Your Guide to AliExpress Dropshipping From Scratch in 2024 - No Money Needed.

20 min. read
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Is Aliexpress still the best place to source products for dropshipping?

💡 Quick Answer: While AliExpress is highly popular due to its vast selection and low prices, a dropshipping software centered around vetting suppliers is going to be your more worthwhile alternative for several reasons. While you’ll still be able to access products with very low prices, you’ll have much less of a chance to get scammed with a shady supplier. Unfortunately, this can be quite common on AliExpress which is why we offer guidance to help you learn your way around massive suppliers. If you don’t want to worry about dealing with fraudulent suppliers or receiving low-quality products, Salehoo Dropship is your best one-stop-shop for vetted, trustworthy suppliers. In addition, we offer a wide range of tools and resources to help dropshippers with their businesses, such as market research tools, training on how to sell effectively, and a community of like-minded entrepreneurs to network with.

So you’re here because you’ve heard about the AliExpress dropshipping buzz. Businesses have been spilling the beans on how it’s been their secret sauce for growth. It’s like this magic eCommerce wonderland where you can start dropshipping without spending a dime.

Want to know how easy dropshipping really is? We’ve got the lowdown on getting started in just five simple steps.

But wait, it's not all rainbows and sunshine in the AliExpress dropshipping universe. There are pros and cons, and we're here to spill the tea on navigating this massive supplier platform.

In this post, we’re taking you on a journey to demystify AliExpress dropshipping, breaking it down step by step, and the best part? You don’t need a big budget. We’ll also spill the beans on the upsides and downsides of the dropship game so you're in the loop.

Ready to become the expert? Let’s roll!

What is AliExpress?

By now you’ve probably heard of Chinese billionaire Jack Ma, or at least his $307 billion-dollar company Alibaba. He’s considered the Asian version of Amazon’s Jeff Bezos.

Started in 1999, the company was a result of Ma not being able to find Chinese products online easily. The resulting platform enables Western buyers to connect with Chinese and Asian sellers and has revolutionized eCommerce around the globe.

Alibaba, the original site, is built for wholesale purchases. Sellers usually have minimum bulk order requirements. You can directly connect with Chinese manufacturers to place orders, and payment is usually via bank transfer.

AliExpress is its sister site and is made for smaller retailers who don't stock the products they're selling, and it accepts credit card payments. Think of it as Amazon, but cheaper and with a two-week delivery time.

So the main difference between AliExpress and Alibaba is that Alibaba is used for buying directly from the manufacturer, whereas on AliExpress the sellers are actually third-party individuals or companies who are reselling to you. You won’t get the best price, but the buyer protection and ability to make single orders makes it perfect for dropshippers.

AliExpress vs. Alibaba - Which one is better for beginners? 

AliExpress is set up more for dropshippers who are after single items as there are no minimum order requirements. Whereas Alibaba is focused on the purchase of bulk items. The payment methods reflect this too. The methods in AliExpress are a lot more desirable for beginners. Whereas, Alibaba focuses on payment methods for wholesale markets and buying in bulk. 

However, Alibaba does provide cheaper product prices and can customize products as they work directly with manufacturers. But there is more admin involved with time spent organizing what you can get and figuring out licenses. 

So the answer is it really depends. Some dropshippers start out on AliExpress and move to Alibaba when they increase their sales volume. Perhaps this is the best option! 

Why do I not need any start up money or capital?

Sounds too good to be true, right?

Well, in this case, it actually is true. Let me explain:

Because these manufacturers mass produce goods, they can sell them for pennies on the dollar.

We’re talking fancy jewelry for under $0.30 a piece, nice shirts for $1, and even electronics for a few bucks that you can resell for $50 or more.

“But I still have to buy products, so I need some money!”

Actually, you don’t. That’s where the drop shipping comes in.

You don’t have to buy a thing until you get an order on your website. So you pay for your products with the money your customers pay you.

Now, you might be thinking…

“What about shipping costs? It’s coming from China - it must cost a ton!”

Nope. With the invention of ePacket shipping, you can get these items from China for free. (Or at the most, a dollar or two.)

The only startup money you need is enough to buy a domain and hosting. So less than $20.

Now, let’s talk about what you actually need to do.

How dropshipping with AliExpress works

Dropshipping simply means when your customer makes a purchase from your site, you order the item from your Chinese supplier and they ship the item to your customer. You don’t need to hold any inventory or worry about packaging and shipping.

Dropshipping from AliExpress requires you to first set up a store or have a place to sell your goods, like Amazon or eBay.

When a customer makes a purchase, you place the order with the seller on AliExpress. The seller ships the items and you keep the difference in prices as profit.

Once the item is sent to your customer, they believe it’s from you. There’s no reason to know it’s a dropshipping process.

As you get bigger and scale your store, you can send in bulk orders to these suppliers for better rates and terms. That’s why it’s so important to choose the right suppliers from the start and build a relationship with them.

But what about returns?

