With the digital revolution taking centre stage, the boundaries of commerce have blurred, and India, with its tech-savvy population and booming eCommerce sector, is no exception. With eCommerce in India expected to hit $200 billion by 2026, the lure of dropshipping is hard to resist for many aspiring entrepreneurs.

A name that resonates loudly within the digital corridors of global eCommerce and dropshipping is AliExpress. With its vast array of products, highly competitive prices, and impressive footprint extending to over 200 countries, AliExpress, no doubt, is the best choice to bring your dropshipping business ideas into reality.

The fusion of the Indian eCommerce surge and the flexible business model of AliExpress dropshipping is creating a narrative worth exploring. Through this blog, we’ll be exactly going to do the same.

Let’s start with understanding what AliExpress Dropshipping is.


What is AliExpress Dropshipping?

AliExpress Dropshipping is a retail fulfilment method where an online store doesn’t keep the products it sells in stock. Instead, when a store sells a product using the dropshipping model, it purchases the item from a third-party seller on AliExpress and has it shipped directly to the customer.

Here’s a snapshot of how it works: A customer orders a product in your online store. As the store owner, you forward the order details to the relevant supplier on AliExpress. The supplier then ships the product directly to your customer. Your profit is the difference between what the customer paid in your store and what you paid the supplier on AliExpress.


Benefits of AliExpress Dropshipping

  • Wide range of products to choose from
  • Low-cost products and potential for high-profit margins
  • Access to international suppliers and products
  • Flexibility to test and change products without inventory risk
  • Availability of AliExpress Affiliate program for additional earnings


How to Start Dropshipping with AliExpress?


Choosing Your Niche

The first step in starting a dropshipping business with AliExpress is to select a niche. A niche will guide your product selection, influence your brand, and help you target your marketing efforts effectively. AliExpress has an expansive product category that you can explore to get ideas.


Selecting Products to Sell

Once you’ve decided on a niche, it’s time to select the products you want to sell carefully. First and foremost, it’s best to steer clear of branded, fake, and knockoff products. Without a legal partnership with the brand, selling products with anyone else’s logo is not worth the risk. Next, look for products with high order numbers and ratings. A high number of orders indicate demand and a potentially reliable supplier. Finally, verify that the product photos are genuine and unbranded, as this will maintain your store’s authenticity.


Setting up Your Shopify Store

With your product selection, setting up your Shopify store is the next step. When adding products from AliExpress to your store, be mindful to write your product descriptions. Unique descriptions will serve your business better in the long run and enhance your site’s SEO.

Keep your customers informed about delivery times – this is crucial, as most suppliers on AliExpress are based in China, and shipping times can be longer than average.

Remember to price your products sensibly – a rule of thumb is to aim for a 50% margin. Lastly, to simplify the product-adding process, consider using Oberlo. It allows for quickly adding products to your store, saving time and effort.


Managing Orders

With your Shopify store set up, managing orders effectively is crucial. When you receive an order, you need to purchase the item on AliExpress and provide your customer’s shipping address.

It’s beneficial to maintain a spreadsheet listing all your products, their selling price, cost on AliExpress, and the corresponding AliExpress listing.


Building a Good Relationship with Suppliers

A good relationship with suppliers goes a long way toward the success of your dropshipping business. Let them know you’re dropshipping so they don’t include any invoices or promotions in the package being sent to your customer.

Choose ePacket shipping whenever available as a shipping option, even if it’s not free. It’s one of the most cost-effective and reliable shipping options currently available to get products from China to the Americas and Europe.


After-Sale Process

After you’ve placed the order, use the NimbusPost Shopify app to provide your customers with tracking information. Then, wait patiently for your customers to receive their orders before confirming receipt on AliExpress.


Scaling Up

The real profit in dropshipping comes from leveraging your initial success to grow bigger. This might involve expanding your product range, refining your marketing tactics, or even exploring other eCommerce platforms.




As we’ve ventured through the steps and intricacies of setting up an AliExpress dropshipping business, it’s evident that the potential for success is considerable. Shopify dropshipping through AliExpress is a win-win situation. However, it’s not simply a matter of jumping aboard and expecting smooth sailing. Diligence, persistence, and the ability to adapt and learn are essential qualities of a successful drop shipper.



