Reviews

Oberlo Review: Best Dropshipping with Shopify? (August 2019)

The complete Oberlo review with a focus on features as well as all popular questions about dropshipping answered with tips to set yourself up for success.

For entrepreneurs and people looking to take the plunge into the business world, dropshipping sounds like the ideal business plan. With no upfront investment, inventory management and storing — dropshipping provides sellers with the opportunity to start and run their business with almost no risk.

In reality, there is far more work involved than there should be. Contacting suppliers, fulfilling orders, and hackling the prices is really time-consuming. Once you factor in the hours you spent doing all of that — you’re just about breaking even.

Here’s where Oberlo comes in to make dropshipping what it should be – easy, convenient and profitable. The dropshipping app is an exclusive add-on to your Shopify store. Originally created and run by a Lithuanian startup, the app was acquired by Shopify in 2017, and it’s been part of the Shopify plan ever since.

85 million products have been sold on Oberlo, and the success stories continue to make headlines. It’s been dubbed the best dropshipping service, and we’ve set out to find out why.

Shopify banner long ightWhat is Oberlo?

Oberlo is a marketplace for dropshipping products that connects sellers to suppliers anywhere in the world. It’s exclusive to Shopify and can easily integrate with your Shopify store with a single click.

You can find thousands of high-quality dropshipping products like toys, electronics, beauty, fashion, accessories, jewelry or whatever is trending at the moment, and add it to your online store with a few clicks. All shipping, packaging and storing are automatically taken care of by Oberlo for you.

Oberlo Review: Features

When it comes to dropshipping, the goal is to make life easier for the merchant. And that’s what Oberlo was created to do. Connecting sellers with thousands of trusted and vetted suppliers, the app also offers efficient product search and integration, one-click order fulfillment, and highly sought after product customization.

Here are all the features in-depth:

Efficient product import from around the world

Oberlo works with the largest marketplace for affordable products and supplier of dropshipping goods, AliExpress; and they made product importations fast and easy.

Oberlo Dashboard manage productsYou can browse thousands of products and suppliers on the Oberlo dashboard, and import items to your online store with a few clicks. Best of all, all product information, photos, and pricing are automatically uploaded to your inventory along with your chosen product.

You can filter products by shipping methods, free shipping, reviews, rating, and how many other stores have imported from that supplier.

If you’ve already been dropshipping products from AliExpress, you can connect your existing AliExpress products to your Oberlo account as soon as you install the app.

Importing directly from AliExpress with Oberlo Chrome Extension

You can also easily import items directly from the AliExpress website with a single click, using the Oberlo Chrome Extension. The extension only works on desktop and solely with AliExpress, but it makes product search and importation a breeze.

Once you install the Chrome browser extension, a button will appear on AliExpress which will make processing and syncing product orders faster than doing it manually.

The add-on also lets you better filter your suppliers by allowing you to filter your search by preferred shipping options, currency, and country you’re selling to. All and all, a handy free tool designed for convenience and improved user experience. Golden!  

Intuitive product management interface

The clean and easy to use dashboard is clearly designed with convenience in mind. The menu bar allows for quick access to search, customize and manage products, as well as review import lists and sales reports.

You can also edit products with a single click, which will take you to your Shopify dashboard, where you can customize and optimize as you wish.   

Stand out from the crowd with product customization

Once you import products into your inventory, you can always edit product information and upload new photos before it goes on your online store. However, you will need to do it on your Shopify dashboard.

Oberlo Product customization

In fact, you should always customize and optimize your product descriptions and titles for SEO purpose. And to make sure they fit your brand identity and tone of voice.

Auto inventory and pricing updates

Product inventory is automatically updated, so you can rest assured you’ll never sell an item that’s out of stock. It saves merchants precious time, as there is no need to run inventory reports. It also helps to build customer loyalty by preventing sellers from bad reviews that come flooding in when you accept payment for an item that’s out of stock.

Same goes for pricing — sellers are notified whenever suppliers change pricing. This is crucial if you want to keep your profit margins high or run a special promotion on items that may have dipped in pricing.

Does Oberlo automatically fulfill orders?

Yes, it does. What makes Oberlo the shining star in the sea of dropshipping apps is the fact that they get it: it’s meant to be super easy, and they can make it happen with their one-click order fulfillment feature.

When an order is placed on your online store, all you need to do is go into your inventory, locate the product, and click the Order Button. After that, Oberlo comes in to do its magic. They’ll take care of all the packaging, storing and shipping for you.

Order tracking

Customers demand fast and easy shopping experiences, so Oberlo makes sure that every order is assigned a tracking number that will allow customers and sellers to know the status of each sale.

