The AliExpress affiliate program… Is it worth your time?
AliExpress is one of the leading eCommerce websites connecting consumers with factories and wholesalers, most of which are located in China. They have their own affiliate program, too… but is it worth looking into?
In this article, we’re covering everything you need to know about the AliExpress affiliate program, including alternatives if you end up deciding it’s not for you.
Let’s get into it.
AliExpress Affiliate Program Review
The AliExpress affiliate program gives affiliates access to tons of products and has a decent commission structure, but the prices overall are low, resulting in low commissions. This program is managed by many networks which can be confusing.
- Wide variety of products to promote
- Ships worldwide
- Longer cookie duration than Amazon Associates
- Shipping can take up to a month or longer
- Low prices = low commissions
- Low-quality products in abundance
- Little to no affiliate support
AliExpress is an eCommerce website that connects consumers directly with warehouses and product suppliers. Suppliers are based in many places, most commonly China.
If you’re familiar with the eCommerce world, you may have heard of Alibaba. Alibaba is an eCommerce website that connects wholesalers with suppliers in China.
Alibaba provided steeply discounted prices on goods purchased in bulk, but consumers could not use the platform to purchase single items.
That’s where AliExpress comes in. AliExpress gives consumers (and dropshippers) the opportunity to purchase discounted products in small or singular quantities.
You can find pretty much anything you can think of on AliExpress and the prices are much lower than on Amazon or other U.S.-based eCommerce websites.
AliExpress Affiliate Program Overview
Like most other eCommerce websites, AliExpress has an affiliate program, too.
The AliExpress affiliate program can be found through the platform directly or through a number of affiliate networks.
This gets a bit messy, with a number of websites online claiming the affiliate program is on many platforms that it’s not actually on.
Here are the verified platforms hosting AliExpress.
Signing up for the affiliate program directly through AliExpress is notoriously difficult and not very easy to understand, so it might be worth signing up with one of the affiliate networks instead.
During my signup process I had a lot of difficulties getting the website to work properly, but after a lot of page refreshes it eventually worked out.
However, I never heard back about admission into the program. This could be because the program is backed up, or they might not have a dedicated person managing affiliate requests.
It’s worth mentioning that if you do sign up with AliExpress portals you will get access to a feature similar to Amazon’s “Site Stripe”, which allows you to grab an affiliate link directly from any product’s page.
AliExpress Affiliate Program Details
|Commission Rate||up to 50%||2.4-7%||1.92 – 8.4%||6 – 10%|
|Cookie Duration||30 Days||3 Days||3 Days||Varies|
|Payout Schedule||Net 60||Varies||Net 60||Net 90|
As you can see, the AliExpress affiliate program details vary widely. This is one of the most confusing affiliate programs I have seen so far, with every platform offering a different commission rate, payout schedule, and cookie duration.
Commission rates and cookie duration can really make or break an affiliate program.
So, how much can you actually earn on AliExpress?
The truth is: not that much.
Since AliExpress is home to ridiculously low-priced items, you’ll have difficulty generating a sustainable affiliate income unless you have tons of traffic.
Honestly, if you want to promote physical products, the Amazon associates program is a much better choice.
AliExpress Affiliate Support and Resources
Try as I might, I was unable to find an official support channel for AliExpress affiliates.
If you sign up for the AliExpress affiliate program through a network like Awin or FlexOffers, you’ll have the support of each network’s affiliate managers and support services.
But that seems to be as far as the support really goes.
There are many Facebook pages claiming to be the AliExpress Portal official page or the AliExpress affiliate program official page, but I can’t fully verify whether or not they’re independently operated.
Affiliate marketing is a deep subject. Don’t know where to start? Check out our ultimate deep-dive guide into affiliate marketing.
What Products Can You Promote?
You can promote pretty much any products you can think of, and many that you’ve probably never heard of before.
Popular categories on AliExpress include:
- Home and Garden
- Women’s Fashion
- Men’s Fashion
- Home appliances
- Outdoor gear
- Sports gear
…And many more.
All of the products on AliExpress can typically be found for much cheaper than you’d find them in the United States.
However, some brands’ quality is lacking and the shipping can take up to a month or longer.
Before you promote any AliExpress products, I highly recommend ordering yourself a sample first.
Pros and Cons of the AliExpress Affiliate Program
- Tons of products to promote
- Ability to create deep links to products
- AliExpress ships worldwide
- Longer cookie duration than Amazon
- Extremely slow shipping
- Nonexistent affiliate support
- In-house affiliate program is almost impossible to sign up for and use
- Low prices means you need a lot more sales to make the same amount of money you would with other affiliate programs
- Low-quality products from some brands
AliExpress Affiliate Program Alternatives
I can think of many reasons to avoid this affiliate program. If you agree, here’s a list of AliExpress affiliate program alternatives.
The Amazon Associates program is the Amazon affiliate program.
With this program, you only get a 24-hour cookie window and up to 10% commissions, but there are many benefits over AliExpress.
For one, customers get Prime shipping. Also, everyone knows what Amazon is and most, if not all, people trust it and use it for shopping daily.
The Walmart affiliate program is trying to rival Amazon. Average commissions hover around 4% and the affiliate cookie is also 24 hours.
Walmart shoppers can choose to pick up their products in-store or have them shipped to their house.
Plus, Walmart is another trusted brand name and shipping won’t take months like on AliExpress.
ShareASale is a great affiliate network whether you’re looking for an AliExpress affiliate program alternative or just want to broaden your horizons.
You can find both physical and digital products for sale with this network, and tons of high-quality name brands.
Commission rates and cookie durations vary by brand.
eBay Partner Network
The eBay Partner Network is another great alternative to AliExpress. You can find plenty of products to promote on eBay.
The commission rate for eBay is up to 4% and the cookie duration is just 24 hours.
Although neither of those numbers sound like they shape up to AliExpress, keep in mind that the shipping is faster, the platform is well-known, and the prices are higher.
Want to learn more about making money with affiliate marketing? Check out these courses:
To Dropship or Promote Affiliate Products With AliExpress?
If you’re considering starting an online business based around AliExpress, dropshipping is definitely the way to go.
Product prices are so low on AliExpress that dropshippers can still make a good profit without marking up the prices to a crazy amount.
Although shipping takes a long time, customers are more accustomed to longer shipping times when buying from independent brand websites.
If you’re not familiar with the subject, what is dropshipping?
Dropshipping is an online business model where you source products from a wholesaler or low-priced seller (like those on AliExpress), create an online storefront with a tool like Shopify, and list those products for sale at a markup.
When a customer buys the product on your website, you simply place an order on AliExpress with the customer’s name and address and keep the profit.
The supplier will package and ship the product to your customer.
Dropshipping on AliExpress is likely to be more profitable than affiliate marketing through the platform because you have control over your profit margins.
However, if you’re set on affiliate marketing as your business model, starting with a program like Amazon Associates is a better choice.
Wrapping Up: Is the AliExpress Affiliate Program Worth It?
By now you might have gathered that the AliExpress affiliate program doesn’t seem to be worth the time and effort involved.
The website claims that they have affiliates making upwards of $30k per month, but I was not able to verify that anywhere else.
There doesn’t seem to be any official affiliate support and the sign-up process on the AliExpress platform was questionable at best.
While AliExpress might not be great for affiliate marketing, it still shines brightly as a great resource for dropshippers.
If you want to source products for your dropshipping business that you can mark up with a great profit margin, AliExpress is still a great place to source inventory.
But, as far as affiliate marketing goes, you’d be better off with any of the AliExpress alternatives mentioned above.
Check out other websites like AliExpress in our post below.