CJ Dropshipping Review (2022 update) Better than AliExpress?

CJ Dropshipping is growing in popularity in recent years and has become the go-to platform for many dropshippers. I was extremely hesitant to use CJ initially as I had mainly used AliExpress up to that point and couldn’t really understand how another platform could compete with AliExpress when it came to dropshipping.

This article will guide you through everything you need to know about CJ Dropshipping, including the good and bad aspects and whether it is the right option for your dropshipping business.

What is CJ Dropshipping?

CJ Dropshipping is a platform exclusively built as a complete solution for dropshipping, with a huge marketplace of products for dropshippers to add to their eCommerce store. CJ takes care of product sourcing, stocking, inventory management, order fulfillment and shipping.

CJ is a team of agents who are connected directly to suppliers and manufacturers. This way, CJ’s team decides the products they deem suitable for their platform, which is very different from how AliExpress operates.

How Does CJ Dropshipping Work?

CJ Dropshipping syncs to many eCommerce platforms including Shopify, WooCommerce, eBay and Shipstation. Once synced, you can easily list CJ products in your store with just a few clicks. When orders are made in your store, you have the option to set up automatic fulfillment or you can do it manually.

Click here to download the CJ Dropshipping app for Shopify

For a full comparison of the major eCommerce platforms, check out my article to help you decide which is the best choice for you.

Is CJ Dropshipping Legit?

As a person who has used CJ extensively, I can guarantee they are a legitimate business. I found it a much more reliable service than dealing with AliExpress, which is more like the Wild West of dropshipping.

Although CJ Dropshipping isn’t perfect, they are a great option for dropshippers in terms of product sourcing, fast shipping times and customer service. Their platform has grown in popularity over the years with many positive reviews, which is a good indication they are legit.

Looking at Google trends over the past 5 years, you can see the increase in interest online since mid-2019.

CJ Dropshipping search term

Is CJ Dropshipping Free?

CJ Dropshipping is completely FREE to use and does not charge for sign-up or monthly fees. The only costs users incur are product costs, upgrading memberships, custom packaging and warehouse service fees for products CJ warehouses don’t already stock.

These service fees include processing, shipping and warehouse fees but are only for products sourced which CJ does not already stock in their warehouses. These fees vary depending on the weight of the product, shipping method and how long the product is stored in their warehouse.

If CJ dropshipping is free to use, how do they make money? 

CJ makes a small markup on all their products to make a profit. They still keep their product pricing low due to the fact they deal directly with manufacturers, eliminating the product going through several middlemen, each marking up the product price.

Is CJ Dropshipping Better than AliExpress?

CJ dropshipping and AliExpress are commonly compared because at first glance their platforms look similar but they are actually very different. It can be hard to say which is better as it may really depend on your business needs and what’s important to you.

CJ dropshipping is better for beginners as it is an all-in-one solution for dropshipping and is far more vetted in terms of product quality and supplier reliability. AliExpress is a huge marketplace for vendors to sell their products which makes it far superior in terms of the product range.

Below is a table to help you decide which aspects of each platform are important for you.

FeaturesCJ DropshippingAliExpressWinner
Product Range400,0002.5 billionAliExpress wins easily, however, CJ has sourcing requests for products they don’t stock.
Product PriceCJ works directly with manufacturers.AliExpress prices often pass through many suppliers before being listed to consumers.Although prices differ, overall CJ prices are lower.
Shipping CJ has their own shipping lines, CJPacket.AliExpress’ best shipping methods are ePacket and AliExpress Standard Shipping.If you want the cheapest shipping, AliExpress wins, although shipping times can be long. If you want fast shipping, CJ shipping is better value.
Payment MethodsCJ offers 9 of the most popular payment methods.Each vendor on AliExpress will have different payment methods.CJ wins this as you may not be able to work with some AliExpress suppliers who don’t offer payment methods you want.
Worldwide WarehousesCJ has 30 warehouses worldwide.AliExpress has several warehouses worldwide.CJ win as you can have products shipped from China to any of their warehouses for free. With AliExpress you can only dropship what they stock in each warehouse.
ReliabilityCJ personally chooses the suppliers and products for their platform.AliExpress accepts any suppliers and products to be listed on their platform.It’s far more likely you’ll be able to find reliable suppliers to work with on CJ.
FeaturesCJ’s best features are Print on Demand, custom branding, private inventory and auto fulfillment.AliExpress’ best features are the Dropship Center, bulk orders and US warehouse shipping.CJ wins this easily as they have heaps of helpful features that really can help your business succeed.
CJ Dropshipping vs AliExpress

When you look at which is better for dropshipping, it’s going to be different for everyone. There are pros and cons to both platforms but personally, I find it hard to make an argument for AliExpress unless the massive product range is the number one factor for you.

