Dropshipping With AliExpress: The Definitive Guide

January 4, 2022

Dropshipping business is an intelligent way to start an e-commerce business. You don’t have to worry about products being in stock, inventory management, or even shipping. You only have to worry about receiving orders! If you have been thinking about dropshipping, AliExpress is one of the best options around.

Building a dropshipping business can be the most liberating and fulfilling experience you’ve ever had. If you’re tired of dealing with inventory, rising costs and inflexible cash flow, dropshipping is the way to go.

We’ve put together the ultimate guide to building a successful e-commerce business with AliExpress dropshipping. All to help you understand everything you need to know about building your brand new business.

Without further ado, let’s dive in!

What is Dropshipping?

Dropshipping is the act of selling products without having the items in stock at the time of the sale. That means you don't have to spend time, money, or effort on things like sourcing your products or setting up your store to begin selling.

Instead, when someone places an order for an item, you can purchase it from a third party and have it shipped directly to the customer—you never even touch the product. 

This frees up space for more products, minimizes storage and shipping costs, and reduces your administrative overhead by eliminating the need for product returns.

As a retailer, you cannot be in control of your inventory. Knowing the inventory level of each item can be hard to do, and it would be very time-consuming. That's why dropshipping is so good; you don't have to worry about being out of stock because you are not creating the product yourself.

If a customer puts an item in their cart and checks out, there is no risk that you will run out of stock! This peace of mind and time savings dropshipping provides allows you to focus on marketing and selling instead of spending more money on inventory and shipping.

If you do not currently sell online or have an e-commerce site, dropshipping can help bring your business online quickly and affordably. It is easy to set up, doesn’t require a large minimum order, and eliminates the hassle of storing, organizing, or shipping products.

Learn more: How To Start A Successful Dropshipping Business In 2022

What is AliExpress?

AliExpress is the sister site of Alibaba, which are both global marketplaces made for wholesale purchases with some of the lowest prices on the internet. They are both two of the biggest competitors to Amazon.

These two sites serve different members of the business community. Alibaba caters to larger organizations, whereas AliExpress is perfectly suitable for buyers who want small-scale retail.

Alibaba is the world's largest e-commerce company which has created a shopping experience that brings consumers from around the world together with local retailers and businesses.

Why Dropship with AliExpress?

AliExpress is a fantastic place to buy products online. Furthermore, it's also a fantastic place to start a dropshipping business — especially when you're just starting in eCommerce and don’t have a lot of capital. Here are some of the best benefits of dropshipping with AliExpress

Minimum-to-No Investment Costs

 High startup costs get in the way of many small businesses and entrepreneurs. Companies can spend thousands of dollars on inventory alone, making it hard to get started. 

The great thing about AliExpress dropshipping is that you can start with almost no money and grow your business from there — faster than a typical brick-and-mortar store.

Easy to Use

AliExpress is the go-to sourcing platform for resellers, who can find products at prices they can’t find elsewhere. The site offers a wide selection of products with ready-made images and descriptions so that you can set up shop quickly. 

It’s straightforward to start dropshipping with AliExpress. There’s no upfront cost or fee so that you can test out products without any financial commitment.

Global Marketplace

AliExpress is an online marketplace bringing together suppliers and consumers worldwide. Even better, AliExpress has vast international distribution and is built for resellers, so most of the products on AliExpress are factory-direct. 

AliExpress makes it easy for anyone to buy anything with millions of products. From cheap clothing to household items and tech gadgets, there’s something for everyone on AliExpress.

The dropshipping process is much easier on AliExpress than most other platforms due to many experienced retailers using the service. 

Dropshipping from AliExpress not only means that you will have access to a vast catalog of products, but it also means that you can have your store live in only a few hours.

Working with the AliExpress suppliers’ platform can be a great way to build your own dropshipping business and import products from anywhere in the world. 

By working with suppliers, you can access the global market, including products that aren’t available for purchase in your home country!

