I haven’t heard from Tan Choudhury lately, maybe because he’s been spending time at the beauty salon working on his tan (no pun intended), but he seems to believe that we should be reading AliExpress its last rites or something. “In today’s landscape,” he says, “most large ecommerce businesses try to aim for a two-day shipping experience. Which beckons the question: How can dropshippers with 14- to 30-day shipping times compete?” So, apparently he believes that Aliexpress suppliers have jumped the shark since they’ve been dragging their heels on shipment.
Has it? Let’s find out in this AliExpress Dropshipping Review
“That’s what most of the people in this industry have not figured out,” Tan goes on to say, sounding a little like Boo from Monsters Inc. “The thing is, there’s levels to dropshipping. AliExpress dropshipping is literally only the base (aka Level 1) of dropshipping. It’s the worst way to dropship and it’s why there’s such a negative stigma around dropshipping. If you want fast shipping, improved product quality and therefore a more profitable ecom brand, then you need to use other methods.”
“Level 2 dropshipping can upgrade your entire experience. Again, faster shipping. Better products. Better customer service with your supplier. And overall, you’re looking at each item getting delivered in about 10 to 14 days, which literally cuts the AliExpress method in half. This is gonna be the sweet spot for most dropshippers. Here, you’re working with someone called a private agent. Their job is to source the product from different factories. Then they’ll store the inventory in their warehouse and do the fulfillment for you.”
But let’s take a look at some red flags with Level 2 Dropshipping:
First, it can be pretty tough finding a decent agent for your own store. Even after you do manage to dig up someone you can work with, you’re still gonna need to run them through the wringer to see if they’re legit. The last thing you want to do is listen to some big song and dance just to have them ride off into the sunsert AFTER you’ve already paid them to be the wholesale supplier for your dropshipping store.
Second, let’s just say you’ve found an agent that you believe will set the world on fire… it’s likely that they’re gonna have you order a certain amount of product every month just so THEY don’t feel like they’re wasting their time. Then you’re constantly looking over your shoulder worried if you don’t meet your quota.
“Now let me explain Level 3 dropshipping,” as Tan sips his coffee, “This is the pinnacle of dropshipping. This is where you can compete with the largest direct to consumer brands and really create amazing customer experiences. This is the best method ’cause you’re going to have two-day shipping, right, but there definitely is cons to this method. You’re going to be ordering products straight from the manufacturer in bulk. Meaning, you’ll have to risk all that money upfront, with no guarantee you’ll even make any sales.”
Of course, if you can swing this, you might be concerned about overloading your 2-car garage with your ecommerce store orders that you’d have to be shipping out. Well don’t, because you’ll be using a fulfillment center for that. If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to find a company that can have the product on the road shortly after they placed the order with you. This is the best way to corner the market with an online store that people will pay you big bucks for. But, on the other hand, a lot of dropshippers can’t rub two nickels together which is why Tan believes that Level is kind of a waste of time.
So maybe Level 2 is your best bet, this is what Tan is doing… at least for a handful of his brands. With all that being said, and depending on the level you pick, just be careful when choosing your suppliers. Make sure that are your ducks are lined up, and if you can, talk to some of their past customers. Don’t forget to order low-priced products from them so you can evaluate the quality and how quickly it’s delivered. This is some good online business advice from Tan… but to be honest, I think the jury is still out.