dropshipping suppliers

How To Choose A Dropshipping Supplier, And How Do You Spot A Fake One?

Business 01 February 2024 9 Mins Read

If there is someone who plays a more important role in a dropshipping business than the dropshipper himself – it is the dropshipping supplier. Yes, you heard me right. You may be doing everything right with your dropshipping business, but if the supplier is problematic, there is no way that you can stand out as successful. That is exactly how much power they hold over your business.

Dropshipping is the kind of business that solely depends on the suppliers. The sellers act as channels to take up orders from the customers. The dropshipper passes on the order to the supplier, who then takes the responsibility to confirm it and deliver it to the customers. Therefore, once the dropshipper passes on the order to the customer, there is no way they can exercise control over it anymore. Therefore, it is very important to choose efficient and responsible suppliers to make sure they are not the reason why your business fails in the first place.

In this article, we shall discuss how to choose the right dropshipping supplier for your business and make sure they are not fake.

Importance Of Good Dropshipping Suppliers

Importance Of Good Dropshipping Suppliers

Dropshipping suppliers are the ultimate backbone of the dropshipping business. Without the suppliers, the seller would have access to zero inventory to offer to customers. End of discussions. It is important to find suppliers who will not only fulfil product needs but also align with the objectives of your business.

The best of the suppliers incorporates the following characteristics:

Efficiency: They streamline all the processes and expedite the deliveries, which boosts customer satisfaction and fosters repetitive business. 

Reliability: These suppliers make sure they have a consistent stock and prevent missing out on orders and, hence, disappointing customers. 

Quality Control: They continuously uphold the higher standards of quality, ensuring that each of the products meets or even exceeds the expectations of the customers.

How Do You Spot Fake Dropshipping Suppliers?

How Do You Spot Fake Dropshipping Suppliers

This is nothing surprising when it comes to a dropshipping business. There are several fake dropshipping suppliers who benefit by scamming the sellers and customers. Based on where you are searching, you will probably come across a huge number of “fake” wholesalers.

Unfortunately, the true wholesalers are bad at marketing and, therefore, hard to find. This results in the fake suppliers, who are just the middlemen, appearing a lot more in your searches. Therefore, you would want to be careful here. 

Here are a few tactics that can help you spot fake dropshipping suppliers in no time:

They Ask For Ongoing Fees

A real supplier will never charge their customers monthly fees for the privilege of conducting business and making orders for them. If any supplier asks for monthly memberships or a service fee, there is a possibility that they are not genuine.

It is important to differentiate between supplier directories and suppliers. Supplier directories are the ones wholesale suppliers organize by product types or makers and screen to ensure the suppliers are all legitimate. Most of the directories will charge you a fee, either a one-time or an ongoing fee. So, you should not take this as a hint that the directory is illegitimate.

They Sell To The Public

To get the most genuine wholesale pricing, you will need to first apply for a wholesale account. There, you must prove that you are indeed a legitimate business and get approval before you place your first order. Any dropshipping supplier who offers products to the public at a “wholesale price” is only a retailer selling items at an inflated price. 

Minimum Order Sizes

Some suppliers will have a minimum order size. This is the lowest amount that you need to buy for your very first order. They do this to filter out all the window-shopping merchants who simply just waste their time asking baseless questions. This kind of small order will not even turn into a meaningful business.

If you are dropshipping, this may cause a few complications. For instance, what are you going to do if any supplier has a minimum order of $500, but the average size of your order is $100? You do not want to pre-order $500 worth of products just to open a dropshipping account.

In a situation like this, it is best to pre-pay the supplier $500 to develop a credit with them to use against your dropshipping orders. This would allow you to meet the minimum purchase requirement of the supplier without placing large orders without any corresponding orders from the customers.

Instance Of A Fake Supplier

Here is a small case of a fake supplier that will help you better understand the severity of fake suppliers here in the US.

“After hearing so many of you on Reddit and FB telling others to watch out for fake US warehouse tricks on Aliexpress, I wanted to test a potential supplier to see if he really shipped from the US. 

I don’t even live in the US, so I found someone in the US who’d receive my package in exchange for photos and reviews. 

I sent the order… 2 weeks later, there was no package, and the USPS tracking code didn’t work. It was obvious something was up, so I messaged the seller. I gave him the opportunity to tell me if he really sent the items from China, but he kept lying to my face with, “Friend, the shipping is delayed due to Covid” bulls**t. 

I then opened a dispute on Aliexpress. And guess what? As proof, he now uploaded a *NEW* tracking code that magically works, and it shows that the package is coming from China. 

So I recommend EVERYONE to test out your supplier and see that the package is really sent from a US warehouse. 

I wish Aliexpress would verify these stores if they really have a US warehouse, or at least have some sort of penalty for stores that lie and violate their terms of service.”

How Do You Find Wholesale Dropshipping Suppliers?

How Do You Find Wholesale Dropshipping Suppliers

Now that you know how to spot fraud from the real ones, it is time that you start looking for genuine suppliers. You may use several different strategies. Some of them are more effective than others.

