If you want to start a dropshipping business, it’s important to know the pros and cons of each platform. Two of the biggest names in the industry are CJ Dropshipping and AliExpress.
Finding out which one is better for your store could help your business succeed in 2023. In this blog post, we’re going to compare these two popular options and help you decide which one is right for you.
We’ll talk about things like product selection, shipping times, pricing, and more. In the end, you can make an informed decision and get your business up and running as quickly as possible. So sit back, relax, and let’s dive in!
Table of Contents
Overview of CJ Dropshipping
CJ Dropshipping is a top dropshipping supplier. It’s a great AliExpress alternative. They partner with popular tools like Sell The Trend, Ecomhunt, and Zik Analytics.
Here are some key features:
- High Volume: They handle over a million orders monthly.
- Wide Selection: They offer more than 450K products.
- Large User Base: Over 320K people are registered.
- Fast Shipping: Their CJpacket shipping is quick. It’s 1-2 weeks faster than competitors.
- Integration: Easily connect with Shopify, WooCommerce, and eBay. Plus, many other platforms.
- Extra Services: They offer product sourcing, video shooting, and POD services.
Uses of CJ Dropshipping
- Finding Products: Simply search by product name. If not found, post a sourcing request.
- Integration: Connect your store easily. Platforms include Shopify, eBay, and many more.
- Product Listing: Over 1.2 million products available. Easily import product details to your store.
- Order Fulfillment: Orders sync automatically. They appear in your CJ account.
- Bulk Orders: Upload large orders using Excel or CSV.
- Wholesale: Buy in bulk at good prices. Store items in CJ’s warehouses if needed.
- Shipping: Calculate costs with their free tool. Track with worldwide postal services.
CJ Dropshipping Pros and Cons
CJ Dropshipping is a major player in the market. Before we begin the direct comparison between CJDropshipping and AliExpress, let’s break down their strengths and weaknesses.
- User-Friendly Interface
One of CJ Dropshipping’s strong points is its intuitive platform. Even for those new to the dropshipping scene, navigating through their offerings is a breeze.
- Swift Delivery
While many dropshippers dread long shipping times, CJ Dropshipping steps up with speedier delivery options. This can drastically enhance customer satisfaction.
- Prompt Order Handling
Time is of the essence in e-commerce. CJ Dropshipping shines here by processing orders without unnecessary delays, ensuring customers receive their purchases in the shortest time possible.
- Enhanced Quality Assurance
In a realm where product quality can be hit or miss, CJ Dropshipping emphasizes quality checks. This can lead to fewer returns and increased customer trust.
- Data Sharing Issues
One major downside is that CJ Dropshipping might share details of trending products. For businesses that stumble upon a hot-selling item, this can mean increased competition.
- Costly Alternative
While CJ Dropshipping offers a range of benefits, it doesn’t always come out as the more affordable option compared to platforms like Aliexpress. Pricing strategy adjustments might be needed.
- Limited Flexibility
Some users find that CJ Dropshipping’s operations can be a bit rigid. If you’re looking for more tailored solutions or unique requests, you might face some hurdles.
- Generic Customer Support
The personal touch matters, especially when dealing with supplier issues. However, CJ Dropshipping’s support responses can sometimes lack personalization, leading to a less-than-optimal support experience.
Overview of AliExpress
AliExpress is a popular online marketplace based in China. It was launched by the Alibaba Group in 2010. The platform hosts a multitude of small Chinese manufacturers selling various items.
Below are some key features:
- Vast Product Range: AliExpress boasts a comprehensive inventory spanning various categories like clothing, electronics, beauty, and home goods.
- Global Reach: While originating in China, AliExpress caters to international customers, particularly in countries like Russia, Brazil, the United States, and Spain.
- Multilingual Platform: The site is accessible in major languages, including English, Spanish, Russian, Italian, Portuguese, French, and Polish, catering to its global audience.
- User Feedback System: Each seller and product on the platform is rated and reviewed, helping buyers make informed decisions.
- Secure Payment Methods: AliExpress offers multiple payment options, including its preferred method, Alipay, as well as others like credit cards, PayPal, and Western Union.
Uses of AliExpress
- Direct Consumer Purchases: A significant portion of AliExpress users are individual buyers seeking affordable products, from fashion items to tech gadgets.
- Dropshipping Business: Entrepreneurs utilize AliExpress to source products for their online stores, shipping items directly from the suppliers to the customers without holding stock.
- Product Research: Businesses and individual sellers explore AliExpress Dropshipping Center to identify trending products, potential suppliers, or to conduct market research.
- Bulk Buying: While AliExpress is predominantly a retail platform, some vendors offer products in bulk at discounted prices, catering to small businesses or group buyers.
- Niche Finds: Collectors or enthusiasts often visit AliExpress to discover unique, rare, or niche products not easily available in local markets.
AliExpress: Pros and Cons
- Eliminates Inventory Worries
One of the prominent benefits of using AliExpress, especially for dropshipping, is that there’s no need to invest in stock or manage inventory. Retailers can simply list products on their platforms and order them from AliExpress once they receive a customer order.
- Vast Product Array
With its extensive product range, AliExpress is a goldmine for retailers and consumers alike. Whether it’s fashion, electronics, toys, or home decor, there’s something for everyone. This wide range of options enables businesses to easily diversify their product offerings.
- Minimized Financial Risk
Since you’re not buying bulk inventory upfront, the financial risk associated with unsold stock is virtually eliminated. This setup is especially beneficial for newcomers in the retail sector, allowing them to test the waters without making hefty investments.
Starting a business with AliExpress as a supplier requires minimal upfront costs. Without the need to invest in bulk inventory or warehouse space, entrepreneurs can launch their ventures on a tight budget.
