5 Reasons to use Oberlo:
- Great value for money, best value against competitors.
- It’s easy to set up and integration with Shopify is flawless.
- Makes a lot of the hard work like filtering products and searching easy.
- Different price packages depending on usage, so no huge initial cost.
- Allows you to run Shopify stores on autopilot.
A lot is going on when building a profitable dropshipping business in 2022. Many of those struggles include:
- Finding a profitable niche.
- Getting the right products.
- Staying competitive while having a profit.
- Spending time researching for more products to expand your catalog.
- Building a solid brand while making sales on time.
- Keeping your shipping times as short as possible.
- Working with a supplier that provides high-quality products consistently.
- Using Facebook Ads to generate positive ROAS.
But if you were to use a dropshipping platform that would make your life easier, would Oberlo be the right choice for you?
Well, it depends, and that’s the purpose of this review. So you can have a clear sense of how the app works.
What is Oberlo?
Oberlo is a dropshipping app made exclusively for Shopify. It integrates your online store with AliExpress so you can easily find and import products to sell online.
With dropshipping, you fulfill your customer’s orders by shipping the products directly from the supplier, without you—the merchant—worrying about inventory management or dealing with transportation.
Your work as the merchant is to simply sell the products online by adding branding elements to it, building a website, creating ads, and so on—sounds simple, right?
The caveat with dropshipping is that it can be challenging to find a supplier with high-quality products, discover a profitable niche, provide consistent quality. All while making your business profitable.
On the brighter side of dropshipping, it has been shown by a DiCentral and Lehigh university study that dropshipping is highly profitable for merchants with increased revenue, expanded market share, and margin growth—while also encouraging them to focus on improving customer’s experience.
So there’s no doubt that it is entirely possible to build a solid business through dropshipping. And with Oberlo, you only need a Shopify store to get started with it.
Oberlo Pricing Plans: How Much Does it Cost?
Oberlo’s pricing is simple. You can use a free plan to get started without any cost and a premium plan that gives you access to essential features. They include:
Oberlo Explorer Plan – Free
The Explorer plan offers essential Oberlo features for free with a generous limit of 500 products—more than enough to test a market.
You get a fully equipped online store with automatic order fulfillment, sales reports, plus the Chrome extension that allows you to use the app without opening another tab.
Explorer plan features:
- 500 products
- Unlimited monthly orders
- Product synced daily
- Fulfill orders with one click
- Inventory update
- Auto import of AliExpress tracking numbers
- Automatically set pricing and markups
- Chrome extension for importing products directly from AliExpress
- Sales reports
- Dispute management features for resolving supplier issues
This free plan is excellent to play around with and test a few products before going all in.
Oberlo Boss Plan – $29.90 per month
The Oberlo Boss plan costs $29.90 a month and allows you to sell up to 30,000 products in their online store. It includes all of the features from the Starter plan plus bulk orders, variant mapping, and the option to track orders in real-time.
Boss plan features:
- Everything included in the free plan
- 30,000 products
- Unlimited monthly orders
- Variant mapping on five products
- Oberlo Chrome Extension
- Automated product pricing statistics
- Bulk orders
- Real-time orders tracking
- Order fulfillment monitoring
- 30,000 products
- Multiple staff accounts
- Captcha solver
- Affiliate program
Once you’re committed to growing your dropshipping business, this is the plan you’ll need. It includes many essential features such as bulk orders or order tracking that will save you a lot of time.
Oberlo’s Key Features
Oberlo has many features that help you manage your business efficiently. Some are only available on the paid plan, and others are free. However, they can make a difference in how you’ll manage your business. They include:
Quick Product Import
If you already sell products on your website from AliExpress, installing Oberlo will come in handy. Oberlo allows you to find curated high-quality products and import products immediately from the immense database of AliExpress.
This feature is convenient for anyone who wants to increase the functionality of their online store and save some time, as Oberlo allows clients to add products from AliExpress with one click.
Also, there’s a Chrome extension for Oberlo, which allows you to import products right from AliExpress. And it comes helpful to import products in bulk to your store without having to click too many buttons.
You can find the Oberlo app in the Chrome Extension Store and install it in a second to get started with it.
Oberlo lets you customize your products so they can stand out and give you a competitive advantage. Before importing the items, you can create unique product pages with high-quality images, compelling titles, and effective product descriptions. Plus including a few features to diversify your catalog, such as:
Oberlo allows you to add private labels to your products so they can wear your logo and your customers can identify your brand when they use them.
