AliDropship Blog

Get marketing tips, tricks and dropshipping inspiration right into your inbox!
Sign up today not to miss out a single post:

Best Dropshipping Suppliers On AliExpress And Beyond

By Olga Lavrinovich

Best dropshipping suppliers

Is AliExpress the only source of products to dropship? Today, we’re going to discuss the alternative ways for online businesses to find dropshipping suppliers! Also, we’ll explain how to make the best choice of products to sell from suppliers on AliExpress.

Usually, when talking choosing the right products for your dropshipping store, we assume that you import these items from AliExpress. Still, it is not the only option.

Directories in your search of the perfect dropshipping suppliers to import products from

What do dropshipping newcomers do before making the very first steps on their business journey? That’s right! They look for reliable business partners to ensure the success of their future venture.

Sometimes, they look for the suppliers on their own by simply going through Google search results. Unfortunately, wholesale manufacturers and suppliers are far from being good marketers.

Some people expect to easily find enough number of suppliers with high quality products at wholesale prices on Google. Well, they will be disappointed. Unless they’re lucky enough, they’re unlikely to succeed in their search. Not to mention the fact that many wholesalers are not ready to do dropshipping.

Thus, due to having little to no experience in this field, they don’t only look for counsellors and advisors. They also search for middlemen who can connect them with the most appropriate business partners.

Most typically, these middlemen are required for the product-related tasks. So let’s imagine that the entrepreneurs know what they would like to sell. It might be difficult for them to establish a contact with the reliable and trustworthy manufacturers anyway.

This is why these beginners turn to dropshipping directories. Simply speaking, these are the specially assembled databases of trusted wholesale distributors.

There, you can find detailed information about suppliers. It’s all about their fields of activity, manufactured products, addresses, and, sometimes, financial position or sales value.

This way, a dropshipping directory is a database of wholesale suppliers grouped by category, market or niche. Many directories carry out special checking procedures to ensure the suppliers are legitimate and genuine wholesalers.

So, entrepreneurs make a payment to get access to a dropshipping directory database. After that, they add the images and descriptions of the selected products to their ecommerce stores.

Then, the traditional dropshipping business model works as usual. The customer orders placed on the dropshipping site get sent to the manufacturers. These suppliers, in turn, provide the full range of the necessary product-related dropshipping services.

They store items, arrange shipments, provide sellers with tracking codes, etc. If required, they also customize the delivered packages by designing them in the style of the dropshipping store they work with.

Why directories aren’t commonly used to find dropshipping suppliers

best dropshipping suppliers

It might seem that these verified lists of well-reputed suppliers are a smart decision for dropshipping newcomers. Unfortunately, some of the directories’ downsides might cause serious problems for the entrepreneurs.

  • Paid access

The majority of directories charge a fee for access to their database. You either need to make a one-time payment, or pay the yearly/monthly fee.

  • Pricing difference

Some of the suppliers listed in dropshipping directories have a specific pricing strategy. In order to buy something from them at a wholesale price, you need to officially confirm that your business is legit. Then you need to be approved as a wholesale seller. Otherwise, you will purchase their products at usual, retail prices.

  • Business preferences

Usually dropshipping directories consist of large-scale companies that are looking for long-term profitable partnerships. Many of them don’t consider working with small online businesses. Especially it refers to the newcomers who are unlikely to place a large number of orders.

  • Partnership limitations

It’s quite typical of these well-known manufacturers to dictate the terms of the partnership. There might be requirements for a minimum order size, or the maximum allowed price markup, and so on. Certainly, it limits a dropshipping store owner’s activity quite significantly.

So, it is reasonable to pay for getting access to a dropshipping directory only if you deal with the following.

1) looking for the appropriate product ideas

2) researching the market offers

3) looking for a highly specific product category that can’t be easily found elsewhere.

So, are you already chosen the niche? Have you understood what products you are going to sell? Then, you can find decent suppliers from some free ecommerce platform on your own.

