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Why use Alibaba Dropshipping instead of AliExpress?

Update on: July 09, 2023

Alibaba is a global B2B e-commerce company that provides a range of services, including consignment services. Alibaba's consignment service can help sellers save time and costs, improve sales efficiency, and enhance customer satisfaction. Therefore, Alibaba's dropshipping service is a highly recommended shipping method.


In this Alibaba dropshipping guide, you will learn about:

  • Advantages and Disadvantages of Alibaba Shipping Agency.
  • The difference between Alibaba and AliExpress.
  • How to start dropship from Alibaba.


How to use Alibaba Dropshipping




Is Alibaba suitable for dropshipping?


You can start dropshipping on behalf of Alibaba! However, finding and collaborating with Alibaba's dropshipping suppliers is more difficult than AliExpress. This is because most suppliers on Alibaba are established to sell a large number of goods to wholesalers or retailers, and many suppliers do not have the ability or interest to sell or ship individual products to foreign consumers.


In other words, you can find unique products and suppliers that are not listed on AliExpress on Alibaba. Therefore, Alibaba is very suitable for dropshipping, allowing you to stand out in the competition.




The benefits of Alibaba dropshipping


Alibaba's dropshipping service will make your business development easier.

The advantages of Alibaba's consignment service lie in:

  • Huge product catalog
  • A large selection of best-selling products from high-quality suppliers, manufacturers, and factories
  • Competitive prices
  • Enjoy no minimum purchase requirements
  • Gold medal supplier or certified supplier
  • It can help sellers quickly ship, improve shipping efficiency, and enhance customer satisfaction.
  • It can help sellers save time and costs, and reduce their shipping workload.
  • Having a comprehensive logistics system can ensure the safe and reliable delivery of goods to buyers.
  • They collaborate with most major dropshipping platforms, making it easy for you to find products on Alibaba and automatically add them to your online store.



What are the disadvantages of Alibaba dropshipping?


Finding Alibaba's direct sales suppliers also has some drawbacks.


Intense competition

Your Chinese supplier may sell the same products to many forwarders. As a result, your competition is very fierce.


Unstable supply of goods

The Chinese supplier you have chosen may be an intermediary, and frequent agreement changes can lead to stockouts.


Inventory backlog of goods

Your Chinese supplier may provide you with products that are overstocked, that is, products that have not been sold for a long time.


Infringement issues

Suppliers may be less affected by manufacturing infringing products, and may even be unaware of the principles behind product infringement. However, these products will undoubtedly have a significant impact on your business, even leading to bankruptcy. So pay special attention when choosing products.


Long transportation time

The distance from China to the United States or Europe is very long, so transportation time may be a problem for many transport ships. In addition, some uncontrollable factors may also occur; For example, natural disasters and customs inspections may occur. These factors may lead to delayed delivery.


Communication issues

Although Chinese products typically have a certain price advantage, there are also potential costs: communication costs.



The difference between Alibaba and AliExpress


difference between Alibaba and AliExpress



  • In these two online markets, buyers can find thousands of different categories and millions of products at affordable prices. You can also find many identical suppliers on these two websites.
  • Alibaba and AliExpress both have a large number of cheap products. Compared with AliExpress, Alibaba offers a lower unit price, which is generally considered one of the main benefits of bulk purchases(Start Purchasing).
  • One of the advantages of AliExpress is that the purchase is not limited by the minimum order requirements. In Alibaba's new dropshipping market, you can also enjoy a minimum order quantity for dropshipping, even as low as one item.



  • Unlike AliExpress, Alibaba provides a wider range of customization functions for consignment sellers.
  • AliExpress's main market is abroad, supporting 16 languages including English, French, Spanish, Russian, Portuguese, German, Italian, etc.
  • Alibaba mainly targets the Chinese market, with lower product prices than AliExpress.



How to find a forwarding supplier on Alibaba


If you know what you're looking for, it's easy to find a dropshipping agent on Alibaba's website.


The main point to note here is that you should use the Alibaba dropshipping Center to find hundreds of reliable dropshipping suppliers, rather than the Alibaba Central Platform.


To start dropshipping on Alibaba, please first create a free dropshipping account on Alibaba. Then connect your account to your online store. You can perform this operation in the "My Store" section of the Alibaba dropshipping Center.


Next, it's time to search for a dropshipping supplier on Alibaba.


To search for suppliers and products on Alibaba, please use the 'Search for Products' page. The products listed here do not have a minimum order quantity and are all listed by verified dropshipping suppliers.


You can use the search tab or click on Featured Product Selection and Supplier Store to find consignment products.



7 Tips for Finding the Best Consignment Supplier on Alibaba


1.  Analyze supplier statistics

2.  Contact the supplier for more information

3.  Choose suppliers who provide appropriate protection

4.  Check the transportation options of the supplier

5.  Comparing prices from different suppliers

6.  Check if the supplier provides unique services

7.  Ordering product samples



How to evaluate your Alibaba direct distributor supplier


Once you indicate to the dropshipping supplier that you are a serious buyer, you also need to conduct your own due diligence.


