Upgrade Your Shopify Dropshipping with These 5-7 Day Shipping Alternatives

Upgrade Your Shopify Dropshipping with These 5-7 Day Shipping Alternatives

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Common Issues with AliExpress
  3. Best Alternatives to AliExpress Drop Shipping
    • Alternative 1: Zen Drop
    • Alternative 2: Drop Shipping Agent
    • Alternative 3: Fulfillment Centers
  4. Conclusion

The Best Alternatives to AliExpress in 2023

In today's lesson, we will be discussing the best alternatives to AliExpress for drop shippers in 2023. If you're looking for better prices, faster shipping times, and a more streamlined process, then this article is perfect for you. We will be covering three different methods, each with its own barrier to entry, so there is something for everyone. Let's get started!

Common Issues with AliExpress

Let's begin by highlighting the common issues that arise when using AliExpress for drop shipping. These issues can significantly impact the efficiency and success of your business.

1. Inefficient Order Fulfillment

One of the major drawbacks of using AliExpress is the inefficiency of fulfilling orders at scale. Even with apps like Oberlo, you are still required to fulfill orders one by one, which can be extremely time-consuming. This can be a burden when dealing with a high volume of orders. Hiring virtual assistants (VAs) to help with this task adds complexity to the process. Clearly, AliExpress is not an ideal platform for efficient order fulfillment.

2. Large Markups on Products

Another issue with AliExpress is the large markups on products. While the initial product prices might seem cheap, you have to consider that AliExpress suppliers are also drop shippers. They act as middlemen between manufacturers and you, the retailer. This leads to larger price markups, longer lead times, and poor customer service. To run a successful drop shipping business in the long term, relying on middlemen like AliExpress suppliers is not a viable option.

3. Poor Communication with Suppliers

Communication is key in any business, and that includes drop shipping. Unfortunately, AliExpress suppliers often have communication issues. You can expect long response times, challenging language barriers, misunderstandings, and miscommunications. This lack of effective communication hinders your ability to stay informed about your supply chain. Without timely updates, you are left unaware of the status of your orders. AliExpress falls short in providing satisfactory communication with suppliers.

4. Long Processing and Shipping Times

One of the most significant drawbacks of AliExpress is the long processing and shipping times. Many AliExpress suppliers are drop shippers themselves, which means they have to order and receive the product before fulfilling the order on your behalf. This results in extended processing times, lasting up to seven days. During this processing period, you won't have a tracking number to provide to your customers, leading to concerns and potential chargebacks. Additionally, when combined with long shipping times from cheap and inefficient carriers, customers may have to wait 20 to 40 days for their products to arrive. These delays can greatly impact your business in a negative way.

Best Alternatives to AliExpress Drop Shipping

Now that we have identified the common issues with AliExpress, let's explore the best alternatives that can help you overcome these challenges. We will discuss three alternatives, each offering unique benefits.

Alternative 1: Zen Drop

The first alternative, Zen Drop, is ideal for those who are just starting out with drop shipping. Although the products on Zen Drop may be slightly more expensive initially, the efficiency and quality of communication make it a great alternative. Zen Drop was founded by Jared Getz, a former drop shipper himself. Understanding the complexities of the business model, Jared built Zen Drop to be a solution-oriented platform.

Zen Drop partners with wholesalers, manufacturers, and fulfillment warehouses globally, ensuring fast shipping, automatic order fulfillment, and excellent communication. They also offer the option to private label your products, giving you the opportunity to turn your winning products into a true, branded business. While the cost of goods on Zen Drop may be slightly higher compared to AliExpress, the benefits of automated order fulfillment, reduced processing delays, faster shipping, and improved communication make it a worthwhile alternative.

Alternative 2: Drop Shipping Agent

The second alternative we will explore is using a drop shipping agent. This option has a higher barrier to entry, as it is recommended for those who have reached a minimum of 20 to 50 orders per day. Working with a drop shipping agent can be a cost-effective and efficient solution.

When using a drop shipping agent, you provide them with the product link, and they source it at the cheapest price possible. The agent purchases the product in bulk and stores it in their warehouse. With access to your Shopify store, they fulfill orders, handle customer data, and upload tracking numbers. You receive an itemized Excel spreadsheet detailing the order information and associated costs. Payments to the agent are typically made on a weekly basis.

Working with a drop shipping agent offers several advantages, including cheaper prices compared to AliExpress, faster shipping for customers, time savings for the business owner, and increased profit margins by lowering costs. Furthermore, you can avoid processing delays by maintaining a balance with your drop shipping agent, allowing them to manage your inventory and ensure stock availability.

Alternative 3: Fulfillment Centers

The final alternative we will discuss is fulfillment centers. This method offers the most control and fastest shipping times, making it the preferred choice for building a legitimate e-commerce business.

Fulfillment centers give you full control over your supply chain and inventory. You forecast your inventory needs and manage stock levels accordingly. Orders are shipped out immediately and typically reach customers within five days. In some cases, orders can even be delivered on the same day or next day, depending on the customer's location.

While fulfillment centers require more complexity and have a higher barrier to entry, the benefits far outweigh the challenges. By using a fulfillment center, you can ensure fast and efficient order fulfillment, provide excellent customer service, and significantly reduce shipping times. This method is highly recommended for those who want to take their e-commerce business to the next level.


In conclusion, AliExpress is not the most efficient platform for drop shippers due to various issues such as inefficient order fulfillment, large markups, poor communication, and long processing and shipping times. However, there are viable alternatives that address these challenges.

Zen Drop, Drop Shipping agents, and fulfillment centers offer different benefits depending on your business's size and needs. Zen Drop provides efficient order fulfillment and superior communication, making it a great choice for beginners. Drop Shipping agents offer cost-effective solutions, faster shipping, and increased profit margins for those fulfilling a larger volume of orders. Fulfillment centers provide full control over your supply chain and the fastest shipping times, making them ideal for businesses looking to establish a legitimate e-commerce operation.

Select the alternative that best aligns with your business goals and start overcoming the challenges associated with AliExpress. By utilizing these alternatives, you can enhance the efficiency, profitability, and overall success of your drop shipping business in 2023 and beyond.

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