What is Oberlo and How Does It Work?

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One of the biggest benefits of dropshipping is that you don’t need to hold any inventory. But you still need to source products for your suppliers to send to the customer. This is where Oberlo comes into the mix.

I. What is Oberlo?

Oberlo is a dropshipping app for Shopify that helps you find trending products to add to your store. It also allows you to import products from AliExpress.

Oberlo allows you to import any product from AliExpress to your store. This means the product, description, photos, and other information will all be copied to your site. You can change this to make the copy and photography better suit your store theme, or you can just keep it the same.

Setting up a dropshipping business will transform the way you live and work. 

There are currently more than 6,500 merchants using Oberlo

Setting up a dropshipping store is made so easy with Oberlo that you’ll start to actually miss the challenges you faced before using it.

II. How does Oberlo work?

Using the Oberlo app to add products to your dropshipping store is easy. All you need to do to get started is to follow these steps:

  1. Setup a Shopify store
  2. Install Oberlo from the Shopify App Store
  3. Open Oberlo
  4. Choose a product you like
  5. Add it to your store

We’ve already gone into detail about how to set up your Shopify store to dropship on, so let’s take a closer look at how to add Oberlo and use it to import products. Before we go further, you’d need to install your Oberlo app first.

Go to ‘Apps’ on the dashboard of your Shopify store, then click on the ‘Visit Shopify App Store’ button and search for Oberlo.

oberlo applisting

That’s it.

III. How to find Dropshipping products with Oberlo

There are two ways to search for products on Oberlo. The first is to search within the app itself and the second is to find products on AliExpress.

01. Finding products on Oberlo

The first way to find products is to use the Oberlo dashboard itself. This allows you to search trending products, see how successful they’ve been, and add them to your store with ease.

oberlo product search

Search different categories of popular dropshipping products. 

Go to ‘Search Products’ when you open the Oberlo app and you’ll be greeted with a collection of bestselling dropshipping products and a menu above them.

Choose a category to search and search through thousands of products. If you want to add a product to your store then simply select ‘Add to Import List’ then review it before adding it to your store.

Benefits of adding products via Oberlo: 

  • Quick and easy
  • Can see how many times the products have been imported
  • Can see how many times they’ve sold
  • Ideal for beginners

oberlo product search

Check how many customers have ordered a product compared to how many times its been imported. 

Newcomers to dropshipping can compare the number of imports to sales to decipher whether a product is worth adding to their store. If a product has a low volume of imports and a high volume of sales, then you know it’s likely to make you money.

02. Finding products on AliExpress

It’s better to find products on AliExpress If you already know what kind of products you want to dropship. This method gives you more choice and control over the products you add to your store.

Before you hop onto Aliexpress to find and export products, you’d need to install Oberlo Extension

oberlo extension

After you’ve successfully added it to Chrome, connect the extension to your app.

oberlo tutorial

In the last step, you’d want to tweak your Shipping settings. Go back to your Oberlo App -> Settings -> Shipping -> Enable ePacket. ePacket is a shipping option offered by third-party logistics providers (3PL) in China and Hong Kong. It allows merchants to provide a fast and affordable shipping option for light packages. Since you’re dropshipping your products from China to other countries, ePacket is your go-to method.

oberlo shipping setup

Simply search for a product on AliExpress, then hover over the product, you will see an Oberlo icon popped out indicating that the product is available for import and e-packet shipping.

how does oberlo work with Aliexpress

Select the Oberlo icon to effortlessly import the product to your store.

import Aliexpress products with Oberlo

Benefits of adding products via AliExpress:

  • Quick and easy
  • More selection
  • Ideal for those who know exactly what they’re looking for

For a step-by-step tutorial on how you can import products from Aliexpress with Oberlo, check out:

IV. Does Oberlo Automatically fulfill orders?

Fulfilling orders can take a lot of time. Fortunately, Oberlo automates most of the process, giving you more time to focus on customer service and your website’s UX.

You’ll still have to go to AliExpress and enter your payment details, but the customer’s shipping address will automatically be filled.

Your orders will also be tracked if you’re using the Basic or Pro plan. Unfortunately, this feature isn’t available in the free plan.

Related article: What Is Shopify Fulfillment Network And How You Can Benefit from it?

V. How to fulfill orders using Oberlo

You can fulfill individual orders or bulk orders with Oberlo, although you’ll need a Basic Plan or Pro Plan to do the latter.

