As one of the biggest e-commerce markets in the world, AliExpress has also become the leading source for products to outsource.
Many manufacturers offer fast shipping, but most drop shippers prefer free ones or the cheapest ones.
It’s just that the problem with low-cost shipping is they take too long.
As a dropshipper, you are likely to take advantage of the standard shipping, but there are many things you need to know to understand Aliexpress shipping.
Once you fully understand how this works, you can make better business decisions and keep customers happy.
What Is AliExpress Standard Shipping?
AliExpress Standard Shipping is a kind of shipping that AliExpress does on its own. If you have ever heard of Amazon FBA, it works in a similar way.
FBA stands for Fulfilled by Amazon. What this means is that the sellers ship their products to Amazon. Then, Amazon stocks the products in its warehouse.
The products are cataloged, and when a customer orders, Amazon does the shipping, not the merchant.
When compared to other shipping options on Aliexpress, standard shipping is one of the cheapest options you can get. Most of the time it's free shipping. If you have to pay, the price is approximately $1 to $3. In most cases, you can find suppliers that will do standard shipping and tracking for free.
Who delivers The AliExpress Standard Shipping?
AliExpress does not have its own airplanes or ships to carry the packages to international locations.
It's partnered with many shipping companies worldwide. Examples of these are Singapore Post, DHL, Direct Link, and many more.
These companies offer AliExpress lower rates, and there are also many benefits to it like door-to-door shipments.
In some cases, the customs duties are also paid, but this does not happen for all shipments.
If you buy a product from AliExpress and chose this shipping method, this is what happens.
- AliExpress employee searches for the product in the warehouse
- Shipping partner picks up the package
- Shipping partner ships the package
- The package gets delivered to its warehouse in the destination country
- Office in the destination country delivers the package to the customer
Although the package goes through several steps, it's safer and much more reliable because the company that handles your package is a specialist. And because it has a special rate for AliExpress, the cost of shipping is also cheaper, but not free.
Typically, AliExpress Standard Shipping would cost between $2 and $3. The delivery time can take 15 to 20 days, but it can take up to 60 days depending on the location.
Can You Track Orders Using Standard Shipping?
Yes, there is a tracking system if you use the AliExpress Standard Shipping option. If you want to track your order, you must go to the AliExpress website, log in, and then check your order status.
One problem with the AliExpress Standard Shipping is that not all shipments have a tracking number. This means that you can only check the status of your order in AliExpress.
This is going to be a problem if you have customers who want tracking information.
Because you cannot provide any, you will be forced to show a screenshot of the shipping status of the item from AliExpress.
Your customer might see that you bought the item from China, and might ask for a refund if the customer does not like products from China.
In many cases, AliExpress will provide a tracking number. You can use this tracking number on a website called 17 Track.
You can also provide this tracking number to your customer, and you can show them how to use 17 Track to know the status of their order.
Another tracking system that you can use is Global Cainiao. It's a shipping partner with AliExpress, and it's like China’s version of FedEx or DHL.
Like 17 track, you will receive a tracking number from AliExpress, and then you can go to the website to check the shipping status.
How To Find Aliexpress Tracking Number
For every purchase you make on AliExpress, you can check if a tracking number is available for the kind of shipping method you choose.
Follow these steps to find the tracking number.
- Click on a product you like
- Click on the shipping options
- A page will appear that will show you if a tracking number is available
If the tracking number is not available, there is nothing you can provide to your customer but screenshots of the shipping status from your account in AliExpress.
After two weeks of waiting, your customer may start demanding for a refund.
This is a serious problem because a seller will not issue you a refund if the item was already shipped and is currently on its way.
To solve this problem, it's very important that you tell your customers how long it will take to ship the item, where it's shipping from, and what your refund policies are.
Make sure that the customer agrees to this. If the customer changes his mind or does not agree, do not order the product in AliExpress.
It will save you from a lot of headaches later on.
AliExpress Standard Shipping Pros and Cons
As a businessperson, you would want to take advantage of the free shipping because it offers a lot of benefits. Here are the advantages of standard shipping.
- Cheapest option available on AliExpress. It’s usually available for free or costs $1-$3.
- Can use tracking so you know where the package is at all times
- Nearly all suppliers have this options so it's always an option to use
- Products get shipped with good quality packaging
While the cost of the shipping is small, it comes with some disadvantages that your customers may not like.
