Have you ever happened to buy something and figure out later that the store right next to your house offers the same product for a better price?
In stores you usually buy goods from a retailer that buys them from a wholesaler a bit cheaper, so situations like this are quite common. Same goes for ecommerce. Furthermore, some of those web stores you’ve seen are actually AliExpress dropshipping sites. They buy goods on AliExpress, a popular Asian platform, and then sell them to their own customers for a higher price.
Seems pretty standard? Except they use the dropshipping business model.
What does a typical online store need? A supplier, storage space, website and delivery method. But if you remove storage and delivery, you’ll end up with only a supplier and a website. That’s dropshipping.
In a standard business model, you first purchase goods from a supplier, then store them in a warehouse. When somebody buys something, you send the product by mail. In dropshipping it’s the other way round.
When somebody places an order, you purchase the necessary product from your supplier, and the supplier sends the product directly to the client. What’s the catch? The catch is a supplier doesn’t really care whether to send goods to a retailer or directly to customers. A dropshipping store works as a promotion channel, and everyone is happy.
The retailer gets benefits too:
That’s why you can find quite a lot of AliExpress dropshipping sites on the web.
In dropshipping business, you can actually partner with any manufacturer or wholesaler. But AliExpress has substantial advantages:
Dropshipping websites look pretty much like typical online stores with product categories, product pages, etc. There are three ways to become an owner of a dropshipping website.
Dropshipping store owners sometimes sell their websites. Sometimes because they get bored with their current niche and decide to switch it to something new. Some of them make their living by creating and selling stores.
This method is mostly a lottery. With little or no experience, it’s really hard to tell if the offered shop will become profitable or not, unless you are offered a fully functional business with all the necessary proves. But even in this case, it’s unlikely you’ll find something you really want.
Most dropshippers recommend choosing a niche that you are passionate about. Don’t expect someone else to feel and think exactly as you.
Ordering a custom made store is a different story. There are companies who will create a website according to your instructions, and some of them specialize in making dropshipping stores.
For example, AliDropship sells plugins and addons for AliExpress dropshipping sites. They also offer ready-made custom stores.
Here you can expect high quality product with professional design. However, in this case, you receive a store which is ready to go, but is not launched yet. It means you get a great start for your business, but not a ready-made business with a wide client base and reputation.
Lastly, if your budget is not enough to buy a store or if you don’t want to entrust the design to a third party, you can make one yourself.
Most beginners and even large companies make websites on WordPress, since it’s a simple content management system with intuitive interface. Besides, you can install lots of plugins on WP including those designed for creating AliExpress dropshipping sites.
When the store is ready, you need to upload goods from AliExpress and start promoting them with social media, Google Ads, PPC and other tools.