How to set up your AliExpress dropshipping store?

1. Select Store Niche and Products

A niche is a specific group of people interested in particular goods or services. And finding the right one involves finding an intersection of several different elements, such as target audience and market size.

  • Target Audience: You can’t sell to everyone. You will have to decide who will become your customer base.
  • Market size: You have to look into the market size of your selected niche. Decide whether it is large enough for you. Before making your final decision, ensure that you know whether or not the market is hot enough.

After choosing a niche for your e-commerce business, the next logical step is determining what products you want to sell. Choosing the right products for your AliExpress business can make or break your success.

Here’s how you can select which products to sell.

  • Ensure the product is of high quality.
    If you select a product that isn’t high quality, it could tarnish your brand and scare away customers. 
  • Sell products that are on demand.
    Products need to align with your niche and have consistent demand — and if they’re seasonal or trend-based, they need to match that season.
    Be sure to compare them closely to each other in terms of quality and cost — this will help sort out the best and worst products.
  • Do not sell cheap knockoffs.
    When you’re looking to list a product for sale, make sure it’s original.
    This can be difficult at times — especially with less popular items that don’t have many reviews — but try as hard as you can to make sure you avoid fakes and knockoffs.
  • Product with more orders.
    Choose products that have been on the site for a long time. This means that customers are used to it being available and awaiting an opportunity to purchase.
  • Product with above-average ratings.
    When choosing products, also look at the ratings. Try and look for the ones with four stars or more and positive reviews. These will increase the chances of your dropshipping business being successful.
Product and seller ratings on Aliexpress
  • Reliable and quality suppliers.
    Choose those that use the AliExpress supplier and have already successfully shipped over 300 orders.
    This indicates that they have a history of delivering quality products, and they have the manufacturing capacity to create countless more products.
  • High-profit margin for AliExpress seller.
    When searching for a new product to carry, consider ordering from AliExpress sellers who offer high-quality items that you can resell for more than their original price.
  • Offer Free Shipping (epacket delivery).
    The best products to resell on AliExpress are the ones that offer ePacket shipping — a fast, free, and reliable way to get your merchandise from China or elsewhere for your customers. 
  • Honest & Communicative AliExpress dropshipping suppliers.
    A good seller should promptly answer all of your questions and never leave you hanging in the dark.
    If there are any changes to your products or shipping, they’ll let you know as soon as possible — and if anything comes up that can affect your order (like a delay), they’ll make sure you know right away.
  • Ensure the product photos are authentic.
    Use pictures to sell your product. It can be tempting to use a stock photo, but using an actual image isn’t only more effective — it can boost your sales. Ensure that your supplier has provided you with real product photos.

Learn more: The Best Dropshipping Products to Sell in 2022

2. Find Reliable Suppliers For Your AliExpress Dropshipping Business

Many e-commerce sellers don’t realize just how critical it is to choose the right supplier partner. You’ll be dealing with that partner for a long time, so take your time to find someone who has high-quality products and can also meet your delivery deadlines.

Choosing the best supplier is a highly complex process that the merchant must understand to ensure long-term relationships with suppliers.

Understanding the marketplace and a keen sense of competitiveness helps merchants make educated decisions on selecting suitable suppliers for their needs. 

Here are a few tips you can use to choose the best AliExpress supplier for your eCommerce business.