- Shipping time can reach 60 days
- The shipment will be delivered to the country’s Customs office and sometimes has t be picked up.
- Items can get lost among the tens or hundred thousand packages.
- Customers may need to pay Customs duties
Now that you know these things, you understand that you are facing some important problems that you have to solve.
Do customers really want to wait for a product for 60 days? What if the shipment got lost, what should you do?
To help you answer the questions, we need to understand what goes on when you choose AliExpress Standard Shipping as your delivery option.
What Is ePacket Shipping?
You will see the label “ePacket” Available on many AliExpress products. What is ePacket?
ePacket is a kind of shipping that is paid by the government.
ePacket is a shipping option that is available only to manufacturers and sellers from China and Hong Kong.
To help the economy of China, it made an agreement with other countries to pay for the cost of shipping. This way, residents of different countries can order products from China and not pay for shipping.
As a result of this, China can keep manufacturing goods, send them to other countries, and then earn money so the residents of China can make a profit.
Are There Limits To AliExpress ePacket?
Yes, a product can only be shipped with ePacket as an option if it is less than 2 kilograms or 4.4 lbs. Also, the value of the product that is being shipped must not exceed $400.
The package size must have a minimum dimension of 14 centimeters by 11 centimeters.
Why You Should Use ePacket
This shipping option offers several benefits, not only for the merchant but also for the person who receives the package.
- Fast Shipping – if you use this option for your drop shipping business, you can expect the product to be delivered within 10 to 20 days. This, however, is still no match against your local competitors who ship from and to the same country. Many drop shippers want to source locally because the shipping time only takes less than three days.
- Low Cost – not all ePackets are free. Some merchants still charge money for shipping because they have other expenses. Examples of this expense are the bubble wrap or the extra foam inside the box to protect the product from breaking. Despite this, the price is still really much more affordable than other shipping methods.
- Door-to-Door – there is an option where you, as the seller, can choose a door-to-door tracking. This is free, and the product that you ordered will be delivered directly to the customer’s house.
- Many Countries Supported – ePacket shipping is available in 42 countries. Examples of these are USA, UK, Russia, France, and so much more. However, you need to know that the shipping times are also different. See below for the different shipping periods.
- Brazil: 20 to 30 business days
- exico: 20 business days
- Vietnam: 5-7 business days
- Russia, Ukraine and Saudi Arabia: 7-15 business days
- All other supported countries: 7-10 business days
Now, ePacket is different from the AliExpress Standard Shipping. However, many drop shippers are confused about these two. ePacket is a special shipping relationship between China and other countries.
The reason it is cheap or free is that the government has a regular schedule of flights to these countries. If your package makes it to this schedule, then that is the time it gets shipped.
Other Shipping Options On AliExpress
Are there other shipping options apart from AliExpress Standard Shipping and ePacket? Yes, there are. But you need to know that they are costly.
Also, faster shipping times cost more. There are so many shipping options in AliExpress. Every manufacturer or seller offers different options because they ship to different countries.
If you want to know if a certain manufacturer ships to a specific country, and what the options are, you need to click on the shipping option and then the drop down.
Once you have selected a country, you will see a table of shipping partners, shipping time, and the price.
If you want to give your customers better options, you can check the table and compare the prices.
In the screenshots above, you can see that this product ships to the United States in different ways. Here, you have three free shipping options from Special Line, ePacket, and China Post Airmail.
Not all have the same shipping times, and not all three free shipping methods offer a tracking number.
If you scroll down below that, you will see options for AliExpress Standard Shipping, and then you have DHL.
Both of these have tracking numbers, but the shipping days for DHL are faster. The customer will receive the package in 13 days maximum, but this also means you have to pay $57.54 dollars.
AliExpress Standard Shipping Vs ePacket
- ePacket – free shipping for 25 days with tracking number
- AliExpress Standard Shipping – $2.44 for shipping for 25 days with tracking number
The better choice here is ePacket. It has the same number of days for shipping, and it is free plus there is also a tracking number.
Is Long Shipping Times Really A Problem?
As a dropshipper, long shipping times can be a problem. You are competing against giants like Amazon in America and Europe and Lazada in Asia.
These two giants have their own fulfillment centers, and they offer really fast shipping times.
So what do you do?
First, don't panic. Many studies show that customers don't mind waiting for a while for their product to arrive.
The thing is, you need to be honest with them. If a customer knows what to expect, or what he is paying for, then he will be patient and will not complain.
