Hey there, @afar!
Ryder here, from the Social Care Team at Shopify. Welcome to the Shopify Community, and thanks for posting! Congratulations on your recent launch, I'm happy to hear you've been able to fulfill some orders already. I'd be my pleasure to elaborate on the dropshipping business model and what options you have if you were wanting to take advantage of your AliExpress supplier's bulk discount pricing.
Dropshipping is a great business model, with one of the benefits being requiring less capital to get started. The dropshipping fulfillment process ships individual products directly to your customers, saving you as the merchant from having to purchase wholesale inventory and handling fulfillment yourself. Of course, this results in lower profit margins - one of the disadvantages of dropshipping,
If you feel comfortable that this is a popular product and you're seeing enough incoming orders to invest in your business, then you may want to consider purchasing a wholesale quantity and keeping inventory in your home or business headquarters. You can then fulfill your own orders or outsource your order fulfillment. If you're not sure whether fulfilling orders yourself or using a third-party logistics and fulfillment company is the right approach for your business at this time, I recommend reading through this guide to determine which option is best for you.
Hope this helps! Please let me know if there's anything I can clarify.
Thanks so much for clarifying and following up regarding this inquiry. In that case, I recommend reaching out to the supplier directly. While I can't guarantee that this is the case for all suppliers, a colleague of mine has done this in the past. She had sent the suppliers a CSV export of all the orders and received a bulk discount every time. It's important to communicate with your suppliers, especially when you're dropshipping. If your suppliers aren't willing to do this for you or if you're looking for general supplier tips, check out our How to Find and Work With Reliable Suppliers guide. It's common practice for entrepreneurs to be in touch with their suppliers frequently for any questions or concerns they might need support with. If you haven't already, try giving your supplier a call and see if they're responsive, communicative, and otherwise suitable to do business with. Alternatively, you might consider purchasing popular products in bulk and shipping them from our home or a fulfillment center - for which you can add as a custom fulfillment service.
I hope this clears that up! Please let me know if you have any other questions.