Finding the right manufacturer or supplier is crucial to your Shopify dropshipping business. However, it can be a challenging task since you’ll have to sift through the endless list of options available.
Even if you could, you must know which ones are credible and which ones are not. How do you determine this?
This guide will provide you with the information and tips you need to choose the right manufacturer or supplier for your Shopify dropshipping business.
You will also get examples of suppliers you can dropship from.
Let’s get started!
The Importance of Finding the Right Dropshipping Supplier
Many issues can come up with manufacturers and suppliers, and this is why it is important to find the right source for your products. Here are some other specific reasons:
1. Customer Happiness and Loyalty
It is easier to make sales from return customers than acquire new customers. Hence, you want to keep your customers happy. If your product meets their expectations, they will be satisfied and loyal to your brand.
So, to achieve customer happiness and loyalty, you want to use only the best manufacturers and suppliers for your dropshipping business. This way, your product quality will be consistent, and your customers won’t have any issues with your product.
2. Delivery Costs and Time
Delivery costs directly affect your profits, and that is why you want to keep them as low as realistically possible. At the same time, you want your orders to be delivered to your customers very quickly. This is one of the reasons you should get an excellent dropshipping supplier that can deliver your orders quickly and at a low cost.
3. Brand Reputation
Your brand reputation is something you should guard jealously. It takes a decent amount of time to build a good one, but it can easily be ruined with a few mistakes. To maintain a good brand reputation as a Shopify dropshipper, you will want to pay attention to the quality of your product, delivery time, customer service, and a few other factors that influence your customers’ perception of your brand.
An excellent supplier can easily help you maintain these standards. On the other hand, an ineffective one can ruin your brand’s reputation easily and quickly run you out of business.
4. Ease of Operations
One of the reasons many people start a dropshipping business is because of the reduced stress that comes with it, since you do not have to produce or store the products yourself. However, picking the wrong supplier can cause you more work and stress than necessary.
Finding the right dropshipping source is the only way you can experience ease in your operations.
What Makes A Good Dropshipping Manufacturer or Supplier?
Having a good source is the foundation of any dropshipping business. To search for the right manufacturer, the first thing to do is determine the criteria you will use to select one.
Some of the factors you could include in your selection criteria include:
1. Organization and Efficiency
Some dropshipping suppliers have implemented organized systems with their staff, which automatically means increased efficiency. These types of manufacturers and suppliers are the types you want to use.
You want to avoid disorganized suppliers because they are more likely to mix up your orders or even get them entirely wrong. Using these types of manufacturers or suppliers can ruin your reputation.
Wondering how to determine if a manufacturer or supplier is organized and efficient before using them? You can place a few test orders to understand how they operate. Although it may not give you a complete picture, you’ll learn something useful.
Here are a few things you should be able to determine:
- How the order process is managed from start to finish
- The shipping speed
- How quickly the invoice and tracking information is sent out
- How well the product is packaged for delivery
2. Location and Fast Shipping
The closer your supplier is to your customers, the better.
Closeness to your customers will reduce your shipping time. Goods from centrally located manufacturers and suppliers can easily reach most parts of the country in less than four working days.
If your supplier is located in a foreign country, it may take up to a week to deliver an order across the country.
Also, this means lower delivery costs.
3. Expert Staff and Support
Excellent dropshipping manufacturers and suppliers often have sales representatives who have vast knowledge about the industry. These sales representatives are responsible for handling your requests and any issues you may have.
This means you’ll have a designated person to call if you have any questions, issues, or need any clarification.
4. Tech Savvy
Several manufacturers and suppliers have outdated or nonfunctional websites. While this may not directly affect the quality of your products or business, it can significantly affect your supply chain and ease of doing business.
Using a supplier who understands the advantages of up-to-date technology and invests in them can make doing business with them seamless. With features like a detailed online catalog, real-time updated inventory, searchable order history, and customizable data feed, ordering your goods will be like a walk in the park.
Another feature you may look for is the ability to receive orders via email. This might seem a bit trivial, but making orders via email instead of having to make a phone call for every individual order or manually ordering on their website can make it a lot easier for you.
5. Quality Products
No one wants to build a reputation for selling products that do not meet the standards advertised or promised. This is why you want a source from which you can get quality products.
Your dropshipping business can only succeed when you sell quality products. When you establish a track record of selling quality products, you are likely to see improvements in your conversions and other metrics.
You are also more likely to get a lot of return buyers because customers are usually happy to pay for quality products.
How to Find the Right Dropshipping Suppliers
Hopefully, you now know the importance of a good dropshipping supplier, and what to look for when searching for one. But that is not all there is; you still have to know how to go about finding the right dropshipping source for your Shopify store.
Here are some steps to take:
When finding the right supplier, the first thing to do is research. After making up your mind about the products you want to sell, you need to find someone to provide the product. The question is, how do you find them?
Search on Google
Start your search on Google. You may have to be a bit thorough with this one, though, especially because you may not get what you are looking for on the first or second page. So be ready to check many result pages to find a good manufacturer or supplier.
You should also pay attention to relevant keywords in your search queries. You want to use keywords like “wholesaler,” “manufacturer,” “supplier” alongside other words related to your product.
You can also research manufacturers and suppliers by using dropshipping directories. These directories will include the ones that can supply your chosen product.
