Updated: 2022-09-01 10:12:48
All of you must have known that dropshipping is a business model allowing you to sell online without touching the products or keeping inventory. This means that you’ll basically have no control over the product quality, packaging, and delivery. All these depend on your suppliers. So you can see how vital a good supplier would be.
When starting a dropshipping business, the first and most important thing is choosing a profitable niche and finding a good dropshipping supplier that can meet up with all your demands.
However, the majority of dropshippers find it as a challenge in their early stage of business. So, a lesson from this is to do an in-depth research when finding a suitable supplier or agent.
In this article, We’re going to give you some tips on finding your best dropshipping supplier & sourcing agent.
Many dropshipping beginners may find suppliers on AliExpress and Alibaba. These platforms are actually not built for dropshipping so you have to deal with different suppliers for different products and manually forward your store orders to the suppliers. That’s very troublesome.
Besides, most of the suppliers on Alibaba have very high MOQ requirements for random merchants. And some Chinese suppliers do not have a good ability to communicate in foreign languages. So I do not recommend you to find suppliers yourself on AliExpress or Alibaba.
So where to find dropshipping suppliers?
I guess most of you would prefer automation apps or tools that can associate your store with massive products and dropshipping suppliers. Such as DSers which integrates with AliExpress suppliers. The good thing is that DSers helps you import AliExpress products and manage your store orders. And it can match the best AliExpress suppliers for your products, which saves you a lot of time.
However, it requires monthly fees. Your orders are still fulfilled by AliExpress suppliers. There are still no competitive prices and quality control. And the processing and shipping times are hard to control.
You may also have heard of CJDropshipping which also integrates with massive dropshipping suppliers. It’s much better than DSers because they have their own fulfillment center to process and ship your orders, which is much faster than AliExpress.
This leads to another way of finding dropshipping suppliers, which is to find a dropshipping agent that works on your behalf in the country that you are dropshipping from, usually the country is China. Of course, a dropshipping agent can be a person or a company.
But I’m talking about the company ones that have all-in-one platforms. It means you can connect your store with the platform and sync your order information, they will negotiate with different manufacturers to pick the best-priced products, then pack and ship for you. In this case, you can easily skip the process of finding the product suppliers yourself and skip multiple middlemen to get the best prices. What's more, you can enjoy a much better fulfillment service than AliExpress.
We’ve talked about the advantages of working with a dropshipping agent rather than AliExpress in our previous blog. You can check more if you are interested.
So, all that is recommending you find a dropshipping agent rather than working with random suppliers or AliExpress resellers. Because a good dropshipping agent can source better products and control the quality, has more favorable prices, helps you with brand building, and more importantly, the delivery is much faster than AliExpress.
You can easily find dropshipping agent apps on the Shopify App store, dropshipping agent listings on Google, and recommendations on Youtube. The dropshipping agents you can find have different features and quality, so how to find the best one for you among them?
We’re not recommending you any specific agent today, but telling you some key points that you should consider when choosing your dropshipping agent.
• Store Integrations
• Product Categories
• Destination Countries
• Language Support
The first thing you should consider is whether the dropshipping agent matches your business model. Professional agents usually support store integrations, you can find these information on their websites. If you are running a WooCommerce store but the agent only supports Shopify integration, you’ll have to manually forward your orders to them. So you should check this first.
Besides, you need to figure out their product categories, destination countries, and language support. Because some agents only provide one product category like clothing, furniture, etc., or only ship to US and EU countries. It may not suitable for your business model.
• Product cost
• Shipping cost
• Services fees
• Payment methods
The next point is the cost of hiring a dropshipping agent. Usually, dropshipping agents don’t charge registration fees and they can get the products much cheaper than AliExpress. But some agents will charge a percentage of the product and shipping cost as service fees. The fees can vary from different agents. What you can do is check the pricing plans on the agent’s website or ask them for more details.
• Customer Support
• Product Sourcing
• Private labeling
• MOQ/ Sample
Not all dropshipping agents provide live chat services. Some only give you a way of emailing them and you may never get any responses from them. When contacting them, it would be better if they have live chat support to help you out in time.
To learn more about their pricing, you can directly ask them for product sourcing. You’ll know how much the product costs are from different dropshipping agents. And don’t forget to ask them whether you could buy only one product from them as a sample for testing.
Because some agents have MOQ requirements and they only source products for those who already have daily orders. So they might not accept beginners. And some may ask for service fees for product sourcing. So be careful to get avoid these dropshipping agents.
If you are going to sell products under your own brand, you should also ask if they provide private label customization services and what are the MOQs.
• Fulfillment center
• Quality Control
• Shipping options
• Warehousing Service
• Return and Refund
Next is checking the fulfillment services of those dropshipping agents you consider. Order fulfillment is also the most important part of your dropshipping business.
First, they must have a fulfillment center to process your products and orders, and control the product quality. Then they should have optional global shipping methods to meet the need of different kinds of dropshipping businesses. You can ask them for photos or videos of how they work in their fulfillment center.
If better, a good agent must be able to scale with you when your dropshipping business grows. Some of the dropshipping agents allow you to keep inventories in their warehouses for free.
Also, don’t forget to check the return & refund policies. Because after-sales services are basic guarantees that a formal dropshipping agent should provide.
• Social Media
Last but not least, a mature dropshipping agent must have years of experience in dropshipping business, have good reviews from its customers and have been approved by some dropshipping experts on Youtube. It can bring additional value beyond dropshipping services.
In addition to essential fulfillment services, some agents also provide dropshipping-related resources such as detailed tutorials on working with them, product recommendations, blogs on dropshipping and marketing skills, etc. You can find and check these on their website and social media.
Finding the best dropshipping supplier and agent is not easy, but it’s not that hard because most of the popular dropshipping agents can meet your basic needs of dropshipping. You only need to choose the most suitable one judging by the categories, pricing, delivery, and additional services.
If you are already working with a dropshipping agent, you can also judge whether your current agent is the best according to the tips.
We are always ready to be your best partner and make your business even more successful!