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How To Dropship On eBay From Ali Express – The Complete Guide

49 min read

Ali Express is a friendly website for dropshipping sellers. So friendly that it even has a section on the website called the Ali Express Drop shipping Center. In this article, I will try to give you an introduction on how to sell Ali Express products on eBay.

The DSM Tool software is a wonderful Ali Express to eBay dropshipping tool, and I will be demonstrating how to start dropshipping with it throughout the guide. This article is aimed at those of you who are looking to start an online business and it covers both the theory and the practical step by step you need to take to get started.

Ali Express to eBay Dropshipping
Follow this step by step guide to get started with drop shipping

Having said that, there is only that much that I can cover in a single article. In the eBay dropshipping for beginners course that I contributed to the online entrepreneurship community Entrepreneurzone, I teach how to start dropshipping from A to Z. Since the course is published on a platform that requires paid access to it, I will still try to cover as much as I can of the subject, at no cost, in this article.

In this article you will learn:

  1. How To Start An Online Business By Dropshipping From Ali Express to eBay
  2. How To Find Products For Dropshipping From Ali Express
  3. How To Choose Your Dropshipping Suppliers On Ali Express
  4. How To Setup Your eBay Account For Ali Express Dropshipping
  5. How To Setup DSM Tool For Ali Express Dropshipping
  6. Start Dropshipping: List Products, Process Orders And Handle Returns

How To Start Dropshipping From Ali Express to eBay Step By Step

If you are looking to start an online business you might have heard the term dropshipping. One of the ways to start a dropshipping business is to dropship from Ali Express to eBay. This method is probably the most popular today among eBay dropshippers.

$72.45 Profit From Dropshipping One Product From Ali Express

The idea of dropshipping is generally simple to understand and it starts with finding products that have a proven sales record on eBay. The sales record on eBay represents the demand side to which you are going to provide the supply of products, from Ali Express.

Let me take you through the journey of a specific product that made its seller $72.45 profit. Later in the section about product sourcing, you will learn how to scout for many products with such sales records.

First step: Locate Trending Products On eBay

This product is sold on eBay and most likely sourced and dropshipped from Ali Express

In the image above you can see a couple of details that indicated it’s a product that is being successfully dropshipped on eBay, most likely from Ali Express. First, the shipping section indicates that the product is located in China and shipped using an Economy shipping method from China/Hong Kong/Taiwan.

Then, this eBay seller only has 632 feedbacks (he should probably consider automating the eBay feedback generation) and only 2 items available in stock. These are strong indications that it is a dropshipping beginner, many beginners indeed are dropshipping from Ali Express to eBay.

Last, the product was sold already 35 times making it a product with a proven sales record. As you can see from the picture, the number 35 is clickable and if I click on it I can view the recent transactions and their dates. This product was sold 21 times between June 1st and July 27, the day I was scouting it, which is once every 3 days on average. This is a strong indication of a product with good demand for eBay dropshipping.

The sales history for this product, it was sold 21 out of 35 times in less than 2 months.

Second Step: Locate A Dropshipping Supplier In Ali Express

If I could find this product on Ali Express for a cheaper price, or a product that is very similar to it, I could then offer if for sale on eBay for the same or lower price and dropship it myself. I could also try to locate a product that does not necessarily result in a cheaper price but that offers a faster shipping method and try to compete with that seller on eBay by offering faster shipping.

Well, this is where Ali Express to eBay dropshipping is so awesome, I found a product that offers both a cheaper price and faster shipping.

The product cost + ePacket delivery (10-14 days) is in total $8.74 which is $4.27 cheaper than the product on eBay

Let’s say I decide to offer this product in my eBay store for the same price of $12.99 with faster shipping than the store I want to compete with. There are more parameters that will define whether I rank on the first page of the eBay search results but generally speaking I have a chance to catch some of the trending eBay sales of this product.

Last Step: Pay eBay and PayPal Their Fees

Once you sell anything on eBay you are then entitled to pay a selling fee to eBay, a transaction fee to PayPal, and sometimes tax on the purchase. No tax on purchase is being collected when purchasing in Ali Express. This article is released in July 2020 while eBay is moving away from PayPal and releases a new payment method called “managed payments”. It will probably get updated with the new payment method requirements when this rolls out completely.

As dropshipping sellers, you don’t need to worry too much about those fees. The reason is that when you find products for dropshipping you include the fee in your calculations. Moreover, when adding products to your store using the DSM Tool rapid lister feature the fees are being calculated automatically as part of the final selling price, this is also known in eBay dropshipping as “break-even“.

