How To Find Reliable Suppliers & Wholesalers For Your Dropshipping Business
Choosing your suppliers can seem like a daunting task when setting up your online business. It’s critical that they are reliable and have proven themselves in the market, as they have the greatest chance of ensuring your demise as an online retailer. Poor suppliers can cripple a great business model and spiral you into a customer service nightmare. Which is why dropshipping gets a bad rep and many believe that it’s not a sustainable business model.
Usually, suppliers aren’t great marketers, so finding out what your options are takes a bit of searching around.
Research is the first step to finding suppliers who offer your chosen product niche. Which ones will be best suited to you? Are they domestic or overseas? Get ready to learn a lot regarding material sources, service potential, delivery times, and how they handle returns and restocking issues.
To do this, you’re going to need to contact potential suppliers directly. This will give you the opportunity to see if you’re a good fit and if you want to have a relationship with them. Be sure to ask questions about the level of service they provide. You can even try to get references from other customers who are already using them. Think of it like a job interview; you’re deciding on whether you really want to work with these companies and stake your ultimate reputation as a reliable retailer on their ability to deliver and perform properly. So don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as you want; it’s always better not to go into business with a supplier in the first place than it is to have to drop them after they’ve damaged your reputation.
Some well-known companies to look into are:
- Dropship Direct
- Wholesale 2B
- Wholesale Central
- Sunrise Wholesale
After deciding who your top three choices of suppliers will be, it’s a good idea to order some samples of products from them yourself to test their delivery times, quality of service, packaging, etc. It’s imperative to witness first hand what your customers will experience when buying products from your store, which will allow your store to thrive.
Next, you want to order some products from your competition. This allows you to see how the supplier packages their products, what types of custom labeling they’re using, and the level of delivery service they’re really providing.
Red Flags to Watch Out for
There are a few obvious things to look for that will turn you off of using a certain supplier. Obviously, bad reviews and negative feedback about service or cheap quality products are key, but there are other signs to pay attention to as well.
Does the supplier have mandated monthly or ongoing fees? If yes, then they are most likely a part of a directory, versus being a single supplier. This is not the same as having a pre-order fee that decreases with bulk ordering, or may increase based on the complexity or size of the order. That’s normal.
Along those same lines, what is their minimum order size? Look for a supplier that is willing to fulfill the minimum order fee as the orders come in. For example, they may make you pay for 100 orders up front, but will then apply that to orders as they come in. Suppliers that don’t offer this option should be avoided.