How to find dropshipping suppliers?
Dropshipping suppliers are not known for their ability to market themselves to their audience, so it can be quite hard to find the right dropshipping suppliers for one's company. Important to bear in mind is that this process could take hours before it bears fruit, so patience is vital. Another thing to consider is that most dropshipping suppliers are based in China, India and other non-English speaking countries, so the language barrier could take a little getting used to.
There are a few steps to take to find the right dropshipping supplier.
Once the decision regarding which products to sell is made, research needs to be done in order to see which suppliers are in the market and which ones are the most suitable for one’s business. One might need to choose whether to go with a domestic or overseas supplier depending on the number of suppliers in one’s chosen product segment which will require more research into raw material sourcing, delivery times, and service potential.
2. Contacting Suppliers
It is a good opportunity for business to talk to the supplier that best suits one’s interests and to start a relationship with them. Talking to them allows for asking questions about the service they provide. They may provide contact information from current customers, hence, one can get first-hand experience of working with the supplier before committing to them. Maintaining a good relationship with the dropshipping suppliers from the very beginning means that, once the process of conducting business starts, the trust will make it it easier to get questions answered quickly, and disputes resolved straight away.
3. Ordering samples from the supplier
Once the top suppliers are chosen, the retailer needs to order samples for himself/herself. It is important to test the quality of service, delivery times, packaging, and other supplier-related questions that arise, in order to be entirely happy with the selected choice. When individually ordering samples from a dropship supplier, one will witness first-hand how one’s customer will experience it.
4. Ordering from the competition
If one of the competitors is using the same supplier, then one can find out how the supplier packages its products and offers its services. This is called custom labeling. If one’s competitor uses other suppliers, one can order from them to get an idea of the level of service one needs to provide in order to rank in line with the competition.
5. Finding the right supplier
Suppliers can seem great when looking at their reviews and product offering, but once one starts to research more about their businesses, they may appear to be not as useful as initially thought. One of the reasons for this could be represented by the raw materials they use, the way they do business, or how they deal with returns. In this case, it is necessary to talk to suppliers and get to know how they do business before committing to them. Although one can choose not to use a supplier after issues arise, the damage might have already been done and the brand could have been harmed.
6. Dropshipping suppliers to avoid
It is hard to know which dropship suppliers to choose, but there are some tell-tale signs that a supplier is to be avoided at all costs. Apart from bad reviews, negative feedback, and cheap quantity products, there are other factors that can anticipate a bad dropshipping supplier.
- If a dropship supplier insists on monthly or ongoing fees, doing business with them is a bad sign. Ongoing fees could mean a supplier is part of a directory, as opposed to a single supplier.
- It is normal to have pre-order fees that increase slightly depending on size or complexity of an order, or decrease with bulk ordering. The research will highlight suppliers that charge higher than normal pre-order fees and therefore should be avoided.
- Minimum order size is another thing to keep in mind when choosing a dropship supplier, but most times a supplier is willing to charge the minimum order fee and fulfill orders as they come in. This means that if a supplier’s minimum order size is 200, one must pay for the 200 units upfront, however the supplier will fulfill the orders as they come from the online store, over a period to time. Suppliers that refuse to do this should be avoided as they are more suited for wholesale.