Alibaba Dropshipping Definitive Guide
Our ultimate FAQ guide will answer all your Alibaba dropshipping queries. Get started today with dropshipping products from Alibaba.
Alibaba is the largest marketplace for wholesale products. It started as such.
Dropshipping is possible on Alibaba today.
Dropshipping from Alibaba has attracted a lot of attention from eCommerce store owners around the world due to its low prices. We’re here to answer all your questions regarding Alibaba dropshipping.
Let’s get started!
Is it possible to do dropshipping with Alibaba?
Although Alibaba was initially a B2B bulk website, its concept has changed a lot over the years.
Dropshipping is now possible on Alibaba. They will fulfill your order and ship it for you.
It may take some patience, time and research to find the right supplier with affordable prices, minimum orders that are reasonable, positive reviews, and a fair amount of customer satisfaction.
How do you start an Alibaba Dropshipping business?
Each product you wish to list on Alibaba can be listed on your online shop, regardless of whether you use Shopify, WooCommerce or eBay.
When searching for Alibaba suppliers, the first thing you should do is type your product + dropshipping or private label if desired.
Alibaba products will have different MOQs. This is clearly evident in the search results that you see.
If you have a limited budget but don’t have a bestseller to sell, it is better to find a supplier who will ship individual pieces.
You must convince your supplier to work with you. You could tell them, for example, that you would like to first test the product and then place larger orders later.
This YouTube video explains how to best contact Alibaba suppliers and increases your chances of collaboration.
What are the differences between AliExpress Dropshipping and Alibaba Dropshipping
Dropshippers who are just starting an eCommerce site prefer AliExpress dropshipping.
It’s important to remember that this is not the only option.
These are the differences between Alibaba dropshipping and AliExpress.
- Prices: Products on Alibaba are usually sold in bulk by wholesalers or directly by manufacturers. You can also negotiate with suppliers using the message function on Alibaba.
- MOQs: A typical Alibaba seller will have a MOQ in place. This can be 10, 100 or 500 pieces, or even more. It is possible to find Chinese suppliers with a MOQ of 1 piece. AliExpress allows you to buy each piece separately.
- Ratings: AliExpress will allow you to view the product ratings. This makes it easier to determine if the product has high quality. Alibaba only allows you to see the rating of the seller, not the product.
- AliExpress is easy to use. AliExpress is a B2C platform so dropshippers can interact with you much more easily.AliExpress sellers don’t expect you to register a company. You can order everything as a private individual.
- Customization: For white-label customization or private label Products, there will be an order minimum. Alibaba is superior to AliExpress in this regard for many reasons.AliExpress suppliers don’t manufacture. Most of the time, suppliers are buying bulk and then reselling it to customers at a higher price.Alibaba on the other hand allows you to find wholesalers or manufacturers who will customize your products and packaging.
- Payment methods: Because Alibaba is for larger transactions, B2B, there are fewer payment options: wire transfers, T/T and lines of credit.AliExpress is focused on the end-customer and offers more popular and commonly-used payment options like wire transfer, Western Union, PayPal, debit or credit card, Western Union, wire transfer, Western Union, PayPal etc.
- Shipping: To ensure a profit margin, you must accurately calculate shipping costs. You’ll find two types suppliers on both platforms.Some suppliers offer free shipping, but they compensate by raising the base price of the product. Others charge shipping.
Is AliExpress better than Alibaba for dropshipping?
We have already mentioned that both platforms have pros and cons depending on your dropshipping needs.
AliExpress is a better option for dropshipping single products to customers who are new or haven’t yet tested them.
Alibaba is a great option if your product has a track record of success and you have steady orders. Alibaba offers you a lower price and the ability to personalize the products with your branding.
Alibaba is a great place to source product sourcing. Make sure you find either a supplier who will dropship your products, or your own storage space.
You can also hire a dropshipping agent that has warehouses in China and, preferably in the USA.
Dropshipping agencies in China often offer inventory storage for customers who use their product sourcing services. Make sure to consider this option.
What are the advantages of Alibaba Dropshipping
Dropshipping with Alibaba has many benefits:
- Bulk discounts available
- More customization options
- Possibility to collaborate directly with manufacturers
- Displayed supplier rating;
- Potential for price negotiation;
What are the disadvantages of Alibaba Dropshipping
These are the cons of dropshipping to Alibaba
- MOQ (minimum order quantity) set in place;
- Fewer payment methods available;
- Dropshipping services are more difficult to find.
- It is more difficult to order just one product.
- You must order a sample before you can make any product quality assessments.
- Requires negotiation skills;
- Integration with eCommerce stores requires fewer automation tools;
Alibaba Dropshipping – Help me!
Alibaba allows you to find suppliers that will dropship for you and handle the order fulfillment. This is very rare.
You may need to employ a third-party dropshipping agency with a China fulfillment centre to handle things.
Drop shipping agents in China often work with AliExpress to source products, but not many drop shipping agents from Alibaba.