We’ll discuss those later in this guide. For now, let’s talk pros and cons.

AliExpress dropshipping: Pros and Cons

There are good and bad things to using AliExpress for dropshipping. Here they are:


  • AliExpress has a database of hundreds of millions of products. You’ll be hard-pressed to not find the item you’re looking for.
  • Starting a dropshipping business with AliExpress is 100 percent free. Other services like Worldwide Brands and Doba charge hundreds of dollars in startup and monthly fees. This can be a huge burden for someone who is trying to get their eCommerce business off the ground with minimal funds.
  • You control your own profit margins. AliExpress prices are extremely low and allow you plenty of profit.
  • Product trends appear on AliExpress overnight. When products like Jade Rollers, show up, you can bet that you’ll be able to find them on AliExpress.
  • No minimum order requirements. Unlike other dropshipping suppliers that have MOQ, AliExpress allows dropshippers to purchase 1 item and have it shipped directly to their customers. 


  • Shipping can take more than a month in some cases. However, ePacket shipping to the United States and a few other select countries takes 12-15 days. Packages no longer have to be transported by boat, so transport time is faster now.
  • You cannot bundle items. If a customer orders three items from three different suppliers, there is no way for them to arrive at the same time.
  • It takes a few days for your credit card to be verified at first. If you set up a shop, make sure you build enough time into your first sale so you don’t have angry waiting customers.
  • Suppliers on AliExpress may not speak the best English, which may result in communication issues.

Is AliExpress safe and reliable?


The great benefit of working with AliExpress is that it offers a lot of protection for buyers during ordering, shipping, and in case of returns. The site’s functions have been designed to keep the buyer in mind through every phase of the sale.

It’s in the best interest of AliExpress to make sure that its sellers are legitimate and deliver the goods as advertised.

However, it’s important when you’re choosing a seller on AliExpress that you take into account the company's ratings and number of products sold.

There will be a lot of merchants selling the same item, so read what people are writing and only purchase from those sellers who have the best ratings.

One thing you should always do as a dropshipper is reach out and contact the sellers directly. Start a conversation with them, talk to them about the product, and make sure you’re working with someone reliable.

Also Read: AliExpress Alternatives: SaleHoo vs. AliExpress

What is AliExpress’ standard shipping?

There are multiple shipping options on AliExpress, but ePacket delivery offers the best balance of price and shipping time.

Previously, items shipped from China were sent by sea, requiring up to 2+ months for delivery in some cases. As a dropshipper, you can’t keep your customers waiting that long.

If you do, your customers will either cancel their order or leave bad reviews, neither of which is good for your online business.

Thankfully, ePacket shipping has been introduced for Hong Kong and China, allowing for your customers to get their drop shipped goods in 12-14 days. ePacket delivery is available for goods up to 2 kilograms (4.4 pounds) in weight and with a value less than $400.

Other than the shipping time reduction, the other benefits of ePacket shipment are that you can provide your customers with end-to-end tracking. Customs duties are already paid for, allowing for quicker delivery direct to your customers.

ePacket delivery was once only available to U.S. customers, but has now been expanded to a growing list of more than 30 countries.

Meeting your customer's shipping needs will be one of your customer’s biggest priorities as a dropshipper. That’s why it’s especially important that you spend the time to find a good supplier and change suppliers if they aren’t using ePacket delivery.

Your customers are used to Amazon and other services where they can get their goods overnight. This is one of the biggest reasons they’re so successful.

The more you can lower your shipping time, the greater your customer satisfaction will be. So make sure you spend the extra fees for ePacket delivery and ensure your customers get what they want in a timely manner.

How to find and choose products (niche) in AliExpress?

Firstly, let’s discover how to find a niche. 

Choosing a niche and selling online should be a relatively simple process and can be broken down into easy steps. However, implementing them in real life can be a lot of work.

The easiest way to narrow down your niche and start selling products is to find a hot market. You need to find a market where people are spending money and which they are passionate about. As well as solve problems for your customers. 

The next thing to think about is to figure out what your customers are having trouble with. 

Then. Offer your customers what they want!

Simple right? 

Well, maybe not in practice. When you first start an online business, the hard part is finding a product, or coming up with an offer that meets customers' needs and creates a strong impulse to click that buy button.

People want more than a product in their shopping cart. A product is a commodity that can be easily replaced with something similar or cheaper.

When entering a niche, try to stand out.

In any business model, it's important to offer something of value other than just the product. For example, if you are selling coconut oil, give people a recipe book with different ways they can use your product.

If you can create long-lasting value for your customers, they will buy from your eCommerce store over and over again.

To recap, in order to determine what kind of niche you should be in:

  1. Find a hot market.
  2. Ask your customers what they want.
  3. Give your customers what they said they wanted.

So how exactly do you find products for your niche? 

The great thing about AliExpress is that you can complete Steps 1 & 2 on its site.

You can find hot markets and come up with product ideas by going to AliExpress’ bestselling page. Here you can see all of the top AliExpress products in different categories and look for an item or similar items that you might want to bundle together.