The product information is being imported to the DSM Tool lister with 1 click of a button and the final price is being calculated automatically. As you can see, I can offer a cheaper price, ship the product faster and still make $1.73 profit per sale

Is Dropshipping From Aliexpress to eBay Allowed?

According to eBay’s dropshipping policy, it is not allowed. But if you look deeper into the meaning of the policy, you will find out that what eBay cares about the most is that you will run a legitimate business.

In the eBay drop shipping industry you will find some illegal activities, like creating a network of dozens of fake-identity “stealth” eBay accounts as a way to run the business. I suggest not to engage in such activities and to do your best to comply with legitimate ways to run an eBay business instead.

eBay Dropshipping vs. Shopify Dropshipping, From Ali Express

Unlike eBay, Shopify offers the option to get an unlimited amount of buyers to your store meaning that you could potentially sell a single product for millions of dollars. The problem is that just like any other business – the higher the potential profit gets, the risk rises as well.

To sell using Shopify you need to pay for advertisements, selling on eBay requires no upfront investment in advertising, you are getting the traffic of buyers “for free” using the eBay search engine mechanism.

Why Shopify Dropshipping Is More Famous Than eBay Dropshipping

Most of the content online about dropshipping from Ali Express is about building a Shopify store and driving ads traffic to it. The reason it is more popular than eBay dropshipping is that potentially Shopify is more profitable, and a picture of a fancy Lamborgini sells better.

I think that for most people who look to start an online business the opportunity to start a low-risk business and slowly master digital marketing skills is far better.

shopify dropshipping youtube search
The first results of “Shopify Lambotghini” on Youtube are videos that generated over 2.5 million views.

The second reason is the eBay dropshipping policy, which puts Ali Express dropshipping out of what is technically allowed to do on eBay. But because eBay dropshipping is far more beginner-friendly than Shopify, if you don’t have money to invest and don’t have the complex digital marketing skills it takes to build a website and advertise it then it’s probably a better option for you. Get started with eBay dropshipping and then build your skillset and your online business step-by-step.

How To Start Dropshipping from Ali Express

To get started with Ali Express drop shipping, you have to first learn how to find what to sell. Then, in order to actually start selling, there are a couple of things you have to set-up:

  • eBay seller account
  • Ali Express account with connected to Ali Pay
  • Dropshipping software for store management like DSM Tool
  • Suggested: eBay market research software

As part of the find-what-to-sell process, you learn how to choose the right suppliers to source products from. When you manage to finally make a sale, there is an ordering process you have to get familiar with as well.

Let’s get started step by step with how to find products to dropship from Ali Express.

How To Find Products For Dropshipping From Ali Express

The best products for dropshipping from Ali Express are the ones that fall into the supply and demand equation. On the demand side, they show a clear sales record on eBay by themselves or they belong to a trending niche of products.

On the supply side, we’ll look for a supplier on Ali Express that sells the same or similar product for a cheaper price than what it is sold for on eBay and make sure it’s a reliable supplier. High demand + cheap reliable supplier = good dropshipping opportunity.

An example of a great opportunity of a product to dropship from Aliexpress to eBay

Generally speaking, there are two techniques that are dominant in the dropshipping industry when it comes to finding products to sell: sniping other sellers, and following market trends. Let’s explore both.

The Sniping Method

Sniping other dropshipping sellers starts by locating a seller that we suspect is a dropshipper. Then, when we find such a seller, we analyze their store to find their best-selling products. With their best selling products in hand, we look for that exact or similar product on Ali Express for a cheaper price from a reliable supplier.

The reason sniping works is based on the idea that eBay spreads the traffic of the search results between its sellers. Let’s say there are 100 sales of some products and 5 sellers who compete on selling it, then first, the seller with the best performance will win 80 of the sales.

But that leaves another 20 sales to be spread between the other 4 sellers. Will you be the one that gets the 80 sales, 10 sales, 2 sales or none? Depends on many parameters, some of which I cover in this article (consider taking the course to learn more about it).

When I snipe products for dropshipping I use Zik Analytics, it’s software for eBay analytics and market research. But since it’s a paid software, let me teach you step-by-step how to snipe products manually. I suggest you try it yourself right now together with me to see that the magic of how it actually works.

If you are interested in trying Zik Analytics use this link to get a 7 days free trial.

