How do I deal with long shipping times when dropshipping with AliExpress? This is one of the most asked questions regarding dropshipping with AliExpress. I'll explain it shortly below, and then I'll give you five ways to deal with these long shipping times!
The best way to deal with long shipping times when dropshipping with AliExpress is to always use the fastest shipping method and to see if you can find a supplier with the lowest processing time. Don't forget to be honest about your estimated delivery date to your customers.
There's, of course, more to that. For example, what about using ePacket as your shipping method in 2023?
If you're curious, then let's dive in:
What are the typical AliExpress shipping times?
The typical shipping times at AliExpress differ a lot. It could be anything between 12-60 days. It all depending on which country you're shipping to and which shipping method you choose.
It could sometimes be much longer than 60 days (like when the package gets lost), but at 60 days, sometimes even less with some suppliers, you can open a dispute at AliExpress.
That said, it could even be faster than 12 days, but that depends on your shipping method. (More about that below)
One example is that AliExpress Standard Shipping takes on average 19 days to ship from China to the US:
I think you already know now what the first way to deal with these long shipping times is going to be!
But first, if you're not sure yet which countries you're going to target, then take a look at this article here. That article also includes a few countries that are better to be avoided.
5 ways to deal with long shipping times when dropshipping with AliExpress
Are you ready to find out how to deal with these long shipping times on AliExpress?
Follow me below for 5 amazing ways to deal with this right now. I'll start by covering your shipping method:
1. Choose the right shipping method
As you know, choosing the right shipping method is crucial for your business.
But first, just to refresh your mind, here's what it looks like when you're working with a dropshipping supplier:
The goal here is the have the products shipped as fast as possible to your customers.
At first, the way to go for dropshipping was ePacket, but this has changed a lot with everything that has happened since Covid-19.
So, can you still use ePacket or not? Unfortunately, not anymore!
Of course, this could change again in the near future, but for now, it's best to focus on a different shipping method.
I'll go over a few shipping methods below that you can use instead of ePacket, but if you're interested in learning more about the current state of ePacket, then don't forget to check out our complete guide here.
What to use instead of ePacket for dropshipping?
So, if you're wondering now what to use instead of ePacket, then this is for you:
- AliExpress Standard Shipping
- Yun Express
- SF International
- China Post (A less preferred choice for dropshippers)
And the last option is to take a look at a dropshipping agent to see if that might be something for your dropshipping business.
Most of them have a local or regional knowledge of the fastest shipping lanes to use for the best price. If you are selling in large quantities, then it’s likely that they will save you more than they will cost.
If you're interested, then you can learn here what a dropshipping agent is and what they can do for you. Here's a tiny spoiler:
2. Look at the processing time of the AliExpress supplier
The second way to deal with long shipping times is to look at the processing time of the AliExpress suppliers, which is the time it takes before your supplier sends the order to your customer.
This is different for each supplier. Most of the time it's anywhere between 1-5 days, but sometimes it gets as high as 7 days.
The lower the processing time the better, because the processing time will be added on the delivery time! Having a longer processing time means a longer delivery time for your customers.
For example, the shipping time takes 12-20 days, and the processing time is three days. You're now looking at a 15-23 day estimated shipping time.
Tip: Ask your AliExpress seller before working with them what their average processing time is once you have placed an order.
3. Don't make your shipping times a mystery
You have two choices here.
One is that you're open with your customers regarding how long the shipping might take.
While the other one is to not disclose at all.
The biggest reason for people to hide their long shipping times is that they think it might decrease their sales, but it does not influence it as much as you might think.
One of the biggest reasons people will still buy from you is if the product is worth the wait.
Let me explain.
Would you wait for 2-4 weeks for a sandwich maker that you can also buy in the store next door?
I don't think so…
But what if it's a special sandwich maker that you've never seen before, and it is also in your favorite color? Would you care if it says you might need to wait 2-4 weeks before it's in your house?
If you decided to be open with your shipping times, then it's time to write them somewhere, but where?
If you want to learn more reasons why customers purchase a product, then I suggest reading What Is a Winning Dropshipping Product? (+ Examples) written by me!
