[UPDATED] Finding the best dropshipping suppliers to work with is a daunting task when preparing to launch your online store.
If you already read our post on the best dropshipping products to sell online, then you’re one step ahead of others.
The next step is to find a way to source those top-selling items. Enter drop shippers.
Getting suppliers for dropshipping is one of the critical requirements of running a dropshipping business.
Suppliers package your products, do a quality check and ship the products you sell directly your customers.
Hence, they’re an important part of launching an ecommerce business with dropshipping.
That said, learning how to find reliable dropshipping companies takes some time and implementing what you learn can be tricky.
How do you know which drop ship wholesalers are reliable and would get your products to the customer on time?
We’ve listed a few tips below to help get you started!
Doing a search on Google is the best way to find everything that exists including drop shipping companies.
Conduct searches for the keywords “wholesale distributors” plus some keywords related to your niche or product.
Feel free to include brand names, product types and model numbers in some of these searches.
Once Google presents you with a list of results, go through each URL and search for a phone number or email ID where you can get more details.
There are several experienced drop shippers out there who are familiar with the A-Z of finding top drop ship suppliers.
What’s intriguing is that many of them are open to helping others succeed.
You can find many of these entrepreneurs in social media groups. Talking to them is an excellent way to know where you can find the best suppliers for your eCommerce business.
The following groups are highly recommended:
Once you start creating strong relationships with successful drop shippers, you’ll set the foundation to become one yourself.
So don’t hesitate to join groups, ask supplier-related questions, and build vital relationships.
Directories are populated databases of wholesalers that store owners can research by product type or market.
They’re one of the best ways to find drop shipping suppliers because every listed company has to go through some type of screening to confirm their legitimacy.
And while a directory subscription may be expensive, the appeal is in the hours saved having to contact manufacturers one by one. Plus, many of these supplier directories are curated, which means the suppliers are mostly vetted for you.
Some supplier directories to consider:
Trade shows are ideal events for you to find wholesalers and product makers in the areas where you want to dropship.
They also offer a way for you to keep yourself updated with the latest methods and technologies being used in manufacturing.
According to Ecom Elites, it’s during trade shows that you can get some face time with dropshipping suppliers.
Therefore, it’s imperative for you to come prepared.
For example, preparation would help you better demonstrate what kind of packaging you’re looking for, where to place your branding, etc.
Trade Show News currently has the biggest directory of trade shows, and you can look for the type of event you’re interested in by country or by industry.
You’re probably excited by the range of droship suppliers at your disposal.
However, there are just a few who’d be able to live up to your expectations.
Below are some tips to help you decide whether you should work with a vendor who dropships or look somewhere else.
Once you’ve identified the dropshipping suppliers you wish to work with, order a few samples from them.
When you order from them, make sure they offer you the wholesale pricing for the item. If they attempt to charge you more than the wholesale price, you should be wary.
This will enable you to verify their packaging, delivery times, quality of products, and more.
It’s recommended that you avoid suppliers who insist on ongoing or monthly fees to work with them.
Directories charge membership to access their database, but no independent supplier is known to partner for a fee.
Most dropshipping suppliers will ask you to pay a pre-order fee.
However, a few will also take advantage of the inexperienced dropshipper by quoting outrageous figures. This could be anywhere between $5 to $15.
Although the highs and lows rest on product margins, you should keep monitor and compare pre-order fees between your preferred suppliers.
Some dropship wholesalers only manufacture items seasonally, which is a big red flag if you’re planning to dropship products all year round.
If you dream of becoming a successful drop shipper, you need to effectively deal with product returns.
So getting yourself familiar with the return policy of your supplier is a crucial aspect of narrowing down suppliers to partner with.
Ensure the policy doesn’t hang you to dry out by understanding the entire returns process.
It’s also a good idea to discuss this in detail with the supplier and have the policy documented.
Modalyst is a dropshipping app for e-commerce platforms that connects you with thousands of drop shipping suppliers.
With Modalyst you can access a huge variety of different products to sell online. From fashion, electronics, toys, beauty – Modalyst makes it easy for you to find products from dropshipping suppliers and instantly add them to your own online store.
Modalyst has a membership plan for beginners in which you can add products to your store for free. You can use the Modalyst Hobby plan and start dropshipping today.
Modalyst helps online stores automate dropshipping with Shopify, Wix, and BigCommerce platforms.
Our main focus is to present you with a vast list of suppliers from high-quality markets like the US, Canada, Australia, and Europe.
What’s fascinating about Modalyst is that many of our suppliers are in the United States. They also warehouse and ship their orders from the US.
Having US dropshipping suppliers is a big point of differentiation for Modalyst and can be for you too as you start your dropshipping business.
Shipping is one of the most important factors when deciding to purchase something online.
One of the key downsides of drop shippers in China is the long lead times and delivery windows. Depending on the Chinese manufacturer, it can sometimes take days or weeks for a customer to receive their package.
This alone can make customers dissatisfied with their buying experience. When a customer is dissatisfied, the customer is less likely to return to your store. Potentially losing a customer because of slow shipping options shouldn’t be a factor you’re willing to live with.
