Is AliExpress Safe for my Dropshipping Business?
Is AliExpress Safe? This is a question many customers, and small business owners have asked. Previously unimaginably low prices have many people thinking that the site has to have some sort of catch to it.
Yes! AliExpress is a safe, secure, extremely popular online retail service based in China. AliExpress is owned by the Alibaba Group; the world’s largest retailer and e-commerce company. It is the choice of many customers and dropshippers around the globe. It’s best described as an online marketplace filled with different businesses, vendors, sellers, manufacturers mainly originating from China.
Online marketplaces are great for finding both common items at a reasonable rate or niche items that may be difficult to source elsewhere. AliExpress is one of the foremost online marketplaces and has been making incredible advances in terms of customer satisfaction, product quality and most famously offering incredibly low prices that have enticed many into the world of dropshipping, e-commerce, and other similar online stores.
With the internet becoming more accessible to consumers worldwide, e-commerce has become increasingly more popular, and dropshipping is no exception. As a result, there has been a frenzy to find safe, reliable, and secure suppliers for the dropshipping model of business. AliExpress offers a way for small business owners to take advantage of the low cost of manufactured goods coming from China, something that was previously unheard of for anyone but larger companies. The ability for small businesses to operate on a dropshipping model enables business-savvy individuals to make huge profit margins without the traditional brick and mortar store layouts or the need to rent out space to store inventory, which is why it’s increasingly more and more widespread. As a dropshipping business it’s extremely vital you have happy customers and the knowledge in this article will assist in providing a good customer experience by avoiding any pitfalls some dropshipping businesses may face.
This article provides extremely valuable information to dropshipping businesses as well as regular consumers that are considering using AliExpress but aren’t sure what to expect after hearing about a bad experience or having concerns about whether or not it’s safe. Running a dropshipping business is extremely hard work, keeping customers happy is a priority and one wrong move can spell trouble for your reputation. This is why we’ve written this article in order to help you understand the reasons some people don’t recommend AliExpres while some are firm believers in why it’s the best option available if you’re running a dropshipping business. Keep reading below to learn useful information that can start benefitting your business today!
Being a part of the largest e-commerce company means AliExpress boasts fantastic website security, a stellar buyer’s protection guarantee, and many more great features that have led to it being as popular and widely used as it is today. The website security means you can safely make purchases without worrying about data leaks, fraud, or other issues that are unfortunately all too common online today. The buyer’s protection covers everything from shipping issues, counterfeit items, and items that don’t match the listing. It’s one of the primary reasons many business owners rely on AliExpress for their business, its track record in resolving disputes and guaranteeing safe, secure transactions is matched by few. It offers countless types of products which is why it’s a premier choice for many consumers, business owners, dropshipping stores, and small e-commerce businesses. All of its products can be reviewed by buyers and it’s generally very easy to navigate and use.
A quick look at negative reviews shows they are largely complaints about delivery times or insufficient tracking information. As dropshipping and buying from AliExpress have become more mainstream for consumers, many have equated it with low quality, shoddy workmanship which is simply not true. In this article, we will explore some common misconceptions many have about AliExpress and we will learn about the business model it uses as the process can be more complicated than some would imagine in terms of logistics, shipping, and order delivery.
There is no doubt that the cost of manufacturing goods in China is lower than most Western countries, however, a common myth is that all goods supplied by a Chinese company will be low quality. This is simply not true, however many buyers will go to AliExpress and buy an item from the absolute cheapest seller they can find and then end up unhappy with the workmanship. Reading reviews should be especially important as different sellers will have different quality control standards, additionally better reviewed, higher cost products generally will have better, higher-quality manufacturing and will be more suited to selling to your customers as a dropshipping business owner. Something lots of people fail to realize is that China is the leading manufacturer for most goods today, whether it be your smartphone or even your laptop. With AliExpress you get access to all the options they offer. Whether it’s premium high-quality goods or extremely low-cost mass-produced goods. It’s very important to do your research before purchasing something as customers want products they can rely on. With proper research, AliExpress becomes an excellent platform to source high-quality products without the extra markups and fees they would pay by getting those same products locally.
