An interesting Aliexpress trend

by Shay S 9 replies
It's about 3 months since I tapped into the dropshipping/aliexpress business, and while I must say I was busy exploring the business more than spending money on facebook ads, I came across some interesting dropshipping stores that I then followed to a point of being closed down, chased by the police, or just receive horrendous amount of negative feedback.

One interesting story was a store called "Cool Stuff Emporium". They were brilliant marketers, they brought their ugly looking store from 0 to top 100k in Alexa rank in a single month. They had massive engagement and many sales (I guess). At some point I started seeing complaints of clients on their facebook posts that they don't reply to emails & orders didn't receive. Eventually their store was gone from Shopify, their facebook page became inactive and eventually removed and there was a post by the Tazmania police that this store is now under their investigation.

A second similar story is of a yoga store, upkeepyoga, it's still around. Same story, they grew massively in a short amount of time, to a point where they now get a lot of public negative complaints, no customer support, no orders received, and imo, it's only a matter of time before they close their doors too.

A third similar story is a much smaller in magnitude, but still the same pattern... GalaxyTeez. Brilliant marketing, no customer service, no orders fulfillment or wrong orders, cheap looking end-products, tons of complaints, etc.

There are more stories, but the pattern is the same. Quick success and a slow downfall. Maybe these are all bad people and scammers. Could be true, considering the very high margins they sold their products. But here's another suggestion, what if Aliexpress suppliers screw them over? Bad suppliers that don't deliver, don't provide a good service or just don't understand English, and basically leaves you with tons of unfulfilled orders and refund requests? It can be a bad place to be even for good guys.

After all, Aliexpress is still a retail store, and as retail sellers they are not committed to your dropshipping business as real suppliers.

Therefore I tend not to blame the store owners for scam or fraud, because they probably worked their asses off for the store to generate all these sales and make it work.

Your thoughts on this? Any Sherlocks in here that could crack this trend?

Cheers!
#ecommerce sites, wholesaling & drop shipping #aliexpress #interesting #trend
Avatar of Unregistered
  • Profile picture of the author DCR MEL
    Thanks for the nice post. I was studing the same business model over the past weeks and discovered the major points you just mentionned
    as store owner, you will rely on suppliers on the other half of the planet with no control on orders processing, quality, return ....
    The positive side is that you could make good margins but with many risks...
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10977851].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Shay S
      Yup, it leaves us quite helpless in front of the end-client. Not to mention their products often can be misleading; "lava stones" made of plastic, a pillow the size of a toddler comes in a size of an A4 paper. That eventually makes US look bad and like scammers, and we take all the blame for it.

      I'm sure not all Aliexpress products are like that, but I'm starting to see that blind dropshipping cheap merchandise from China is a risky business.

      I think many store owners are in fact victims of Aliexpress suppliers, if they spend hundreds $$ promoting a single product that sucks or doesn't arrive eventually.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10977868].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Splatterfox
    Originally Posted by Shay S View Post

    It's about 3 months since I tapped into the dropshipping/aliexpress business, and while I must say I was busy exploring the business more than spending money on facebook ads, I came across some interesting dropshipping stores that I then followed to a point of being closed down, chased by the police, or just receive horrendous amount of negative feedback.

    One interesting story was a store called "Cool Stuff Emporium". They were brilliant marketers, they brought their ugly looking store from 0 to top 100k in Alexa rank in a single month. They had massive engagement and many sales (I guess). At some point I started seeing complaints of clients on their facebook posts that they don't reply to emails & orders didn't receive. Eventually their store was gone from Shopify, their facebook page became inactive and eventually removed and there was a post by the Tazmania police that this store is now under their investigation.

    A second similar story is of a yoga store, upkeepyoga, it's still around. Same story, they grew massively in a short amount of time, to a point where they now get a lot of public negative complaints, no customer support, no orders received, and imo, it's only a matter of time before they close their doors too.

    A third similar story is a much smaller in magnitude, but still the same pattern... GalaxyTeez. Brilliant marketing, no customer service, no orders fulfillment or wrong orders, cheap looking end-products, tons of complaints, etc.

