• March 26, 2024

Aliexpress Dropshipping: 7 Steps to Success in 2024

Updated at


Time and time again, AliExpress has proven itself to be one of the best marketplaces to dropship products from, regardless of your niche. This platform offers affordable prices, has a huge inventory, and, with open arms, fully embraces the idea of dropshipping. 

But how can you actually start AliExpress dropshipping as a beginner? 

And… is this business venture still worth the hype, or is it too late to gain success as a dropshipper? 

In this article, I’ll share exactly how AliExpress dropshipping works and the exact steps you need to take to successfully dropship from AliExpress in no time. 

What is Aliexpress? 

Aliexpress homepage

Hosting over 100 million products, AliExpress is a renowned China-based online marketplace founded by the Alibaba Group, an internationally recognized commerce company, in 2010.

Since most of its sellers are direct suppliers or manufacturers, AliExpress unsurprisingly offers much cheaper rates than most US-based online retailers, making it the go-to source of products for many dropshipping stores. 

Related topic: Alibaba vs AliExpress: Similarities and Differences for Dropshippers

Does AliExpress allow dropshipping? 

The answer is 100% YES. In fact, AliExpress is one of the easiest platforms you can use to start your dropshipping business

Since most of its sellers fully embrace the idea of you reselling or rebranding their products, you don’t have to worry about infringing intellectual property rights or similar concerns when dropshipping with AliExpress. 

But wait a minute– let me drop a truth bomb

In all honesty, AliExpress is just one of over 40 major marketplaces in China that allow dropshipping. 

So, why is AliExpress still so popular? 

Well, here are the… 

Top reasons to dropship from AliExpress 

Why dropship from Aliexpress
Source: Unsplash

Huge inventory 

As mentioned earlier, there are over 150 million unique products from tens and thousands of sellers being sold in AliExpress. 

Because of this, you can use this platform to source pretty much anything and everything you can possibly purchase from other retail stores for your dropshipping business. 

Whether you’re looking for classic apparel, home decor, gadgets, or pet supplies, this platform always has stock to keep you covered. 

Believe it or not, AliExpress merchants also sell seemingly unexpected items, such as food trucks and arcade machines. 

Cheapest prices 

Almost all China-based marketplaces offer cheaper rates than US-based eCommerce platforms. But AliExpress, in particular, is the cheapest among the bunch, thanks to its fierce competition.

For sellers to stand out in this competitive platform, they must be offering one of the lowest rates. 

In fact, most suppliers are willing to negotiate their prices just so you choose them rather than one of their competitors.

Editor’s pick: Why Is Aliexpress So Cheap? 7 Reasons Behind The Low Price

Low startup costs

Aliexpress Low prices
Source: Unsplash

Unlike many of its competitors, such as SaleHoo or Doba, AliExpress doesn’t charge a dime when you use its platform for dropshipping. All you have to pay for when sourcing from this website is the exact same amount you must pay if you’re purchasing as any regular customer. 

The very low startup costs of AliExpress make it ideal for both dropshipping beginners who are working with budget constraints and experienced sellers who want to maximize profits.

How does AliExpress dropshipping work?

The AliExpress dropshipping model allows you to sell the exact products you want without having to hold your own inventory, and here’s exactly how that process works:

  1. Build an online storefront for an eCommerce business
  2. List products from AliExpress in that storefront 
  3. Wait for orders to come 
  4. Manually or through automated apps, inform your AliExpress suppliers whenever you receive orders
  5. Wait for the supplier to ship the product to the customer 
  6. Handle customer-facing tasks such as answering customer queries 
  7. Earn through the profit margins you imposed on each product sold 

Of course, this brief rundown is just scratching the surface of the entire process, but it’s clear enough to show how streamlined and lucrative this business model can be. 

Think this business model is appealing? Then, the next section is a treat for you. 

How to start Aliexpress dropshipping

Starting an Aliexpress dropshipping business is likely simpler than you think. Just follow the steps below, and from the comfort of your home, you can jump right at this venture that may ultimately replace your 9 to 5 income! 

Step 1: Build a solid business concept 

build business concept
Source: Unsplash

Think of this step as the more laid-back version of a comprehensive business plan where you must first choose a niche and then develop a branding strategy to ensure your AliExpress dropshipping journey leads to success. 

Let’s discuss the niching down and branding processes in detail. 

Choosing a Niche

Your niche is the specific industry that you want your store to focus on. For example, you may want to sell travel-related items, fitness-focused equipment, or pet supplies. 

Pretty much all niches can be profitable. However, it’s safe to say that some are definitely more “practical” than others. 

