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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.

A recent study conducted by DiCentral and Lehigh University showed that retailers who adopted ecommerce and dropshipping have seen financial improvements on various levels including increased revenue and margin growth as well as expanded market share. The study also suggests that dropshipping can help sellers improve customer experience. 

If you’re a retailer that’s ready to embrace the dropshipping model and eager to learn more about how dropshipping functions – stay tuned! By the time you’re done reading this article, you’ll be armed with all the information you need to start using the Oberlo dropshipping app for Shopify.

Oberlo Review and 5 Reasons to use Oberlo:

  1. Great value for money, best value against competitors.
  2. It’s easy to set up and integration with Shopify is flawless.
  3. Makes a lot of the hard work like filtering products and searching easy.
  4. Different price packages depending on usage, so no huge initial cost.
  5. Allows you to run Shopify stores on autopilot.

What is Oberlo?

Oberlo is a dropshipping app made exclusively for Shopify. The app arranges the shipment of every product to customers and helps sellers discover new items for online selling. This resource will cover the ins and outs 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 catalogue 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 to use Oberlo?

Oberlo’s pricing is quite reasonable, and the company offers 3 main plans, which include:

Starter Plan – Free

The Starter plan offers all main Oberlo features completely free of charge and allows clients to set up a small online shop with 500 products. You get a fully equipped online store with automatic order fulfillment, sales reports, plus the Chrome extension for importing products directly from AliExpress.

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

Basic Plan – $29.90 per month

The Oberlo Basic plan costs $29.90 a month and allows clients to sell up to 10,000 products in their online store. The plan has recently been upgraded and now clients can receive an unlimited number of monthly orders. This plan includes all of the features from the Starter plan including bulk orders, variant mapping, and the option to track orders in real-time.

Features:

  • 10,000 products
  • Unlimited monthly orders
  • Variant mapping
  • Oberlo Chrome Extension
  • Automated product pricing
  • Product statistics
  • Inventory updates
  • Sales reports
  • Bulk orders
  • Real-time orders tracking
  • Affiliate program
  • Order fulfillment monitoring

Pro Plan – $79.90 per month

The Pro Plan costs $79.90 a month and is suitable for large online stores. The Pro Plan allows unlimited orders per month, includes all features from the Basic plan and allows multiple users accounts. This plan allows advanced functionality and is suitable for businesses that are ready to scale.

  • 30,000 products
  • Unlimited orders per month
  • Everything included in the Starter + Basic plan
  • Multiple staff account
  • Order fulfilment monitoring
  • Captcha solver

Is Oberlo free with Shopify?

The Oberlo Starter plan is completely free of charge. However, note that these prices don’t include your Shopify subscription costs, which can range from $29 per month to $299+ per month.

Product Management Features

Quick and easy product import from AliExpress

If you already sell products on your website from AliExpress, installing Oberlo will ease things, as it allows immediate product import from the immense database of AliExpress. This feature is really 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.

Clients also get the option to import products that have fast delivery times by using the ePacket filter.

Product customization

Oberlo allows clients to customize their products so they can stand out from the competition. You can add product images and edit the descriptions and titles.

Automated product inventory

One huge benefit of using Oberlo is that the software automatically updates your inventory, which means that you won’t have to constantly check and update inventory reports.

For example, if some of the products you’re selling in your online store run out of stock at AliExpress, this information will be automatically added to your profile. Using a dropshipper that doesn’t feature an automated product inventory puts you at risk of selling products that are out of stock, which can lead to negative customer reviews and an overall drop in customer loyalty.

Note that Oberlo also automatically updates product prices.

Sales and shipment tracking

Clients using the Basic and Pro plan can track orders using Oberlo. This feature is very helpful as it ensures clients that their products reach their customers successfully. You can use the feature to track your orders anytime and you can also track your sales and profits by using the costs dashboard. The dashboard automatically counts how much profit you’re making.

Third-party integration

Note that Oberlo integrates only with Shopify. So, if you have an online store on some other ecommerce platform, it won’t work with Oberlo.

Multilingual Info

Oberlo is currently available in English, French, Italian, German, and Portuguese. According to the website, the platform is working on making Oberlo available in more languages in the future.