In the product listings you can delve further into customer reviews, view pictures they took, and discover any differences there may be between the product listing and the actual product upon delivery.

This last point is extremely important; many pictures or descriptions can be deceiving, so it's absolutely important that you verify through reviews or by buying the product yourself.

A few other ways to find products for your niche: 

  • Use Google Trends to see what the search volume is for your potential product. Perhaps your niche could be home decor. Some items you could look at selling include doormats, wall art and pot plants. 
  • For more information on how to find trending products check out our article here. 
  • Take advantage of social media to reach out and ask your customers what they’re having trouble with, then think of how you can help them using products from AliExpress.
  • Think about a problem you are having. Do you need a swimsuit for the upcoming summer season? Or are you struggling to find the perfect gift for your significant other? These are all real struggles that you and many other people go through every single day. If you listen to people, they will tell you what they need, even indirectly.
  • SaleHoo has a Market Research Lab, a dropshipping tool similar to search engines that displays AliExpress’s best sellers, along with Amazon’s and eBay’s best sellers, to show you the hottest products on the market.
  • You can also use it to see how often the dropshipped products are selling, and find the best suppliers for those products.

Related: Take a look at our article on 50 dropshipping business ideas in 2024! 

Lastly, let’s take a quick look at finding products in AliExpress. 

A couple of ways to find high quality products is to check the order number and product rating. Look for products that have over 300 orders. This tells you that the product is in demand and the seller is reliable. Also, the star rating is a good indicator of the quality of the product. This is a good time to check the seller rating too. Ideally, you want this to be well over 90%. 

For example, take a look at the women's puffer jacket below. As you can see the item has a 4.7 star rating, 548 orders and the supplier has a 95.3% positive feedback rating.  

How to choose the right AliExpress dropshipping suppliers

  1. Avoid fake or knockoff products- This means staying clear of branded products. The headache that can be caused by selling a product with someone else's logo on it just isn’t worth it! 
  2. Stay away from branded products 
  3. Don't just dropship low priced products 
  4. Contact the supplier- Don’t be afraid to reach out and build a relationship! If they are a good seller they will reply to your questions quickly. 
  5. Test how responsive the supplier is  
  6. Make sure ePacket delivery is available 
  7. Check out the supplier and product reviews 
  8. Only work with suppliers that have at least a 95% positive feedback score
  9. Lastly, remember the best way to make sure you are getting a quality product is to order it for yourself.

How to add products to your store

Once you have set up your online store the next step is adding products. 

The easiest way to do this is through third party applications. Such as SaleHoo Dropship, Oberlo or BigCommerce. Although, you can manually upload products to your store but this will take significant time and good record keeping. 

A few eCommerce tips and things to think about when adding products to your store: 

  • Take time to write your own copy for titles, product descriptions, and other content. You’ll want the product descriptions to be quality clearly outlining the benefits and features of the product. Your marketing is what will sell the product, so make sure it’s awesome. 
  • Clearly identify the shipping times- In some cases products can take 30 days to arrive to a customer from AliExpress. This needs to be outlined on your website and especially on your products. 
  • Choose high-resolution pictures that don’t have any branding and are shot against a white background.
  • Make sure you mark the price up enough for you to be profitable (at least a 100-150 percent markup).  

Bonus: Scaling and Growing your AliExpress Dropshipping store:

Once you have set up and added products to your store you will want to get people to it right?!

Below are a few tips you might like to try to promote scale and grow your store:

  • Develop a good relationship with your supplier. This will help in many ways but in particular you will be able to get better pricing and priority order processing. Lots of suppliers use WeChat or WhatsApp. So it is a good idea to communicate with them on there! 
  • Use Facebook and Google ads. 
  • Use email marketing campaigns and create an opt-in incentive when people visit your store (such as 10% off their first purchase) - Many sellers on AliExpress offer free or very cheap shipping so offering free shipping to your customers is a great marketing tactic without costing you much in return! 
  • Boost your social presence and digital engagement. 
  • Optimize your site for SEO - Work with a web designer and learn search engine optimization (including Google AdWords) so your product pages will be ranked higher on search results and be seen by your target market. Additionally, avoid duplicate content risks by creating original copy for each product. 
  • Add a blog to your store. If you sell gardening products go one step further and add a gardening tips section to your website! 

Check out this guide for more in-depth tips on how to drive traffic to your eCommerce store! 

How to use AliExpress to dropship

Here is a quick step by step to smooth out the process: 

Before you start dropshipping with AliExpress, you'll need a platform to sell and market your products. One of the best platforms out there is Shopify. It's very easy to setup and get started, plus it's very easy to use so you can create a store in just a few hours. 

If you are using Shopify then check out SaleHoo Dropship. It easily imports products from AliExpress to your store at the click of a button. The best thing with SaleHoo Dropship is that it sorts out all the shoddy, scamming AliExpress suppliers and vets out the credible, trusted ones so that you're only working with trustworthy suppliers. This is extremely important if you want to keep customers happy and refund rates low.