Step 1: locating other drop shipping sellers

Go to Ali Express, enter one of the categories randomly

I selected the home & garden->pet products->toys category, but you can choose whatever category you want

Sort the products in the search results by “orders”, it will show you then the most sold products in declining order. Most sold products are often a target for many drop shipping sellers, making it easy for you to find suspects to snipe.

Click on the orders button at the top left corner of the search results

Pick one of the products in the search results, copy the first 10 words of its title and paste it in the search box on eBay. Filter the results by the price of the product + shipping + 30%, if the results you get are of products that are located in the USA filter the results further by item location Asia.

I filtered by minimum price of 24 ILS (my local currency which is $6.7). $1.54 the cost of the product plus $3.92 fast shipping using ePacket plus 30% to cover fees and some profit margin.

Look at the eBay sellers in my search results. They sell the exact same product for the exact price range of cost + shipping + fees + profit and they have less than 500 feedback. These are wonderful sellers to analyze their stores, and just to make sure by 100% we want to follow them, I validate they aren’t Chinese sellers.

Chinese sellers are sometimes hard to compete with, but sellers from the USA or other western countries that sells these products at that price range are typically dropshippers.

I clicked on one of the products and then on the seller’s name to open their store. This seller is located in Israel, one of the leading countries in the dropshipping industry.

Step 2: Analyzing the store to locate its best-sellers

To find the products the seller I just found offers for sale, I clicked on the “item for sale” button at the top right corner of his store. Then I used the Chrome Extension eBay Popularity sort that automatically ordered all of the products in the store by its best-sellers in declining order.

The most selling product is located in Israel means sourced locally, that’s a great example of how you can expand your business into selling products from suppliers that manufacturers locally near you as well as dropshipping.

I am going over the products in the store, from top to bottom one by one looking for products with more than 4-5 sales in the past month. I might have to go through 4-5 or even 10 sellers before I will actually find such products.

Go ahead, give it a try – look for such products yourself. It will worth it to feel exactly how it is to run such operation for your own business.

The time it takes to snipe products manually is the reason I recommend Zik Analytics. With it you can locate many sellers fairly quickly, and analyze their stores within a click of a button.

Step 4: Sniping the products and sourcing them from Aliexpress

Using one of the best Aliexpress Chrome Extensions Ali Tools you can click on any image on eBay and search for the product in that image on Ali Express. That’s how I found the supplier for this product below that had a sales record of 70 sales for a cheaper price in Ali Express.

What an incredible AliExpress Chrome Extension for eBay dropshipping

I would actually not source this specific product as a beginner because it doesn’t have enough reviews. Moreover, it doesn’t offer fast ePacket shipping but only the Ali Express standard shipping. I will discuss this matter further in the part about how to choose a reliable supplier on Ali Express.

Only 2 reviews and the standard shipping which is slower than ePacket

How much profit this product makes

The last step that is left to finish the process of sniping this product is to make sure it’s actually profitable to source it from Ali Express. eBay and Paypal are going to participate in the party and take their fees once we sell it, remember?

I use the calculator I’ve built for the eBay dropshipping course to quickly figure out the profit level. Feel free to make a copy of it for yourself by clicking on File -> Make a Copy then bookmark it to your browser for quick access.

The cost of $3.51 plus $2.95 shipping plus $1.70 eBay and Paypal fees resulted in 15.67% profit margin which is $1.52 per sale. The calculator is part of what you get in the course.

It is self-explanatory, all you need to do is fill in the gray cells with the data of the product cost and the selling price of the product you’re sniping. The calculator will then calculate the fees and profits for you automatically. More on how to set the fees is explained in the section about setting up DSM Tool later in this guide.

The Trending Dropshipping Niches Method

The second method to find products to sell when dropshipping is by following the markets and trying to scout trending niches of products. Unlike sniping other sellers, when finding niches with high-demand and low-competition you have a higher chance to find your next best-sellers.

I suggest complete beginners to stick to the sniping method, but if you are interested in learning further how to perform a market research on eBay follow the guide in the video below

In this video I use the trending niche research method and also discuss expanding to other suppliers than just Ali Express – Don’t forget to subscribe

How To Choose Your Dropshipping Suppliers On Ali Express

When choosing a supplier on Aliexpress dropshipping sellers are looking to make sure both that the products are of high-quality and that the supplier that handles the logistics of shipping the products is reliable. There are a couple of parameters to look into before making a decision:

  • The reviews of the product (0-5 stars)
  • The bad reviews of the product (reading them)
  • The shipping methods offered (must include tracking number)
  • The buyer protection and return options
  • The reviews on the supplier
  • The seller positive feedback percentage

Choosing a supplier is a matter of risk management, the more you are willing to trust suppliers without an established record, the more products you will be able to dropship. The downside of it is… well… that these suppliers don’t have an established record.

