Dropshipping is a popular and relatively easy way to break into ecommerce. The beauty of dropshipping is that you don’t need to keep any products in stock, thereby lowering your overheads and risk.
When dropshipping, you buy the products you're selling directly from a dropshipping supplier.
But what if you're planning to run a general store with lots of different products from different suppliers? Is that even possible?
Some think that dropshipping with multiple suppliers can quickly become a logistical nightmare, but is this true?
In this article, we will tell you some more about how you can dropship with multiple suppliers. Enjoy reading!
Should you do dropshipping with one or multiple suppliers?
Before we start talking about how you can dropship with multiple suppliers, let's look at whether or not dropshipping with various suppliers is a good idea in the first place.
Just like many things, dropshipping with one or with multiple suppliers has its pros and cons.
But before we get into those, you should know that you can dropship with multiple suppliers on one platform or different platforms.
Most beginners start by having all of their suppliers on one platform because it's less overwhelming.
However, on some occasions, it may be worthwhile to combine multiple supplier platforms. While this may be a bit more expensive and time-consuming, you will be able to combine your suppliers' strengths.
So, let's now take a quick look at the pros and cons of dropshipping with one or multiple suppliers:
|Dropshipping with one supplier
|Dropshipping with multiple suppliers
|All products are shipped to your customer in one package.
|Multiple options when one supplier isn’t there anymore.
|It's easier to build a relationship.
|More products available.
|You are putting all your eggs in one basket.
|Products will be shipped to your customer in multiple different packages.
Can't decide which option is the best?
In that case, our dedicated article about dropshipping with one or multiple suppliers should help you.
In that article, each of the pros and cons will be explained in detail. Also, some solutions to the cons will be given so you will know how to avoid them. Check it out by clicking here or on the image below.
If you've decided to do dropshipping with multiple suppliers, then keep on reading for the most useful tips and tricks!
How do you find a dropshipping supplier?
To do dropshipping with multiple suppliers, you will have to find a few good dropshipping suppliers first.
Usually, finding an excellent dropshipping supplier can take hours of research to find the best one. But luckily, we have done some of the hard work for you and created multiple articles showcasing the world's best dropshipping suppliers.
So, if you are still on the lookout to partner with a new dropshipping supplier, check out one of the following articles:
- 91 Best Dropshipping Suppliers Worldwide in 2024 (Free & Paid)
- 12 Best US Dropshipping Suppliers in 2024 (Fast Shipping)
- 14 Best Free Dropshipping Suppliers in 2024 (+ Niche Suppliers Included)
Let me know in the comments below if you need any help with choosing a dropshipping supplier for your business!
Is it possible to do dropshipping with multiple suppliers?
So, is it possible to do dropshipping with multiple suppliers?
As you know, a dropshipping supplier stocks and ships out the products that your customers order.
When dropshipping with one supplier, this is how the process looks:
If you're working with multiple dropshipping suppliers, the process will look roughly the same.
However, instead of sending all of your orders to a single supplier, you will have to send your orders to different suppliers. Also, if your customer ordered multiple products, then it may be possible that two or more suppliers will have to send them the products.
Here's how it will look when a customers makes an order that requires products from two separate suppliers:
Dropshipping with multiple suppliers can be done in two ways:
- All your suppliers can be present on one platform
- Your suppliers are scattered across multiple platforms
The choice you will make here will affect your order process. So, let's look at both situations one by one.
How to do dropshipping with multiple suppliers on one platform
Dropshipping with multiple suppliers on one platform is the easiest way to partner with more than one supplier.
One example of this is when you're dropshipping with AliExpress and buy products from different suppliers, like here:
In this case, you can process the orders like you normally do, but don't forget to account for the extra shipping costs that you might have. As you can see in the image above, these shipping costs can add up quickly. This order contains $5.93 worth of products, but you will be paying more than $10 for the shipping costs.
When dropshipping with multiple suppliers, it's crucial to let your customer know that their products might be delivered in two or three packages.
Also, if possible, try to use suppliers that offer roughly the same shipping times. This will increase the chance of your customer getting the whole order within a few days and prevents your customer from getting anxious.
How to do dropshipping with multiple suppliers on various platforms
If you are planning to do dropshipping with multiple suppliers on various platforms, it can become a little bit more difficult to manage everything properly.
An example of dropshipping with multiple suppliers on various platforms is when you are using a supplier on AliExpress and at the same time a supplier on Spocket.
In general, this works in the same way, but it might be slightly more complicated and time-consuming to process the order.
You will need a good inventory management system, especially when your product catalog is large. Make sure that your product SKUs on your ecommerce platform are unique, and don't let them overlap when adding products from different suppliers.
As you might imagine, processing your orders manually with multiple suppliers on multiple platforms is quite tedious work.
So, are there any ways to make dropshipping with multiple suppliers simpler?