Then, once you receive an order on your website you will go and order that product from your seller on AliExpress who will ship the product directly to your customer. (When you are selecting the shipping option make sure that you select to use ePacket shipping though, as for some AliExpress sellers it's not the default option). 

Bear in mind when ordering products through AliExpress, it usually takes 24 hours for the order to be processed. During this time, your order will remain unfulfilled. Once the item is paid for and shipped by the seller you have to update your customer’s order information by adding the tracking info and sending them a receipt email with this info.

However, SaleHoo Dropship makes this process easy. It just takes a few clicks to process your order on AliExpress, track the shipping, and monitor delivery as well as populate tracking information. 

Types of payments with AliExpress

Because AliExpress is a worldwide service, it offers a wide variety of payment methods.

Credit cards are the most common payment method. AliExpress accepts Visa, MasterCard, Maestro, and American Express.

The biggest benefit of using a credit card is that in case returns and refunds are not given or you receive a poor product on AliExpress, you can always file a dispute with the credit card company and request a chargeback. This protection is not available on some of the other types of payment and should be a must for any dropshipper.

Alternatively, AliExpress offers these additional payment methods:

  • Wire Transfer
  • Webmoney
  • Yandex.Money
  • Western Union
  • QIWI
  • DOKU
  • Mercado Pago
  • Boleto
  • Bancontact
  • TEF
  • iDeal
  • Giropay
  • Sofort Banking
  • Carte Bancaire (Carte Blue)
  • Przelewy24
  • SMS Payment in Russia (MTC, MegaFon, Beeline, TELE2)
  • Cash Payment (Euroset, Syvaony, Russian Post)
  • AliExpress Pocket

When you first sign up it takes two to five days for AliExpress to verify your card details. During this time you won’t be able to process any orders.

AliExpress’ refund and return policies

AliExpress’ Buyer Protection Program has been designed to favor buyers over sellers. The company wants to ensure that you get exactly what you order and protect you at every stage of ordering through delivery.

However, be aware that many suppliers will not offer refunds.

You will have to factor that in as a cost of your business. When there is an issue, it will probably be because an order doesn't arrive or it doesn’t match the description.

If the order never arrives, AliExpress will refund the entire purchase. You’ll have to wait for the end of the delivery period, which is around 45 days, to receive your money back.

If the order is not as described, you can return it to the seller to get a full refund, or you can let the customer keep the item and offer them a partial refund.

In this case, you’ll have to work with both the AliExpress supplier and the customer to make sure the latter remains happy. The customer will have to provide photos of the damaged or non-matching item in order for you to be able to make the dispute.

In any case, there are many options for you as a dropshipper. Just be aware that your business needs to have some liquid cash reserves to continue making orders in case there are a lot of return requests.

AliExpress Dropshipping FAQs

Growing your AliExpress dropshipping business is the same as growing a regular eCommerce business. One major difference, however, is that you have more money to allocate to marketing, advertising, and branding as you wouldn't need to spend money purchasing and storing inventory. With dropshipping, you can also test different products to find a winning product. That way, you don't have to waste money on products that aren't selling and can quickly allocate budget to products that are making profits. In a nutshell, the best way to grow your dropshipping business is by continuously testing products and growing your product lineup with profitable products while getting rid of loss-making products.

You might be shocked to see how cheap AliExpress are. The reason AliExpress products are so cheap is that they come straight from the manufacturer which means you are getting a price between wholesale and retail. In other words, they cut out the middle man. Of course, the suppliers can't sell the products to you at wholesale prices because you aren't buying in bulk but you're not paying for a full retail price either. You'll also be surprised to find that shipping on AliExpress is quite often free. However, be aware that shipping times can be quite long.

If you're dropshipping on a platform such as Amazon, Walmart, Etsy, or Facebook Marketplace, you might not need any capital to start dropshipping from AliExpress. That's because you don't need to pay for a website and since there are tons of traffic on those sites, you don't need to do much in terms of advertising or marketing. However, if you want to build your own website and create a brand, you'll need around $173 USD at least. You can view a full breakdown here of how much it costs to start dropshipping. 

It really depends on what country you want to ship to. Most of the time, there's a free shipping option but that's not available in all locations. The free shipping option usually takes quite a long time (sometimes months!) so you'll want to consider the other shipping options too. You'll need to filter to the location you want to ship to to view the shipping fee options and timeline. 

Once again, it depends on which shipping option you go for. There will most likely be a free shipping option to the US but it could take quite a long time. There are also other shipping options that are listed when you check out. It will state the price, what shipping company they'll use, and how long it'll take to deliver.

No, they won't know. However, it's always good to drop a reminder to the supplier that you're dropshipping in case they add any catalogs, pamphlets, invoices, etc that can hint to the customer that their product has been shipped from another supplier. 