I am going to recommend you on specific parameters to follow as beginners.

First, Check The Ali Express Product Score And Reviews

Every product on Ali Express has a reviews section, like many other eCommerce websites. The reviews are build of a score on the range of 0 to 5 stars and a written review section that in many cases contains pictures of the product taken by customers.

This product was sold 1539 times, was reviewed 14 times and got 5 starts score in each and every review

The best practice for beginners is to focus on products with a score of 4 stars and above, at least a couple of written reviews and at least 50-100 orders. If you have any suspicion about the quality of the product take a look at the one and two star reviews to find out what did people complain about.

Then, Check For Shipping Methods, Returns And Buyer Protection

Different suppliers on Aliexpress might offer the exact same product for sale, that is because just like eBay, Aliexpress is a marketplace as well. Same as you can try to compete on eBay not only by lowering the price but also by offering faster shipping times or better return options, so can Aliexpress sellers do.

Products that offers shipping via ePacket, free returns and 90 days buyer protection are the holy grail of dropshipping

Dropship Only Products That Offer Tracking Number

The best practice for beginners is to stick to the shipping method ePacket because it’s the fastest and most reliable shipping method for the lower price range of the shipping methods.

To view the available shipping methods for a product click on the shipping method section in the product page

But ePacket is not the only shipping method that provides a relatively fast and reliable shipment. Other services like UPS Expedited, e-EMS, and YW Fast Line can offer a relatively fast and reliable shipping time. Ali Express standard shipping is also relatively reliable, but it tends to offer slower shipping times.

One thing you should remember is to avoid shipping methods that don’t offer a tracking number. When you don’t upload a valid tracking number to eBay it counts as a strike and your seller level gets harmed. The lower the seller level it, the less organic traffic you get from the eBay search engine.

Free Returns And Buyer Protection

Some sellers on Ali Express works with local return services in the country of destination and are able to offer free local returns. But I can’t say that the best practice for beginners is to only work with products that offers free returns, there are simply not enough of those.

What I could definitely recommend is to only work with sellers that offers buyer protection. The buyer protection program on Ali Express offers a money-back guarantee in case the product didn’t arrive, arrived damaged, or not as described.

Last, Review The Supplier’s Store

Ali Express offers an overview of the seller performance that includes the positive feedback rate and the communication, shipping speed, and “item as described” rate they got from previous buyers.

To view the Ali Express supplier overview locate your courser on the seller’s name

The best practice for beginners is to avoid any seller with less than 95% positive feedback rate. If you have the Chrome Extension Ali Tools installed you can also check their accumulated supplier score, it appears automatically at the bottom left corner of the screen.

The seller overview according Ali Tool’s score

I hope that you have got now the tools to find products to sell, including the ability to decide which suppliers to use. The next steps are to make sure both your eBay store and your dropshipping software are set up in an optimal way. Then, start dropshipping by adding products to your store and processing orders.

How To Setup Your eBay Account For Ali Express Dropshipping

If you don’t yet have an eBay seller account and a payment processing account like PayPal or eBay managed payments follow this guide to set them up. Follow these configuration steps before you add products to your store.

In this article, I am going to cover the basics behind the most important settings that you have to set up on eBay to dropship from Ali Express, the business policies.

While busienss policies are the most important ones to setup if you want to properly dropship from Ali Express to eBay, you should also optimize your store for by setting up the most recommended settings for dropshipping on eBay.

How Much Time Does It Take To Start Dropshipping On eBay

Take into account that it can take 2-4 hours to complete all of the setup steps before you can add products to your store. And that it not including finding what to sell and optimizing the listings for SEO before you add them to your store.

All in all, the answer is that as a complete beginner within less than 24 hours you can have your eBay dropshiping business up and running. Some people even make their first sale within a few hours from getting started.

So yes, it requires you to dedicate time for it and put it in your schedule, but it’s not so bad to have a business up and running so fast, right?

The Most Important Settings For Dropshipping: Business Policies

The eBay business policies feature is used to create a commitment between you and your buyers. When you set up the shipping, return and payment policies eBay starts measuring you according to them.

