CJ Dropshipping vs AliExpress: A Complete Comparison (2024)

Dropshipping is on the rise for its cost-effective business model. That’s why we have many dropshipping marketplaces today, but only a few know the differences between them. This blog compares CJ Dropshipping vs AliExpress —the two top-tier dropshipping service providers. Both come from China, so they offer dropshipping suppliers from the most extensive factory country in the world.

To give you a heads-up, as of writing this blog, we believe CJ is more efficient and reliable than AliExpress. What makes it possible, and how are these two guys competitive with each other?

Continue reading!

Key Takeaways:

1. AliExpress is a global retail platform, while CJ Dropshipping is an all-in-one dropshipping solution itself.
2. Products and suppliers are more diverse on AliExpress, yet the quality and prices could be inconsistent.
3. CJ performs better in quality assurance with an in-house team they own from day one.
4. CJ has faster shipping and regional warehousing; AliExpress provides none.
5. Setting up a dropshipping business is more accessible with CJ’s app integration support.

What is CJ Dropshipping?

CJ Dropshipping is a comprehensive China-based dropshipping solution for worldwide retailers. They provide various services, including sourcing suppliers, warehousing, inventory, order fulfillment, packing, shipping, and returns.

Their number of products is estimated to reach over 400,000 by the end of this year. Besides, the number of suppliers is increasing because of the constant requests for winning products from users.

You can easily integrate CJ Dropshipping with Shopify, eBay, and WooCommerce. It’s an all-in-one solution for every dropshipping business.

What Is AliExpress?

AliExpress is a giant e-marketplace owned by Alibaba, well-known for its diverse range of items from different Chinese suppliers. At its core, the platform is a shopping destination for consumers. Now, it can support global wholesaling and dropshipping.

The site provides over 100 million products, with the ease of searching for dropshipping products and suppliers. As a dropshipper using AliExpress, you can sync their system with your store for a seamless fulfillment process.

CJ Dropshipping vs AliExpress: Full Comparison

CJ DropshippingAliExpress
Business modelDropshipping platform with its warehousesOnline marketplace for consumers and businesses
Product listingSmaller selection of productsLarger selection of products
Product pricingSlightly higher product pricesLower product prices
User experienceStreamlined user experience focused on features for dropshippersGeneral-purpose user experience designed to appeal to a wide range of users
Payment methodsPayPal, bank wire transfer, Western Union, credit card, store credit, Payoneer, Payssion, Midtrans, CODCredit/debit cards, PayPal, Western Union, bank wire transfer, Boleto (Brazil), Alipay (China)
Shipping time7-15 days15-30 days
WarehousingOwn warehouses located in multiple countriesSellers are responsible for storing and shipping their own products
Refund policyFull refund or replacement for incorrect or missing products, damaged products, defective products, and products that do not match the description15-day money-back guarantee for most products
CJ Dropshipping vs AliExpress: Head-to-head Comparison Table

CJ Dropshipping vs AliExpress #1: Business model

CJ Dropshipping may look like AliExpress for having a diverse product portfolio. But don’t be tricked! There are fundamental differences you should keep in mind.

Positioning itself as a global retail marketplace, AliExpress connects buyers with sellers. However, AliExpress dropshipping has become possible with third-party apps.

For example, the Dsers app helps integrate AliExpress into your Shopify store. This way, you can select AliExpress products to sell with adjustable details. When you receive an order, the app forwards it to the supplier.

You can fulfill orders manually. But, you might face stern challenges when handling multiple suppliers and customers simultaneously.

On the other hand, the core offerings from CJ include a pre-vetted product database and automated fulfillment. That means they only support dropshipping-related aspects.

They have products in their inventory that you can source directly to sell on your store site. Their warehouses are in China, America, Britain, and France. When a customer places an order, CJ handles it fast.

You don’t have to rely on a third party to use CJ Dropshipping. The company develops its own dropshipping app that eases your job. Once you’ve set everything up, the entire selling and shipping process is a breeze.

Basically, you can dropship with AliExpress and CJ. But CJ is likely a better option for long-term success and hassle-free management. 

For those just starting with one supplier, they can try AliExpress. Remember that orders from different AliExpress suppliers must come in separate packages. Only a few customers like that.

CJ Dropshipping vs AliExpress #2: Product listing

Overall, AliExpress offers a wider range of products but lower product quality than CJ Dropshipping.

AliExpress has millions of products from hundreds of thousands of suppliers. This number keeps increasing, proving the high demand from global buyers.

Also, becoming a seller on this marketplace with just about any product type is not difficult. A vast population in China makes it more possible for AliExpress to attract more sellers.

CJ is on the opposite side with just 400,000 products. This number is extremely low compared to AliExpress. However, the quality team carefully tests and chooses these products before they are launched.