AliExpress products ship from China. However, some of the suppliers have warehouses in the US that can ship very quickly to US based customers. It takes some digging to find these suppliers but they can also easily be found in apps such as SaleHoo Dropship. 

Yes, AliExpress does have premium shipping options. The default option is a free shipping method but if you click on 'More Options' near the shipping options, you'll be able to see other options for shipping. You'll be able to find shipping times, company names, and the cost of delivery. 

To pay for items on AliExpress, you can use credit and debit cards, PayPal, Google Pay, Wire Transfer, Western Union, or Pay Later if the product is $30 USD or over.

5 Tips to help you succeed in AliExpress dropshipping

Hang in there - we’re almost done!

Before I leave you guys to start your own dropshipping business, here are three final tips to help you succeed in your new dropshipping venture.

Tip #1: Ask the supplier to NOT include a packing slip, invoice, pricing or samples.

While some of your more savvy customers will probably work out that you’re dropshipping your products, you should do what you can to make this less obvious.

One way of doing this?

When you place your order, add a note and request for your supplier to not include any promotional or packing slip materials in the package. However, if you're interested in using invoice templates, you could create your own invoice and email it to the supplier. This way, the customer still has a way to show proof of purchase (like for their taxes).

Tip #2: Avoid selling items that infringe on copyrights.

AliExpress is chock-full of designer knock-offs…

...but I’d recommend avoiding these like the plague.

If you don’t state (explicitly!) that these are copycat products, you could get gullible consumers who purchase them, thinking that they’re buying discounted branded items.

When they eventually get their item, and realize it’s not the real deal, be prepared to have your inbox flooded.

On the other hand, you could state that these aren’t genuine designer goods on your website…

...but this just feels like you’re asking for trouble.

I mean, famous designers rarely sue small-time eCommerce stores, but you never know.

At the end of the day, it’s much easier to just sell non-branded items!

Tip #3: Spice up your product presentation. 

As we have mentioned in this post AliExpress product photos and descriptions can sometimes be very subpar. To make your products stand out, be sure to take the time to craft great product descriptions and copy. As well as taking or choosing as high quality photos as possible. 

Tip #4: Keep your customers happy. 

This means clearly identifying shipping times and providing them with tracking numbers as soon as possible. Also, remember to use ePacket and if you can offer free shipping! 

It also helps to provide great customer support. Be quick to reply to customer's queries and provide a refund policy. This means you have to have great communication with your supplier too so you can resolve any issues quickly! 

To smooth out the process make sure you have ordered the product you are selling and have gone through the entire customer experience. This way you will know exactly what it is like to order from your supplier and have put yourself in the customer's shoes. 

Tip #5: Use the AliExpress affiliate program.

Still not sure whether you want to take the plunge into the world of dropshipping?

If you’re still hesitating, here’s an easier option which you might be interested in:

The AliExpress affiliate program!

In a nutshell, here’s how it works:

You set up a website and promote various AliExpress products on this website.

When your readers are interested in buying the product, they click on the links on your website, and they’re redirected to AliExpress.

When they make their purchase, the AliExpress merchant pays you an affiliate fee.

Your job is simply to get customers intrigued about the product… don’t need to place orders, deal with inquiries, or handle returns.

And you’ll get a minimum of 8.5% commission!

In comparison, Amazon affiliates get 4% commission on average - so AliExpress certainly isn’t scrimping when it comes to rewarding their affiliates!

A final word on dropshipping from AliExpress

No inventory needed.

No shipping costs.

Minimal capital.

What more could you ask for?

It doesn’t matter if you’re living in a 1-bedroom apartment and have no space to keep your stocks.

Hell, it doesn’t even matter if you’re living in your mom’s basement.

All you need to do is to cough up $20 or so for your domain name and your Shopify account…

...and you can get your dropshipping business set up.

Plus: 22-33% of online retailers have adopted dropshipping as their primary method of order fulfillment.

This means that dropshipping is a tried-and-tested model, and one that’s definitely profitable.

Time to stop being a salaried employee, and start building a business you can call your own.

What do you say?

If you liked this article, please take a minute to share it with your other friends who are thinking about venturing into eCommerce!


About the author
Simon Slade
CEO of SaleHoo Group Limited

Simon Slade is CEO and co-founder of SaleHoo, a platform for eCommerce entrepreneurs that offers 8,000+ dropship and wholesale suppliers, 1.6 million high-quality, branded products at low prices, an industry-leading market research tool and 24-hour support.

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  • Caryn Selden 27th of May
    Oh! My God! I'm overwhelmed and don't know where to start. Help!

