If you’re a beginner, I’m going to be giving you all the information you need to know. If you’re an advanced drop shipper you can also get a lot of information that’s going to help you scale with the best suppliers.
Things have changed a lot since 2020 and 2021. I’m going to be giving you all the up-to-date knowledge and all the up-to-date resources you’re going to need to make sure that you’re using the best suppliers for your business in 2022
Benefits Of Having Good Supplies
A lot of people go with the easy option which is not having a good supply because it doesn’t take much time to find a bad supplier. Having a good supply does come with you need to put a bit more effort and spend a little bit more time doing your research and contacting them, and doing a little bit more due diligence. But in the long term, you are going to get a lot better results.
Let’s dive straight into a few of the key elements of what comes with having a good supplier
Amazing Customer Satisfaction
Smooth scale in the production process: Obviously, when you scale with Aliexpress the supplies are not really prepared for scaling processes, they’re not really that good at doing scaling and they struggle, they make mistakes, it’s happened to me in the past it’s happened to lots of other people that I know. Again, if you get a good supply you not going to have to worry about scaling with them.
More Free Business: You’re going to get more free business because of customer referrals. People are happy with your customer service in terms of fast delivery, good product quality, that’s what comes with having a good supplier.
Take advantage of supplier deals by building a solid relationship: You’re going to have better deals. Your supplies are actually going to offer you more deals consistently which is also going to make things cheaper and better for you.
Save your business money due to fewer chargebacks: You’re not going to have to worry about your customers saying where’s my tracker number after four days, five days, two days, three days? Also, you don’t need to worry about your customers saying it’s been three weeks, two weeks, not received my package yet. With having a good supply it’s going to take 3 to 14 days, it can be even quicker sometimes so you don’t need to worry about that.
Loyalty: Your supplier is going to be loyal to you. If you used Aliexpress or other suppliers that are like that, then you’re going to know that sometimes suppliers from Aliexpress and other sites like that are quite shady, they can do quite dirty sometimes. With having a good supplier the ones that I’m going to give you they’re going to treat your business like it’s there, it means that they’re going to hold your business with the utmost respect.
Trade credit or better trade credit: Trade credit means how you pay for products with credit. If you don’t know what credit is then I would recommend you do some research on that.
V.I.B Treatment: You probably know what VIP means. But not VIB. VIP stands for a very important person but VIB stands for very important business. So what they’re going to do is they’re going to give you VIB treatments which are very important business so they’re going to basically give your business very good treatment when things like Chinese New Year coming up they’re going to make sure that they’ve got their stuff prepared so when Chinese New Year does come in place it’s not going to put your business toward hold or a setback they’re going to make sure they take time out to set up so when they do go off into Chinese New Year, they’re setting everything up so you’re gonna be okay.
That’s not even all of the pros of having a good supplier that’s only a few of highlights. There’s a lot more than just that but they’re some of the keys.
Problems With The Average Suppliers Like Aliexpress & Wish.
False advertisement or Unreliable Suppliers: This basically means if the product isn’t how the supply is described. And I’m sure you have experienced it before when you used Aliexpress, you’ve sent your customer the parcel, they’ve received it, they’ve messages you saying this is not what I ordered. The most common one is when women order clothing items from Chinese websites and it looks good in the picture but when they receive it it’s trash. so This is a key example of it. It happens all the time.
Slow shipping times: I know a lot of people rely on epacket but it’s definitely not a good option. epacket is normally 20 to 40 days, it can sometimes be longer. Your shipping time should really be between 3 and 14 working days in 2021
Refunds or Exchanges: This becomes a buffer for the customer, it becomes a real bother to return your customer’s orders to the original supplier because you got to remember, your supplier is the middleman. He’s got a supplier as well so it can get really confusing. They sometimes don’t offer your customers a refund, they don’t offer a partial refund. So it can cause you to lose money, lose profits. If you have to give a customer a full refund you’ve lost out on money. The best solution is to send them a new product.