If you are looking to use a dropshipping agency to source product, it is best to provide them with a link to the Alibaba product. You can then let them do the rest and source the products.
Dropshipping agents in China often source their products directly from Taobao and 1688.com rather than Alibaba, as the prices and MOQ numbers of these sites are lower.
Can I use Alibaba Dropshipping to My Shopify Online Store
Yes. Although most integration tools are designed for AliExpress product sourcing only, some tools can be used to import products from Alibaba sellers.
Importify is one of the most popular tools for Alibaba dropshipping using Shopify.
Dropshipping agents can be contacted in China if you feel your options with Alibaba are limited. They can source the exact same products from Taobao and 1688.com.
Can I use Alibaba Dropshipping to My WooCommerce Store
Importing products from Alibaba can be done through Importify, or similar tools.
Another option is to export Alibaba products to a.csv format and then import them in your shop.
Are there better alternatives to Alibaba Dropshipping
Dropshipping is easier with AliExpress than any other platform.
Dropshipping with AliExpress is easier and more affordable than traditional dropshipping, since there are no minimum order quantities.
After your dropshipping business has stabilized, you can connect with a dropshipping agency in China that can source products from Taobao and 1688.com.
These platforms offer the best dropshipping platform because they have the lowest unit prices, MOQs and are perfect for dropshipping businesses.
What tools can you use to automate Alibaba dropshipping?
Dropshipping with Alibaba has a few drawbacks.
Importify can be used to import products from Alibaba into your store. However, the list is quite short.
This is important to remember before you commit to Alibaba Dropshipping – automated Dropshipping can be difficult to achieve with Alibaba.
You will need to do many of these processes manually if you choose to dropship with Alibaba.
How do you find reliable dropshipping suppliers for Alibaba?
Alibaba allows you to switch the search bar so that you can look for suppliers or products.
This will allow you to search for suppliers and not products. Now, you can type the product that you are looking for in the search bar.
You’ll see multiple suppliers in your search results for the product that you are looking for. You will be able see multiple things:
- The main products of this supplier
- Country/region where the supplier is located
- The total revenue of the seller/company
- Top 3 markets in which the supplier sells its products
- The number of transactions made in the past six months
- The transaction value for the six previous months
- The supplier’s response rate
It is best to search for suppliers with a high response rate, and who conduct a lot of transactions.
There are three additional things you should be aware of, in addition to the specifications above.
- Trade Assurance
- Verified Supplier
- Supplier of Gold
There is an option to filter your search and only find verified suppliers. What does this all mean?
The Trade Assurance badge is displayed on a client listing. It’s a guarantee that you will be protected if the supplier fails to ship the product on time or doesn’t deliver the required quality.
It is possible to have a very individual opinion about judging if a product’s quality. Alibaba will therefore ask you to provide the correct specifications to the seller.
Only if you ask for a specific product, but get something else, are you protected?
It’s great to see the Verified Supplier badge in your supplier’s list. This means the company has been subject to a third-party inspection. This type of seller is the best, and they are most reliable.
The badge Gold Supplier, which is a premium membership that suppliers pay for, is the last. It doesn’t really prove anything, so it doesn’t matter much.
Is there a minimum order quantity for dropshipping with Alibaba
Usually, yes. Alibaba is a B2B platform. It was initially designed for wholesale.
It’s easy to find suppliers who don’t require a minimum order quantity or will sell just one unit. But, it is important to demonstrate and convince them that you are worth their time.
How do I contact suppliers for dropshipping on Alibaba
Alibaba’s message function allows you to reach out to suppliers and receive all the information you require.
You’ll usually need to ask them questions such as:
- How long does it take to produce a unit?
- What is the base price per unit
- Is it possible for a sample to be ordered and shipped?
- How much shipping cost?
- What are the delivery times for your order?
- What is the minimum order (MOQ)?
- Are there discounts for bulk orders?
- What is the guarantee policy and what are the refund policies?
Your message should be concise, clear, concise, and direct.
The product specifications are another important point. Make sure you give your supplier all the details about the product that you want.
Don’t be afraid of sending specifications such as product material and thickness, color code, measurements etc.
Dropshipping from Taobao and 1688 is better than Alibaba Dropshipping
The trick is that both websites are available in Chinese. This makes it a problem because of the language barrier. Even if you can find a plugin to translate the website, most of the suppliers listed on these sites will speak Chinese.
Once you have established a steady number of daily orders, you can work with a dropshipping agency in China.
NicheDropshipping is a great option for Shopify and WooCommerce users. Their app integrates with Shopify, so you can source products from Taobao or 1688.
Dropshipping with Alibaba is possible, but not for everyone.
Dropshipping with AliExpress is a good option for someone just starting out in eCommerce. This will allow you to sell your product until you are able to establish a solid reputation.
Alibaba is a great choice if you have some stability and want to order in bulk.
Dropshipping from Alibaba isn’t the right option for you? You can always get in touch with us. We can source identical products from Taobao and 1688 where there is a lower MOQ, as well as cheaper product prices.