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Dropshipping is the easiest way to launch your online store. You need less capital, no stock, have virtually unlimited inventory, and the benefits are endless. That’s why an increasing number of people are entering the dropshipping space, driving competition in the industry.
So how could you stand out? Here’s the short answer – Dropship from the US suppliers.
Most of the dropshipping online stores find cheap products from Chinese suppliers and sell them at huge profits to customers in other countries. So the eCommerce market is flooded with Chinese products.
You can set yourself apart from the competition by having products from US-based suppliers. Undoubtedly, cheap Chinese suppliers may lure you, but there are many benefits to working with American suppliers.
Once you find great American dropshipping suppliers by using Debutify to work with, you will need a great Shopify theme to sell the products you will get from them. Download Debutify, the highest converting free Shopify theme today!
Watch Our Video For More Information On US Dropshipping Suppliers
Why You Should Dropship From The US
There are many great manufacturers and product suppliers in the USA who provide dropshipping services. Here is how your store can benefit from these suppliers:
When working with a China supplier, dropshipping may take days or even weeks, which leads to unhappy customers. Comparatively, US suppliers ship products between 1-3 days to your customers, and we know fast delivery is good for your store.
Customers can select shipping options, like same-day, next-day, second-day delivery, and so on. Customers can even track their packages using reliable US courier companies like UPS, FedEx, and DHL, as facilitated by the supplier.
American dropshipping suppliers are generally more expensive than Asian suppliers.
But it’s because US manufacturers are known for delivering quality products. Every product comes with a “Made in USA” tag.
It’s a powerful selling point that makes you different from your competitors. While you pay more for USA-made products, you can comfortably cover those costs from your customers.
This is because people are happy to pay more when buying American-made products than what they pay for Asian-made products.
Finding US Suppliers For Your Dropshipping Store
Just as with suppliers from any country, you need to do your due diligence and research. Here are a few steps you can take to ensure that you find the right US supplier for your dropshipping online store:
Look Through Directories
Once you’ve selected the products you want to sell, research dropshipping suppliers out there. There are a lot of online dropshipping directories that include different suppliers throughout the USA that supply goods in your chosen product niche.
For a nominal charge, you can use their data. Think of it as a little investment since they save you a lot of time. Before contacting them, visit their website, read reviews, ratings, and learn as much about them as possible.
Search On Google
Also, do some heavy searching on Google to find some good suppliers in the USA. Remember that most wholesalers don’t care about how their website looks or website Google ranking. So chances are you may find an excellent supplier on the 10th page.
To locate suppliers, try keywords like “supplier,” “distributor,” “reseller,” “wholesaler,” and add words related to your products. Gather information about their raw material sourcing, customer service, delivery times, and so on.
You can also join relevant forums and other professional networks to find the best wholesale suppliers for your store.
Try Out Some Apps
When it comes to finding US suppliers for Shopify, Oberlo is another useful software you can try. Access to this marketplace is built into the backend of your store for the basic free version.
Other apps like Spocket have robust search filters and settings to help you find strictly American dropshipping suppliers.
With ShopMaster, you can even set warehouse preferences to only import AliExpress products of US dropshipping suppliers for Shopify stores. Remember that to get the best out of some of these apps, you’ll have to pay a fee to have it in your budget.
Get In Touch With The Manufacturers
Another tough but fairly effective technique is to reach out to the manufacturers directly. Many of them keep a list of dropshipping suppliers. You can give them an estimate of how much you’re willing to buy amongst other requirements like the location.
Some will be able to filter their list and give a recommendation, saving you some time, and probably money too. This is more likely for smaller brands. An old and established world may not take the time to do so.
They might however have an already prepared and frequently updated list available on their website. These however don’t always specify dropshipping status but rather indicate authorized distributor/dealer status. They can still be of help though.
Attend Some Events
While it may sound like a lot of work to attend trade shows, they are also a good source for finding American dropshipping suppliers. If it is in your region, it most probably has showcased by people doing business in your region.
Order From The Competition
One trick that can be helpful is to follow the competition. Identify a store you believe is dropshipping. Make a small order with them. Stick to products made in the US. Once you’ve got your package, Google the return address given.
It may turn out to be a supplier you can contact. One benefit of this method is that you may get an idea of how reliable that supplier is judging from how smooth it was getting your product.
Shortlist suppliers that fit your needs, and create a list of questions you want to ask about their services. Some important questions you may ask a supplier are:
Do You Sell Products To The General Public?
If yes, they are not a dropship supplier. They are a retailer posing as a supplier. If you choose such a company, you will end up paying more than what you should be, making it difficult for you to earn a profit.
A genuine dropship supplier sells items only to retailers at wholesale costs.
What Is Your Return Policy?
Product return is part of the industry. You have to deal with it. So before choosing a supplier for your online store, ensure that you clearly understand their return policies and processes.&
The return process should be simple and hassle-free. Get all the information relevant to the product warranty and guarantee from the supplier. This will hold them responsible in case anything goes wrong with their products.
Where Is Your Warehouse?
The location of the warehouse determines delivery times. In large countries, like the US, choosing a centrally-located dropshipper is ideal. This helps reduce product delivery times while saving you money on shipping charges.
Some good suppliers even allow you to reach their current customers so you can get a better idea of their services. Maintain a good relationship with your suppliers from the beginning.
This will make it easier to get your questions answered, and disputes resolved quickly.
Do You Charge Any Fees?
It’s common that suppliers charge a dropship fee or a per-order fee to cover expenses related to packaging and shipping. These fees usually range between $2 and $5, although this can be higher for products that are large or involve difficult processing.