The best alternative option to dropshipping databases is AliExpress.

This is an ecommerce platform of global reach that contains products from millions of distributors worldwide.

The reasons to search for dropshipping suppliers on AliExpress

how to find dropshipping suppliers

There are enough reasons why AliExpress is much more suitable to dropship products from suppliers than any dropshipping directory.

  • Product range

Generally, it is typical of manufacturers to focus on a narrow product segment. They are also likely to deal with a limited number of related categories. For example, they sell children clothing, toys, and stationery.

Or they concentrate on consumer electronics, gadgets, and gadget accessories, etc. In fact, it is clear. Managing an extended stock is quite a complicated and laborious task.

However, AliExpress is a huge ecommerce platform. It facilitates the interaction between countless sellers and buyers. Any supplier can post their offers on the platform. And now, it has resulted in over 100 million products currently presented on AliExpress.

These products fall into various categories. So entrepreneurs can choose any items they fancy and adjust their dropshipping stores to a specific target audience’s interests.

  • Free access to the database of dropshipping suppliers

Please remember that dropshipping directories usually limit the access to their databases. As the result, entrepreneurs can’t browse the list of wholesalers and their products before making the necessary entry payment. It certainly causes a significant problem to the newcomers, who can’t know for sure if it will pay off.

At the same time, AliExpress doesn’t charge you any entry fee. The registration on the platform is free, and you don’t need to log in if you want to explore the products. Plus, the platform provides the  ground to evaluate the seller’s performance and reliability.

Therefore, it lets businessmen choose only the best products from the dropshipping providers. It includes the the business operation length, the percentage of positive buyers’ feedback, the number of orders placed by visitors, etc.

  • Zero fees

Dropshipping directories don’t simply charge monthly or yearly membership fees. By the way, these fees vary depending on each separate provider.

What’s more, they can also ask for a restocking fee. This is a compensation of stocking and delivery expenses. It’s relevant for the cases of customers’ returns when items have no actual defects.

However you shouldn’t worry about this if you work with suppliers directly through AliExpress. You don’t have to pay anything to start working with the distributors from the platform. Moreover, you certainly don’t have to make any additional payments during the whole process of business collaboration. All the expenses associated with refunds and returns are going to be your dropshipping suppliers’ headache.

  • No limits on markup

Unfortunately, dropshipping directories put your possibilities of making a decent profit at risk. It refers to some limits on markup. The entrepreneurs have to set a so-called recommended retail price on the seller’s items.

In other words, the initial price can only be increased on a limited sum of money. In most cases, it’s not more than 15-20% of the starting cost. Otherwise the partnership agreement can possibly come to an end.

Meanwhile, the sellers from AliExpress don’t insist on a specific price. The items on AliExpress have very low prices in comparison to identical products elsewhere.

It means the possible markups, and, therefore, the profits, can be quite impressive. Even several-fold price increase in this case will not affect end buyers negatively. It will still result in adequate financial gains for the store owner.

  • No limits on sales volume

Again, dropshipping store owners are quite often obliged to place a certain amount of orders. Unless they do, dropshipping suppliers can refuse to continue dealing with these entrepreneurs.

It’s never going to happen if you work with a seller from AliExpress. It’s not even necessary to bring to the suppliers’ attention that you order their products for dropshipping purposes.

  • No legal requirements

Most commonly, large-scale manufacturers and distributors only work with officially established companies. Some of them even prefer only businesses registered in the USA.

However, none of this is necessary to contact a manufacturer on AliExpress. The platform is extremely popular with private individuals. Even with those who make purchases for their own use and not for reselling. This is why local dropshipping wholesalers gladly work with everyone regardless of legal status.

  • Global reach

The ultimate benefit of starting a dropshipping business is the possibility to reach an unlimited number of customers. In most cases, they are the people who aren’t able to get these products in their own countries offline.