Here are some questions you can ask Alibaba's dropshipping suppliers:


Do I need to pay for delivery? - Usually, the dropshipping supplier charges a fee for each completed order.

How long does it take to ship after placing an order? - Customer service is the main focus of dropshipping.

Can you write my company name and logo on the packaging? - It is important to indicate your brand name on the packaging.

Product infringement issue - is the product infringing? Do you have a patent for this product?

Product Certificate - Does the product have a certificate?

Out of stock - how do you ensure the inventory of this product? How long can you inform us in advance if there is a shortage?



How to Dropship with Alibaba - (step by step)


Step 1. Start searching for Alibaba's dropshipping supplier


Firstly, log in to Alibaba and search for the products you want to sell, as well as find suitable suppliers.

It is a good idea to screen suppliers through trade guarantees - even if you do not use the service. Preparing for shipment and fast drop shipping are also good choices, as suppliers who meet these standards are more likely to ship products directly.


Step 2. Check minimum order quantity and price


Once you have identified a potential Alibaba consignment list, please review the product page and minimum order quantity (also known as minimum order quantity).


Step 3. Develop a list of potential Alibaba dropshipping suppliers


Most of the suppliers you contact are unable to work for some reason. For example, they may:

  • Unable to meet your verification requirements
  • No inventory or unable to undertake more work
  • Provide unacceptable payment terms


Therefore, it is best to prepare a list of potential suppliers and then contact them all at once.

At this stage, the suitable supplier for you will:

  • Sell the product you want
  • Minimum order quantity 1
  • Reasonable price list
  • Conduct verification and provide trade guarantees
  • Having good opinions/communication
  • Acceptable transportation time and price


Step 4. Contact the supplier and consult Dropshipping


Therefore, you need to contact these suppliers to see if they are willing to deliver the products to your customers.

The easiest way to contact Alibaba suppliers is to use the platform's instant messaging service. However, some providers may prefer your phone, email, or WeChat.


The following is a template that you can use to query Alibaba's contact information for dropshipping agents:



My name is xxx and I work for the xxx company.

We are looking for reliable partners to ship product ABC from Alibaba. Our client is in the United States.

Please answer some questions:

  • What is your minimum order quantity (MOQ)—— Product link or image
  • What is the cost per unit?
  • How long does it take for the order to arrive in the UK?
  • What are the payment terms?
  • Can it be a Private label?

I would also like to order samples. Can you tell me the cost of sending the samples to the following address?

My address is xxx xxx.

Thank you.



Step 5. Agreed payment method


It is necessary to understand the most common payment methods on Alibaba so that you can try to find suppliers who are willing to use your payment method.


Step 6. Finalize suppliers, order samples, and then select suppliers


Now is the time to choose the best supplier you want to collaborate with.

When selecting suppliers, it is important to consider the following factors:

  • Unit cost
  • Payment terms
  • How is the communication situation among various suppliers
  • Suppliers must fulfill orders in a timely manner


After selecting the supplier list, you can place a sample order. If you have two or more suitable suppliers, please look for more opportunities to utilize them.


Step 7. Alibaba Delivery Fulfillment


Alibaba has recently launched a consignment service. You can directly view it by visiting There is a wholesale price, but there is no minimum order quantity limit.


They have established contacts with some Dropshipping service providers (such as Modcatalyst, Synchee, etc.) to help import products into your store and automatically fulfill orders.


Some sellers do not use any extensions from Alibaba for dropshipping. They send orders to suppliers through Shopify's CSV files.



How to Dropship directly from Alibaba's high Minimum order quantity supplier?


When you use any Alibaba supplier for your consignment, you should ensure that your supplier first provides convenience for the consignment.


→ Perhaps you have seen products with reasonable prices, but you are unable to place a minimum order quantity.

→ Perhaps you are unable to meet the minimum order quantity due to your financial constraints,

→ Or perhaps you just don't have much confidence in being able to sell such a large number of products.


You may now want to know how to contact suppliers for initial minimum order quantity procurement.

Don't worry, many suppliers agree to a smaller minimum order quantity on their first order in order to secure future business. Suppliers typically view this additional work with minimal effectiveness as a long-term investment.

Therefore, please inquire around and send counter suggestions regarding the minimum order quantity to multiple suppliers; You will be surprised by their flexibility.



When using Alibaba's dropshipping service, sellers need to pay attention to the following points:


1. Sellers need to ensure the accuracy of dropshipping information to avoid affecting the accurate delivery of goods;

2. The seller needs to ensure the safety of the goods to avoid damage during transportation;

3. The seller needs to ensure the integrity of the goods to prevent them from being lost during transportation;

4. Sellers need to ensure timely delivery of goods to avoid affecting customer satisfaction.



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