CJ has over 400,000 products on their marketplace but this pales in comparison to AliExpress which has over 2.5 billion products. The advantage CJ has is you have the option to post a sourcing request if CJ does not stock the product in one of their warehouses.

Which has Cheaper Products, CJ Dropshipping or AliExpress?

Most of the information online I read on websites and forums claims CJ prices are always lower than AliExpress. From my experience, I have found the prices are generally a little lower on CJ. I have also found the prices to be slightly higher than AliExpress occasionally.

Often the prices on AliExpress are listed cheaper than CJ Dropshipping but this can be misleading. CJ will have the total dropshipping price including shipping listed on the price, whereas many AliExpress suppliers will have the shipping cost hidden low on the product page.

You also want to make sure you take shipping times into consideration when comparing prices. If AliExpress’ price is $1 cheaper but will take an extra week to arrive to the customer, CJ may be the better option. Faster shipping times will result in more repeat business and less customer service.

When dealing with CJ, they are the only middleman between you and the manufacturer. They are based in China and deal directly with manufacturers, build relationships and purchase inventory in bulk enabling lower prices for dropshippers.

With AliExpress, you’re often purchasing from a supplier who may just be someone working from home who has brought the goods from another supplier. It is hard to buy direct from manufacturers on AliExpress as it’s essentially a huge marketplace of vendors competing with one another.

For this reason, the prices are often more expensive on AliExpress but occasionally they can be cheaper. If they are cheaper on AliExpress, is it still worth it given the unreliability of the platform?

Does CJ Ship Worldwide?

CJ has warehouses in 30 countries which is a real bonus if you’re looking to ship worldwide. The shipping times and prices are also very reasonable compared to other platforms.

The biggest advantage with this is you can find gaps in the market which most dropshippers haven’t considered yet. Dropshipping is generally used to target the main English speaking countries, the US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Having access to warehouses in countries most dropshippers haven’t targeted really provides an opportunity to test products in markets that haven’t yet been exposed to certain products.

Many of the countries that haven’t been targeted by dropshippers are also countries that are much cheaper to advertise to. This really is one of the best features of CJ and one that will be taken advantage of eventually.

 CJ Dropshipping Shipping Times

Shipping times is one of the biggest reasons many dropshippers are taking the move from AliExpress to CJ Dropshipping. The shipping times from AliExpress can be long, expensive and unreliable which is a deal-breaker for most people.

With CJ, the shipping times from China to most countries are between 7 to 17 days using CJ’s transit methods. They also have warehouses in 30 countries, if you’re shipping domestically from one of these warehouses, shipping times can be 3 to 7 days, depending on the country.

For a customer, waiting up to 17 days isn’t ideal, though it’s fairly reasonable. Many of the cheaper shipping methods with AliExpress can take up to 60 days. Although longer shipping times are not as big of a deal as many people make it out to be, there is a limit to that. If people are waiting over a month for a product, you’ll be dealing with a lot of unhappy customers.

AliExpress’ best value options for shipping are ePacket and AliExpress Standard Shipping. Both of these options have similar shipping times to CJPacket and are often slightly more expensive.

One of the main reasons CJ’s popularity has grown so fast recently is their shipping lines stayed reasonably consistent in terms of pricing and times during the pandemic.

Does CJ provide tracking information?

CJ uploads tracking information to a user’s Shopify store within 24 hours of a customer’s purchase. Using an app called TrackiPal will help reduce your rolling reserve, reduce chargebacks and gain credibility in the eyes of your payment provider.

Below are the estimated shipping times from CJ’s China warehouse and shipping times from CJ’s warehouse located in each specific country.