Oberlo suppliers

There are thousands of suppliers to choose from, but are they all legit? Well, Oberlo identified that too much choice can be paralyzing, especially for beginners and introduced a list of Verified Suppliers which can be accessed from the Oberlo dashboard. It’s a list of hand-picked companies, the creme-de-la-creme of all the suppliers that have achieved the following:

  • Shipped and delivered 95% of orders
  • Offers a vast list of products
  • Successfully processed 1000+ orders
  • Hosts worldwide suppliers

This can save a significant amount of time when it comes to looking for trusted suppliers. Of course, these guys are not the cheapest option, so if you want to find a more cost-effective alternative, you can check out Oberlo Suppliers. It’s a list of companies from around the globe, that have been monitored on the Oberlo marketplace. They can offer better shipping time frames than AliExpress and are vetted by Oberlo.  

Lastly, you can do all the legwork yourself and source out great suppliers from AliExpress. Oberlo has no control over companies on that site, but there are helpful reviews to give you a better idea of whether the suppliers are worth your trust. Best of all, if you find a supplier with lower prices you can switch, anytime, with a single click.

Alternative for China-based suppliers

If Oberlo shipping speed doesn’t suit your needs and you don’t want to import goods directly from China there is a free alternative Spocket.
 
It was launched 2 years ago on Shopify and has since expanded to WooCommerce. It’s an easy-to-use marketplace offering US and EU suppliers to fix 2 common pain points with traditional dropshipping: comparably slow shipping times and sometimes inconsistent/unreliable suppliers.
 
Retailers can select the origin of their products to ensure their customers can receive it in as little as 2-5 business days and all suppliers are carefully vetted to ensure products are as advertised and processing/shipping times are adhered to. As an added bonus, dropshippers are able to set their own custom, branded invoicing.

Thus, Spocket is a pretty good alternative for Oberlo if you are looking for suppliers that are based in the EU and US.

Oberlo products

You don’t need to worry about the lack of supply when it comes to Oberlo. There are millions of products available to browse, and you can find anything that your heart desires. Products are organized in an orderly fashion, and you can find different items by sifting through categories like fashion, beauty, electronics, home, jewelry and more. Or you can type in what you’re looking for in the search bar and see what comes up. You can also view each product and see pricing, colors, quantity, and reviews if you wish.

If you want to find Oberlo bestsellers, you can head over to their soon-to-be bestsellers page and find products that are trending on their site. You can also sign up to receive email updates of all the product trends, so you never miss an opportunity to update your store.   

Oberlo Shipping: Does Oberlo ship for you?

Yes, it does. Once a sale is made, all you need to do is hit “Order product,” and Oberlo will automatically package and ship your products to customers.

When you’re ordering your products, at checkout, you’ll be given many shipping methods to choose from. You can find all the options here, but the star of the show is ePacket.

This shipping method is the most popular option and is offered by merchants from China and Hong Kong.

It’s cheap and fast, everything that dropshipping used to lack. The average shipping times are 15-30 days, which is almost half compared to the standard China Mail option, which can take up to 50 days to deliver your products. Here a few other business benefits for using ePacket:

  • Significantly reduces shipping costs for operators and customers
  • Faster and tracked shipments will reduce stress over the loss of products
  • Can improve the customer’s shopping experience
  • Potentially increase conversion sales due to speedier delivery
  • Reduces custom costs and delays

The list of countries eligible for ePacket delivery is growing, and it currently ships to 42 countries. You can find the full list here.

Some sellers offer free shipping on all products, but include the shipping fee into the overall product price, to cover any losses.

Handling returns and refunds

Regardless of which Oberlo supplier you choose to go with, none will accept returns. However, refunds can be issued if:

  • The wrong item was received in terms of color, size, or model (evidence is needed).
  • The package has arrived in a damaged condition (evidence is needed).
  • The item arrived in extremely poor quality (evidence is needed).
  • The order went missing.
  • The estimated delivery time has expired.

If you’re dropshipping from AliExpress, you can find the returns policies here. Simply put, you have the right to return items if they are significantly different from the description or if the order wasn’t fulfilled on time. Needless to say, it’s best to make sure your returns and refunds policies are clear before you start selling.

Oberlo Pricing: is Oberlo free?

Well, it can be. They do offer a pretty good forever-free plan, but paid plans will open the door to better features. All plans come with a free 30-day trial, which will give you a taste of what the app is all about. Oberlo will not cost you an arm and a leg if you run over your monthly orders allowance, and it’ll never affect order processing. It will, however, remove the dropshipping component and you’ll have to process orders manually.  So what are your options?

  • Starter $0 – The forever free plan gives you access to 500 products, automatically fulfilled 50 orders per month, daily automatic product syncing, auto order fulfillment, pricing automation, sales reporting, and a free Chrome extension.
  • Basic $29.90 – you get everything from the starter plan plus more: a set up for 10,000 products, auto-order fulfillment of 500 orders per month, order fulfillment and shipment tracking.
  • Pro $79.90 –  a set up for 30,000 products, unlimited orders per month, multiple users, daily automatic product syncing, order and shipment tracking, sales reports, and everything else from the previous plans.

