With the rapid development of Internet technology, online shopping is more and more popular among consumers worldwide. It also promotes the growth of global e-commerce in the international market. We all know that dropshipping, as an emerging e-commerce model, has attracted many sellers to enter it. Dropshipping has low requirements for start-up capital, and the seller's cost pressure is low. Among the many supply chain platforms, two platforms, Alibaba and AliExpress, are often mentioned. Are these two platforms suitable for dropshipping? Which is better? If you are interested, read on this guide.
Founded in 1999, Alibaba.com is a company under the Alibaba Group that provides an online trading platform for e-commerce and is a leading platform for global wholesale trade. It is one of the preferred network platforms for export enterprises to expand international business by displaying and promoting supplier companies and products to overseas buyers, and then obtaining trading opportunities and orders.
AliExpress launched in April 2010. It is the only online trading platform created by Alibaba for the global market, and it is called "International Taobao" by the majority of sellers. AliExpress is for overseas buyers, through Alipay international accounts for secured transactions, and use international express delivery. It is the world's third-largest online shopping site in English. AliExpress covers 30 first-level industry categories such as 3C, apparel, home furnishing, and accessories.
Alibaba and AliExpress are both subsidiaries of Alibaba Group. The most significant difference between the two is that Alibaba is an e-commerce platform focused on B2B, while the primary audience of AliExpress is a single consumer. Since Alibaba is mainly a B2B platform that deals with companies, its price is often a wholesale price, and there is a minimum order quantity requirement. The business model of AliExpress is C2C, so there is no minimum order quantity requirement.
Why do so many people ask how to dropship from Alibaba and AliExpress? As far as I am concerned, one is because the product categories are abundant, and the other is that the price is relatively lower.
Both sites have dropshipping providers where you can import products to your site. As mentioned earlier, you can use AliExpress to drop ship all products without a quantity limit. But Alibaba only restricts users to buy products in bulk. However, some suppliers provide a single purchase on Alibaba. Unfortunately, not all sellers have this service. Let's first put aside other factors, just from product listing and order fulfillment, to see how to use Alibaba and AliExpress to dropship.
There are many dropshipping apps or plugins out there that you can use to automate your AliExpress or Alibaba dropshipping process. For example, when you want to add a massive amount of merchandise from Alibaba or AliExpress to your Shopify store, you usually need to install a dropshipping plugin in your browser. The steps are very similar:
First, make sure you installed a dropshipping plugin.
Visit the Alibaba or AliExpress website.
Find a product you would like to import and visit the product's page.
Click the “ADD” button or any other button with similar meaning on your browser.
Edit the product information, such as the title/description/price/ etc..., and click "add product" to import it to your store.
With these apps, it makes things much easier and automated. You can search for products, add them to your store, and each time you receive an order from a customer for the products, the store captures the payment and the app fulfill the order for you. Since the various vendors in China fulfill orders, they will also ship the products directly to the customer; usually, they offer worldwide shipping (ePacket is the preferred shipping carrier)
Is AliExpress better than Alibaba? As mentioned before, because AliExpress does not have a minimum order requirement, there are more suppliers and goods to choose from AliExpress, and it is easier to operate. But let's compare the two from the following aspects first.
The price of AliExpress is affordable. Depending on the supplier, each product has a different price.
Unlike AliExpress, you can bargain with suppliers in Alibaba. Just start the ordering process and then go to the "negotiation with suppliers" section.
AliExpress caters to a variety of niche markets. You can buy almost anything, from pencils to car parts. All these products come from China or Hong Kong, so the shipping price of each product is different.
Alibaba has more than 20 million products, from bicycle mirrors to trucks and buses. However, if we exclude transportation costs, compared to AliExpress, it provides a fairly low price for direct shipping.
The “rating” bar is the only reliable method to check whether the seller/supplier is reliable. Ratings are made by those who have purchased from the seller. In most cases, the AliExpress team will also provide bronze, silver and gold ratings.
Alibaba does not allow products to be rated, but only suppliers. Alibaba rates products by checking buyer satisfaction with suppliers. It has a complete form that the buyer must fill in to evaluate any supplier
One reason many people like AliExpress is that it provides ePacket shipping option. Some sellers also offer free shipping on AliExpress. This is a great way to save costs for your dropshipping business.
Alibaba does not provide facilities to track your cargo. You must contact the supplier through Alibaba's "Information" section and ask the supplier for all these details. You should also know that Alibaba’s shipping is not free, so you should add it to the price of the single product you want to buy to understand the full price.
5. Payment method
Finally, the reason AliExpress is a better choice than other companies is because of its multiple payment methods options. It supports Visa, MasterCard, Western Union, online money, American Express, and more.
Alibaba offers multiple payment methods, including credit cards and Western Union. Therefore, for dropshippers who want to use Alibaba as a wholesaler, payment is not a problem.
So, which one is better for dropshipping?
It is up to you.
There is no fixed answer to this question, and the reason is simple. You know your e-commerce store and its requirements better than anyone. Therefore, which platform you choose depends on you. We just want to help you find a new alternative to AliExpress or Alibaba. Make an informed decision so that your customers will be satisfied with your service.
Crov Dropshipping brings together thousands of high-quality suppliers from China. We also integrate the functions and tools required to automate drop shipping to help you better develop your dropshipping business.