  • Jo Ann 9th of June
    can these apps be used with amazon?
    • Justin Golschneider SaleHoo Admin 13th of June
      Hi Jo Ann! It depends on the app—Bigcommerce works with Amazon, while Oberlo is just for Shopify. There are a lot of apps out there for Amazon, though, so if you can't find the app you're looking for here just run a quick Google search and about 20 options should pop up. :-)
  • HDD 12th of June
    I don't think Aliexpress provides a reliable business model. Here's my experience with Aliexpress after becoming an A4 buyer within less than 6 months and after hundreds of orders. I had my account suspended then terminated 6 days ago. I contacted customer support 5 times to no avail. The first reason they gave me was: account temporarily suspended due to security reasons. After contacting the infamous customer support and promising to do their best, I got the second email with a new reason this time: My account is terminated due to violations of the order protection program. This happened and I'm an A4 buyer with 50 ongoing orders! Now I cannot dispute or leave feedback for any of them!! Simply thift!! Moreover, the fact that I returned the money to some of the sellers after a dispute/refund did not seem to matter at all. I did this voluntarily after receiving some of the disputed orders after some 3-4 months!! I still had respect and returned the money through another purchase and none of that mattered! I'm beginning to think that some of the highly rated/recommended sellers have close connections to AE management and are untouchable! I doubt their rating system so much after noticing that some of the most decent sellers are not highly rated at all.
    • Dezi 31st of August
      That's insane I'm so sorry to hear you went through that! Dropshipping seems highly risky to me since you have limited control over inventory, shipping, etc... Which are huge parts of running a successful business. Personally, I would be overly concerned that the customer would be getting sub-par or low quality items. even if I ordered a product to inspect it, who's to say they don't alter it a month down the road? To me, it would seem that ordering small batches (less than $100) at a time to test the water and mailing them out yourself would be the safer route.

      Let us know how everything turned out and what you plan to do moving forward!
  • Kendrick Keeton 23rd of June
    I've set up a few (4-5) shopify and wordpress ecommerce sites selling mostly aliexpress items but have yet to really make any money. It just doesn't work. I've spent hundreds of dollar using facebook ads (start out at $5 a day) but that doesn't do much. So what is the trick? Maybe the market is saturated? I really wish this worked. I was going to try and sell from Salehoo directory but the wholesale price for items is higher than what I can sell on amazon or ebay. I'm pretty much in limbo trying to figure out what to try next.
    • Justin Golschneider SaleHoo Admin 24th of August
      Hi Kendrick! My experience has been that Facebook ads don't pay off, though there are plenty of people (even on the SaleHoo staff) who would disagree with me. Consider other advertising methods like AdWords. Also, make sure that your site is optimized to convert—if visitors have a hard time finding their way around it or don't feel safe making a purchase, then it won't matter how much traffic you get to the site.

      Note that the prices you find on wholesalers' sites are often retail prices, not wholesale prices. If you haven't yet, try contacting the wholesaler directly. They'll often only tell you their wholesale prices when you reach out and prove that you are a real business interested in making a deal. You can also negotiate for lower prices.
  • 24th of August
    Mr. Justin, Many Thanks for your articles and advises. I am running few sites including which is an affiliate site for AliExpress and other suppliers, but the main challenge we are facing with traffic and converting traffic. Can you suggest any better source or idea? thanks. Also please reply for the last comment by kendrick.
    • Justin Golschneider SaleHoo Admin 24th of August
      Hello, and you're very welcome! I don't write any of these articles, though—for SaleHoo, I'm just an editor and moderator. :-)

      One thing I noticed on your site is that you have a blog, but it isn't set up to gain or convert traffic. Rather than reusing spun articles, try creating 100% unique, well-optimized articles that both offer useful information to visitors and make people want to buy your products. And don't forget to link to at least one relevant product or category in every article.

      Also, make sure that you don't have any empty categories on your site. I tried looking at your adult collection and I couldn't find any products to buy, and there was only one entry with no pictures. That sort of problem will cost a lot of conversions.

      I hope that helps—good luck!
      • sai prasad somayajula 8th of November
        Hello Justin, a quick question on traffic and conversion. Instead of product menus, sub menus, tabs, sub-tabs, drop downs on an ecommerce site, would it be a good idea to keep a big search box on the main page and suggest visitors type a key word of what they are searching for. Even as they are typing, if we can start displaying a list of products with key words available on my site, would that be a good idea for better conversion numbers? Something like predictive text in smart phone typing.? Thank you, Sai
  • Kire 22nd of November
    It's a good review but, I'll appriciate if you can give more details with any example about how much money do I need in reserve in case that many refund occur if I got 25 item in my store. For me, that's the vital part in order to keep alive what I just started.



  • Akram Triki 11th of December
    Using WooCommerce, what is the best option to import products from AliExpress?

  • Tony Girgenti 1st of January

    I have my own website and I want to dropship computer/electronic products. I started using Novatech Wholesale importing over 7,000 of their products/images and had to stop due to a lack of reliable support.

    If I want to use AliExpress and import their products into my website, how would I do that?

    I have an account with them, but I don't see how to get their products in a file that I can use.

    Any help would be gratefully appreciated.

  • Tony Girgenti 1st of January

    I have my own website and I want to dropship computer/electronic products. I started using Novatech Wholesale importing over 7,000 of their products/images and had to stop due to a lack of reliable support.

