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An AliExpress Best-Seller Disappeared From The Site? Don’t Panic!

By Zulfiya S.

A dropshipper wondering what to do when an AliExpress best-seller disappeared from his supplier's inventory

Every supplier renews their store offer from time to time, and naturally, they can say goodbye to some items now and then. What should you do if somebody placed an order in your dropshipping store and purchased an AliExpress best-seller which is no longer available on your supplier’s page?

This can happen to both regular customers buying stuff on AliExpress and dropshipping entrepreneurs dealing with AliExpress best-sellers.

Sometimes you just order a product and in a couple of days find out that this item is unavailable on AliExpress.

Dropshipping businesses suffer from such problems too. A customer places an order with your store, you get their money, the AliDropship plugin automatically orders this product from your supplier, but… Oops! The product is no longer online now.

Or it could be even worse: after you placed the order, you find out that the AliExpress store has disappeared. And you’ve got no idea if your order is on its way or the seller has disappeared along with your money.

Don’t worry, we have your back covered! Follow the steps below and leave all the worries behind.

1. Open a dispute

First of all, don’t worry about the money. Even if you’re dealing with the worst-case scenario (the AliExpress seller has disappeared), you will be able to return the money. In this case, the platform’s buyer protection works the same way as always.

When you order something, the money goes to AliExpress and is kept there until you confirm that your product has arrived and everything is fine. Only after that, the money is handed over to the seller.

If the seller did send your package before shutting down the business, you simply have to wait. If the package doesn’t arrive within contractual term, you have the right to open a dispute. As a result, AliExpress will return your money.

However, sometimes it’s just the product that is missing while the seller is still there. Besides, if you’re a dropshipping store owner, simply getting money back is not enough. You still have a customer waiting for his or her product which you can’t provide.

So, if the seller is still active, your next option is to contact them.

2. Send a message to the seller

Contacting the seller is the best idea if the business is not missing. You can always look up the link to the store in the ‘Supplier’ section, visit it and send a message (Contact Now button).

Screenshot showing where to find the URL of an AliExpress seller's store

Screenshot showing how to contact an AliExpress seller if a product has disappeared from his inventory

Ask whether this Aliexpress best-seller is removed from this store forever or just for some time, and send a photo of the desired product for more clarity. If the supplier confirmed that the product is really gone, ask if he somehow can make this product for you as a custom thing. If you have to wait for the answer for too long, the answer is no, or the store disappeared along with the product – move to the next steps.

3. Search for a similar product on Aliexpress

That’s actually obvious. Use keywords or the product name in the search inquiry – your desired item will probably pop up on the first page of search results showing AliExpress best-sellers from this category. If not, check the next ones and take a look at each(!) similar-looking product with variations. Sometimes the featured image is different from what the actual product looks like, so your best-seller can in fact be there.

Let’s say this is our missing bestseller:

Image of an AliExpress best-seller (cat in a pocket phone cover) that happens to be unavailable now

We make a search inquiry on AliExpress using keywords:

Example of an AliExpress search query to help you find a cat in a pocket iPhone case

We look through all the results and open more or less similar products with variations. For example, this one:

AliExpress search results containing a product similar to the one that became unavailable


Screenshot of a phone case variation that turned out to be identical to the AliExpress best-seller which disappeared

TIP: If you found your top product in another seller’s inventory, don’t forget to compare this product to your previous one – materials or size charts can differ. Make necessary changes in the product description or keep searching for the exact match.

4. Search by an image

Google Images can really do magic – upload your product picture as a search inquiry and look through the results.

Screenshot of how you can search products similar to this iPhone case with Google Images

Search results showing images similar to the cat in a pocket iPhone case missing on AliExpress

Detailed search results showing images of cat in a pocket iPhone cases

Search results of images similar to the cat in a pocket phone case with a link to an online retailer

TIP: be careful about the Google auto-filling option.

Sometimes Google adds some words that are supposed to help you with your search. But they often make everything worse. Look at the example:
Screenshot of Google's autosuggest function suggesting the wrong query

Delete these unnecessary words and type your product name, a keyword and/or the word “AliExpress” (optional).

Screenshot of a Google search query with the autosuggestion part removed manually

5. Visit eBay or Amazon

If AliExpress doesn’t reveal your top product, try other marketplaces – Amazon or eBay.

Image of eBay search field containing the query "Cat pocket iPhone case"

eBay search results showing products related to the query "Cat pocket iPhone case"

Of course, there is no rose without a thorn. While transferring the order, you’ll have to fill all the fields yourself (the name, address, the ZIP-code of your customer). In addition, for certain products, delivery to some countries may not be available or may be too pricey (delivery to the USA is often free, though). However, an order from eBay or Amazon is really better than nothing.

6. Make a customized order

None of the previous steps helped? Don’t give up: if your AliExpress best-seller is a printed mug, a t-shirt, a poster, etc., find a seller that offers customized items.

Screenshot showing AliExpress sellers offering custom design iPhone cases

In this case, you’ll have to provide them with a print. It should be a high-quality JPG image (a print should be placed on a white/black/plain background) or PNG image (a print on a transparent background). Don’t forget to attach a photo of the product for reference. Otherwise, there’s a chance the product you’ve ordered will become an unpleasant surprise for you and your customer as well.

If the search for your best-selling product came to nothing but nevertheless somebody made the order including this item and you have to somehow have it sent, try offering your customer similar goods.

Send him or her an email saying you’re sorry that this item is no longer available and offer something that looks similar. Or you can suggest choosing any other most popular consumer product in your store that go for the same price or a little bit more.

Photos of cat iPhone cases an online retailer can offer as an alternative to a missing product

For example, if a customer pays $27.47 for a sweatshirt, it mysteriously disappears from AliExpress and you can’t find it anywhere or make a customized one, offer the customer to choose any goods in your store costing $30 in total. As you see, extra $2-3 look like quite a compensation for the inconvenience! Also, it increases your customers’ loyalty while helping you avoid the refund. If the customer doesn’t agree to choose something else – unfortunately, there is nothing to be done: you’ll have to refund.

Well, now you know what to do if your AliExpress best-seller is no longer available from your regular supplier. The main thing here is not to lose your spirit – there’s always a way out!

By Zulfiya S.
Zulfiya knows all about running drop shipping stores, negotiating with suppliers and dealing with buyers - she manages daily operations in AliDropship’s self-owned webstores
Paul 6 years ago

Got other problems your woo plugin cannot solve unfortunately……We have a lot of products that are going out of stock and then in stock again……….BUT……your plugin puts the products to pending automatically when out of stock but not publishes the products again automatically when they are in stock. I am not joking when i say this consumes 40 hours a week to Manually check al our products for availability.

Natalie Svensson 6 years ago


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