Dropshipping is a retail business model where you sell products to customers without keeping inventory. Instead, when you get an order, you purchase the item from a third party supplier like AliExpress and have it shipped directly to the customer. The goal as a dropshipper is to find hot products that will sell well so you can maximize profits. 

AliExpress is a global retail marketplace owned by Alibaba where wholesalers and manufacturers, primarily from China, sell their products. It's a popular platform used by dropshippers to source inventory. AliExpress has a wide selection of products across categories like electronics, fashion, toys, home and garden, etc.

The purpose of this article is to give you tips on how to identify winning dropshipping products on AliExpress that will sell well in your ecommerce store. We'll go over important criteria to analyze like your target audience, reviews, competition, profit margins and more. Following this guide will help you find products people want to buy so you can build a successful online business.

Understand Your Target Audience

To identify a winning product on AliExpress for your dropshipping business, you first need to understand who you want to sell to. Determining your target audience and their needs/interests is crucial market research to conduct upfront. 

You'll want to research the demographics of your potential customers including their age, gender, location, income level, education, etc. Look at psychographics too like their lifestyles, values, attitudes, and interests. Profiling your ideal customer will help you find products they'll resonate with.

Spend time browsing forums and social media groups frequented by your target market. See what problems they discuss and where they express interests or desires. You can run surveys or interviews to gather direct input about the types of products they'd like to purchase.

The more you know who you're selling to and what motivates them, the better chance you have of finding winning products. Always keep your audience top of mind rather than just chasing general fads or trends. Catering specifically to an underserved niche is key.

Analyze Best Selling Items

One of the best ways to identify a winning product on AliExpress for your dropshipping business is to analyze the current best selling items in your niche. Sort products on AliExpress by orders to see a ranking of what's trending and popular right now.

This allows you to get insight into what types of products are resonating with buyers and generating a high volume of sales. If a product already has proven demand and sales velocity, it's a good indication that it could also sell well through your own dropshipping store.

Pay attention to the specific product categories and types of items that make up the best sellers. Is there a particular style of product, color variation, size range, or pricing tier that is dominating? Reverse engineer why those products are so popular and outselling comparable items.

By digging into the best selling items, you can identify opportunities to capitalize on existing demands and trends. Find a competitive, uncrowded niche within the popular products that you can make your own. This market validation helps minimize risk and predict success for your dropshipping business.

Choose Products with High Reviews

One of the best ways to identify winning products on AliExpress is to look at the reviews. Prioritize products that have a lot of positive reviews and few negative ones. This shows that real buyers are satisfied with their purchase. 

Sort products by review count and scan the reviews. Look for products with hundreds or thousands of reviews, and make sure most are 4 or 5 stars. Be wary of any product with more than a small percentage of 1-2 star reviews, as this indicates quality issues or unhappy customers.

Read through both positive and negative reviews to understand pros and cons. Positive reviews will highlight features and benefits real customers appreciate. Negative reviews may reveal deal breaking flaws. 

Checking reviews from your target buyer demographic can provide additional insight. For example, tech gadgets may rate well overall but have complaints about durability from active users. Kids' toys might score high on fun factor but low on safety from parents' perspectives.

Prioritizing top-rated products with satisfied buyers helps minimize risk and dissatisfaction when launching new items. Happy customers will drive social proof and word of mouth marketing for your store. Reviews serve as a quality check, so lean on them when evaluating potential winning products to sell.

Evaluate Supplier Reliability 

When selecting products on AliExpress, it's important to carefully evaluate the reliability of the supplier. You want to ensure you choose suppliers that have a high rating, good reputation, and fast shipping times to your target customers.

Specifically, look for suppliers that:

- Have a rating of at least 4 stars or higher. This indicates most customers have been satisfied with their service.

- Have a high percentage of positive feedback and reviews. Look for at least 95% positive ratings.

- Have been a member of AliExpress for at least 1 year. Longer membership indicates an established, stable supplier.

- Have a "Top Brand" designation. This signals they are a trusted brand on AliExpress.

- Offer ePacket shipping. This is the fastest shipping method from China to many countries.

- Have a high "ship on time" rating of over 90%. This suggests reliable fulfillment and delivery.

- Have fast processing times. Look for 1-3 days processing to avoid long ship times.

Carefully check all of these factors before selecting a product's supplier. Sort search results by number of orders to surface popular suppliers. Avoid new suppliers with low ratings or feedback.

Established AliExpress sellers with the above credentials are more likely to provide a positive buying experience for your customers, enabling sustainable long-term sales. Taking the time to vet suppliers will pay off through satisfied repeat buyers.

Focus on Profit Margin

When selecting products to sell on your dropshipping store, it's crucial to focus on profit margin per item. Many new dropshippers make the mistake of focusing too heavily on low-cost products without doing the math on potential profit. Just because an item has a low wholesale cost doesn't mean it will be profitable once additional costs are factored in.