Multicurrency Info

Oberlo allows product import only in USD. However, if you want to sell your products in another currency, you can make adjustments in your Shopify settings. If you want to learn how to change product prices in other currencies, check out this guide.

Multiregion Info

One of the most frequently asked questions about this platform is “Does Oberlo ship worldwide?” The quick answer is – Yes, you can sell your products anywhere in the world with Oberlo. However, the platform kindly suggests to its customers to pick target markets in order to gain more profits.

Analytics

Oberlo helps clients track data and evaluate the performance of their online store by using Google Analytics. With Google Analytics you can collect two types of data that are essential for your business: User Acquisition Data and User Behavior Data. On Oberlo’s blog, you can find an in-depth guide on how to use Google Analytics for your business and you can also check out HubSpot’s Ultimate Guide on Google Analytics in 2020.

How does Oberlo work?

Simply put, Oberlo is a Shopify app-slash-marketplace that lets you find products 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. When people purchase items from your site, you can fulfil 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 do this; you can either sign up on the app’s website or create a Shopify account first 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, and voilà — you now have your Oberlo account.

Oberlo's landing page for creating a new 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.

A Shopify store management screen

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 on Oberlo, you’ll be taken to your dashboard where you can either connect an existing Shopify account or 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.

Oberlo's page for creating a new store

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.

Oberlo's trending products page

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.

Oberlo's product management page

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.

Importing products on Oberlo

Alternatively, you can go to the product page itself, and hit the “Add to Import List” button from there.

Importing products on Oberlo

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.

Importing products on Oberlo

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.

Oberlo chrome extention

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.

Using the Oberlo Chrome extension to import products

What about Oberlo bulk import?

Recently, Oberlo added the bulk import feature to their platform which was not available for a long period. To use it, go to the Oberlo Dashboard and click on My products page. Find the extension icon in the Chrome navbar and click on the “Mass Import” button.

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.

Products' price list on Oberlo

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 change a price on a product on Oberlo

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 going to Shopify’s Checkout page and select Do not automatically fulfill any of the order’s line items option.

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 the dropdown button, and then select the “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 colour, size, or model (evidence is needed).
  • The package 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 to your shop.  

Oberlo customer service: What are your options?

Oberlo offers users live chat on their website and an informative blog that provides entrepreneurs with strategies and tips on how to build a successful dropshipping business. Customers can also contact Oberlo’s team via:

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.

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.

The uninstall Oberlo icon on Shopify

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.

The store status page on Shopify

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

Huskybeard's landing page - a black and white photo of a man with a beard

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. He then 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 could test their concept. Doing so helped them identify products with great demand, and this was just before Black Friday.

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 customers coming in through Facebook ads.

He told Oberlo once you “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.

Pierre Emanuel, the entrepreneur who dived into the dropshipping business

Pierre Emanuel, a young man with a background in marketing was eager to learn the ups and downs of the dropshipping businesses in order to earn some extra cash to support his family.

In the beginning, he had a rough start and struggled to find a product that would be suitable for his customers’ needs. Although his online store gained popularity quickly, he received customer complaints regarding the low quality of his product. 

Around that time, Pierre 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 of vital importance, Pierre put all his efforts into finding the right 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.

Still, like all savvy entrepreneurs, he didn’t stop there and decided to invest in a pricey product video to gain a larger audience. Pierre also used his marketing background and invested large sums of money in Facebook ads and scaled 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 making $1.6 million in sales in the last 21 months. 

Note: Unfortunately, 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. 

Final words

Oberlo reviews, screenshots, and examples can certainly provide insights into how you can use the tool. But if you seriously want to learn about dropshipping with Oberlo and Shopify, then creating an account is the best way to go.

Fortunately for you, the process is dead simple. As mentioned in this post, starting an Oberlo and Shopify store 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.

Author

Francesca Nicasio is retail expert, B2B content strategist, and LinkedIn TopVoice. She writes about trends, tips, and best practices that enable retailers to increase sales and serve customers better. She’s also the author of Retail Survival of the Fittest, a free eBook to help retailers future-proof their stores.

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