Why Do People Buy From Dropshipping Stores?


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What kind of person would be silly enough to buy a product from a Shopify dropshipping store when they can buy it themselves from another platform at a far cheaper price? Just about everyone, including myself!

People buy from dropshipping stores because of the way vendors improve the shopping experience with creative branding and marketing. This provides a superior perception of the same product they could find on other online marketplaces and increases its perceived value.

I’m going to run you through the reasons people buy from dropshippers and how dropshippers have been able to combat this issue.

Someone making a purchase online from a mobile device.

Why Do People Buy From Shopify Stores When They Can Buy Directly From AliExpress?

This is one of the first and most common questions beginners have when they first hear about AliExpress dropshipping. There are several reasons for this:

  1. Awareness

This might surprise you but the majority of people don’t know about AliExpress. If you’re in the dropshipping world, AliExpress is the number 1 spot for sourcing products. It can be hard to imagine people haven’t heard about it when you’re so entrenched in it.

Most people haven’t even heard of dropshipping and if they have, they probably wouldn’t know which is a dropshipping store and which isn’t. They just see an online store selling a product they want, they have no idea what goes on behind the scenes.

2. Trust

If you’re living in the US and you hear about this online marketplace in China, there’s a certain amount of trepidation in shopping on a foreign platform. People trust things that are familiar to them and putting their payment details into this unknown Chinese marketplace can feel too risky for some.

3. Convenience

When an advertisement is placed right in front of you, all you have to do is click a couple of buttons to purchase the product. Compare this to searching on AliExpress looking for the possibility of a lower price. It’s the same reason people purchase products from vending machines, people are willing to pay higher prices for the convenience factor.

4. Product Quality

AliExpress has a reputation for producing low-cost and low-quality products. On top of this, people know if the product is of poor quality, they’ll have the hassle of trying to return or refund the product. This means contacting a supplier who may not speak great English and returning the product to China, it’s barely worth it.

Although AliExpress does have a reputation for inferior product quality, it’s not completely true. Don’t get me wrong, a lot of it is low quality, however, a lot of the products are actually quality products you’d be happy to sell. The key is to deal with reputable suppliers and to order samples before selling them.

5. Shipping

Long shipping times are another thing AliExpress has a reputation for. Shipping times can vary from 10 days to 60 days depending on the shipping carrier you choose. The idea of waiting up to 2 months for an item to be delivered to them is enough to turn many off using the platform.

6. Shopping Experience

The shopping experience with AliExpress isn’t great. Often the images are poor quality, many don’t have videos of the product being used and the product descriptions aren’t persuasive and often leave customers with unanswered questions about the product.

7. Branding

Don’t underestimate how huge branding is for consumers. There’s no comparison to the feeling someone gets from shopping at a branded eCommerce store compared to shopping on AliExpress.

People want to buy products from stores that have credibility and that everyone is already buying from, instead of some Chinese marketplace.

How Do Dropshippers Sell Products That Everyone Has Access To?

We have gone through why people don’t shop on AliExpress and choose to shop at dropshipping stores instead. Dropshippers are essentially just purchasing the products on behalf of the customer and selling it to them for triple the price and making it appear like a great deal. How do they do this?

They’ve seen all the reasons listed above as to why people don’t buy from AliExpress, and they’ve gotten resourceful.

Let’s go through how they’ve done this:

  1. Unique Products

Because most online shoppers outside of China haven’t shopped on AliExpress, dropshippers sell them unique products they haven’t seen before. This also provides a wow factor for advertising as it stops them in tracks whilst they are scrolling through their Facebook feeds.

2. Create a Brand

Every long-term successful dropshipping store is branded. This means creating a professional and themed Shopify store, a logo, private labeling products, a social media presence, a blog and providing personalized customer service.

Having a blog creates credibility, trust, a better shopping experience and happy returning customers. Branding negates many of the issues associated with shopping from AliExpress.

