Has anyone noticed that some of their Aliexpress suppliers don't offer epacket anymore? I've recently noticed that some of my items are shipping as 'Aliexpress Standard Shipping'. I rarely put anything on my site without the epacket option so I started looking into it and noticed that it started happening on March 31. Did I miss something? Is it a supplier issue or system issue? Thanks!
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I read that ePacket is not working well anymore due to the pandemic. From what I heard ePacket packages use regular commercial flights for shipping.
But right now most of the planes are grounded as half of humanity is in lockdown, no tourists anymore. So suppliers have to find alternative methods. And even when they manage to send with ePacket it takes much more time to deliver packages to customers.
i think it's not a great idea to ship products now as the logistics networks are broken, there is a lot of uncertainty. But it's a good time to work on your store or open a new one to be ready when the situation will improve.. Just my opinion.
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I'm Miles from the Social Care team at Shopify.
With the current health crisis caused by COVID-19, there were many warehouse shutdowns around the world including China, where most suppliers are based and shipped from. This could be one of the reasons you're seeing epacket drop-off. With the decline in commercial flights and production, some shipping options be unavailable to your suppliers. If you are concerned, I would suggest reaching out directly to the suppliers, as more often than not, they are more than happy to help a loyal customer. Keep in mind though, these are tough times for businesses, so options may be limited at the moment.
With China slowly starting to come back online, you may start to see epacket and other shipping options appear again. Remember; there are many great shipping options including AliExpress Standard shipping and EMS.
If you're concerned around your customers and the delay in packages, you can have a banner on your site letting people know that there may be a slight delay in receiving their order. We're finding customers are very understanding at this time, as this is affecting businesses all around the world, including small and large businesses.
If you have any ongoing concerns at all, please don't hesitate to reach out to us, or your suppliers. Thanks!
Thanks for that information. My store went 'live' in January and sales were slow at first and then they gradually increased. Then February came....ugh. All of my suppliers are in China. I stuck with it though scaling back on advertising, notifying my customers of the issue and processing many refunds. At that point, none of my shipments were moving so I thought it was a good time to make improvements to my store. My suppliers were very responsive and most of them were upfront and honest about the issue. I still had some sales in February and when things started moving again (slowly) in March, my suppliers were out of stock of a lot of the items that I sell. Of course that was to be expected. So I spent a great deal of time vetting out the suppliers that came back on-line first and restocked many of my items with them. That was very time consuming, but it worked out well.
Most of my customers were understanding, but some.... not so much. My sales have increased immensely in the past 3 weeks and I'm no longer running into the 'no stock' issue (but now the epacket issue :( ). I was surprised at this since I assumed that people would be cutting back on spending, However, I realized many are fortunate that they can work from home so their income is not affected.
I consistently test the shipping times (before and after my store went live) with the items that sell the most. I would say the time has recently increased by about a week.
One last note: I can't say enough good things about the suppliers/people I work with in China. Very resilient, friendly, hardworking people. When most of the suppliers were coming back 'on-line', they were offering $1 coupons and were very apologetic. I refused to use these coupons as I wasn't going to cash in on their misfortune.
Thank you all for the information.
The shipping methods are just above the 'Buy Now' and 'Add to Cart' buttons on a product page. You can check the ratings of the supplier by hovering over their name at the top. However, keep in mind that these reviews can be fake so those percentages could be skewed. My advice is to reach out to your suppliers first and also do some test 'shipping' first as well to test ship speed and quality of the product.
I'm assuming most or perhaps all items I searched on Aliexpress shows "No ePackets" available. I thought it was just me. With the current situation, seems like everything will slowly comeback. One thing I noticed after choosing a product, suppliers still offer short shipping within the U.S.
Me too - I am in the UK and throughout all my product searches this morning, around 99% of all the results came back with 'no ePacket'. I assumed there was a site issue, but clearly not.
There's an oberlo extension you can install for chrome that means as you scroll through aliexpress each product is highlited either green (epacket) or re (no epacket). Makes it a lot easier to tell which ones will have the faster shipping or not.
Of course, they're all red at the moment, but good for the future.
You can get the extension here: https://app.oberlo.com/login