3HUNDRD

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Advice / Drop Shipping

DropShipping With AliExpress: How To Become A Seller Online

10 min read

Last week, I announced to my secret Facebook group that after five months of doing dropshipping with AliExpress and making good returns, I am planning to write a short eBook on how to become a seller online with the new revolutionary method of; the fantastic dropshipping business model.

What Is DropShipping?

I’ve talked about dropshipping on my blog before, but if you’re just hearing of this, let me give you a (very) brief introduction to dropshipping:

Dropshipping is the business model that allows you to use the internet to your advantage.

As a dropshipper, your main job is to sell products, and when the customer buys, you then purchase the product from your supplier and the supplier ships the product to your customer, all the while of course; you netting the profit for being the “middleman”.

Unlike affiliate marketing, where you make a commission decided by the supplier, with dropshipping, you can set your own price and make as much money as you want.

Of course, it’s good to mention not to go too crazy with your profit margins. Remember the internet is a big place with a lot of your competitors doing the same thing so always aim to stay competitive with your pricing structure.

Also, as a bonus tip for you here, remember that a $5 item can go for $20, which gives you a huge ROI, but a $50 set at $200 is just a plain ripoff.

Be smart about this and set your margins wisely; that is if you want to have a fighting chance of actually selling any products.

DropShipping With AliExpress: How To Become A Seller Online

DropShipping With AliExpress

Why Is AliExpress Used For Drop Shipping?

Although I assume there are many other online shopping channels you can use to start your dropshipping business, AliExpress is one of the most highly rated and highly used platforms for dropshippers worldwide.

The reason; it’s a reputable brand with hundreds of reputable, trusted sellers and think on Aliexpress are extremely cheap.

If you haven’t been on there, then I suggest you visit now and start seeing how the low prices can really fuel your business if you start dropshipping with AliExpress.

4 Benefits Of DropShipping

You Set Your Own Price

As I just described, dropshipping allows you to set your own price, but again I have to warn you and advise you not to overprice your items.

It’s great we get to pick our own profit margins, but you also have to keep in mind that consumers are very tech-savvy and they can easily find a better price if they wish to look.

It Can Be Run From Anywhere In The World

As the beauty with online business in general; very much like affiliate marketing, dropshipping can be run from anywhere in the world.

Want to travel the world and make money from your online business? This is a possibility, and nothing encompasses this sense of freedom more than doing drop shipping (although if interested; I suggest you also look into affiliate marketing”.

You Can Make Some Serious Cash

Dropshipping can be a very lucrative venture. I for one love listening to the Shopify Masters podcast where they invite successful dropshippers to talk about their journeys and some of the numbers I start hearing are insane and extremely motivating.

For instance, he last podcast I heard was of a seller making $100,000 a year simply selling women’s boxer briefs. Weird but it works, which brings me to my next point on this;

Possibilities Are Everywhere

The internet is so huge that anything can be sold. With over 3 billion people online and god-knows how many products available; it’s safe to assume that there is a “market for everyone / everything”.

Also, if you are interested in getting started with dropshipping, one advice I would give you is to try and be as unique and “outside the box” as you possibly can,

From the Shopify Masters podcast I just mentioned, I once heard the story of a store that just sells “blue things”, yes blue things – and the guy is making a killing!

Just something to think about and to get your creative mind flowing – think outside the box, and you will definitely start seeing the benefits of dropshipping.

3 Benefits Of AliExpress (When Used With DropShipping)

Ok, so let’s go into detail here about why exactly people choose to do dropshipping with AliExpress. What are some of the benefits of using AliExpress as your “main connection””

It Can Be Automated

We will talk about how to automate your dropshipping business further down below but yes; AliExpress does allow you to automate 95% of your work with a simple tool I will be talking about below.

I don’t know about you; but I value my time greatly, and if I can automate as much as possible with my online businesses, then this is already a huge step forward.

(We’ll talk about this further down in the post.)

Products Are Of Good Quality

Yes, there are shitty products on AliExpress, but since it is used by such a huge audience from around the world and AliExpress having the “review section” alive and well; you can instantly tell which products people are buying and which have the best reviews.

Obviously, selling a popular product that is led by the customers is a huge factor in doing dropshipping; you do not want to be the one selling sub-par products, do you?

Free Shipping Is Amazing

One of the most surprising things about AliExpress is that shipping is either free or extremely cheap.

