After years in the dropshipping industry, I realized that shipping is a common problem among many dropshippers. The speed and cost are the top issues. During these years, I ordered a reasonable amount of items from various suppliers, and I learned valuable lessons about AliExpress shipping.
In this article, I will show you the most commonly used shipping carriers in AliExpress, the typical cost of fast shipping, and more importantly, the things you can do to get faster shipping on AliExpress.
- Slow shipping is okay, provided that it is affordable or free
- ePacket no longer exists; this has been replaced by AliExpress standard and premium shipping
- Sellers in AliExpress offer different types of shipping
In the end, I hope that you learn more about shipping with AliExpress suppliers, and how you can mitigate potential problems. Let us start!
How to Get Faster Shipping on AliExpress
1. Look for AliExpress suppliers who have a US warehouse
Although all AliExpress suppliers are in China, it does not mean that these suppliers only have warehouses in China. Many suppliers branched out, some of whom even have warehouses in Europe.
What you want is to work with suppliers who have a warehouse in the US, or a warehouse in the same destination country where you sell. Shipping will not only be cheaper but also faster.
There was a time when you could easily filter where the item would “ship from.” Now that AliExpress made a massive overhaul on its website, this option is almost gone.
What I mean is that this option is not always available—it is no longer a standard filtering option when browsing products in AliExpress.
One of the ways to find out if a supplier has a location in the US is by hovering your mouse over the supplier’s name.
Here is an example:
Take a look at the upper left, and you will see a small box that shows details about the supplier. For this product, we can see that the supplier is in China.
Now, one would say, “Of course, all suppliers in AliExpress are in China.”
There is a nugget of truth to that, but note that AliExpress accepts non-Chinese sellers, too. It is just a nightmare to find these sellers on the platform because there is no way to filter non-Chinese sellers only.
The other course of action is to ask the seller through messaging. There is another problem here—not all sellers have their messaging option turned on.
If you look at the top section of the screenshot earlier, there is no button to click to send a message to the supplier. However, the one below shows a message button at the upper right section of the page.
Finally, if you are lucky, you will see this:
Again, this option to select SHIPPING FROM is not always available. It will only appear if you click on CATEGORY > SUB-CATEGORY.
2. Order the products and measure the shipping speed
The second way to determine the speed of shipping is by ordering the product yourself. This is a tad costly, but it is well worth it if you want to succeed in dropshipping.
Since dropshipping does not require you to pay for upfront inventory, I am sure you could spare some cash for shipping experiments.
On a product page, you will see this:
Click the shipping area, and then you will see this:
From here, you can choose which shipping method to use. You will notice that faster also means higher shipping costs.
One thing I want to point out here is not all AliExpress suppliers use the same shipping couriers. Some suppliers work with more than three shipping companies, and others don’t. The best advice I can provide you here is to check several sellers of similar products.
For example, the seller for the item below only offers one shipping option. The previous one offers three.
3. Work with several suppliers
The next strategy for faster shipping is to work with multiple suppliers. There are AliExpress sellers that sell the same products, but their logistics are different.
For example, Seller 1 may not have a warehouse in the US, but they have a warehouse in Australia. If so, you can use that supplier if your customer is in Australia.
On the other hand, Seller 2 may have a warehouse in the US, so you can order from that supplier if your customer is from the US.
I am not aware of any automatic way to do this; you would have to scour the AliExpress marketplace and list down the suppliers you want, where they ship from, and what shipping couriers they use.
You can use Excel to create a tracker. It will take time to do this, but once you complete the process, everything should be easy to execute.
If you look at this screenshot, I filter the sellers based on those shipping from the US.
You can see that the first two toys are similar, which means I can work with both of them. If I click on Shipping from China, there is another seller of the same toy, as shown below.
Now, I can decide which seller to use based on my customer’s location. If the customer is from Asia, I will order from the seller whose items are in China.
If my customer is from the US, Canada, or Europe, I will certainly order from the seller whose toys are in the United States.
4. Ask the supplier to ask for a different shipping method
The last method is to ask the supplier to use a different shipping provider that is not on the AliExpress product page.
By using the messaging option, you can ask the supplier if there are other couriers close to their physical locations.
For example, you can ask the supplier if there is a FedEx office close to them. The only caveat here is that the supplier will charge higher shipping rates, not only because FedEx has higher rates but because you are asking the supplier to get out of their way to process a special shipping arrangement for you.
How Does Dropshipping Work with AliExpress?
Dropshipping with AliExpress is pretty simple, especially now that there are many dropship tools you can use to import AliExpress products to your store.
In a nutshell, here is how it goes:
- You create an online store with Shopify
- You sign up for a dropship supplier tool like Spocket
- You integrate Spocket with Shopify
- You import products from Spocket to your Shopify store
I do not recommend dropshipping with AliExpress without using a dropship supplier tool. If you plan to manually copy and paste images, prices, and product descriptions from AliExpress to your store, I will say, “Stop right there.”
Manual processes will only torture you physically and mentally. It is better to use a dropship tool because it takes only a few clicks to transfer products from AliExpress to your store.
A dropship supplier tool like Spocket has a system that scrapes data straight from AliExpress. As such, if the AliExpress seller changes his product price, your product price in your dropshipping store will also automatically change.
By far, here is a quick list of some dropship supplier tools I recommend:
I am recommending all these because they have a direct tie-up with AliExpress. What I mean is that most of the products they have come from AliExpress suppliers.
One of the best things about these tools is that they offer certain features. For example, as far as shipping goes, Spocket has a filter that tells you where an item ships from.
So, even if it is difficult to find a US supplier by using the AliExpress website, you can do so from Spocket.
