One issue in running a dropshipping business is when AliExpress product delivery failed. Although this does not happen often, the customer could get disappointed with the experience. An unhappy customer may no longer buy from you for fear that the incident will happen again. Also, you might lose more money if the customer files a chargeback for non-delivery of product.
What should you do when your customers didn’t receive the products from AliExpress suppliers?
First, you have to confirm that there is a failure in the delivery of product to the customer. You can check the status of delivery by entering the tracking number of the package to the shipping service/courier or any third-party tracking services. Below is an example of a product delivery failure when searched through 17TRACK.
When product delivery failed, the package will be returned to sender who is the AliExpress supplier from whom you are dropshipping products.
Once confirmed, the next thing to do is to file a dispute to AliExpress to recover the money paid to the supplier.
You can do this by following these steps:
- Go to your AliExpress personal account.
- Select the product to file dispute for.
- Choose “Open a Dispute” option.
- Click on the “Refund Only” button.
- Fill in the application for dispute with the necessary details which includes:
- The reason why you are filing a dispute.
- Attach proof of non-delivery such as the supplier’s message or the screenshot from the tracking website.
- State the order date, shipping deadline, filing date, and what you expect on the dispute.
- Choose the “Full Refund” variant.
- Send the dispute application.
The supplier is given 5 days to reply or accept dispute. If the supplier accepts the dispute, your money will be refunded in full. When no response was made by the supplier until the time expires, you win the dispute, and you’ll get the full refund immediately. However, there are times that the supplier will ask you close the dispute and they will return your payment. Don’t do it because the dispute will close on its own once the supplier refunds your money. If you do what the supplier asks, they may not send back your money, and you can no longer reopen dispute. In case the supplier replied rudely or inappropriately, you can escalate the dispute to involve the AliExpress management.
After you have filed a dispute, email the customer to apologize for the non-delivery of product. Also state that you will refund the payment in full. Process the refund immediately. Don’t give the customers time to file for a chargeback with their banks because once they did, you will be charged a fee on top of the full refund. If the customer still wants to buy the product, he or she can order them again at your store.
Don’t wait until the supplier sends the money to you before you issue a refund to your customer. As you have already initiated recovery of money paid to the supplier, you must also prevent chargeback fees. The only way to guarantee that is to give full refund to the customer who got a product delivery failed report from the shipping service/courier.
Customers will also not get their purchases when the tracking report is not updated on time. This usually happens during the holidays. The shipping service/courier that AliExpress suppliers used can’t keep up with the bulk of deliveries at these times, resulting to delayed shipment and non-updating of the tracking report. If the customers will not be able to keep track of their packages you will likely get heaps of complaints. The worst thing that could happen if they don’t get an update of their packages is they’ll file chargeback for non-delivery or lost product.
How do you avoid chargebacks due to non-delivery of products from AliExpress suppliers?
Ask for Extension of the Buyer Protection
AliExpress suppliers specify their shipment time on the product pages. The delivery time is within 28 to 45 days on average. Packages are covered by Buyer Protection at these times. However, if the shipment takes more time you can ask the supplier to extend it. Just go to the “Product Details” page and message the supplier from there.
If the Buyer Protection expires before the customers receive their purchases, they may not get them at all. You will not get refund from the supplier either. When the AliExpress protection ends, the products will be tagged as completed and you can no longer file a dispute if the packages did not reach the customers.
When the supplier refuses to extend the protection, you can open a dispute. Make sure that you file it while the protection is active because it will take 10 days minimum for the processing and settlement of dispute.
Monitor Shipment Progress
Check the progress of packages from time to time to ensure that they are moving according to schedule. When you notice that the shipment is not moving for at least two days in a location, you can do the following steps:
- If still in China, you can contact the supplier to get an update on the cause of the delay. Ask for the extension of the Buyer Protection using the hold up as a reason.
- If the package is already in the customs office of the customer’s country, there are many reasons that may have caused the delay. The package may have incorrect information, may weigh more than what is allowed, or the declared price is too high. Although, the package will still be delivered to the customer, it might take more time. When you notice the delay, extend the Buyer Protection.
- If the package is not moving in the customer’s post office, email the customer to pick up the package from there.
- If no information is available and the protection time is expiring soon, open a dispute with the supplier in AliExpress.
After filing a dispute with supplier, inform the customer that you will refund the payment because product delivery failed. Although you can offer to send another product and the customer may agree, there’s a high chance that he would request a chargeback while it is still in transit, citing the long delivery time as reason. Issuing a refund upon failure of delivery is the best thing to do to protect your dropshipping business.
Although you are not handling the fulfillment and shipping of products to your customers, monitoring the progress of packages will help ensure that they receive what they paid for on time. Spotting any delays early on will help you take the necessary measures to enable recovery of your money when product delivery goes wrong. If AliExpress product delivery failed, open a dispute with the seller, and process the refund to the concerned customer. This way you will not lose money from something that you cannot control.