This, is a huge WIN for me as as an incentive to my customers, I do offer free shipping which makes for a much easier sell.

Yes, delivery from China with free shipping can sometimes be slow but I rarely get any complaints. I also offer the “premium” shipping model which if the customer chooses, he can pay for fast shipping, and I will then buy faster shipping when ordering the product.

How To Start DropShipping With AliExpress

Ok, are you convinced that dropshipping with AliExpress is a gold mine that you can tap into? If so, great!

Let’s now look into on how to get started:

Pick A Niche To Get Started

The first thing you should do is to pick a niche – but what is a niche?

A niche is an industry, or better yet; an industry within an industry.

For example ,use the aforementioned “women’s boxer briefs” dropshipping store. That store is in the women’s fashion industry, but they tackle one (very) particular area of that industry and it works.

In a nutshell, that is what a niche is – but how do you find yours?

The best thing to do is to visit AliExpress and see what they have anything available that you would like to sell.

Ideally, you pick something that you know very well. For instance, if your hobby is jogging, then jogging accessories, trainers, exercise clothing, etc. would be something suitable for you.

This is not a rule, but picking something that you actually know about and like can help you last and keep you excited for the next steps:

Get Shopify + Oberlo (Your Main DropShipping Tools)

What Is Shopify?

Shopify is the online store builder used by many either to start their own store selling their own inventory (i.e. not through dropshipping) or, thanks to their nifty tools; it can also be used by us; the dropshippers of the world trying to make it happen.

Yes, Shopify can be used as a dropshipping tool and it will allow you to create some great looking stores rather quickly.

The catch is that it’s a paid tool, although you can use it for free for the first 2 weeks – you can see more about Shopify’s pricing structure here.

But how do you populate your dropshipping store with products if you do not have any?

That is where Oberlo comes in.

What Is Oberlo?

Earlier I told you that dropshipping with Aliexpress can be automated and that is because of this little tool.

What Oberlo does, in a nutshell, is this;

  • You import (with a click of a button) the AliExpress products you want to sell,
  • A customer buys your product (from your Shopify Store),
  • Shopify sends you payment to your PayPal,
  • Oberlo finds the item on AliExpress,
  • Fills out (automatically) the customer details,
  • Buys it from your supplier on AliExpress and finally
  • The supplier ships it to the seller’s address.

The best thing about it, is that you can automate this process with just two clicks, not exaggerating here; just two clicks. One to order, one to finalise.

You might also be glad to hear that Oberlo comes free with Shopify (for your first 500 products, which is more than enough).

This is a great tool, and I can’t imagine running my dropshipping business without it. Their free ebook (which you can download right here) was what first got me introduced and curious about dropshipping.

You can see my detailed, in-depth Oberlo review here.

How To Drive Traffic To Your Drop Shipping Store

Learning eCommerce

Last but not least, even though dropshipping is rather “an easy” thing to set up, the hardest part of it all, as with every other online business, is to get traffic i.e customers.

There are many ways to get traffic to your site/store so I won’t go into detail about that now but some of the most popular ways to get traffic and ones I use as well are:

  • Social media
  • SEO
  • Paid ads.

See: 4 Ways To Promote Your Drop Shipping Store

A healthy mixture of all these three can get you going instantly; then you just need to do more of what works and focus on that to grow and get even more traffic.

I agree; it’s not as simple as I am making it out to be, but there is a lot of information out there on how to get traffic. I’d also suggest this great guide on how to get traffic to your Shopify store on the Shopify blog.

Tools And Resources To Learn About DropShipping

Ok, before I close off this mini-tutorial I have for you here, let me just say that dropshipping is a skill that you have to learn and master before you start seeing any significant progress and life changing income.

Having said that, the internet is filled with resources and training you can get to learn all you need to know, and some of the best resources I recommend for you to read right now are these:

See also: 8 eCommerce Blogs You Must Read To Become A Seller Online

Closing Words

Thank you very much for reading my guide on how to do dropshipping with AliExpress.

I myself am still learning as much as I can and I will continue publishing on the dropshipping page as soon as I get my hands on more ideas, tips and tricks to build a successful dropshipping business.

With all the interest I am getting about dropshipping, I’m also thinking of writing an eBook about dropshipping and how to do it so if you’re interested in that, feel free to join me email newsletter list so I can send you more information on that soon.

Thanks again for stopping by – please leave any questions you may have down below.

