Dropshipping is a lucrative business model, as it comes with many advantages and can be started with almost zero capital. However, like in any other businesses, you’d need to be careful in sourcing suppliers.
In dropshipping, it’s even more important to vet the suppliers, because they are the one responsible to pack, fulfill, and ship the orders instead of you. This being said, finding genuine, reliable, and reputable suppliers are key to the success of your online store.
The thing is, like any other online-related stuff, you’d need to be extra careful. There are stories about fake suppliers that you should be cautious about. Even though e-commerce platforms are investigating them, it’s better to perform your own due diligence.
You can be sure, however, that the suppliers are bona fide if you use pre-vetted dropshipping app Oberlo, which is native to Shopify stores. By “pre-vetted,” it means the suppliers have been reviewed and approved by the app management.
Here are more suggestions on how to select dropshipping suppliers.
1. The Highest Rating or Positive Feedback
Ideally, the best suppliers have 98% positive feedback. However, for new suppliers, which are evident from the low number of orders they’ve fulfilled, you’d want 100% rating.
2. Never Choose Suppliers Selling Brand Products
Most brand products (Coach, Louis Vuitton, Lacoste, Zara, Nike, Adidas, etc) that are sold by dropshipping suppliers may be fake. You definitely don’t want to be sued for copyright infringement or selling imitation products, so never sell brand products on your dropshipping store.
3. Never Go for the Lowest Product Price
Price isn’t everything. As the store owner, your customers rely on your judgment to provide them with the products of high quality. While having a low price isn’t necessarily an indication of bad quality, you want to be safe than sorry. It’s recommended to compare the prices of similar products with several suppliers.
4. Test for Supplier Communication Responsiveness and Service
Is the supplier responsive when you ask a question via email or contact form? How’s the communication style? Are they respectful and clear? Take note of their response time, service quality, and language barrier (if any). The smoother the communication, the better the collaboration can be expected.
5. Order Samples to Review the Quality and Delivery Time
Whenever possible, order paid samples using a different name and address than yours. This way, you’d be able to objectively review the product quality and the supplier’s seriousness in handling orders. Occasionally, there are suppliers that send lower-quality similar products than those depicted in the images.
6. Select Where the Products are Shipped from
Whenever possible, choose products that are shipped from the nearest countries to the majority of your customers. For instance, if you advertise in Asia, shipping from China would be faster. If your customers come from the USA, selecting products shipped through USPS (United States Postal Service) would be better. However, this option might not always be available.
Since it’s impractical to order hundreds or, even, thousands of product samples from suppliers, it’s wiser to use pre-vetted dropshipping app Oberlo for Shopify. With this app, there are undeniable advantages:
- Peace of mind that the suppliers have been carefully reviewed for their reputation. It would save you a lot of time and resources.
- Convenience in uploading the product images directly from the dashboard. Without this app, you’d have to upload each product image one by one.
- Ease of changing prices and profit margin globally or individually. Without this app, you’d have to make any changes individually.
- Clear product management. Without this app, you’d need to use more steps to manage the products, the payments, and the orders. With this app, sold out products will be automatically marked as such and orders can be managed more efficiently.
- Locate best-selling products. The app allows you to search for top-selling products from AliExpress suppliers. It’s a true time saver.
At last, dropshipping business model streamlines many aspects of an e-commerce store. And the hurdles of selecting the best and the most reputable dropshipping suppliers can be resolved by using a pre-vetted dropshipping app like Oberlo. It provides both convenience and security unlike starting the store all by yourself.
More success to your online store.
About the Author
Jennifer Xue is an award-winning author, columnist, and serial entrepreneur based in Northern California. She is also a digital strategist for Oberlo. Her byline has appeared in Forbes, Fortune, Esquire, Cosmopolitan, Business.com, Business2Community, Addicted2Success, Good Men Project, Positively Positive, and others. Her blog is JenniferXue.com.