3. Fast Shipping

Fast shipping has become expected from online shoppers due to Amazon’s efficient shipping system. Long shipping times is one of the biggest downsides to dropshipping but there are some ways around this:

  • Dropshippers use ePacket for shipping as they are the best combination of fast shipping at reasonable prices. Most shoppers probably haven’t heard of ePacket.
  • AliExpress suppliers have warehouses in other countries such as the US. Many dropshippers only sell products that are stored in these warehouses for fast shipping.
  • They only deal with suppliers who have short processing times and work with fast shipping carriers.
  • Instead of purchasing individual products from China, dropshippers purchase in bulk from Alibaba and have fulfillment centers ship the products individually from their US warehouses.
  • Another big reason for selling unique products is people are far more willing to wait for an item they can’t find at most retail stores.
  • Using platforms such as CJ Dropshipping and Zendrop who deal with their own fast shipping carriers.

4. Improved Shopping Experience

Because the shopping experience on AliExpress is poor, dropshippers need to create a shopping experience that satisfies the customer’s needs. This means:

  • They write persuasive product descriptions that draw the customers in, gets them excited and answers all the questions they may have about the product.
  • Take their own HD videos and photos of the product in a real life situation so the customer can visualize themselves using the product.
  • Provide an easy to navigate website themed around the niche or product the customer is purchasing.

5. Marketing

AliExpress does little advertising themselves so advertising is the way dropshippers make consumers aware of their products. These days there are multiple ways dropshippers advertise their Shopify stores but the main 2 options are through Facebook and Google.

6. Authority

Dropshippers often build a niche or a one-product store because when a store is focused on a specific group of products, you are perceived as more of an expert and an authority. Compare this to a store selling everything and anything. General stores don’t build the same amount of trust as niche stores do.

Think about if you want to eat some really great Vietnamese food, you’re going to go to a Vietnamese restaurant because you would assume they make the best. You wouldn’t go to a restaurant that sells every kind of different food if you wanted the very best Vietnamese food. The same goes for online shopping.

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What will Dropshippers Do When Everyone Knows about AliExpress?

Although only a small percentage of people actually use AliExpress, it’s definitely becoming more well-known. If everyone becomes aware and started shopping on it tomorrow, what would dropshippers do?

Nothing, they’d keep dropshipping as normal. For starters, Although AliExpress is the most well-known source for dropshipping, there are many other suppliers for dropshippers to source products from. Many dropshippers use domestic suppliers and focus on high-quality products with fast shipping and run very successful dropshipping businesses.

A great way to find these suppliers is to use a platform such as Salehoo or Spocket.

Beginners to dropshipping assume AliExpress is the only form of dropshipping, you can use Shopify and dropship from a million different sources. AliExpress is just the type most gurus teach as it is the easiest to teach to a complete newbie.

With AliExpress stocking hundreds of millions of products, you can still dropship products from there even if everyone shopped there. There are an endless amount of products and different variants that you could still dropship from AliExpress and shoppers would never know where it came from.

Everyone in the US knows of Walmart and shops there on a regular basis. Many people are running successful dropshipping retail arbitrage businesses selling products from stores such as Walmart at a marked-up price every day to unsuspecting customers.

Having everyone aware of AliExpress wouldn’t stop dropshippers, it is however a bonus not having many consumers aware of its existence.

Dropshipping is not for everyone, I suggest you read this article for some of the reasons why dropshipping may be a bad idea for you.


If you’re in the early stages, it’s really important to understand why people buy from dropshipping stores. It provides you with the tools to understand what it takes to differentiate yourself and run a successful store.

If you’re just adding products from AliExpress to your Shopify store without changing the product descriptions, images, or branding, it’s very hard to create a long-term business. You are essentially doing what AliExpress is doing and expecting to persuade people to buy from you.

As you can tell, there’s far more to a dropshipping store than many people think. Many gurus give the perception that dropshipping is passive income.

This is the reason why people buy from dropshipping stores instead. Dropshipping simply wouldn’t work if they just added a bunch of products without thinking of the consumer’s needs.

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