AliExpress is home to countless suppliers that bring everything made offline to make it available for sale online. Since it is virtually impossible to vet the product before buying it, the only way to be sure that you’re not being duped is by knowing you’re in contact with a good AliExpress supplier.
But finding a good AliExpress supplier is a challenge on its own, especially if you yourself are starting your own dropshipping business and are looking for a supplier to find products for your store. This article should give you some insight on the intricate dos and don’t on your journey to find the best AliExpress supplier on AliExpress.
Why do you need to find a good AliExpress Supplier?
Shopping online always comes with its risks. For every single legit AliExpress supplier that you may find, you’ll find 50 that are trying to take your money and scam you. While Buyers’ Protection clauses exist at AliExpress, it is time-consuming. If you’re running a business of your own, you can’t afford to lose that time. Better safe than sorry, right?
If you want to stay safe from such scammers, you have to know what to do to find a good, reliable and trustworthy supplier on AliExpress. We curated a checklist for you that will help you find your next best supplier.
Checklist to find the best supplier on Aliexpress
Chat with the seller first and ask them if they dropship
If you’re into the dropshipping business, your sole important goal is to make sure that the AliExpress seller is okay with aiding your dropshipping business. You see, they shouldn’t include their own promotions while sending the package to your customer.
If they don’t, you have spent all that time doing your research on them for nothing. Before you invest your time doing further research on a particular AliExpress seller, check with them. A little bit of overview on whether they sell products of your niche and the general appearance of their store should give you an idea about whether this seller is worth talking to.
Filter your research
This is a small step that would take you two minutes but could save you a lot of time. The first thing you do is go to the topmost drop-down bar on the AliExpress website and change the country you want to ship the product to. If your customers are in Canada, change it to that, at least you’ll know the product you’re choosing ships to that country.
Secondly, filter by the number of orders and the star rating on the product. If there are any price constraints you have, feel free to use that feature as well.
Check Seller’s performance
As a rule of thumb, if you see a seller’s rating of less than 95%, you should be wary of that seller. You are building a chain reaction. The supplier, through you, to your customer.
There are two things you need to check: positive feedback percentage and detailed seller’s ratings. As I mentioned above, a 95% positive rating is ideal. Furthermore, you need to hover with your cursor on either of the tabs on the store home to see the details of the seller’s ratings.
You’ll find that the parameters have communication with the seller, whether or not the item is as described in the product listing and how quick the shipping was. These criteria must list a number higher than 4.6. This way you know they are reliable.
Sometimes these same parameters might be listed in orange or red instead of green, despite hitting the recommended 4.6. Don’t write them off immediately. This number is calculated based on how other sellers in the same niche are performing. It is still worth considering.
Finally, also check how long the seller has been on AliExpress. This gives you an idea about how consistent their sales and performance has been. If they are new, you have no data to fall back on. You don’t want to make a business decision with both eyes closed.
When you’re passing something on, there is an inevitable loss of essence in this chain reaction. For your customer to be satisfied, you have to make sure that the supplier you are trying to get in contact with delivers impeccable service in terms of quality and shipping time.
Compare prices with other sellers
There’s one thing to be duped with price and there is another to be duped about quality at the promise of a low price. AliExpress often presents a case of “you get what you pay for”. And you should trust it.
If you see a t-shirt being sold in the range of $6 – $8 by multiple sellers, you are going to assume that is the benchmark. However, with the research you find that some other seller on AliExpress is selling the same t-shirt for $4, it is natural to be intrigued, but you should also be cautious. It is possible that the seller is selling a product that is of subpar quality. The product reviews should confirm that along with the number of orders that particular product has had.
An extension like AliTools can help you even find similar options for higher or lower prices along with information about how many of those products have been sold.
Check for reviews and filter by negative reviews
Let’s say you’ve found the best AliExpress seller for you. Everything checks out. Niche, performance, seller’s rating. Do you onboard them yet? No! Each product you choose must be vetted individually by you.
