Dropshipping continues to be an attractive business model for online entrepreneurs who aren’t keen on taking on supply chain and inventory management. With dropshipping, the merchant fulfills orders by shipping the products directly from the supplier, so the retailer doesn’t have to deal with stock control.
But as appealing as dropshipping may be, many sellers remain concerned about finding great and trusted suppliers. Research has shown that “84% of online sellers find that establishing a drop ship supplier or wholesaler relationship is the #1 roadblock to starting an online business.”
If you’re part of that eighty-four percent, fret not — Oberlo could be just the thing that can alleviate your concerns.
Table of Contents
- 1 What is Oberlo?
- 2 Who can use Oberlo?
- 3 Oberlo pricing review: How much does it cost?
- 4 How does Oberlo work?
- 5 How to create an account
- 6 How to connect Oberlo with Shopify
- 7 How to find products to sell
- 8 How to find Oberlo bestsellers
- 9 Suppliers in the Oberlo marketplace
- 10 How to import products from Oberlo
- 11 How to import products from AliExpress using the Oberlo Chrome Extension
- 12 What about Oberlo bulk import?
- 13 How to set prices on Oberlo
- 14 How to manage orders (automatically fulfilled and otherwise) on Oberlo
- 15 How to cancel an order on Oberlo
- 16 How to handle returns and refunds on Oberlo
- 17 Oberlo customer service: What are your options?
- 18 How to cancel your Oberlo subscription
- 19 How to buy an Oberlo store
- 20 Oberlo success stories
- 21 Oberlo examples
- 22 Final words
What is Oberlo?
A dropshipping app made exclusively for Shopify, the Oberlo add-on “allows you to easily import dropshipped products into your ecommerce store and ship them directly to your customers – in only a few clicks.”
This resource will cover the ins and out of Oberlo and answer the most common questions you have about the app. By the end of this review, you’ll have both the knowledge and confidence to start a dropshipping business with Oberlo.
Who can use Oberlo?
Anyone with a Shopify store can use Oberlo. Whether you’re starting a dropshipping business from scratch or already have an existing catalog and just want to add a few more items to the mix, Oberlo can help.
As we mentioned earlier, though, Oberlo works exclusively with Shopify, so you’ll either need to create a store using the platform or link an existing Shopify store to your Oberlo account.
Oberlo pricing review: How much does it cost?
Oberlo’s pricing is quite reasonable, and the company offers 3 main plans, which include:
Starter – Free
- 500 products
- 50 orders per month
- Product synced daily
- Fulfill orders with one click
- Auto import of AliExpress tracking numbers
- Place up to 1,000 orders with one click
- Automatically set pricing and markups
- Chrome extension for importing products directly from AliExpress
- Sales reports
- Dispute management features for resolving supplier issues
Basic – $29.90 per month
- 10,000 products
- 500 orders per month
- Everything included in the Starter plan plus…
- Shipment tracking
- Order fulfillment reports
Pro – $79.90 per month
- 30,000 products
- Unlimited orders per month
- Everything included in the Starter + Basic plans plus…
- Multi-user functionality
Do note that these prices don’t include your Shopify subscription costs, which can range from $29 per month to $299+ per month.
How does Oberlo work?
Simply put, Oberlo is a Shopify app-slash-marketplace that lets you find products that you can dropship.
Once you have an account, you can browse Oberlo’s marketplace, search for products to sell, then add those items to your Shopify store quickly and easily.
Then when people purchase items from your site, you can fulfill their orders by shipping the products directly from your suppliers.
Read on to learn more about how to create an Oberlo account and start dropshipping products with the help of the platform.
How to create an account
There are a couple of ways to get up and running on Oberlo; you can either sign up on the app’s website or create a Shopify account and get started from there.
If you choose the former, all you need to do is click the big blue sign up button on Oberlo’s homepage. You’ll enter your email address and password, then voilà — you now have your Oberlo account.
If you opt for the “Shopify first” route, then you’ll go through Shopify’s sign up process. Once you have an account, navigate to the “Products” section of your store backend, click “More actions” then “Find more products to sell.” Doing so adds the Oberlo app to your Shopify store, and the system will create an account for you.
There’s no right way to go about this process. Since Oberlo and Shopify work so closely together, you’ll need accounts on both platforms before you can start selling.
How to connect Oberlo with Shopify
Note: You only need to do this if you signed up for an account on the Oberlo website. If you created a Shopify account and added the Oberlo plugin from your Shopify backend, then the two accounts are already integrated, and no further action is required.
After creating an account Oberlo, you’ll be taken to your dashboard where you can either connect an existing Shopify account or a create a new one. If you choose the former, Oberlo will redirect you to the Shopify login page, and if you opt for the latter, you’ll be redirected to the sign-up process.
How to find products to sell
Got your Oberlo and Shopify accounts all set up? Great! You can start browsing the marketplace for items that you can dropship.
