When creating a business based around drop shipping, most of the focus can often go into what your site looks like, what you sell, which platform you’re on, etc. These are all important aspects, but something of equal importance to remember is where you are getting your products from.
One of the most popular places to get products from is AliExpress. This article will explain why AliExpress isn’t always the best option, and what other options there are if you decide AliExpress isn’t for you.
When ordering products, most traditional businesses will buy in bulk, so they have all their products available as soon as their customers want them. This can lead to additional stock which hasn’t been sold - to get rid of this stock these stores will often have sales so the stock can move along to make more room in their warehouses. This is not the only way of getting products. With drop shipping, you only order what you need, which cuts out the need for sales and unnecessary storage space.
Drop shipping businesses will act as a ‘middle-man’ in the buying process.
A person will order a product from your business at retail price, and then the business will purchase that product from a third-party seller (such as AliExpress) at wholesale price. By using this method, you are limiting the unnecessary products you carry and are maximizing your profits by not spending too much on storage.
When discussing drop shipping, a question that routinely comes up is ‘is drop shipping ethical?’ The short answer is, yes - Drop shipping is ethical.
Whenever a business is selling something there is always the potential for extortion. As long as you are charging fair prices for your wares and are not taking advantage of anyone there is no reason why your drop shipping venture would be unethical.
The vast majority of AliExpress suppliers are based in Asia. This means that if you are wanting to order some product from them it could take a long time for it to get delivered to your country or the country that the customer is in. This leaves you with the option of whether or not to wait for the long delivery times or to have some product in storage available to deliver immediately.
Both options could hypothetically work, but with sites like Amazon being able to offer next-day or even same-day delivery consumers’ tolerance for wait times has gone down dramatically. Also, keeping a select amount of products at hand can be beneficial, but if you’re starting to store too much you are lessening some of the benefits of drop shipping. Namely needing less storage space for product.
It is possible to find AliExpress shippers that have warehouses in the US, but this is often more difficult for a variety of reasons. There is no way for AliExpress to verify the location of a warehouse, so many lie about their location, knowing that people are more likely to buy from them if they say they’re based in the US. Additionally, since these US-based AliExpress sellers know that they are in demand they are able to have higher prices than some of the Asia-based warehouses.
People are still using AliExpress to procure their stock. This is largely due to two reasons: One, AliExpress is one of the largest online retailers in the world, meaning that it will always be at the forefront of people’s minds when deciding what site to use. The other reason is that because of their size, AliExpress is able to offer cheaper prices on products compared to other companies.
In short, there are reasons that people still use AliExpress to get their product, but if you are wanting to reduce the delivery times, and not spend more money unnecessarily there are alternatives available.
A potential alternative to AliExpress is HyperSKU. HyperSKU has a number of processing centers in the US as well as having multiple others based in Europe. This will rapidly decrease the time it takes for products to get to you, usually arriving in less than half the time it would take if you were to purchase from a seller in China. You can also order a batch of inventory and send to their US warehouses to avoid the holiday season rush. Setting up a HyperSKU account is completely free, so there is minimal risk involved on that front. HyperSKU makes their money from the shipping costs and product margins in getting the goods to you, so there is no need to worry about any hidden costs.
One of the potential downsides to HyperSKU is that their stock can be more expensive than AliExpress, so it becomes a question of whether the decreased delivery time is worth paying more for the product.
Another alternative to AliExpress for getting your products is Spocket. Spocket has suppliers all across the world, so you can choose to buy from a local supplier, to avoid longer delivery times.
Comparatively, Spocket has significantly fewer product options available than HyperSKU, so you may not be able to get everything you want to sell from them.
There are positives and negatives to every platform that you can get products from. If there was a clear better option, then no other ones would exist. In the end, it comes down to a personal preference - what’s more important to your business.
If you value your time the most and want to reduce your delivery times then I would suggest working with HyperSKU. They offer a large array of products and are able to get them to you faster than a lot of other dropship suppliers.
However, if you are just starting out and need the prices to be as low as possible, then it may be worth staying with AliExpress for a while whilst you find your footing in the market.