There’s a plan for any size business, but the most popular choice is the Basic plan. The Starter plan is a great option for beginners, but most businesses need order and shipment tracking.

Oberlo for Shopify

shopify banner square

Before you can start dropshipping products using Oberlo, you need to set up your online store. The app is exclusive to one of the leading ecommerce platforms in the world, Shopify. Once you get your Shopify store up and running, you can add Oberlo to your store and start searching for products to dropship.

Oberlo Main dashboard when you start your store

This is how will Oberlo dashboard look like when you just start your store. As you can see Oberlo together with Shopify will guide you with short video lessons on how to start your online business on the right foot.

In addition to the mentioned Oberlo features above, Shopify offers its own excellent store add-ons. It has excellent 24/7 support and great marketing features that can help sellers run and grow their business with ease.

Oberlo success stories

As the leader in the field, Oberlo often puts its most successful and inspiring users in the spotlight. Here are a few entrepreneurs that have “cracked the code” to a successful dropshipping business:

HUSKYBEARD

21-year-old college student Paul Lee worked a 9-5 waitressing job, which left him exhausted and still nearly broke.

His decision to grow a beard has taken him on a path of deep learning, about the care involved in beard grooming, the techniques, and products required. After weeks of research, he realized there’s a business opportunity here. An opportunity that became a reality when he discovered dropshipping.

After a few trials and errors, he’s stumbled across the “winning product,” and soon his business began passing milestones almost daily. Today, he’s running a six-figure business, and it’s all thanks to his now shaved off beard and careful product research for dropshipping. Full story here.

Jacky and Albert turned $5,000 into $700,000

Jacky Chu and Albert Liu started their home decor online store as an attempt to land clients for their marketing business. But they accidentally turned a side-hustle into a money-making machine, all thanks to Facebook ads and great products.

They’ve dedicated $5,000 to spend on advertising their products on Facebook. They’ve tried different combinations until they found the winning option, and made back enough money to continue the search for more in-demand products. In the end, they generated $700,000 in revenue and were on track to hit $1 million in less than 12 months. Read the full story here.

For more inspiration, head over to Oberlo’s Success Stories page, where you can find tips and tricks to inspire your next dropshipping adventure.

Oberlo dropshipping guide

There is no right or wrong way to get started with dropshipping. Whether it’s a side hustle to make an extra buck or a serious business adventure on your mind — you can do it your own way. But, there are a few tried and tested steps to help you put your best foot forward from the start.

Find a niche

Nearly all success stories begin with finding a product or audience that’s virtually been untapped by anybody else. It can be something as ordinary as unisex sweatbands or as unique and target as pineapple cutters. The point is that by finding a niche product to sell you’re giving yourself a unique advantage — you’ll stand out from the crowd and will most likely appeal to a large customer base that’s looking to buy.

Name it right

Finding a name for your store can be hard, but make sure you keep it simple. Make sure it’s clear and easy to remember. You can try the Shopify Business Name Generator if you get stuck!

Test and research your products

Make sure you research your products and only choose ones vetted by other sellers. Nothing kills a business faster than poor quality or overpromise. Always do a test run when you pick a supplier and order an item for yourself. This way you can inspect the quality and decide whether it’s worthy for your store.

Make sure your T&Cs are clear

Sellers have very little control over the products they sell, so you need to make sure your returns and refunds policies are clear. Suppliers do not accept returns, so save yourself from the hassle and negative reviews by making this clear to your customers.

Invest in marketing

If you don’t have the funds to invest in paid marketing, put social media to work. Create content and share it to drive traffic to your Shopify store. Keep testing different channels to see what’s working and what you can improve. As long as you keep trying, you’ll eventually crack the code to success.

Shopify bnner dark long

Is Oberlo legit?

All in all, Oberlo sounds like what dropshipping dreams are made of. Should sellers consider it? Absolutely. Every feature is designed to increase efficiency, automate almost every area of your business, leaving you more time to focus on making sales and growing revenue.

However, it is exclusive to Shopify alone. If you’re looking for another option, check out this handy review of the top 5 ecommerce platforms for dropshipping. Spoiler alert – Oberlo is the number one choice.

In short, Oberlo is not only reasonably priced, but it also delivers highly desirable features. It ticks a lot of boxes for dropshipping merchants, and most importantly it saves a lot of time managing, searching and importing products. Oberlo is the visualization of what dropshipping should be.

9/10

Oberlo Review

Oberlo is the easiest dropshipping plugin to use. It’s got everything down to a T, from hand-picked quality suppliers, to automated order fulfillment, to an abundance of products. It’s budget and user-friendly -- everything dropshipping should be.

Pros

  • Automated order fulfillment
  • Partnership with AliExpress opens the door to thousands of products
  • Hand-picked, vetted suppliers from around the world
  • Ability to easily switch suppliers

Cons

  • Only works with Shopify
Owner of Profit Industry. Also CEO & Co-Founder of GetFound XL. Catch up with Justas on Twitter.
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