Dropshipping is a good choice for small sellers since you don’t have to carry inventory. Alibaba and AliExpress are the most famous platforms for dropshippers In this article, I will compare Alibaba and AliExpress for you. After a detailed comparison, you could have the answer of which one is better for your dropshipping business.
What Is Alibaba?
Alibaba is a B2B platform suited for importing large quantities of wholesale products, so it offers lower prices, opportunities to work directly with suppliers and manufacturers, and more options to create custom products. And Alibaba launched a new Dropshipping project in September 2020.
What Is AliExpress?
AliExpress is an online retail marketplace where buyers can buy goods from manufacturers and distributors. It has no minimum order requirement, but the price is slightly higher. Many sellers on AliExpress specialize in Dropshipping, making AliExpress the first choice for small businesses or start-ups who want to sell products online but don’t have enough money or warehouse.
Alibaba Vs AliExpress
Alibaba and AliExpress are both part of the Alibaba Group and offer Dropshipping, but the two platforms are different. Here’s a comparison table to give you a quick idea of the differences.
Let’s talk about these differences in detail. Although AliExpress has been running Dropshipping for a longer time than Alibaba, there are still differences between the two. Here are the advantages of the two platforms.
Advantages of Dropshipping from Alibaba
Compared with AliExpress, dropshipping from Alibaba has the following advantages.
Alibaba itself is a B2B platform, the price of products is wholesale price, so the price will be relatively low. Aliexpress’s products cost more because they are designed for retailers and individuals.
Apart from that, Alibaba takes almost no commission on sales while AliExpress charges suppliers between 5 and 8 per cent per transaction.
Sellers on AliExpress are not allowed to customize. But Alibaba’s suppliers will not object and can offer buyers a variety of manufacturing options, such as customized labels and designs. Adding private labels, which allow buyers to rename products under their own brand names to develop their own brands.
Alibaba is currently the largest B2B online platform, so compared with AliExpress, there are more products and suppliers to choose from. At the same time, you also have access to direct manufacturers.
On Alibaba, you can negotiate prices and shipping costs directly with the seller, but AliExpress does not support price negotiation.
Advantages of Dropshipping from AliExpress
Compared with Alibaba, what makes AliExpress stand out?
No MOQ Requirement
That could be the best thing for Dropshipping sellers. On AliExpress, you can order any goods you need and they will be shipped directly to your own buyers, so you don’t have to keep any inventory. But since Alibaba is B2B platform, some businesses will have minimum order quantity requirements.
Aliexpress products are usually free of shipping, which reduces your costs to some extent. But you need to negotiate freight with the sellers on Alibaba. Even if there is freight, it will be stated clearly.
In the description box on many product pages on AliExpress, you’ll see phrases like “Welcome, Dropshippers.” This shows that most sellers are happy to work with dropshippers though the order is small. However, some of Alibaba’s vendors may be less enthusiastic about dropshippers.
How to Choose?
There is no clear answer to this question, and you can choose based on your situation, as both platforms are valuable to dropshippers. The following situations are for reference.
When Is Alibaba Better?
Alibaba may be a better choice for you if:
- If your order volume is not small, then you can consider wholesale from Alibaba to get a lower unit price.
- If you want to customize products to develop your own brand, then choose Alibaba.
- If you want to negotiate for a better price with the supplier, then you can dropshipping from Alibaba.
When Is AliExpress Better?
AliExpress is better if you:
- If you’re a beginner, AliExpress is easier for Dropshipper to use. There are also more online tutorials about how to dropshipping from AliExpress.
- You want to know your costs more directly, because the price on AliExpress is the final price, but on Alibaba you may have to pay shipping costs and so on.
- You want to easily connect vendors to your e-commerce platform. Aliexpress also has more connections available, since Alibaba has only been in the dropshipping business for a short time.
Things Should Be Considered When Dropshipping from Alibaba Or AliExpress
No matter which platform you use to start your dropshipping business, you need to take these points into account to avoid causing losses later.
Long Lead Time
When dealing with AliExpress or Alibaba, you have to keep in mind that there is a high probability that products will be shipped from China, which can lead to long shipments. However, some suppliers have warehouses in different parts of the world, so it is necessary to communicate with the supplier beforehand to know the shipping time.
Supplier Background Check
Finding a reliable supplier can make dropshipping easier. Before placing an order, it is best to find a third-party agent like SinoInspection to conduct a background check on the potential suppliers, in order to prevent the loss of money and goods.
Fakes & Copyright Issues
Don’t sell counterfeit and copyrighted goods such as branded bags, counterfeit jewerys and so on to avoid getting into legal trouble.
No matter what platform you choose, handling returns will be a challenge. If customers want to return, you need to handle customer returns first, and then if you would like to return, you need to be responsible for the return shipping, and return the product to suppliers to get a refund . Of course, you also can choose not to return, such as another customer ordering the product, you can directly send it to them, and reduce shipping time.
Dropshipping continues to be a popular way to sell products online in 2022. And if you have any questions about this topic, please feel free to contact us for help.