Another common misconception is that AliExpress is a scam, again this stems from new customers unfamiliar with online marketplaces buying the item they want from the first seller they see, usually influenced by low costs without proper research. The majority of new buyers aren’t overly familiar with their options once they receive an item they don’t like, such as the buyer’s protection. Therefore, they will receive an item they’re not happy with after a long wait time and then they’ll post an unhappy review. Another good reminder is to be wary of sellers claiming to sell brand name goods especially if they are well below cost. The saying “If it sounds too good to be true it probably is” comes to mind here. AliExpress has rules against counterfeit products or products not matching the listing description however with so many sellers it can be tough to filter out bad ones. This issue isn’t exclusive to AliExpress as it can and has been encountered on most large marketplaces. Luckily AliExpress strives to protect the customer from situations like these, both by implementing rules that forbid this type of seller activity and by the buyer’s protection.
In order to maintain an effective and reliable dropshipping business, it’s important to avoid issues like these. Encountering problems like this as a regular consumer buying a faulty or incorrect product for your own use is not as damaging as they are to a business owner who has numerous customers that are the life of his business. Having a customer get a product that doesn’t match what they ordered is extremely bad for your online business and can cause customers to lose trust in you and take their business elsewhere. Fortunately, all dropshipping businesses can avoid all of these problems by following simple rules when buying online and learning about the different shipping options offered, knowing what to expect when ordering, and learning about different options at their disposal as a buyer. Keep reading to gain important insights on how to avoid a bad experience and maximize your experience as a buyer.
Most items are delivered from China with a few exceptions so there are some things you should take into account when using AliExpress for your dropshipping business.
⦁ International packages are subject to security checks by the China Post. These checks can sometimes cause delays if a large shipment is found to contain a package that isn’t permitted. Should this be the case there will oftentimes be additional security procedures and security checks of the remaining packages which can be time-consuming for all parties involved.
⦁ Shipments can require transfer flights which can contribute to delivery times. Flights can be affected by bad weather and other factors that may cause delays during the transfer process.
⦁ The Customs Agencies of the country the package is being delivered to. Often people won’t realize that customs services are where packages can be delayed the most. This can be due to staffing issues, holidays, backlogs, and recently the increased health and safety protocols that are currently in place globally. As this can vary from country to country you’re encouraged to do your own research in order to get a better idea of whether or not this could be a factor for you.
⦁ Damaged or lost goods, it’s not something anyone anticipates or wants but sometimes packages will simply get lost in transit. This can happen more frequently with international shipments due to the fact the shipment is being transferred and moved between companies, flights, customs agencies, etc so much. If this is the case reaching out to the seller is your best course of action. Again you are completely safe and protected by the buyer’s protection if this scenario does occur to you.
⦁ Failed delivery attempts, if there is no tracking number available this can lead to missed deliveries which can cause further delays.
⦁ COVID-19, unfortunately, COVID-19 and its effects globally have resulted in mandatory lockdowns in varying parts of the world, reduced staffing for companies, and other measures to reduce the spread of the virus. These measures while absolutely needed for the health and safety of workers worldwide have impacted international shipping and extended the time it takes to get shipments delivered. For the foreseeable future, this will be a huge factor to consider when ordering online from any website and AliExpress is no different.
With this in mind, customers should expect international shipments to take longer than a domestic shipment will. AliExpress offers some of the lowest prices found on any online marketplace which is why prospective customers often don’t realize that lots of sellers will go for the lowest cost shipping and logistics option available in an attempt to increase profits. It’s not difficult to see why some people will have a bad experience, low budget delivery coupled with international shipping can be a nightmare for customers and dropshipping businesses that are left trying to explain what’s happened to their customers without having a tracking number or anything other information to rely on.
There are 4 main shipping options available to customers.
⦁ Economy Shipping, this option provides only basic tracking information and tends to be the slowest. As said before it is the most common one due to its low costs for vendors. This will include companies such as Cainiao Super Economy, China Post Ordinary Small Packet Plus, SunYou Economic Air Mail, and Yanwen Economic Air Mail
⦁ Saver Shipping, this option will be a step up from Economy as it provides complete tracking information in both China and upon arriving at its destination. Please note that there are a few exceptions when it comes to obtaining tracking information at the destination country so it’s good to always do your own research as well. This includes companies like AliExpress Saver Shipping and Cainiao Saver Shipping for Special Goods
⦁ Standard, this option will provide complete tracking and shorter shipping times, something that is crucial when taking into account that international shipping takes longer. This includes but is not limited to AliExpress Standard Shipping, Cainiao Expedited Standard, China Post Registered Air Mail, ePacket, Special Line-YW
⦁ Premium Shipping, this option is the best in terms of speed, security, and reliability. Companies that provide this are AliExpress Premium Shipping, DHL, EMS, e-EMS, TNT, UPS, FedEx GATI DPEX
Should you be unsure you can always refer to this article, contact the seller or AliExpress support for more clarification on shipping companies, and what to expect in terms of how long it will take an item to ship out, and approximately how long you will be waiting for delivery. The majority of well-rated sellers will be more than happy to assist you with any questions you may have about the products they offer.