Not all products can be labeled, so you’d have to do your research and see what can be branded. Here are some categories that can be labeled:
- Frozen food
- Chilled and fresh food
- Ambient food (shelf-stable food)
- Pet food and care
- Non-alcoholic drinks
- Personal care
When you offer different product versions, you don’t create separate listings for each size and color. Variant mapping allows your customers to choose different product versions on the same page, even if they’re from other suppliers.
You see, you can already create variants on Shopify, but what Oberlo does is to combine variants from multiple suppliers. So if your main supplier doesn’t have a shirt with green sleeves, you can add a variant shirt with green sleeves from another supplier.
This makes your life easier, so you don’t have to create multiple listings for having multiple suppliers.
Automated Product Inventory
Oberlo integrates your inventory with the supplier’s system, so it automatically updates your inventory stock. This means you won’t have to check and update inventory reports constantly.
This makes dropshipping an attractive model, as it automates a lot of the process you’d otherwise have to handle yourself.
For example, if the shirts with green sleeves you’re selling on your online store run out of stock at AliExpress, this information will be automatically added to your profile and instantly show up on the product page.
Using a dropshipping platform without this feature puts you at risk of selling products out of stock, leading to negative reviews and angry customers on your website.
Sales and Shipment Tracking
When upgrading to the boss plan, you’ll be able to track your sales orders and shipments in the “order” section.
It shows a dashboard where you can fulfill orders and see your shipments’ current state and profits.
This is an essential Oberlo feature that you can only get with the premium plan and can make the difference between keeping or losing a happy customer due to your ability to respond to their requests accurately. This feature is the main reason you’d want to upgrade as soon as possible.
With this feature, you don’t have to worry about losing profits because your supplier suddenly had to raise their prices.
Oberlo allows you to set rules to automatically update your product’s price according to your profit formula. So instead of setting up a fixed price for each product, you give Oberlo the margins that work for you, and it will do the rest.
Saving time is a huge advantage, and you won’t have to manually update your product prices every time the market gets crazy.
With the Boss plan, you can place AliExpress orders for all your sales in a few clicks.
So instead of spending time going over each sale to place its corresponding order, you simply select them all and place the orders in bulk—Oberlo will take care of the rest.
This feature comes helpful once you start receiving a wider sales volume, and you need to fulfill them as soon as possible.
Faster Shipping (ePacket Delivery)
One of the biggest drawbacks of AliExpress is its shipping times. Depending on the product, they can take up to 30 days, and Oberlo can’t do anything.
ePacket is an agreement between the U.S, China, and Hong Kong that allows shipments to advance faster without much paperwork. Making shipments last between 10-15 days, which is half the time it used to take—becoming a lifesaver for many dropshippers.
Despite being faster, however, ten days for an order to arrive (especially during seasonal days) is a lot compared to local brands offering faster delivery, giving Oberlo a less competitive advantage.
Oberlo is currently available in English, Spanish, French, Italian, German, and Portuguese. You can change the language by going to your account settings in the language section.
According to the website, the platform is working on making Oberlo available in more languages in the future. But you can already use it from any country you are in any of the mentioned languages.
The Experience of Using the Oberlo App
Using Oberlo is as simple as installing the app from the Shopify store, creating an account, and starting to import products right away.
However, I’ll review each step of the process and how the main dropshipping features are used. This way, you can have a clearer idea of how Oberlo works.
Creating an Account
There are two ways: Sign up on the app’s website or create a Shopify store to get started from there.
If you choose the former, all you need to do is click the signup button on Oberlo’s homepage, enter your email address and password, and you’ll be ready to get started.
After that, you’d just have to connect your Oberlo account with your Shopify store (or create one if you don’t have it), as shown in the dashboard.
On the other hand, if you already have a Shopify store, you can 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 (or you can simply install Oberlo right from the app store, all ways work the same).
Oberlo and Shopify work closely together, but you’ll need accounts on both platforms before you can start selling.
Finding Products to Sell
Once you have everything set up, all you have to do is to start browsing the marketplace for high-quality products to sell.
To do this, simply go to the “Find Products” section, which will load the internal marketplace. Here, you’ll have access to AliExpress suppliers for many categories.
The categories are not too specific, however. If you’re looking for blue long-sleeves shirts for winter, you can’t filter shirts by season or style—you’d have to use the search bar to look for those specific features.
