Barbara Racz

Barbara Racz

Senior Marketing and Content Manager at Syncee

Alibaba.com vs AliExpress: Which One is Best For Dropshipping?

Dropshipping is getting a growing role in the industry of ecommerce nowadays. Online merchants are looking for sources of products and they most probably hear about the world’s two biggest ecommerce marketplaces. Alibaba.com vs AliExpress, which one works best for dropshipping? Read the pros and cons below for a better understanding.

Alibaba.com and AliExpress belong to the Alibaba Group. Both of them are online marketplaces where many retailers get products from for their stores. Retailers have the opportunity to get products by dropshipping without upfront investment OR in bulk with upfront investment. So far it was only AliExpress from the two marketplaces where you could work with the dropshipping business model. However, from the first half of 2021 Alibaba.com also offers dropshipping solution for merchants while keeping its original role as well, letting retailers buy in bulk, with minimum order quantity.

What is the main difference between the two platforms? Alibaba.com is a B2B (Business-to-Business) platform where real suppliers, manufacturers, and factories are offering their products to (only) retail businesses at real wholesale prices. AliExpress, however, is a B2C (Business-to-Customer) platform where you can find resellers and manufacturers with retail product prices; it is meant for ordinary customers, not for businesses.

If you are considering getting products for your online store from Alibaba.com or AliExpress and you want to work with high profit margin you should choose products and suppliers from Alibaba.com to start an online store with dropshipping.

Alibaba.com and AliExpress

Alibaba.com vs AliExpress: Comparison with an Example

From this time you have the opportunity to start a real B2B dropshipping business. What is the key to it? You already know that AliExpress is an online retail service for ordinary customers, while Alibaba.com is where real suppliers can be found with wholesale prices. For online store owners, it is not beneficial to get products for their business from AliExpress. They would get items at retail prices that means there is already a price margin added on the wholesale price. As a businessman or businesswoman, your goal is to get a big income and work with high profit margin. It is only possible if you get your products from Alibaba.com suppliers.

The product selection on the two marketplaces is basically exactly the same. However, the two ecommerce platforms have different target audiences. Let’s see an example of why as an online store owner who plans to use dropshipping service it is best to choose Alibaba.com as the source of their products.

EXAMPLE:

Let’s say you want to sell headphones to your customer.

CASE 1 – PRODUCT FROM ANOTHER RETAILER

You can choose to go to the local mall in your town and get headphones for your own store from there for $100/piece. You can try to resell the product at a price of $120, for example. If a sale happens, your income is $20. However, when the customer notices that he could get the product for a cheaper price from the local mall, next time he won’t buy from you. He will go to the local mall instead. You will have short-term buyer relationships, and you won’t be profitable and successful with your business in the long run.

CASE 2 – PRODUCT FROM A REAL SUPPLIER

The solution for you to be successful in the long run is to get the headphones from a real supplier, manufacturer, or factory. They will offer you the product at a wholesale price of $50. Then you can sell the product for $100, and have $50 income. Or, you can sell the item at a cheaper price than what is available at the local mall. If you sell the headphones for $90 your income will be still much more, $40, than when you would get items at from the local mall. You can get long-term buyer relationships, and you can be successful in the long run.

Alibaba.com vs AliExpress

So, why would you get items for your online store from other retailers, if you can get those products from the manufacturer itself? The example is the same as what the case is like with AliExpress and Alibaba.com. If you are reselling from AliExpress, for your customers it is better if they go right to AliExpress and get the product at a lower price.

You can see: AliExpress is not for those who want to get dropshipping products for their online store. It can’t be a profitable business. This marketplace is best for B2C purposes where end customers can get products. By selling Alibaba.com suppliers’ products you can have a real, lucrative business.

Alibaba.com Dropshipping: Pros and Cons

When checking our pros and cons lists you need to read them from an online retailer’s point of view who would like to get products using dropshipping service. We will not say either Alibaba.com or AliExpress is better than the other as they have different business purposes, their target audience is different. Alibaba.com is for real businesses, it is a B2B platform, while AliExpress is for end customers, it is a B2C platform.

It is very important to know that from now on there will be no minimum order requirements when you would like to get products from Alibaba.com as they will release their dropshipping solution in Spring 2021 where Syncee will support you in the automated product upload, update and order sync processes. Alibaba.com is one of the biggest B2B platforms where you can find millions of products at wholesale prices.

PROSCONS
Business-to-BusinessLong Delivery Time (EU and USA warehouses are coming!)
Wholesale Prices
No Minimum Order Quantity
Real Suppliers, Manufacturers, Factories
High Price Margin
Bigger Income
More Potential Customers
Developing Fulfillment Service: More Warehouses are Coming Worldwide
Seller Doesn’t Disappear
Real Dropshipping
Automated product uploads, updates by Syncee
Automated order process supported by Syncee

AliExpress Dropshipping: Pros and Cons

AliExpess has products of resellers with retail prices, or products from the manufacturers but also at retail prices as it is another sales channel for them, with another target audience. For online stores who would like to get products for their business with dropshipping, AliExpress is not the best choice. AliExpress is for end customers where anyone can buy products, not for businesses.

PROSCONS
No Minimum Order QuantityBusiness-to-Customer
Retail Prices
Resellers Offer Products
Manufacturers also Offer Products at Retail Prices
Lower Price Margin
Less Income
Long Delivery Time
Fewer Potential Customers
Same Products as on Alibaba.com

Alibaba.com Dropshipping with Syncee

We are happy to tell you that Alibaba.com chose Syncee as a dropshipping technology partner that offers a real B2B dropshipping solution for online merchants. Pick products from one of the world’s biggest B2B dropshipping product selections, fill your online store using Syncee’s easy-to-use, powerful solution.

Learn more about how you can get dropshipping products from Alibaba.com suppliers with Syncee!

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