  • Do not always go for the lower price quotes.
    As an AliExpress seller, you need to provide high-quality products to your customers. AliExpress has many overseas manufacturers and suppliers who provide low-priced products.
    But low doesn't always mean good. You also need to learn about the products you are selling. A reliable supplier is one who does not compromise with the quality of the products, and offers a competitive price as well.
aliexpress supplier feedback
  • High ratings and glowing reviews.
    In turn, an AliExpress supplier's positive online reviews are crucial considerations before purchasing any products. When you’re sourcing AliExpress dropshipping suppliers for your store, you should always aim for 90% or higher positive feedback scores.
  • Easy to connect with.
    Choose your suppliers wisely! Your customer satisfaction levels will reflect the quality of customer service you receive from your suppliers. If a seller is slow to respond, it's unacceptable and a red flag.
    Try searching for the same product elsewhere. You can also look into sellers with a higher rating to see if they have the same product you're looking for. Always ask your supplier some basic questions before you make an order. A good supplier should be easy to contact and reach.
  • Safety.
    Safety is another top consideration when it comes to sourcing AliExpress products. You don’t want to buy from suppliers selling counterfeit goods, especially when you plan on reselling the products.
  • Stay away from sellers who sell fake branded products.
    Recent copyright controversies have revealed the dangers of dropshipping branded goods. While some products are perfectly fine (e.g., giftware), other goods featuring trademarks or likenesses of luxury goods are counterfeit, and it’s essential to be careful with these goods. If a shopper buys an item that infringes on a copyright, they could be liable for damages in a lawsuit.

3. Add Products to Your Store

Adding products to your store may seem like an easier task than choosing products and suppliers. However, it is still a crucial step in setting up your dropshipping business. While adding products to your Dropshipping store, here are the things you need to keep in mind-

  • Impressive and informative product descriptions.
    Customers will almost always view the product specifications while shopping online on a product description page. This is why you should get your product descriptions in order.

    With content from a good copywriter, you can optimize the keywords on your product descriptions and convert more of the traffic that lands on these pages.
  • Shipping times.
    You should set a delivery date to let customers know when to expect their purchases. It's a good idea to mention on your product pages (or elsewhere in your store) that your customers may need to wait at least 20 days (depending on the supplier) for their order to arrive.

    Since most suppliers on AliExpress are from China, shipping times can be longer than average.
  • High-quality product photos.
    While adding curated products to your online store, you should add high-quality photos of your products. When asked, all reliable AliExpress suppliers will provide you with product videos and images. You can also ask for samples and take product photos yourself.

    But make sure your AliExpress products have clear, nice-looking images.
  • Track your packages: AliExpress will notify the online retailer/ supplier when a customer orders from you. Then, they will pack the product and send it to the customer's shipping address. While you do not have to worry about packing or shipping packages, it is your responsibility to track them until they reach the customers.

    You can use a tracking tool to be up to date with the orders.
  • Pricing: The first step in pricing is to price your products and services at a fair price that covers your overhead and profit. A good rule of thumb is to set your pricing at about twice the cost of producing your product or providing the service.

    For example, if you're paying for a product that costs $10 per unit to produce, then start by setting your retail price at $20. This creates a 50% margin —a reasonable amount for startup businesses.
    You can also use a payment structure, where when a customer pays the buyer price, you pay wholesale prices to the retailer and keep the rest for yourself.
  • Mention Free shipping: Free shipping is an essential part of any successful e-commerce business. It allows you to increase your conversion rate without increasing the cost of the product since customers can purchase items from across the country without paying additional shipping costs.

4. Shipping Your Orders

Order fulfillment is something every business owner needs to deal with at some point: whether it be processing orders, shipping out goods, or even just making sure that the goods are as good as you and your customers expected. 

As soon as you place an order, AliExpress will process it and take it through all the necessary production steps. If your order is from a trusted supplier, it will be shipped to you within a few days.

A fulfillment email is sent with the order number and tracking number when an order is placed. After the item is shipped, a confirmation email is sent with the tracking number and link to the order page. 

Customers can view their orders on their account page, which will allow them to track the status of their orders throughout easily.

5. Payment

AliExpress offers a variety of payment methods, but the most popular are credit cards and bank transfers.

Using a credit card gives you solid financial protection in case of a flawed or defective product or if a supplier sells a poor-quality product. You can always dispute the payment with your credit card company and request a chargeback.

While some e-commerce platforms only offer a handful of payment methods, AliExpress allows you to use almost anything you can think of. 

