The long delivery times have always been a concern in dropshipping with AliExpress.
Depending on the country you’re shipping to, shipping times will take 12 – 60 days. Some dropshippers resolve the shipping time issue by buying products on wholesale then hire a fulfillment center in the country they’re shipping to. This enables them to deliver customer orders in as fast as 1 – 2 days.
However, if you’re new to dropshipping, spending more money to own the inventory will be too risky for you, especially with untested dropshipping products. You might end up with an excess inventory of items that either, most people already own or no longer appropriate for the current season. As a beginner, dropshipping from AliExpress suppliers would be a safer option for you.
So, how do you handle the long delivery times?
There are 5 ways you can deal with long shipping times when dropshipping with AliExpress:
- Be transparent with your shipping times.
- Dropship from the country where your customers are.
- Use ePacket as a shipping method.
- Have a great customer service.
- Sell unique products that are hard to find.
Let’s discuss how each option can help you handle AliExpress’s long delivery times.
Be transparent with your shipping times.
Disclose to shoppers how long the shipping of the items might take. Some dropshippers hide their shipping times thinking that it will decrease conversion on their sites. However, the consequences of hiding this information have been proven to be very damaging to dropshipping businesses. Refunds, chargebacks, and negative reviews from angry customers have been too much for some business owners to handle that they ended up quitting dropshipping for good. You wouldn’t want to commit the same mistake in your store.
Some customers would be willing to wait for 2 – 3 weeks for products that they couldn’t buy locally or not available in other online stores. As long as you clearly state the shipping times on your site, they would buy from you. A few sales less are better than spending so much on customer service and chargeback fees. You’ll also avoid getting banned by the payment gateway you’ll use if you don’t have a high rate of refund requests.
If you’re always transparent, most people won’t mind the long shipping times. There are five places in your site where you can put your estimated shipping times:
- FAQ Section
- Shipping Policy Page
- Product Description
- Order Confirmation Page
- Shipping Confirmation Email
Write your shipping times in terms of weeks rather than days because it works better that way. If you have this info on those five places, you wouldn’t have issues at all.
Dropship from the country where your customers are.
Some AliExpress suppliers provide an option to ship from other countries where they have warehouses. If you’re selling to the US, find an AliExpress supplier shipping to this specific country. You can do this by sorting the search results by “shipping from countries”. This way, you can drastically shorten the shipping time than having the products shipped from China. Just keep in mind that you’ll only find a limited number of suppliers who offer to ship from other countries. Also, the product prices might be higher than shipping the items from China.
Use ePacket as a shipping method.
Dropshipping suppliers offer free shipping with China Post but it will take 3 – 4 weeks to arrive. It will cost higher to ship items using faster carriers like DHL. ePacket however, is cheaper than DHL and faster than China Post. Shipping with ePacket allows delivery of customer purchases at least a week earlier than usual. By choosing ePacket shipping, the risk of refund is low and increases the chance of retaining the customer.
Free shipping can save you a few dollars, yes, but the risk of longer delivery times might cost you more money later.
Have a great customer service.
Good customer service is important when handling long delivery times. You might be transparent with your shipping times, but some customers would like to email support for their questions and issues. Having someone to provide timely assistance can assure customers that there’s a real person on the other end, and they’re not being scammed. Although you can automate some responses with bots, some issues need human intervention, and these are things that your customer support should attend to.
Sell unique products that are hard to find.
When you sell a unique product that is not easy to find anywhere, people would willingly buy from you, no matter how long it will take to ship it. Find a product or niche that people can’t buy on brick and mortar stores or from other dropshipping stores. This will reduce if not eliminate the issue on the long shipping times.
Dropshipping can be a profitable business that you can run for long-term. However, you don’t need to deceive people to earn more money. Being honest and upfront with your shipping times may get you a few sales less, but it will not affect your business that much. It will help you avoid problems that can ruin your business such as refunds, chargebacks, and bad reviews. Now that you know the different ways to handle long delivery times when dropshipping from AliExpress, it’s time to use them in your dropshipping business.