Well, in some cases, you might be able to use automation software. This will help you to keep track of which products are supplied by which suppliers and process your orders.
For the supplier combination I gave above (AliExpress + Spocket), for example, you could look into AliScraper.
AliScraper is an AliExpress product importer made by Spocket. Using it, you will be able to instantly imports thousands of AliExpress products to your store:
This way, you can keep track of your Spocket orders and AliExpress orders with only one app.
What apps can you use to dropship with multiple suppliers?
Let's take a closer look at the apps and automation software that can help you to do dropshipping with multiple suppliers.
To make it as simple as possible, we have created a table for you where you will be able to see which automation software we recommend for each situation.
Here it is:
|One platform (AliExpress)
|One platform (other)
|DSers / AliScraper
|Dropified / AutoDS
|DSers / AliScraper
|Dropified / AutoDS
Of course, if you're planning to do dropshipping with a supplier that isn't on AliExpress, make sure to check if the automation software in the tables above supports that supplier.
In our extensive article about dropshipping automation software, you will find detailed information about each of the software recommend above.
If you're in need of more information, then check it out!
Can you ship products together while using multiple different suppliers?
One question that we often see is if it is possible to do dropshipping with multiple suppliers but still ship all the products together in one package.
Generally, shipping all products in the same package while using multiple different suppliers is not possible. Most suppliers don't work together and don't ship out their products from the same warehouse. You can compare it with ordering from Nike and Adidas. By doing that, you won't get all products in the same package either.
However, if you're really interested in shipping all products in the same package, I recommend contacting a dropshipping agent to see if they can help you.
When working with a dropshipping agent, the products from your supplier(s) first go to your agent's warehouse, from where they will be shipped to your customers:
In theory, when using multiple suppliers, it would be possible to let your agent order all the products that are needed and let them be delivered to their warehouse. After that, your agent could pack and ship all of the products to your customer in one package.
However, be aware that by doing this, your shipping times will become longer because the products will have to be processed in a warehouse twice.
You could overcome the longer shipping time by letting your agent store the products you're selling in their warehouse beforehand, but to do this, you would have to purchase those products beforehand as well. In the end, you will need to decide if this will be worth it or not.
If you're interested in learning more about dropshipping agents and what they can do for your business, then check out this article here.
What to do if you target multiple countries with multiple local suppliers?
Let's end the article with this question; what to do if you target multiple countries with multiple local suppliers?
For example, let's say you are working with two local dropshipping suppliers. The first one is a dropshipping supplier from the US, and the other one is a dropshipping supplier from Australia. Considering the locations of these suppliers, you will be targeting two countries, the US and Australia.
If you don't take the right steps in this situation, you will encounter some problems.
For example, what happens if someone from the US buys a product from you that only your Australian supplier can offer?
Shipping from Australia to the US will likely be much too expensive, so what do you do now?
Well, as I mentioned, the key to this is not to solve the problem but to prevent the problem.
For some, this situation might look like a logistical nightmare. Nevertheless, while the situation isn't ideal, it is definitely possible to do dropshipping in this way.
So, if you are in this situation, here is what you should do:
First of all, publish products from both your suppliers on your online store. After all, you will sell all your products on the same online store, right?
Secondly, if you are using online marketing platforms like Facebook Ads, set up your targeting in a way that only people from the US will see ads for the products from the US supplier, and vice versa.
By doing that, you will already lower the chances of your Australian products getting bought by customers from the US. However, this isn't everything that you should do. After all, customers from the US will still be able to buy your Australian products.
So, thirdly, you should look into an app that can hide specific products on your online store based on your visitor's location. If you are running a Shopify store, then take a look at apps like Locksmith or EasyLockdown:
These apps allow you to create country-specific collections. In other words, you will be able to hide certain products from visitors coming from specific countries.
For the situation I gave above as an example, an app like this will help you to prevent American visitors from seeing the products coming from your Australian supplier!
As a final safety net, have you already looked into Shopify's shipping zones?
Here, you will be able to set up which countries can buy which of your products. That way, you will be to configure the settings in such a way that products from your Australian supplier won't be able to ship to the US and vice versa.
And that is how you can do dropshipping using multiple local suppliers while targeting multiple countries! By hiding certain products from visitors coming from specific countries and keeping your targeting separated, it is definitely doable!
There you have it!
I hope this article gave you a better insight into the possibilities of dropshipping with more than one supplier.
In theory, it should be doable, especially if all of your suppliers are located on one platform.
If that's not the case, your inventory management and order processing will become a bit more complicated, but luckily there are some automation apps that could help you with this problem.
One last thing, if you're wondering now how to not only deal with multiple suppliers but also how to run multiple dropshipping stores, then check out this article here!
Let me know if you have any further questions in the comments below.
Have a great rest of your day!