with some other products.

No need to make huge investments and Moreover, the range of products on Aliexpress is so vast. You will have millions of products to choose from.

WHICH IS THE MOST SUITABLE PAYMENT MODE FOR ALIEXPRESS DROPSHIPPING? 

When it comes to the payment mode of Aliexpress, the usual payment mode considered appropriate is through credit cards or bank transfers.

Even if you think about using PayPal or other online payment processors, payout schedule is applied for most users so most of the times, You won’t be able to put the customer’s money to work instantly. It is up to you that whether you would use your personal credit card or a specified business credit card as you find it most suitable.

WOOCOMMERCE ALIEXPRESS DROPSHIPPING:

THE ESSENTIAL FEATURES

A new trend in the field of dropshipping is to combine Dropshipping with Woocommerce. The Woocommerce or the WordPress e-commerce plugin provides you with really amazing features like cart page, checkout and payment options. Some of the features of WooCommerce Aliexpress Dropshipping are:

  • WooCommerce is a specific platform that helps you build an online store.
  • It provides you with various special functionalities in addition to the general ones by integrating with WordPress.
  • It provides you with an easily manageable web store.
  • It provides you with various plugins that cover various aspects of your dropshipping store.
  • It provides a uniqueness to your web store as you are provided with a number of functionalities.

WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF COMBINING WOOCOMMERCE WITH ALIEXPRESS DROPSHIPPING?

  • It is easy to edit product description and add new photos, text etc.
  • It helps to update your store information automatically.
  • It allows you to import product specifications along with the product.
  • With a single click, it becomes possible to import innumerable products from Aliexpress.
  • You don’t need to enter the data manually. As soon as you get an order, the data fills in automatically. You just need to press the ‘Pay Now’ button to confirm the purchase.

 

DROPSHIP FROM ALIEXPRESS: HOW TO DO IT?

Aliexpress Dropshipping is one of the best e-commerce models used for dropshipping. There are innumerable products you can choose from at just one click. There is a simple procedure you may follow to dropship from Aliexpress. It goes as follows:

CHOOSE A NICHE

The very first thing you need to do is selecting a suitable niche for yourself. You need to be specific about the kind of products you are going to display on your web store. You may search various e-commerce stores or can make use of Aliexpress.com to choose the right products for your store. You may choose the products for your store by visiting the Best Selling page that Aliexpress maintains.

A CATCHY NAME

After choosing the suitable products to sell at your store, you need to look for a really attractive name for your web store. You may add words like ‘best’, ‘shop’, ‘store’ etc according to the type of goods you are willing to sell.

ADD PRODUCTS

The next thing you need to do is adding products to your store from Aliexpress. You can choose a certain online platform to do this or use the Aliexpress Dropship app that can train you well regarding this.

You will get orders for your products and you need to place those orders further with the supplier who will drop ship the products for you.

In this post of mine, I tried to provide you with the maximum I can about dropshipping. Here is all you need to know before starting up with your dropshipping business. Following certain guidelines always makes things easier. It’s the same in the case of your business venture too.

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