How to Choose Suppliers and Wholesalers For Your Dropshipping Business
Choosing the right dropshipping supplier for your online store could be a headache if you do not know how to go about it. It is a critical step that also determines the success or failure of your e-commerce business.
Even if you have already identified a range of in-demand products that you intend to sell in your online store, you still need to identify and choose the right suppliers that will give you top quality products regularly.
You must choose a supplier who you can always rely on at all times. If you choose the wrong ones and they screw up, you’ll have the sole responsibility of appeasing your customers.
What red flags should you look out for when trying to choose a dropshipping supplier? In this post, we’ll let you in on everything you need to know about choosing the right supplier for your business. We’ll also let you in on some attributes that make up the right supplier.
First, let us take a look at some qualities that makes a supplier the right one.
Qualities of a Good Dropshipping Supplier:
- Good suppliers have highly experienced sales reps that are always willing to help you. They are always ready to answer all your questions. If there are questions that they cannot answer at that moment, they’ll get back to you ASAP.
- Legitimate suppliers do not charge high Pre-order fees. Pre-order fees are standard procedures when you want to place an order with a supplier. However, bad suppliers take advantage of it, and they charge outrageous, higher than usual pre-order fees.
- Good suppliers have great quality products.
- Good suppliers do not sell to just anyone. They’ll want you to prove that you’re a legitimate business owner. You’ll have to go through the process of opening an account and supplying all the information they need before they process your order.
- Legitimate suppliers do not insist on monthly or regular fees before they do business with you.
Now you know certain qualities a legitimate supplier should have in most cases. Without further delay, let’s jump into the meat of this article!
How To Choose The Right Supplier For Your Online Store
1. Contact the Manufacturer
This is most likely the easiest way to get the right supplier. Once you’ve identified a range of products that you want to sell, all you need to do is call the manufacturers of the products and ask them to give you a list of their distributors or suppliers. When you get the list of wholesalers for the product, you can then begin to call them one after the other to find out if they supply products to drop shippers. With this approach, you’ll be able to identify the legitimate wholesalers for your niche of products.
2. Search Using Google
Google is, no doubt, an excellent and cost-effective way to source for good suppliers for products you want to sell in your online store. You’ll be able to get in touch with a manufacturer who has a website, as well as an active online presence. You can view their online profile on Google and also check for reviews from their previous customers.
Keep in mind, though, that this approach is limited in certain ways. First, good suppliers may not be tech-savvy, or they may not have time to focus on SEO or ranking their website on Google. They are probably busy supplying goods to customers all over the world. Also, even when they have websites, their website may look outdated in terms of design and page layout. Do not be discouraged by the look and feel of their’ 90s-style websites. They may be the right suppliers you’re looking for.
Furthermore, when using Google, endeavor to use a combination of keywords and modifiers to get the best results. Try to use a combination of words like; “wholesaler,” “warehouse,” “supplier,” “distributor,” “reseller,” etc. So, even though using Google is a good approach, it needs to be done with caution. Plus, you can use it with other methods to get the best results.
3. Order From the Competition
This is an old approach, which is still very useful. It is called an order-from-the-competition trick. To use this trick, you’ll need to order a product from a competitor who is also selling quality products in your niche. When you receive the products you ordered, look for the return address and search for it on Google. Hopefully, it’s an address that can be contacted. So, there you go. It’s a handy approach to keep in mind. You can check for top competitions in your niche on review sites similar to Online Writers Rating for copywriters.
4. Attend local and International Trade shows/Trade Fairs
Trade shows are an excellent opportunity for you to connect and interact directly with manufacturers and suppliers in your product niche. Trade shows offer a goldmine of opportunities for you to find top of the line suppliers of quality products.
Suppliers on trade shows would likely have products that your competitors do not have, and as a result, you’ve succeeded in going one step above your competitors. Endeavor to interact with these manufacturers or suppliers, get their contact, and also check the quality of their products and the materials they used. If you’re convinced, you can even place your order immediately.
5. Use Online Directories
You can also use a plethora of online directories to choose the right supplier. Alibaba is one of them. Alibaba is the largest online marketplace in China, and they have a lot of suppliers and manufacturers who offer products at rock-bottom prices. However, you need to understand how to search for suppliers on Alibaba, or you might get your fingers burnt. When searching for suppliers on Alibaba, there are three badges you need to look out for; they are; Trade Assurance badge, Gold Supplier badge, and Assessed Supplier badge. The most important ones to focus on are the assessed supplier’s badge. By earning that badge, it means that Alibaba has physically verified them and assessed their warehouses or factories.
Other online directories you can use include:
- SaleHoo: Established since 2005 with over 8000 suppliers.
- Wholesale Central: Over 1400 suppliers
- Doba: Over 165 suppliers
- Worldwide Brands: Thousands of wholesalers, over 10 million products
- Bambify: List of pre-vetted suppliers
To sum up
There are lots of ways you can exploit to find and choose suppliers for your online store. You’ll have to choose the right supplier so that you can concentrate on marketing and growing your online shop.
Keep in mind that every approach or supplier sourcing method has inherent advantages and disadvantages; you’ll need to weigh your options carefully and come up with the best method that suits you.
Hopefully, the tips mentioned above will guide you into choosing the right supplier for your dropshipping business.