Clothing is always a popular option for any dropshipper to begin selling. There are so many niches that you can focus on. Anything from vintage clothing to t-shirts.
What is even better is that you don’t have to invest any money into buying inventory. Dropshipping from AliExpress is easy and it doesn’t require very much to open your own eCommerce store.
I’ll explain how to dropship clothes from AliExpress as well as how you can get your first store up quickly and easily.
How Dropshipping From AliExpress Works
As you may already know, AliExpress is a large online retailer. They sell millions of products and offer them at wholesale pricing.
You can buy items in bulk or you can buy them individually. There are no requirements to begin dropshipping their products.
AliExpress does not have any usage fees, they do not limit how many items you can sell, and they do not have a limit on your profit margins.
The merchants on AliExpress are primarily based out of China but there are some suppliers that ship from the United States.
A majority of the merchants are accustomed to dealing with dropshippers which is a plus.
Selecting Your Products
Getting started is easy. You browse the types of products that you want to sell. I usually begin by typing in a product and then filtering them by rating as pictured below:
Filtering your results by rating allows you to check which items are selling well. The items with the most orders often indicate that the supplier is reliable as well.
Once you have an idea of the types of products that you want to sell, the next step is to place these products into your own store.
After your store is set up and you are making sales, you complete your customer’s orders by passing along their shipping information to your supplier.
Let’s say that you are selling clothing in the cat niche. A customer has ordered a cute cat t-shirt from your store.
You then place an order for that shirt on AliExpress. When you place the order, you input the customer’s shipping address so that the AliExpress merchant can ship the item directly to your customer.
Your profit is the difference in price between what you’ve charged the customer and what the item costs on AliExpress.
Once the order has been shipped, you can email the tracking information to your customer.
Of course, all of this can be automated by using dropshipping software which I will talk more about below.
However, you can understand why dropshipping is a great way to have your own online business. You don’t buy inventory until your customers order.
You also don’t have to handle the product or worry about shipping. You can literally run your online store from anywhere in the world!
How to Open Your Own Clothing Dropshipping Store
Opening your own clothing dropshipping store is really easy and you don’t need any prior technical or eCommerce experience to do so.
While there are many software services available to open a dropshipping store, I recommend using WordPress and WooCommerce (optional) to run your store.
The reason is that you will retain full ownership of your store. For example, if you were to use a service such as Shopify, your store would be created on their platform.
That means that they have the authority to close your account at any time and for any reason.
You also save on monthly software fees by using WordPress. Both WordPress and WooCommerce are free to use. Your store is 100% yours and you can do with it what you want such as give it away or sell it in the future.
Using AliDropship for Your WordPress Dropshipping Store
The software that I use and recommend for opening a WordPress dropshipping store is AliDropship.
If you order the plugin, I recommend bundling in a year’s worth of hosting with AliDropship. They will install both WordPress and the AliDropshp plugin free of charge. It also includes free SSL.
You will get the default version of AliDropship as well as the WooCommerce version when your order the plugin.
The plugin creates a full-featured AliExpress dropshipping business for you. It automates many essential tasks such as order processing and order tracking.
You can import an unlimited number of products and it has a built-in images editor so that you can edit product images on the fly before importing them.
Besides all of the great features, it includes free lifelong updates and customer support.
The Advantages of Dropshipping Clothes Versus Selling Them On eBay
You may be wondering why bother dropshpping clothes when you can sell clothes on eBay? We used to sell used clothing on eBay and it became increasingly difficult to make sales.
Before we knew it, we had a stockpile of inventory that sat for months without making any sales. That meant we were paying listing fees and we were running out of room to store all of the clothes.
Looking back, had I known about dropshipping with AliExpress, I would have chosen that option instead.
Easier To Brand Your Store
The nice thing about dropshipping clothing is that you can focus on a particular niche and brand your store according to that niche.
For example, using our cat niche example, you could sell cat t-shirt, hoodies, hats, socks, and more. Name your store something related to the cat niche and begin branding your business.
The easiest way to brand your business is to create social media accounts for your store on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, etc.
More Control Over Your Profit Margins
Unlike eBay where your competition is selling similar items, you can make your profit margins higher in your own dropshipping store.
Everyone is looking for the cheapest price on eBay. Therefore, you would have to mark your items low in order to compete.
By having a niche dropshipping store, you can mark up your items to what you want because you can advertise specifically to your niche audience.
Easier To Advertise To Your Target Audience
When using the eBay platform, you are relying solely on eBay’s customer base. You are also relying on eBay to display your listings.
In most cases, the top sellers will be on the first page of the search results. It is difficult to make sales when your listings are not shown often.
Having your own dropshipping store means that you can advertise to specifically to your niche. You can promote your store for free on social media.
You can also set up paid advertising on these platforms as well. Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest are popular advertising platforms for eCommerce stores.
The Challenges of Dropshipping Clothes On eBay
As mentioned briefly above, the competition on eBay is fierce. It doesn’t matter what you plan on selling, there are dozens of other sellers already selling the same item.
That makes is difficult to stand out. It also forces you to set your prices lower than you want due to the competition.
Lack of Control
You have no control of how often your listings are shown. You have no choice but to set your prices lower and still have to pay all of eBay’s fees.
You are also at the mercy of customer reviews. One or two negative reviews can damage your seller rating. Let’s not forget that eBay can close user accounts at any time.
What About Shipping Time From AliExpress?
This is a common question but has become less of a factor. Most items on AliExpress have ePacket shipping. This is especially the case with clothing.
ePacket shipping is a faster shipping method from China. It reduces shipping time from anywhere to 12 – 20 days (although it is often faster.)
Most customers are not bothered by the shipping time so long as you have made it clear on your shipping page, on your product pages, and in any order confirmation emails that you send.
Since most dropshipping stores are focused on a particular niche, customers are not in dire need of the product which helps as well.
AliDropship has a great article about shipping times on their blog.
Dropshipping clothing is a great option for anyone that wants to open their own online store.
There are are so many niches to get into with clothing. You could sell clothing that has a vintage style or sell t-shirts for cheeseburger addicts.
If you browse AliExpress, you can find clothes for just about anything that comes to mind.
I recommend bundling in AliDropship’s web hosting so that you get WordPress and the plugin installed for you free of charge.
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