Where to write your shipping times?
I suggest putting your estimated shipping times in multiple places.
Here are some examples where you can put it:
- On your FAQ page. You could answer a question like, “When will I get my order?”
- Shipping Policy. You could add a Shipping Policy to your store (like your Return Policy). You could have all the information about your shipping times in there. See, for example, the shipping page from Death Wish Coffee here:
- On your Product Descriptions. You could add it yourself to your product descriptions (saying how many days or weeks the shipping might take). Or you could use an app like this one to show an estimated delivery date:
4. Customer Service
One of the biggest ways to deal with long shipping times is to have good customer service.
Customer service is one of the biggest things that could make or break the future of your
You will have less chance of customers asking where their order is if you're open with your shipping times, but it could still happen.
Keep in mind when you're replying to a customer that is asking questions regarding where their order is to always reply politely and to include tracking information for their order in the email.
If you want to learn more about how to best respond to customers asking where their package is, then I suggest reading this.
How do you keep your customers updated about their delivery?
A great way to deal with long shipping times, and to get fewer customers asking where their order is, is to update your customers when the shipping status of their order changes.
Here are some examples of Shopify apps that can help you with this:
I personally like AfterShip the most. They will keep your customers engaged while their order is on the way. For example, this is what it will look like without using AfterShip:
And here you can see how much that changes once you integrate AfterShip on your dropshipping store:
Do you see how many more updates your customers get after using AfterShip?
5. Dropship from the country that you are selling in
The last way to deal with long shipping times from AliExpress is to only choose dropshipping suppliers that ship from the country that you're selling the products in.
This means that the shipping time will be drastically shortened because it's coming from the same country, instead of coming all the way from China.
So yes, you can do dropshipping with suppliers outside China!
If you still want to use AliExpress for this, you could sort the search results with the country you want it to ship from.
The other option is to go look at other platforms that offer dropshipping suppliers in a specific country.
Using AliExpress to ship from the country that you are selling in
If you want to use AliExpress but still want to find a supplier that is shipping from the country that you're selling in, then you have the option to sort by “shipping from countries”.
As you can see on the image below, you just need to press on “Ship from”:
For example, I found a product that could be shipped from the United States:
As you can see, the estimated delivery time is much lower now than the delivery time we talked about above when shipping from China!
Some things you need to keep in mind when doing this on AliExpress:
- It might be harder to find a good supplier. There are fewer suppliers that offer to ship from other countries than there are suppliers that offer to ship from China.
- The price might be higher than from a supplier that only ships from China. See for example the screenshot above, the shipping price from USPS is much higher.
You can learn more about this in this article here.
That article will cover a few great things like double-checking that your AliExpress supplier is really shipping from that country (like the US), because there are some that fake it as well, and then still ship from China.
Finding local dropshipping suppliers in the country that you are selling in
If you want
On this blog, we have collected a ton of amazing dropshipping suppliers that are located or shipping from different countries.
This way, you can find a supplier that fits with you and your dropshipping store:
- Best suppliers in Canada
- Best suppliers in the United States
- Best suppliers in Europe
- Best suppliers in the United Kingdom
- Best suppliers in Australia
- Best suppliers in New Zealand
Plus, if you're interested in a free dropshipping supplier, then check out this list here.
If you didn't find a dropshipping supplier that fits with you yet, then don't forget to check out this category page here, which contains all our articles around suppliers!
So there you have it, 5 ways to deal with long shipping times when
Implement these changes in your dropshipping store, and I'm sure your customers will be less likely to ask where their order is.
If you're interested in seeing a few more tips on how to get faster shipping times when using AliExpress as your supplier, then don't forget to check out this article here as well.
Also, don't forget that a successful dropshipping store is not built in a few days! If you treat it as a real business, you will then have the biggest chance to be successful one day.
If you have any other ways of dealing with long shipping times, or if you have any questions regarding dropshipping, then don't forget to contact me directly by pressing the “Contact Us” button at the top or to post them in the comments below!
Good luck with everything!