Is it okay to dropship from AliExpress?

Yes, it’s okay to dropship from AliExpress. As one of the largest global online retail platforms, AliExpress provides an excellent platform for drop shippers due to its vast array of products, competitive pricing, and accessibility to suppliers worldwide.


How do I join AliExpress dropshipping program?

Joining the AliExpress dropshipping program is just a few steps. Here are the steps you should follow:

  • First, go to the AliExpress website and create your account.
  • Then go into your “order” section following the account section. You’ll notice that you’re not eligible for the dropship centre section.
  • For that, Google search “AliExpress dropship centre link” and click on the relevant link in the SERP.
  • The AliExpress dropship centre page will open. This is where you’ve to join the dropshipping program.
  • Scroll down to the bottom, click the “I agree with terms” checkbox, and then click the “Next Step” button.
  • Then fill up general information like your First and last name, and click “submit.”
  • Now get back to the account you’ve created on the website.
  • Now you’ve access to the dropship centre section, where you can use their tools like product analysis, find products to sell, and much more.


Is dropshipping illegal in India?

No, dropshipping is not illegal in India. On the contrary, it’s a legitimate and popular business model that many Indian entrepreneurs have embraced to create successful online businesses.

However, it’s essential to ensure that your business operations follow all relevant Indian laws and regulations. This includes securing necessary business licenses, paying appropriate taxes, and ensuring the products you sell comply with Indian standards and regulations.


Can Indian sellers sell on AliExpress?

Yes, Indian sellers can sell on AliExpress. AliExpress is a global platform that caters to consumers worldwide and accepts sellers from various countries, including India. However, before starting to sell on AliExpress, you’ll need to fulfil certain prerequisites to ensure you’re compliant with all relevant regulations and platform requirements.


How to start dropshipping with no money?

Starting a dropshipping business with no money can be challenging, but it’s possible with careful planning and smart decision-making. Here’s how you can begin:

  1. Begin by selecting a free or low-cost eCommerce platform to host your online store. Two of the most popular options are Shopify and WooCommerce.
  2. Choosing the right niche is vital to the success of your dropshipping business. Start by identifying a specific product category that you are passionate about and has potential in terms of demand.
  3. Once you’ve identified your niche, you can search for suppliers. Platforms like AliExpress are popular choices for finding reliable dropshipping suppliers.
  4. After finding your suppliers, you can start adding products to your online store.
  5. Utilize free marketing strategies to attract customers to your store.
  6. Once your store is ready, you can start selling. Remember, you only purchase the product from the supplier once you’ve made a sale, so there are no upfront inventory costs.

Here is a detailed guide on how to start a dropshipping business with no money.



Can I dropship branded products?

Yes, you can dropship branded products, but it involves more complexity compared to dropshipping generic or non-branded products. Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Selling branded products involves intellectual property (IP) rights. Therefore, you must respect the trademarks, patents, and copyrights associated with the branded goods.
  2. To legally dropship branded products, you must have a direct agreement with the brand or the manufacturer.
  3. Marketplaces and customers often require proof of authenticity for branded products.
  4. When you sell branded products, you’re also representing that brand’s reputation. Therefore, it’s crucial to ensure the quality of the products and the reliability of your supplier.
  5. Branded products often come with a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP). This means that the pricing of these products may not be as flexible as non-branded ones.


How do I automatically drop ship?

Automated dropshipping simplifies running a business by relying on software and technologies to manage various aspects, from order processing and inventory management to customer service and order tracking. Here’s how you can start automatic dropshipping:

  1. Select an eCommerce platform that supports dropshipping and offers automation. Shopify is one such platform that is highly recommended.
  2. Shopify has many Shopify dropshipping apps, such as Oberlo, Dropified, and NimbusPost, that can automate various aspects of your business.
  3. Automate the Order Processing to automatically send the order request to your supplier from the customers, who then handle the fulfilment and shipping.
  4. Use an automated inventory management system to align inventory control across all channels. NimbusPost is a notable option for this.
  5. Set up a price multiplier with apps like Automizely to automatically apply your markup to the cost of goods each time you import new products.
  6. Automating order tracking updates helps improve the customer experience as they can know the status of their order in real time. Apps like NimbusPost can help with this.


