Dropshipping is a modern business model that enables a dropshipper to generate revenue by forwarding buyers’ orders to the supplier who then ships the products to the buyer. This is a model that allows the dropshipper to set prices for the products thus, providing the opportunity to make as much profit as he can.
Understanding the Supplier
The three parties involved in a smooth dropshipping business are the buyer (consumer or retailer), the dropshipper, and the supplier or manufacturer. In most cases, the manufacturers are suppliers as well.
The buyer places an order on the website of the dropshipper and the dropshipper then forwards the order or purchases the same order from the supplier. The shipping details of the initial buyer are provided by the dropshipper to the manufacturer who then sends the products to the initial buyer. The dropshipping business will always go well provided that the supplier plays his part.
Suppliers can either be manufacturers or distributors. Either way, both of them supply goods in large quantities. The slight difference is that the manufacturer produces the goods by himself while the distributor doesn’t.
A distributor can have access to as many manufacturers as possible. This makes it possible to have access to as many goods as possible. The reality, however, is that a dropshipper would prefer to buy directly from the manufacturer than the distributor because their prices would be cheaper.
How to Find the Best Dropshipping Suppliers
Finding the best suppliers for the best dropshipping experience can be a very difficult exercise to engage in especially if you are a newbie. There are various ways to spot fake suppliers and the best suppliers.
This section will judiciously shed light on the steps that should be taken to find the best suppliers easily and speedily. Below are some of the steps that can be taken to find the best suppliers.
Making use of Search Engines
Search engines such as Google, Bing, or even Yahoo are used to search for anything that seems alien to a person. Well, they can also be used to find the best manufacturers or suppliers of certain products for the dropshipping business.
Keywords such as “the niche”, “location”, “shipping mode”, “timeframe” etc. can help to quickly find legit manufacturers as they would naturally be ranked as the top in the result. Although, one has to be very careful and should channel more energy into carrying out more in-depth research about certain manufacturers to avoid scams.
Making use of a Niche Scraper
A niche scraper is a software or tool that helps to research winning, trending, and the best products to sell through dropshipping. It can also provide accurate data that will serve as a basis for determining the best products and their suppliers.
It is a tool that extends outside just finding the right supplier. It also provides valuable insights that can help with marketing.
Attending Trade Shows
Trade shows are usually filled with highly resourceful individuals. Retailers, wholesalers, suppliers, and even manufacturers attend trade shows to meet potential partners.
Attending niche trade events usually costs a certain amount of money depending on the organizers, however, they are usually worth it.
This is one of the easiest and fastest ways of getting reliable suppliers. Recommendations from family and friends who are already in the business are also a great way to start. Reviews from reliable sites and social media ratings can also stand as a good benchmark for recognizing the best manufacturers.
The phrase “Other People’s brain” can also be put into use here. Finding out who your top competitors are getting their supplies from is equally great.
Placing orders from competitors will make it possible to see who their suppliers or manufacturers are. From there one can check them out further.
Websites with Suppliers’ Directory
This is one of the easiest and most effective methods of finding legit dropshipping suppliers. It can be likened to a long list of vetted suppliers by reliable organizations. A supplier’s directory provides the option of a choice. One can carefully use the list to find the best suppliers that fit exactly what one is looking for.
This method is the most convenient because the rigorous processes involved in finding a real supplier have been done by another person/organization. It is simply making good use of a ready-made list.
While some sites are free, some directories are usually available on certain sites for a fee. Some sites require that you subscribe monthly, half-yearly, or annually.
Examples of websites that offer rich directories for free include:
- Whole Central
- Inventory Source
- Top Ten Wholesale
- The Wholesaler Co etc.
The following websites charge a certain fee before one can gain access to their platform.
- Salehoo charges $5.58 per month, $67 per year, and $127 for lifetime access.
- Worldwide brands charge $299 for lifetime access.
- eWorldTrade has subscription plans such as lite, gold, and platinum at different rates.
- Wholesale2B charges $24.99, $37.99, $39.99 respectively.
Tips to Avoid and Detect Fake Suppliers or Scammers
One of the cons of running an online business is that the internet can be taken advantage of by scammers. Dropshipping business is not an exception it is one of the most vulnerable businesses that scammers operate through.
One way to avoid dropshipping scammers is making sure that when running searches on search engines, one should avoid using the word “dropshipping” because scammers have taken advantage of SEO to rank on top pages. Legit suppliers are usually bulk wholesalers or suppliers and don’t express themselves as “dropshippers”.
Another way to identify scammers is by verifying the contact details on either Google or Yellow Pages. Honestly, that’s not even enough. Check to see if there is a physical address. This is very important as one can verify the address on Google maps. Also, checking to see the nearest warehouse is another great idea as most suppliers (especially the big ones) have warehouses in strategic locations.
Scammers are known to sugarcoat returns on any investment made with them. they promise big returns on sales made. Any business that looks too good to be true should be avoided.
Trying to find the perfect supplier for your dropshipping business is like digging for gold. When you find the most suitable supplier, it is synonymous with striking the gold itself.
It takes time and money to find the best suppliers. It however takes dedication, carefulness, and application of your research skills to avoid scammers in this business.