You’re ready to delve into the world of dropshipping, so congratulations! Apart from choosing the right product niche, one of the most important aspects of a dropshipping business is working with the right supplier – someone trustworthy, offers quality products for a reasonable price, and most of all, reliable.
Here are some pointers to help you look for and choose the right supplier:
Searching for Suppliers
It all begins with searching for suppliers operating in the niche you’re in. When you’ve zeroed in on the product you’re planning on selling, pick up the phone and call the manufacturer, and ask for a list of their wholesale distributes. Contact these wholesalers and inquire about opening up an account with them. This will help you source a selection of products more efficiently and easily in the niche you want.
- Try Oberlo.
Oberlo can help you easily import products from suppliers to your online store, and if you want, you can also ship directly to your customers – all in just a few clicks. Using Oberlo, you can fulfill orders automatically, do product customization, as well as pricing automation.
- Use Google.
When using Google to find the right people to contact, here’s a quick guide to help you maneuver your way through thousands of suppliers:
- Do an extensive search- Dig deep to check websites, click on links, or read Reddit/Quora threads for opinions and advice.
- Use modifiers- When searching on Google, use other kinds of keywords such as ‘reseller,’ ‘bulk,’ or ‘warehouse.’
- Order from the competition.
This may be one way to locate a supplier– By making a small order with an opposing company. When you receive your package, use Google to find the return address to find out the original shipper. You can also contact the supplier to find out.
- Visit trade shows or online webinars.
Trade shows, webinars, and online discussions are all great ways to network and meet the right manufacturers and wholesalers for your niche. This method helps you create a connection, and it also helps you narrow down suppliers you’re comfortable and happy talking to. Investing a little bit of time in getting to know the suppliers in the industry will help you build meaningful and valuable business partnerships.
Contacting Your Suppliers
Now that you have a solid list of suppliers, it’s time to move on to the next step – contacting them. Before you do that, get yourself equipped using these guidelines:
- Get the legal paperwork done- Legitimate wholesalers will need proof of your business even before you’re allowed to open an account with them. Pricing is only revealed once a customer has been approved, so apart from making sure your wholesale is legal, you also need to be legally incorporated, so you have the right documents and licenses.
- Build credibility first before even attempting to make special requests and be definite about your business plans such as launch dates, shipping dates, and quantities, instead of giving vague ideas. You also want to communicate your professional successes in the past because it can help with your dealings with a supplier. Your objective is to convince suppliers that dealing with you, despite your special requests, will pay off when you become successful and start bringing in more business.
- Connect virtually- Having a video call is a better prospect of securing a partnership with your supplier. You can send follow-up emails after your video call. Suppliers always have people calling them, including people new to the business. More often than not, you’ll get a sales representative that’s more than happy to answer your questions.
Characteristics of Good Suppliers
Dropshipping suppliers also come in different sizes, needs, and interests. In finding the right kind of suppliers, here are some attributes you want to look out for:
- Professional and targeted
Suppliers who mean business are equipped with the right knowledge to assist a client. They know the industry needs, and are training in the niche they are supplying and the products they are dealing with. These suppliers have sales reps you can call. For instance, calling sales reps from Thrive Screenprint can provide invaluable insight to help you in your dropshipping business for screenprinting products.
- Detailed support
The minute you give a call to a good-quality supplier, you’ll instantly be assigned to an individual sales representative who will assist you with your issues and ensure that they are every step of the way with you from the introduction, product information, and making a sale, sometimes even after-sales.
Quality suppliers do understand the benefits of having a well-functioning website. Quality suppliers are easy to work with on the phone and via email, and have an absolutely comprehensive website that makes getting information easy. Engaging with a supplier that places importance on their online presence and offline presence is crucial.
- You can order via email.
Having to make a call or manually place orders on the website is a tedious task; not only is it time-intensive, but it’s also cutting back on your resources. When choosing your supplier, find one that makes ordering through email a seamless process.
- Central location for convenience
You want a business that’s easy to locate and is centrally located. Suppliers with a good and convenient location mean packages don’t take too long to be shipped. You can expect your products to be shipped within 2-3 working days or 5 days, depending on where your customers are located. Faster delivery times enable you to keep customers happy, plus it also saves on fees.
- Organized and efficient
Staff efficiency is also important, and good suppliers know that. From answering forms sent through websites, providing information via email, to responding to telephone calls promptly – all of these efforts reduce costs, save time, and keep customers happy. If you’d like to test out how good a supplier’s customer service is, place a small order to get an idea of their professionalism and level of service. Check FarhanTech for interesting articles.