It’s no surprise that sellers sometimes buy fake reviews in order to increase their seller’s ratings. In such cases, there is only one way to find out what is not so great about the product. Filter the reviews by negative ratings, meaning reviews that show one to three stars. Here you’ll find out why the product was not satisfying. Here you’ll find details that make the product not worth buying, information that is not given in the product description.
You can go to the customer reviews section of the product and check out this dropdown menu.
Communicate with the seller, Understand responsiveness
On a normal basis, contacting the seller you’re purchasing from isn’t absolutely necessary. It just comes in as necessary when you’re purchasing a high ticket item for which you’re paying a lot. You want to make sure you’re getting your money’s worth.
But in the case of dropshipping, where your reputation is at stake. Your customer doesn’t know this, but it is from the supplier where their delivery comes from. You need to make sure you have all your queries answered about the delivery and the item specifics.
Make sure to notice how quickly your supplier responds. Your supplier is now your business partner. If there are queries on your end, you need to be able to respond to them on time. That will only happen if your AliExpress supplier is responsive and agile. Like I said before, it’s a chain reaction.
On every AliExpress seller’s page, you can find a section that lets you talk to your (probable) supplier instantly.
You can also find the contact now icon on their main masthead if you go over the store name.
Read all item descriptions
AliExpress sellers use enticing images to catch one’s attention. Some of the objects included in the photo might just be the result of product photography.
In case you’re buying a smartwatch that also has interchangeable straps, it is a high possibility that the straps are an add-on rather than something that comes along with the product itself. In the product specifications section of the product, you’ll find details about what exactly will be in your package. This way you completely avoid the risk of being disappointed.
Not reading the item description can expose you to the risks of being scammed as well. Thorough research is literally everything.
Check seller guarantees, returns and refunds
The seller is not subject to mandatorily provide a refund or return to any of their buyers.s they can customize it any way they want down to their entire store or just a particular product. That is why it becomes important for you to check this detail for every item you’re planning on buying.
You can find a small section under your ‘buy now’ and ‘add to cart’ buttons that show an X number of days as standard buyer protection offered by AliExpress. Within that time frame, you’re allowed to dispute your product if it hasn’t arrived or the item isn’t as described.
If you click on it you’ll find details about what qualifies as an appropriate claim in order for you to get a refund. If you own a dropshipping business, you’ll want to know these details in case your own customers have issues. You can ask them to send pictures to you so you qualify for the return you have to provide to your own customer as well.
Check if they are a Top Brand
I wouldn’t say trust them blindly, but if you see a brand with a badge on it that says Top Brand, you can let some of your guards down. AliExpress has a rather strict protocol that qualifies as ‘top’.
It saves you a little time because the seller ratings will automatically be high, their performance satisfactory and their reviews convincing. A challenge still lies though. You’d have to check each product individually. You never know, they might have gotten this rating because of a few of their high performing products.
What to talk to the AliExpress Suppliers about?
Communicating with your suppliers before mankind any binding association is essential to find out whether your partnership will work out. As I have already mentioned, your first question, before you even start your research, should be to confirm if they work with dropshippers.
There are a few more things you should consider asking that will ensure you, after all, have found the best supplier on AliExpress. Your questions should encompass the following points:
Is the quality at par with the photos? Can they send some unaltered, unedited pics of the product to you personally?
Is there a particular minimum order quantity that they require if they are entering into a dropshipping agreement?
What forms of payment do they prefer? Is there a certain amount of discount involved
Do they make timely shipments? If there is a bulk order, will they use a faster shipping method with subsidized shipping costs?
Details about everything to do with returns — refunds, what qualifies and how they make the refunds. Do they take returns directly from the customer?
Break up of the customs?
There are questions that you have to ask your AliExpress seller in order for them to become your AliExpress supplier. It is with such careful consideration that you can find the best of the best.