Does AliExpress charge customs in India?

Yes, purchases made from AliExpress are subject to customs duties and taxes in India. When buying from AliExpress, you import goods from overseas sellers, which may attract customs duties.


How do I pay for AliExpress in India?

AliExpress offers a range of payment methods to its customers worldwide, including those based in India. Here’s an overview of the various ways:

AliPay: This is AliExpress’s proprietary payment system. When you use AliPay, your payment is held until you confirm receipt of your order. This escrow service adds a layer of security to your transactions.

Credit and Debit Cards: Paying with credit or debit cards remains one of the most common and convenient methods on AliExpress.

PayPal: PayPal is a popular payment gateway on AliExpress. Like AliPay, it holds your payment until you confirm receipt of the item, which can simplify the refund process if needed.

Bank Transfer: While available, bank transfers have some disadvantages on AliExpress. They can only be used for orders above $20, must be made in dollars, require an international transfer (often with additional bank charges), and may lead to longer shipping times as the seller waits to receive the transfer.


Why is shipping cost high in AliExpress in India?

The higher shipping costs associated with AliExpress orders in India can primarily be attributed to the fact that most AliExpress products are shipped from China. As such, shipping from China to India, an international shipment, tends to be more costly than local shipping within the same country. In addition, international shipments also often involve additional costs, such as customs duties and taxes, which can further increase the overall cost of shipping.


Do I need an import license to buy from Alibaba in India?

You do not require a specific import license from China to purchase items from Alibaba and have them shipped to India. However, according to Indian law, you would require an Import Export Code (IEC). An IEC is a 10-digit code that is mandatory for conducting import-export business in India.

Once you obtain the IEC, you are eligible to import goods from Alibaba, or any other country in the world, into India. However, please be aware that this doesn’t exempt you from paying any customs duties or taxes that may be levied on the goods at the time of import.


How to find Indian sellers on Alibaba?

To locate Indian sellers on Alibaba, follow the below steps:

  • Start by navigating to the Alibaba website and entering your desired product in the search bar.
  • You’ll notice the “Supplier Location” tab below the search bar.
  • Click on the drop-down menu within this tab. By default, it is set to “All Countries & Regions.”
  • From the drop-down menu, select “India.”
  • Once you’ve completed these steps, Alibaba will adjust the search results to show products from Indian suppliers only


Who pays for a return on AliExpress?

In the case of AliExpress’s Local Return service, the buyer is responsible for the return shipping costs. This service gives you a 15-day window (on top of the on-time delivery date) to decide if you want to keep or return the item for any reason. If you opt to return the item, it will be shipped to a designated local return address, and you will bear the cost associated with this return shipment as the buyer. Therefore, always be sure to understand the return policies and potential costs before purchasing to avoid any unexpected expenses.


Why did AliExpress charge $1?

The $1 charge you see from AliExpress is likely a temporary authorization hold. This is a common practice used by many online vendors, including AliExpress, to validate your credit card or payment method. It’s a way for AliExpress to ensure that the payment method is valid and has the necessary funds available for future transactions. Typically, this charge is temporary and is removed or refunded to your account once the card or payment method is verified successfully.


How long does AliExpress take to deliver in India?

If you opt for AliExpress Standard Shipping, the typical delivery time is generally between 15 to 45 working days. However, if you decide to use AliExpress Premium Shipping, a faster option, the estimated delivery time reduces to about 7 to 15 working days.


Why can’t I pay on AliExpress?

If you’re unable to complete a payment on AliExpress, it could be due to several reasons. Here are some possible issues and how to address them:

If an appeal is pending on your account, you’ll need to address this first. Then, submit the required documents as directed on your account’s “My Appeal” page. After submission, it usually takes one business day for the appeal to be processed.

Your selected payment method might be the issue. First, ensure that your card (or other payment method) is valid, has sufficient funds, and is accepted by AliExpress.

If you recently updated or added a new card, a nominal charge (often $1) is placed on the card for verification purposes. Make sure your card has successfully passed this verification.

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