Business policies allow you to scale into different suppliers than just Ali Express. You can set up different policies to different dropshipping suppliers and assign them automatically to the products you add to your store with DSM Tool.

We will get there, but first let’s set up the business policies for working with Ali Express.

Opt-in to Enable The eBay Business Policies Feature

Many features on eBay aren’t available for you as a seller right from the beginning. Instead, you have to opt in to enable them and only then you can use them

Click here to opt-in and enable the eBay business policies feature

Once it is enabled, you can enter the business policies through the account settings under the “Selling” section

Set Up Payment Policies

The payment policy when dropshipping on eBay defines what payment methods you are willing to accept from buyers. As eBay rolls out its new payment system called the eBay managed payments I expect changes to how the payment policies look like. Until then, I suggest you set up the following parameters

The same payment policy is used for every supplier, mostly the shipping and return policies changes

Since eBay is kind of a flee market, on top of being a “regular” eCommerce marketplace, there are many payment options available in it. None of which are relvant for you when you are dropshipping, only electronic payments are relevant and the only electronic payment that is relevant is PayPal.

Make sure you mark the checkbox next to “Require Immediate payment when buyer uses Buy It Now”. Otherwise, your buyers could purchase an item and only pay for it later. That is something dropshipping sellers are not willing to deal with.

Set Up Return Policies

There are two types of returns when selling on eBay:

  • Automatically approved returns – when an item doesn’t arrive, arrives not as described or arrives damaged
  • Returns by the return policy terms – for any reason, no questions asked

Local vs. International Return Policies

When dropshipping, your return policies are affected directly by the terms your suppliers offers you. Many dropshipping sellers who use US retailers like Home Depot as suppliers offer free 90 days return on their expense.

This is because when you buy something in Home Depot you can return it for free for 180 days. All the dropshippers do is open a return request in the Home Depot website, receive a return label, send it to the buyer and refund them when the item is returned.

The Home Depot return policy – up to 180 days after the purchase

On Ali Express, only some suppliers offers free domestic returns “for any reason” and only for 14 days. Most of the suppliers you are going to work with will only offer a refund/exchange if you can prove that the product did not arrive, arrived not as described or that it is damaged.

Setting Up No-Returns Policies

This is why in theory the best-practice for beginners is to set up a return policy that is “no returns”. You can do that by leaving the checkboxes in the return policy unchecked. Take in a count that if a product doesn’t arrive, arrives damaged or not as described – eBay will automatically approve the return regardless of your policies.

Some drop shipping experts, including me, believe you should offer “any-reason” returns when dropshipping from Ali Express, and there is a good reason to do that.

The biggest problem of setting up a no-returns policy is that you become less competitive in comparison to other sellers on eBay. When you and a few other sellers compete to sell the same product, the amount of traffic you will get depends on many parameters – if your competitor offers return options and you don’t, they might get more traffic than you.

Offering Returns When Dropshipping From Aliexpress

The solution to this problem is to do offer “any reason” returns in your policy, and to set it up so that the buyer pays the return and that you might offer a replacement. This way, every time a buyer opens a return request you have two options:

  • If the reason is item did not arrive, not as described or arrived damage: ask for proves, preferably images, or even a video. Then, send that to your supplier on Ali Express, you will get refunded and so will your buyer. You can also offer the buyer an exchange instead of a refund and work it out with the supplier
  • If the reason is that the buyer just wants to return the product, contact your supplier in China and ask for their address. Then send your buyer the address in China and remind them that they should pay for shipping.

I have never heard of a buyer who actually shipped a product back to China (disclaimer: it might happen and then you will have to refund them) so you are quite safe on that side.

But more importantly, I want to mention that if you do get a proof that something went wrong, know that you have to refund your buyer before you get a refund from the supplier on Ali Express.

The Refund Process

On eBay, the refund process for returns takes about a week. On Ali Express, on the other hand, the process takes 14 days. This is indeed a risk you have to take, you have to finance the minus in cashflow in the few days between the two returns.

In my opinion, if you stick to good suppliers and products that you usually don’t have a high return rate (the clothing category, for example, has a high returns rate), you should be fine. I do not recall many complaints or issues in the business level reported by drop shipping sellers due to returns when dropshipping from Aliexpress to eBay. 

The Return Address and RMA

In November 2018 eBay introduced the automatic returns approval system. The way it works is that once the buyer open a return that is either according to your return policy or to the automatically approved returned they get a return label, with your address on it.