Most supplies don’t accept Paypal: Which means limited protection or you get no protection which is really bad because unfortunately, there are suppliers out there that are very unethical, they don’t do business very well, they can do shady things like I’ve mentioned before so if they do those shady things, you’re not actually protected.
Poor Communication: Due to a language barrier and also the translation on their websites can be really hard to work with so this will reflect into your business so you don’t want to have that happening to you
Copyright Violations Issues: This happens a lot and this is why people’s Facebook ads accounts get banned because they go against the violations. A lot of suppliers, a lot of Chinese, like I said the shady ones, they are using other brands’ names and you’re not allowed to use those so that’s another bad reason.
Small Profit: You’re going to get small profit margins due to niche rivalry. If you’re picking a product that lots of other people are picking because they can find them from Aliexpress then you’re not going to scale that much, and it’s going to be really competitive, it’s going to cost you lots of money. That’s another reason why I don’t want to be using aliexpress because that’s where the majority of people get their products from. This means, it’s going to be very rivalry, it’s going to be very competitive, it’s going to cost a lot of money to do ads.
Related article Aliexpress alternatives for Shopify dropshipping
Order fulfillment is very slow: I know Oberlo is one-by-one fulfillment which means you can only fulfill one order at a time so it can take a long time even if you’ve got a virtual assistant in place it can still take a while.
Three Dropshipping Suppliers Options
- Low-barrier to entry: This is for the people that are starting out. This is like for people that are beginners and slowly learning.
- Medium barrier to entry: This is for people that are doing quite well. They saw many products and are looking for a little bit more of a faster supplier method.
- High barrier to entry: This is for people that are advanced in dropship in, they’re doing at least 5k, 10k a month, they know how the process works but they’re looking for a fulfillment center.
How To Build A Strong Relationship With Suppliers
This is something that a lot of people miss out they don’t understand how to build a relationship with their supplier. Building a relationship up with a supplier is so important especially when you start to work with ones that are a lot better than your traditional ones like Aliexpress. If you build a relationship it comes with a lot of perks which I’m going to mention
Here is what to do to actually build up a good relationship with your supplier
Talk To YourSsuppliers Frequently
Pay your suppliers on time: A lot of people don’t pay for their supplies on time. This isn’t going to correlate with people that are doing Aliexpress but for people that are doing an agent’s or fulfillment center, this can be a problem for them.
Communicate with the supply before due date payment: If you owe your supply of money on a certain day but you know you can’t pay them on that date because you’ve not received the money from your business, make sure you let them know before on the day instead of you saying on the day look I can’t pay you. It’s going to pop bad taste in the mouth and you got to understand with good suppliers have multiple clients so they don’t need you, you need them more than anything. With a good supplier, if you do any of these things wrong they will say goodbye to you they won’t work with you anymore and you have to understand that when you start to work with better people, they have more of an inclined chance to say look, you’ve done me dirty and you’ve not done business in a good way, we don’t want to work with you anymore because we can’t take this anymore. So you got to understand that this is a case
Build a good relationship with current suppliers agents: The supplier that you’re going to be working with isn’t just an individual there’s going to be a team of them, they have agents so you’re gonna want to build relationships up with the supplies agents. That leaves a good taste in their mouth.
Report any Issues of worry in a relationship with your suppliers as they Arise: If anything occurs that you think. Say, look, I’m not happy with it, make sure that you inform them that you’re not happy with it so they can work on it.
Mention damaged or faulty goods to the supplier and support it with evidence: If you have received damaged goods and your customers have received damaged goods make sure that you let them know and you do provide evidence as well that it is damaged, and this will really help with the process.
Be ready to review and negotiate the terms of trade with your supplier from time to time: You just want to renegotiate the terms that you guys have got together. This again is more for people that are doing agents and fulfillment centers but as I said, a lot of people are doing aliexpress no need to worry about this one.
