AliExpress is an excellent platform for dropshippers. It offers a vast product catalog, an easy user interface, low prices, and many options to connect the platform to a dropshipping store.
You may have heard about people using an AliExpress agent. But should you use one as well?
AliExpress agents can, in some cases, provide you with great services that will allow you to scale your dropshipping business. Therefore, you could consider using them. However, dropshipping agents outside of AliExpress may offer you even more benefits.
Today, we will explain the concept of an AliExpress agent and give you our opinion on whether or not you should start using one. If you are looking for information regarding AliExpress agents, you will find your answers in this article!
What is an AliExpress agent?
Let’s start with the basics, what exactly is an AliExpress agent?
AliExpress agents belong to a separate category of dropshipping agents. Like regular agents, they can source, store, pack, and ship products for your dropshipping store. However, AliExpress agents only source products from AliExpress, while regular dropshipping agents source from other suppliers too.
An AliExpress agent or dropshipping agent is an alternative to directly using a dropshipping supplier.
The difference here is that an AliExpress agent is a middleman and can offer you more services than a supplier.
We will talk about those services in more detail in a moment, but let’s go over why an AliExpress agent is a middleman first.
An AliExpress agent is a middleman because they are the link between you and the supplier.
Here is a short overview of how working with an AliExpress agent works:
- Contact. The first step is to contact an AliExpress agent and tell him what product you are looking for.
- Sourcing. Next, your AliExpress agent will try to find the best AliExpress supplier for the product you are searching and tries to negiotiate the best prices.
- Storing, packing, shipping. Lastly, the supplier sends the products to your agent, who will store them in the warehouse and ship them once you get new orders.
Working with an AliExpress agent is different from working directly with an AliExpress supplier since the products will be shipped to your agent’s warehouse first.
An AliExpress agent can be self-employed or work for a fulfillment warehouse company.
Storing and packaging are included in an agent’s list of services, so an agent must have access to a fulfillment warehouse.
At first, many agents will ask you to buy your own stock of products to store in their warehouse, but after building a relationship with them, most agents will take over the whole inventory management task.
In that case, they will be able to ship the products out within one or two days of you sending the agent your list of orders.
Let’s now take a look at some of the extra services an AliExpress dropshipping agent can provide to your business!
Which services does an AliExpress dropshipping agent provide?
An AliExpress agent can provide you with more services compared to a typical dropshipping supplier.
Here is a list of everyday tasks of an AliExpress agent or dropshipping agent:
- Sourcing. An AliExpress agent will try to find the best supplier for the product you are looking for.
- Negotiation. Once a supplier is found, the agent will try to negotiate a lower price from the supplier.
- Warehouse stocking. A dropshipping agent will stock your products in their own warehouse.
- Quality control. Before sending out the order, a dropshipping agent will check if the package is complete and if the product isn’t defective.
- Packing. An AliExpress or dropshipping agent will pack all products from one order into a single package. The benefit of this is that your customers won’t receive multiple packages.
- Branding. An agent can help with the branding, private labeling, and white labeling of your products and packages.
- Shipping. For every order, an agent will check the best shipping method for your customer’s country. Also, he will try to help you if you experience problems like shipping delays.
- Updates. A good dropshipping agent will update you on the latest product and shipping trends.
Quite a long list, isn’t it? Now, let’s think about the benefits that these services can offer your dropshipping business!
What are the benefits of using an AliExpress agent?
Benefits of using an AliExpress agent include faster shipping times, more consistent pricing, insights on the latest industry trends, 1-on-1 contact, and the opportunity to improve your product’s packaging.
Let’s go over those benefits in a bit more detail!
One of the most significant benefits of using an AliExpress agent is that you will be able to improve your delivery times.
An experienced AliExpress agent will know which shipping method they should use for each country they ship to. In most cases, they will even use shipping methods that aren’t usually available on AliExpress. For example, your agent might send packages to Germany using 4PX and to Austria using YunExpress.
One of the common irritations of AliExpress dropshippers is that suppliers can change their product prices from one day to another. If a supplier increases their prices, it might mess up your pricing strategy, and you might lose your profits!
A benefit of using AliExpress agents is that they usually won’t change prices out of anywhere. If they do change the prices, they will warn you beforehand.
Another benefit is that you will be able to improve your product’s packaging. You can ask your AliExpress agent to include your logo, promotional code, or a thank-you letter to your packages. In other words, it’s a great way to make your dropshipping store unique!
