When we talk about the dropshipping business model, the first name that comes to our mind is AliExpress. The Chinese online retail giant comprises thousands of vendors that offer products to international buyers.
The most important question that strikes a seller’s mind when they plan to dropship with AliExpress is ‘How to handle long shipping times when dropshipping with AliExpress?’
The late deliveries not only dishearten the buyers but also become a hurdle for sellers. After all, they also suffer from delayed payments and bill clearance issues.
Why Shipping Time Is Critical For Your Dropshipping Business?
Even if you have the best products in the world, all of your efforts will go down the drain if you fail to deliver your dropshipping products in the expected time.
Because many online businesses offer 24-hour delivery, tolerance for long shipping times seems not an option.
But, it is not all bad news!
There are several ways you can follow to handle long shipping times when dropshipping with AliExpress. Stay tuned as we’re going to talk about a few of them in the subsequent sections.
What Is The Typical AliExpress Shipping Times?
The typical AliExpress shipping times range from 15 - 45 days, depending on the supplier you’re using to deliver products.
Since most vendors on AliExpress are from China, delivery times can be longer than average. Also, shipping times depend on your shipping method and destination.
Sometimes it takes up to 60 days for vendors to dropship products, but in that case, buyers usually file a dispute at AliExpress, and you have to deal with that.
That being said, the delivery could be as quick as 12 days if you choose to go with premium options or when you have luck with your ePacket shipping.
AliExpress Shipping Methods
Standard shipping is one of the most cost-effective AliExpress delivery methods. The delivery is usually free with this method. If not free, it generally varies between $4 and $10 with a 15-30 days delivery time on average.
Next on our list is ePacket delivery. This shipping method is also affordable and fast. The shipping cost depends on the type of product and the recipient’s destination. ePacket deliveries can sometimes be free, allowing sellers to save a few bucks on deliveries and make additional profit.
With FedEx, you can expect the shortest AliExpress shipping times. That goes without saying that this method is also one of the most expensive AliExpress shipping methods available to date.
Some customers have reported a 3-day delivery time as well. The average delivery cost via FedEx can range between $20 and $40.
SunYou Economic Air Mail
Another cost-effective and fast AliExpress shipping method is through China Post. The product can take up to 39-60 days, depending on the type of product and location.
Which Method Is The Best?
Well, it depends. If you’re ordering anything for your personal use, FedEx can be your safest bid. But, if you’re looking for a shipping method to dropship products to your customers, then you can consider the standard or ePacket options.
In addition to selecting the right shipping method, here are a few things you should consider to effectively handle long shipping times when AliExpress dropshipping.
Seven Ways To Handle Long Shipping Times When Dropshipping With AliExpress
1. Always Mention Your Shipping Times
One of the biggest mistakes dropshippers make is they do not mention the delivery time to their customers. Many sellers believe that displaying their shipping costs might decrease their sales. However, this factor does not impact your conversions a lot.
On the flip side, if you choose to keep your shipping costs a mystery, you can have some serious consequences that could potentially harm the success of your dropshipping business.
Now you must be wondering where exactly you should display this information for maximum conversions.
You should showcase this information in multiple places, including your FAQ page, shipping policy, and on your product pages.
For instance, you could add the question ‘How long will it take to ship my order’ in your FAQ section to highlight this information.
Similarly, it’s also important to have a detailed shipping policy in place that highlights the expected time of delivery along with return and refund terms.
Last but not least, you can also display the expected delivery schedule on your product pages to keep your customers informed about what to expect in terms of product delivery.
2. Offer Impeccable Customer Service
One thing that sets your dropshipping store apart from others is the customer support you offer to your buyers.
Having a trained and well-informed customer support team can answer your customer's queries and clear their doubts.
Make sure you respond politely to your customers and keep them informed about the latest shipping status of their orders.
Fortunately, there are many apps available online that you can use for this purpose, including AfterShip, Trackr, etc.
Many studies reveal that just keeping your customers informed about the change in shipping status can keep them coming for more.