Here are a few techniques listed below that may help you find out the best dropshipping suppliers in your location.

Contact The Manufacturer

This is the best way to find genuine wholesales in your area easily. If you are aware of the products you wish to dropship, ring up the manufacturer. They can provide you with a list of wholesale suppliers. You may then get in touch with them to know if they offer dropshipping and ask about setting up an account for the same.

Because most wholesalers keep products from several manufacturers, this strategy will let you simply source a selection of all the products with your choice of niche. After you make a couple of phone calls to the leading manufacturers within your selected niche, you will be able to quickly identify the best dropshipping suppliers in the market.

Use Oberlo

Oberlo lets you easily import all the products from suppliers directly to the Shopify store. You can then directly ship them to the customers. All of this happens in just a single click.

Here are some of the features of Oberlo that may be helpful for dropshippers other than supplying and shipping products: 

  • Import products from suppliers 
  • Inventory and price auto-updates 
  • Product customization 
  • Fulfil orders automatically 
  • Pricing automations

Try Searching On Google

This may be one of the most obvious ways to look for the best suppliers within your location and selected niche. However, it may not be as easy as you are anticipating it to be. Here are a few things to keep in mind before you move ahead with this method:

You must look through extensively because genuine wholesale suppliers are really bad when it comes to promoting and marketing. So, there is a high chance that you will only come across the fake ones before you finally reach the genuine ones.

Do Not Judge A Book By Its Cover

Traditional wholesalers have a reputation for opting for the age-old styles of designing their websites. So, if you come across a website that makes you remember old Hollywood, that is the only one you were looking for.

Use multiple keyword modifiers. Wholesalers do not use heavy SEO to make sure you can find their websites easily. Therefore, you need to make sure that you are using different search queries to reach the ones you are looking for.

Order From Your Competition

If you’re having a hard time locating good suppliers, just stick to the good’ol “order from your competition” trick. Here is how it will work: Get hold of a dropshipping competitor and make a small order with that company. When you receive the parcel, Google the return address to find out who the actual shipper was. In certain cases, it will be a supplier you can get in trouble with.

Attend Trade Shows

Trade shows allow you to get in touch with every major manufacturer and supplier within a niche. It is a great way to build contacts and research your suppliers and products all in a single place. This would work only if you have decided upon your niche or the product. And it is not feasible for everyone. But, if you do have the money and time to attend, it’s one of the best ways to get in touch with the suppliers and manufacturers all in the same market.

Directories

One of the most common questions that aspiring ecommerce entrepreneurs ask is:

“Should I pay for a supplier directory?”

A supplier directory is a database of suppliers that is organized by a product, niche, or market. A lot of directories use some kind of screening process to make sure the listed suppliers are all genuine wholesalers. There are for-profit companies that are responsible for running these directories and will charge a fee for accessing them.

While the membership directories may be helpful, mainly for brainstorming ideas, by no means are they necessary. If you are already sure what niche or product you want to operate with, you must be able to find all the big dropshipping suppliers within your market with just a little bit of digging and the techniques I have mentioned above. Also, once you begin with a dropshipping business, you’d not have to visit the directory unless you wish to find suppliers different products.

What Do You Need To Keep In Mind Before Approaching Suppliers?

What Do You Need To Keep In Mind Before Approaching Suppliers

Okay, so you have decided on the niche and found a list of suppliers that are indeed the best. So, now it is time to move forward. But before you begin contacting companies, you need to make sure all your ducks are in a row.

You Need To Be Legal

Genuine dropshipping suppliers will need proof that you are indeed a genuine business. That is before you even get to open an account with them. Most of these suppliers will only reveal their pricing once you get approval. So, you need to be a legal incorporation before seeing the pricing you would receive.

Understand How You Appear

Wholesale suppliers are bombarded by individuals with the “greatest business plans,” peppering them with questions. They take up a substantial amount of time from the wholesalers and never only do anything. So, if you’re planning on starting a new business, don’t expect them to go out of their way to help you. At max, they can help you set up an account, that too if you get approval.

Do not ask for discounts or any other benefits before you make a single sale. In case you are making special requests, make sure you have enough credibility for that. Be very definitive about your business plan.

Do Not Be Afraid Of The Phone

This is one of the biggest fears that people have when it comes to dropshipping. For some reason, it is similar to a nightmare for them to pick up the phone and make a call. It is not as scary as you think. Intimidating for sure, but nothing harmful. So, if you want to get started with the business, get started with the phone calls as soon as possible.

The Bottom Line

It is not easy to find genuine dropshipping suppliers in the market. The place is full of fake suppliers. They will only make you go through losses you do not even want to incur.

I am hoping this article was informative enough for you to understand how to spot fake suppliers and reach out to the genuine ones. So, if you are ready to get started with your dropshipping business, this is the right time for you to get started.

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Upasana is a budding journalist who has a keen interest in writing. She considers writing as therapeutic and is most confident when she writes. She is passionate about music, movies and fashion. She writes in a way that connects with the audience in a personal level. She is optimistic, fun loving and opinionated.

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