And since search engines don’t have a sense of what’s trendy, many of the results won’t even come close to what you’re looking for.
So, among the 2,000 pages of shirts available, finding the ones you need can be a bit challenging and the search bar doesn’t help that much.
Other than that, Oberlo does offer you a lot of value by having such a volume of products available to you, and for free.
Finding a Reliable Oberlo Supplier
Choosing the right types of suppliers can make the difference between a growing and a broken business.
Thankfully, Oberlo makes it easy to manage and switch your suppliers. However, it only works with AliExpress suppliers, so you have to do your own research for that.
You must ensure that your suppliers:
- Deliver consistent quality products.
- Have faster delivery times.
- Have positive reviews.
- Use up-to-date technology.
The great part about dropshipping is that you can easily replace suppliers if they don’t deliver a great service. And Oberlo makes it easy to do that with a few clicks.
How to Import Products From Oberlo
While browsing the Oberlo internal marketplace , you can easily add products to your import list by hovering on the item and clicking the import list button.
Once you’ve selected your desired products, they will be included in your import list. Here, you can write the title and description, add images, set prices, choose variants, and everything you need for your product page.
When you’re ready to add the products to your catalog, simply hit the checkbox beside each product and click “Import all to store.” After taking this step, you’ll see the items in your Shopify catalog and ready to be sold.
Importing Products from AliExpress with Oberlo Chrome Extension
If you want to browse products on AliExpress and then add them to Oberlo, you can use the Oberlo Chrome Extension (OCE).
With the OCE, you can add products to your Oberlo account straight from AliExpress’s catalog. Simply head to the site, search for a product, and mouse over the item to see the Oberlo icon next to it.
The extension will filter the shipping methods available, show shipping times to your selected country, and let you import the products to your Oberlo account directly from the AliExpress website.
This extension is useful if you feel more comfortable searching for products there instead of the Oberlo app.
If you want to add multiple products at once, the extension also allows bulk import, which lets you select many products and do a mass import.
Setting Product Prices
While importing products, you can set the price of your products right away in the “pricing” tab.
You can manually add the price of each product variant and its “compare price” (the price that will get crossed on the website). If you have your prices already calculated for each, then you can go this route.
You have another option, though. Oberlo allows you to change the price of all variants to either a fixed price or a multiplier. And with the multiplier, you can set the price of every product to the profit margin you want and have your prices automatically updated whenever your suppliers change their product costs.
This way, you don’t have to worry about handling, updating, or recalculating your prices since Oberlo makes it easy to set and forget it.
Managing Orders on Oberlo
When a customer orders an item from your website, that product will appear on your Oberlo “Orders” page with the unfulfilled mark. And you’ll see the “Order products” button next to the item
This, so you can place the order and send the product to the customer. Marking the order as “fulfilled”.
With the Boss plan, there’s the “auto fulfillment” and the “bulk orders” feature, which allows you to create one order for multiple products and simply click “place order” with all the required information filled in automatically.
Now, when you see the order marked as fulfilled without a tracking code attached to it, then 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 going to Shopify’s Checkout page and selecting “Do not automatically fulfill any of the order’s line items” option.
But in case an order shows up as fulfilled on Oberlo but you haven’t purchased it from your supplier yet, you’ll need to cancel the fulfillment process on Shopify, so you can then place the order on Oberlo and mark the order as fulfilled.
Despite that little inconvenience, Oberlo makes it very easy to fulfill your orders quickly without needing to hire anyone to handle it.
Dealing with Returns and Refunds on Oberlo
- The item was purchased on the platform.
- The item you received was damaged, defective, or substantially different from the item represented on the product detail page.
- Your order did not arrive not due to factors related to the buyer (for example: the wrong shipping address was provided).
- You raise a claim by opening a dispute.
- Your account is in good standing.
- Your item is returned to the seller due to customs duties (customs clearance/taxes are not included).
In the case of getting a return, if your supplier doesn’t accept returns but you want to offer them, then you can send the returns to your own location if you have the means to deal with it. Just make sure to include your returns and refunds policy in your website before starting to sell.
Oberlo Customer Service: What are Your Options?
If you need support from Oberlo. You can simply click on the chatbot icon to have all the options presented to you. And they include:
- Starting a conversation with a support agent, where you can address specific problems with your Oberlo account and solve any doubts. Usually takes one day to get a reply.
- Reading articles from the help center if you need to learn how to use a certain feature. You can read articles right there or open them on a separate tab.