The Selling Process in AliExpress Dropshipping
Once you have set up your store, the next step is to market your goods. There are many ways by which you can do this, and below are some examples.
- Blogging – write blog posts and publish them on your website so you can get free traffic
- Paid Ads – advertise on Facebook, Google, Instagram, Twitter (X), TikTok, etc.
- Affiliate Marketing – create an affiliate marketing program and ask affiliate marketers to sell your product. In exchange, you pay them a commission.
Once a customer places an order, you do not need to contact the AliExpress seller anymore. All you have to do is process the order from Spocket. That is where you will complete your payment. Once done, the supplier gets a notification, and he will ship the item to your customer.
Dropshipping is one of the biggest industries in the world, so much so that there are so many software programs that cater to the needs of dropshippers and suppliers. Read our blog about the best dropshipping software programs to learn more about these.
Dropshipping is not easy, precisely because you have to wear different hats—you need to develop skills in many facets of business like web building, marketing, graphic arts, video creation and editing, social media, and a whole lot more.
Is dropshipping worth it? If you work hard enough and make it work, it certainly is worth it!
If you need to learn more about dropshipping, like how to start dropshipping for free, feel free to browse our blog pages for more information.
Most Common Shipping Methods Available in AliExpress
China, with its one billion population and dominance in the manufacturing industry, has many shipping carriers. A lot of these companies provide their services to AliExpress sellers. In most cases, these shipping and logistics companies have a special arrangement with AliExpress itself.
In this section, I will provide you with the most common shipping methods that AliExpress suppliers use. In addition, I will provide average delivery timelines to the United States only.
In a nutshell, here are the most common shipping methods:
- AliExpress Standard
- AliExpress Premium
Let us take a look at each one.
1. AliExpress Standard
This is the most common shipping method on the platform, and almost all sellers use it. The cost is free, but it can take 20 to 27 days for the package to get to the United States.
The main benefits of using this shipping method are:
- It is free
- You get a dollar coupon if the delivery is late
- Tracking is available
I can say that AliExpress is the current replacement for ePacket. Should you choose this shipping method, make it clear to the buyer that the product will take at least 20 days to arrive.
EMS or Express Mail Service is a global postal company. They provide logistics services to around 200 countries.
Use EMS if you want expedited shipping. On average, the shipping cost is $21. I know that sounds expensive. If I may add, the rate of $21 shipping cost only applies to small parcels.
At that rate, the package will arrive in the United States in 5 to 6 days. Tracking is also available, but you will not get any rebate if they are late.
3. AliExpress Premium
This is the equivalent of EMS but by AliExpress. The cost of shipping a small parcel is about $18, and the shipment will take between 4 and 7 days. Tracking is available, but like EMS, there is no rebate.
DHL is one of the most expensive shipping carriers, as it can match the performance of big logistics companies like FedEx.
If you pay $18 for AliExpress Premium, you’d pay $57 for the same package if you use DHL. The big difference is that DHL takes only 2 days to ship from China to the US. Tracking is also available.
A final word: ePacket is no longer available. It died at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. So, whenever you read any dropshipping post that talks about ePacket, you must consider that information old or stale.
Again, ePacket no longer exists. Despite that, many AliExpress sellers still offer free shipping. It just takes a while, but it is free.
In my opinion, it is best to stick to free shipping. The only expensive shipping option that you can justify is for expensive or premium goods.
What Are the Benefits of Fast Shipping for Your Online Store?
The only benefit of fast shipping is customer satisfaction. People today want their items fast—the internet did this. In a world where machines make everything so easily accessible, a consumer’s expectation naturally trickles to the physical.
Shipping speed and accuracy are two factors that consumers consider when buying. According to a survey from Convey, 84% of the respondents said that they are not likely to buy again if they had a negative shipping experience.
Fast shipping is a requirement for customers. The irony is that they also do not want to pay a lot of money for shipping.
At this point, it seems like AliExpress dropshippers are at a stalemate. Free shipping in AliExpress takes an eternity. Fast shipping, on the other hand, costs an arm and a leg.
The key here is to set customer expectations. Consumers know that expedited shipping is a waste of money, and they are likely to opt for something that takes a while for as long as it is affordable.
As we have discussed earlier, AliExpress suppliers offer fast shipping at a high cost. If you want, you can make this offer to your consumers. However, do not expect them to take this bait.
On the other hand, it would be unwise to offer high-cost shipping, especially to consumers in the United States. If you do this, your site visitor will immediately compare your products with an Amazon seller’s listing.
If so, the customer may find the same item as yours that is already in the US—mostly from Amazon FBA sellers. If this is the case, the customer will certainly buy the Amazon product, not yours.
FAQ: How to Get Faster Shipping on AliExpress
Can you speed up AliExpress shipping?
No, you cannot speed up AliExpress shipping. AliExpress, like other big marketplaces, has a special arrangement with couriers or shipping companies. You are at the mercy of their processes and timelines.
What is the fastest shipping method on AliExpress?
There is no single answer to this. Shipping timelines depend on the destination country and the parcel’s origin. It also has dependencies on the schedule of the shipping company.
Do long shipping times stop customers from buying?
Not really. The best thing about dropshipping is that you can sell goods at ridiculously low prices. As such, the customer can wait a little longer than usual.
Although faster shipping from AliExpress is doable, keep in mind that it is not affordable. It would be better for you and your consumers to use AliExpress Standard, which is usually free. All it takes to convince the consumer to buy the product is to set proper expectations—that he will get the item at a specific timeframe.
Although the wait time is long, consumers will not hesitate to proceed with the purchase if the shipping is free.