Pets and home improvement-related products, for example, are almost always in demand, but for obvious reasons, holiday-themed stores might have a little trouble remaining profitable all year round. 

Now, you may be wondering: why is it necessary to niche down

Well, focusing on a niche has tons of benefits. But the most prominent ones are being able to:

  • Easily lure in your target customers
  • Make your store more memorable 
  • Implement more effective marketing strategies 

Niching down can be quite a hit-or-miss process, so make sure to take all the time you need to find a niche that you’re passionate about but can also be profitable. 


If we compare niching down to choosing a book genre, branding your business is basically coming up with the book’s cover, theme, and overall vibe. 

During the branding stage, you should be asking questions like:

  • What do I want customers to feel when they buy from me? 
  • What story do I want to convey through my products? 
  • Which colors represent my brand the most? 
  • What’s the best name and logo to represent my brand? 
  • Do I want to offer premium products or cheaper alternatives? 

Yes– branding is just an umbrella term to a whole series of branding elements, so just like you did when choosing a niche, make sure to allocate ample time during this process.

Pro tip: Take inspiration from how big brands ultimately represent their brands when branding your store. 

Step 2: Choose the products you want to sell

choose selling product
Source: Unsplash

Once you have a pretty good idea of what industry you want to focus on and how you want your brand to appear, it’s time to choose products that are both profitable and aligned with your envisioned branding.

Now, there are plenty of routes you can take to eventually come up with a solid and profitable product list for your soon-to-be dropshipping business. 

But here are the options I found to be the most effective over the past few years: 

Installing dropshipping apps

If you want to find highly profitable products while doing the least amount of work, installing dropshipping apps is the way to go. 

Top-rated dropshipping apps already have regularly updated curated lists of the hot-selling products within your industry. So, you don’t have to spend hours researching for products that can be successful. 

Just a couple of clicks inside the platform, and you’re done! 

Moreover, within these apps, you can usually contact dropshipping agents who can further help you determine whether the products you want to offer are viable enough. 

Wondering which dropshipping app is the best? 

Well, it really depends on which platform you build your dropshipping store on (more on this later). 

However, based on experience, very few can match the quality and services that Sup Dropshipping provides its customers. 

Available on eCommerce platforms like Shopify and Ecwid, Sup Dropshipping remains one of the most reliable, affordable, and profitable dropshipping apps you can use online. 

It’s completely free to use, but if you choose to pay a small subscription fee, you can exponentially increase the dropshipping features you have access to and grow your business hassle-free! 

Use product research tools

Product research tools are pretty much the “more technical” version of dropshipping apps. 

Through them, you can access valuable data such as: 

  • Which products are currently selling the most
  • How much you can profit from specific products
  • How many people have recently ordered certain items
  • How the “trend” for specific goods changed over time 
  • What your competitors’ statistics are 

Clearly, product research tools are all about data, graphs, and values. They’re definitely a step up from dropshipping apps when it comes to analyzing the market and competition. 

However, it’s worth noting that these tools usually don’t offer one-on-one support like some dropshipping apps do, so I don’t recommend using them as a standalone tool. 

Apart from dropshipping apps and product research tools, other popular product sourcing methods include: 

  • Checking out popular keywords in Google Trends 
  • Analyzing the best-selling products on AliExpress 
  • Browsing forums to see what products people are looking for 
  • Being up to date with social media trends and hype 

Pro tip: It’s best to use a healthy combination of dropshipping apps, product research tools, and other marketing strategies to effectively compile the best product lineups for your business. 

Step 3: Find reliable suppliers for your products 

find reliable supplier
Source: Unsplash

From the moment customers place an order in your store, suppliers will be the ones to find, pack, and ship your products. 

You, as the dropshipper, won’t be anywhere near the order fulfillment process. So, it’s not an exaggeration to say that dropshipping suppliers can literally make or break your business. 

Or, more specifically, its reputation. 

That said, even if it’s very tempting to choose the supplier that offers the cheapest price for each product, make sure to prioritize a supplier’s reliability, not their price. 

Of course, you should still take price into consideration because business is all about profits at the end of the day. However, this aspect should only come in second and never be the deciding factor. 

Now, how can you spot the best suppliers to work with? 

It’s actually pretty simple. 

Whether you’re choosing suppliers from dropshipping apps like Sup Dropshipping or by visiting the AliExpress website directly, just ensure you choose suppliers with:

  • High ratings
  • Fast response rate 
  • Many good-performing products 

Don’t forget to read the reviews left by other consumers or dropshippers on their products as well so you get a better idea of what level of “quality” you can expect from a particular supplier. Or better yet, order samples from suppliers yourself. 