- Watch their educational videos if you want to learn tips for building your dropshipping business.
There’s also an Oberlo blog where you can read about dropshipping, business examples, guides, ideas, etc. Plus, success stories of other business owners who have succeeded in the dropshipping world.
If that isn’t enough, you can also watch the free Shopify courses where you can learn the skills and fundamentals of building an online business, marketing, and creating your website.
The amount of content that Oberlo has might help you address the most common problems and issues. But unfortunately, Oberlo’s support has a bad reputation for being too slow or not helpful.
Canceling Your Oberlo Subscription to Migrate to Another App
If you give up on finding a good product on AliExpress, then you might want to cancel your Oberlo account and migrate to another service.
You simply have to uninstall the Oberlo App in your Shopify store, in the “Apps” section. And then, it would be all about fulfilling your remaining orders and removing all of your products from the store.
Once done, head to your account settings, and cancel your subscription in the billing information section to downgrade your account to the free plan.
Migrating would simply involve installing an alternative dropshipping platform in Shopify’s app marketplace, checking if they have the products you’re looking for, and going over a similar process from when you installed Oberlo.
Alternatively, if you’re done with your business, you can choose to close your entire store in the Shopify settings. It will shut down everything for 30 days in case you change your mind and then delete it permanently.
3 Examples of Dropshipping Businesses Using Oberlo
Oberlo regularly shares stories of entrepreneurs who have found success with dropshipping using their app. Here are a few of them:
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 wanted 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.
As a result, he created a store with Shopify and installed Oberlo.
Paul researched suppliers and tested many products to figure out the right ones for his store. He ran Facebook ads to grow short-term revenue. And once he started making $3,000 a month, he decided to drop out of college, quit his job, and focus on HUSKYBEARD full time.
In the end, Paul was able to grow the site into a 6-figure business and sell it in 2016. Now he offers consultancy and is building new businesses.
An inspiring example is Subtle Asian Treats, a store that sells boba plush toys (among other types of plushies). Its branding clicks very well on its target audience, its website uses user-generated content, and most importantly, it sells.
The founder, Tze Hing Chan, was a Malaysian entrepreneur looking for online opportunities—which led him to make $19,000 in profit in just two months (of course, after many failures).
Most of this store’s early success came from using Facebook Ads to target the right audience, maintaining brand consistency, optimizing the Average Order Value (AOV) with bundles, among other best practices.
In the end, Tze sold the store and moved forward with a luxury clothing business for the Malaysian market.
Pierre Emanuel was a young man with a background in marketing who had a rough start and struggled to find a product that would be suitable for his customers’ needs.
Even after finding a good market and gaining online popularity quickly, he received customer complaints regarding the poor quality of his product.
He knew that launching an online store and putting all efforts into marketing was not enough to build a trusted brand. After realizing that product quality is vital, Pierre put all his efforts into finding a higher quality product.
Soon he managed to replace the plastic version of his item with a metal one, started to scale his business, and learned the vital lesson that quality matters.
Yet, he didn’t stop there and invested in a pricey product video to gain a larger customer base. Pierre also used his marketing background and invested large sums of money in Facebook ads to scale his store to some fascinating numbers.
He told Oberlo , “My strategy is to spend a lot. Bigger the volume, bigger the sales at the end, you know?”. Pierre’s “think big” mentality led him to make $1.6 million in sales in the last 21 months from his dropshipping store.
Unfortunately, most entrepreneurs featured in Oberlo’s success stories don’t disclose their store’s URL to avoid competitors copying their products or methods.
Is Oberlo Worth it for Dropshipping in 2022? The Pros and Cons
Oberlo is an excellent dropshipping app. You can technically run a successful business using Oberlo—its main problem is that it limits you to AliExpress suppliers.
But, is it really the best option for you? Let’s go over the pros and the cons:
- The app is feature-rich and helps you save time with automatic order fulfillment, pricing rules, and time-saving features.
- It has a low cost of entry. Anyone can open a dropshipping store in a few days using it.
- It’s very user-friendly and easy to use.
- There’s a lot of training available for using Oberlo.
- The free plan is generous enough to allow you to test products, and the paid plan has a reasonable price. So. in general, Oberlo is a very cheap option.
- It has flawless integration with Shopify, and it’s almost built-in.
- Only works with Shopify, can’t use it with another website builder.