The quickest way to do this is to use Oberlo’s search function. Head to app.oberlo.com/explore then enter a product type or category onto the search box.
You could also browse Oberlo’s marketplace by product type. Just click the category that you’re interested in and narrow down your search from there.
How to find Oberlo bestsellers
Oberlo makes it easy to find top-selling and trending products on the site. One simple way to do this is to check oberlo.com/browse-trending-products to see a roundup of “soon-to-be-trending products.”
And if you want trending product updates sent straight to your inbox, enter your email on the sign-up box to receive product suggestions.
Suppliers in the Oberlo marketplace
You can do business with three types of suppliers in the Oberlo marketplace; they include Oberlo Suppliers, Verified Suppliers, and AliExpress Suppliers. Let’s take a closer look at each vendor type:
Oberlo Suppliers – These are suppliers that you’ll find on the Oberlo platform. Oberlo checks the operations, warehouses, and business documents of these suppliers so when you do business with them, you can rest easy knowing that you’re sourcing items from a legit vendor.
Verified Suppliers – These are the cream of the crop vendors in Oberlo’s marketplace. In addition to being kept in check by the company, Verified Suppliers have a proven track record. In order to become verified, a supplier must have processed at least 1,000 orders, have an on-time delivery rate of 95% and have a dispute rate below 2%.
You can identify these suppliers when you see the Verified badge found on their listing.
AliExpress – These are vendors that you find on the AliExpress website. Unlike the those found within Oberlo’s marketplace, AliExpress suppliers are not being checked or verified by Oberlo, so you’ll need to do your due diligence to ensure that a vendor is legit and reliable.
How to import products from Oberlo
Now let’s talk about adding products to your catalog. If you’re browsing the Oberlo marketplace, you can easily add products to your import list by hovering on the item and clicking the green import list button.
Alternatively, you can go to the product page itself, and hit the “Add to Import List” button from there.
In both cases, the products you selected will be included in your import list, so when you’re ready to add them to your catalog you can do so by hitting the checkbox beside each product and clicking “Import all to store.” After taking this step, you’ll see the items in your Shopify catalog.
How to import products from AliExpress using the Oberlo Chrome Extension
If you want to add products from AliExpress to Oberlo, you can do so using the Oberlo Chrome Extension (OCE). You can find OCE here. Add it to your Chrome browser, and you’re good to go.
With the OCE, you can add products to your Oberlo account straight from AliExpress.com. Just head to the site, search for a product, and mouse over the item to see the Oberlo icon next to it. That same icon should also appear when you’re on a specific product page.
Click the icon to add the item to your Oberlo import list.
What about Oberlo bulk import?
Bulk import is currently not available on Oberlo. As of June 2017, Oberlo said that “the feature of “bulk import” is not available yet and we currently do not have this in our roadmap.”
How to set prices on Oberlo
So, you’ve compiled your import list and you’re ready to price your items. You can do this by navigating to your import list then clicking the Variants tab. From there, you can view the price list of your items and then manually set the prices.
You can also change prices in bulk by clicking the “Change All Prices” button and either setting a new value or by entering a multiplier.
How to manage orders (automatically fulfilled and otherwise) on Oberlo
When a customer orders an item from your website, that product should appear on your Oberlo “Orders” page and be marked as unfulfilled. You’ll also see an orange “Order products” button next to the item. Click that button to order the items from the supplier and proceed with fulfillment.
Now, when you see the order marked as fulfilled without a tracking code attached to it, then it could mean one of two things. Either a shipping label was created or the order was marked as fulfilled on Shopify even if you haven’t ordered the item from your supplier yet.
You can prevent this from happening by not printing a shipping label and/or by updating your Shopify settings to the system doesn’t automatically fulfill any of the order’s line items.
When an order shows up as automatically fulfilled on Oberlo but you haven’t purchased it from your supplier yet, you’ll need to cancel fulfillment.
How to cancel an order on Oberlo
To cancel an order, just head to the order page on Shopify, find the “More” link on dropdown button and then select “Cancel fulfillment” or “Void label” option. This will switch the order status from fulfilled to unfulfilled in Oberlo, and you’ll then be able to order the product from your supplier.
Once that’s done, you can let your supplier do the rest!
How to handle returns and refunds on Oberlo
According to Oberlo, the suppliers on its platform (both Verified and regular ones) do not accept returns but will issue refunds 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 should familiarize yourself with their Buyer Protection policy, which basically states that you have the right to a refund if an item is significantly different from the description and/or if the order was not fulfilled on time.
Whatever the case, be sure to iron out your returns and refunds policy before you start selling. Check out Shopify’s template and then tailor it for your shop.
Oberlo customer service: What are your options?
Oberlo doesn’t offer phone or live support, but you do have a few options if you need to get in touch with their customer service team.