CountryEstimated Shipping Times from China WarehouseEstimated Shipping Times from Domestic Warehouse
Australia6 – 15 days with CJPacket ordinary3 – 7 days
Canada10 – 15 days with CJPacket ordinary2 – 7 days
France6 – 12 days with CJPacket ordinary3 – 8 days
Germany7 – 14 days with CJPacket YW ordinary3 – 6 days
Italy8 – 15 days with CJPacket ordinary2 -3 days
Mexico13 – 20 days with CJPacket ordinary2 – 5 days
New Zealand7 – 15 days with CJPacket Special Line3 – 7 days
Spain13 – 18 days with CJPacket ordinary3 – 8 days
UK7 – 12 days with CJPacket ordinary3 – 7 days
USA10 – 17 days with CJPacket YW ordinary2 – 5 days
CJ Shipping Times

CJ Dropshipping Auto Fulfillment

Having CJ fulfill your orders for you is a huge feature. If you’re scaling your business and trying to keep up with the orders yourself, it’ll take up most of your time.

Most people will have to pay a virtual assistant with the order fulfillment side of their business, which is why using CJ will save you time and potentially money.

How do you automatically fulfill orders?

  1. You download the CJ Dropshipping app to your Shopify store.

2. Your orders on your Shopify store will then sync directly to CJ.

3. At the end of each day, you simply select all your orders for that day, add them to your cart and pay for them.

4. CJ will then process each order and ship them out for you.

How to import orders on CJ Dropshipping

Ordering in Bulk from CJ Dropshipping

Ordering in bulk from CJ dropshipping may be one of the biggest advantages CJ has over its competition. With most competitors such as Zendrop, I generally recommend once you start scaling your business, you stop using them and do a bulk order from Alibaba. However, CJ is worth considering if you’re starting to do some serious volume with your store.

You can order your products in bulk from China and CJ will ship the order to one of their warehouses around the world for FREE. It can take up to 3 weeks to reach one of their warehouses once the bulk order is made.

This means you can have better margins on your products as CJ will give you better prices per unit the bigger the order you make and your shipping will be cheaper. You will also be able to ship the products to your customers much faster as they will be shipped from one of their local warehouses.

Faster shipping and competitive pricing when it comes to your products will give you a huge advantage over your competitors as many of them will be shipping products from China.

Check out the video below for how to make a bulk order with CJ.

CJ Bulk order feature

Are you better off ordering in bulk from CJ or Alibaba?

There is no simple answer to this question. If you order in bulk from Alibaba you will get a lower price per product, however, it may be more complicated to organize it all and it may not necessarily work out cheaper.

With a bulk order from Alibaba you may need to:

  • Pay for a dropshipping agent to help with the whole process.
  • Negotiate with suppliers for the best possible price, which can be difficult with the language barrier.
  • Organize and pay the shipping from China.
  • Organize and pay for a fulfillment center to store and ship products to your customers.

This does not mean you should discount using Alibaba as it may still work out cheaper to do this if you are scaling your business, it will, however, be much more work upfront.

With CJ the whole process is much simpler but they will still be taking a small cut per product you sell, this may be worth it to avoid the extra work involved though.

CJ Dropshipping Branding

CJ offers the ability to help the branding of your store with custom packaging, including a huge selection of different packaging options and various marketing materials that can be sent with the product.

Don’t underestimate the importance of branding when it comes to dropshipping. A brand is what can help you stand out from the crowd with your store.

Because of the increased popularity dropshipping has gained over the past few years, you need to gain advantages over your competition to succeed. Branding is that advantage!

You’ll find most successful dropshippers have started branding their stores. As more consumers are becoming aware of dropshipping it has gained a negative connotation and branding is the answer to the problem.

With CJ they have several packaging materials you can use to brand your store:

  • Plastic bags
  • Cartons
  • Plastic boxes
  • Cloth bags
  • Paper bags
  • Tags
  • Stickers
  • Cards
  • Gifts

CJ also offers a POD service that enables you to design your own logo and have it added to your products. They do this using their laser color printing and laser engraving depending on the material of the product.

They offer this service even if you’re only selling single items, most companies only offer this if you make a large bulk order.

Check out the video below for how to use CJ’s custom packaging.

CJ Dropshipping packaging

CJ Dropshipping Product Range

CJ currently has over 400,000 products listed on their marketplace for you to start dropshipping today. This number is constantly growing as CJ adds products on a daily basis.