AliExpress accepts Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and other credit cards and these other popular payment processing systems: Wire transfers, Qiwi, WebMoney, Western Union, Sofort Banking, Cash on delivery (COD), etc.

6. Return And Refund Policies

The work as an AliExpress seller does not end after receiving the payment. Sometimes you may run into minor hiccups in the order. What if a customer wants to return a product? Most of the AliExpress sellers do not offer returns or refunds.

To avoid being in this situation where suppliers don't do returns, try to ask questions on return policy before doing business with them. With AliExpress, hundreds of thousands of Chinese manufacturers are at your fingertips. 

However, you’re not always guaranteed to receive a product or that you’ll be able to return it successfully. When there’s a problem with an order, it’s best practice to contact both the supplier and AliExpress to get the issue resolved in a timely fashion.

These are all the steps you need to follow to open an AliExpress dropshipping store. Here is a recap of all the things you need to do:

  1. Find a niche, study the market, learn what's hot.
  2. Select products you are going to sell on your online store.
  3. Find a reliable supplier who is communicative and offers high-quality goods.
  4. Write impressive product descriptions.
  5. Add authentic product photos and videos.
  6. Ship your orders through the supplier when you receive an order.
  7. Use an order tracking app or tool to know the status of the order.
  8. Receive the payment, and settle the payment with the retailer online.

FAQs: Dropshipping with AliExpress

How does dropshipping with AliExpress work?

AliExpress requires you to set up a store or to have a venue to sell your products. The customer places an order at AliExpress with the supplier to make a purchase. The buyer ships the merchandise, and you retain the difference of prices as profit. 

As you grow your business and scale your store, it can become possible to place bulk ordering orders for a higher and cheaper rate.

Is AliExpress Safe?

AliExpress provides customers with a comprehensive level of security on order, shipping, and returning items. The site’s services have been designed to keep the buyer in mind throughout each sale phase. 

However, you should be careful of scammers that send fake products. As a dropshipper, you need to contact suppliers for your orders constantly. Start a conversation with them, talk about the product, and make sure you're working with somebody reliable.

How is AliExpress for Dropshippers?

Dropshipping on AliExpress requires no upfront cost or fee so that you can try the products without a financial commitment. AliExpress suppliers are retailers themselves, but most user groups on the AliExpress platform are resellers, a prevalent feature.

Dropshipping from AliExpress dropshippers are willing to work with distributors who have previously worked with them, so can you. It is the perfect platform for beginners who want to start dropshipping.

Why should I use AliExpress for my online business?

Dropshipping with AliExpress is an excellent way to start selling online once you have everything set up. There are no upfront charges on trial to test a product for free. 

Many online sellers on AliExpress also have images of their products. Keep in mind that differentiation through positioning and how you polish little details. It is most often worth the investment in better photos and personalized descriptions of the items.


Starting a dropshipping business requires very little up-front capital. You can get started with just a few hundred dollars, and you don’t need to maintain any inventory. This makes creating a dropshipping business an ideal option for entrepreneurs who want to test their business idea before committing to it.

If you're looking for more ways to connect with customers, look no further than product videos. Product videos help customers better understand a product's capabilities and how it fits into their lives.

Allowing customers to see and hear the product in action — not to mention eliminating the need to read pages of useless reviews — can cut down on costs while increasing their bottom line.

Video is the most engaging form of content on the internet, and for a good reason: When we see something, we can instantly visualize it in our minds. If you want to tell your customers about your brand or a specific product, make creating videos an essential part of your content strategy.

To speed up your video creation process, you can use any of Offeo's e-commerce video templates, which are perfectly suitable to fit any brand and online shop. That means you can use them for your Shopify store, your Etsy business — or your AliExpress dropshipping store!  

Easy to customize, edit, and publish, you can create awesome product videos as part of your overall marketing strategy.

Start using Offeo to create your product videos today, and watch your sales grow tomorrow!

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