Step 4: Set up your dropshipping store

There are two common ways to set up your dropshipping store:

  • Using marketplaces like Etsy, Amazon and eBay 
  • Creating your own eCommerce site through web builders like Wix, Shopify, and Ecwid 

Both of these methods have their advantages and disadvantages. But if you were to ask me, I highly recommend setting up your own eCommerce website. 

Let me share exactly why I prefer them over marketplaces. 

Pros of having your own eCommerce website 

Easier access to dropshipping apps

By now, you already know how helpful dropshipping apps are. But the thing is– many of them are only available to eCommerce stores built on website builders like Shopify, Wix, and Ecwid. 

Sup Dropshipping, for example, which I’ve already mentioned as one of the best dropshipping apps can be installed in just seconds if you have a Shopify store or an Ecwid website. 

Faster multichannel integration

Most top-rated eCommerce website builders allow you to automatically export your existing product category to marketplaces such as eBay and Amazon. 

This means if you really want to sell on marketplaces, it’ll just take minutes to create another store within those platforms once you have your own eCommerce website. 

Not to mention, website builders like Wix, for instance, allow you to also sell directly on social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook, giving you even more opportunities to attract buyers. 


The fastest way to show potential customers that you’re an “established brand” rather than just “another dropshipper” is to customize your store. Now, yes— marketplaces like Etsy allow you to customize your dropshipping shop to a certain extent. 

But if you want another level of customizability, which is, by the way, crucial to making your brand stand out, only website builders can offer this feature. 

Website builders allow you to customize every aspect of your online store, from the colors you use in your website to how products are laid out and more. Ultimately, they’ll allow you to portray your business professionally. 

Recommended reading: How to Start Shopify Dropshipping?

Step 5: Import your chosen products

Do you need to spend dozens of hours importing hundreds of products to your dropshipping store?

Surprisingly, not at all. 

Importing each product from your AliExpress supplier to your dropshipping store can literally take seconds if you use highly reliable dropshipping apps. 

In some cases, you can even import thousands of products simultaneously! 

But when you import products, don’t just blindly add listings to your store as is. 

As much as possible, improve each listing’s image, name, and description so it can reflect the quality your brand promises to its customers. 

Practically speaking, I know it’s pretty hard to take the product photos yourself. But even if you can’t use better images, at least try to improve the descriptions of your products.

Ensure they vividly depict what customers can expect, as some suppliers’ product descriptions don’t quite do justice to their high-quality products. 

Step 6: Manage orders and customers’ expectations 

manage store orders
Source: Unsplash

Dropshipping is definitely one of the most laid-back business models, especially if you compare it to other small online businesses where you may need to ship or even make products yourself. 

However, this doesn’t mean you should take a completely hands-off approach when managing your dropshipping business.

Always spend several hours a day ensuring the orders placed in your store are relayed to your dropshipping app or supplier. And, if there are any delays or shipping issues, make sure to maintain strong communication with your buyers to build a lasting relationship with them.

Step 7: Always strive to improve 

Unlike what you may have heard from influencers or dropshipping gurus, most people don’t become millionaires just a couple of months after they’ve built a dropshipping store. 

It takes anywhere from months to years just to even maintain a consistent income level through this eCommerce venture, so as an AliExpress dropshipper, you should always strive to improve your brand, products, customer service, and strategies. 

The realm of eCommerce is highly concentrated, and it’ll only be more competitive from here on out. 

But remember, regardless of how much competition you have, if you constantly improve, implement new strategies, and, most importantly, genuinely care for your brand and customers, success will come naturally. 

Read next: Top 7 Dropshipping Business Ideas to Try

Start AliExpress Dropshipping with Sup Dropshipping 

Avoid the language barrier, unnecessary delays, and stock shortage problems by allowing Sup Dropshipping to be the bridge between you and AliExpress suppliers. 

By making the sourcing process a breeze, you can allocate more resources to customer acquisition, marketing, and other crucial aspects of your business, allowing you to grow your dropshipping brand exponentially. 

Remember, although AliExpress has many reliable suppliers, there are still stray, unreliable sellers that might ruin your dropshipping store’s reputation. 

So, let us help you ensure that only the best of the best products and suppliers accompany you throughout your AliExpress dropshipping journey!

About the Author

Jack Han
Jack Han

Jack is a SEO manager and blog writer at Sup Dropshipping. He holds an MA in Linguistics and Education. He has got over 10 years experience in E-commerce, and 5 years of experience in SEO. Jack is an enthusiast to share his recent knowledge learnt from peer experts in the industry.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Start your dropshipping business with SUP