CJ Dropshipping is growing in popularity in recent years and has become the go-to platform for many dropshippers. But as a beginner, it can be confusing to figure out exactly how CJ Dropshipping works. This article will break it down for and hopefully help you decide whether CJ is the supplier you want to work with 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.
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 dropshipping, 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.
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.
How Does CJ Dropshipping Auto Fulfillment Work?
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?
- You download the CJ Dropshipping app to your Shopify store.
- Your orders on your Shopify store will then sync directly to CJ.
- At the end of each day, you simply select all your orders for that day, add them to your cart and pay for them.
- CJ will then process each order and ship them out for you.
How Does Ordering in Bulk from CJ Dropshipping Work?
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.
I have a complete guide to CJ Dropshipping shipping times for more info.
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.
Are you Better off Ordering 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 more streamlined 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.
How Does CJ Dropshipping Branding Work?
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
- Plastic boxes
- Cloth bags
- Paper bags
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.
How Does CJ Dropshipping Returns and Refunds Work?
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.
The most obvious CJ Dropshipping alternative is AliExpress which I won’t cover here as I have a complete article on these platforms for dropshipping.
I’ll run you through the differences between each platform so you can decide which is right for you.
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 honest opinion on whether I think Salehoo is worth it for dropshipping!
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?”
Pros and Cons of CJ Dropshipping
- 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.
- 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.
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. 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.
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!