Finding a Trustworthy Dropshipping Supplier
First thing’s first: before you’re ready to start finding a supplier, you have to make sure the legal side of your dropshipping business is in order, because there are plenty of suppliers that will not work with you if it isn’t. We discussed all the requirements in the setting up your dropshipping business chapter, earlier in this guide.
The success of your dropshipping business depends for a large part on the quality of service of your suppliers and the quality of the products supplied. In fact, your role in the whole process of selling and fulfilling orders is rather small: once a customer purchased a product in your store, your role is practically over, unless the order fulfillment is not handled adequately and you need to provide customer care to do damage control, or deal with a returned article.
Obviously, dropshipping stores prefer to keep dealing with returns as limited as possible. But, finding a reliable supplier is not easy – it is actually one of the hardest parts of starting a dropshipping business. Because your business relies heavily on suppliers, for more than one reason (keeping your product(s) in stock, upholding consistent product quality, order fulfillment), it is safe to say a supplier is a dropshipper’s most important business partner.
This is more than enough reason to make sure you’re dealing with the best supplier(s) you can possibly find, ensuring you’ll have enough time to take care of further development, marketing and promotion of your dropshipping store.
The ideal dropshipping supplier…
- is experienced
- is reliable
- charges decent fees
- ships fast
- offers quality products
- provides referrals on request
So how do I find trustworthy dropshipping wholesalers?
Do you have any idea where to look for a good supplier? Much like you would ask Google for information in any other situation, this is also a good place to start when you’re looking for a supplier. Depending on whether or not you already know what product(s) you want to offer in your dropshipping store, you can possibly narrow down your search. If you do know, contacting the original manufacturer of the product(s) is a good way to find out about available distributors carrying the product. Contact them to see if they are willing to dropship, and to create a shortlist of potential suppliers. If they confirm they can dropship, you can proceed to order something from them to check the process: service, speed of delivery, product quality, et cetera.
Dropshipping supplier directories
If you are not sure yet about the exact products to offer, you can look for suppliers that offer products in the niche you are planning to target with your store. A good place to start is by checking dropshipping supplier directories, which offer lists of suppliers in different niches. Some of these directories are gigantic, offering a combined product catalog of millions of products. For the convenience of dropshippers, these directories may offer all the products their suppliers carry in one total product catalog to select products from, which saves an incredible amount of time since it means you don’t have to go through all the separate catalogs from the suppliers listed in the directory.
At Top10DropShipping.com we also review and compare the best dropshipping supplier directories. Unless you’re working with a specific supplier, checking out these directories is a great way to start your search for one or more suppliers.
A lot of the eCommerce platforms that you can choose from for building your store, offer direct integrations with one or more dropshipping supplier directories. Volusion, for example, offers a built-in dropshipping app which uses the product catalog of Inventory Source, and in the same vein, Shopify seamlessly connects to Oberlo. You can read more about these apps and integrations in our Volusion review and Shopify review. This does not by any means limit your options to connect to other suppliers or directories, but it does provide you with a very high level of convenience and automation.