A dropshipping supplier is one of the most important components of a successful dropshipping business. But sometimes, it can be hard to choose the best one.
A good supplier can make your dropshipping business profitable, while a bad one can hinder your success.
That's why it is important to know how to tell the difference between a good and a bad supplier.
In this article, we will show you some characteristics and indicators of good dropshipping suppliers. They will help you to filter out the bad ones out of your list of potential suppliers.
Finally, we will guide you in the right direction on where to find the best dropshipping suppliers.
Let's get started!
What is a dropshipping supplier?
If you are looking to get started with dropshipping, you've probably heard of the term “dropshipping supplier” before.
But what does it actually mean?
Well, let me tell you.
A dropshipping supplier is a company selling products to dropshippers one-by-one.
This means that whenever you get an order on your online store, you can buy those products from your dropshipping supplier, who will send them directly to your customer.
Dropshipping suppliers are responsible for the manufacturing, storing, and shipping of products but do not deal with customers directly.
If you're interested in a more detailed explanation of dropshipping suppliers, including their pros and cons, then check out this article.
What are the characteristics of a good dropshipping supplier?
When looking for a dropshipping supplier, it's crucial to know where to look to make sure you will end up working with a supplier that will actually help your business instead of hindering it.
That's why we will go over the eight most important things to look out for when choosing a dropshipping supplier.
You can take a look at our infographic below to get an idea about what will cover in this article:
Now, let's go over them in more detail:
The first thing you should consider when looking for a dropshipping supplier is their location.
In the ideal scenario, you would want your supplier to be located as close as possible to your target audience. These suppliers are called “local dropshipping suppliers”.
By working with them, you will be able to benefit from faster shipping times and easier returns.
So, try to find a dropshipping supplier that is located close to the country that you're planning to target. If you're not sure yet which country is the best to target, then check out our list of the best countries to target as a dropshipper.
2. Fair prices
One of the main goals of dropshipping is to sell products and earn money.
To earn as much money as possible, you will need to use a pricing strategy. This helps you to maximize your profits and stay competitive.
One of the most important components of a pricing strategy is your product cost.
By working with a supplier that offers low product prices, you will either be able to lower your own product’s price and improve your conversion rates or keep the product’s price the same and increase your profit margin.
To read more about the best way to price your product, check out our pricing strategy guide here!
3. Excellent customer service
If you're working with a dropshipping supplier, the last thing you would want to spend your time on is dealing with their tasks like finding the best shipping methods or searching for the details of a specific product.
The best dropshipping suppliers will offer 24/7 customer support to help you with any problems, ranging from dealing with refunds to any technical difficulties.
Last but not least, great dropshipping suppliers will have a detailed information page for each product, a FAQ page, a good refund policy, and will give you advice about the best and most cost-efficient shipping method to use.
4. The products
It doesn't matter whether you have a niche store or a general store. It's always best to work with a supplier that offers both high-quality products and an extensive range of different products.
When dropshipping with AliExpress, some products will look nice in pictures but will fail to live up to your customer's expectations once they are delivered.
Dropshippers who sell these low-quality products might earn a quick buck, but they won’t manage to stay in business for long.
If all your customers see that they have received low-quality products from your store, they probably won’t come back to it in the future. Also, it will make your email marketing list useless since no one will want to become a repeat customer.
This is why selling high-quality products is important:
5. Pricing plan
Another thing you should look out for is the cost of using a particular dropshipping supplier.
You can start using some dropshipping suppliers for free, while others will ask for a monthly subscription or one-time fee.
A free dropshipping supplier isn't necessarily better than a paid dropshipping supplier, but be aware that monthly subscription costs can add up quickly, especially combined with your other fixed monthly expenses like a Shopify subscription and app costs.
So, take these costs into account and if you decide to go with a paid dropshipping supplier, make sure that the extra cost won't hurt your monthly profits that much.
6. Shipping and order processing time
An important indicator of a good dropshipping supplier is one that offers fast shipping and order processing times.
A supplier's shipping times will often depend on their location and the shipping methods they use. Almost all suppliers have their shipping times listed on their website, so make sure to look it up and see if it fits your needs.
Often, you will have to choose between Chinese suppliers, who are able to offer you lower product prices, or US / EU suppliers with faster shipping times.
But don't forget to look at a supplier's order processing times too!
It would be a shame to work with a supplier that offers fast shipping times but wastes this by having a super long order processing time, right?
The best suppliers offer one-day processing times, while others offer five days.
By working with a supplier that offers 1-day processing instead of 5-day processing, you will save at least four days off each order's total delivery time!
7. Integration possibilities with your store
Ideally, you should try to find a dropshipping supplier that offers an integration possibility with the ecommerce platform that you're using.
This is essentially software that connects your dropshipping store to the supplier.
With an integration, you may be able to benefit from great features like automatic stock tracking and order processing.
8. Customized packaging
By using those possibilities, this is how your packages may look when they arrive at your customer:
Looks impressive, right?
How do you find a good dropshipping supplier?
That was everything you should consider before picking a dropshipping supplier.
If you found a dropshipping supplier with these characteristics and possibilities, then you will know that you've done very well!
But how do you find such a good dropshipping supplier?
Well, usually, you would have to spend many hours doing research and comparisons to find the best suppliers.
But, luckily, we have done the hard work for you and published many articles that cover a list of the best dropshipping suppliers from a specific region.
If you're interested in all the options, check out this article for a list of the 91 best dropshipping suppliers worldwide.
But if you think that's too much, you can also take a look at lists like:
- The 15 Best Dropshipping Suppliers in the UK (Free & Paid)
- 14 Best US Dropshipping Suppliers in 2023 (Fast Shipping)
- 14 Best Free Dropshipping Suppliers in 2023 (+ Niche Suppliers Included)
I'm sure that you will be able to find one that fits your business!
If you're just starting out with your dropshipping business, you probably won't have all the knowledge and skills you need to run it properly.
To make sure that you can focus on learning that new knowledge and those new skills, it's crucial to work with a dropshipping supplier that does their job and doesn't take away a lot of your time.
After reading this article, you will be better equipped to find the right dropshipping supplier to help you launch and grow your dropshipping business.
If you have any more questions regarding the article or dropshipping in general, don't hesitate to contact us by leaving a comment below.
Thank you so much for sticking through the whole article, and have a great rest of your day!