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 stand out in the competition by having products from US-based suppliers.
Undoubtedly, cheap Chinese suppliers may lure you, but there are many benefits of working with American 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:
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.
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 their 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.
# Contact Suppliers
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 dropshipping 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 dropshippers. 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.
# 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 the 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 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.
Should you dropship from multiple suppliers?
Yes, it’s beneficial!
There are many benefits of 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.
Now 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. Next step will be to choose a mobile optimized and converting shopify theme template for your online store.
Last but not least, customer service is the key to success of any business, startup and or well-established one. 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.