01. Fulfilling single orders

  1. Go to Orders in the Oberlo dashboard
  2. Orders that need fulfilling are marked To Order
  3. Choose the order you want to fulfill and press Order Product

oberlo fullfil orders

  1. You’ll be redirected to AliExpress
  2. The product will be in your cart and the customer’s shipping details will be filled out – review them
  3. Enter your payment details
  4. Place the order

The order’s status will change on Oberlo from To Order to In Processing. The supplier will usually ship the product within two days to a week.

Learn more fulfilling orders in this tutorial:

02. Fulfilling multiple orders

You can fulfill as many orders as you want simultaneously on the Oberlo Basic Plan and Pro Plan, but note that AliExpress has a limit of 30 orders per checkout.

This means that you’ll have to check out multiple times if you have more than 30 orders to fulfill.

All customer information and requests will be carried over to AliExpress, including any personalized shipping methods, so you don’t have to worry about manually reviewing each order.

To fulfill multiple orders at once:

  1. Go to Orders in the Oberlo dashboard
  2. Check the boxes next to the orders you want to fulfill
  3. You can also select Showing # Orders to do them all at once
  4. Select Place # AliExpress Orders
  5. Process the orders
  6. Select Pay for All Orders
  7. Enter your payment details in AliExpress checkout
  8. Place the order

Note: You will need to pay separately for products from different AliExpress suppliers. 

03. Changing the shipping method

You can change the shipping method for individual orders by going to Order Review and choosing from the available methods.

Customer’s personalized shipping preferences will be filled in AliExpress. Customers who didn’t choose a specific method of shipping will be given the default method from the supplier or the cheapest method.

VI. Marking orders as fulfilled

You need to mark orders as fulfilled once the supplier has shipped the products. You need the tracking number of the product to do this so Oberlo can automatically update the status of the order based on live tracking.

There are two ways to do this: 

  • Open AliExpress in your browser and log into your account. Then open the app and go to Orders, find the product you want to mark as fulfilled and press Get Tracking Number.
  • Or, open AliExpress in your browser and log into your account, Then, go to Orders List in AliExpress and select Send Details for a single order, Sync this page for all orders on one page, or Sync all orders to do everything.

VII. How to track orders with Oberlo

If you’re using the Basic or Pro Plan then you will be able to track orders through Oberlo. All you have to do is open Orders in Oberlo and click the tracking code next to the order you want to follow. You can select Retrack to update the tracking process.

VIII. Is Oberlo Exclusive to Shopify?

Yes. You can only use Oberlo with Shopify. If you want to sell products through another platform then you can import Shopify’s ‘Buy Now’ button and link it to a product you found on Oberlo. The easiest way to dropship with Oberlo is to simply set up a Shopify account and add Oberlo to it.

What are the Oberlo pricing plans?

There are three pricing plans.

  • The free plan has all the basic features you need to set up your dropshipping store. You can import up to 500 products.
  • Basic Plan ($29.90 per month): The Basic Plan is for merchants who import up to 10,000 products into their store. The plan also includes fulfillment monitoring and bulk orders.
  • Pro Plan ($79.90 per month): Larger dropshipping businesses that will import up to 30,000 products and want multiple staff accounts will choose this plan.

What else can Oberlo do for me?

Oberlo can do a lot more than just help you find products. If you’re serious about dropshipping, then you’ll need the benefits that the app can bring to your store.

  • Saves you time. Time is money and Oberlo gives you more of it. Not only can you quickly add products to your store and automate the fulfillment process, but you can also set automatic pricing by fixing a percentage mark up. Product photography and copy are also imported to your store.
  • Gives you more data. Oberlo saves all the products you import and provides you with monthly sales reports. This data gives you a better understanding of what’s working and what needs improvement.
  • More control. Upgrading to the Basic or Pro plan gives you real-time tracking of orders and fulfillment monitoring. You can also map your product variants and more.
  • Room to expand: Once you’re really making waves with your dropshipping store, you’ll want to expand. Oberlo lets you add staff accounts so you can manage your expansion more gracefully.  

Not sure which products to dropship this summer? Check out our newest Video guide

Final thoughts: Oberlo is a dropshipper’s best friend

Oberlo will make your life much easier if you’re using Shopify to dropship. The app allows beginners to set up profitable dropshipping stores quickly and with minimal effort.

I’d recommend you begin with the free starter plan to get used to how dropshipping with Oberlo and Shopify works. Consider upgrading plans once you’re making consistent sales.

The time you’ll save thanks to automatic fulfillment and easier product selection can be spent on upgrading your store layout and customer experience.

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