Before you reach out to them, you can check out their website, read up some reviews, check their ratings and gather as much information as you can about them. Some online directories you can use include the following:
- Maker’s Row
- National Association of Manufacturers Member List
You can get some of the best manufacturers and suppliers for your business from referrals from people within your professional network or relevant forums you belong to. If those within your immediate network do not have a direct lead, they may know someone within their network who does.
Ensure that whoever you are taking any leads from has shown some credibility in that field. Even if you do not eventually use their recommendations, you can always get them to point you in the right direction.
2. Contact Manufacturers
You can also contact manufacturers directly and ask to dropship from them. Alternatively, ask them to connect you with their authorized dealers or distributors from who you can dropship. You can discuss the specifics and requirements of your business with them, including the following:
- Whether they, their dealers, or distributors are open to dropshipping
- Where they are located
- How much goods you will be buying
- Potential delivery times
- Shipping costs among other things.
Ultimately, you will want to ensure that the manufacturer or supplier you use can meet the standards you’ve set for your business.
3. Attend Relevant Events
Attending events may come off as tasking and stressful and may cost you some money, but it can be a fantastic way to find dropshipping sources. Attending trade shows and fairs is a great place to start.
By attending these events, you may meet manufacturers and suppliers within your specific niche in person and get the chance to see their products physically.
4. Order from Your Competition
Another way to find dropshipping manufacturers and suppliers is by ordering from your competition. To do this, identify a business you think is dropshipping and place a small order with them.
After receiving your package, you can Google the return addresses on the package. This way, you should get the address of the supplier. Afterward, reach out to them.
One advantage you get from ordering from the competition is that you can assess and judge the order and delivery process based on your experience.
5. Negotiate Terms
Once you have a list of suppliers that meet your requirements, the next thing you’ll need are quotes. You want to contact them to make inquiries and negotiate the terms of doing business with them. At this point, the questions you ask should focus on the following areas:
You want to know if the manufacturer or supplier sells directly to the general public. If they do, there is a very high probability that they are not dropshipping suppliers, just retailers posing as suppliers.
If you use retailers – who are further along the supply chain – as your dropshipping source, you will incur a slightly increased cost, directly affecting your profits.
That said, you want to get your products directly from a manufacturer or a wholesale supplier to get a better deal.
Over time, you may have some customers return the products they bought from you for one reason or the other. It happens all the time, and this is why you need to find out about your supplier’s return policy and process.
You want to use a supplier with an existing return policy that is customer-friendly. You should also find out about the warranty on their products. It makes it easier for you to hold them accountable should there be a fault with their product.
We have discussed the importance of having a centrally located dropshipping manufacturer or supplier. If they are not centrally located, you will want to know if they have any centrally located warehouses or are spread across the country so that delivery to your customers can be quick and cost-effective.
Before going into business with any dropshipping manufacturer or supplier, you should find out if there are any other costs you will have to bear apart from the product and shipping cost.
Some dropshipping manufacturers often charge an extra fee for special packaging and delivery on each order. Also, clarify what the payment structure will be. Ideally, you want to avoid those that charge a monthly subscription.
All you want to do is make sure that no hidden or surprise costs can affect your profits.
Minimum Order Requirement
As a beginner, you probably want to avoid any minimum order requirements. So you have to specifically look out for manufacturers and suppliers that do not have any minimum order requirements.
If your business is already in full swing and you’re making enough profits, you may not bother too much about this.
During negotiation, get answers to as many questions as possible so that you do not have any glitches along the way.
It’ll be wise to place a test order before going full scale with a supplier. If you have to sign a formal agreement with the supplier, ensure that your terms are transparent and that they completely understand them.
Here are some examples of reliable dropshipping suppliers you can use to kick off your Shopify dropshipping business.
Fulfillbot is one of the best dropshipping supplier. No fees until you start working.
They will purchase any product from china based on what you sell also they have warehouse in America, Australia, Europe. handles the entire logistics process.
Fast delivery time is usually only 6-15 days.
It also integrates seamlessly with popular eCommerce stores like Shopify, Woocommerce. So, you can add products directly to your website and sync orders with Fulfillbot.
AliExpress is owned by the Alibaba group and is an efficient dropshipping platform with most of its suppliers and manufacturers based in China.
They offer a vast range of products with over 100 million products in different categories like toys, fashion, jewelry, automobiles, and consumer electronics.
Doba helps you connect directly with suppliers instead of just listing them. It also vets them for quality which is why it has just a few suppliers. It has a centralized interface to let you place orders from multiple warehouses.
Doba handles the entire logistics process and offers over 2 million different products. It also integrates seamlessly with popular eCommerce stores like Shopify. So, you can add products directly to your website and sync orders with your suppliers.
SaleHoo provides a directory of over 8000 dropshipping suppliers that you can source products from. Their market is more popular within the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia.
They provide a wide range of products in several trending and profitable niches. They offer products from leading brands like Disney and Xbox.
Whether you’re a beginner or veteran at Shopify dropshipping, having the right manufacturer or supplier can make all the difference between you and the competition. It’s also a sure way to get quality products at a low cost and increase the profitability of your business.
By following this guide and applying the tips above, you are sure to get the right sources for your Shopify dropshipping business.
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