3. Dropship From The Country That You’re Selling In
Another effective way you can handle long shipping times is by choosing a supplier from the country you’re selling in. For example, if you’re selling from the USA, make sure you collaborate with the US supplier instead of choosing someone from the EU or Canada.
When you and your supplier are from the same country, the delivery time will be significantly reduced.
When you’re using AliExpress, you can still choose to work with a supplier from your country. Use the option ‘Shipping from countries’ to sort suppliers.
Some factors you need to consider when sorting a supplier on AliExpress includes:
Since AliExpress mainly has Chinese suppliers, it could be challenging to find a good dropshipping supplier shipping products from other countries.
The delivery costs might be a little higher than what you tend to pay to Chinese suppliers
4. Sell Unique Products
Let’s suppose you’re selling products that are already available in any nearby store or supermarket. Do you think your customers will wait for 30-40 days to get that product shipped to their doorstep?
But if you’re selling something that is not commonly available, the customer won’t mind waiting for a few days to receive that.
That is why you must find winning dropshipping products that are exclusive and not easily available.
Tip: Aside from selling unique products, make sure your products images are important. One thing you need to consider is ecommerce image optimization.
5. Look At The Processing Times Of AliExpress Suppliers
Another effective way you can handle long shipping times is by looking at the processing times of AliExpress Suppliers.
Simply put, the processing time is the amount of time your supplier takes to dispatch the product to the customer.
Suppliers that take less time to process orders should be your first choice as it is the only way you could timely deliver products to your customers.
Make sure you discuss this thing with your supplier beforehand. In addition to that, you can also use several extensions to check the processing times of different products.
6. Select ePacket Shipping Method
Many dropshippers go with standard/free shipping to save a few bucks. As a result, they get customer complaints regularly who report delays in deliveries.
To avoid such delays, make sure you opt for ePacket delivery, as it is quicker and more reliable than other free options.
ePacket delivery usually takes up to 2 weeks to deliver products from China to the US, which is pretty reasonable considering the 30-60 days delivery schedule you get with the standard option.
7. Respond To Customer’s Emails ASAP
Many customers approach a website through email to know about the updated status of their order. Your responsibility as a dropshipper is to respond to your customer’s emails as soon as possible so that they know exactly when they’re going to receive their order.
Ideally, you should respond within 24 hours...
Businesses that take too long to respond to customers’ emails risk their customers putting in confusion as they think they have been scammed.
You can either create a custom response or take help from pre-built replies you get online. Don’t forget to tweak each response to make it look personalized before you send it to the individual customer.
Million Dollar Tips!
Choose Cheap Products
As discussed above, customers can wait for products without any complaints if they are exclusive and not readily available.
Similarly, if they’re getting anything for a price lower than what they tend to get from the market, they would happily wait for it even if it takes a little longer than the average delivery time.
So, another tip to avoid conflicts and have happy customers is to choose dropshipping products that are affordable.
Avoid Dropshipping Critical Products
The concept of dropshipping revolves around providing top-notch products that a buyer can buy from any part of the world.
In all honesty, no matter how hard you try, delays are part of the process. So, make sure you consider your business plan if you’re looking to add essential life-saving products, such as medicines, to your dropshipping store.
People ordering those medicines obviously cannot wait for that long. And you’ll end up losing a customer because of something that is beyond your control.
Always Enclose The Disclaimer! Notice
The biggest challenge for a dropshipping store owner is to avoid conflicts that arise due to late deliveries.
Many customers open a dispute just because they haven’t received their ordered products in their desired timeframes.
To avoid conflicts, make sure you add a disclaimer notice with each order confirmation email that highlights the amount of time it will take to deliver the order to the customer. Don’t forget to add a line or two stating that any unexpected delays are beyond your control and that you’re trying your best to deliver products at your earliest.
Dropshipping with AliExpress is profitable and rewarding. Yes, the long shipping times are a hurdle, but you can always avoid them by choosing options that are quick, reliable, and affordable.