Dropshipping is easily one of the most lucrative online business models that don’t call for a lot in the initial capital investment. In the dropshipping business model, you don’t have to physically hold any inventory, run and manage different logistical matters, or even worry about creating or manufacturing the products by yourself.
Essentially, your only job is to set up the best dropshipping business, identify the products you would like to sell, find the best suppliers of the said products, then market your dropshipping business to the right (target) audience as you keep generating orders, feeding them to your suppliers automatically.
One of the most common sourcing platforms used by dropshippers is AliExpress. Like Shopify, AliExpress is easy to use, and it makes dropshipping easier and faster. Basically, anyone interested in making money online can do so thanks to AliExpress dropshipping.
For AliExpress dropshipping, you need to first set up an online store on Shopify, and then import/add products to your store from AliExpress’s marketplaces.
In the final step, customers will place product orders on your store, and once they pay for the items, the supplier is notified, and then they deliver the products to the customers.
Therefore, all you have to do is to set up the store and make sure that everything in the front end runs well, and with an excellent supplier, everything else will be taken care of.
Why Choose AliExpress for Dropshipping?
Even though AliExpress is a retailer, most of the users and buyers on the platform tend to be resellers, which is why this platform would be an excellent fit for anyone who is only getting started in dropshipping.
At the same time, AliExpress has come up with one of the simplest dropshipping setups since the suppliers that are listed on the site are the suppliers that most dropshippers have worked with before, and also, these suppliers are willing and most capable of handling all your needs.
On top of these, there is the fact that you don’t have to pay any fees or costs, upfront for you to test products. This absence of financial commitments upfront is, without doubt, one of the winning features of AliExpress dropshipping.
Unfortunately, AliExpress dropshipping isn’t perfect, and there are issues you should be aware of before you venture into this line of business.
Top Issues with AliExpress Dropshipping
Many people argue and have raised complaints about the safety of AliExpress and even Alibaba.
Now, while these platforms are regarded as some of the safest platforms out there today, there is still the risk of running your business from a site that has too many suppliers, some who’ve been regarded as cons. But like any other online sourcing platform, you need to be aware of the risk involved, and you also need to check the credibility of the supplier, you are sourcing products from.
Before you approve a transaction, validate every little detail about the supplier.
The biggest issue around AliExpress dropshipping besides the safety issues is the payment aspect of things. Some of the payment issues raised include:
Banning by PayPal
There’s nothing worse than receiving the ‘You can’t use PayPal anymore’ notification. But it would appear that many dropshippers have had their PayPal accounts banned. So, does PayPal hate dropshipping? Well, the truth is that PayPal doesn’t hate dropshipping.
However, it does hate people running shady business deals – specifically shipping matters. Read The Paypal User Agreement before you enter the business.
So, if you are new to dropshipping and using PayPal, you may want to bear it all out – Specify the shipping times and terms and be honest about everything. You could also search for the best apps that would simplify shipping and payment matters, especially when dealing with Chinese suppliers.
The other problem with dropshipping on eBay has to do with the credit card chargebacks which apply to fraudulent transactions, or in cases where the customer didn’t receive their order. Chargebacks tend to affect new dropshippers more because they missed the charge on their credit card bills.
In any case, you need to be honest about payment details and find ways of dealing with shipping issues to avoid getting into AliExpress’s bad books. Honesty ensures that the customers understand the reasons for the long shipping time, and it means that you will not be cited for being fraudulent or for engaging in fraudulent activities.
One of the most effective strategies for avoiding chargebacks an even PayPal disputes is through the use of positive reviews. Happy customers are always willing to leave positive reviews, whether you ask for it or not. Make use of positive reviews and share them with other customers. Oberlo Talks about more other ways of dealing with chargebacks.
You also need to work your communication and encourage open communication at all times.
Issues with refunds
This is a big issue, and it affects all kinds of online businesses.
So, one of the things you need to do as you set up your online store is to add a refunds policy web page to clearly explain the measures and the steps you will take if there are issues with the products delivered and how refunds will be handled (if they are applicable).
If you are new to the online business scene, you may want your buyers to know that the only events that necessitate refunds are when the item delivered is faulty or broken out of the box.
You may want to add specifications for the duration during which the customer can ask for a refund after the product is delivered to them.
Any other caveats, terms, and conditions affecting refunds should be clarified in your store’s terms and conditions, and you may want to remind your customers about your policies in the shipping step too.
The other issues include
- Product shipment to the wrong customer or the delivery of the wrong item (size, color, quantity, etc.)
- Order processing delays
- Wrong billing
- Wrong tracking code
- Appeals take too long
- Issues with OTPs and Visa verifications for people living abroad
- Suspension of accounts
- Failed product deliveries