Oberlo Review – The Perfect Solution for Drop Shipping Businesses?
A lot of business people are interested in drop shipping, because it looks like an easy way to do business. In reality, however, contacting suppliers, finding the right prices, and keeping your website up to date is actually a whole lot of work. The result is that the tiny margin you end up with may not seem worth it. Luckily, there are options out there to make things more manageable for you, one of which is Oberlo. Oberlo, unlike others, has not create a full ecommerce solution. Rather, it offers a type of extension or app, which can be added to Shopify stores, and a few more stores like it. The goal is to make it easier than ever to create a dropship account, and Oberlo is then also responsible for the packaging and shipping.
- It will save you a great deal of time.
- If your business grows, the system can easily grow with you as it is fully scalable.
- It perfectly integrates with Shopify.
- It is reasonably affordable.
- It might take you a little time to get used to it.
- It only works on AliExpress, and not on popular big retailers like eBay or Amazon.
- You can import your entire store from AliExpress. This is the go-to place for dropshipping and many people are surprised about the fact that they haven’t devised an Oberlo-type solution themselves yet. You will instantly have access to the thousands of AliExpress dropshippers, as well as their prices, details, and product images. AliExpress is easy to use, and Oberlo has adopted the same system.
- The interface through which you manage your products is nothing short of beautiful. It is actually quite similar to WordPress in as such that it has a left hand side menu where all your tasks are listed. You only need one click to edit your Shopify products, which does mean that there are actually two dashboards. What makes it confusing is that neither belongs to Oberlo (one belongs to AliExpress, the other to Shopify), but you’ll quickly get used to that.
- It comes with automated order fulfillment capability. Thus, when an order comes in, you find it, you order it, and it gets sent out. The whole system is completely automatic, so your customers won’t even realize that you’re actually using a dropship system.
- You get auto-updates on both inventory and price, so you will only list items that are actually in stock. And if there is a price change, this will be automatically reflected on Oberlo as well.
- AliExpress is in the process of setting up a “certified supplier” database, which means you can make sure that you only work with trusted suppliers. Furthermore, you don’t have to stick to a single supplier. If you want to change because you have found something better, you can.
- You can customize your products, including images, descriptions, and titles.
- You can set up automatic price rules.
- You can track the shipment.
- You can set up multiple accounts so that other people can help run your store.
- You can track your earnings in the costs and sales dashboard.
- It has an ePacket filter, which means you will only import those products that have a quick delivery time.
- You can create wish lists.
- Existing products can be connected together.
Oberlo is not a full eCommerce platform, so the issue of templates is slightly different than it would be in other systems. That said, Oberlo does want to help you set up a professional looking store, so they have some text templates that you can use. These include:
- Three templates for the “About Us” page, where you only have to include your shop name and products category name.
- A shipping information page template, which indicates your processing time and your shipping time.
Oberlo does not have its own app store. Rather, it expects its customers to work with the Shopify platform (Oberlo does work with a number of other platforms, but Shopify is considered to be the best one), and they have a wealth of apps available that integrate perfectly with Oberlo. The reason why Shopify is so highly recommended is because it makes it easier than ever to create an online business. The apps they offer are designed to refine a social media strategy, improve sales and marketing, and essentially help you grow your business.
There are both free and paid for apps available through Shopify, all of which are listed on the Shopify App Store itself. This is, in fact, one of the most popular marketplaces for apps on the internet. They offer countless solutions, easily divided into categories, so that you can get exactly what you need. The categories are:
- Social media
- Customer service
- Sales channels
Oberlo has looked at a number of those apps in greater detail and made some recommendations in terms of which ones they recommend.
Oberlo is very different from all other store builders and eCommerce platforms because it focuses specifically on drop shipping. Dropshipping means that you do not hold any physical items. Rather you order through other suppliers, who send the products out as if they were yours. Your customers, in other words, will not even realize that it is not your own stock that they are receiving.
As previously mentioned, there are a number of key challenges in setting up drop shipping accounts:
- It is difficult to obtain a substantial profit margin, as you have to increase the prices of the original supplier.
- It can be hard to find a supplier that you know you can trust.
- The payment methods can be very complex, as you have to accept payment from your client and send this through to the supplier.
- You have to find a way to make it impossible for your customers to know that they have actually ordered from a different supplier.
On the other hand, the fact that you can run your store from any location in the world, and that you don’t have to worry about overhead costs, such as warehousing costs, makes it an attractive way of doing business. What Oberlo has done is create a huge dropshipping forum, where you can communicate with other members and provide each other with hints and tips to make your business more successful.
Oberlo offers a 30 day free trial on all its plans, which you should use before you decide to sign up for the paid plans. If you are unhappy with the system at any time, even after you sign up for a proper plan, you can cancel it. Additionally, if you go over your limits, you will simply be billed for it, meaning that your order process will continue. It does, however, remove the dropshipping component, which means that you will have to conduct a manual process to send your orders out.
Oberlo’s pricing is surprisingly affordable, giving you three different plans to choose from:
- Starter, which is completely free! This allows up to 500 products, 50 monthly orders, automatic order fulfillment, daily product syncing, a free Chrome extension, pricing automation, and sales reporting.
- Basic, which costs $29.90 per month and allows up to 10,000 products, 500 monthly orders, everything from the Starter plan, order fulfillment monitoring, and shipment tracking.
- Pro, which costs $79.90 per month and allows up to 30,000 products, unlimited monthly orders, everything from the Basic plan, and multiple users.
The Pro plan is likely to further develop, with new features to be added. One such feature is support for more than one sales channel, where all your orders will be managed. The verified suppliers function is also being developed, which gives you the peace of mind that your suppliers will fulfill all the orders the right way.
Since Oberlo is not a full eCommerce platform, you may expect that their customer support is also quite limited. Actually, they have a fantastic blog where you can keep up to date with inspirations, strategies, and updates. They also have an email newsletter, and their social media platform is really well used, so you can always ask questions. In fact, they are incredibly responsive when it comes to Facebook messages.
Oberlo also has the amazing dropshipping forum, where you can speak to others who are in the same type of business as you. Furthermore, Oberlo staff also monitor and partake in this forum, so you can get lots of help on important topics, such as building your brand and expected earnings.
Last but not least, there is a large knowledge base available on the website. You can search this for popular topics about how to use the system. Should you have a question that is not answered in there, you can submit a question and an Oberlo team member will reply to you in due time.
So, should you have Oberlo or not? If you run a dropshipping store, then the answer is yes. It takes just a few minutes to install the system and you can even use a free account if your store is not that large yet. All the complexities of dropshipping will be automated for you instantly, leaving you to the important business of making money.
- Integrates with Shopify
- Learning Curve
- Only AliExpress