Would you like to start making money thanks to an online business but you don’t know where to start?
The idea of starting your own ecommerce has probably occurred to you, but opening an online shop from scratch can involve many problems related to logistics and warehouses.
Have you ever heard of dropshipping? If you are new to the business, you may not have a very clear idea of what dropshipping exactly is.
In short, dropshipping is a business model that allows you to sell online to a customer without directly owning the products, in fact it is your wholesale supplier who physically owns the goods and sends them to the buyer on your behalf.
Clearly, if you buy a product for 5 € and resell it for 20 €, your profit margin will be very high: this is how you will earn thanks to dropshipping.
Choosing the right supplier for your needs is a key step in setting up an efficient and profitable dropshipping business. You can choose to rely on many small suppliers, or identify a larger one that resells several brands.
In recent years, demand has increased and consequently also supply, so finding your wholesale supplier to start dropshipping in 2022 is even easier.
Normally we refer to a differentiation among suppliers based on where they are based: there are suppliers based in China and others in Europe or America. The location is an important element to consider in evaluating the dropshipping supplier because it affects aspects such as shipping times and costs, tracking, reliability and safety.
If you have considered the option of relying on AliExpress, then you can’t miss our guide which highlights the pros and cons of choosing this ecommerce giant as a supplier.
AliExpress Dropshipping: pros and cons
AliExpress is a huge online wholesale retailer based in China and is part of the Alibaba group. Since 2010 it has been offering a great variety of products at very competitive prices.
Even if you decide to rely on a giant like AliExpress it won’t be easy, it’s up to you to consider the advantages and disadvantages to consider whether it is right for you.
You’ll have many advantages by choosing AliExpress as a supplier for your dropshipping: first of all the platform is multilingual and is enabled to accept many payment methods.
As we have anticipated, AliExpress is famous for having a multitude of products to choose from, it will certainly not be difficult for you to identify your market niche and insert items to resell in your shop. Not only does this platform gather thousands of suppliers, but the products are indeed very affordable compared to suppliers based in Europe. Best of all, there is no upfront charge for selling AliExpress products, so you are free to test a variety of products without the fear of wasting your money.
AliExpress is used by many dropshippers, it will be up to you to use its reputation to your advantage by making the most of the reviews on AliExpress by other users to evaluate the quality and the reliability of a specific supplier on the platform.
Have you ever heard of the AliExpress dropshipping center? It is a new tool for finding products on AliExpress, many dropshippers use this tool to identify market trends, news within your niche and it is also possible to search for products by image.
Despite its popularity, the platform also has its drawbacks, so let’s break down the downsides of using AliExpress for dropshipping.
Speaking of prices, one wonders: “Why is AliExpress so cheap? Why is AliExpress more affordable than most other dropshipping suppliers?” Production costs in China are significantly lower than what we are used to. The risk, however, is around the corner, and what at first glance might seem like a big deal could turn out to be a scam.
Also remember that to earn on inexpensive products you will have to sell a lot of them, if instead you decide to focus on the quality of the products you will only need to sell a few units to start earning interesting figures.
We often ask ourselves: “Is AliExpress legit?”. It totally is, but behind a very inexpensive product there are often several problems. The first one is the quality of the product: the only certainty that a t-shirt purchased for a few cents can reserve for us is the low quality of the materials and workmanship.
Although dropshipping on AliExpress is very advantageous for distributors, it can cause problems related to logistics: products are in fact shipped from China and consequently the wait can be very long. Aliexpress shipping time is around 15-34 days, but it is not uncommon to wait up to 50-60 days.
Speaking of shipments, you may be wondering: “How does AliExpress tracking work?” Unfortunately, the question is tricky because there is no tracking, so if the end customer complains about a delay or asks for explanations regarding their order, you will not have the sufficient tools to offer the right assistance. This often ends with a negative review on your shop by the buyer who was not satisfied.
Shipping costs can also be expensive, which could turn an apparently convenient product into a very expensive one. What makes a cost that we usually consider fixed, variable? The different currencies, the exchange rate, the price change by the supplier itself, the delivery address and VAT calculation.
When choosing AliExpress as a partner or, in any case, a supplier with warehouses in China, we must take into consideration also customs duties, which are often not mentioned but when they appear as extras they can greatly affect the total price of an order or even simply of a single product purchased. Furthermore, the import of a product does not only involve the payment of an extra tax, but also the shipping times will be extended to allow the competent bodies to check the regularity of the products.
AliExpress’ return policy is often non-existent. The only payment method that protects the customer from possible scams and facilitates the refund process is Alipay, in fact PayPal is not accepted by the platform as a payment method, a factor to be taken into consideration, since this payment method is very popular and is synonymous with safety and reliability.
If the platform’s great popularity can be exploited to your advantage, at the same time it hides a big con: there is a lot of competition.
Warehouses in China vs warehouses in Europe
After this general overview, we better underline the main differences between suppliers who have warehouses in China compared to those based in Europe.
If you decide to rely on a dropshipping supplier based in Europe, fast and tracked shipments, carried out by certified couriers, will be on the agenda.
Returns and refunds will be simple procedures to carry out and manage for both you and your customers, in addition to the fact that you will have assistance ready to support you in case of questions or doubts.
There are never hidden costs and obviously you will not have to take into account customs duties or other import taxes.
You will have discovered for yourself that the Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the logistics and order management problems with the most distant countries in the world and long-haul shipments are on average much more expensive. For this reason choosing a supplier based in Europe guarantees you greater safety and a high level of reliability.
With BDroppy, our dropshipping service, you can sell designer fashion products on your online store without stock risk, by relying on a partner based in Italy with over 10 years of online experience.
Do you know that the fashion e-commerce market has grown by +50% since 2019? What are you waiting for? Start your dropshipping business, we are sure that with the right supplier at your side you will reach your goals step by step.
However, remember that to do fashion dropshipping you will have to take into consideration 3 very important factors: the quality of original products, the fame of the brands you will sell and constantly following the latest trends.