Cider Dropshipping Guide: The Pros and Cons

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Cider dropshipping is among the dropshipping business models smart fashion entrepreneurs are tapping into for that extra passive income. But is it a worthwhile investment, or should you invest your resources elsewhere?

In this guide, we’ve discussed every important aspect you need to know about dropshipping from Cider and, importantly, the advantages and disadvantages.

We’ve also recommended some Cider alternatives.

What is Cider Dropshipping?

Cider, popularly known as Shop Cider, is a fashion marketplace that specializes in womenswear, particularly pieces designed for Gen Z. Cider was started in 2020 and rose to prominence courtesy of Instagram and TikTok.

Now, many have been asking, is Cider a Chinese company?

Well, Cider is a company headquartered in Los Angeles but sources its products from China.

Now, Cider dropshipping is a business model where sellers list products available on Cider on other marketplaces and order the product from Cider once they get an order.

Cider, like many other Chinese marketplaces, allows dropshipping, so you can use the company as your supplier and have your customers’ orders shipped to them directly. 

With a proper marketing strategy and informed product research and pricing, you can make a kill from Cider.

But there’s a catch.

Cider dropshipping isn’t for everyone.

So, before starting your journey dropshipping from Cider, you should know the advantages and, of course, some of the challenges to expect.

Advantages of Cider Dropshipping

Cider dropshipping is among the most lucrative online ventures. There are thousands of dropshippers earning a living out of this platform selling fashion for Gen Z.

I once had a potent dropshipping business where I used to sell trendy streetwear and bags I got from Cider. Even though I wasn’t that successful, I acknowledge the potential this business model has.

In my case, I never gave it the time and resources it deserved for one reason or another, but there are several things I like about Cider dropshipping.

Dropshipping-Friendly Marketplace

Cider is a marketplace that doesn’t restrict dropshippers from using the marketplace as a source for dropshipping products. 

You can always list and sell anything you find attractive and a winning product on Shop Cider. That makes it a low-cost and low-risk investment. 

You can also experiment with different products without spending money on inventory.

The marketplace also has thousands of suppliers and millions of products in several women’s fashion categories, including;

  • Dresses
  • Tops
  • Bottoms
  • Knitwear
  • Blazers
  • Coats
  • Jackets
  • Shoes
  • Belts
  • Hair accessories

One great thing that will make selling easy is that you can sell with the mood. There’s a piece for that cool, free, grunge, or K-pop mood.

Aside from the variety of dropshipping products, the prices are quite fair, and most of the products yield profits ranging between 30% and 40%.

Perhaps the best thing about Cider is that it fulfills orders to customers worldwide, so at no time when running the business would I come into contact with the products. Cider handles the entire fulfillment.

It’s also worth mentioning that getting started with Cider Shop is pretty straightforward. Just create a buyer account, list products, and transfer the order to Cider once you make a sale.

Free Shipping Option

In my 7 years of dropshipping and eCommerce in general, one of the things I’ve learned is that free shipping rakes in sales.

But with most dropshipping suppliers, the shipping costs are way too high, something that shoots the cart value and can be the reason most of your customers will abandon their carts.

Half of U.S. consumers abandoned online purchases during checkout due to additional costs, such as shipping fees.

This is where Cider comes in.

Shop Cider Standard delivery in the US costs just $4.99 for orders below $49, while for orders higher than $39, you get free shipping.

I focused on products that cost more than $40, and the fact that they qualified for free shipping left me with a lot of sales. 

88% of consumers are more willing to purchase from an e-commerce store that offers free shipping (Inc, 2022)

Disadvantages of Cider Dropshipping

I must say dropshipping from Shop Cider is a lucrative business if you get everything right. Unfortunately for me, things didn’t work out as I had hoped for.

I’ll explain why.

Several months after starting the business, I was barely making any sales, and as I delved deeper into Cider dropshipping, I stumbled across several hurdles that contributed to me not giving my business the attention it deserved.

These are challenges I had not envisioned when starting.

