This AliDropShip review has been designed to give you an idea and a flavour of what this app and theme bundle is all about.
If you have read the DropShipping guide, then you know the basic concept behind it.
So, you need to do the following;
Bit fed up?
I was, after doing this for a week.
It got worse when the store went viral, and I was getting hundreds of orders, it became hell!
So I quickly went looking for a new solution, I had heard of Orbello and Shopify in the past, but I didn't want to tie myself to a recurring price every month, and I had had lots of past experience with WordPress.
In steps AliDropShip.
What is AliDropShip?
AliDropShip is more than just a premium plugin, it's 2 plugins & 3 themes in one.
Firstly, it's a premium plugin that allows you to do all the above manual steps, automatically (I will go into more depth further down)
including finding products, getting product details, grabbing all the images, displaying standard pricing information AND keeping all this up to date with just a push of a button.
This can save you time and money, which is essential when trying to earn money on the side while at Univerisity.
Purchasing and Downloading AliDropShip
The cost of AliDropShip starts at $89 (£66 at the current exchange rate) - It's a one time fee, with no additional fees needed, especially if you download and install the standalone WordPress version.
Once you have purchased the plugin, you will be sent a download link that takes you to the files that you require, both versions of the plugin and the themes that are required for use with the WordPress version.
To give you a bit of an idea on which one to use, read the handy little chart that they provide in their FAQs.
Once you have got the files, you will need to ensure that your server is prepped for either ZenLoader or Ion Cube - Your hosting provider will be able to do these updates or check for you, BlueHost support is pretty good, so worth giving them a nudge!
As I said before, I opted for the WordPress version, because at the time I had a better understanding of building and customising WordPress themes, and I didn't fancy trying to find or pay more for WooCommerce themes, plugins etc etc. I was trying to make money while at University, not spend it.
So, what does it look like?
After you have successfully installed the plugin (it takes around 5 minutes to upload it to your chosen WordPress site) you will be shown the homepage dashboard, which gives you some basic reports on how your store is currently doing. Which is super helpful as it allows you to see visitor numbers, current orders to deal with and drop off rates.
As with all plugins, you will have a whole section dedicated to customising and dealing with this plugin - The majority of the settings are found here.
From here you can set up all the standard pages, including checkout, thank you pages, home pages, product pages etc - It takes 1 click and they are done. You will need to customise as you wish, but it sure saves a ton of time! Right, let's take a look at the features.
Product Finding and Import
This is one of the beauties of this plugin, you can do direct import or URL import, quickly and easily.
You also get the option of filtering your import and taking EVERYTHING from a particular category (filtered of course) or you can go to AliExpress and be shown items that reach your criteria.
Using the AliExpress Plugin allows you to scroll through your selected niche, and then gives you the option of either taking the whole of the product listing, or editing and then importing it after.
When importing the products you get the ability to change the images, pricing, descriptions and so much more, allowing you to make your imported products unique to your store. This inbuilt editor is really useful from my personal experience, as other similar apps or tools don't give you such a depth when trying to import products.
As you can see from the images above, you really can edit and change as you see fit, you can even load your own images if you have got better ones (I would suggest taking images and scaling them down to take up less space).
One downside to the AliDropShip chrome extension is that you can only edit one product at a time, and you have no ability to build up a backlog of imports (while on AliExpress). Alternatively, you can add your chosen products to in import list, and change and edit them as you go.
AliDropShip also comes with a few extra features to make your life a little easier!
Easy Pricing Strategies & Formulas
AliDropShip gives you the ability to set pricing formulas, for example, you can set all imported products priced between $1 - $5 to be priced at $14.99 or x4.5 the original price. By giving you the option of either a set amount or a formula it increases your possibilities! I used to get announced that I could only do set amounts or have to do products singular, so this was an absolute beauty!
Updating Mass Products
When using other products, I found that trying to do a mass update was either difficult or the functionality didn't exist. Thankfully AlIDropShop does allow you to mass update as you wish, for example, you can do a force update every 5minutes or 5 hours to get the latest information from AliExpress, or you can update all products with a different pricing structure.
The auto-updating throughout the day always ensures that you have the latest stock, pricing and variations, which when running 100 + item stores can save you lots of time.
