Why do I make this statement when AliExpress is the #1 dropshipping eCommerce website in China with great prices on a wide selection of products? I just found out the reason why when talking to a support representative on Amazon.
Today, September 25, 2017 I and my partner called Amazon’s support with a number of questions, and one of them was about the Valid Tracking Rate in Shipping Performance.
Amazon announces that they want sellers to have a Valid Tracking Rate of over 95%. Like you can see on the screenshot to the right, our rate is 0% and we could not understand what that meant, since we always add tracking number to our shipments.
What we found out was that when shipping from China, or Internationally in general, and when using an International courier other than any of the couriers Amazon is cooperating with, the tracking number becomes invalid. Amazon cannot track packages sent via E-Packet, Turkey Post etc. If the courier is not included in the list below (screenshot taken from our Seller Central on Amazon) the tracking number becomes invalid.
Even, that Amazon makes belief it is okay to ship with “none Amazon couriers” by having an option called “Other”, it will get your account suspended in the long run. Note, that you will not get an error message warning you about this, you will just notice odd numbers in Shipping Performance.
Use the Amazon FBA Program On International Products
The title is stating what the support representative told us when questioning how to ship from China and other International suppliers and not be punished by Amazon. He basically told us that the only way to not risk getting your seller account suspended is to use the Amazon FBA Program.
I guess this is a way for Amazon to maintain control and have more and more sellers use the Amazon FBA Program. Amazon FBA surely increases the customer shopping experience – offering Prime with 2 day free shipping – so I can understand why they are steering sellers in that direction.
However, one issue is that this takes away the benefit with dropshipping, namely not having to invest in expensive inventory. You do not have to keep any inventory yourself. You can ship the products directly from the supplier straight to the customer.
You can read more about dropshipping or retail arbitrage here:
When using the Amazon FBA Program you have to send inventory to Amazon’s warehouse. Sometimes several warehouses. This in turn also increases shipping expenses, which is a big con.
The pros on the other hand, are that Amazon is handling everything for you after you have sent it in. Amazon takes care of the packing, shipping, customer service, and possible returns.
What we will do is to only use domestic suppliers for our Amazon listings – only those that can ship with Amazon’s couriers, and also continue using the FBA Program.
If you have different experiences on this subject, please let me know in the comment section below. Maybe, this is not the only truth.
You never know, since the knowledge of the support representatives varies a lot. Most of the times, including today, we get to talk to a person from India with a strong accent that is hardly perceivable, and in the background you hear a TV playing and children crying. I am surprised by the fact that a Billion dollar company does not have higher standards on their seller support.
Well, that was just a side track. I got a bit carried away. I hope this blog post was useful for the person thinking of dropshipping from AliExpress to sell on Amazon. I want to help you guys avoid my mistakes from my eCommerce journey.
About the Author
My name is Stina Pettersson. I am the founder of Make a Living from Home in 2017 and the author of the articles on this site. I am originally from Sweden and am currently a business owner to 3 online businesses.
I help people to start their own online business and make a living from home. I am especially fond of helping the stay at home parent, or single parents to increase their income.
I hope I will get the honor to help YOU achieving your online success.
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