Are you currently researching more about dropshipping and are you're not sure if you should stick with one dropshipping supplier or multiple?
Awesome! In this article, I will dive deep into what you need to know so you can make the best decision for your dropshipping store. Enjoy reading!
What is a Dropshipping Supplier?
Let's begin with this one; what is a dropshipping supplier?
This is for the people that are completely new to dropshipping, so if you're just here because you're sure not about one or multiple suppliers at the same time, then you can click here to scroll down.
Alright, so before I explain what a dropshipping supplier is, I'll shortly explain to you how the dropshipping business model works so it's easier to understand what this supplier does for you:
- You got an online store where you sell products, but you don’t have any of these products in your storage, or in your house.
- When someone places an order on your dropshipping store, then you place that same order directly with your dropshipping supplier. Don’t worry. There are a lot of apps out there that help you with automating this. For example, DSers, or these 14 DSers alternatives.
- Then your dropshipping supplier will handle the rest. Think about preparing the package and sending the order straight to your customer.
- Now your customer will receive the package straight from your dropshipping supplier, and you never touched the product in between!
If you're interested in learning more about the dropshipping business model, then you can read this article here, or take a look at our infographic below:
So, as you can read above, a dropshipping supplier is like your business partner. That's why I said this in one of my previous articles:
Let me ask you this question, do you want the person who handles the production of your products and the shipment to your customers to be reliable or not?
Most people who start with dropshipping pick their suppliers based on price. They go to AliExpress, sort by price, and pick the lowest one.
Because this will make you rich, right?
Wrong, all though this may work for you in the short-term. It will definitely haunt you in the long-term.
What if your supplier doesn’t respond to your messages asking where the package from your customer is? What if your supplier cannot keep up when you’re getting hundreds of orders each day?Read more: How to Find the Best AliExpress Dropshipping Suppliers?
So now you know what your dropshipping supplier does (almost everything) and that you shouldn't pick a supplier based on price because they are like your business partners, but there is one more thing you should know:
There is a difference between dropshipping suppliers on different platforms and on one platform like AliExpress.
The first thing you should know about this is that there are multiple ways to find a dropshipping supplier for your store.
You can see AliExpress as the Amazon of China. They got a collection of a lot (like A LOT haha) of sellers there. Most of them are from China.
There are a lot of sellers there selling the same product, even if the product isn't sold that much yet:
But don't worry, there are more options to find dropshipping suppliers. Take, for example, this list here with 15 AliExpress alternatives!
That list contains options like Spocket, uDroppy, and SaleHoo. These platforms have other benefits as well, like having a fast delivery time, but you will definitely learn more about that later on. That isn't the subject of this article, haha!
The reason I'm talking about this is that when I'll talk below about having one or multiple dropshipping suppliers, I mainly talk about having dropshipping supplier(s) on the same platform (for example, AliExpress) because that's what most dropshipping beginners start with so they won't get overwhelmed with all the different options!
But you can also have multiple dropshipping suppliers from different platforms. This might be a bit more expensive (for example, Spocket costs money), but this way, you can combine your supplier's strength.
For example, having a dropshipping supplier from the US for certain products, and doing the rest from AliExpress (mainly China).
If you're thinking something like, “Wow, that's a lot of information I'm not sure anymore…”
Well, then simply keep it with AliExpress first and figure out how to find the best suppliers there. And then, once you find a product that is selling or if you want to have a better shipping time, then you can start researching for different options.
Don't forget: you can contact me here if you're not sure if you understand it or not.
Alright, now that you know all this, it's time to see all the pros and cons of having only one supplier and having multiple suppliers!
Dropshipping With One Supplier
Let's start with dropshipping with one supplier. What are the pros and cons of that?
Pros of dropshipping with one supplier
- Everything is shipped in one package to your customer. If your customer decides to order multiple products on your store, then these will be shipped in one package because all the products come from the same supplier.
- Easier to build a relationship. It's easier to maintain a good relationship if you only have one supplier instead of trying to build relationships with multiple suppliers at the same time. Plus, building a relationship is great for getting a discount, or for custom packaging later on.
Cons of dropshipping with one supplier
If something goes wrong… You're putting a lot of trust into one supplier. If that supplier stops shipping or talking to you, then you don't have anything anymore. You're literally putting all your eggs in your suppliers' basket.
Solution: If you want to only have one dropshipping supplier at the time, then make sure you have one or more backup suppliers that you can use as soon as your main one becomes unavailable. (Don't forget to be careful with picking the backup suppliers – Simply follow the same steps as with your main one)
How do you do dropshipping with one supplier?
If you're going to do dropshipping with only one supplier (or platform), then this step will be easy to follow, but it's still important to know.
This part will mainly go over how to connect your supplier to your dropshipping store.
This can include things like managing your orders and importing the products from your supplier to your store.
Before we start with figuring out how to connect your supplier to your store, it's important to know what ecommerce platform you use for your store.
Do you know why it's important to know this before figuring out the rest?
Because some suppliers, as you will see below, have a direct integration with platforms like Shopify, WooCommerce, BigCommerce, and so on.
This will make it much easier to manage everything!
Once you know that, let's figure out how you can connect your dropshipping supplier to your store. These are the two most common options:
|What supplier do you use?||What to use|
|Do you use AliExpress?||Take a look at DSers.|
Or these DSers alternatives.
|Does your supplier have an integration app?||For example, Spocket and Syncee have a Shopify integration. (And more)|
If you're not using AliExpress, and your supplier doesn't have an integration app like, for example, CJdropshipping:
Then first contact your supplier to see what they normally use to progress their orders. As an example, some might use CSV files.
