AliExpress Pros and Cons as a Drop Shipper

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Selling products online can be a boom or bust business. There are so many different avenues through which you can move products, but one of the more popular options seems to be through AliExpress drop shipping.

But is it really worth it to go through AliExpress? Let’s take a closer look at the AliExpress pros and cons to see what this service is really about.

The Good

There are a lot of things to like about using AliExpress as a drop shipper. With an extensive product catalog, cheap inventory, and low startup costs, it certainly makes sense to use AliExpress as a drop-ship supplier.

Low Startup Costs

Without a doubt, one of the best reasons to use AliExpress is because it is both easy to use and free to sign up. What makes it different from a lot of the other wholesale marketplaces out there is that you don’t have to pay for any membership. There are no annual or monthly subscription fees, either, for gaining access to their wholesale pricing.

If you decide to use AliExpress for drop shipping, then you never actually have to handle the goods, either. Not having to pay for all of those shipping labels and boxes or having to rent out warehouse storage can be a major benefit.

Cheap Inventory

Among the AliExpress pros and cons of note, the cheap inventory is definitely a big plus. In fact, it might be the biggest draw to using the service as a drop shipping supplier. The prices are bottom of the barrel, especially compared to other online marketplaces like Amazon and eBay.

If your business model is about quantity over quality, buying wholesale goods at the lowest rates possible, then the pricing and selection available from AliExpress are hard to top. Items like sunglasses and USB cables can even start as low as a penny.

Huge Product Catalog

When it comes to the overall versatility of products, AliExpress is right up there. There are a ton of other wholesale drop shippers out there that specialize in a single category. Think clothing, electronics, or jewelry. But AliExpress has it all, and there are even more items like shoes, toys, bags, home improvement, auto parts, pet supplies, and just about anything under the sun.

For anyone who wants to start up more than one e-commerce site or wants to branch out into different niches, then AliExpress is a great choice as a drop shipping supplier option.

Free Shipping

One of the most enticing things to buyers anywhere is free shipping. Part of this has to do with how expensive it has become to ship anything, especially internationally. Offering buyers the chance to save on shipping is definitely an enticing one.

The only caveat here is the shipping times (see below). On the good side, it can take roughly three weeks before anything arrives. On the bad side, it can take as long as two months, and sometimes, things don’t show up at all. Then again, this is part of the game with free shipping. Yeah, cost savings, but there is a lot of time left to wait for the product to show.

The Bad

As is the case with just about any service out there, you have to take the good with the bad. As many good things as there are about AliExpress, this wouldn’t be an AliExpress pros and cons list if there weren’t some cons to point to.

These are some of the more common issues, particularly when it comes to wholesalers. The idea is to deliver a cheaper product, which means cutting some of the corners that relate to service. It is part of the cost of keeping things cheap.

The Return Process

One of the things that is difficult about the AliExpress platform is the return process. Should a customer demand a return, sending that item back is almost impossible under the current format.

Basically, it means eating the cost of the product unless you have a very strict return policy through your e-commerce site. AliExpress doesn’t have any sort of buyer protection guarantee, offering refunds where they are required.

Long Shipping Times

Keep in mind that the vast majority of AliExpress suppliers are located out of China. Throw in the fact that standard and free shipping can take a long time: from three weeks to even two months to see the product delivered.

There are suppliers that offer faster solutions through DHL or FedEx, but those will definitely cost a lot more or a lot more than free, anyway. Just make sure that you are transparent about shipping times or, if you offer other services, what the costs of using those services will be.


Keep in mind that you are using AliExpress to deliver a cheaper product to a large audience. Quality is not necessarily the name of the game here. Buying wholesale, many times for less than a dollar, you shouldn’t expect much in the way of quality.

There are tons of suppliers that do offer great products to AliExpress buyers. But there are a ton that offer poor quality and sometimes even defective items. It is the price to pay when it comes to wholesale and just part of the nature of the beast.


As a drop shipping option, AliExpress makes a lot of sense. With cheap startup costs, free shipping, supplier messaging, a robust inventory, and a million other things, it is one of the most diverse and convenient options out there.

There are a few downsides to the service, including slow shipping and a complicated return process, but nothing is perfect. Still, as a drop-shipping supplier option, there aren’t many who are doing it as well as AliExpress.


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