When it comes to product selection, AliExpress is the clear winner and CJ is not even close behind them. The advantage CJ has is they personally pick all their products prior to accepting them on their platform. This means you’re far more likely to find quality products that people actually want to buy.

AliExpress has everything you can think of no matter if people want the product or not. It’s a waste of CJ’s time to add products to their marketplace if the product has no demand from consumers, making it far more likely you’ll find quality products to dropship.

Check out CJ’s top 100 selling products.

CJ Dropshipping product range

CJ Dropshipping Returns and Refunds

Another big advantage CJ has is dealing with returns and refunds is much simpler than dealing with returns and refunds through AliExpress.

Returns and refunds is one of the worst aspects of dropshipping. Most of the time it can have dropshippers actually losing money as the hassle of returning products isn’t worth the small loss you take.

CJ has their own Returns, Refunds and Resends Policy for certain cases:

Orders delayed – The number of days a customer will be offered a refund will differ depending on the country the product is being shipped to.

Orders not received – CJ do not offer refunds if the tracking number shows it has been delivered.

Damaged or defective products – They offer a full refund if the product arrives to the customer badly damaged.

Missing or incorrect products – CJ offer full refunds for the wrong product sent and refunds and resends if the wrong variant was sent.

CJ Dropshipping Support

Everyone working with CJ is assigned an agent to work with. The agent will guide you through the initial steps as a beginner and will answer any questions and queries you have.

One thing to take into consideration is your agent will be working with several other people on CJ. In the beginning stages, you can’t expect too much attention from your agent as you’re just a newbie to them and haven’t started selling much. As time goes on and you start making sales, you’ll find your agent will be there to assist you more.

CJ has two main types of support, ticket and chat. Chat provides 24-hour support and ticket is only available business hours, in Beijing time.

Click here for how to contact CJ for support.

CJ Dropshipping Alternatives

With the growing popularity of dropshipping, it also means there is a growing number of options to choose from. Depending on the type of business you want to run, different alternatives may be worth looking into before you dive straight into CJ.

I’ll run you through the differences between each platform so you can decide which is right for you.

CJ Dropshipping Vs AliExpress

This is the first most obvious comparison and one I have mentioned above. The websites look so similar that many people think CJ is AliExpress with a different name.

AliExpress is essentially a giant marketplace for vendors to list and sell their products and is therefore not vetted for quality. Finding reliable suppliers and quality products can be hit and miss but there are ways to increase your chances of success.

CJ is without a doubt a safer bet in terms of avoiding being screwed over by suppliers. Although, if you want an endless amount of products to search for, then AliExpress is the better option.

Personally, I like to use AliExpress more for searching for products, and once I find products I like from AliExpress, I issue a sourcing request if CJ doesn’t already have it in stock. AliExpress’ Dropship Center is another great tool I use for finding trending products.

CJ Dropshipping Vs Salehoo

Salehoo has two main options when it comes to dropshipping. They have their supplier directory and Salehoo Dropship.

Salehoo’s supplier directory is a huge list of over 8,000 different dropshipping suppliers from around the world. This is a smart option for those wanting to find local dropshipping suppliers in specific niches. Click here to check out Salehoo’s Supplier Directory.

Many of these suppliers are not located in China, therefore it’s a great option if you want to dropship locally with fast shipping and quality products. Their price for this is $67 a year or $127 for lifetime access.

With Salehoo Dropship they dropship products from China around the world. This option is similar to how CJ run their business. The products and suppliers are vetted for reliability. Salehoo Dropship costs $27 a month to use.

Personally, I think you’re better off with CJ when it comes to the dropshipping side of things as they have more features and no monthly fees.

For more info, check out my review of Salehoo, “Salehoo Review – Is it right for Dropshipping in 2021? MUST READ!!”

CJ Dropshipping Vs Spocket

CJ and Spocket work very differently making it an easy choice to decide which is best depending on your needs. Whilst CJ sources products exclusively from China, only a very small amount of Spocket’s products come from Chinese suppliers.

80% of Spocket’s suppliers are based in the US and Europe making it a good option if you’re looking at dropshipping to these countries. To see if Spocket is for you, visit their website here.