    If I want to use AliExpress and import their products into my website, how would I do that?

    I have an account with them, but I don't see how to get their products in a file that I can use.

    Any help would be gratefully appreciated.

  • 27th of May
    How to start the business,how to add product to my own store,how to create a store,how I find the customer,what types of product shall I sell ,ie textiles,electronic,big or small product ,how much profit shall I get from this I have no idea.please tell me
    • Richelle Monfort SaleHoo Admin 28th of May
      Hello Ashish,

      Remember you can sell pretty much anything you wish, to help you off to a good start, here's a guide featuring a few ideas of possible niches/items you could look at selling. Also, discussed in the guide are the pros and cons of each on. The guide also has some suppliers listed for each featured niche - please note that this requires SaleHoo membership to access.

      Another tool I suggest you check out is the SaleHoo Market Research Lab, once you're a member. It is designed to help you research top selling products across all categories. For each product a list of potential suppliers is available for you to check out as they are likely to stock the specific (or similar) product.

      If you have other concerns please feel free to let me know. Happy Selling!
  • Ashish Kumar 27th of May
    How many product shall I sell on my store 1,10,100,1000,shall I have to pay for adding product on my store,or firstly I have to pay for that product then adding to my store,
    • Richelle Monfort SaleHoo Admin 28th of May
      Hello Ashish,

      That all depends on you but you have to add a considerable amount of products. As for whether you will pay before hand of not, it depends if you are sourcing your products via dropshipping (pay only when the product sells) or via wholesale you need to purchase your products in bulk before you can list them in your store.

      Hope this helps! Cheers :)
  • Robert Montoya 13th of July
    I have created a website for drop shipping and its through woo-commerce. I created my home page but still hesitant to drop-ship or affiliate program. Of course I want to maximize my income but don't want to get to far ahead of myself and not be organized.

    Should I get it all set up and order something from my own site first to test it? Also, do I need the Aliexpress plugin also?
    • Richelle Monfort SaleHoo Admin 18th of July
      Hi Robert,

      As to what you can add in terms of plugins, it would be best for you to check with your store's support team.

      As for filling your store with products from a dropshipper, I strongly suggest you do :) Remember with dropshipping you only buy the product once you have sold it to your customer.

      All the best!
  • Gemma Downs 25th of July
    I'm trying to setup my own dropshipping store but to be honest, it's all a little confusing. I only want to sell certain products for a niche that I'm passionate about. My problem is that I want people to buy the product simply by seeing a picture and somehow clicking on a link that will enable them to pay and then type in their address. I have an IBAN number, as for online, I don't have PayPal or anything. I don't even know if I'm allowed to use the pictures of the products???? It's more for a cause, obviously I want to make money but it would go towards a project in my local area. Any ideas as to how I can promote just a few products and be paid at the click of a button, still whilst having just my IBAN? We don't have the funds to have a website created. Domains always cost more after the initial setup fees. Please HELP, not much hair left to pull out:) Gem X
    • Richelle Monfort SaleHoo Admin 5th of September
      Hello Gemma,

      You don't necessary need a website to start dropshipping. You can sell on online marketplaces like eBay and Amazon. Some even try selling off Facebook. It is best that you accept payment methods that shoppers consider as safe, like credit cards or PayPal.

      Hope this helps!
  • Terri 29th of August
    Hi. I have a question about adding the Aliexpress e-packet tracking number to the paypal payment, and including adding it to each order on my site, after receiving an order.
    Customers will know right away the item is coming from China when they see the e-packet tracking number.
    Is there any way around this, so they do not know?
    • Richelle Monfort SaleHoo Admin 5th of September
      Hi Terri,

      I think there is no reason you should hide the country of origin from your customers, it's even better that you disclose this to them.

  • Jannet 31st of August
    Please explain in your articles in more deailes how to dropship with aliDropship plugin! I really need to know
  • Pil 14th of November
    How can I use their money to place the order?
  • Carlos Hernandez 11th of March
    I just need to know step by step what to order dropshipping directly with aliexpress
  • Amar 1st of April
    i still have the confusion and search more for it but didn't get any answer of it.

    so hope you'll help me with it.

    I'm gonna use own domain and WordPress hosting i got to know that AliExpress also offering paid plugin for WordPress. i felt it's a good option as oberlo works on Shopify i think it'll be working on WordPress. but my doubt is that how the further process work suppose i got an order on my site after that what needs to be done. I'm wondering that it's plugin so it'll be automatically placed on AliExpress too am i right ? if yes even though how it'll work. I'm wondering many thoughts. but what matters is what and how it actually gonna work.

    so you told everything what needed and bla bla.. but what after getting order how it works how do i get the extra money which I'll charge extra on product. you told at one place that for better experience should contact supplier but i didn't get clear on it. is it gonna happening like to contact supplier every time for every single product.
    i told you my doubt please tell me exact anwers it's procedure after having order when using it's plugin on WordPress.
  • Elvira Baerman 25th of April
    This was a very good article. I am very interested in droppshipping. There are a few things I' have to sort out to start my business. I will get in contact with you very soon. Please send the catalog to my e-mail address. Thank you very much.