By contrast, working with American dropshippers offers the following benefits:
Shipping within the USA typically takes between 1-3 business days.
This means that your customer could purchase a product from your e-commerce store and have the order delivered the next day.
A satisfied customer is always your best marketing asset as it can lead to word of mouth advertising for your online shop.
On Modalyst, we have dozens of suppliers who offer fast shipping and delivery to your customer within 3 business days, and many others, within 1 week.
Your customers will want to have visibility into the status of their orders, including shipping and tracking.
On Modalyst, we allow you to track your customers’ orders once they are shipped by the drop shipping supplier.
Our suppliers partner with a wide of range of shipping companies, including USPS, FedEx, UPS and DHL.
US courier services like USPS offer a wide range of shipping options.
These options include next-day, second-day, or third-day delivery to your customers.
In some cases, these shipping providers can provide same-day delivery.
Generally, the faster the delivery, the higher the price. However, at Modalyst, we prenegotiated shipping prices with our dropshippers and set a ceiling of $5 per order for US deliveries.
Before we expound on the benefits USA-made products offer, it’s important to acknowledge the elephant in the room.
Products made in the United States and shipped by suppliers in the US are generally going to be more expensive than those made in China and shipped by Chinese suppliers.
Why is this the case? Well, the input variables are very different depending on the location of the supplier.
For example, the relatively high cost of labor, materials, rent and other factors all factor into higher product costs in the United States. But those added costs come with product benefits that will allow you to charge your customers higher prices.
And as customers become more sensitive to fair trade and sustainability, they’re more than happy to pay a premium for American made items.
Let’s look at some of the product benefits of using US dropshipping suppliers:
US drop shippers have an established reputation for making high quality products.
The suppliers on Modalyst are no different. Through our vetting process, we find the best suppliers of high-quality products.
By contrast, the products manufactured in Asia do not have this reputation. When you source from China, the expectation of quality is usually much lower.
Why does the quality of products matter?
If you sell quality products, you’re more likely to draw the customer back to your online store.
Traditionally, consumers are looking for something of durable quality and precise craftsmanship. While the ticket price can be prohibitive for some consumers, others are willing to pay a premium for high quality products.
Charging your customers a premium for products can be a distinctive advantage for a small business. To learn more about how to sell high priced items, check out our guide on Selling High Priced Items.
When your products are made in the America, you are allowed to advertise them as “American-made.”
The American-made badge is a seal of approval. It’s also a competitive advantage for ecommerce stores who are dropshipping. It’s a powerful marketing tool that sets you apart from many other online shops, especially sellers on eBay and Amazon.
Like they are for high quality products, consumers are happy to pay more for American-made products.
Per the discussion above, you can slap a higher price tag on American-made products.
While you may pay a higher wholesale price to your supplier for American-made, you can almost always pass those costs onto your customer.
This allows you to extract your baseline profit margins or perhaps even higher margins depending on the category you sell.
Modalyst handpicks all the dropshippers on our platform, including the US drop shipping companies.
Today, the number of suppliers on Modalyst exceeds 1,000. While we have a global platform with vendors from all major corners of the globe, most of our suppliers are based in the United States.
US based dropshipping suppliers are especially important to our platform because they offer many unique benefits that Chinese wholesalers do not.
Modalyst suppliers and products are different from what you will find on Oberlo.
Our focus is not just on the location of the supplier, but also on the quality of the products and how fast orders ship to customers.
Modalyst believes that these attributes will keep your customers coming back for more.
You can also find plenty of niche products to sell online in the Modalyst marketplace. Access to these niche items means you don’t have to struggle for profits in a very saturated industry.
Other Modalyst features for dropshipping that will help you earn more:
1. Hobby Plan – Free – Up to 25 products, 5% transaction fee
2. Start-Up Plan – $35/month – 250 product limit, 5% transaction fee
3. Pro Plan – $90/month – Unlimited product limit, 5% transaction fee
The conventional formula most online entrepreneurs use to find suppliers is as follows: find cheap products from Chinese drop shippers and sell the products for massive profits.
This formula still works today.
However, it’s becoming less effective and less profitable as more and more online shops use the same product sourcing strategy.
While more Chinese products flood the market, the more competitive pricing becomes, making it more difficult to reap a profit on the sale of an item and separate your business from others.
This is not necessarily a bad thing, though.
Because of it, a market for USA dropshippers has been created.
One way that you can differentiate your online shop is by working with suppliers who are based in the United States.
The best part is that you yourself don’t have to be located in the United States for this to be a viable strategy for dropshipping.
So long as you have a strong customer base in the USA and an e-commerce store, then using American dropshippers makes a lot of sense.
There are tens of thousands of wholesalers and manufacturers in the United States.
While partnering with dropshipping suppliers in the United States is compelling, you still have to do your due diligence.
A dropshipping company in the USA isn’t automatically qualified just because they are based in the United States.
These dropshipping companies need to be vetted, just like any other supplier you want to work with.
You should follow the same process that you would when vetting any supplier. After all, your supplier is one of your most important business partners.
You want to choose the best one.