eCommerce is steadily taking over from traditional retail channels globally, and building a store online with an integrated dropshipping feature is no longer difficult for any merchant. Oberlo is one of the most popular ways to create a dropshipping business, as long as you want to stick with Shopify as an eCommerce platform.
Dropshipping is a great way to do sell things online without a huge amount of money invested in the products. From product creation and order collection to fulfillment and delivery, everything is done over the Internet, without any direct involvement in dealing with suppliers or carriers.
The only thing you need to do is find the most competent drop shipping service for your business niche. Oberlo turns out to be a good choice, especially to those who already run a Shopify online store.
Oberlo Makes Dropshipping Easy
Dropshipping is an amazing tool for today’s virtual shops. With a good dropshipper, your online store will cut down on physical procedures as much possible in order to shorten business cycles and best utilize a small budget.
Using a quality dropshipping platform helps to achieve these goals by providing products, order fulfillment, shipping options. With this system, there are no more upfront costs, warehousing or time dedicated to the whole process, as it is entirely automated.
Originally Oberlo was an independent Lithuanian drop shipper until 2017 when Shopify bought it and transformed it into a part of its business. Currently, Oberlo is the most installed dropshipping application in the Shopify store.
What Does Oberlo Offer?
Similar to other drop shippers, Oberlo’s purpose is to connect sellers with manufacturers and to conduct order fulfillment smoothly. In this case, Oberlo plays a role as an intermediary bridge for Shopify merchants.
To start, you will need to own a store on Shopify (monthly fee is required, you can consider which plan is best for your situation).
- Head over to the Oberlo website and click the “Add Oberlo to Shopify” button.
- Register for an account
- Click the “Connect a Store” button and enter your store URL
- On the shopify website, grant the app access and click the “Install App” button
Once the above steps have been completed, you will be given access to thousands of products available on Oberlo to list on your Shopify store for display and sales.
When your customers confirm a purchase, the order is handled by Oberlo. It will process the goods and send them to the customers with the name of the seller (you/your store) printed on a receipt.
Who are Oberlo’s Suppliers?
After you install Oberlo, you can surf through countless options and import them to your store. All chosen products’ info, including an image and price, will be auto-updated on the Oberlo dashboard.
Sellers will find two sources of suppliers on Oberlo: AliExpress and Oberlo’s own suppliers.
AliExpress has a huge collection of products that are sold by many other dropshipping businesses, and its integration with Oberlo is a big asset.
There are a couple of ways you can look up and import products from AliExpress:
- Insert product’s ID or link on AliExpress to import into Oberlo
- Search for a product by choosing a category and inputting keywords
- You can also install a Chrome add-on, which enables item importing with one click
Since the majority of manufacturers on AliExpress come from China, shipping times could be longer for Western buyers. Should you wish to find suppliers from other countries, you can always consider Oberlo’s own list.
The companies that work directly with Oberlo include a lot of global companies, some of which have operations outside of Asia.
To make it even easier, Oberlo provides two classifications: regular Oberlo suppliers and Oberlo Verified Suppliers, which are certified for the following properties :
- Warehouse has been verified by Oberlo
- Have completed 1,000 plus orders successfully
- 95% of shipments are completed on time
- Less than 2% conflicts on total orders
There are no limitations to product categories. Thousands of suppliers offer your store the ability to sell apparel, home appliances, electronic devices, beauty supplements, accessories and much, much more.
With Oberlo’s platform, it is simple to sort the search results by countries that can be serviced, shipping method, price, and more. Everything you will need is right there, and the interface is simple to use.
Oberlo has no direct control over the companies that it allows to be dropshippers, but you can rely on honest reviews to sort out which ones are trustworthy. You will never run out of choices, and can easily switch from one brand to another without any physical requirements.
The Oberlo Interface
Oberlo uses a WordPress-like interface, which is super simple and user-friendly.
The pane on the left of your screen contains a wide range of command tasks allowing you to conduct product searches, choose featured products, or view or import via a list.
The imported products are well organized and displayed, and you can find information regarding each product’s quantity, sales number and profit from the sales.
Oberlo allows sellers to set up default settings, such as when a product is no longer available. The platform has several options that can be automatically displayed on your store: Do nothing, remove a product or show available quantity to 0.
Another useful feature is Global Pricing Rules, which you can use to fix your pricing scheme.
There are 3 ways to use this tool:
- Fixed Markup: A fixed amount of profit is applied. For instance, you can set to have $15 USD as fixed profit for each product sold on your store
- Multiplier: Final price will be multiplied by a set amount of the dropshipping price
- Advanced pricing rules: There are more combinations for price calculation on the platform as well. For example, to create an attractive price, you can set a price of $99.99 USD instead of $99 USD thanks to “Assign cents” option
In case you want to make some additional detailed adjustments on your products, such as adding impressive descriptions or uploading higher-quality images, these options are just a click away.