  • 9th of May
    Hey, you have missed out on one imp point though! AliExpress doesn't provide any kind of invoice. Tax filing season is already such a headache, and on top of this, this issue totally bums me out. Any solution for that?
    • Rhea Bontol SaleHoo Admin 7th of June
      AliExpress indeed doesn't provide an invoice but there already are 3rd party applications/extensions that can automate order details from AliExpress. I've heard about Ali Invoice, AliExpress Invoice Generator, or Alibilling but I'm not in anyway promoting these as well as use any of them myself yet; so best to Google reviews about them online before trying it out.
  • 28th of May
    Great advice. Well written. Thank you
  • Holly 12th of June
    Isn't using someone else listing from AliExpress a huge risk though? Lets say you create a listing on Ebay for someone elses listing on Ali. 2-4 weeks later someone buys the product you listed on Ebay. So you go to Ali to purchase the product, but it's sold out, or the size or color the customer purchased is sold out. Or does this not often happen on Ali? Do they keep large amounts of stock available at all times? From browsing the website, it also looks like prices change often. Is that not the case?
  • CDE 19th of July
    basic plan for shopify is $29.99 a month
  • Tulaz 22nd of July
    I am planning on to create a drop shipping system for Indian market, so which Ali express shipping third party will be best for it?
    • Rhea Bontol SaleHoo Admin 9th of August
      If you can find a better alternative courier service in India, you can discuss this direct with your AliExpress supplier. Meanwhile, let's wait for suggestions from other members.
  • Jamad 30th of July
    Let’s say the MOQ of a product is 50 pieces, I paid for them will they keep them in their inventory and send only when I tell them or does it work?
  • Priyanka Bhardwaj 1st of August
    Great article
  • Jessamae 18th of August
    This artice gives me butterflies in my belly.. I think I need to start right now. Thank you.
  • Diane Durham 5th of September
    Hi. I'm very interested in getting in the dropshipping
  • Deb 14th of November
    Who do we do our domain name through? is that shopify??
  • Lameck Zulu 18th of February
    This has helped me alot, coming from a country where ecommorce seem to be far than a new parents looking forward to be grandparents. Hoping to grow and engage more of my country mates to ecommorce
    • Rhea Bontol SaleHoo Admin 14th of May
      Hi Lameck! Continue to go over our Training section to guide you through the process of getting started with your online business - this'll help you a lot. Cheers!
  • Sam 7th of May
    Hello Entrepreneurs and experts,

    I did some studies from various gurus of dropshipping and now bit confused, so looking for the answer.
    Yes I understand that how to add products via various apps and do the shipping settings in the various dropshipping platforms but I am not able to understand how to decide the shipping rate? Flat rate, $5, Free shipping etc.

    Let's say my store is and selling TShirts and it's open for across the globe. Now if I get an order from Sweden, US, India, South Africa and all orders going to same supplier China (AliExpress). So here is my confusion in such scenarios I believe shipping charge will be different, so how I decide?
    And who keeps the shipping charge? Store owner or supplier?


    • Rhea Bontol SaleHoo Admin 14th of May
      Hi Sam! Shipping fees are normally charged by your supplier so it's always important to communicate this aspect directly with them so you will know how much to charge your customers. Some selling sites allow you to adjust shipping rates for buyers from different locations. On other scenarios, shipping fees for different countries are also noted on the listing page so buyers are aware of minor changes upon checkout.
  • Abdul 23rd of June
    Can i order items on alixpress or alibaba & dropship through ebay ? I heard that rbay dropshipping is far more effective & easier than dropshipping through shopify
    • Rhea Bontol SaleHoo Admin 29th of June
      You can definitely do that! Just make sure you're familiar with your suppliers' their terms and conditions specially with regards to shipping, and product returns for a hassle-free selling experience.
  • Diemons 29th of July
    Should we contact the supplier before uploading his product in to store , or take permission to dropship his product ,
  • Haitham Erfan 1st of August
    Hello , if I make dropshipping website through Ali Express , how I can collect the money from the customers , Thanks
  • Stefan Hoffmann 7th of August
    Does it really work if I leave a note for the suppliers asking them to not include any invoice and shipping docs? How can I be sure that they'll comply? Or whether they read my note at all?
  • Gheorghe Sirbu 21st of August
    Wow i started to read all this it says 5 easy steps every step it seems everyone repeats the process on how to set up But my head is spinning How do you do it dont tell me how to make money i understand that part . I have my own Domain How do i load Products once i have created a website ? I s there files you can download and then upload to my website ?
    All i want to know how to load products on my own Website from Dropship
  • Nabeel 20th of October
    impressive post i learned a lot to read it.
    Reading this post clear me lot of question about dropshipping
  • Lanka Kumarasinghe 28th of October
    Much appreciated
    well explained