1. Not all Aliexpress vendors are wholesalers. Sometimes they might only be the middleman that has connections with the factories but even they themselves do not clearly know what the inventory levels are for the products that they are selling on Aliexpress.
2. Many inventories that they claimed on their Aliexpress are still in work-in-process and are not actual finished goods. This is a way for manufacturers to avoid excess inventory. However, the Aliexpress vendors will still take that into account when posting their inventory level because they think the turnaround time to turn the work-in-process inventories into finished goods will be fairly quickly. This might be the case for 10, 100, or even 1000 products; but not so if you placed an order for 10,000 or 100,000 products.
3. The fake inventory helps with ranking – The more inventory you claim you have on Aliexpress, the more inventory, the higher they rank against other Aliexpress vendors who are selling the same product. Aliexpress does not have any way to enforce accurate inventory listing on Aliexpress shops, so there are no consequences for the Aliexpress vendors to exaggerate their inventory numbers.
4. Even inventory levels in the US can sometimes be fake— Aliexpress vendors and claims they have a certain amount of inventory level in their US warehouse when they don’t even have a US warehouse, to begin with! This can happen when they use faster shipping methods to deliver the product to your customers. You can spot it easily by looking at the shipping label on the package.
These inaccurate inventory levels can hurt your business when you are in the middle of scaling and experiencing huge growth in your dropshipping sales. When production of the supply cannot keep up with the demand, your customers will reflect that via social media and it can really crumble any e-commerce business as quickly as your store gathered the sales.
Your customers were all expecting to receive the items within three weeks (which is already very patient of them since most of them have been spoiled by Amazon's 1-3 day delivery dates). However, after they received the tracking number, a week has passed by and the label still says "pre-shipment" or "label created". You will receive an influx of complaints, then numerous refund requests, and ultimately unstoppable negative feedbacks that can really hurt your business.
It's not that you've done anything wrong on your end, it's that your Aliexpress vendors never informed you of the insufficient inventory after they received your orders! We probably don't have to stress the importance of an accurate inventory level for your dropshipping business. A dependable and steady stream of supplies is the core for any drop shipping business to have a healthy growth. CJ Dropshipping has a platform that tracks all the inventory levels for products we have in our warehouses in both China and the United States. When we received your orders, we will inform you immediately if the factories that we work with do not have enough inventory to fulfill the orders and not leave you in limbo. We are a huge customer with local factories and they will take us seriously when we request an accurate inventory level for a certain product. Our customers have been growing alongside with us primarily because we were able to supply them with a steady stream of inventory for all their products. If you are looking for an alternative to Aliexpress vendors, we welcome you to explore our platform and experience the difference for yourself.