What I am about to show you is an important piece of information that you must know and understand before you start dropshipping.
I used multiple shipping options with AliExpress before, and I can say that none of them will ever come close to Amazon shipping. However, there is an alternative, which I will discuss later.
Here are our topics:
- The two types of AliExpress shipping
- What to do to manage shipping speed
- Make AliExpress shipping faster
In the end, I am hoping you can use this information to help you make informed business decisions. Use it to manage your customers’ expectations and avoid refunds and returns for delayed shipping.
- There are several ways to track AliExpress shipping
- Long shipping times are not an issue in dropshipping, provided you are transparent as a seller
- You can look for AliExrpess sellers who have a warehouse in your target shipping destination for faster shipping
The Two Types of AliExpress Shipping
The two types of AliExpress shipping are Standard and Premium. Standard Shipping is the common option that sellers use because customers rarely select Premium when they order.
Alibaba, the owner of AliExpress, also owns the AliExpress Shipping company. However, Alibaba does not own ships. Instead, they work with intermediaries like Singapore Post and Posti Finland.
The free shipping you see in AliExpress is not the same as the Standard one. Standard shipping has a price—the cost of which depends on the parcel and destination.
Here is an example:
This seller offers both free and Standard options. The free one would take two months and five days, while the Standard Shipping would take only 10 to 15 days (the date today is November 10).
The AliExpress Premium shipping is the same thing, but they will ship your order faster. It gets priority when it comes to the actual shipment and logistics.
The seller for the product in the screenshot above has no Premium shipping offer. So, I looked for another seller, and here is what I got:
It took me a bit of time to find one. As you can see, the shipping time for Premium will take 12 to 15 days.
Let me make a comparison even if the toys are different:
- AliExpress Standard – price is $5.05 and it will take 15 to 20 days to arrive
- AliExpress Premium – price is $24.41 12 to 15 days to arrive
Now, there is a big gap in the price here, and yet the shipping times are not that different. If you were to sell this toy, you know that it is better to ship with the Standard option because you are paying a fraction of the cost with only three days to five days of difference.
How Long Do AliExpress Orders Take to Deliver?
The average shipping time from China to the United States is 15 to 30 days, and that applies to both Standard and Premium AliExpress shipping services.
One important note: holiday shipping will take longer. Because of this, I do not recommend that you market your products in the US during the holiday season.
I know that this is counterintuitive, but you are taking a significant risk if you attempt to make a big sale on the holidays. Keep in mind that you are not in control of the shipment, and AliExpress is going to process hundreds to thousands of parcels during this period.
There are, of course, exceptions to this. You can create a massive campaign during the holidays if:
- You know you can trust your seller when it comes to shipping
- You can mitigate the risks of returns and refunds
- You sell your products on sale BEFORE the holiday season
The biggest risk with both AliExpress Standard and Premium is that almost all sellers use them. Your customers are not likely to get their packages on time. If this happens, they will bombard you with returns and refunds (a massive headache, if you ask me).
How Do You Track An AliExpress Package?
There are several methods by which you can track an AliExpress package. The fastest is by clicking clicking MY ACCOUNT > ORDERS > ORDER DETAILS.
Do that, and you will see something like this:
From here, click on TRACK ORDER, and you will see this:
The blue boxes are where my private details are. In your order, that is where you will find your customer’s name, address, and other details.
You can also use the following websites to track your order:
17Track is the most common shipment tracking service that dropshippers use. 17Track has an app that you can integrate with Shopify, but not with WooCommerce. If you built your dropshipping store in Woo, you need to use the 17Track API.
Is AliExpress Premium a Better Option Than Standard?
Not really. Earlier, we had a shipping comparison of two toys that are of the same size. I used the same addresses for both, but we saw that the difference in the expected arrival time is merely a few days.
The shipping prices, however, have a big gap. The cost of Premium shipping is about four times higher than that of Standard shipping.
If you are a dropshipper, I do not recommend AliExpress Premium shipping. Use Standard shipping so you and your customer can save money.
How to Expedite AliExpress Shipping
The best way to expedite AliExpress shipping is to choose products that come from the United States. These are products listed in AliExpress, but the physical product is in a US warehouse.
To do this, select a product category in AliExpress, and then use the filter (radio buttons) to the left to select US-based products only.
Here is an example:
Now, you will find products that will ship to the US-based customer in less than a week.
Here is a screenshot:
This seller has two warehouses. I know that because they also ship from China. A seller like this is what you want to work with because you can target at least two regions.
If your customer is in the US, choose the USPS option, and the package will arrive in four days. If your customer is in Asia, choose the fastest shipping option from the other selections.
Ways to Manage Long Shipping Times
How do you manage long shipping times? The short answer is you can’t. Shipping is one of the biggest challenges for dropshippers, and the only way to get around this is by managing your customers' expectations.
My advice is for you to be transparent. Each product page must have information about shipping times and rates. This way, a customer will not order without knowing that your shipping time can reach at least two weeks.
Another option is to choose a supplier you can trust, someone who thinks of you as a partner. If you need more details about this, we have a blog about how to choose the best dropshipping supplier.
Dropshipping from China allows you to sell items at a very low price. However, the shipping times are really dismal, and that is why many people would rather choose to do Amazon FBA.
However, I can say that this should not dissuade you from dropshipping at all. All it takes is transparency and proper targeting, and you will certainly find customers in the US willing to wait long for their orders.
FAQ: AliExpress Shipping Times
How long does delivery take on AliExpress?
The average is 15 to 30 days if you ship to the US. Shipping times vary for other locations. Even shipping to Asia can take that long, so there is really no single answer to the shipping times.
How fast is standard shipping on AliExpress?
I can say that the speed is moderate. It is not so slow as free shipping, but not as fast as committing to shipping for less than a week.
Does AliExpress work on Sundays?
The sellers mostly don’t. However, the AliExpress employees do. Logistics companies work weekends and holidays, but they do not deliver to homes on weekends.
Why is AliExpress shipping so expensive?
It is expensive because AliExpress acts as an intermediary between the seller and the courier company. As such, you are paying the services not only of the carrier like Singapore Post, but also the services of AliExpress.
Summary: AliExpress Shipping Times
Shipping from China is really affordable. For as low as $5, you can ship a parcel from China to the United States, albeit it would take a while.
The next step is to craft your shipping copy on your product pages. Write a statement that should be convincing enough to persuade your site visitor to buy despite the long shipping times.