- You can only dropship products from AliExpress, which means it will be harder to find high-quality products. And there aren’t many categories.
- Since AliExpress suppliers are eastern, shipping times to the U.S or other parts of the world can get very long (even with ePacket delivery).
- Highly competitive, it’s too complicated to find long-term success without having to search for new hits everyday. If you find a successful product, it will quickly be replicated by your competitors, and differentiating with branding will take you more time than that.
- Despite having plenty of resources available, the support response times are slow. So if you happen to run into a technical issue that paralyzes your business, that waiting period will cost you money.
- It’s rare to find an AliExpress supplier that accepts returns, so you’d most likely have to deal with them yourself.
- The life of most “successful” AliExpress dropshippers involves creating many stores, testing products constantly, catching up with dropshipping trends, or using the profits from their first success to migrate to another business model like consulting or an agency. It’s rarely a sustainable, long-term type of success.
Is Oberlo a good app? Yes, it does what it’s intended to do technically.
But, it is a less viable option because it only works with AliExpress suppliers, which means longer shipping times, products with questionable quality, predatory competition, and constant struggle to maintain success.
Back in 2016, Oberlo was a better option just for being less saturated. Today, there are more alternatives with way more options.
Still, due to the low cost of entry, Oberlo can be a good starting option for beginners in the dropshipping world, as it will offer great experience at a lower cost and set you up for success in the near future.
Plus, it’s also worth mentioning that Oberlo’s app itself is solid, it works excellent on Shopify, and it’s very well designed so any person who’s new to the ecommerce world can use it.
Oberlo Review FAQ
Can You Make Money with Oberlo?
You don’t make money directly from Oberlo, but from selling products online from AliExpress suppliers, Oberlo is simply the app that connects both platforms and makes the process way easier. In that sense, Oberlo does help you make money.
Are Oberlo and Shopify the Same?
Shopify is the ecommerce platform that allows you to build your online store. It’s where you actually create your business. Oberlo is the app that connects your store with AliExpress in order to sell products without having to manage shipments and inventories.
They’re closely related because you can only use Oberlo with Shopify and their integration is perfect.
What are Some Oberlo Alternatives?
Since Oberlo only works with AliExpress. You might want to find alternatives that offer products from other suppliers, here are a few examples:
- Spocket. Offers U.S and EU suppliers, faster shipping times, and more branding options.
- Automizely. There are global suppliers, it tracks shippings, and has a wider selection of products.
- DropnShop. You’ll only find products 100% made in France under French legislation, guaranteeing their quality. It can ship worldwide.
- GlowRoad. Gives you access to Indian suppliers, so you can sell their products globally. It offers quality inspection for shipments and it’s free.
Which dropshipping app works best for you depends on the type of product you want to sell and the location of your target market. So if the suppliers are from Europe, it’d be worth selling to Europeans due to faster delivery times.
Is Oberlo Legit or a Scam?
There are many legit success stories of people using Oberlo to build a business. Oberlo can’t be a scam since its only job is to integrate your online store with AliExpress so you can easily find suppliers and sell products online.
Still, it’s good to be aware of the caveats of dropshipping and understand that it’s very easy to fail if you don’t do it well. Succeeding with Oberlo isn’t a breeze. It takes work.
Does Oberlo Take a Fee from Your Sales?
No, they get their revenue from accounts using the Boss plan, which is $30/month. So it won’t mess with your margins.
Does Oberlo Ship Worldwide?
Yes, you can sell your products anywhere in the world with Oberlo. However, you must consider the type of suppliers you’re working with, their shipping times, and make sure that you’re offering the fastest delivery time to your target market.
Conclusion: Is Oberlo the Solution You’re Looking for?
If you seriously want to learn about dropshipping, Oberlo and Shopify are the way to go.
The process is dead simple. Starting a Shopify dropshipping store with Oberlo takes just a few hours, and sourcing products can be done in a day or less. Its user-friendliness makes it easy to learn dropshipping quickly, improve your skills, and get started almost immediately.
There are caveats, however, as finding a profitable niche where the competition isn’t too fierce will be hard to do with AliExpress products—though not impossible.
So if you’re looking to build a sustainable long-term business that can reliably grow over time, then Oberlo might be a poor option—especially with so many alternatives.
It doesn’t remove the fact that dropshipping is still a viable way to start a business, learn, and make some profit in the process.
So better than not doing anything and stagnating, start a dropshipping business using Oberlo. The experience and skill development are still worth it.