General wholesalers mostly offer shipping within Europe or the US. AliExpress, in its turn, makes it possible to arrange a delivery literally to everywhere in the world. It allows you to enlarge your target audience significantly.

Obviously, AliExpress is not the only online ecommerce platform created for the clear communication between manufacturers and buyers. Still, our own research has indicated that for the purposes of dropshipping, it is probably the best solution on the market. Feel free to click the following links and learn about the possibilities and limitations of Amazon, eBay and Etsy for dropshipping.

Now you are aware of AliExpress benefits. So you are probably wondering how to pick the most reliable business partners on this platform? We know the answer!

How to choose the best dropshipping suppliers on AliExpress

  • Filter the product search results

The hunt for the perfect AliExpress suppliers starts on the search results page.

When you are writing your product query in the AliExpress search bar, don’t forget to tick the “4* &Up” box. In that case, only the high quality items will be shown to you.

Sort the results by the number of orders. So you will see the most frequently purchased items at the beginning of the product list. Take a look at the screenshot below.

AliExpress suppliers

Thanks to these simple actions, you won’t waste your time on poor quality items from questionable sellers. You will only deal with worthy offers that are tried and true. Moreover, they are approved by other buyers.

  • Explore the seller stats

Well, you need to go to a single product page on AliExpress. There, you can mouse over the store name and view the seller’s statistics.

You can learn how long the store has been operating, view the feedback score from the previous buyers, etc. You are even able to see some additional helpful stats.

Look at the screenshot below.

how to choose a supplier

As you can see, that’s a pretty young store. Even though its performance isn’t very bad. It doesn’t look inspiring either.

It seems that in their feedback, the buyers often note that the sold items don’t fully match their descriptions. What’s more, there are some communication issues, and the shipping time is quite long.

How should you figure out whether you still should trust this seller? Go to the next step!

  • Examine the potential dropshipping suppliers’ product reviews

Within the seller’s store, pick 8-10 items that have the highest number of orders, and go to their product pages.

Go to the Feedback tab on each of these product pages. There, read the customers’ reviews super carefully. It will help you understand what exactly is good and bad in the seller’s activity.

Pay a special attention to the reviews that contain pictures. With the help of these photos, you can roughly evaluate the quality of the product. Beyond this, you can understand whether the buyers’ claims are fair.

how to choose a supplier

Sometimes, people get annoyed by some tiny details that are not really relevant. The things that are just a one-time ‘glitch’ in the interaction.

However sometimes several different buyers point out the same difficulties they had during the purchasing process. And that’s a bad sign. For example, it is highly important for the suppliers who offer clothes.

Do various buyers write that several different products don’t match the expected size? It might mean that the seller offers irrelevant size charts. Certainly, it doesn’t show this store in a positive light.

  • Check the potential suppliers’ shipping terms

On the product page, look at the available shipping costs and terms. Check whether the seller can ship your order to the country where the majority of your potential buyers live. Whether it’s the United States or any other.

how to buy from AliExpress

Click on the tiny arrow to change the country of delivery. That’s how you’ll see whether the seller offers cheap and quick delivery directly to your customers. Your buyers wouldn’t want to wait their orders for a long time and overpay for the short delivery times, right?

how to find dropshipping suppliers

Such research is going to give you a better understanding of the seller’s activity. Eventually, you will certainly clarify your perspectives of cooperating with this distributor, and make a right decision.

Want to deal with trusted and reputed sellers only? Check out AliDropship Insights – a FREE database of the best AliExpress sellers to partner with, the best niches to take, AND the most promising products to sell!

