Why am I making the statement to not dropship from AliExpress on Amazon when AliExpress is the #1 dropshipping eCommerce website in China, with great prices on a wide selection of products? The truth is, it will get your Amazon seller account suspended.
I called Amazon‘s support with a number of questions. One of them being about the Valid Tracking Rate in Shipping Performance.
Amazon wants sellers to have a Valid Tracking Rate of over 95%. Like you can see on the screenshot to the right, our Valid Tracking Rate is 0%. We could not understand what it meant since we always added tracking numbers to our shipments. At this time, we were solely dropshipping from AliExpress.
What we found out was when shipping from China (or Internationally in general) and if using an International courier, other than the couriers Amazon is cooperating with, the tracking number becomes invalid. Amazon cannot track packages sent via E-Packet, Turkey Post etc.
If the courier is not included in the list below (screenshot taken from Amazon’s Seller Central), the tracking number becomes invalid.
Although, Amazon makes belief it is okay to ship with “none Amazon couriers” by having the option called “Other”, it will get your account suspended in the long run.
You will not get any error message warning you to not continue using the “Other” courier option. Only start noticing odd numbers in Shipping Performance.
Use The Amazon FBA Program On International Products
The title indicates what the support representative told us when questioning how to ship from China (and other International suppliers) and not get our seller privileges removed. The only way to not risk getting your seller account suspended is to use the Amazon FBA Program according to Amazon’s support.
It is a smart way for Amazon to maintain control and have more and more sellers use their FBA Program. It surely increases the shopping experience for the customer – offering Amazon Prime with one day free shipping – so I can understand why they are steering sellers in that direction.
However, this takes away the benefit of dropshipping to not have to invest in expensive inventory.
You do not need to keep any inventory when dropshipping. You can ship your products from the supplier directly to your customers.
You can read more about dropshipping or retail arbitrage here:
When using the Amazon FBA Program, you have to send inventory to Amazon’s warehouse. Sometimes, several warehouses, which increases the shipping expenses.
A big con.
The pros on the other hand, are that Amazon is handling everything after they have accepted your FBA shipment. Amazon takes care of packing, shipping, customer service and possible returns.
We will use online retail as eCommerce business model from now on and only use domestic authorized suppliers for our Amazon listings. It is much safer. You know what you will get and you can sell brand name products that are already selling good on Amazon.
UPDATE – DON’T DROPSHIP FROM ALIEXPRESS AT ALL!
We sold hundreds of a popular toy before Christmas and we dropshipped it from AliExpress. Since it was relatively close to Christmas, we did not have time to first order a sample.
Our biggest mistake in our eCommerce journey so far!
Both AliExpress suppliers shipped out secondary, crappy toys that should have gone straight into the trash to all our customers. We had to refund EVERYBODY and/or send replacements, plus apologizing for ruin their Christmas.
This was not fun at all. We lost a lot of money having to refund everyone but hardly getting a cent back from AliExpress. Not to mention, all HOURS it took to answer on messages/complaints on eBay and process the refunds.
The customer service on eBay is more time consuming than anywhere else. It seems to be a norm asking tons of questions, even if everything is mentioned in the product listing.
After opening about twenty refund disputes on AliExpress, we were hit by the next surprise. AliExpress decided to ban/suspend our account instead of returning our money. We only got about two percent of the total dropshipping purchases back.
We provided photos of all broken toys we received from our customers, displaying evidence of smashed packaging and broken toys, but they banned our account despite of this. You could easily see the toys were broken and in really poor condition.
We tried to reach out to AliExpress’s customer service but never got hold of an actual person to speak with. We were constantly forwarded to a voicemail saying they were busy with other customers. We left about ten messages but never heard back.
AliExpress’s Customer Service Is Obviously Hiding Or Is Non-Existing!
I did not wish to give up and wrote to AliExpress on Facebook. Always a good option!
They did not ignore me on Facebook but “played” stupid. After tons of questions, they told me we had to reach out to the seller who sent us the broken toys.
“Daahh…you guys suspended our account so how would that even be possible??”, was my response.
I did, in fact, give up after this. I felt it was a waste of time and too much frustration to continue this nonsense back and forth. I realized we would never see our money again and we just had to suck it up and learn from this mistake – TO NEVER EVER AGAIN DROPSHIP FROM ALIEXPRESS!
If you have a different experience of dropshipping from AliExpress on Amazon or any other eCommerce platform, please let me know in the comment section below.
The knowledge level of Amazon’s support representatives varies a lot so there may be a way around the shipping issue from overseas. Too many times, you get to speak with a person from India with a strong accent, hardly perceivable, and you hear a TV playing and children crying in the background. I am surprised a Billion dollar company does not have higher standards of their seller support. I had to express this in a recent blog post:
I hope this blog post was useful and especially if you are thinking of dropshipping from AliExpress and sell on Amazon. The goal with this blog post is to help you to avoid my mistakes. Do better and please do not repeat my mistakes!
About The Author
Stina Pettersson is originally from Sweden but has resided in the U.S. for the past 6 years. She started her American journey in Miami, Florida, and recently moved to Austin, Texas.
Stina was active as a professional dancer for 21 years but she was forced to slow down her dancing after ACL surgery in both knees. She is now back to her roots, with her beloved horses and also enjoys daily nature walks with her two adorable dogs, Max and Abigail.
Stina has the gift of being able to receive communication from the spirit and extraterrestrial world which she loves sharing with her readers.
“My main goal is to maintain a flexible lifestyle, where I set my own schedule. Even that I work hard, I love what I do every day. I also have the opportunity to help other people which is a huge gift.”
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