AliExpress remains one of the most popular dropshipping suppliers in the world. There are no requirements such as entry or participation fees in order to begin dropshippping their products.
In order to make a dropship store using AliExpress you will need to use software that can import products from AliExpress into your eCommerce store. Two popular options are the Oberlo app with Shopify and the AliDropship plugin for WordPress.
I’ll go into further detail about these two eCommerce options and explain how each works as well as their pros and cons.
- 1 Why Use AliExpress for Dropshipping?
- 2 Creating an AliExpress Dropship Store Using Shopify
- 3 How to Create an AliExpress Dropship Business Using AliDropship
- 4 What About a Custom Turnkey Dropship Store?
- 5 Wrapping Up
Why Use AliExpress for Dropshipping?
There are so many awesome reasons for using AliExpress as your dropshipping supplier. Trying to find good dropship suppliers on your own is time-consuming.
Some dropshipping suppliers charge fees to use their service or even fees when you sell their products.
This isn’t the case with AliExpress. If you are not familiar with the service, they are one of the largest online retailers in the world.
They are made up of merchants primarily based in China. A majority of the products are very low-cost and often have free shipping.
Free shipping is a great feature as you can pass that along to your customers. Who doesn’t love free shipping, right?
You can order products in bulk and most merchants also sell items individually. That is ideal for all dropshippers.
Here is a list of other benefits for dropshipping with AliExpress:
- 200,000 exporters
- Over 100 million items
- No entry or participation fees
- No limits on your profit margins
- No limits on the amount of products you sell
- Works with individuals and registered companies
- Free shipping on most items
- Ships to over 200 countries worldwide
- Online shipping tracking
- Wide range of shipping methods
- Buyer protection system with full money back guarantee
If you are concerned about the shipping time of products coming from China, don’t be. A majority of products also offer ePacket shipping.
ePacket is a shipping method that provides faster shipping from China to where your customer is.
You can read a very good article which talks about why AliExpress shipping times won’t affect your business.
Creating an AliExpress Dropship Store Using Shopify
Shopify is one of the most popular eCommerce platforms that many dropshippers are using. It is not a dropshipping store by default.
You need to install a dropshipping app to transform it into a dropshipping store, particularly if you want to use AliExpress.
The most popular Shopify app to use is the Oberlo app. Oberlo enables you to import products from AliExpress into your Shopify store.
Pros and Cons of Using Shopify for Dropshipping
I tried out Shopify and Oberlo using a 2-week free trial. Overall, I liked the platform. It was easy to use and the Oberlo app made it extremely easy to import products from AliExpress.
However, there was still a part of me that wanted a WordPress alternative for dropshipping and here’s why:
Lack of Store Ownership
Using a third-party platform such as Shopify means that you do not have 100% ownership of your store.
Your store is using their software and hosted on their servers. That means you cannot download your store and move it elsewhere if you wanted to.
It also means that they have the authority to close your account at any time for any reason. As a business owner, I did not want to have that worry.
Monthly Store Fees
I have no issue with paying fees for software that will help me to run my business. Yet, I knew that if I found a good WordPress alternative then I could save money.
Let’s take a look at Shopify’s and Oberlo’s basic fees:
- Shopify’s Basic Fee: $29 per month
- Oberlo’s Basic Fee: $29.90 per month
- Misc Apps: ?
That totals around $60 per month and this doesn’t include other apps or services that you will likely add to help operated your dropshipping store.
Take a look at this screen capture of a Shopify dropshipping store that was for sale on Shopify Exchange:
The other subscriptions and apps, plus Shopify’s basic plan totaled $150.00 per month for that store.
This doesn’t necessarily mean your costs would be that high but the potential is there. There are apps that you may want to install that will help make your store run smoother.
For example, you may want to have the ability to collect and send emails to your customers. An autoresponder service such as MailChimp is a service you could add.
Some of these other Shopify apps may have one-time or monthly fees. It is something to keep in mind if you decide to use Shopify.
How to Create an AliExpress Dropship Business Using AliDropship
Fortunately, I did find a great WordPress alternative for dropshipping. At first, I did search for WordPress dropshipping plugins but couldn’t find anything I liked.
Then I stumbled across the AliDropship Plugin during my search and was so impressed by all of its features.
This option also relieved the two issues I pointed out earlier which are store ownership and software fees.
Since AliDropship is a WordPress plugin, that means you retain 100% ownership of your store.
AliDropship has a one-time fee. Once you install it, you get any future updates as well as ongoing customer support without any further monthly fees.
You can expect all of the awesome features you need to run a dropshipping store that sources products from AliExpress such as:
- Import an unlimited number of products
- Unlimited number or orders are auto fulfilled
- ePacket shipping filtering
- Auto order tracking
- Built-in image editor
- Auto updates product information
- Pricing automation
- Built-in themes
- Product customization
- Product variations
- WooCommerce support
Another thing I want to point out is that with similar dropshipping store services that use AliExpress, you are often capped in terms of how many products you can import and how many orders are fulfilled.
Meaning, unless you upgrade your monthly plan, you will be limited in the number of products you can import as well as orders that are automatically fulfilled.
That isn’t the case with AliDropship. You are unlimited in both of those areas.
Potential Cons of Using AliDropship
There aren’t too many cons in my opinion when it comes to this plugin. The main con would be the learning curve of using WordPress.
However, WordPress itself is user-friendly. There is help documentation available as with all good software providers as well as customer support for the plugin.
The only other downside is finding a good web hosting provider for your store and ensuring that you have SSL installed for encrypting user’s data.
However, a majority of web hosting providers offer free SSL including AliDropship’s web hosting service.
What About a Custom Turnkey Dropship Store?
Another great feature that AliDropship provides is turnkey custom store creation. This is an awesome service for anyone that doesn’t have the time or simply doesn’t want to build their store on their own.
Consider some of the things that you must decide before even building your store:
- The niche you want to be in
- Niche market research for choosing products
- Competitor analysis and keyword research
- Product selection (products that are selling well)
Once you have those items figured out, you then have to import products into your store, edit product descriptions, create supporting graphics, and more.
The custom store creation service handles all of the details and you get a personal manager assigned to you to keep you updated on your store’s progress.
It is a huge time saver. You can have your store in days versus weeks or even months depending on how long it would take you to do it yourself.
I hope that this post has helped to clarify your options for how to make a dropship store using AliExpress.
Overall, I really do feel that AliDropship and WordPress are the ideal options for anyone that wants to have an AliExpress dropship business without the added expense.
The money that you save in monthly fees can be reinvested into your business in the form of advertising.
Dropshipping is already a low-cost option for opening an online business. Why not save even more money in the process?