We hope that our little research helped you understand how to find the best dropshipping suppliers. And we’re looking forward to seeing you fill your store with the most awesome offers from great sellers! Don’t you have your online store? Then, go and start your business to benefit from it!

avatar
By Olga Lavrinovich
Olga is a Copywriting Director at AliDropship. Having graduated from the Faculty of International Business’ as an Advertising specialist, she puts years of her copywriting experience into making clear and informative guides, tutorials, and other educational materials for dropshipping newcomers worldwide.
39 Comments
C. September 26, 2018 7:12:22

My biggest problem is shipping. How do you go about letting the customer know that since the item is coming from mainland China that their package has a solid 3-5 week lead time to the US?

yaros September 26, 2018 7:20:49

It is not a problem at all when you use epacket shipping option. It’s free (or costs only $2-$4), takes 10-20 days to deliver and always provides tracking.

Sammy January 4, 2019 23:50:01

10-20 days is waaayyy too long!!!!

Yaroslav Nevsky January 5, 2019 4:30:43

That’s fine when it’s free and your clients are informed about the delivery time.

Harry Aloof September 26, 2018 7:15:32

Excellent Advice.

Thank You!

Mohsin September 26, 2018 8:00:09

That’s a good article right here. Thanks for writing.

I have a question help me out. Wouldn’t the customer freak out when he sees logo of other company or price tag of different amount from what we sold them the product for??

yaros September 26, 2018 8:20:03

We usually ask supplier not to include any promo materials or invoices into the packages.

Michael September 26, 2018 8:30:38

Well, do we have to contact every single supplier that we would like to dropship from them, or it’s fine to order it and put a message to ‘not put invoices and promotions’?

yaros September 26, 2018 9:01:57

You don’t need to contact AliExpress suppliers asking about dropshipping. Leaving a message like ‘not put invoices and promotions’ is enough.

Victoria September 26, 2018 9:15:36

Hi! Thanks for your exceptional advice.
I’ve been on Aliexpress, but the vast majority requires a minimum order quantity. Are there some that do not? Are they the ones with whom you can dropship?
Thanks again for sharing your valuable knowledge.

yaros September 26, 2018 9:40:24

I think you are speaking about Alibaba.com. All AliExpress sellers do not have any minimum order quantity.

Sam September 26, 2018 10:13:07

Nice article, but what are the negative points from Aliexpress? There are a lot of positive points, but what are the negative points? Every drop-ship suppler must also have negative points?

KR

Rami Hijaz October 5, 2018 11:39:02

What is the negative side of Alidrop ? how could make this business fail?
If it is that easy and successful so why not everyone has done it?
Thank you

Yaroslav Nevsky October 6, 2018 6:50:33

As any business it requires a hard work. If you are not ready to learn and work, you will fail.

Brian Kann September 26, 2018 11:01:03

Most Dropshippers list the names of their Suppliers. I like to be able to know something about the Suppliers being used behind my business. How can I see this full list of Dropshipping Suppliers that AliDropship uses?

Yaroslav Nevsky September 26, 2018 11:39:58

Our supplier is AliExpress, you can find and contact (if necessary) all sellers there.

AdvisorExpertD September 28, 2018 17:15:11

Very interesting, I will follow your blog to receive the comments, please.

Sassy Sweetness October 1, 2018 18:16:08

My biggest issue is how streamline payment from customer on eBay to supplier on AliExpress

Jennifer Phan October 4, 2018 22:39:45

When we notify suppliers to not ship with any promotional material, is that done at the time an order is placed? Or do we communicate that with the supplier and have that agreement before listing their items?

Yaroslav Nevsky October 5, 2018 6:17:12

It can be done by the plugin automatically when you place your order on AliExpress.

Bo Faustino October 7, 2018 14:19:11

I’m based in the Philippines,
1.Will there be any problem if I open my online store and address it here?
2.Can I dropship products to US or Europe?
3.Are US/Europe based customers willing to transact if my online store is addressed outside?
All the best.

Yaroslav Nevsky October 8, 2018 4:18:48

It is not a problem to have an address in Phils and of course you can target US or Europe.

