If you’re sourcing products for your dropshipping store’s inventory, you’ll be glad to hear that there are a variety of different platforms which you can use to find high-quality products at an affordable price point. AliExpress is one of the largest platforms for ecommerce entrepreneurs to find dropshipping products. The majority of suppliers who list their products on AliExpress are legitimate business owners, but there are some who list counterfeit or copyrighted goods on AliExpress, which can cause issues for dropshippers.
We’ve created this article to inform you how you can avoid counterfeit goods on AliExpress, and to detail the implications you’ll face if you’re found to be selling these goods.At the end of this article you’ll be equipped with all the knowledge that you need to ensure that your dropshipping business is selling goods legally.
Sourcing Products on AliExpress
When you’re sourcing products for your ecommerce business, AliExpress is a great platform to take advantage of. Searching for dropshipping products on AliExpress is simple. You can simply enter a term related to your desired products in their search bar and you’ll be presented with a wide variety of related listings. The enormous number of products available on AliExpress is a blessing for dropshippers, but there are also some counterfeit and copyrighted goods on the platform which you should do your best to avoid.
As a general rule, it’s best to avoid copyrighted products in general when you’re sourcing inventory from AliExpress. This includes products which are related to movies, TV shows, video games, or any other media outlets that may have merchandise.
It’s also important that you avoid sourcing counterfeit goods from AliExpress. The term ‘counterfeit’ refers to goods which are fake, but have been made to deliberately resemble genuine products. Not only will selling these products give your online store a bad reputation, it could also, in the worst-case scenario, get you into trouble with the law.
Legalities of Selling Counterfeit or Copyrighted Products
As an ecommerce entrepreneur, there are various ways that you and your ecommerce business can be negatively impacted by selling counterfeit or copyrighted products. We’ve put together a list of issues that you may run into when you’re selling counterfeit or copyrighted products below:
- Issues With Your Payment Gateway: You may run into issues with your payment gateway if you’re selling copyrighted goods. Payment gateways may ask you to provide a reseller agreement for the products which you’re selling, just so they can clarify that you’re legally allowed to do so. If you fail to provide this documentation, then you’ll be blocked from using the payment gateway, which means that you won’t be able to receive money from your sales. The only way that you can get around this issue is to provide the payment gateway with a reseller agreement, or start a new business selling legitimate products.
- Issues With Your Facebook / Instagram Accounts: If you sell counterfeit or copyrighted goods from your online store you may run into issues with your Facebook or Instagram accounts. If you’ve been working hard to build up a following on these platforms you face the potential of having your accounts permanently banned if you’re found to be selling counterfeit or copyrighted goods. This can be especially problematic if you’re using the platforms to advertise your business. If you’ve been finding success with these platforms then you’ll need to find a whole new channel to drive traffic to your store, so it’s essential that you avoid selling illegitimate products.
- You May Need to Close Your Store: If you’re found selling copyrighted or counterfeit goods on your store then you may be contacted by the producers of the original product. In this situation, you may be asked to remove the product from your store, shut your store down completely, or face legal action. Taking this into consideration, it isn’t worth stocking these items in your store’s inventory and facing this risk.
Best Practices for Sourcing Products From AliExpress
Although there are some counterfeit products on AliExpress, the majority of the products are legitimate, and are perfect for your online dropshipping store. It’s critical that you know how to avoid the illegitimate products when you’re adding products to your inventory. Here’s a list of best practices that you can follow when you’re sourcing products from AliExpress:
- Check Product Reviews: When you’re sourcing products from AliExpress it’s always a good idea to check out the product reviews. Here you’ll see a general idea of how customers feel about the product, and you’ll likely find images of the product too. If you check out the product reviews you’ll get an idea for the quality of the product, the shipping times, and you’ll also gain an understanding of who your target audience is. We highly recommend doing this when sourcing products from AliExpress — simply check the ‘Feedback’ section just underneath the product images and you’ll find all the information you need.
- Check Product Star Rating: AliExpress has a product star rating for each listing on the platform. You can use the star rating of a product to identify if the product is legitimate in two ways — the overall rating, and the number of reviews it has. You can locate this information just above the product description. If you find that the product has a high overall product star rating and lots of reviews it’s likely a legitimate product that is high-quality — a perfect addition for your dropshipping store. If you see that the product has poor reviews then it could be best to avoid sourcing these products.
- Check Supplier Feedback Score: When you’re sourcing products from AliExpress it’s also a great idea to check the supplier’s feedback score. You can access their feedback score at the top left corner of the product listing. If you find that the supplier has a great feedback score then it’s a strong indication that their products will be legitimate. You can also see how long they’ve been active on AliExpress, which will give you a good idea of the legitimacy of their products — if they’ve been active for a while then you can assume that they’re reliable suppliers.
- Create a Test Order: It’s always a great idea to create a test order for any products that you’re sourcing from AliExpress. This will mean that it’ll take you a little longer to start making sales, but it’ll pay off in the end as you’ll be able to analyze the products that your customers will be receiving. Think of a test order as your very own quality assurance!
- Try to Avoid Trending Items: It’s usually a good idea to avoid trending items, especially if you’re late to the surge in popularity. The reason for this is that you may be unknowingly selling counterfeit products, which can land both you and your business in legal trouble. Some suppliers will try to cut corners when the demand for their product increases, so it’s best to be vigilant of this.
Use Oberlo to Source Products
If you’re using Shopify and Oberlo to run your dropshipping store, you can take advantage of the Oberlo marketplace. You can access Oberlo by installing the Oberlo app through Shopify’s App Store. Oberlo is the leading platform for ecommerce entrepreneurs to find and sell dropshipping products.
Want to learn more?
- GDPR Compliance for Ecommerce: What Store Owners Can Do
- How To Select Dropshipping Suppliers
- What Should You Sell Online?
- [VIDEO] Selling Online: Products to Avoid With a Dropshipping Ecommerce Store
Is there anything else you’d like to know more about and wish was included in this article? Let us know in the comments below!