Hey, what's going on, it's Alan Young here. In this article, I will show you how to deal with long shipping times when dropshipping with AliExpress.
Firstly before I go any further if you prefer to watch a video then scroll to the bottom of the page and check out the Youtube video I did. It's called “How To Deal With Aliexpress Shipping Times When Dropshipping?”
It's basically the same content just in video format. If hower you prefer to read then great, enjoy this article.
How to deal with long shipping times when Dropshipping?
So firstly how much should you worry about shipping times when dropshipping?
The short answer is, not very much. I don't mean that in a, you shouldn't give a shit way. But rather a don't let it stop you from starting your business way.
I see quite a lot of people make a big deal out of shipping times to the point that they don't even really give their business a go. They just talk themselves out of dropshipping at the first perceived obstacle.
The truth is every business has its advantages and disadvantages. As much as I'd like to offer next day delivery on all my products, I can't so I just do the best I can do and keep pushing forward.
If you follow the 3 simple tips below you'll have little to no issues at all when it comes to dealing with long shipping times.
Here's they are…
I see it so many times that people use the free shipping option to try to save a buck or two.
Then they get a fair amount of customer complaints about the long shipping times because some orders are taking a month and a half to arrive.
Then they'll blame the business and think dropshipping is a poor business.
The truth is, all they needed to do was use ePacket to ship then their products and their average shipping time from China to the United States would be 2 weeks.
I've literally never had anyone complain about a two week shipping time. This brings me on to the next point…
Be transparent with your customers about shipping times
If you're always transparent then you'll never have an issue as you would have let the customer know beforehand that your shipping times take around 2 weeks on average.
If you're honest most people won't mind.
It's when you don't mention anywhere on your site or emails about the 2 week shipping times that they get pissed off and think they're being scammed. And rightly so, you should at least try to let them know.
Here's what I do.
And I've only had about 3 customers from well over 1000 orders that have complained to the point that I gave them a partial refund.
To be fair, it was my fault as I didn't check to see if the vendor had shipped the product.
It turns out that they hadn't and the customers messaged me after about 3 weeks and I hadn't seen my vendor message me to let me know he was sold out and wouldn't be able to ship for about 12 days.
Because of this, the shipping took about 6 weeks to arrive.
If I had seen the message from the vendor I would have messaged my customers to let them know straight away and to check and see if they still wanted to wait.
Apart from that, I've never had an issue at all.
And like I said that's well over 1000 orders. So basically 0.003% complaints about shipping time. Not bad going ay?
I'm not saying that you won't get emails asking about their order, it's just they won't be pissed off at you.
Where's best to let the customer know about shipping times?
I put them in 3 key places. First I put the shipping times on the FAQ page. I state that shipping takes about 2-4 weeks as we ship from global suppliers. This is so we can get the best deal possible for them.
Next, I put the shipping times on the order confirmation page, this is what I write after the order details,
“We know a quick delivery is important to you and we are working hard to achieve that. But please be patient, all orders are normally shipped out within 72 hours and will take approx. 2-4 weeks to arrive from shipment.”
The last place I put the shipping times is in the shipping confirmation email. This is roughly what I would write,
“We know a quick delivery is important to you and we work hard to achieve that! But please be patient, orders can take approx. 2-4 weeks to arrive (if things are slow).”
That's it, I don't put shipping times on the product page as I find that it's a bit of a conversion killer. With those 3 places, I've never had any issues.
Finally, this moves me on to my last point of the 3 simple steps in knowing how to deal with long shipping times.
Respond to your customers emails ASAP
This is a massive help in keeping customers happy and calm. If you reply to their emails in a timely manner, I would say definitely within 24hrs but ideally within 6-12hrs then you'll have no issues or very little at most.
People have asked me how to respond to a question about shipping times that a customer sent them.
When I asked how long ago did they message, they said 2 days ago. I couldn't believe it.
You need to get back ASAP so they know you're a real person behind the website.
And also that you're not a scammer just taking their money.
If you leave it too long without a reply you risk your customer putting in a chargeback as they think they've been scammed.
If that happens you're risking your merchant account being shut down for poor business practices.
To save time I have a list of prewritten replies to the most common questions. Then I just make a tweak to the reply and hit send.
This saves lots of time and the customer knows no difference. Just make sure you tweak each prewritten response to the customers' email then you'll be fine.
When you scale your business and you start getting a lot of customer support emails then it would be wise to hire a VA to take care of customer service.
In general customer support is a negative vibe so it's best to get someone else to do that so you can focus on growing your business and being happy.
That's it, now you know how to deal with long shipping times. If you follow these 3 steps. Use ePacket shipping, be transparent and reply to customer emails ASAP then you'll have very little issues at all.
If you liked this article please share with your anyone you know who might find this valuable. It would help me us a lot 🙂
Also if you don't know what platform to build your store on then check out CommerceHQ and why I think it's better than Shopify.
CommerceHQ is a revolutionary platform which is far better and cost-effective than the other eCom platforms.
Also, check out my Shopify vs CommerceHQ comparison for more info.
Until the next time. Speak then! Oh yeah here's the video version of this article.