June August 3, 2019 12:51:04

Hi! Im in the Philippines too, I know that there is a free shipping in the US and Europe using ePacket and it will take 10~20days. How can you sell in US and Europe if your address is in the philippines?
Also, i think in the philippines, the ePacket shipping method is not available and if you shipped in the philippines it will take 30~50days.

Olga L. August 6, 2019 11:27:30

Hi, thank you for your question!

You can sell in the US and Europe while living in the Philippines because you don’t ship the packages from your place of living. The packages are sent by your AliExpress suppliers: they ship them directly to your buyer’s address. So, it doesn’t matter where your customers live – their order won’t have to travel through your country of residence.

Allen October 12, 2018 16:45:14

Nice article am really motivated and better informed, but I want to make an enquiry , is epacket only allowed in the US

Emmanuel October 18, 2018 15:46:31

Thanks for sharing the details in this article. I’m based in Nigeria.
My biggest challenge is on the payment method options.
1. Which Paypal account type is suitable for dropshipping, business or personal?
2. If Business account, Nigeria is not listed on paypal, how do i go about the Payment options.
3. What payment method is available to dropshipers from Nigeria.
4. Will there be any problem if I open my online store and address it here (Nigeria)?
5. or if i am to open a business in US, how would i handle the tax matters doing business targeting the US market?
Thanks in advance for your response.

ayo January 3, 2019 19:19:00

how do i set epacket shipping option

Patrick OKELLO January 8, 2019 20:20:31

Hello
Thank you for that insightful information about dropshipping. However my question is about setting up the payment platform?
1. Does the customer pay direct to the wholesaler who then sends me my “cut” or payments are made to my store account then I send the wholesaler his money.
2. Is there an automatic way of handling payments?

Olga L. January 10, 2019 7:55:54

Thank you for your question!

1) Your clients’ payments are made to your store account. After that, you place the necessary order on AliExpress, and send the money to the wholesaler.
2) It is possible to process the orders automatically. To learn more about it, please read this article: https://help.alidropship.com/orders-and-shipping/processing-orders

Derrick E Shepherd January 9, 2019 11:29:25

Great Article! As a beginner, this article is exactly what I needed. Thank You.

Said January 26, 2019 16:07:01

Hello there, is it possible to lunge it for too many languages?
Thank you

Adham January 28, 2019 14:04:48

Hello, I would like to know if when opening a alidropship webstore, can we deal with suppliers other than aliexpress?

Yaroslav Nevsky January 29, 2019 5:22:30

Actually you can add any products from any suppliers but please note that such features like updating items, place order automatically will work only with products from AliExpress since the sync is needed.

peter July 10, 2019 9:46:23

Thanks, i have learnt a lot

Willbrod Burchad October 24, 2019 15:14:28

Hellow!
Thank you for good Article,
Am From Tanzania, is there any possibility to own my store while am living in Tanzania?
If yes, what are the procedures to create my own store?

Olga L. October 25, 2019 4:43:38

Hi, thank you for your interest!

Yes, it’s possible! Our designated team members will get in touch with you shortly.
Meanwhile, please, watch these videos:
https://alidropship.com/alidropship-plugin-review-video/ – it explains how to make a dropshipping store yourself with the help of our plugin
https://alidropship.com/buy-dropshipping-store/ – it explains how to get a fully ready dropshipping store individually prepared by our team

Anisur Rahman March 28, 2020 5:28:19

wow..Nice article.i loved it.

Vincent Lim April 30, 2020 14:28:18

How to know the suppliers listed in Aliexpress is not a reseller which setup a web store at Aliexpress website?

Olga L. May 1, 2020 10:31:23

Hi, thank you for your interest!
Actually, it doesn’t make any difference. Even if a supplier is a reseller and not a manufacturer, you can still work together successfully. You only need to make sure this seller offers high quality products, ships orders in time, provides top class service and has a good reputation – everything else is not really important.

Leave a comment