Whether you’re an eCommerce veteran, or simply getting your feet wet with building your knowledge base in order to launch your online store – one thing most online entrepreneurs know, is that you must keep your customers happy!
Obviously quality products that are unique to the customer’s market go a long way… but just as important, you don’t want to keep them waiting with long shipping times.
In order to have a worthwhile markup and profit margin on products, many eCommerce entrepreneurs have set focus on sourcing their products from China and more specifically, AliExpress. At first, it can be a bit scary presenting extended timelines to customers for Chinese manufactured products, especially in today’s age when something needs to happen now, if not 5 minutes ago…
…in comes ePacket to
save the day help the day!
What do I need to know about ePacket?
If you’re looking for a quick answer to “should I focus on ePacket products for my dropshipping business when sourcing from China?” The answer is, YES!
When it comes to keeping your customers happy, ePacket availability when sourcing products on AliExpress from Chinese manufacturers is extremely important.
Give me the quick facts
ePacket is a courier service for global manufacturers and wholesalers mainly from China and Hong Kong that helps cut down on long shipping timelines and expensive shipping alternatives.
It was developed for eCommerce merchants and accepted with open arms – as presenting shipping timelines of “days to a couple of weeks” was a whole lot better than “a few weeks to over a month”.
- Door to Door Tracking
- Free returns on undeliverable
- Duties and taxes paid by the recipient
- Lower costs than domestic first-class USPS
Which countries allow ePacket?
As of last year, ePacket was available in the following 43 countries. Please note, this list is variable depending on the source (this is a complete compilation of notable countries).
* Periodically, countries are available on a trial basis while others may have been eliminated due to a trial run closing. Depending on the source, there are often fluctuations in the list of countries that offer ePacket so it is best to confirm on AliExpress that the countries you are primarily shipping to, offer the service. *
What are the shipping times for ePacket?
Alright, now onto the bigger question.
Since entrepreneurs are saving time and money, what do the time savings actually look like? (Regular China Post timelines in comparison)
- Brazil: 20 to 30 business days (Additional 20 – 30 days)
- Mexico: 20 business days (Additional 10 – 20 days)
- Russia, Ukraine, and Saudi Arabia: 7-15 business days (Additional 7 – 15 days)
- All other supported countries 7-10 business days (Additional 3 – 10 days)
As can be seen above, ePacket will typically reduce timelines anywhere from 25 – 50%. That said, this is also going to have some variation from supplier to supplier and product to product.
For this reason, this should be viewed as a general bracket – it is recommended to double-check products specifically.
What are the requirements for a parcel to qualify for ePacket?
With such great value, there are obviously a few restrictions involved with ePacket and the types of products it can contain. Therefore, according to Shopify via United States Postal Service (USPS), the package must:
- Have a maximum length of 24” (60cm)
- Total length, height, and width cannot exceed 36” (90cm)
- Maximum weight – 4.4lbs (2kg)
- Merchandise value under $400 USD
- Tracking service availability
- The package is insured for $55
How do I know if a supplier offers ePacket for their product?
For starters, you can go in and individually check the product you are considering to sell on AliExpress – this is a few extra clicks, but ultimately you can get to the information you need (below, left).
(Above, right) Taking it another click further will allow you to view the additional shipping options, giving you more context to the time and money savings that you receive – ultimately making ePacket the best option.
Quick tip: If you are considering sourcing products for various countries, be sure to remember to change the ship-to country (ePacket is not available to Brazil for this example – meaning it may be various between countries).
As eCommerce entrepreneurs, we are often looking for ways to speed up our processes – with product sourcing based on ePacket availability being no exception. Below are a couple of different software tools that I like to utilize (among their many other benefits) to quickly view ePacket availability for entire pages of products, rather than viewing each one specifically.
AliExtractor (screenshot above)
This is an excellent tool to conduct your product research – primarily dropshippers are using it to get a quick understanding of reviews against a product, as well as the total monthly sales to see if it is worthwhile to place in their store.
However, it does also give you a quick snapshot of ePacket availability if that is one of the criteria you are looking for. AliExtractor is $29/month – but, there is also AliExtractor Lite available in the Chrome Extensions store for FREE!
Dropified (screenshot below with Dropified Chrome Extension installed)
For my dropshipping business, I am currently utilizing Dropified to cut down an extensive amount of time on administrative tasks that accompany dropshipping. That said, it also gives great visuals when sourcing products to add to my Shopify store.
With a quick search of watches – you can quickly see which products to be focusing on for my market in the United States, along with the associated price. It doesn’t hurt that AliExtractor is included in my Dropified subscription.
Famous Last Words…
As an eCommerce entrepreneur and more specifically in the dropshipping business, it is extremely important to understand whether or not ePacket is available to the countries you do business and furthermore, the products you are looking to sell.
Today more than ever, customers are looking to save money, get things quickly, and stay in control. By giving them an opportunity to have their products in their hands faster, at a fraction of the cost, all while watching their little ePacket travel along from door to door via tracking – well, that’s a win in everyone’s book.