Check out Pros and Cons of AliExpress Before Buying
AliExpress is a Chinese-based global online marketplace. This is a popular option for ecommerce companies with a dropshipping business model seeking to source inventory at wholesale prices.
It is an excellent alternative to Amazon and eBay. Clothing, jewelry, electronics, cosmetic products, home improvement tools, and so much more are available on AliExpress.
While there are numerous benefits to using AliExpress for ecommerce, there are a few things to keep in mind before getting started. AliExpress typically requires additional software to streamline and scale your process, compared to other dropshipping companies on the market. There may be quality issues with AliExpress purchases if you do not know exactly what you are searching for.
Read this comprehensive guide to learn more about the pros, cons, pricing, and other details of AliExpress. This will help you in determining whether AliExpress is right for you.
AliExpress Pros and Cons
Cheap Inventory: Using AliExpress as a dropshipping supplier is arguably the most attractive due to its rock-bottom prices. AliExpress has lower prices in nearly every category when compared to other online marketplaces such as eBay and Amazon. If quality isn't your top priority and you just want to purchase wholesale items at the lowest prices possible, you'll appreciate the selection and prices offered by AliExpress. Some products, such as USB cables and eyeglasses, begin at just one cent.
Low Startup Costs: Beginning with AliExpress is simple and free. Access to wholesale pricing does not require a paid membership or monthly or annual subscription fees, in contrast to other wholesale marketplaces. If you use AliExpress for dropshipping, you never have to physically handle the products. This eliminates the need to purchase additional transportation labels and boxes or rent a warehouse for storage.
Extensive Product Catalog: AliExpress is unique in terms of the variety of products it provides. Many other dropshipping wholesalers specialize in a single category, such as jewelry, apparel, or electronics. In addition to these categories, AliExpress offers toys, bags, shoes, pet supplies, home improvement, vehicle parts, and sports equipment, among many others. This is ideal for those who wish to launch multiple ecommerce sites or who wish to target consumers in various niches.
Ships Direct to Consumers: Even if you don't use a third-party solution to automate ecommerce orders from your website to AliExpress, you can still have AliExpress suppliers ship products directly to your customers. Once a client places an order on your e-commerce site, you need only purchase the item from AliExpress and provide the customer's information.
Detailed Product Images: The overwhelming majority of products sold on AliExpress have detailed product images that serve dual purposes. First, it allows you to view the item you're purchasing from various aspects. Moreover, all AliExpress product images are open source, allowing you to reuse them on your website for customers to view.
Supplier Ratings and Feedback: Prior to placing an order with a prospective vendor, you have the opportunity to conduct research on them. The initial consideration is the positive feedback percentage, which is measured on a scale from 0 to 100 percent. Then, you can examine their feedback history to determine how many ratings they have received in the past month, three months, and six months. AliExpress also provides seller ratings on a five-point scale for communication, shipping speed, and products shipped as described, making it simpler to trust suppliers with the best feedback.
Supplier Messaging: After creating an AliExpress account, you can communicate directly with suppliers via the AliExpress product details page. Simply select the contact button to initiate a direct conversation with the vendor. Based on their response times, this form of communication can help you qualify different wholesalers. It is also relatively simple to distinguish between a genuine response from a human and an automated response from a machine.
Free Shipping: The majority of products on AliExpress offer free transportation, which is a great way to save money, even when ordering inexpensive products at wholesale prices. Consequently, the majority of free shipping times can take 20 or more days to dispatch. If you don't want to wait a month for your products to ship, you can always pay for expedited shipping and pass on the expense to your customers. Therefore, you will need to measure this additional cost against the delivery speed you desire for your customers.
No Minimum Orders: AliExpress, unlike other wholesale marketplaces, does not impose minimum order quantities or prices. Not only is this beneficial for your customers, but it can also be extremely useful when you're just starting out and attempting to locate the best possible suppliers for your products. Before adding a product to your ecommerce platform, you can order the same item from multiple suppliers in order to test its quality and evaluate its value.
Long Shipping Times: Remember that the majority of these suppliers are located in China. Therefore, standard or free shipping can take anywhere from three weeks to two or more months to deliver your products. Many suppliers do offer expedited shipping options through FedEx or DHL, but these options can be quite costly. Therefore, you must either inform your consumers of the shipping times or pay extra to ensure that the items are delivered within a reasonable time frame.
Complex Return Process: If a customer has a problem with the product and requests a return, it is nearly impossible to return the item to the supplier. Unless your e-commerce site has a very stringent return policy, this typically means you'll have to absorb the cost of the item. AliExpress does offer a consumer protection guarantee, stating that if there is a problem and a refund is necessary, you will receive your money back within 15 days. However, a quick glance at AliExpress reviews written by actual customers reveals a very different narrative.
Quality Issue: When purchasing wholesale items for less than one dollar, you cannot expect them to be of the highest quality. AliExpress has a large number of excellent suppliers that manufacture high-quality goods. However, a large number of the platform's suppliers supply low-quality or defective products. It is also important to note that even products of the highest quality can fail or experience problems during the long journey from China to your customer's doorstep.
Knockoff Products: AliExpress does not sell genuine name-brand products. If you believe you can purchase authentic Gucci, Louis Vuitton, or Nike products at a 99% discount, you are mistaken. In addition to disappointing your consumers, selling counterfeit goods on your website can get you in trouble with the brand names and logos you're infringing upon. Overall, it is in your best interest to avoid anything that resembles a name-brand product.
Non-Existent Customer Service: If you attempt to contact an AliExpress representative directly, there is a good possibility that you will be unsuccessful. Many customer reviews criticize AliExpress' absence of support for issues and returns. Even if you receive a response from the support team, it is unlikely that your issue will be resolved.
AliExpress accounts are free to create. No membership or subscription is necessary.
You are only required to pay for the products you purchase at wholesale prices. These vary considerably based on category and vendor. Let's look at some examples.
If you peruse a selection of women's fashion products, you'll notice that the majority of items cost on average about $10. Even bathing suits, gowns, T-shirts, and blouses can be purchased for approximately $5.
AliExpress offers drones with built-in cameras for less than $100.
Just be aware that some may be of inferior quality. Always check the merchant ratings, and if possible, test the products yourself before adding them to your site.
On AliExpress, consumer electronics are also very popular. Here is a screenshot of some drones, drone parts, and drone cameras to give you a better understanding of the price:
In conclusion, AliExpress is a global online marketplace based in China that offers a vast selection of products at competitive prices. Due to its extensive product catalog, low startup costs, and affordable inventory, it is a popular option for dropshipping businesses. However, there are some disadvantages to consider, such as lengthy shipping periods, a complicated return procedure, quality issues, and the availability of counterfeit goods. Moreover, consumer service could be lacking. AliExpress can be a viable option for ecommerce enterprises, but research and deliberation are required prior to implementation.