To change that, you need to enable the RMA option in the return settings. When you turn it on, eBay stops sending the return label automatically to your buyers instead it gives you 5 days to upload the return label by yourself before they automatically generate it.

Make sure it is marked in green as ON

Once a customer opens a return case, immediately contact them and explain to them that if a label will be printed your address will appear on it and that you don’t accept returns there. Explain to them the return process you do offer instead.

If you want to take it a step further, you can change the return address under the addresses settings to “please do not return” and “contact us” as name or street address.

Set Up Shipping Policies

The shipping policies I am about to recommend you to set up are probably the most interesting set up you are going to do. The reason is that within the shipping policies I am about to reveal you can make an extra profit margin just by setting up these shipping options.

Domestic Shipping

The shipping policies on eBay are divided into domestic shipping, meaning shipping to the local marketplace country, in our example the USA, and international shipping. Since Aliexpress sellers ship worldwide, the shipping policies are set up accordingly.

Domestic shipping policies in eBay.com for the US market

As you can see in the picture above, I set up both standard shipping (7 to 19 days) and ePacket as shipping services, but I charged $0.97 for the ePacket option. Since as beginners you are anyway going to focus on shipping products with ePacket, even if the buyers chose the standard shipping option, the ePacket fast shipping is only there to lure buyers to increase your profit margin by a dollar.

When you are dropshipping with software like DSM Tool the shipping rate is automatically added to the final price calculation. We will set up the software to calculate ePacket as the shipping service, so the extra 97 cents will truly be just pure profit.

Handling Time

The handling time is the commitment you make for processing the order in time. Technically speaking, eBay counts an order as processed once you update the tracking number information to the product.

The longer the handling time you set, the less competitive you become and the less traffic you can expect to get. On the other hand, if you set it up too short and miss those dates, your seller level can get harmed and you lose traffic as well.

My recommendation for you is to set up 3 or 4 days and process your orders including placing the order and updating the tracking number as soon as possible after you’ve made a sale.

International Shipping

The international shipping section is a bit more complicated to set up, and again like in many other topics I discuss in this guide it depends on your risk management decision making.

Which countries to ship to depends on your risk management

The trick with the paid faster shipping can be applied to other countries than the USA, and I recommend you to use it as well. Having said that, the suppliers in Ali Express offers different shipping methods to different countries and might charge different shipping fee to ship to those countries.

Some suppliers might not ship at all to distant locations

Because you are not going to go over all of the shipping locations for each product you add to your store, it is up to you how much risk you are willing to take. The countries I marked in the picture above are, in my opinion, the safest to enable if you are risk-averse.

Exclusion List

The last part of the shipping policy set up is the exclusion list locations you are not willing to ship to. According to the best-practices in the industry, I suggest you to exclude the following locations

Some dropshippers would take the risk and ship to some of those locations, some won’t.

With your eBay store set up, now you are ready to move to the next step – setting up your drop shipping management software DSM Tool.

Setting Up The Dropshipping Software DSM Tool For Ali Express Dropshipping

The dropshipping software DSM Tool offers a full suite of features to help you dropship from Aliexpress to eBay. Actually, it is integrated to over 50 different suppliers for dropshipping. These are different websites that you can use for product sourcing.

Click here to sign up to DSM Tool for free

The dropshipping software DSM Tool list of suppliers, look how far you can scroll down the table.

The list of features you can set up to improve your dropshipping business is too long to note in this article. I will cover some of them in this article but I also suggest you to look into the following resources:

First set up everything. Then, in the last section of this article I will go over the process of adding products to your store, optimizing the listing before publishing them, and processing orders.

Set Up Ali Express As a Dropshipping Supplier In DSM Tool

Business Policies Sync

After you set up the business policies on eBay, you need to sync them to Ali Express in the Lister settings of DSM Tool. The Rapid Lister is the feature that you are going to use in order to add products to your store.

Click on the “Assign to specific supplier” button to assign the policies specifically to Ali Express

If you don’t see the policies appearing in the drop down in DSM Tool, click on the Refresh button and your account and eBay will sync once again.

eBay Product Description Templates Policies

Every product you add to eBay has a design-able product description section. There is an entire section in DSM Tool designated for templates. You can set up a default template, edit them, and subscribe to the dynamic template feature.

When the DSM Tool Lister imports the details of the product from Ali Express, it imports the product description as well then it injects it into your templates.