When working with an AliExpress agent, you will have 1-on-1 contact with them, which means asking questions or discussing things will be really easy. This also allows your agent to update you on the latest industry trends!
Also, your agent will warn you of upcoming events such as Chinese New Year so it doesn’t come to you as a surprise.
2 Extra benefits of using a dropshipping agent outside of AliExpress
An AliExpress agent may provide quite some benefits to your business, but what if I told you there could be a better alternative?
A regular dropshipping agent can provide all the benefits of an AliExpress agent while providing two additional ones; better prices and better connections!
Let’s quickly refresh our minds about the difference between an AliExpress agent and a regular dropshipping agent.
An AliExpress agent sources products from AliExpress suppliers, while a regular dropshipping agent might use local manufacturers that don’t even promote their products online!
Let me explain. Many dropshipping agents are based in China. For them, it’s easy to find manufacturers for your desired product as they read and speak Chinese.
By directly contacting Chinese factories, dropshipping agents are able to offer you even better prices compared to AliExpress agents. Another reason for this is that Chinese suppliers and manufacturers who are less internationally-focused usually charge lower prices than suppliers on AliExpress.
Most Chinese manufacturers think that westerners have a lot of money, which is why they drive up the product prices for them.
Because of the better prices and supplier connections of dropshipping agents, you will be able to get a better price to quality ratio compared to a dropshipping supplier or AliExpress agent!
The drawbacks of using an AliExpress agent
If an AliExpress agent were to have only benefits for your business, then you should definitely use one.
Unfortunately, that’s not the case.
The biggest drawback of an AliExpress agent is that a regular dropshipping agent offers more benefits. Furthermore, an AliExpress agent may require a minimum amount of orders per day, won’t usually provide automated order fulfillment, and require more trust from both parties.
Again, I will explain the drawbacks in more detail below:
- Some agents require you to have a minimum amount of orders per day. An AliExpress agent invests time for each dropshipper. Of course, they want to earn money for their services, which they do by adding a small premium on the supplier’s prices. Some agents set minimum order amounts to avoid working with low-volume dropshippers.
- No automated order fulfillment. Some dropshipping suppliers offer a feature where fulfilling orders is really simple. It’s either fully automated or can be done with one click! When working with AliExpress agents, you will most likely have to send them a .csv file of your orders every day.
- Trustworthiness. Unlike suppliers, most AliExpress agents don’t have a website for their business. For suppliers, you can easily find reviews of other dropshippers, but for agents, you often can’t. This is why you will have to trust an AliExpress agent before partnering with one.
After reading this article, you will probably know a lot more about AliExpress agents and dropshipping agents.
However, there is one thing that remains unanswered.
Should you do dropshipping with an AliExpress agent?
After looking at the benefits, we have seen that AliExpress agents can offer you faster shipping times, more consistent pricing, insights on the latest industry trends, 1-on-1 contact, and the opportunity to improve your product’s packaging.
However, there is a better alternative in our opinion, regular dropshipping agents. These will be able to offer you even better prices and connections, which means that the price to quality ratio will be much better!
To conclude, if you are looking to use an agent for your dropshipping business, we recommend going with a dropshipping agent instead of an AliExpress agent.
But to make use of all those benefits, you will need to find a dropshipping agent first.
If you are looking to find one, you will find five tips for finding quality dropshipping agents in this article! Plus, check out the 11 best dropshipping agents here.
But how do you know which agent will be the best for your business?
A good agent can completely change your business from a hobby to a full-time pursuit. So, it’s worth taking your time to do some research.
To help you in this process, we have also put together this list of important things to consider before picking a dropshipping agent.
And hopefully, that will cover every bit of information you need to know about dropshipping agents, haha!
But if you have any further questions, you can just ask them in the comments below!
Getting Started with Dropshipping in 2021
So, are you ready to get started with dropshipping? Or maybe you have already started, but you’re looking to get some inspiration?
If so, then I suggest reading this complete Shopify dropshipping guide.
It’s a huge article, but it contains everything that you need to know to create your own Shopify dropshipping store in 2021. It’s like a dropshipping course, but then for free!
Reading this article will surely help you to get started and to stay motivated while beginning and continuing your dropshipping journey.
Just don’t forget that success takes time. Keep improving each and every day!
And here are the articles I suggest you read next:
- Unique Dropshipping Store: 11 Amazing Tips to Create One
- Dropshipping Startup Checklist: 10 Things to Do Before Starting
- How to Find Winning Dropshipping Products? (Product Research Methods)