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How to Find Drop Shipping Suppliers

Over the past few weeks we’ve been taking a look at drop shipping as a business model – it’s an easy and cost-efficient way to launch a new business and you don’t even need premises which cuts down on the expensive overheads faced by bricks and mortar businesses.  We started this series by taking a look at how to start a drop shipping business and last week brought you information on how to avoid some of the most common pitfalls, so today we’re going to be showing you how to choose the right suppliers for a drop shipping business. 

One of the most time-consuming tasks when setting up a drop shipping business is finding a supplier of the types of products you want to sell.  One of the biggest platforms for these suppliers is AliExpress but choosing the cheapest option or the first one you come across may not be the best idea.  The price of a product on AliExpress is usually comparative with the quality of the product, so cheap may well end up being cheap and nasty! 

Instead, look for drop shipping suppliers who offer high quality products for your online shop and compare prices from several of them.  If several sellers offer the same product (or similar products) at similar prices, with one or two offering much lower prices, their products may be of lower quality.  Drop shipping suppliers on AliExpress have really tight margins and understand these well which is why a higher price usually means a better quality product. 

One way to narrow down the list is to check out suppliers’ reviews to see if there are any negative

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Top Brand Page

reviews on the quality of the products.  Make sure that you limit the suppliers you consider to those who hold a Top Brand badge and have been trading for at least a year.  AliExpress offers two levels of Buyer Protection to ensure customer satisfaction:

  • The Basic Guarantee ensures a payment refund if the product is significantly different to the description and this also includes and On Time Delivery Guarantee.
  • The Advanced Guarantee is offered by sellers cooperating with local Warranty Service Providers and offers a one year service guarantee on mobile phones.

If you come across drop shipping suppliers who are selling what appears to be designer products, these are probably best avoided as they are probably selling counterfeit goods as you could find yourself in legal trouble if you buy from them.  These suppliers should be reported to AliExpress.

If one of your customers should file a dispute, you need to ensure that your drop shipping supplier will respond immediately.  To protect yourself, it’s worth checking the responsiveness of suppliers (whether on AliExpress or any other wholesale website).  Send a prospective supplier a message and see how long they take to reply.  Create a fictional story in which you haven’t received your order and see how long they take to handle this.  A good supplier will respond quickly, show understanding of the problem and act fast to put things right.