Best Dropshipping Suppliers On AliExpress And Beyond
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 about 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?
Usually, they look for reliable business partners to ensure the success of their future venture – dropshipping wholesalers. Such companies are called dropshippers, but people often use this term to refer to dropshipping retailers.
Sometimes, they look for 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 lots of dropshipping manufacturers and 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 counselors and advisors. They also search for middlemen who can connect them with the most appropriate business partners.
Most typically, these middlemen are required for 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 contact with 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.
Thus, 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.
How do directories work?
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.
Sounds like a good option, doesn’t it? You get access to multiple wholesale dropshippers and can easily fill the inventory of your online store with top products. Your supplier will take care of packing and shipping the orders to the buyer.
However, few dropshipping businesses actually use directories.
Why directories aren’t commonly used to find 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.
The majority of directories charge a fee for access to their database. You either need to make a one-time payment or pay a yearly/monthly fee.
Some 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.
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 newcomers who are unlikely to order large consignments of goods.
It’s quite typical of these well-known manufacturers to dictate the terms of doing business. There might be requirements for minimum order size, or 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 appropriate product ideas
2) researching the market offers
3) looking for a highly specific product category that can’t be easily found elsewhere.
So, have 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 platforms 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
There are enough reasons why AliExpress is much more suitable for dropshipping products from suppliers than any dropshipping directory.
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’s 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 with an extensive variety of products. 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 access to their databases. As a 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 any entry fees. 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 business operation length, the percentage of positive buyers’ feedback, the number of orders placed by visitors, etc.
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 compensation for 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. 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 by 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 when they sell goods from directories. 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 US.
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.
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 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.
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 previous buyers, etc. You are even able to see some additional helpful stats.
Look at the screenshot below.
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 do 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 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.
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.
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 for their orders for a long time and overpay for the short delivery times, right?
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 the 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!
Tips on working with dropshipping suppliers
Don’t hesitate to contact suppliers
The sellers on AliExpress are entrepreneurs just like you. And they are always glad to cooperate if it brings them more sales. Therefore, if you’ve found a good supplier and his products are selling well, send him an email. Or contact him if you have questions.
In any case, this cooperation can result in many benefits.
Be polite and adequate
Always talk to a supplier in a friendly way, be polite, and keep your end of the bargain. Try not to cause unnecessary troubles and don’t forget to thank the partner for little and big favors (like unusually fast shipping or an extra discount).
It will let you build strong relationships with the seller and make things easier in the future.
Check the orders before redirecting them to the supplier
Although with the AliDropship plugin, you don’t have to fulfill orders manually, it’s still a good idea to check customer information before ordering the products on AliExpress. Buyers often make mistakes: they fill in the wrong fields or leave them empty.
As a result, the order may get sent to the wrong address, thus causing problems not only to you but to the supplier as well. Avoid such situations!
Check your emails regularly
Also, make sure you regularly check the messages you get from your suppliers. They may face an unexpected problem that needs your attention. Not responding in time can lead to shipping delays or worse.
And if there’s a problem and it was the supplier’s fault – don’t get mad! We all make mistakes, and most of them are not worth destroying your relationships. But of course, if a particular seller keeps making mistakes, you may want to reconsider working with him.
Find multiple dropshipping suppliers
Working with only one wholesaler is definitely easy. But it’s dangerous as well! If something happens, you will lose all your inventory at once.
That’s why our team recommends finding at least several suppliers. It doesn’t mean the more the merrier, though. If you have 8 suppliers, you can feel more or less safe and it’s not that difficult to manage them. Having 30 suppliers will hardly make any difference except managing them will get really tough.
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!
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?
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.
10-20 days is waaayyy too long!!!!
That’s fine when it’s free and your clients are informed about the delivery time.
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??
We usually ask supplier not to include any promo materials or invoices into the packages.
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’?
You don’t need to contact AliExpress suppliers asking about dropshipping. Leaving a message like ‘not put invoices and promotions’ is enough.
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.
I think you are speaking about Alibaba.com. All AliExpress sellers do not have any minimum order quantity.
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?
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?
As any business it requires a hard work. If you are not ready to learn and work, you will fail.
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?
Our supplier is AliExpress, you can find and contact (if necessary) all sellers there.
Very interesting, I will follow your blog to receive the comments, please.
My biggest issue is how streamline payment from customer on eBay to supplier on AliExpress
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?
It can be done by the plugin automatically when you place your order on AliExpress.
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.
It is not a problem to have an address in Phils and of course you can target US or Europe.
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.
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.
Nice article am really motivated and better informed, but I want to make an enquiry , is epacket only allowed in the US
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.
how do i set epacket shipping option
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?
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
Great Article! As a beginner, this article is exactly what I needed. Thank You.
Hello there, is it possible to lunge it for too many languages?
Hello, I would like to know if when opening a alidropship webstore, can we deal with suppliers other than aliexpress?
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.
Thanks, i have learnt a lot
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?
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
wow..Nice article.i loved it.
How to know the suppliers listed in Aliexpress is not a reseller which setup a web store at Aliexpress website?
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.