Dish out blame evenly: If things go wrong, a package gets sent out later than it should, or the package delivered is damaged, or the product isn’t up to the standards of the customer, then make sure that you put the blame on not just supplier but yourself. Always look at yourself first and then blame your supplier. This will stop anything from happening in the future. Stop falling out and not being able to use your supplier again. You got to remember, this is business, things are not gonna go the way you want them to go, things are going to occur where things haven’t met properly but that’s business, that’s life, it happens but don’t push all the blame out to your supplier you’re just as responsible as they are.
Know you’re not only the client: Just make sure that you know that you’re not the only client the supplier works with. This is a big issue that people have, people feel like they’re the only person that works with their supplier so they feel like they should get number one treatment and that’s not the case. They’re working with people that make a lot more money than you and sometimes they work with people that make a lot less money than you so make sure that you always stay humble, and you got to remember that you’re not just the only client.
Remember that they are trying to do other people’s work as well so if for example, if your orders have not been sent out, remember they’ve got other orders to send out as well so just be patient.
Option 1: Low-barrier To Entry – Oberlo
I use oberlo when I’m testing products to establish a proof of concept or social proof so before I scale, I want to use oberlo. It isn’t cheap but it isn’t expensive and it’s one per product which means I don’t need to buy in bulk I can just buy one at a time. And the reason why I use oberlo not Aliexpress and I’m gonna go into that in a second but let’s go through the cons and the pros first before I move on.
- Limited product range
- Fast processing times
- Great buyer protection
- Quality products
- One-click order fulfillment – through the Oberlo app
- Free to use up to 50 orders a month
Oberlo Suppliers Features
This is the oberlo supplier features so you can see on the left-hand side aliexpress, it only marks for one thing which is a huge catalogue of products. So the only thing that aliexpress has is a huge catalogue of products which is good
But if you look at the other things that should be there which is a business license, worldwide supplies aren’t there, dedicated English support is not there, warehouse checked by your oberlo isn’t there, successfully processed a 1,000 orders isn’t there, etc…
With oberlo supplies you’re going to meet the business license, the worldwide supplier, you can also meet the dedicate English support. The one that I recommend everybody should be using if you are using oberlo, don’t get me wrong, you should use oberlo suppliers but I highly recommend you use the verified suppliers by oberlo and I’m going to show you why you should be using the verified ones instead of just a standard one.
I’m going to be showing you why you want to use oberlo suppliers or oberlo verified suppliers or just oberlo supplies over Aliexpress.
This is a product that I found on Aliexpress it’s a magnetic phone case. This was a winning product age ago it’s quite saturated now. It’s had lots of orders but if you look at the delivery time it’s 30-50 days which is so long you do not want to be using this shipping time it’s way too long
If we scroll down you got your buyer protection there. But the main thing is the shipping time is absolutely awful and the communication with this product isn’t going to be the best.
As you can see if you look at the shipping and payment methods you can see the free shipping is 30-50 days. epacket is $4.73 that makes it 20-35 days and the tracking is available for that
But if we look at the same product on oberlo verified suppliers let’s see what we get. With oberlo verified suppliers it gets shipped within 2-7 working days, and the estimated delivery time is 7-35 days
It is a lot quicker. There is a chance that the customer can get it within a week. Also, you are oberlo verified which means if anything goes wrong oberlo will make sure that everything’s made right. For example, if the supplier doesn’t ship your product you will get a refund or if the product gets sent out and it’s damaged, they basically handle all the disputes for you so this is why I recommend oberlo verified suppliers or oberlo verify them for you.
Option 2: Low-barrier To Entry – Importify
Importify is not a supplier but they support certain suppliers with amazing shipping times. I use them to do a little bit of small scaling
- Expensive pricing plan: It isn’t cheap to use Importify but like I said, by the time you should be using Importify you should be making a good amount of money so it’s worth using Importify.
- Super fast processing times
- Fast cheap shipping times
- Great buyer protection
- Great quality products
- Semi-automated order fulfillment from the selected supplier
Let me show you an example of Importify and why I recommend using them. This is an example of using Importify, like I said, Importify is not a supplier, they support certain websites. Now, this is one of the websites they support which is dxdealextreme. This is the same product that was shown on Aliexpress and on oberlo, yes, the price is $4 more expensive than Aliexpress
But if we scroll down and look at the shipping times, For three $3.39 it’s going to get to the customer within 4-7 working days and tracking is available
Overall, this is going to give your customers much better satisfaction because I gotta get that product within a week which is amazing. And when I use deal extremely normally some products out within one day to three days which is amazing.
