No one likes losing money. So here are the three basic mistakes that I’ve noticed Aliexpress dropshippers have made.
3 Basic Mistakes Aliexpress Dropshippers Have Made
So I’m going to start out with refunds. So let’s just go and jump straight into it.
Aliexpress Dropshipping Mistake #1
I like to think that in this world, 99% people are good and have great intentions. Unfortunately, for every 99 awesome people in the world, there is 1 jerk. And you know what those jerks like to do? They like to try to get their items for free by claiming a false refund. It’s the worst nightmare for anyone selling things online. These sorts of people come, and they buy this awesome mug from you and, of course, because you were smart and you picked the right supplier, it came in perfect condition.
So you know what they do?
They go, and they get their computer, and they type out a little sob story about how the item arrived damaged and now, they want a refund. And sometimes, these people can even be quite nasty, and they’ll try to intimidate you by threatening things like chargebacks or doing a PayPal dispute. Because you see, these jerks are quite smart. They know that if they went and claimed that an item was damaged at a brick and mortar store, then they would actually have to go into the store and give the item back in person and it would be instantly clear that they were lying and they would be laughed and shamed out of the store.
I’ll tell you what though. Some of these jerks are so bad that they’ll still try their luck and try to refund items to brick and mortar stores falsely. And I’m sure if anyone here reading this article has worked in retail, that you can comment and let us know your horror stories.
But hey, you’re thousands miles away so they can’t come in with their item and return it in person so what can you do? How can you protect yourself from false refunds from the 1% people in this world who are jerks?
Well, the answers are really simple:
- Only allow refunds for products that are faulty
- Require that customers mail the faulty products back to you and require that they do this at their own expense.
Believe it or not, this is actually industry standard for the online retail industry. It is not shady to require this at all.
In fact, if you go to Shopify and do their auto-generate a refund policy, they will include this by default.
You will be responsible for paying your own shipping costs for returning your item. Shipping costs are non-refundable. If you receive a refund, the cost of return shipping will be deducted from your refund.
If you require customers to not only have to go to the effort of shipping the item back to you but also having to pay the return shipping costs themselves, then the false refunders are going to run away, especially since as part of the refund policy, you should be including a section about how refunds will only be given once products are inspected and shown to be faulty.
Just like Shopify does in their default return policy.
If the items are in reasonable condition, you can then list them on eBay to help recoup your costs, or you can even take them to a secondhand shop and sell them there. And I do not suggest that you use the AliExpress return options because usually, the refund policies are very similar. You can return the items at your own cost to claim a refund. So no, it is not worth it.
Aliexpress Dropshipping Mistake #2
Picking the Wrong Suppliers
Most dropshippers become fixated on the initial sale even though the true money is not made there. If you have a Facebook ad for a product and it’s breaking even, then that’s an awesome position to be in.
Because now you’ve got the fantastic opportunity to upsell those customers to other items. A lot of dropshippers don’t think about the fact that because you’re often working with multiple suppliers, that if a customer comes and buys more than one item from you, that those different items are going to come in different packages.
Now, this isn’t the end of the world. Amazon has actually done a lot of good here for us by normalizing this. They have an option where they will send items out in different packages if it means that they will arrive faster.
So if you warn the customer in advance and tell them that items are going to arrive in different packages to help expedite the shipping process, then usually, you will be absolutely fine.
But you know what is even better than having to do this?
Getting the items shipped together in a single package. Yes, you can get away with having items shipped in different packages, but it isn’t the ideal. Customers do prefer to get their items in a single package. And the better the customer service that you provide, the greater the chance that they will come back in the future and buy more things from you.
So how do you not lose out on these repeat buyers and sales?
Well, the answer is simple. When you’re considering whether or not to use a supplier, take a look at the different items that they sell. Check to see if the supplier that you’re considering is also selling other items related to your main product. Maybe you’ll discover that that specific supplier isn’t, but a little bit of research reveals that another supplier is selling them for a higher price, but they are also selling other related items that you can easily upsell the customer on.
Try to cut back on the number of suppliers that you work with so that you have a greater chance of being able to do combined shipping for your customer and make it a super-priority for items that you are selling as upsells. Find a supplier that is selling item both the front end product and the upsell product.
Aliexpress Dropshipping Mistake #3
When you’re dropshipping with Facebook ads, an important way to get people to buy items from you then and there without price checking them against Amazon is to use scarcity. Scarcity is saying things like, “Oh, this item is 50% off but only for the next 11 orders. Get in now.”
Now yes, this is false scarcity, but as I’ve wrote before, everyone does it, including large retailers.
One effective way to continue the illusion of scarcity is to add what is called a scarcity timer to your product page, like the one here so that the customer believes that you’ve only got 11 in stock and it encourages them to buy now.
So if this is an effective way to make you sales, how on Earth can scarcity timer lose you money?
Well, because new dropshippers all the time abuse them and use them in very careless ways. They will go ahead and add a scarcity timer to all of their pages and so what happens is a customer comes to their store and sees an item they like but thinks, “Oh, I’ll go look around at the other pages on the store to make sure that it’s legitimate.” And then they click on a product and lo and behold, what do they see? Another timer. And they think, “Huh.” And so then when they go, and they click on another product page and what do they see? They see another timer, and they think, “Wow, does every product page have one of these?” And as they click on more products, they quickly discover that yes, everyone does and so they lose all their trust with you, and you just lost that sale.
I see new dropshippers make this mistake a lot and I know that it will be causing them lost money from lost sales. So don’t be stupid.
When it comes to scarcity timers, do one of two things:
- Strictly limit which product pages you have your scarcity timers on
- Put scarcity timers on product pages that are not normally accessible by customers
So if you do wannna test a lot of products with scarcity timers, what you can do is you can make a copy of each of your product pages and put the timer on there. You can then put those product pages in a separate collection that you do not add to your store menu. That way, you can directly link customers to product pages with scarcity timers, but they cannot see them themselves when they’re just browsing around your store.
So those are the three ways that I see new sellers lose money when it comes to AliExpress dropshipping and my Aliexpress dropshipping tips on how to avoid making them for yourself. If you appreciated the honest advice in this article, then I’d appreciate if you share it on your social media channels to inform your new entrepreneur friends.
Muammer is a Marketing Analytics Manager at Turkcell. His mission is to empower entrepreneurs and to help them achieve their goals. He also has a passion for illustration.