How to Find the Right Dropshipping Suppliers
Just like every other business model, dropshipping, as well, has its challenges, pros, and cons. If you are a newcomer, we’ve already covered the basics of dropshipping – where you can learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of the business. However, it’s safe to assume that, if you are reading this, you have already done your research and learned about the core principles of the dropshipping model.
So, we will continue with the scenario in which you have already explored and learned the fundamentals of the chain ‘customer-your store-supplier’. What comes next? In general, starting and growing a dropshipping business is not difficult, however, there are a few elements that can make or break your success in this industry. Speaking of, finding legitimate dropshipping suppliers is one of those crucial factors for expanding your business in the right direction.
Spotting fake supplier deals
Before diving deeper into the key aspects of ‘how to find dropshipping suppliers that are right for your dropshipping business’, let’s cover a little of the topic ‘how to recognize and avoid fake dropshipping suppliers’.
You might think that you have figured it all out, but not so fast. This is where things get complicated. A lot of questions will pop up in your head now that you need to learn how to find dropshipping suppliers. Also, you’ll need to start making profits at full speed. If you don’t think your business plan through and do quick research, you risk getting fooled by dropship scams.
Here are some red flags you need to watch out for that could be a sign for fake and unreliable suppliers:
- Legitimate dropshipping suppliers get their products directly from authorized vendors;
- Legitimate wholesale suppliers don’t sell products to the public.
On the other hand, some green flags that could be a sign for legit suppliers:
- Authentic dropshipping suppliers generally charge a fee for per-order shipping and this is an industry-standard;
- Legitimate suppliers charge usually charge an ongoing monthly fee for subscribed dropshippers in their network;
- Legitimate suppliers may require a minimum-order for your first order which is their way of ensuring that the retailer is serious and won’t waste their time with small orders.
Identifying good supplier deals
Now that you know the tricks for spotting illegitimate dropshipping suppliers, the next step is identifying the right suppliers for you. This is the phase when you need to be patient and verify the information you stumble upon on the internet. There are several aspects that make a supplier trustworthy and good to build a business relationship with. What you need to do here is follow the tips we gathered because they can ease your process of researching, finding, and vetting good dropshipping suppliers.
Research and vet suppliers using Google
Google is a search engine that owns tons of valuable, but also fake information. So if you decide to go on Google and do research for suppliers, don’t forget to have in mind the above-mentioned tips about fake suppliers. Aside from that, you will have to do extensive research and use a lot of short-tail and long-tail keywords in order to come across the information that would bring value to your business.
Identify your competitors’ suppliers
When starting a new business, everyone takes the time to research the market and identify who its competitors are and what they have to offer. Learning the strengths and weaknesses of the competitors within your market can be a big advantage. In the dropshipping business, for example, it is important to find out who are the suppliers of your competitors. You can use this strategy as a starting point as it can help you identify the most reputable suppliers very quickly and you won’t have to lose time to research on your own.
For this strategy to succeed, you or someone you know and trust will need to order a product from your competitors. When the package arrives, you can look up the address on Google in order to find out who shipped the product. In the end, if everything goes well, this could be your new potential dropshipping supplier you can make a business arrangement with.
Use dropshipping supplier directories or platforms
The majority of dropshipping suppliers pay to get listed on various directories. The reason behind this step is to get more visible and discovered by future dropshippers. In other words, people are looking to find reliable suppliers listed on sites with a good reputation. The downside of this is – it’s just time-consuming. You’ll have to do a lot of research on your own, and even that won’t guarantee you results. On the other hand, dropshipping platforms allow for an automatic search of your desired products. Moreover, you’ll be able to integrate these products into your store within minutes. However, the second option doesn’t come without a cost. These platforms usually charge monthly or yearly subscriptions to use their services.
Find suppliers that ship to popular countries
This is a very important step if you want to grow your business effectively and stay competitive in the market. By choosing to go for suppliers that ship to popular countries, such as the USA, you will get a bigger chance for success in the industry.
In the last years, the percentage of people who buy online in the USA and suppliers that are dropshipping to the USA is increasing proportionally. In reality, more than half of the population in the USA prefers to shop online. Therefore, when looking for the right suppliers, be sure to not overlook this aspect as it will ensure that your business is more profitable and competitive.
Participate in industry events and shows
Finding authentic suppliers and building a good relationship with them is easier if you invest in attending dropshipping events and shows. Events and shows are great for networking and building relationships with professionals within the dropshipping industry. By participating in such events, you can increase your chances to strike good deals with suppliers right away. This way, you’ll escape the extremely tiring and time-consuming step of looking for suppliers on the internet. However, before deciding to participate in such events, make sure that you have prepared everything down to the last detail and you are ready to promote your business and negotiate the best terms. On the contrary, you could impact your image and make your business appear unprofessional. This can result in not getting the best deals.
Join forums where professionals from the dropshipping industry hang
Another great strategy is to join groups and forums for dropshippers. There are many professionals here, who can offer good advice or help in many ways. Most of them share their experiences and will give you lots of ideas. This way, you’ll learn a lot of new things and tricks and keep up with the latest dropshipping trends.
Aside from allowing you to constantly stay in the loop by learning wide-ranging tips and tricks, this can also simplify the process of looking for the right suppliers for you. Finally, this approach will help you grow your business.
Exploring the option of dropshipping from multiple suppliers
There’s one thing to look out for. Namely, during the early stages of your dropshipping business, you will forget this one thing. You might think it’s safe to supply your products from one supplier. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Your dropshipping business doesn’t have to depend only on one supplier. Dealing with one supplier has some disadvantages because this way you would be ‘putting all your eggs in one basket’. In other words, you would risk ending up in situations that will put risk on your business. For example:
- A product is out of stock and it takes weeks to be in stock again which will result in people ordering the products from your competitors.
- Your supplier’s warehouse is damaged and temporarily not able to work which will result in you losing time to find a new reputable supplier.
- Your supplier suddenly decides to shut down his business which again will result in you trying to find a new supplier and losing a great amount of your profit.
Therefore, having a multi-supplier strategy is the solution to the above-mentioned scenarios that could occur, often unexpectedly, and bring loss to your business. Additionally, other benefits of making a deal with more than one supplier, such as:
- Having a bigger palette of available products;
- More successful business relationships;
- Explore and compare the quality of similar products from different suppliers;
- Learn more about your customers by providing them with products and shipping services from different suppliers.
In a nutshell
Many factors influence the process of building a successful dropshipping business. However, if you invest time and energy into developing and creating a good strategy, you can achieve it before you know it. Having dropshipping suppliers that you can trust and rely on is one major factor to succeed, so follow these tips. From then on, begin your journey to the top.
Table of Content
- Spotting fake supplier deals
Identifying good supplier deals
- Research and vet suppliers using Google
- Identify your competitors’ suppliers
- Use dropshipping supplier directories or platforms
- Find suppliers that ship to popular countries
- Participate in industry events and shows
- Join forums where professionals from the dropshipping industry hang
- Exploring the option of dropshipping from multiple suppliers
- In a nutshell