Medium Barrier To Entry – Dropshipping Agents
Agents are experienced in negotiating with suppliers: They do the bulk ordering for you and they handle all the international shipping. The minimum order you can use is five units. You can use a dropshipping agent as long as you make a minimum order count of five so if you order five items you can normally use an agent. But I highly recommend you order at least 25 to 50 products with a drop-ship an agent.
They will buy for you, choose the Items you want to buy and then order for you: You don’t need to do any of that. whenever you need how they can guide you and assist you.
They do quality check For you: They make sure that their team goes up there and check the products for themselves to see if it meets your criteria.
They combined orders and remove any unnecessary packaging: A lot of suppliers will add lots of packaging to the product which makes unnecessary costs that cost you an extra 70% because they’re adding a lot of random stuff so they can make more money from you. They’ll remove all of that for you.
They offer worldwide shipping with reliable partners which is like DHL, UPS.
Shipping: They can deliver straight to your customer and they can normally deliver straight to your customer within 3-14 working days which is amazing.
Add your own branding, your business logos: You can also add branding to your parcel boxes so when your customer receives that parcel it will have your logo on the boxes and on the product.
Remove price tags: If there are any price tags that are left on there from the previous supplier who made the product they’ll get rid of them so it looks like it’s actually your product coming from your brand.
How To Find Dropshipping Agents
Facebook Group: There are lots of Facebook groups like dropshipping suppliers, you want to join those groups and you just want to write a post saying, I’m looking for a dropshipping agent, and people will DM you or comment on the post.
China2west.com: China2west is an actual website. They’re probably one of the biggest dropship agent websites. I highly recommend you check that website. You go on to services, you’ll see on the services section, agents, you go on there, and you can contact the agents and negotiate prices.
Upwork: You can go on to freelance websites like Upwork and Fiverr and type in on the search bar “drop shipping agents” and it’ll come up with people and how much they charge per hour which is amazing.
China source link: China source link is also a website and it’s a proper legit website company brand so I probably recommend trying China source link and China2west. They are basically employees that are doing the agents. You go to the service section, then click agents, and you can contact them.
Google/Bing search: You can search for “drop shipping agents” and when you search that on Google or Bing it’ll bring websites that you can use and to find them.
10 Question To Ask Sourcing Agents
You need to ask agents these 10 questions because if you don’t, then you might not get the quality of the service that you wanted.
- Are you able to share the factory address or take me to visit the factory?: You won’t need to visit the factory unless you’re doing a massive bulk order. This isn’t going to be for most people, some people do actually fly to China and meet the suppliers themselves but the majority of people won’t need to do that. As long as you can ask the question to the agent, are you able to give me the factory address? That’s a good sign it means that they’re transparent and they’ve got nothing to hide which is definitely a good sign.
- Are you a solo agent or do you have a team?: This is important because if it’s a solo a, it will take longer, and sometimes the work doesn’t get well. If they have a team, the job gets done quickly and it’s normally down to a better standard as well.
- How long have you been seeking a sourcing agent for now?: I always say to people, you want to go with a sourcing agent who’s been a sourcing agent for at least 3 years. Preferably, I prefer agents that have been doing it for five years to ten years that’s always a good point for me.
- Sourcing specialty?: When you get a sourcing agent normally some of the source agents specify in one niche. For example, iPhone accessories. You might get a dropshipping agent that specifies in looking at iPhone. Sometimes you might find a sourcing agent that actually specifies in one niche which is in my opinion bare because it means that they know what to look for in that niche.
