Dropship from AliExpress to eBay: How to find profitable items for your eBay store
Your eBay store is only as successful as the items you stock in it.
Naturally, that means one of the most important skills of running an eBay dropshipping business is your ability to find profitable items to sell. Items that have high demand, low competition and can be sourced and sold at a decent profit margin.
This guide will help you do just that, focussing on one of the biggest and most profitable suppliers around: AliExpress.
Please be aware: This article is published in April 2020, which has become a challenging time for a lot of people due to COVID-19. Yes, running a dropshipping business involves making a profit, profit which allows you and your family to survive. However, please do not price gouge or try to excessively profiteer. Not only is this unethical and immoral, but it’s also against eBay’s rules. Please pay special attention to make sure the items you are selling are not essential goods at an excessive profit margin.
Before we begin, there are a few tools we advise that you have. All of these tools are either free or have a trial period. However, even if you don’t have all of these tools, you should still be able to follow most of this guide.
- Salefreaks – Once you’ve found profitable items, you can use Salefreaks to upload them to your store, create listings and automatically fulfil your orders
- ZIK Analytics – A fantastic eBay market research software which is very popular with eBay dropshippers. You should also download the ZIK Booster Chrome Extension.
- AliTools Shipping Assistant – A highly useful, time-saving Chrome extension that allows you to find the same item from eBay on AliExpress without actually going to the AliExpress website. Plus, it’s free!
What is AliExpress?
AliExpress is one of the worlds largest Chinese-based online retailers. Like eBay, AliExpress is a marketplace comprised of millions of individual companies and sellers, aggregated into one place.
Advantages of dropshipping from AliExpress to eBay:
- Most AliExpress suppliers already sell wholesale on Alibaba, and openly welcome reselling of their items
- Unlike with Amazon, there’s no need to worry about getting your account suspended
- As the sellers are usually manufacturers, you can achieve far higher front-end profit margins, without having to use unreliable gift cards
- With 100 million items and counting, there are endless items to sell (far greater than with Amazon).
- You can sell internationally without having to pay extra for global shipping services
- Most products have an ePacket shipping option which allows fast international shipping to most developed countries
- Lots of cashback portals offer approximately 6% back on your AliExpress purchases – a valuable additional source of income
- Some sellers also ship from warehouses in the U.S.
Disadvantages of dropshipping from AliExpress to eBay:
- Longer shipping time – most orders are fulfilled from China, causing a delay in buyers receiving their orders. It’s worth mentioning however that lots of buyers don’t mind this as long as they are informed before purchasing.
- AliExpress suppliers are unlikely to cover the cost of shipping in case of returns, so you should factor this into your profit calculations.
How to find profitable items to dropship from AliExpress to eBay:
Rather watch this tutorial as a video? Tune in below:
Step 1: Find other eBay dropshippers
The first step is to find other eBay dropshippers that have successfully sold items from China (AliExpress). To do this, login to ZIK Analytics and go to the eBay product research tool.
Then, set the search criteria as follows:
- Shipping location: China
- Maximum feedback of 600 – This is because most dropshippers don’t have a high amount of feedback. You can adjust this to make it slightly higher, say, 1,000, but it’s highly unlikely that an eBay power seller with 100,000 feedback is dropshipping.
- A minimum price of $10 – This is to ensure any product you find can be sold at a reasonable profit.
With your parameters set, you can now search for a random product keyword, for example; “wallets”. Click search, check all 100 items and hit “ZIK Selection”.
While you can type in nearly any random product, here are a few guidelines you should follow:
- In order to avoid potential eBay VeRO violations and/or possible lawsuits, try to avoid selling clothes, shoes, ear-pods (like Apple’s) and other electronic devices of known brands.
- Baby stuffed dolls are not authorized by the EU’s Rapid Alert System (RAPEX) and will cause a temporary suspension
- Try searching for generic items as much as possible.
While normally you would be interested in the sales statistics of the products, right now, your sole focus should be on finding eBay dropshippers. Scroll past the sales statistics and go to details of the listings.
Important: For the next part, you must have the ZIK Booster Chrome Extension installed.
On the left-hand side, you’ll see the name and nationality of each eBay seller. You’ll also notice a logo slightly to the right of it that allows you to scan the seller to examine their store.
Find any sellers in the search results that are not Chinese, and scan them.
Step 2: Filtering potentially profitable items from other sellers
Once you’ve located a non-Chinese seller, click the scan icon to be taken to their eBay store.
Using ZIK Analytics, we advise that you filter to find items that:
- Have sold at least once in the last 30 days
- Are priced between $10-$40
Hit the filter button and wala!
Now you have a list of items that are already proven to sell on eBay. Armed with this, you can start to work backwards and see if there’s a profit to be made!
Step 3: Calculating profitability
Choose any of the items on your list and click on the product title to go to the eBay listing.
Once on the eBay listing, you need to check the last sold price on eBay to make sure the price it’s listed for currently is realistic. Take the wallet below, for example, you can see from the sales history that this last sold for $22.97.
Generally speaking, when using AliExpress you want to aim for an overall 25-35% profit margin after product and shipping costs.
Luckily, we’ve found an easy method for approximating this to take into account any taxes to the U.S. and product costs.
Profitability Formula: Whatever the price of the item is on eBay, halve it. If the price on AliExpress (with shipping) is equal to, or less than this, you’re likely to be profitable.
So with the item in the example above that’s selling for $22.97 on eBay, if you can find a similar product on AliExpress for $11.49 or less (including shipping to the U.S.), then you’ll be profitable.
Step 4: Finding a reliable product and supplier on AliExpress
At this point, you should know exactly what you’re looking for – a similar product on AliExpress for half the eBay cost. The question is, how do you find it?