Another option is to look at one of the following apps:
To help you make a choice, I will quickly discuss these options now.
AutoDS helps you to automate your online store:
The pricing currently starts at $26.90 per month for Shopify stores, which allows you to import up to 200 products.
Now let's go over dropshipping with multiple suppliers:
Dropshipping With Multiple Suppliers
Alright, let's continue with dropshipping with multiple suppliers. What about that?
What are the pros and cons? Let's find out:
Pros of dropshipping with multiple suppliers
- Multiple options when one supplier isn't there anymore. If one supplier stops talking or stops shipping your orders, then you still have different suppliers active that can quickly ship the same products (although not all suppliers ship the same products. So do check if they got the same products as the supplier that isn't there anymore).
- More products available. One of the benefits that come with having multiple dropshipping suppliers for your store is that they will likely be able to offer you a wider variety of products in comparison to having only one supplier.
- More relationships. Yes, this is a pro for having one supplier as well, but if you have multiple suppliers, then you have the chance of building multiple relationships, not just one. This can end up being a great asset for you as your store grows and scales.
Cons of dropshipping with multiple suppliers
Everything is shipped in multiple packages to your customer. As you can read above with the pro of having only one supplier. Well, this is the opposite. If your customer decides to purchase more, then these products will come from multiple suppliers, meaning that your customer will receive multiple, and maybe even different looking, packages.
Like if you pick multiple sellers, then your customers will receive different packages because they don't work together. Plus, you will pay multiple shipping fees. For example, this is how it looks like on AliExpress with multiple products from different sellers:
Take your own town or city as an example; if you order something online like some groceries and pants, then they won't be delivered in the same package, right?
That will be the same if you have multiple suppliers! Which isn't a bad thing. If, for example, your supplier doesn't have all the products that you want to sell.
Solution: If you're having multiple suppliers that don't work together, then the best thing to do is to add an extra question in your FAQ page that explains that they might get multiple packages. (More information about that here)
Plus, be polite when your customers complain that they only received half of their order.
How do you do dropshipping with multiple suppliers?
One scenario that you will need this if you're going to use multiple local dropshipping suppliers while targeting multiple countries.
How do you separate all this?
Plus, as you can see in the pros of having multiple suppliers, you might also need more suppliers if you want to have more products in your store and your current supplier doesn't have them in stock.
Do you remember the infographic at the beginning of the article that explains what a dropshipping supplier does?
Well, with multiple suppliers, it will look something like this:
If you're interested in this, then don't worry!
We have another great article that will go over this, which you can find here.
That article will cover tips like using a dropshipping agent and specific apps to streamline your orders.
So, should you do dropshipping with one or multiple dropshipping suppliers?
I personally think less is better but don't have to less dropshipping suppliers that you're putting all your trust and eggs into one person/company.
This could go right for a while, but everything might come crashing down at the end as well (nobody can predict that).
For example, if you're using AliExpress to get dropshipping suppliers, then sticking with fewer AliExpress sellers is better.
But only if these AliExpress sellers sell the product(s) that you want to sell.
Otherwise, just go for multiple sellers at the same time. Just don't forget to mention that in your FAQ page, to be polite with your customer service, and to check out this article here for a few more tips.
Just don't forget that you can also take a look at having one or more backup suppliers as well. (As I talked about above)
And then later, when you're a bit more experienced and you found a product that is selling, then you can look at other options.
Also, you can already look at these other options if you don't like it that your customers need to wait for 2-4 weeks to receive their package(s). Yes, that's how long it takes from China (More information about that here)
So, there you have it! Everything you need to know about the benefits and cons of having only one dropshipping supplier and multiple.
I hope this helps you decide with choosing how many dropshipping suppliers you're going to “use” at the same time.
And if you're wondering now if you can run multiple dropshipping stores at the same time, then check out this article here.
I do have one last tip for you, it doesn't matter if you're going with one or multiple dropshipping suppliers, but the important thing is that you test the products that you sell.
Preferable before making any sales (so you know the quality is worth selling), but if you don't want to do that, then at least before you start scaling.
Otherwise, you might suddenly have hundreds of complaints from people that are not happy with the quality of the product. Plus, you can still use the sample product for, for example, advertisements, custom product images, and giveaways!
If you know any more pros or cons, or if you have any questions regarding dropshipping, then let me know by commenting below or contacting me directly by pressing the “Contact Us” button at the top!
Also, let me know if you're currently (or want to start) dropshipping with one or multiple dropshipping suppliers.
I wish you the best with everything. Go make this day your best day ever!
Do you want to learn more? Here are my recommendations!
Are you currently dropshipping? Or do you want to start dropshipping?
Awesome! I’ll link to the articles below that I recommend you read next.
This way, you will be fully prepared to take your dropshipping store to the next level in 2023!
I just want to say one thing; my blog doesn’t endorse any paid dropshipping courses. (I hate them, they are the reason I created this blog)
If you’re interested in learning more about these dropshipping “gurus”, then I suggest reading the article I linked to below:
And if you’re interested in learning more about dropshipping, then I suggest reading one of the articles below:
- 23 Most Successful Shopify Dropshipping Store Examples
- Shopify Dropshipping: A 20-Step Guide to Starting Your Store
- Dropshipping Startup Checklist: 10 Things to Do Before Starting