In this article, I’m going to be giving you the 10 things that you need to do before you start to drop ship from AliExpress. If you do these 10 things, then you will easily be able to overcome some of the common stumbling blocks that I see new dropshippers face. To find out what these 10 things are? How to overcome them for yourself?, I will also answer you if drop shipping from Aliexpress still profitable in 2019?
1# Check shipping times before choosing which countries to sell to
A Big mistake that I see new dropshippers make is they see on Aliexpress that items ship worldwide and then they say “I’ll put that item in my store, and I’ll ship it out to a global audience”.
When it comes to shipping, not all countries are equal. For Instance, shipping to the United States is really great, because they have a fantastic ePacket shipping option for just an extra $1 or $2, you can get an item shipped out from China to the USA, and it will take only 12 to 20 days.
On the other hand shipping from China to the UK is dreadful, the best usually find for low-cost shipping options is an estimated delivery time of 20 to 40 days. That means that it can take over 5 weeks for an item to arrive in the UK.
So the much better option then when you’re starting out is to check for different shipping options that your supplier offers to different countries.
Make sure to only sell to countries where it will take no longer than 4 weeks for an item to arrive. As a beginner try to focus on countries where it is more like 2 to 3 weeks, this way you’ll have far happier customers which will make drop shipping a lot more fun, you can leave the more challenging countries to when you’ve got more experience.
2# Create your own store. Don’t dropship on Amazon
A lot of newbies want to start out by dropshipping from Aliexpress on eBay or Amazon because it means that they don’t have to spend money setting up their own Shopify or WooCommerce store.
This is a terrible thing to do because the competition is insanely fierce on those platforms for Aliexpress products because the barrier to entry is so low. In fact, probably the worst place to be selling them on Amazon, because people aren’t even drop shipping them on there, instead what they are doing is they are shipping them directly from AliExpress supplier to the Amazon FBA warehouse and selling them at a loss.
Look at this, a simple product on the wholesale, this Self Stirring Coffee Mug, an AliExpress product is currently selling on Amazon for $9.99 and it’s fulfilled by Amazon.
The current top Aliexpress supplier is selling it for $6.74 including shipping to the USA. Well if you calculate their profit after the super high Amazon fees, you will see that they’re actually making over a dollar loss per sale on this item, plus customers on both of those platforms have extremely high expectations when it comes to shipping times. So you are going to risk them leaving negative reviews even if you were super upfront about the shipping times. On both of those platforms, negative reviews are the kiss of death. But if you sell on your own store, then unlike eBay and Amazon, your competitors can’t come and create a listing on it, and then get into a pricing war with you. So don’t even try to drop shipping from AliExpress to eBay and Amazon. Instead, you can do drop shipping from Aliexpress in your own store, and focus on driving your own traffic to it.
3# Protect yourself and set up a company
A super common question that gets asked here at wholesale Ted is whether you need to set up an LLC, or in other words, a company when you’re drop shipping from Aliexpress or from any other source? The answer to that is no, you don’t need to, you could start dropshipping right now, you would be considered a sole proprietor and there is no paperwork required to become a sole proprietor. It’s just what you are by default if you form a partnership or a company. But while it’s not required, it is a good idea to do, especially if you live in the USA. You see if you don’t set up an LLC, then there is no legal distinction between you and your business. So if you get super unlucky, and perhaps the Self Stirring Mug that you were dropshipping starts to explode and hurt people you’ll risk getting sued. If that happens you will wish that you had set up LLC, because the fact then that the company would be liable for a lawsuit and not you personally. Another common question we get asked if you’re selling to customers in the USA, but you live in another country, for example, Australia, should you set up your company in Australia or in the? The answer here is pretty simple, set up your company in your local country of residence not the USA, now there will be fees for setting up a company, in New Zealand, it’s around $250 to set one up, so I understand that not everybody reading this article is going to be that, but if you can afford it, it’s well worth it.
4# Create happy customers by making shipping times very clear.
For fun I like to click on the ads that my competitor’s dropshippers are showing me in my Facebook feed to see if they are being very clear about their shipping disclaimers on their product page, I can tell you now that most are not. So I will usually click into the cart page to see if they’re at least put a disclaimer on there but nothing, that is not good, it doesn’t matter if you’ve got a shipping policy page somewhere on your website that customers could find and read, it’s not good as I’ve said before, don’t be afraid to advertise that there’s going to be a 2 or 3 week shipping time period on your product page. It’s going to conversions less than you might think, if you are not upfront about it, then you are going to upset customers, not only will that stop them from buying from again, but you’re going to risk that they’re going to ask for refund, do Paypal disputes, and chargebacks, so don’t try to hide it. I recommend putting the disclaimer on your product page and bold it. It’s also a good practice to put it in your cart page and to also include the disclaimer in your confirmation email. If you do this, then you’re going to have happy customers who won’t feel cheated and ripped off, plus there’s another good bonus to having happy customers. If your customers have a good buying experience from you, then you increase the chances that they’re going to come back and buy from you again, so don’t upset your customers, be very clear about shipping times.
