Today, there are more and more people who have already used Aliexpress to acquire products.
Likewise, many others have opted for this supplier intending to open a dropshipping store on Aliexpress. And even though the Asian giant attracts attention with its low prices and large catalog, many have also been short-changed and decided to opt for a European or national supplier.
Today, we’re going to talk about all those negative aspects we can encounter when dropshipping on Aliexpress: what are they, how can they harm our business, and, moving forward, how can we get around them.
On Aliexpress there are trusted suppliers, but there are also some very “dubious” ones. Dropshipping usually requires a very professional supplier as your customer’s satisfaction will be transferred to them. If your supplier does not work well, the buyers of your store will not have a good memory of them and will exclude you from their future purchases.
When dropshipping with Aliexpress, choosing a good supplier is probably the most important and complicated aspect.
Take care to choose companies that have a lot of positive reviews and comments from customers and shun suppliers that have no views and those for which you can’t find much information. Like it or not, these aspects can make a difference in the success of your store.
Excessively long delivery times.
Delivery times are endless. No wonder! Aliexpress offers very competitive prices, but in return, deliveries can take up to several months. For some customers, it’s worth it, but for others, it’s not. To avoid complaints -as far as possible- it is fundamental that the customer is informed when dropshipping with Aliexpress.
Above all, we must be extremely educational and explain very well to our customers the estimated delivery times.
If we explain that the delivery time is, for example, 21 days in general, only those who agree to wait 3 weeks for their product will make their purchase. Thus, complaints will be avoided as much as possible. Never – let’s repeat: never – should we give our customers false expectations if we want to avoid problems with logistics.
Sometimes the products are not what we expect. Who hasn’t experienced this? You buy in some Chinese e-commerce, you wait several weeks (or months) for the product to arrive and, when you finally receive it, it looks nothing like the one you saw in the pictures. Since the price of this kind of product is often very low (and the supplier probably doesn’t speak your language very well), you prefer to give up and not ask for a refund.
But what you can do is leave a complaint or an inflammatory review on his page to prevent him from cheating others. By dropshipping on Aliexpress, the recipients of the products are your customers and not you, something that can further complicate the situation. When your customer receives the item and realizes that it is not what they expected, complaints and bad reviews will go straight to your mailbox and page, compromising future sales.
To solve this aspect, it is best to order the item yourself before you start selling it. Once you have seen it, you will be able to directly estimate if it has the expected qualities.
Low quality marketing material.
On many occasions, it is not just the products that are of poor quality. It may also be that the material that the manufacturer delivers to you so that you can get to know their items (such as for photographs and descriptions) is quite deficient.
To deal with this problem, the best solution is to do it yourself.
Buy a copy of each item you are going to sell (if a product comes in several colors or sizes, consider buying some of each) and give free rein to your advertising spirit.
To do this properly, you will of course need to have some knowledge of photography (or hire a professional photographer). In addition, you will have to write the text for the product sheets yourself if you find that the manufacturers are not “selling” enough.
This is a lot of work, but necessary if the supplier you are buying from does not stand out for the content they provide.
This is one of the main disadvantages of dropshipping on Aliexpress: to see your store inactivity, it is often necessary to invest more time and money to make the product sheets as attractive as possible.
Problems with the language.
The language barrier is a reality in China. Even though there are more and more companies that have English-speaking employees, it is not uncommon for there to be “confusion” due to messages not being understood properly.
This is not just about confusion in emails or on calls you make.
When a supplier doesn’t speak English or our language well, we can find incorrect product descriptions and end up selling items that aren’t what we hoped for.
When dropshipping with Aliexpress, try to look for a supplier with whom communication will be smooth and what you are asking for will not be misinterpreted.
Very small margins.
In dropshipping in general, the margins are not high enough (since the supplier frees you from many constraints that would otherwise take time and money). However, in dropshipping on Aliexpress, the margins are particularly low.
Delivery times and item quality are not usually good, which means you’ll need to keep Aliexpress prices low if you want to sell. To do this, you’ll need to get a lot of traffic and sales to make a good profit.
We will not have traceability of shipments.
This aspect is very much related to the second point: the logistics of shipments from China are quite poor. Not only does it take weeks or months, but it is rarely possible to know where our order is. We don’t get a code to see the status of the shipment and if a customer asks us when their order is coming in, we can’t give any answers.
As we can see, dropshipping on Aliexpress is not a cruise.
Although everything can be sorted out with time and inclination, for many it is easier to look for a European dropshipping supplier who speaks the language and is willing to meet our customers’ needs. Fortunately, if we finally give up on dropshipping on Aliexpress, there are many well-prepared companies with a large catalog that we can call upon.