    There are more stories, but the pattern is the same. Quick success and a slow downfall. Maybe these are all bad people and scammers. Could be true, considering the very high margins they sold their products. But here's another suggestion, what if Aliexpress suppliers screw them over? Bad suppliers that don't deliver, don't provide a good service or just don't understand English, and basically leaves you with tons of unfulfilled orders and refund requests? It can be a bad place to be even for good guys.

    After all, Aliexpress is still a retail store, and as retail sellers they are not committed to your dropshipping business as real suppliers.

    Therefore I tend not to blame the store owners for scam or fraud, because they probably worked their asses off for the store to generate all these sales and make it work.

    Your thoughts on this? Any Sherlocks in here that could crack this trend?

    Cheers!
    This is exactly what I mention for like half a year now (when I started giving advise about E-Commerce in several forums etc.)

    It may be pure fraud, yes, but it may also be helplessness of people who go from zero to thousands real quick and have no idea how to keep up with everything. I mean how many people do you know that own a legal business doing dropshipping? 5%? 10%? Maybe 20? From the hundreds of store owners I know, at least 80% have zero clue about taxes, international laws and businesses.

    They think of the whole thing as a simple "method" they found somewhere and just need to execute, forgetting that they are moving physical products all over the world, crossing borders, and interacting with paying customers in the end who expect something in return. And they do not only expect to get their (eventually even shitty because never tested) products, they also expect customer service and responding to their issues. You cannot stay away from that pointing to your policies or something. Because this is exactly what happens if they feel tricked: getting chargebacks, bad publicity and thelike.

    Originally Posted by DCR MEL View Post

    Thanks for the nice post. I was studing the same business model over the past weeks and discovered the major points you just mentionned
    as store owner, you will rely on suppliers on the other half of the planet with no control on orders processing, quality, return ....
    The positive side is that you could make good margins but with many risks...
    The margins in DS are actually really bad per se, since you are buying for the same prices end consumers do. AliExpress is not a wholesale or manufacturing platform, its actually made for consumers (of course Ali knows how many people use it for business and many suppliers do as well, but still).

    But you are right, the risks are a huge part.

    All in all I don't want to make things seem worse and harder than they are. But most people tend to do the exact opposite.

    Dropshipping can be a great business model if you only have a few hundred $ to spend and want to "test" how you do in E-Commerce. Chances of succeeding are pretty low, but if you know what you are doing, are persistent with your strategy and ESPECIALLY have a strategy in the first place, you can definetly be somewhat successful here and potentially move on to a stock-based model later on.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10978543].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Importexport
      Originally Posted by Splatterfox View Post

      This is exactly what I mention for like half a year now (when I started giving advise about E-Commerce in several forums etc.)

      It may be pure fraud, yes, but it may also be helplessness of people who go from zero to thousands real quick and have no idea how to keep up with everything. I mean how many people do you know that own a legal business doing dropshipping? 5%? 10%? Maybe 20? From the hundreds of store owners I know, at least 80% have zero clue about taxes, international laws and businesses.

      They think of the whole thing as a simple "method" they found somewhere and just need to execute, forgetting that they are moving physical products all over the world, crossing borders, and interacting with paying customers in the end who expect something in return. And they do not only expect to get their (eventually even shitty because never tested) products, they also expect customer service and responding to their issues. You cannot stay away from that pointing to your policies or something. Because this is exactly what happens if they feel tricked: getting chargebacks, bad publicity and thelike.



      The margins in DS are actually really bad per se, since you are buying for the same prices end consumers do. AliExpress is not a wholesale or manufacturing platform, its actually made for consumers (of course Ali knows how many people use it for business and many suppliers do as well, but still).

      But you are right, the risks are a huge part.

      All in all I don't want to make things seem worse and harder than they are. But most people tend to do the exact opposite.

