Hi everyone, got a question I haven't been able to find an answer for, try as I might. My store went live three days ago, and it was a complete disaster. I was unaware I had to verify my account with AliExpress (despite my extensive research into the drop shipping process), and they froze my account after fulfilling about six orders with them (and having another thirty or so pending).
The promotion I was running was a free + shipping offer on a woman's accessory. The product cost me $1.53 and I was charging $5.58 for it. Most of my orders were for just one of these items. A few people bought two or more, but most of the orders were for very small amounts.
A woman contacted me through AliExpress after I placed those six orders and said if I want to do ePacket to the US it has to be at least $5. Like I mentioned, most of my orders are for $1.53 or so.
What am I doing wrong here?
Is this minimum order amount something that varies between sellers? Or is it universal across AliExpress?
I thought I had read something about people combining multiple orders (bundling?) to save on shipping. Is this true? Would combining orders allow me to meet the $5 minimum, but also have the individual items ship to all the different buyers? If so, can someone explain how this works?
Any info you can provide is greatly appreciated. I wound up cancelling all my orders and taking down expensive ads prematurely as I locked down the store to sort out these issues. I'm hoping the next store launch goes smoother than this one did...
Aria here, I'm on the Social Care team at Shopify. :)
I'm sorry to hear your store launch didn't go to plan. It sounds like you put a lot of work into it. Launching any new business is always a huge learning curve, it's not unusual to have teething problems.
With regards to Aliexpress, keep in mind they are a huge marketplace, a bit like the Chinese equivalent of eBay (without bidding). Each seller has their own policies when it comes to how much they charge for their products and shipping, which shipping methods they use, etc. It sounds like this particular seller has a policy that they won't use ePacket unless you spend $5 minimum, with them specifically.
When deciding what you will sell on your store, my advice would be to carefully read the product page on Aliexpress for every product you are considering selling. All of the information you need will be there regarding the sellers track record, policies, shipping costs, etc. Contact each seller to ask them anything you're unsure about. It is good practice to always contact them, even if it's just to make sure they respond. The last thing you need is to have to contact them when you go live, only to discover they don't respond to your email.
I hope this helps. I wish you all the success when you re-launch your store!
Thank you, this is what I was hoping to hear. I was wondering how people made any money selling trinkets that are less than a dollar if the sellers had a $5 minimum order. Glad to see the policy varies from seller to seller. One more thing to keep in mind as I select products for my store. Thank you for the response. :)