But there should not be any surprises for you. So be aware of all supplier charges included in drop fees. Do in-depth research on their pricing as surprising costs can shave money off your profit.
Many suppliers also charge a monthly fee, but most of the time, you should avoid such drop shippers. You should make the fee structure clear with the supplier before selecting them.
What Is Your Minimum Order Requirement?
Make sure you know the minimum order requirement before placing the order. If your store is already doing well in the industry, this criterion may not matter much for you.
But if you are a new online retailer, you can find suppliers with no minimum order requirements. Asking these questions will help you evaluate your potential dropship supplier and ensure that you make the right choice.
Some Other Questions You May Ask Are:
- What is the level of your product availability?
- What if some products are defective?
- What is the expected profit margin for these products?
- Do you think that the product price may change in the future?
- Do you send automated shipment notifications to customers?
- What are your payment terms, and are they negotiable?
- Do you avail discounts for bulk purchases?
- What happens if you fail to deliver on time?
- What happens if products do not arrive?
You can ask as many questions as come to your mind. Just be confident that you have chosen the right supplier.
Something to keep in mind is that if you’re searching for details about pricing, it might be better to first get legally incorporated. Many established dropshipping suppliers will want to first gauge whether you’re a legitimate business.
They may not just give you an account straight away. Some only share this information with approved customers. Pay attention to how you may be perceived.
Be ready to answer some questions from them too. Have all the relevant figures on hand. If you’re just starting out, avoid a “we may first try this much and see how it goes” kind-of tone.
Order And Compare Samples From Multiple Suppliers
Now that the task of finding suppliers for your dropshipping online store is over, request product samples from them. Most genuine suppliers always agree with this.
Product samples are essential to test their quality of service, delivery times, packaging, customer services, etc. Be specific and detailed about the information you provide to suppliers when requesting samples:
- Exact product specifications
The shipping address; Request the supplier to label the sample as “of no commercial value” to avoid duty charges.) Ask for the product model number and company name tag so you can differentiate samples from different suppliers. Ask for confirmation so that you can be confident that the suppliers understood your request. If required, ensure that you’ve appropriate patents and trademarks filed before you request the sample.
You can also reach suppliers that your competitors are dealing with to get an idea of the service level you need to deliver to stay ahead of the competition.
Find The Right Supplier For Your Business
Once you have collected all the information, and are satisfied with the sample, reach out to the supplier again for further discussion. Make sure you know everything about how they do business before signing any deal with them.
Although you can anytime end your deal with a supplier if an issue arises, the damage might have already harmed your brand. So have a chat with your supplier, or, if possible, visit their warehouse or factory.
You can tell a lot by their behavior and way of dealing.
Some key indicators of a good supplier include:
In a large country like the US, a warehouse closer to the center is more likely to be able to reach over 90% of the country within 2 to 3 business days.
This means you can comfortably promise fast delivery and be consistent with it.
Email ordering – You don’t want to have to place each order manually on their website or call it in.
Investment in technology – Real-time inventory, online searchable order history, customizable data feeds, etc.
All these can come in handy when orders start increasing, shipping addresses are occasionally changed, returned products increase, and overall activity goes.
Some dropshipping suppliers even make use of cloud technology.
Formidable suppliers will usually be able to assign you an individual to quickly solve any problems on their end related to your orders.
Experts in relevant industries – A good supplier should have knowledge particular to fields related to your products such as common blunders made in packaging and movement. This can be helpful if you’re-entering a niche field.
It also goes without saying that they should be highly organized and show that they have a system that prevents any sort of mix-ups.
Should You Dropship From Multiple Suppliers?
Yes, it’s beneficial! There are many benefits to selecting multiple suppliers for your business:
You have a wider variety of products available for your store. And, don’t forget; customers love options!
If you use multiple suppliers, you develop more business relationships, which can be a great asset as your business grows.
There are many US suppliers to choose from. However, regardless of their reviews published online, you are responsible for doing your research and creating credibility before starting a business.
Some of the most popular and verified dropshipping suppliers in the USA are AliExpress, Doba, and Innovative Beauty, to name a few.
Location is also a factor to consider here. For smaller brands, it may not be that easy to find dropshipping suppliers handling every state properly. If you plan on selling throughout the US, you might need to find suppliers on a region-by-region basis.
In some cases, you may even have to be the one to push them into taking a risk on you. Some may not be dropshipping at all in those regions. And if they are, it may not be for the product you are trying to move.
Create hype in that area. Rack up a ton of pre-orders. Traffic statistics from that region alone may not be convincing enough. Lay down some cash upfront was necessary if the orders are trickling in slowly.
Remember, you’re trying to get in there first and be the go-to store for that product.
ConclusionNow that you know how USA suppliers can be beneficial for your store, this makes a great addition or alternative to Chinese or other Asian suppliers.
Last but not least, customer service is the key to success in any business, startup, and/or well-established. And, when it comes to your dropshipping online store, customer satisfaction starts with your supplier.
You can make your customers happy only by supplying quality products. So research and develop a healthy business relationship with US-based product suppliers. This will ensure quality products and faster delivery.
Make sure you choose a theme that allows you to easily optimize your store for mobile users. Download the completely free yet extremely powerful Debutify theme to get more conversions from mobile shoppers looking for US products.
Written by Ricky Hayes
Ricky Hayes is the Co-Founder and Head of Marketing at Debutify - free Shopify theme, helping dropshippers build high-converting stores in minutes. He is a passionate entrepreneur running multiple businesses, marketing agencies and mentoring programs.
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