      Dropshipping can be a great business model if you only have a few hundred $ to spend and want to "test" how you do in E-Commerce. Chances of succeeding are pretty low, but if you know what you are doing, are persistent with your strategy and ESPECIALLY have a strategy in the first place, you can definetly be somewhat successful here and potentially move on to a stock-based model later on.
      To paraphrase a popular saying: "If it looks too easy to be true - it probably is."

      I too have seen many newbies start, have a short run of success, and then fail because they don't know the basics of international business.

      Buying retail at Aliexpress for resale is so often a starting point on a downhill journey.

      Walter Hay.
      Provenchinasourcing.com
      Signature
      Don't just slap on a label. Build a GREAT BRAND http://www.PowerLabelsforPrivateLabelProfits.com
      Safely source from China and other countries and import the easy way http://provenchinasourcing.com

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10978817].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author dave_hermansen
    It's a shame so many people think dropshipping is a low margin, little profit business model. We have owned many stores that generate six figures profit per year that dropship (and still do). We have many stores where our profits range from $100-$800 per order.

    It all comes down to your supplier and if you go the easy route and use AliExpress, your results will usually be disastrous. Contact the real brands and if they do not dropship, see if they can tell you who their large distributors are who may dropship. Don't Email people; pick up the phone!

    My guess is that people are going the AliExpress route because it is easier or they live in countries that many companies will not do business with.

    In the end, I suppose it's good that so many people think that dropshipping doesn't work. It's just that much easier to compete when there is less competition.
    Signature


    FREE ONLINE COURSE - Learn How to Dropship the Right Way!
    My PROVEN ecommerce process, as seen on: Fox News, the NY Times & Flippa
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10978974].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author NewParadigm
    i have a manufacturing company in the US and will probably set up for drop shipping for marketers. home goods, retail price range 20-50 bucks
    Signature

    In a moment of decision the best thing you can do is the right thing. The worst thing you can do is nothing. ~ Theodore Roosevelt "Trust, BUT VERIFY" ~ Ronald Reagan

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10979075].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Shay S
    Thanks for all your perspectives!

    I think many people get this Aliexpress business model wrong because there are so many fake gurus teaching it wrong. It's very easy to teach that all you have to do is put some random general trendy store on shopify and start creating some ads. It looks like quick money (it is for the "gurus"), but this is the route for disaster.

    I still believe that Aliexpress can serve a great platform for dropshipping when doing it right. I'm gonna try a different approach than the mainstream for this business model. After all, Aliexpress products are all over Amazon/Ebay for much higher prices so I don't see a reason to neglect Aliexpress products, just have to be careful with the sellers. I remember Splatterfox, of seeing a video of yours with a better approach to dropship with Aliexpress, I think I'm gonna watch it again now. ^_^
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10979334].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author AliPali
    I don't agree. If the store owner genuinely worked that hard to build their business from 0 to whatever they would be actively engaging with customer complaints and there would be numerous posts on Facebook by them, also they may even put an announcement on their website. Eventually they would seek new supplier or once they are at that point they would be buying stock in bulk and no longer be relying on drop shipping especially if their vendor had been sketchy in the past.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10982436].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author agmccall
    Originally Posted by Shay S View Post


    Your thoughts on this? Any Sherlocks in here that could crack this trend?

    Cheers!
    Twice in your post you referred to these business people as "Brilliant Marketers" I would think brilliant marketers would not run their business into the ground.

    Like you yourself said. The people on Ali Express are retailers. Not dropshippers so if you rely on them for your dropshipping business then your results could very well be the same as those you cited.

    If you want to use aliexpress as a dropshipping service then look into this WSO, just read the comments the person promoting this plugin is supposedly doing well with ali express dropshipping and provides his own website.

    http://www.warriorforum.com/ecommerc...rts-today.html (Not Affiliate Link)

    I do not do any dropshipping with ali express, but the plugin might be helpful for those interested.

    al
    Signature
    If there are no stupid questions, then what kind of questions do stupid people ask? Do they get smart just in time to ask questions?~Scott Adams~
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10982558].message }}

Trending Topics