- Fierce Market Competition
Given the ease of setting up and the low startup costs, many entrepreneurs flock to AliExpress for their product sourcing. This results in a highly competitive marketplace, making it challenging for businesses to differentiate themselves and gain a strong customer base.
- Prolonged Delivery
One of the major pain points for AliExpress users is the lengthy shipping times, especially when products are sent from China to Western countries. Waiting times can often exceed a month, which can be off-putting for customers accustomed to swift deliveries.
- Limited Direct Influence
Retailers using AliExpress often face a lack of control over the entire fulfillment process. From product quality checks to shipping speeds, they have to rely on third-party suppliers. This can lead to potential issues, such as receiving products that might not match the online description or facing unexpected stock shortages.
- Predominantly Unbranded Goods
AliExpress is notorious for its generic, non-branded products. While this might be acceptable for certain items, many consumers seek branded products for their perceived value and quality assurance. This can limit the potential for businesses wanting to cater to a market segment that values brand recognition.
Both CJDropshipping and AliExpress have a tracking system in place so you can keep an eye on your order progress and keep your customer informed.
You can combine this system with a powerful shipment tracking tool like Trackmage. It allows you to send notifications to customers about their shipments. You can also upsell customers on your fully-branded tracking page.
Differences Between CJ Dropshipping vs AliExpress
CJ Dropshipping and AliExpress are both platforms that allow you to buy products at wholesale prices and resell them for a profit. However, there are some key differences between the two. You should understand them before deciding which one to use for your dropshipping business.
|Provides marketplace listing and research services
|Provides layered services such order fulfillment and processing
|Quantity over quality
|Quality over quantity
|Almost anyone can use it
|Complicated for beginners
|Cost of Purchasing Product
|Shipping Time & Costs
|Parcels That Customers Received
|May contain wrong or damaged goods sent separately
|Hardly contains wrong goods, and all orders are sent in the same parcel
|Availability depends on seller
|All 11 are always available
|More relevant info for both buyers and sellers
|Not as much buyer-relevant info
|Many sellers don’t have warehouses
|Company has several warehouses worldwide
|No direct integration
|Integrates with several platforms
1. Fundamental Difference
The main difference between the two is that:
- AliExpress is a marketplace where individuals and small businesses can buy products. The goods come directly from manufacturers and suppliers in China.
- CJ Dropshipping uses the products available on other marketplaces, such as Shopify and AliExpress. It provides an added layer of services. CJ makes it easier and more reliable to find products, place orders for them, and ship them to customers.
On AliExpress, you can find a wide range of products posted by users. These come from different sellers, with varying quality and prices.
On the other hand, CJ offers a curated list of products. They have a team of sourcing experts that handpick products that are in high demand. Hence, each item has a high potential for being profitable. They also check the product quality, shipping speed, and customer service of the supplier before adding them to the platform.
AliExpress is designed for the average online shopper. It’s easy for new users to navigate and find the products they want.
CJ’s interface looks similar, but it has a lot of functions that regular shoppers may not understand. However, they offer detailed tutorials to help beginners use the platform.
Cost of Purchasing Product
The cost of the products on AliExpress is higher than on CJ. This is because each item goes through several layers of pricing before it gets to the company list.
CJ Dropshipping offers you the ability to buy products at lower prices. The company gets the listed goods directly from the manufacturers. Hence, there are fewer markups, making the items cheaper. The CJ team also has ways to lower the operational costs of handling goods.
Shipping Time & Costs
Both platforms offer different shipping options with varying transit times and prices. However, CJ shipping is faster, while AliExpress is cheaper.
If a CJ item takes 15 days to get to you, an Ali item could take a month or more.
Parcels That Customers Received
When people buy something from AliExpress, they often get an item that is different from what was described. Some goods may also be damaged. Also, buying multiple products could mean that each one arrives at different times.
CJ ensures that products match the descriptions and are in good condition before shipment. Their team handles any issues that may arise. They also combine all orders into one parcel before delivery.
Lastly, CJ offers design and print-on-demand services, allowing you to customize your orders.
AliExpress accepts many kinds of payments, like credit cards, bank transfers, and e-wallets. However, sellers get to select what methods they want to accept for their products. There’s a higher chance your preferred method will not be available on AliExpress.
CJ Dropshipping accepts all available payment methods, regardless of the seller’s preference. They offer 11 payment methods. These are:
- Credit card
- Wire transfer
- CJ Wallet
- Diners Club
- WeChat Pay
AliExpress product listings have detailed info and specs. You can learn a lot about sellers and the items they offer. They also have the Dropshipping Center, which is fantastic for in-depth product research.
CJ Dropshipping does provide detailed product info, along with high-resolution images and videos. However, when it comes to details for dropshippers, AliExpress offers more relevant info.
AliExpress ships products directly from manufacturers and suppliers in China. This restriction can cause inventory issues because many vendors don’t have warehouses.
CJ Dropshipping works with warehouses in the US, UK, and other countries. This helps to speed up the shipping process.
Some AliExpress sellers may not respond to inquiries. They may even provide little or no assistance.
CJ has a dedicated support team that is available to assist with any questions or issues.
AliExpress does not offer any direct integration with other e-commerce platforms or marketplaces. You may need third-party apps for that.
The CJ Dropshipping app integrates with various e-commerce platforms. They include:
The app and API make it easy for users to import products and manage orders from the backend of their store.
Although AliExpress is a great platform with lots of products to sell, CJ Dropshipping is better for solopreneurs.
CJ offers more add-on services like order fulfillment and design, making it ideal for dropshippers. Nevertheless, AliExpress is better suited to product research. We have an entire article dedicated to finding products with AliExpress. Feel free to check it out.
We recommend that you leverage both services for your eCommerce store. What matters is that you run a profitable and professional dropshipping store.