The sports template comes for free with every DSM Tool account

Since eBay was established back in September 1995 features like the business policies did not exist back then. The sellers on the platform used to describe their policies in the product description, so the eBay buyers community is quite used to read it from there.

That’s why we developed a dynamic product description, you can set up different text-policies to different websites you use as dropshipping suppliers. By default, the text in the settings already fits the scenario of dropshipping from Aliexpress. Yet, I suggest you go over it, personalize it and make sure it’s clear and according to your policies

You can set up a different text that will dynamically change in each product description depending on the website you dropship from.

Break Even And Profit

The break-even percentage is going to be used to calculate the final price for the products you sell on eBay. It covers the selling fees and payment processing fees you have to pay, aka eBay and PayPal fees.

9.15% eBay fee, 4.4% PayPal fee and $0.3 transaction fee should be covered in a 14.5% break even set up

The fees depend first on whether you are paying for a store subscription on eBay, which reduces your final selling fee from 10% to 9.15% (to most categories). The second aspect that affects the break-even percentage is what do you pay PayPal.

PayPal charges 2.9%, if both the buyer and you are from the USA, and 4.4% if one of you isn’t in the USA. Since I am selling from outside the US, I would be constantly paying 4.4%. If you are a US citizen, take an average of 80% local sales and 20% international, which results in 3.2% on average.

ePacket Shipping Calculation

When you make a sale, your costs are the fees which are covered in the break-even, the product itself, and the shipping rate. Therefore, DSM Tool adds the shipping rate to the calculation of the final price as part of the cost.

Since there are multiple shipping methods available for each product in Ali Express, you have to set up which shipping rate you want to be added to your products. I suggest you as a beginner to only work with ePacket as a shipping method, and you can set it up under the Monitor settings

In the monitor settings select Ali Express and choose ePacket as shipping company, don’t forget to click Update

Auto Messages For Feedback Generation And Other Features

As I mentioned already, there are many other interesting features to explore such as the round-up pricing, the pricing strategy, and the auto-messages.

The last one, the auto messages, is probably the one I would recommend you to set up first. It will send your buyers 4 messages after they purchase the product. The timing of the messages is designed to earn you more positive feedback, on autopilot.

Start Dropshipping From Ali Express to eBay

You are now ready to add the first product to your store, congrats! I want to give you some tips on how to do it properly, and then discuss what happens once you make a sale so that you could feel comfortable to start dropshipping today.

Adding a Product To Your Dropshipping Store

To add a product to I recommend you first install the DSM Tool dropshipping Chrome extension. With it installed, a blue button with the text List In DSM will appear for each product in Ali Express.

You can either click on the blue button or copy the URL of the product to the Rapid Lister page

Once you click on the button, the Rapid Lister page opens in a new tab with the product ready for import. When you click on the import button DSM Tool literally imports all of the information of the product and prepares in an eBay listing format.

DSM Tool imports the title, images, description, specifications, then it chooses the correct category on eBay automatically and calculates the final price for you.

Once the product information is imported and prepared for publishing, you can skip the optimization process and click Publish Now. I recommend you not to skip that part, pre-publishing optimization will increase the amount of traffic your products generate. More traffic, more sales.

I invite you to follow the best practices for eBay listing optimization guide to learn more about how to properly prepare your products for publishing.

Processing Orders From Your Dropshipping Suppliers

The final goal of every dropshipper is to make a sale, and the more sales you make, the more the ordering process has to be managed properly. The sales & orders page in DSM Tool is meant exactly for that.

Above the orders table you will find counters that tells you how many orders are pending and how many tracking numbers are waiting to be updated

You can use the cart icon in the Actions column on the page to mark sales as ordered, it will turn the gray cart sign to blue. This way if you make 10 sales in one day you will know exactly which ones were ordered and which were not.

The yellow envelope sign will turn green once you use it to update the tracking information for the product. Luckily, there is an automation features for both the ordering and the tracking updating that you can use.

Automate The Ordering Process

If you install the Chrome extension of DSM Tool a paper airplane icon appears in the Actions column in the Sales & Orders page every time you have a pending order to process. When you click on it, it copies the buyer’s details and shipping address, marks the item as ordered and opens the product page in Ali Express.

You can then click on the Buy Now button and add a new shipping address. When you try to add the new shipping address a new blue button with the text Auto-Paste Client Address appears. Click on it and the buyer’s details will be pasted automatically, saving you quite a lot of time.