Oberlo Help Center – You can browse help.oberlo.com to find answers to any questions you may have. Simply enter a keyword or query into the search box or navigate to a relevant category.
Ask.Oberlo – There’s also ask.oberlo.com, an online forum where you can discuss dropshipping trends, share stories, and ask for advice. Discussions on the forum generally fall into six categories: General, Shopify Management, Traffic and Marketing, Dropshipping, Oberlo App, and Your Store Feedback.
Email – You can reach the Oberlo team by dropping them a line at [email protected].
How to cancel your Oberlo subscription
If for any reason you need to cancel your Oberlo account, you can do so using either of the two methods:
Uninstall Oberlo from your Shopify store – From your Shopify backend, head to “Apps” then click the trash can icon beside Oberlo.
Close down your Shopify store – You can choose to close your entire Shopify store. Just head to Settings, then click “Account.” Scroll down to the bottom of the page and find the “Close Store” button.
How to buy an Oberlo store
If you aren’t keen on building a dropshipping business from scratch, then consider buying an existing store from Exchange, a marketplace for entrepreneurs looking to buy or sell a Shopify business. Exchange has a category specifically for dropshipping websites, so if you’re looking to take an Oberlo + Shopify site off someone’s hands, this is a great place to start.
Oberlo success stories
Oberlo regularly shares stories of entrepreneurs who have found success through their solution. Here are a few notable ones:
HUSKYBEARD is a beard grooming ecommerce store that was started in 2016 by Paul Lee. According to Oberlo, Paul was working a 9 to 5 job at a restaurant and started HUSKYBEARD after learning all about beard grooming from his own experience.
While Paul started off wanting to develop his own beard growth formula, that path proved to be complicated and expensive. Fortunately, he came across dropshipping and discovered the benefits of not having to create his own products and deal with fulfillment. So, he switched his business model, signed up for Shopify, and installed Oberlo.
He researched suppliers and tested a lot of products to figure out the right ones for his store. From there, he ran Facebook ads and grew from there. When he started making $3,000 a month, he decided to drop out of college, quit his job and focus on HUSKYBEARD full time.
Long story short, Paul was able to grow the site into a 6-figure business thanks to his business savviness and determination.
Paul sold the business in 2016 and netted a profit of $49,500.
Jacky Chou and Albert Liu’s home decor business
Here’s another one from Oberlo’s vault of success stories: Jacky Chou and Albert Liu started an online home decor store as an experiment to help them land clients for their marketing consulting business.
Albert told Oberlo that they initially dedicated $5,000 in Facebook ad spend so they can test their concept. Doing so helped them identify products with great demand, and this was just before Black Friday when consumers were looking to spend.
With one successful product, they were able to generate profits to find other winning items and further scale the business to over $700,000 in revenue. When Oberlo published their story, they were on track to hit $1 million in less than 12 months.
Irwin Dominguez, one of Oberlo’s most successful entrepreneurs
Irwin Dominguez, a San Diego-based entrepreneur started a dropshipping business and grew it to $1,00,000 in sales in just 8 months.
His secret? Facebook ads. He got his first sale 3 days after his store’s launch, with the customer coming in through Facebook ads.
He told Oberlo once you’ve “crack the code” so that your revenue covers your FB ad costs, you’ll be in a great position to run a thriving ecommerce store.
When Oberlo published the post, Irwin’s store was earning around $10,000 per day and had a record of earning $30,000 in a single day.
Most of the entrepreneurs featured in Oberlo’s success stories don’t disclose their store’s URL to avoid competitors copying their products or methods. This can be frustrating, especially if you want to see live examples of Shopify sites using Oberlo.
Fortunately, there’s a way to find live Oberlo sites. There’s a section on Ask.Oberlo called Your Store Feedback where site owners share their store URLs to get comments from the community.
Here are some examples:
Woodster is a shop that sells wooden products. At the time of writing this, the site focuses mainly on sunglasses and watches.
Genty is a site that specializes in stylish watches and sunglasses. Genty watches are sold and marketed with specific cities in mind. According to the website, “Inspired by cities and empowered by free-spirited souls who are eager to leave a mark wherever they are in the world, Genty leads with minimalist designs that emphasize quality & fashion.”
As its name states, Outdoor Desires is a retailer that focuses on products for people who love the great outdoors. From a Swiss Hammer Axe to Water Sneakers, people who love camping and other outdoorsy activities are going to love this site.
Oberlo reviews, screenshots, and examples can certainly provide insights into how you can use the tool. But if you’re serious about learning about dropshipping with Oberlo and Shopify, then creating an account the best way to go.
Fortunately for you, the process is dead simple. As mentioned in this post, starting an Oberlo and Shopify takes just a few minutes, and sourcing products can be done in a day or less.
That said, if you need assistance establishing and growing your dropshipping business, feel free to drop us a line. We’d love to help you figure things out.