- Have you got some testimonials or reviews?: You’re going to want to find out if these agents have any reviews or testimonials especially if you’re looking for an agent in Facebook groups. If they haven’t got a website then you want to see if they’ve got any reviews or testimonials
- How do you qualify the factory for product quality standards?: What it means is how does the agent or the team do their quality checks like what do they look for and they’ll basically send you a message saying these are the things that we look for.
- Do you personally be the quality checks or do you hire Third Point companies or individuals?: A lot of agents especially bigger agents who are big in the game they normally hire third-party companies because it’s cheaper and they can basically scale that business quicker by doing it that way. They normally hire a third-party company to do that for them.
- How do you charge for the service and what are the payment options?: You basically just asking how do they price their service what is included in that price tag? And also, you want to work out the payment options realistically you’re gonna want to try and pay through PayPal because you’re protected
- Do they offer any discounts?: The reason why I always ask agents this, sometimes agents will lie about this question more than often and they normally try not to talk about it because you got to remember when the agent orders bulk order from that supplier they’re going to get a discount which will reflect in the price. They might cut you short and not offer you a discount so always ask for discounts.
- Can you define the whole service fee please for example do you charge your factory inspections?: What you’re trying to do is you’re trying to work out how they’re charging you because you got to remember, some agents will try and charge you as much as they can and try and charge you based on what you think it’s worth. If you can get them to tell you exactly what they’re charging you for, then they’ll give you a better price.
that’s the ten questions that you’re going to definitely want to ask the agent. You definitely want to ask these questions if you find in people on Facebook groups that are a hundred percent. But if you’re getting people from the China source link you still want to ask these questions but they’re normally very reputable but these are definitely questions that you’re going to 100% ask these agents. I definitely recommend you do.
High Barrier To Entry – Fulfillment Center
This is for people that are using heavy scaling. If you’re doing tens of thousands of orders a week you’re gonna want to use this option because it is very expensive. This is if you’re trying to build a brand or you’re doing heavy scaling.
What is a Fulfilment Center?
- You send your inventory to a performance center in bulk.
- When your customer buys a product you notify the fulfillment business.
- The fulfillment business then picks, packs, and ships order to your customer.
- You are buying inventory upfront and bulks. You will basically order let’s say a thousand products from Alibaba and send them to the fulfillment center that’s what it means.
The order fulfillment business is not the manufacturer or the supplier of the product. What this means is, the fulfillment center is not the people that make the product, they’re not the people that manufacture the product or they’re not the people that hold the products for that manufacture, they’re simply just a fulfillment center they’re going to hold products for your business and that’s all they do.
- Geater control of your Inventory: You can control things a lot more because you’re hiring people in that fulfillment center to do the job for you so you can control them.
- Better Margins: If you’re ordering in bulk they’re going to give you a balk quote.
- Your start closer to your customers: This is probably very confusing for people but when you do fulfillment centers for example, if you’re doing an iPhone case and the majority of your customers let’s say 60% of your customers come from the US then what you’re going to do is you’re going to find u.s fulfillment center because it’s closer to your customer section. Or if your customers are coming from Europe then you’re going to find a fulfillment center in Europe because it’s going to be closer to them to ship from and it’s going to be a lot cheaper. Like I said when you are picking a fulfillments center think of it strategically if the majority of customers are from the US go for a fulfillment center that is in the US.
- Faster shipping time: You can even get your products to your customers within 2 days. It’s amazing shipping times.
- Cheaper shipping costs: Because your fulfillment centers are going to be closer to the actual countries that you are most popular in.
- Con of having a Fulfilment center
- Limited product flexibility: If you’re sending just one product to that fulfillment center, you only can work with that one product which is obviously very self-explanatory
- Great capital required: You’re going to need a lot of money to do this it’s not cheap, it’s in the thousands, tens of thousands to properly get this set up so it works efficiently. But you should only be using this method when you are making six figures or close to six figures so the capsule isn’t an issue because you can afford it and it’s gonna make you more money.
Where To Buy In Bulk?
What Fulfilment center To Use?
- CJ dropshipping
- Planet Express
These are the best dropshipping suppliers in 2021. I’ve used all three of these methods in my experience.