Instead, take time to calculate the potential profit margin per item. Here's a simple formula:

Retail Price - (Wholesale Price + Shipping Cost + Platform Fees) = Profit Margin

For example:

- Retail Price: $20

- Wholesale Price: $5

- Shipping to Customer: $3

- Platform Fees: $2

- Profit Margin = $20 - ($5 + $3 + $2) = $10

In this example, the $10 profit margin per sale represents a 50% profit margin. That's an excellent return!

When evaluating products, avoid those with less than a 30-40% profit margin after costs. While a $1 product with a 10 cent profit seems enticing, moving low profit items means you have to sell huge volumes to see any meaningful profits.

Instead, seek out mid-priced products in the $10-$50 range that allow for a healthy per item profit. This results in a sustainable business model. With good profit margins, you only need to sell a reasonable volume to reach your income goals.

The key is doing the math upfront to validate the profit potential of a product. Never get seduced by the low wholesale costs alone. Crunching the numbers on profit margin per item prevents picking the wrong products that result in wasted time and ad spend.

Consider Trends

When choosing a winning product to sell, it's important to consider rising trends in your niche so you can take advantage of new demand. One of the best free tools for identifying trends is Google Trends. This allows you to see graphs of search volume over time for keyword phrases.

Pay attention to terms that are rapidly rising in popularity. This indicates consumer interest is growing, so a product related to that trend could sell very well. However, also research the trend to ensure it's not just a short-lived fad. Look for trends driven by shifts in the market, technology, or consumer preferences that are likely to persist.

For example, when wireless earbuds first emerged, they quickly became a hot trend that led to booming sales. Dropshippers who got in early on selling wireless earbuds made a lot of money. Now that the trend has matured, you'd want to look for the next big thing in electronics.

Spending time exploring Google Trends each week can reveal lucrative new trends to capitalize on. The key is spotting them early, before competition gets too fierce. This market research helps ensure your chosen products have growing demand and sales potential. But remember, solid product selection also depends on factors like reviews, supplier reliability, and profit margins.

Evaluate Competition

When selecting a winning product on AliExpress, it's important to evaluate the level of competition. You generally want to avoid extremely competitive niches where many other sellers already offer similar items.

Use tools like Google Keyword Planner to analyze search volume and competition for keyword phrases related to a potential product. Look for good search volume (1,000+ monthly searches) with low competition. This indicates an opportunity to get traction with less effort.

Avoid products that already have hundreds or thousands of listings for the exact same item. There's likely minimal opportunity to differentiate yourself in a crowded market.

However, some competition validates a product's appeal. Just ensure the niche isn't completely saturated. Look for related products with demand that you can offer unique styles, features or pricing on.

Research competitor listings for clues on optimizing titles, images, descriptions and pricing. You don't need to reinvent the wheel. Learn from other successful sellers to create a more competitive listing yourself.

The key is finding the right balance between an overlooked niche and one that's overly competitive. With good opportunity analysis, you can identify winning products in ‘Goldilocks zones' of healthy demand and competition.

Test with Small Orders 

When you find a product that looks promising on AliExpress, it's important to validate the quality before committing to large order quantities for your store. One of the best ways to test products is by ordering a small number of samples directly from the supplier.

This allows you to personally inspect the product and verify that it meets your quality standards. Check that the photos and descriptions on the AliExpress product page accurately represent the actual product. Examine the product for any defects or issues. Also verify that the shipping time is reasonable, and packaging is sufficient to prevent damage.

By ordering just a few units first, you can evaluate the suppliers' shipping speed, communication, and overall reliability. This helps avoid potential issues down the road if customers start receiving poor quality products or shipments are late.

Testing with small orders reduces risk. It allows you to sample products from multiple suppliers to find the best one. You can compare factors like product quality, shipping time, packaging, and post-sale support.

After testing samples, you'll have the confidence to place larger orders with the best supplier. Validate now, before bringing a product into your store, so you can ensure a good experience for your future customers. Selling quality products is key for getting reviews, repeat business, and growing your ecommerce brand.


Selecting winning products is a critical component of building a successful dropshipping business on AliExpress. By taking the time to thoroughly research and test products, you can maximize your chances of identifying items that will sell well in your store.

In this article, we covered several strategies for identifying winning products such as analyzing best sellers, focusing on high-review items, evaluating supplier reliability, considering profit margins and trends, assessing competition, and testing with small orders. While it takes effort to research products, it's time well spent that will pay off in the long run.

The most important factors to keep in mind when selecting products are understanding your target audience, focusing on quality over quantity, and ordering test samples before committing to large inventory purchases. By consistently applying the criteria outlined in this article, you will be well on your way to curating an enticing product selection that converts browsers into loyal, repeat customers.

With the right mix of products that speak to your audience and the savvy use of dropshipping for fulfillment, you have the core elements needed for an AliExpress dropshipping business. Stay focused on offering winning products and providing excellent customer service, and your business can thrive. The possibilities are endless when you combine a great product with a great brand and shopping experience. Keep researching top products and making smart business decisions, and your dropshipping store will be off to a strong start.