Meanwhile, AliExpress does not ensure the quality of all products and suppliers listed on their site. You may have to spend time selecting winning products and reliable suppliers yourself. And it could be a daunting task among an ocean of products.

CJ allows you to send a winning product request despite a shorter list of products. Once received, the quality team will consider it, contact suppliers, and list your “wish” on their site.

However, a lack of product details is a drawback for CJ. Due to their limited staff, they cannot surpass AliExpress in providing adequate item descriptions. However, they are trying to improve by providing product photos and videos upon client request.

CJ Dropshipping vs AliExpress #3: Product pricing

CJ Dropshipping generally has lower prices than AliExpress.

AliExpress sellers have additional expenses for logistics, customer care, marketing activities, and many more. Most of them are individuals and family businesses that purchase inventory from manufacturers. 

CJ must cover expenses to sustain their services. But, they have better control over their operations, allowing them to offer more consistent and reasonable prices.

Both AliExpress and CJ Dropshipping are free platforms, but CJ has paid plans that can assist dropshippers in expanding their businesses.

CJ Dropshipping vs AliExpress #4: User experience

AliExpress’ user experience appeals to most users, including consumers and businesses. The website is easy to navigate and use, with a clear search function and well-organized categories.

With the search sort and filters, you can narrow your search to find the most suitable product results. Or, you can enter the category you’re interested in and browse through top-selling products for dropshipping.

AliExpress also provides other dropshipping-friendly features, such as bulk pricing and product customization options.

Unlike AliExpress, CJ is geared toward only dropshippers. That’s why the website has a more streamlined user experience than AliExpress.

CJ Dropshipping’s website focuses on order fulfillment and tracking. Additional features like branding and customized packaging can also give your dropshipping business a unique brand.

Overall, CJ Dropshipping has a more user-friendly experience for dropshippers than AliExpress. However, AliExpress offers a more accessible and exciting space with structured parent and child categories.

CJ Dropshipping vs AliExpress #5: Payment methods

AliExpress’ payment methods aren’t consistent across sellers and don’t include COD (Cash on Delivery). CJ Dropshipping has all you need in place. 

As we checkout on CJ Dropshipping’s site, we can see that they offer 8 different payment methods. They include PayPal, Bank wire transfer, Western Union, Credit Card, Store Credit, Payoneer, Payssion, and Midtrans. These apply to all items available on the platform. 

In addition, CJ provides COD for authorized clients, which is not available on AliExpress.

The payment methods on AliExpress vary depending on the seller. Some sellers only offer one payment method, which can be inconvenient for dropshippers.

Because you pay these vendors directly, the worst thing can happen if they don’t support PayPal, a common international payment gateway.

However, most sellers offer AliPay, the only payment method AliExpress developed and applicable worldwide. If you are already comfortable with a particular payment method, switching to CJ for more payment options may be unnecessary.

CJ Dropshipping vs AliExpress #6: Shipping time

It’s worth noting that CJ Dropshipping tends to have quicker shipping times than AliExpress. This is because CJ has warehouses in various countries worldwide, whereas AliExpress sellers typically ship their products from China. We’ll talk about this in the next section.

The shipping times for AliExpress can vary depending on a few factors, such as the shipping method you select, the location of the seller, and the time of year. On average, most orders placed through AliExpress typically arrive within 15 to 30 days.

shipping time on aliexpress (CJ Dropshipping vs AliExpress)

On the other hand, most orders placed through CJ typically arrive within 7 to 15 days. This range of shipping times is ideal since buyers prefer quick delivery today.

CJ Dropshipping vs AliExpress #7: Warehousing

AliExpress has no warehouses. Instead, the sellers are accountable for storing their merchandise. Several Chinese vendors store products in their homes, usually causing low-quality inventory.

In contrast, CJ Dropshipping operates warehouses in various countries worldwide. They are in China, the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Thailand, etc. This enables them to provide faster delivery times to customers in these locations and neighboring areas.

This is one of the reasons why CJ offers more dependable shipping services compared to AliExpress. The company utilizes its own shipping carrier, CJPacket, which has a reputation for being trustworthy.

For example, you’re a buyer in America, so your items will be sent out from an American warehouse. This can take only 2-5 business days via USPS+, during which you can keep track of the order.

Moreover, owning warehouses grants CJ more oversight, making it easier to do personalized packaging and maintain better inventory management.

You can purchase private inventory in the nearest warehouse to source winning products from CJ. You’ll earn quality-guaranteed inventory, fast processing time, and no storage fee.

It’s obvious now that  CJ Dropshipping provides better warehousing than AliExpress. Their warehouses appear in key worldwide regions, with in-house teams maintaining the best possible inventory. 

CJ Dropshipping vs AliExpress #8: Refund policy

Both CJ Dropshipping and AliExpress have policies to protect buyers and ensure refunds. However, the specifics of their policies and refund processes differ.