-K

27 Comments DropShipping With AliExpress: How To Become A Seller Online

  1. Rafiqullah Khan

    Hey brother, can I create Youtube videos from your blog posts with a source of your blog address at the end of the videos ?

    Reply
  2. Andrew G

    I definitely want to recommend you Chris for this high-quality post and block. This is the kind of service including e-books and I believe that people are looking for what I have had my experience in drop shipping, though not like this, I do plan and intend on giving the same type of value in what encourage anyone to go ahead and give it a good shot to this business model thanks!

    Reply
  3. Marco SJ

    How do you find the shipping times? This is the issue I have with AliExpress (and Alibaba). I find them way too long and way too unreliable. It can even get worse when a product arrives damaged. Your customer will have to wait again!

    What are your thoughts with this?

    Thanks for the tip about automating; I had no idea about this. This is something I definitely need to look into.

    I’m going to bookmark this page. 🙂

    Reply
    1. Mr 3HUNDRD

      You need to pick products that have “e-packet” listed as a shipping method, which means they ship from the US.

      Not all products have e-packet, but from a catalog of millions of products on AliExpress, you will have more than enough to choose from.

      E-packet takes around 12 to 20 days to arrive to your customer. 

      Hope this helps 🙂 

      Reply
  4. paul

    Hello

    This is a really great page and I love what you have done with it
    The information is so well laid out and it makes me want to become involved and if I had time I certainly would!
    The layout is great and the pictures excellent
    I can see that you love what you do as it comes across in every way
    Very well done with this page

    regards

    paul

    Reply
  5. Jair

    I never knew THIS is what drop shipping was and I didn’t know it was this simple!! You have a natural ability to explain things very easily and thoroughly. I have heard this pitch many other times but never called drop shipping. Just reading this post has me signing up for your free course right now!!

    Reply
  6. stefanie

    Hi Chris, thanks for the in depth tutorial on drop shipping. There really are so many ways out there to make money online that it is staggering. This, however seems like one of the better ways. I like the fact you can set your own price, and I am sure this could prove very lucrative when you start driving traffic to your site. I guess it’s like with most things in life, you get out what you put in and any effort put in at the start will pay off later. I will definitely think about trying this to see if it works better than my normal route of affiliate selling.

    Reply
  7. Zaid

    I started investigating this type of business model 3 days ago and have been all over the place trying to fill the gaps. I’m still not sure about the logistics.

    If you can help, I would very much appreciate it. Here are my questions:

    1) I’m planning to operate a website and do this outside of Amazon. Are there issues with shipping to the rest of the world? I ask because I often see businesses restrict shipments to approved countries. Is it the quality of postal services in those countries that is an issue?

    2) If the asnwer is yes to the above, how do you deal with import tariffs? Is there a guide on that? Should we just assume that the customer is responsible?

    3) How do you deal with returned items? I am in country A, manufacturer is in country B and customer is in country C. I agree with the manufacturer that the customer only sees my business address in country A along with the return address. Unfortunately, where I live there is an import tariff; so I have to absorb the cost of that returned item and somehow get a refund from the manufacturer in country C. Am I reading this correctly? Is there a better way to do this where returns are also handled by the manufacturer?

    4) Also, I don’t want a situation where the end customer gets the wrong invoice. I’m guessing that these guys at Aliexpress are reliable to keep your brand intact with your own letterhead. What’s your experience there? Are there reviews to these counter parties?

    5) Finally, how many months do you estimate it takes to set up something new if you from an operational aspect, without taking into account the marketing required to make the sales? I can dedicate 40 hours a week for it, and I’m pretty tech savvy and can pick up the development part very quickly?

    Sorry for asking so much. These are things I’m still not sure about.

    Reply
    1. Mr 3HUNDRD

      Hi there Said. Apologies for the late reply, but here are my answers to your questions:

      #1: Make sure you use the e-packet shipping method on AliExpress, this means that it ships directly from the US and would only take 7-12 days to arrive to your customer.

      #2: As for import tariffs, yes the customer is liable for that – as is the case when buying from Amazon and any other place online. 

      #3: I absorb all returns that happen – which are not that common to begin with – maybe I’ve refunded 5 or 6 in 2 years of dropshipping so its not a big deal. Also the profit margins will allow you to do some comfortably. 

      #4: Yes, when you place the order, Oberlo will send a message to the supplier telling them this item is being drop shipped and not to include any promotional material form their end. 

