If you are dropshipping and you haven’t heard about CJ Dropshipping then you are probably in hibernation. They are fast becoming the go-to for dropshippers.
If you’ve been burned by the slow shipping times and bad products when dropshipping from AliExpress then this might be the answer to your prayers.
But don’t get too excited too quickly.
There are some very important things you need to know about CJ before you jump in. Below is my CJ Dropshipping review.
CJ Dropshipping is a Chinese company that will source products for you (usually from the exact same sources as Ali Express sellers), stock it in their warehouses, fulfill your orders and ship them for you. They also offer after sales service if your products got lost or damaged in-transit.
The concept is simple and not that impressive but what is really impressive is that it is all FREE.
It sounds too good to be true and that is exactly what I thought. Most apps and fulfillment services charge a fairly hefty fee for all this.
In short, I am very impressed with CJ so far. Its only been 4 months but the overall experience has been 5 stars. In saying that, this is in comparison with AliExpress which sets a very low bar.
The Best Features of CJ Dropshipping
• Free App With NO Order Limits
The CJ Dropshipping app connects seamlessly with Shopify or WooCommerce (a big bonus for those on a budget). As of January 2020 they are also now listed in the Shopify App store which adds a great level of trust since the app (and their operation) is now monitored by Shopify.
The CJ app is free to install and connect to your store with no technical knowledge required. The app makes listing products, placing orders, managing orders and tracking easy. You can do everything order related right from your My CJ dashboard.
• Better prices
CJ Dropshipping offers prices that are very similar to AliExpress prices. This is mainly where they make their money. They are very smart at pricing products because they know that even if they just match the AliExpress prices, they offer a far better service.
Once you start doing volume you can negotiate prices with them and your agent will almost always give you better prices if you start doing more than 50 units per day.
• Fast Shipping From China (or USA)
This is the biggest benefit. CJ Dropshipping offers a ton of great shipping options. Many of the products that they have available for you to list are already stocked in US warehouses. You then have to option to simply use local USPS Shipping. This tends to be more expensive – and that makes total sense.
They also have their own shipping option CJPacket (5-15 Days shipping) and USPS+ which ships from China but delivery is usually 4-8 Days. They also have the usual ePacket and the rest but these are the 2 shipping options you need to use.
• Processing Times
One of the BIG problems with dropshipping from AliExpress is that the Ali sellers are usually dropshippers themselves. Once you place an order, they then order the product from the supplier.
The suppliers often have minimum orders so they might wait a few days to get enough orders before they can place an order. Sometimes it can take a week before they even process your order.
With CJ Dropshipping they usually have the products listed in their warehouse so their processing times are fast – usually 1-3 days. For products they do not have in their warehouse it takes 3-5 days. Still much better than AliExpress.
• Quality Control
Unlike AliExpress, CJ Dropshipping does quality control before they ship products to make sure that they don’t ship broken items or things that are obviously crap. From my experience this can be a hit or miss since crap products are crap from the supplier and they can’t do much about that.
• Huge Inventory of Proven Products
With so many dropshippers turning away from AliExpress, CJ has built up a huge inventory of products for you to choose from.
They also have it very conveniently sectioned so you can easily find what you are looking for. You want to pay particular attention to “Trending Products”. These are products that other dropshippers are successful with currently.
• Products With Videos
Another great feature from CJ Dropshipping is their videos. They have their own production studio where they make their own product videos. These are freely available for you to use – great for Facebook Advertisers.
You can also request a photoshoot and let them make a product video (or photos) exclusively just for you. The cost varies and is about $150 if you want exclusive rights to the video. The quality is okay and it is usually just in-studio so don’t expect great Instagram looking videos.
• Sourcing Products for you
My absolutely favourite feature is their sourcing feature. You can request for CJ Dropshipping to source a product for you. You just need to provide them with some product photos and the AliExpress URL. The number of sourcing requests you can place is determined by how many products you have sold through CJ, but you start with 5/day and that is plenty.
• Custom packaging
CJ Dropshipping offers custom packaging. If you want to set yourself apart from the competition in Dropshipping you need to create a brand. Using “blank products” and branding your packaging is a cheap and risk-free way do that.
They have a number of options but even just putting your logo on a box can make a huge difference in the perceived value of your product.
As of the start of 202 they offer engraving/etching on to products as well so this could also be a branding option depending on the products you sell.
• Access to an Agent
When you start doing sales you will be assigned an agent. He/she will be your main point of contact. My agent has been incredibly good. I have him on Skype and he responds without fail.
An agent can be invaluable to the success of your dropshipping business. They are your eyes and ears on the ground. They can quickly send you some products photos or answer product related questions quickly.
Most of all, they can give you insight into what is currently selling.
• Chat support
I’ve never had to wait more than 10 minutes to get hold of someone at CJ Dropshipping. I will add that my time zone (in Sydney, Australia) works great. Getting hold of people quickly and having them be fluent in English is a huge bonus for dropshipping from China.
• Print on Demand
One of the CJ Dropshipping features that is flying under the radar is their Print on Demand products. Some of them are same old but there are a few that is well worth checking out. I’m sure some of these you will recognize from ads you’ve seen in your FB Feed and wondered where it came from. (and then wonder why the fuck you did not know about this 1 year ago – lol).
CJ Dropshipping is not all moonshine and roses. Like anything that sounds too good to be true there are issues. Here are some of the things I like least about them.
The Problems With CJ Dropshipping
• Growing too fast
Dropshippers are leaving AliExpress in droves seeking greener pastures. CJ Dropshipping has been lifted out of its underground status and is now becoming mainstream. This means fast growth which means growing pains. You can sense that they are overwhelmed at times and this causes mistakes.
• Processing times
Lately I’ve seen processing times slow down. This is partly because of the Xmas season bu it remains to be seen how things go after the Chinese New Year.
• Winning products are exposed
Not everybody is concerned about this but if you think that you are the only one selling your “winning product” then they will be able to see exactly how many units you are selling and what you profit is. You always run the risk of it being picked up by someone else or an agent exposing it.
• Shipping from China
While shipping with CJ Dropshipping is 1 million times better than AliExpress, your products are still shipping from China. This means the shipping labels will show it coming from China and the usual issues with Chinese shipping will not go away.
I would suggest you move to their US warehouse as soon as you can.
• Not the best prices
While CJ Dropshipping’s prices are similar to AliExpress it is not vastly cheaper. If you really want the cheapest prices you still have to use a private agent or bulk ship to your own fulfilment service.
• App can be buggy
I’m not one to complain about freebies but the CJ App can be buggy. At times the search function does not work on their site and you will often have to manually refresh or clear your cache. Its annoying but not a deal-breaker.
• Less agile than Aliexpress
Using AliExpress and fulfilling orders with Oberlo is incredibly quick and easy. With CJ Dropshipping it is more time consuming and a bit more labour intensive. They do have a bulk fulfillment option but I suggest you get comfortable with their app and process before you use it.
With AliExpress and Oberlo you can quickly and easily list and launch almost any product. On Cj it can be slower – especially if you have to source the products first.
Since Facebook, PayPal and even Stripe started penalizing store with slow shipping and poor products from AliExpress a lot of new services sprang up. Eprolo, Spocket, UDroppy and Silkroad are a few popular ones and they all offer easy-to-use dropshipping without AliExpress.
In my opinion, CJ Dropshipping is the best. It is a low risk way to start a store, offer quality products and have fast(ish) shipping. You get someone you can talk to (in English) and you even have the option to brand your products with them.