If you are a dropshipping business owner, I would advise going below Standard shipping in order to receive the best experience in terms of shipping speed, tracking, and security. Having a tracking number is crucial to prevent missed deliveries, knowing the shipment wasn’t lost in transit or damaged, and being able to monitor the delivery process from start to finish.
In order to find sellers that provide Standard or Premium shipping, it’s a good idea to look at the cost of the purchased goods, if the goods you are buying are extremely cheap chances are it’s being delivered with Economy shipping which will only provide you with the most basic tracking information, a good rule of thumb when looking at goods is if it happens to be $5 or lower there’s an extremely large chance it’s using the lowest cost shipping in an attempt to increase profits for the seller. This is something to consider and take into account if your dropshipping business will be relying on low-cost goods. A potential alternative would be to contact the seller and see if they have the item at a warehouse nearby or reaching out to better-rated sellers to see if they have any alternatives to what you’re looking for.
As a dropshipping business relies on deliveries arriving on schedule it’s vital to select the right sellers. Late deliveries, no tracking numbers, or items lost in transit could spell disaster for your reputation in the world of dropshipping. Make sure to read reviews and to research the shipping methods available before ordering.
Good sellers tend to offer faster shipping options than low-cost ones. To find a good seller you should look for sellers that tend to put more effort into their listing information, images, and titles. Videos showcasing the product with product descriptions that are easy to understand are a very good indicator that the item you are looking at is backed by a trusted seller. It’s easy to differentiate between a vendor that values its ability to deliver quality products in a timely manner and a low budget seller. As enticing as it may be to go for the cheapest listing it might not be the best option. Another thing to consider is that the after-sale support and customer service from low-cost vendors/sellers may not be the same as a more highly rated option. For dropshipping I would recommend only using sellers with an average rating of at least 4.0 or higher as they tend to be the most reliable, you can also view how many orders the seller has done to help you make a smart buy. Buyers can also reach out and contact the seller with questions about the product should they still be unsure. Be wary of sellers that don’t have a lot of reviews or orders done yet as this means you may be taking a risk when it comes to product workmanship, delivery times, and other delays.
In order to be safe, you should always go for the best-rated sellers in order to guarantee a good experience for both you as the business owner and to ensure your customer’s satisfaction with the product.
Another benefit of using a better-ranked and reviewed seller over a budget one is they tend to have warehouses that are sometimes in the country you need items delivered to. This is an immense boon to you as a dropshipping business owner as you can then provide your customers with the ability to get items delivered at a much faster rate than normal. These warehouses can also allow you to obtain products should you need them urgently for your business, this provides you with an incredible advantage over other similar businesses as not only will you be able to provide low-cost goods quickly but you will also have incredible profit margins.
One thing that buyers on AliExpress often forget is that they can file a dispute in order to resolve any issues they may have. More often than not a buyer will not bother as the product they were unhappy with was low cost, however, it’s important to remember if you do encounter a problem you can rely on the buyer’s protection to help you. This information can be easily accessed on the Help section of AliExpress, simply scroll to the bottom of the page and it should have all the information you need. With all of this information in mind, it should alleviate any concerns or reservations potential customers may have with using AliExpress as their dropshipping supplier.
AliExpress advises you to reach out to the seller to try to resolve the issue first which is another good reason to use higher rated sellers over sellers that don’t have many reviews or are selling a product for an extremely low cost. In the unlikely event that AliExpress is unable to help, you may always go to your Credit Card company or Paypal depending on the payment method to see if they can assist you with a resolution to the dispute.
However, it’s important to keep in mind AliExpress wouldn’t be so popular today if they weren’t able to provide customers with the buyer protection guarantees they currently provide and adhere to. Safety, customer satisfaction, and the lowest market prices are all of the amazing things you will find here and this article should enable you to take advantage of all of this without stumbling into a bad experience.
In conclusion, AliExpress is safe, reliable, and used by many people all around the world due to all the benefits it offers to consumers, small businesses, drop shipping customers, and more. As with any online marketplace, there are risks should you be making an uninformed purchase however this is not exclusive to AliExpress or even online marketplaces. As long as one buys products from highly ranked sellers that offer good shipping options and does the proper research before purchasing then they will find that AliExpress will be an excellent platform from which to support and supply their dropshipping businesses from.