Important: For the next part, you must have the AliTools Shipping Assistant installed (it’s free).
With AliTools Shipping Assistant installed, it’s super easy. When you’re on the eBay listing, a small pop-up will appear beside the product image, letting you locate suppliers of similar products on AliExpress.
Take a look closely at the image on the left. Did you notice that the top item suggested is showing as just $9.60 on AliExpress, and is the exact same product as on the eBay listing?
This looks promising! Click it so you can see the full listing on AliExpress.
Now it’s time to do a series of checks to see if the item is still profitable enough to sell and if the supplier is trustworthy enough for you to do business with them.
Check 1: Is it still profitable to sell?
As the eBay price was $22.97, we want the product and shipping cost to be $11.49 or less.
We already know the product cost is $9.60, so we need to see if this can be shipped to your location of choice (in this example, the U.S.), for $1.89 or less.
When you click on the shipping box, you’ll often see a few different shipping methods. Aim for ePacket as it’s one of the most reliable, cheapest and quickest shipping options.
Final calculation time – $0.54 + $9.60 = $10.14 – this is less than $11.49 so would represent a good profit.
Check 2: Is the AliExpress product and supplier trustworthy?
AliExpress provides a lot of seller and product metrics that you can use to evaluate whether a supplier is trustworthy or is too much of a risk to use.
At Salefreaks, we have some parameters we advise that you check for, but ultimately the risk you’re willing to take is up to you. The lower the ratings, the more likely you are to deal with lower quality products, return requests and scam suppliers.
Suppliers are given an overall positive feedback rating, along with ratings for if their items are as described, their communication skills and their shipping speed.
To be confident of working with a supplier, you should aim for:
- At least 96% positive feedback AND
- A minimum of 4.6 in all seller rating categories AND
- A minimum of 1 year of experience
As you can see, while this supplier has been in business for over a year, they don’t meet the other metrics so you should avoid using this supplier. At this stage, you can either search for a different supplier of the same product or search for a different product from the eBay dropshipper that you found earlier.
It’s also important to make sure that the products are of a high quality to avoid the costs of dealing with return requests from eBay buyers.
From the AliExpress listing, you can view individual reviews, the overall star rating that customers have given it and the number of reviews that have been left.
In the example above, the rating is 5 stars (which of course is good!), but this is only based on 1 review and 3 orders that have been placed. The more reviews, the easier it is to judge the quality of any given product.
Once again, the level of risk you’re comfortable with for your eBay store is down to you. We’d advise searching for products with an average star rating of 4.5/5 or more, with at least 10 reviews.
Uploading AliExpress products to your eBay store with Salefreaks
If you’re brand new to using AliExpress with Salefreaks, you’ll want to start by adding AliExpress as a supplier.
How to add AliExpress as a supplier with Salefreaks:
From the dashboard, go to the eBay account section. Then, select the eBay account you wish to add AliExpress to and choose “add supplier”. From the dropdown box you’ll be able to choose either AliExpress (US) or AliExpress (China), depending on if you’re listing products from U.S. warehouses or China based warehouses.
Next, you’ll need to add and link your shipping, returns and payment policies when selling from AliExpress.
eBay business policies when dropshipping from AliExpress to eBay
If you’re a U.S. seller, we advise using the settings as below, which should be suitable for ePacket deliveries from AliExpress (China).
- Under domestic shipping, a handling time of 3-5 business days should be enough.
- Under domestic shipping, choose “Standard shipping from China”
- Under international shipping, choose “Economy shipping from China”
- For international shipping, add all the locations that qualify for ePacket shipping (you can find a list of them here), but make sure to uncheck Brazil and Germany as these countries can be problematic to ship to.
If you’re finding items that ship from AliExpress U.S. warehouses, then you can use the below shipping policy instead.
Under returns – keep it simple as below. Just remember to also check the box to allow international returns.
For your payment policy, you can use the standard payment policy you use for all items.
Uploading your AliExpress products
With AliExpress set up as your supplier on Salefreaks, you can now go ahead and upload your products, ready to be listed on eBay.
As you find products from AliExpress, you’ll need to create and add them on to a basic spreadsheet with two columns; Item ID and Title. We advise making a spreadsheet with roughly 100-200 items that you’ve found, bearing in mind that roughly half of these won’t be uploaded to protect you from potential eBay VeRO violations. As a benchmark, it takes our VA’s roughly 3 hours to find 100 items.
Item ID – You can find the AliExpress Item ID in the AliExpress URL after www.aliexpress.com/item/[itemid] Example: If you want to upload the following item: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4000296777013.html then the Item ID is 4000296777013
Title – In this column, write the eBay title that you want to use for your listing
Once you’ve filled your spreadsheet, click “save as…”, name the file and save as a .csv.
Note: Any spreadsheet program such as Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets should be fine as long as it can be saved as a .csv file and uploaded to Salefreaks.
Importing the AliExpress products to Salefreaks
From the Salefreaks menu, go to Items -> Import
Then, click upload to upload your file, give your upload a name and select the supplier of either AliExpress (US) or AliExpress (China). Once saved, the status will switch to “new”, then “in progress” and finally to “ready”. This may take some time depending on how many items you’re looking to list.
Once the import is shown as ready, from the dashboard, go to Listing Wizard -> Listing Generator and you’ll also find the corresponding file with the status “ready”.
Click on it, choose the eBay store you want to upload the items to and click “generate” to start creating your eBay listings.
Once done, you can go back to the listing generator to check how many listings were uploaded.
That’s it! Your listings are uploaded.
As Salefreaks support auto-order for AliExpress, when the sales come in, Salefreaks will automatically fulfil your orders so that you can sit back and relax as your store grows!
Do you have any questions? If so, let us know in the comments 🙂