Aliexpress comes with a huge product catalogue, but the average delivery time is probably the biggest defect in using it.
Many turn to Aliexpress, which is one of the largest suppliers of products for dropshippers. However, this platform is not perfect and sometimes pushes dropshippers to find alternatives.
That’s why I’m showing you today the best alternatives to Aliexpress for dropshipping in 2020 and beyond.
Problems with Aliexpress
Very long shipping times
There are many problems with using Aliexpress when holding a e-commerce shop… Delivery times are among the main problems that push some vendors to go to other suppliers.
The consequence is that delivery times can be very long and many of your customers contact you to find out the status of their order.
Some may even ask for a refund, not great…
A lack of traceability
With Aliexpress suppliers, you have absolutely no idea what’s going on with your orders.
This lack of control and traceability poses several problems because if you want to build up an excellent customer service, it will be strongly compromised.
Ineffective for mass ordering
If your shop starts to grow, you’re going to bite your fingers off placing all the orders manually, one by one.
Validating the information each time takes time, so this process repeated hundreds of times is very long and tedious.
You can delegate, but it will cost you extra. And in any case, completing each order manually is not an ideal method when running a shop that claims to grow, far from it.
Some alternatives to Aliexpress
If you don’t want to use Aliexpress for your dropshipping shops, you can start by using Oberlo.
Let’s agree on this point, Oberlo is not going to replace Aliexpress in particular because the product catalogue is very much lower and the prices are slightly higher.
It’s important to highlight the advantages of finding your products through Oberlo!
Indeed, sourcing your products on Oberlo allows you to find suppliers offering reduced delivery times and one of the interesting features of this plugin Shopify is one-click ordering.
So you don’t have to go to Aliexpress every time, a time saver that is easy to devote to other more important things like your marketing.
Another important point is that a « Verified » badge is present on trusted suppliers, so you don’t waste time finding out if your supplier is serious.
The flip side of the coin is that the product catalogue is weak but there’s still a very good chance that you will find the ideal product on Oberlo.
Working with an agent
To reduce the delivery time, you can start working with an agent once your shop starts making numbers and a lot of orders per day, at least 30.
You’ll send him a CSV file and he’ll take care of all your orders!
An agent is actually a person living in China who has direct contact with suppliers.
It’s very useful because it makes it easier to negotiate prices. Indeed, he speaks perfect Chinese and English so he get in touch with several suppliers for your products.
He also offers the possibility to choose better packaging to improve the shopping experience on your shop! If you want to develop your branding, the choice of packaging and the quality of it is crucial.
You also have the possibility, for a slightly higher price, to have your logo printed on the packaging, increasing your credibility with your customers.
To build customer loyalty, it’s also possible to leave a small note inside the package to congratulate and thank them for their purchase, accompanied by a promotional code for their next order.
Finally, thanks to the stock that the agent makes for you, delivery times will be a few days faster because the order preparation time will be reduced.
You have access to a much more accurate tracking than with Aliexpress thanks to the Chinese agents.
To get in touch with dropshipping agents located in China, Facebook groups or the Upwork site are the places to be.
Sending your products to a Fulfillment Center
Finally, the most advanced method is also the one that will give you the most control over the inventory.
It’s a matter of calling on a Fulfillment Center, a center that will take care for you of controlling the products received, managing the stock, preparing orders, shipping the products and finally managing returns.
The costs will inevitably be higher but you will provide a quality to your customers that other shops cannot claim to have. This difference is highlighted in particular by the delivery times, which will be greatly reduced and the personalised branding!
However, you pay higher delivery charges but it’s a blessing in disguise – if you deliver to France, it’s possible to find centres in Europe, so you can imagine the speed of delivery once you’ve stocked up.
Similarly, if you sell products in the United States, there are centres located in the United States. If you deliver internationally, the costs will be even higher because the shipping costs will increase.
Opting for a Fulfillment Center if you want to provide a high quality service to your customers is the best way to achieve this!
It should be noted that some centres only accept to work with a minimum number of orders. Other centres, such as JDC Logistique, which is a French centre, does not impose a minimum order.
If you want to find a Fulfillment Center for the country in which you deliver your products, just type in Google « Fulfillment Center + Country » to find the desired results.
Reducing delivery times is your priority? Then I suggest you take a closer look at the Spocket platform. It’s an all-in-one solution that can save you a lot of trouble!
It offers a large catalogue of products shipped from Europe or the United States thanks to thousands of suppliers.
It’s a solution that I like very much and I’ve made an article about it: Spocket: Dropshipping with EU & US suppliers.
What solution is the best for your shop?
If your goal is to provide a better service than your competitors with the intention of taking your dropshipping shop to another level, you will have to pay more.
You have – by working with an agent or a Fulfillment Center – the opportunity to work on the image associated with your brand . This variable is very important because it increases your credibility, and it’s very essential to build customer loyalty and give confidence to new visitors.
The perceived value is therefore higher, and it’s then easier to sell them at a slightly higher price to cover additional costs.
If you think your shop is a matter of a few months and you want to keep it simple, Aliexpress is an effective solution.