Spocket does not hold inventory themselves but instead acts as a middleman between dropshippers and suppliers. Suppliers list their products on the Spocket marketplace for dropshippers to add to their stores.

CJ on the other hand have warehouses worldwide for dropshippers to use.

Spocket’s pricing varies from free up to $99 a month depending on your needs.

For more info, read my review on Spocket, “Spocket Review – Is it Right for Dropshipping?”

CJ Dropshipping Vs Oberlo

Whilst CJ is a competitor and an alternative to AliExpress, Oberlo is more of an ally to AliExpress.

Oberlo is an app that works exclusively with AliExpress and Shopify. It helps simplify and automate the process of sourcing and adding products, editing product information, fulfilling orders, tracking shipments and managing inventory.

If you are only dropshipping from AliExpress, you could consider using Oberlo as they would speed up the process.

Oberlo has a free plan and a $29.90 per month plan.

Another newer alternative is Zendrop which has a similar business model to CJ. I have a review of Zendrop if you would like to get my full opinion.

Pros and Cons of CJ Dropshipping

Pros

  • Product Source Requests – From my experience, 95% of the time if CJ doesn’t have an item you want, they can source it for you.
  • Cheap Product Cost – Due to the fact they work with and build relationships directly with manufacturers CJ can provide lower prices than many of their competitors.
  • Good Value Shipping – CJ use their own shipping lines which means they produce good shipping times and reasonably fair rates.
  • Worldwide Shipping – With warehouses in 30 different countries, this enables you to dropship to countries who haven’t yet been targeted to help find gaps in the market to take advantage of.
  • Free Warehouse Usage – CJ ships products from China to one of their worldwide warehouses for free. This makes it great for scaling your business and means you can provide fast shipping to your customers.
  • Custom Packaging and Branding – CJ offers custom packaging, promotional materials and the ability to add your logo to your products.
  • NO MOQ – No minimum order quantity means you can test products before purchasing in bulk.
  • No Monthly or Setup Fees – Unlike some other dropship platforms, CJ does not charge monthly fees to become a member.
  • Auto Fulfillment – Auto fulfillment is a huge time saver and can save you money on paying a VA to take care of order fulfillment.
  • Features – There are a ton of features such as, Print on Demand, photo/video shooting service, cash on delivery and tracking data.

Cons

  • Processing Times – Processing times aren’t bad for CJ compared to some AliExpress suppliers, although they aren’t great either. Processing times are generally between 1 to 5 days depending on the warehouse you are shipping from.
  • Clunky Website – CJ’s website isn’t very intuitive and can be difficult to navigate and find certain features initially.
  • Product Range – 400,000 products isn’t bad but compared to AliExpress, it’s nothing.
  • Middleman – Even though they are a helpful service providing value, at the end of the day they are still a middleman taking a small cut from your profit.
  • Agent – You will be assigned an agent when you first join CJ, however, this agent probably won’t give you the time you may want until you have started proving yourself with sales.
  • Warehouse Stock – Although CJ has warehouses in 30 different countries, many of them contain very limited stock to dropship.

Summary

If you plan on dropshipping from China, it’s hard to go past CJ Dropshipping. CJ has built their platform specifically for dropshipping and therefore, have many features to help dropshippers succeed. If you succeed, they succeed.

CJ has built this platform out of necessity as they saw all the problems dropshippers were encountering with AliExpress, and this platform is a solution to many of those issues.

It’s not a perfect platform by any means, but in my opinion, it’s the best alternative to AliExpress at the moment and is a better option than AliExpress.

The biggest problem with AliExpress is it has so many unreliable suppliers and is nearly impossible to scale your business without running into problems. Suppliers not sending products at all, sending products to the wrong addresses, sending inferior quality products without notifying anyone, and the list goes on…

With CJ Dropshipping, they screen their suppliers and act as a middleman to help protect you from shady suppliers and inferior products.

If you’re on the fence and debating whether to go for it, I’d recommend you give it a go. CJ is free to sign up with and has no monthly fees. If you decide it’s not for you, you’ve lost nothing except a bit of time.

Check out CJ’s website and see for yourself!

Thomas Sleeth

I'm the owner of Dropshipping Hustle. I have over 5 years of experience and have created multiple successful dropshipping stores. This website is a free resource guide on everything I have learned over the years.

Recent Posts