Here are some tips to make long shipping times work for you.
- Your product pages must say that the shipping time can take more than 30 days. You need to explain carefully why this is happening.
- Make sure you say that the shipping is free. In your product pages, you can add a shipping rate from DHL, and then add the rate for $57 but the shipping will be completed in less than 13 days. Put that price beside FREE SHIPPING, which will take more than 30 days. Guaranteed, customers would rather choose the free shipping option.
- If a customer orders, send an email first. Tell the customer about the shipping rules. Make sure you tell the customer that you will not issue a refund if the item has been shipped, and that you will not issue a refund until 60 days after the shipment started. Why 60 days? This is for your own protection. Some shipments get delayed.
- If the customer agrees, order the product from AliExpress. If not, cancel the order and issue a refund.
Do Long Shopping Times Stop Buyers?
No, not really. Customers know that international products take time to come by. This is why you need to be honest. Do not make promises that you cannot fulfill, as you will have a lot of headaches later on.
Many drop shippers will also tell you that customers will start asking about their packages or their order after two weeks of purchasing.
If you told them from the start that the shipment will take 30 days, then all you need to do is to tell them that the item is on its way, and they will not complain.
But if you make false promises, you can expect them to get angry and demand refunds.
Remember, the only way to prevent customers from getting frustrated is to be honest with them from the start. Be patient when they ask, and provide great customer service like being polite, and being responsive to their inquiries.
Do not make them wait for an answer.
The Different Shipping Status
Once you complete a purchase in AliExpress, you need to keep track of it from your AliExpress account. A shipment will move from one status to another.
It's important that you understand what the status means so you can explain them to your customers.
Here are the different status of orders:
- Awaiting payment – this means you have not yet paid the product. You have to go to your AliExpress dashboard click on the product, and then complete the payment through the checkout process.
- Payment Being Verified – sometimes, AliExpress needs some time to confirm if the payment is not fake. This happens if your name as a buyer is different from the name on the credit card. We strongly suggest that they are the same to prevent suspicions of fraud.
- Awaiting Shipment – once the payment is completed and verified, the next step is for AliExpress to pack the product and ship it, or for the seller to do the same. During this status, you just need to wait for the seller to do his job. Not all sellers pack and ship right away; some can take seven days. You can find this information in the product details.
- Awaiting Delivery – if you see this status, it means that the product is in transit. This can take days or weeks. Once the item is shipped, you can get a tracking number from the seller if it is available. It is also the time you can use 17 Track or Global Cainiao to check your shipment status.
- Completed – this status means that the product was already received and confirmed by the buyer.
Sometimes, you will see a status that the shipment was lost or that it was returned. In some instances, you will also be notified that the product was not successfully delivered.
This can happen if you shipped to areas that are hard to reach, or if the product was left in the country’s post office and no one claimed it.
Common Shipping Mistakes Seller Do
Here are some common mistakes that sellers do when they order products from AliExpress.
Marking Orders as Received
As a seller, you must never mark the order in AliExpress as received even if the merchant already shipped it. If you do, and then something goes wrong, there is no way you can get a refund.
The product may be lost during shipment, and your customer will report that he did not receive it.
If this happens, you cannot file a complaint in AliExpress and demand a refund because you said you already received it.
Not Filling Out Forms Correctly
If you order in AliExpress, you need to fill out a shipping form. As you do this, make sure that you spell everything correctly. You also need to make sure that the ZIP code you use is correct.
Since you are an online seller, you can definitely check an address in Google Maps. Sometimes, it is your customer that made a mistake.
Contact your buyer if something is off. Make sure you have the right details because once an item is shipped, you can no longer reverse it.
Watch Out For Bad Suppliers
There are sellers out there who will try to convince you to do something that is not right. Some will ask you to provide them with a good seller rating in exchange for giving you money.
It is completely up to you to make this decision. Sometimes, it is not the seller’s fault that the item got lost or that it was not delivered. But if the issue is that the seller shipped the wrong item, do you really want to deal with that seller again?
AliExpress Shipping Final Words
Although AliExpress is one of the largest market places in the world, there are still many problems that can happen. Always remember that as a drop shipper, it is your responsibility to understand the processes behind the scenes.
It is also your duty to protect yourself against bad sellers, and take it upon yourself to give them honest feedback, so other drop shippers like you do not become victims.