Payment Providers / Gateways
Again, unlike other Drop Shipping plugins, AliDropShip gives you the ability to use different payment providers. They offer Stripe and PayPal straight off the bat, which is great as they are some of the best payment providers out their (customers trust PayPal, so gives your store more credit).
If you use the WooCommerce plugin, then you have even more providers and you are only limited by WooCommerce, nothing else. This means you can find providers who are native to your country and people may recognise.
Cash Back / Affiliate Cash
Possibly one of the best parts of AliDropShip is that they allow you to add in your Affiliate ID or cashback ID when shopping via AliExpress. Yes, that means you can earn an additional 1 -20% on top of the money you make from selling your items. When you are selling a few hundred products a day/week this really adds up!
As far as I am aware, no other plugin offers such a unique offer (some even put their own in..)
One Click Checkout - You beauty!
Not a new concept, but one-click checkout is such a time saver. AliDropShip allows you to quickly and easily order your customers products.
You can also add extra information such as notes, default phone numbers and default email addresses - This is brilliant if you don't want AliExpress sending emails to your customers... Yes, that's a thing.
As with other plugins or apps, you can grab the updates straight from AliExpress and grab the shipping ID and shipping information, the plugin will then send out an email to your customer with the tracking information, and then link them to your website! It's such a smooth transition...it's beautiful.
As I said right at the start of this little introduction/review AliDropShip comes with 3 pre-built themes.
The themes are designed to keep your store looking simple, but aimed at helping you sell your products.
Unfortunately, they do look a bit outdated or uninteresting and this is one of my greatest gripes with using AliDropShip.
My personal point of view is that they are quite bland and hide a lot of the information customs may want in separate tabs, rather than all on one page.
For example, the product page for Michelangelo has the description and extra information all below the main picture, and basically hidden away. I know the images are from test stores and are not geared to be selling to people, but fresh out the box I feel that the themes are lacking.
I am happy to say that they are constantly updating the themes, recently they added a countdown timer, and current stock level indicators which help increase conversion rates, so I can't complain too much, and with a little bit of design or coding you can get the basic themes spruced up into absolute killers.
Ok, that's the good, what is the bad and the ugly?
As with other reviews on this site, I have always wanted to give honest reviews and it's no different with the AliDropShip Review.
With the all in one Theme and Plugin bundle, you are limited to 3 themes, you have no real way to change how they look and feel without a lot of work, and even then you are still limited.
Other issues actually come out of the WooCommerce plugin mainly due to it lacking many of the features that are standard with the WordPress bundle. For example, it is missing the advanced shipping options, which is essential with DropShipping because you have to let your customers know when they are going to get their products.
As I have mentioned a little bit above, the themes are not the prettiest of things. They do come across as quite web 1.0 rather than being clean, uncluttered Web 2.0 pages that we are used to these days. The argument for this is that Amazon is the same, their pages don't look like your typical flashy sales page, but they have done so much research into how to sell that they don't need pretty pages, they just have good solid workhorse pages that get the job done.
Right, how much is this going to cost?
Actually, it's pretty good, as I said at the start it's a one-time payment of $89 or around £66 and it gives you access to two different versions and three themes. It also doesn't require any extra add-ons or additional costs if you wanted to get started with drop shipping quickly. I ran the first drop shipping site using the Michealango theme, no premium plugins and cheap hosting (£10 per month) and I got it set up within a few hours.
Compared to the average cost of running a Shopify DropShipping store of around $79 a month... you are basically getting an absolute steal, but that does depend on the apps you have on top (I would recommend giving the eCom Turbo review a read).
Ease of use8.5/10
Support & Reliability9.5/10
- Both WooCommerce & WordPress functionality
- Pre Built Themes
- Easy to install and get started
- One off cost, no on going cost
- WooCommerce is lacking functionality
- Themes are a little boring
James started The Online Student as a typical blog telling people about his struggles and woes with DropShipping, Amazon FBA and even Affiliate marketing. He then decided that blogging about it all would give people the skills, knowledge and apps to get up and running (while making a little extra on the side). After a few months he realised it was quite lucrative and decided to work his ass off making it a bit more than just a hobby!