You’ll be sent to your Shopify dashboard, where you actually manage the product editing.
When you receive an order request in your online store you will have to locate the corresponding products in your Oberlo inventory, then hit the “Order product” button (you can even add more than one product from different suppliers in your cart and click “Order all products”).
That’s all you have to do on your side, Oberlo will be in charge of the whole process, from packaging to shipping. Products will be delivered to the customer’s address under your store’s name, but other than listing the products, and approve the orders, you don’t have to do much.
Oberlo provides sellers an order tracking system so that both merchants and shoppers are able to keep track of order status.
In terms of shipping, after you confirm the order, you will see shipping selections at check out. It’s your own decision to choose which logistics service to apply, of course, and better ones are accompanied by more expensive rates.
One suggestion to keep costs down is using an ePacket, which is offered by many suppliers in Hong Kong and China. It is relatively fast at a reasonable price.
At present, ePacket provides delivery service to 42 countries worldwide. On average, shipment by ePacket arrives within 15 to 30 days. There are also plenty of other choices for you, such as USPS, DHL, etc…
Automatic inventory and Pricing Update
Once in awhile, Oberlo will refresh your product list with updates for new items and prices Your business can be sure that all the products in its inventory are up-to-date, which prevents items from being sold to customers which are no longer available.
Your store won’t have to deal with complaints and creating a bad reputation because people can’t get the products you have listed on your website. Regular updates are also included with a better management plan.
Constantly updated inventory helps you save the time, as you no longer need to prepare reports on your stock.
The same goes for pricing updates, as you are notified in prior to any change in product prices. All you have to do is consider how to deal with your prices, and create strategies to make the most profit from what is available.
Order Return and Refunds
Normally, all orders processed by Oberlo are non-returnable, except if one or more of the following issues comes up:
- Received products are not as described, either in size, color, shape etc…when compared to the description
- It is shown that the package was damaged during shipment
- Received products are proven to have bad quality
- Products are missing and did not arrive at the customer’s address
- The delivery is too late
In general, the terms and conditions are quite fair to both service providers, sellers and buyers. Like anything in the world of business, Oberlo isn’t perfect, but it is a great platform for anyone who wants to create a dropshipping eCommerce business.
What Does Oberlo Cost?
Oberlo comes with several billing options. Depending on what you want to do, one of the following plans may be a good fit for your platform.
- Starter plan – This plan is probably the best for a seller with little to no experience. The plan costs nothing and does not have an end date. You and your store are still provided with daily product sync, automatic fulfillment, automatic price updates, reporting, dispute management, and free browser add-on. With the free plan, you’ll need to accept the limitation of a maximum of 500 products.
- Basic plan – By paying $29.90 USD/month, besides all the features of a Starter plan, the Basic plan increases the number of products to 10,000.
- Pro plan – This is the highest plan you can get, and it costs $79.90 USD for the monthly subscription fee. Oberlo’s Pro plan provides 30,000 products, all orders are auto fulfilled, and auto inventory and pricing updates on a daily basis. It also allows more than a single user to access the account.
Previously, Oberlo used to impose a maximum number of auto fulfilled orders per month: For the Starter plan, stores only had 50 orders per month that can be automatically fulfilled, this number was 500 for the Basic plan, while Pro plan was upgraded with unlimited capacity.
Once you stepped over that limit, your next requests would have to be processed manually. In the newest version, Oberlo has removed this restriction and all plans will have unlimited monthly orders with automated fulfillment.
Depending on your demand, you should consider which plan is most suitable for your store. Fortunately, Oberlo offers a trial of 30 days for every paid plan, so you can have real experience before making a final decision.
There are also a variety of support options for your online store. Besides a blog section with abundant information regarding tutorials, updates or fast Q&A, you can send a message to Oberlo’s Facebook page, which should elicit a response from the admin team.
Oberlo also operates a forum with a large community where you can meet up with thousands of users and exchange ideas with each other.
Oberlo Pros & Cons
Like any platform, Oberlo has advantages as well as disadvantages. Let’s have a look at what it does well, and what could be improved on.
- Links to AliExpress, one of the biggest eCommerce marketplaces of the world
- A wide range of products and suppliers
- Automatic order fulfillment and dropshipping
- Super easy to use
- Offers free plan
- Exclusively for the Shopify platform
With Oberlo, there is no need to worry about the fulfillment process, upfront costs or any kind of management. All you need to concentrate on is how your business plans to attract buyers, earn profits and expand its scale.
It is undeniable that Oberlo is a great drop shipping service. In fact, among the handful of options available, Oberlo is ranked as one of the best dropshipping extensions on Shopify.
If you don’t use Shopify, then you are out of luck, but there are many other platforms to use if this is the case, take a look at Spocket which integrates with WooCommerce also.