      #5: If you’re tech savvy, there’s no reason why you can’t set up your Shopify store in as little as one day. Obviously building out the audience, maturing your FB pixel will take some time. 

      Hope this answer helps you Said – let me know if you have any further questions. 

      Reply
  8. Crystal

    This seems like a lucrative business idea but I am a bit scared to start since I do not have any baseline audience to start off with. I was reading your previous post about how to start with Oberlo and FB ads etc, etc. and that made me feel a bit better. I am going to come up with a few ideas of what I want to sell then start the free 14 day trial of shopify.
    Thanks for all information thus far. I will be looking forward to your updates. Subscribing to the email list now.

    Reply
    1. Mr 3HUNDRD

      Awesome – glad to hear and well done on taking the leap of faith – its exactly what I did and I never looked back! 🙂 

      Let me know if I can help in any way!

      Reply
  9. Manny

    Hey man,

    very interesting article! I heard about that once but totally forgot about it again. It really seems like the better way of affiliate marketing.

    I do have one concern though: What to do if someone is unhappy with his product and want to send it back?

    Also, does the package my customer get not say aliexpress all over it?

    Thanks for your help, I am really interested

    Reply
    1. Mr 3HUNDRD

      Hi there Manny.

      If the customer doesn’t like it, I usually send them a full refund no questions asked – with high profit margins it really is not a problem and it rarely ever happens. From about 200 orders, you’ll get 1 or none with a problem so it’s not as bad as one may imagine.

      As for packaging, it will not show its coming from AliExpress. You can also set Oberlo to send a message to the supplier telling him not to include any promotional material.

      I understand your concerns and although they are there, it’s not as bad as one may think.  

      Reply
  10. Marlinda Davis

    I’ve been interested in drop shipping but I’m not sure I understand this. What is the difference between drop shipping and FBA?

    Also, I thought you had to buy in bulk from AliExpress so how do you get them to only send 1 item to your customer when they order it?

    Last question, lol, how do you do your research to find good niches and products that sell? And to my understanding, you’re NOT doing this on Amazon?

    Thanks for sharing,
    Marlinda

    Reply
    1. Mr 3HUNDRD

      With Amazon FBA you have to ship in bulk to the Amazon warehouse and they fulfill the orders for you. While it’s amazing to be listed on Amazon, it’s extremely hard to get going.

      With AliExpress drop shipping, you can ship one item at a time – the one you are thinking of that ships in bulk is AliBaba – Ali Express’s parent company. 🙂 

      Reply
  11. Nekko

    Wow, The possibilities are just running wild through my head. I’ve heard about dropshipping, just never explained in a way I fully understood. Thanks for helping me understand. If i wanted to try this without shopify, maybe just use my own website, do you think it would lower my chances of success.

    Reply
    1. Mr 3HUNDRD

      Shopify makes it all possible and so much easier. You can try it witout Shopify but it would be much harder and much slower to make it happen.

      I suggest you stick with Shopify 🙂 

      Reply
  12. Ade

    I plan on starting a drop shipping business sometime soon to supplement my current online business. Glad I found your site. I actually thought that drop shipping earned through affiliate marketing. Now I know…
    Have a question though, can you run a drop shipping site through Woocommerce? What about Wix?
    I have a Wix account that I use for a client, and through Wix, I have the option to create online stores. You mentioned Shopify, so I wanted to make sure if Shopify is the best route or if I can use the other options I mentioned.
    Thanks

    Reply
    1. Mr 3HUNDRD

      Yes you can, but you would have to do it manually unless there is some tool you can use which I am not aware of just yet.

      With Shopify, you get Oberlo, which in my opinion is the best drop shipping tool you can use. It fulfills all your orders automatically.

      Let me know if I can help in any way! 

      Reply
  13. Mubs

    before reading this post i was not sure what drop shipping really was but after reading your article it all makes sense. I am currently doing affiliate marketing but drop shipping will be my next step once i start seeing results from affiliate marketing.

    You mentioned in your blog that seo is one of the ways you can get traffic, but that would be very difficult. I am under the impression that a drop shipping site will have very little content. it would basically be a product store.

    can you shed some light on this?

    Reply
    1. Mr 3HUNDRD

      Yes SEO is hard on e-commerce stores such as what I am discussing in this article – however, it is not impossible and if you deploy some basic SEO strategies, you are good to go,

      I don’t put too much focus on it (just yet) because I mainly use Facebook Ads, however; I do have plan to focus on SEO in 2018 more. 

      Reply

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