Cider’s Credibility on the Test

Cider is a fairly new brand, having started just in 2020. In the beginning, it was a trusted brand, and that’s among the reasons I wanted to dropship with them.

However, things started to change.

To start, Cider can’t be considered sustainable after all the promotion of overproduction and overconsumption. It no longer upholds sustainable fashion values as before.

Then came the quality issues on some products, something that left me with returns and bad reviews. You’ve got to be wise in your selection of products, as some Shop Cider pieces are knockoffs.

There have also been concerns that Cider is a middleman between sellers and other dropshipping marketplaces. Severally, I’ve found products listed on Cider on other marketplaces, such as Taobao and AliExpress. The fact that Cider’s price is often higher raises eyebrows.

From my experience, Cider has got to do some explanation, and these credibility issues were among the reasons I hung my boots on this supplier.

Delays in Shipping and Delivery

You understand how important fast shipping is when it comes to eCommerce.

According to Insider Intelligence, 62% of online customers in the US believe fast delivery is the most important aspect of a positive customer experience.

Unfortunately, Cider doesn’t ship as fast as it promises, especially if you’re selling in the US or Europe. Remember, all Cider goods are shipped from China.

The standard delivery time stretches to up to 2 weeks, plus there could be an additional 1~3 days of warehouse processing time.

The above are the shipping timeframes as advertised by the company, but the truth of the matter is that shipping takes even longer.

Rigorous Return Policy

As a dropshipper, you definitely want a supplier with a friendly return policy, but unfortunately, Cider isn’t one of them. I found the return policy to be rigorous, tedious, and almost impossible. 

According to the Returns Policy, you should file for a return within 14 days from the day you receive your order, and the return package should be mailed within 7 days from the day of filing the return request. Of course, the garments should not be worn, washed, or damaged. 

The above are standard requirements for a return on almost all marketplaces, but here’s where things take a turn.

You pay the shipping fees for returns, and the return should be shipped to Hong Kong, China. There’s no refund for the original shipping fees.

Note: Cider may offer free shipping for the first return in some regions.

87% of consumers are willing to shop at online stores that also offer free shipping for returns (Inc, 2022)

Cider Alternatives

Shop Cider is a great place to find the best women’s fashion to sell. The platform has millions of products at affordable prices, so you can make a kill.

But many, including me, may find it a not-so-good supplier considering the quality issues, the fact that they are also middlemen, and the delayed shipping and strict return policies.

So, what’s the best Cider alternative?

AliExpress is among the best Cider alternatives. This is also a Chinese brand, a reputable one for that matter, with millions of products. One advantage of AliExpress over Shop Cider is that you can sell anything, not just women’s fashion. It’s also a dropshipping-friendly platform with much lower prices and faster shipping, and it has a great tool, AliExpress Dropshipping Center, for product research and managing your dropshipping business.

Other options include;

Wrapping Up

That’s the end of this round-up on the advantages and disadvantages of Cider dropshipping. As you’ve seen, Cider can be a great deal if you are looking for a dropshipping supplier of trendy streetwear for Gen Z. 

But you have to deal with delayed shipping times and strict return policies. Importantly, you need to be selective on the products you sell because of quality issues and pricing.

In as much as it never worked for me, you can start dropshiping from Cider and make that extra coin. Better still, there are plenty of alternatives you can leverage to create your dropshipping store.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Is Cider the same as Shein?

Cider and SHEIN are similar in that they both allow dropshipping. However, the product selection is different as SHEIN has products in all categories, while Cider focuses solely on women’s fashion.

2. How long does Cider take to ship?

It depends on the shipping mode. Standard delivery takes longer, but there’s the option of Express delivery, which is faster.

3. Where do clothes from Cider come from?

All the clothes and fashionwear on Cider are manufactured and shipped from China.

Eugene Stepnov

Eugene Stepnov – Head of Marketing at Gologin. Formerly, He was the COO of Flatlogic and the co-founder of Kuoll. His main expertise is in promoting complex web SaaS products that lead in mar tech, affiliate marketing, dropshipping, cyber security, and web development.

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