The Auto-Paste Client Address appears when you add a new shipping address during checkout

Using Ali Pay to pay faster

Same as there is a way to insert the buyers shipping address in one click, there is also a way to insert the payment details in one click. The Ali Pay company is a subsidiary of Alibaba, the corporate that owns and operates Ali Express as well.

It was built to compete with services like PayPal, allowing you to pay online, receive payments, and maintain a balance. But A few years ago, Ali Pay deprecated the option to maintain a balance, so now as dropshippers we only use it to store our credit card information in order to pay for orders faster in Ali Express.

Follow these 3 steps to enable the faster payment when processing orders from Ali Express

Updating Tracking Numbers on eBay

About 24 hours after you place an order on Ali Express you will get an email notification that the tracking details are available. You can either click on the Track My Order button in that email or the Track Order button in the My Orders section in Ali Express to see the track the order and view the tracking information.

The track orders page is built according to the logistic flow. The package is updated from placing the order, shipping the products out of China, arrival at the destination country and successful delivery

In the tracking page, the Chrome extension goes into action and adds a Copy Tracking button, in order to help you automate the tracking updating process. When you click on it, it copies the tracking details, opens the Sales & Orders page in a new tab, and try to locate the right order and automatically open the tracking updating feature.

If it doesn’t locate the order, you can locate it yourself and click on the yellow envelope icon to open the tracking updating feature. When the feature loads, the Chrome Extension will load a new button inside it with the text Auto Paste Tracking Number.

Click on it, and the tracking number will be added to the relevant fields, saving you a lot of copy-paste time.

The Auto-Paste tracking number is activated automatically when the Chrome extension is copying the information from Ali Express

Handling Returns and Cancellations When Dropshipping From Ali Express

The buyer-protection on Ali Express, together with a simple user interface to manage returns makes it easy to provide high quality service when dropshipping from Ali Express.

Cancellations

Buyers on eBay can cancel orders within 60 minutes from placing their orders, if they do so you will get an email notification saying that the order got cancelled. On Ali Express you can cancel the order as long as the seller did not update the tracking number, which gives you about 24 hours to process the cancellation.

eBay’s order cancellation email notification

Cancelling orders, opening a return/refund request and everything related to what happens after you place an order in Ali Express happens in the My Orders page. To process the cancellation or open a return request, instead of clicking on track order click on View Details at the top left corner of the order.

Click on the view order to manage cancellations and returns

In the page that opens, you will find the option to cancel the order in case that it was not yet shipped. If the product was already shipped, the only thing you can do is open a dispute/return request.

Handling Returns And Disputes

When an item doesn’t arrive or when it arrives but it is not as described or damaged, you can open a dispute and claim a refund. If the supplier also offers a free-return option, you can open a return request.

To open these requests locate the button Open Dispute under the status column in the order details table after you open the order page (by clicking on the View Detail link in the order page). Then, choose whether you like to open a return request or a dispute, fill-up the form and submit it.

The dispute form is self explanatory and very simple to use

The only thing you need to take into consideration is that it takes up to 14 days for a refund to be processed in Ali Express. On eBay, you will have to refund your buyer much earlier, which leaves you with a minus in cash flow for a couple of days.

Make sure to ask from the buyer on eBay for as many proofs as possible for the case. Images, videos, and written explanation would help you ensure that you win the case on Ali Express and don’t refund the buyer on eBay just to then also lose the dispute in Ali Express.

There Is Always More To Learn

I hope this guide has been covering everything you need to know in order to get started with dropshipping from Ali Express to eBay. Remember, there is always more to learn and what is the best practice for 2020 might become outdated a few years later.

Therefore, I invite you to subscribe to our Youtube Channel where we continuously post new videos aiming to help you become a more professional eCommerce seller. I also invite you to join the Dropshipping Community on Facebook where you can participate in the discussions and network with other drop shippers.

Last, if you did enjoy this article and you would like to see more free dropshipping knowledge being produced by us, share it with someone that you think could benefit from learning how to start dropshipping to help the community, and our business within it, grow. 

Good Luck!

Written by Kfir Shapira

Kfir is a Co-Founder and the CEO of DSM Tool. He is working with eBay since 2008 and 8 years later in 2016 joined the founding team of a revolutionary drop shipping management platform - DSM Tool. He has a B.A in Business and Entrepreneurship from IDC Herzeliya. Kfir also plays the drums and owns a dog named "Bamba".

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