CJ can refund, resend, or accept returns in certain cases. These include orders that lack tracking information, are in transit, are pending, or have expired 60 days after leaving CJ’s warehouse. 

If products are damaged, photographic or video evidence is required to prove the damage within 30 days. CJ’s dispute team may request that products be returned during disputes.

CJ offers a full refund or replacement for badly damaged packages but only a partial refund for partially damaged packages.

AliExpress has a buyer protection policy for returns. This policy allows for full or partial refunds if an item is not as described, damaged, defective, or missing parts. Opening a dispute with AliExpress is easy as well.

If you change your mind, you may still return an item but may need to pay for return shipping costs. AliExpress sellers offer a money-back guarantee and will refund buyers within 15 days once the issue is resolved.

Overall, CJ Dropshipping has a more flexible refund policy than AliExpress. You can get a full refund or replacement for more reasons, and you don’t have to send back the product to CJ Dropshipping to get a refund.

CJ Dropshipping vs AliExpress: Which is Better?

Now, you might already know which platform suits your business best.

However, for those unfamiliar with CJ Dropshipping vs AliExpress , it’s helpful to acknowledge their pros and cons. That will give you a clearer picture of how each can power your business.

Then, weigh these advantages and disadvantages to make your final decision.

1. Pros and cons of CJ Dropshipping

In the evolving world of e-commerce, CJ has emerged as a promising choice for online retailers. This platform offers crazy benefits, but like any business tool, it has drawbacks.

1.1 Pros

Setting up a dropshipping business with CJ Dropshipping is easy, even for those with limited technical skills. The platform’s user-friendly interface and straightforward processes make it simple to get started, saving valuable time and resources. 

CJ also boasts fast processing times, which is crucial in an industry where speed is essential. By quickly processing orders, they send products promptly, increasing customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Additionally, the company provides excellent quality control. That ensures that all products meet high-quality standards and helps businesses build customer trust.

Lastly, CJ Dropshipping can seamlessly integrate with various e-commerce platforms, including Shopify and WooCommerce. That creates businesses flexibility in choosing the platform that best suits their needs.

1.2 Cons

Although CJ is brilliant at some points, there are also downsides.

One major concern is that your top-selling product information may be shared with other sellers on the platform, which could lead to increased competition.

Additionally, prices on CJ Dropshipping are not always lower than those on AliExpress. While the platform offers competitive pricing on many products, businesses must compare prices carefully to ensure they’re getting the best possible deal.

Finally, their customer support may be less responsive or helpful for those on free plans. While customer support is available, it may not be as good as those on paid plans.

As with any business decision, it’s essential to carefully evaluate these pros and cons before deciding whether CJ is the right choice for your business.

2. Pros and cons of AliExpress

AliExpress has been a go-to platform for many e-commerce businesses since 2010 for several advantages. But it also presents a few challenges.

2.1 Pros

One of the biggest advantages of using AliExpress is that there are no Minimum Order Quantity (MOQ) requirements. That means that even small businesses and startups can purchase products in small quantities without investing much money upfront.

Without the pressure to sell large quantities of each product to recoup their initial investment, businesses can afford to experiment with different products and see what resonates with their customers.

On top of that, the marketplace offers affordable prices, helping to keep the cost of starting a business low. As a result, entrepreneurs can avoid significant financial risks.

Finally, with thousands of sellers offering diverse products, businesses can easily find what they need to cater to different market segments.

2.2 Cons

Starting a business with AliExpress is easy, but there is fierce competition among sellers. Standing out and attracting customers in a crowded marketplace can be a challenge.

One common complaint is the slow delivery time, which can cause dissatisfaction and hurt repeat business.

Also, with numerous sellers on AliExpress, not all offer high-quality products. That leaves businesses at risk of receiving subpar items that can hurt their reputation and customer relationships.

Additionally, most products on AliExpress are unbranded. That makes it hard for businesses to establish a strong brand identity. While some businesses may succeed with unbranded products, others struggle to retain customers without a recognizable brand.

Final Words

In the grand scheme of e-commerce, the debate regarding CJ Dropshipping vs AliExpress has been fascinating. And it’s a true reality for dropshippers. 

After a thorough examination, it becomes evident that  AliExpress has its merits, while CJ Dropshipping emerges as the more favorable option. CJ’s superiority comes from comprehensive services tailored specifically for dropshippers.

They offer a more streamlined process, from product sourcing to delivery. This ensures a smoother operation for businesses. Furthermore, CJ’s commitment to quality control and faster shipping times sets it apart from AliExpress.

It’s not just about choosing a platform for sourcing products. It’s about choosing a partner that will contribute to the success of your business. And in this regard, CJ Dropshipping proves to be a better ally than AliExpress.