From all possible dropshipping suppliers, we chose AliExpress. Some people say dropshipping is dead, but even now, in 2021, we are still doing dropshipping from AliExpress. Our choice is based on the serious advantages this platform offers.
But of course, there’s also a number of pitfalls you should be aware of before starting this type of business. In this article, we will talk about the benefits and problems of AliExpress dropshipping in 2021.
What to expect from AliExpress dropshipping in 2021? What has changed compared to previous years?
First, we’ll discuss the benefits of dropshipping from AliExpress in 2021; then touch upon its disadvantages; and finally, touch upon how you can avoid them and develop your business by using all the good parts.
But before moving on to the advantages of dropshipping from AliExpress, I’d like to explain why we decided not to work with other dropshipping marketplaces. The first reason is that most of them charge monthly fees.
Some of them aren’t really high, but still, why pay if there’s a platform that allows you to dropship goods with no additional charges? The second reason is that most products on these marketplaces are quite expensive.
The higher the initial price, the harder it is to make a profit or even compete with other retailers in the market. That’s why we were looking for something better. So back then in 2015, AliExpress became our solution and is still our platform of choice in 2021.
First of all, the platform doesn’t charge any fees. AliExpress is a marketplace and not a special dropshipping directory. When you sell goods from AliExpress suppliers, you only pay for the product and shipment just like regular customers.
Another benefit of AliExpress dropshipping in 2021 we’ve already mentioned is that in comparison to most online stores operating in the US and Europe, as well as many dropshipping marketplaces, the products on AliExpress are cheaper.
As a result, it’s easier to compete with other retailers and make a profit. Moreover, a lot of sellers on AliExpress are aware of the dropshipping business model and gladly cooperate with dropshipping store owners, offering them better prices, faster delivery or even labeling.
Also their English is good, which lets you communicate with them easily. Ordering goods from AliExpress is easy. As of now, the platform ships goods to almost any country in the world, which allows dropshippers to operate worldwide.
When you do dropshipping, you need to create product pages on your site to present products from your suppliers, and you have to take and process orders. It takes a lot of time if you do it manually. Good news: there are many software tools that can automate your dropshipping business if you work with AliExpress.
For example, the AliDropship plugin automates most of your work. We also have tools and services that relieve you from editing products. Doing this job manually takes lots of time but you can avoid it – and spend your time on something more important! Finally, it is easy to start AliExpress dropshipping in 2021 because you don’t have to invest thousands of dollars in your start-up.
To purchase the AliDropship plugin, you need to make a one-time payment of $89. Most other tools will cost you at least $10 or $20 monthly. Now, let’s discuss the disadvantages of dropshipping from AliExpress and why some people are afraid of using it.
Although products on AliExpress are cheaper than in European or American stores, AliExpress is actually not the cheapest platform in China. Goods on AliBaba are more affordable, which can make you consider it as an alternative.
But there’s a catch. AliBaba is a wholesale platform. The whole point of dropshipping is to order goods from suppliers only after a customer places an order with your store. If you start buying cheaper items in bulk from AliBaba, you will have to store them before you get real orders.
In other words, instead of dropshipping, you’ll be using the regular retail model, with all its risks and complications. Besides, even if you find Chinese businesses with cheaper products who agree to partner with your dropshipping store, you won’t be able to automate the whole process.
Plus, you will probably have to learn Chinese to work with them. After all, it’s very convenient that AliExpress is translated into English and so many other languages. The next problem many people see in AliExpress dropshipping is its shipping time.
Depending on destination, delivery can take up to 4 weeks, which often scares people at first. During the lockdown in the spring of 2020, shipping times of almost all ecommerce sites got even longer, AliExpress included.
But is this a real problem with AliExpress dropshipping in 2021? Now the problems with shipping are over but there are a few tricks you can use to make sure you’ll get the fastest shipping. The first one is to avoid the ePacket shipping method.
It was the fastest one before the pandemic because it shipped with passenger airlines. But because of the pandemic, the number of flights has dropped and it’s not the fastest anymore. Now AliExpress Standard shipping is normally faster.
Take note! The second is the psychological aspect of buying things. Usually, dropshipping stores stimulate impulse purchases, driven by emotions. You don’t dropship life-critical products that people want to get immediately, but rather items that customers really like.
In this case, clients are more likely to wait without feeling bad about it. We never lie about shipping times. If it’s from 7 to 10 days, that’s what will be stated on the product page. It it’s 14 days, we will warn our visitors about it.
One more trick! Some AliExpress sellers have warehouses outside China, which makes shipping much faster. For example, if you want to dropship items to the US, you need to find suppliers who have warehouses there.
They will know what to expect and that’s ok. Delivery time also depends on how fast suppliers pack products. Another way to improve delivery time is to build a good relationship with your suppliers.
If you establish good relationships with sellers, they’ll do your packing faster. As a result shipping to the US from China can shorten to 10 or 12 days, which isn’t bad at all. So, what’s new in AliExpress dropshipping in 2021? After all, this business model has been around for a long time and it doesn’t stay unchanged.
I’d say the word of the year is quality. I’m not talking of the quality of the products – it’s obvious that you should sell only good quality items. What I’m saying is that your online store must look like a proper brand if you start your business in 2021.
We want to get the attention of customers who have seen so many stores and products in their life. They expect to see something reliable and trustworthy. In 2016, dropshipping store owners created general stores with hundreds of products and could still make money.
In 2021, we all need to create a brand. So, the first strategy is to create a niche store and sell something you are into and know well – this way you can easily create a good impression with your customers because you know what you are doing and why.
The second strategy is to create a general store but work on its appearance and make sure it looks legitimate, despite the random selection of products. Final thoughts Beginner entrepreneurs can use dropshipping from AliExpress as a starting point because it’s easy.
Later on, after gaining enough experience, if you feel a need, you can switch to other sources, rent warehouses or start your own brand. After a while, many of our clients began working with their own suppliers like our customer Ankit.
Many people say that AliExpress dropshipping in 2021 is dead, while others keep building and developing their business. Guess who’s going to succeed! Your attitude is half the battle. So, don’t let self-doubt stop you.
Wish you good luck!