5# Have a Rock-solid refund policy
When you’re setting up your refund policy page, make it very clear that you will only give refunds for products that are faulty or broken. Don’t give refunds simply because pole have changed their minds. Now, in the USA, a lot of big retailers have very generous return policies, but as a small retailer, you do not have to do this with drop shipping from Aliexpress. For smaller retailers, it is standard practice that the customer has to ship the item back to you at their own expense before you will give them a refund. I will create a new article to talk about this point; How to not lose money when drop shipping. Some people disagreed with this on an ethical level, if you think it’s too harsh then you can set your own rules around this, for example requiring that the customer give you photographic proof that the item was broken or faulty. But no matter what you end up doing here, be sure to include a link for your refund policy page in the footer of your website, so that it is on every page in your website, so that customers have no excuse for not having seen it.
6# Keep customers happy with follow-up emails
The reason why most people doing drop shipping from Aliexpress are interested in collecting customers emails is that the fact that they want to send out newsletters promoting other products in their store so that they will come back and spend more money.
You know what? Getting emails is a fantastic thing to do, but it is not the only purpose of sending out emails, what you should be doing is setting up a two to three week email sequence where customers are getting support emails from you after the sale, it’s good practice to send out three to four emails during this period. In these emails note the following things. Firstly, remind them that when they purchased from you they agreed to the shipping times of 2 to 4 weeks, a real excuse for this is saying that it’s due to high demand. Secondly, tell the customers that you care about them and that if they are having any problems, that they are free to email you. Thirdly, in these emails, remind them that they can always track the orders online…
…and include a link to a website that they can use to track their orders. What these emails will do is they will encourage opening a dialogue between you and unhappy customers, so that you can then go in and turn them into a happy customer. Plus of course, it will greatly improve the buying experience that they have with you, which will mean that they will be more likely to come back and buy from you again in the future.
7# Run a like campaign to your store fan page before testing products
If you’re running ads on Facebook, then it’s a really good idea to run a simple three day like campaign first. Spending an extra $16 to $20 will give your fan page more authority, which means that people are more likely to trust you. By increasing trust, you will have higher conversions, which means you will make more money.
8# Add 30 products to your store before testing products
A really common mistake that I see dropshippers make is that they’ll get really impatient, and they’ll add a handful of products to their store, and then start running tests. Again, creating trust is very important when you’re converting sales, and quite honestly a store with only a handful of products does not look very trustworthy at all.
Now, some customers won’t bother flicking through your store, instead, they’ll just by immediately on the product page, but some customers are going to go through your store to check out and see if it’s legitimate. If they only see a few products, it makes you look unprofessional, and it almost makes it look like your store still in development. Now you don’t have to add 30 exactly, isn’t some magical number, it’s just a good number to aim for, so don’t jump ahead, add plenty of products to your store to that you will increase the trust between you and potential customers so that they’re more likely to click that add to cart button. If you like this 8 things that you should do before starting dropshipping from Aliexpress business, subscribe to my newsletter and send me your question I will answer you as soon as possible.
9# Have either a credit card or money set aside to pay for items customers buy
The mistake 9 that you should avoid when starting dropshipping from Aliexpress is: when customers purchase items from you, you aren’t going to instantly get the money that they paid for you. PayPal will often hold this money for 1 or 3 weeks and Stripe pays out weekly, so if you’ve been relying upon this money to pay for the items that the customer has purchased from you, you are sunk. So make sure that you have either a credit card or a few hundred dollars on a debit card set aside so that you can purchase the items that the customers have bought from you while you’re waiting for their money to clear. Don’t make the mistake that I see a lot of new dropshippers make where they spend all of their startup money on setting up the store and marketing. Make sure that you’ve got a plan on how you’re going to be able to purchase the items that the customers buy from you.
10# Be prepared to spend money to make money using drop shipping from Aliexpress
Finally, before you get started, if you plan to take advantages of fast paid traffic in the form of add, then be prepared to spend money to make money, dropshipping from Aliexpress is all about testing, you add a bunch of products to your store, you run ads for them, you see which ads make you money and which ones don’t, you then take the profitable ads and you scale them way up. You should know that the items that you think are going to be profitable turn out to be flops and the products that you least expect turn out to be huge winners that by themselves earn you $10,000 a month.
People rarely admit this, but the truth is that most people go into dropshipping with the hope and almost expectations that the first product that they’re going to advertise and test is going to be a huge winner, when it isn’t they get so disappointed that they declare that drop shipping from Aliexpress or the other source doesn’t work and they give up, which is a real shame, because perhaps the next product that they were planning to test would have turned out to be a $10,000 a month product, but they never going to find out because they gave up too soon, the people that succeed in this industry are the ones that don’t see failed product tests as a bad thing, and instead choose to embrace them, they embrace them because of the fact that they know that each failed product test makes them one step closer to finding their winning golden item.
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