Finding suppliers is not easy.
If you’re looking for wholesale suppliers, it would be a little more difficult than looking for retailers because you need to talk to the decision makers, and then agree on a proposed rate.
On top of that, looking for a supplier means that you need to check the quality of the product.
You need to make sure that your brand is labeled accurately, and also ensure that the supplier can meet the deadlines that they committed.
I’ll be providing some tips on how you can find dropshipping suppliers that can help you sell your products online.
So where is the best place to find wholesale suppliers? The best place to find suppliers would have to be Alibaba and Aliexpress. Both these websites offer option to either buy in bulk or even single item that you can dropship at wholesale prices. To find the best wholesale suppliers you need to contact a seller on these website to get the best price. Once this is done you can start ordering your products.
What To Do When Looking For Suppliers
Look for companies that provide sample products.
Before you even sell a product, you have to see the product yourself. No matter where you are, you need to order a sample of the product.
For example, let’s say you want to sell personalized mugs, you need to order a sample, along with the print want want to use so you can see the quality of the print and the mug itself.
Not all wholesale vendors sell on a wholesale basis. Some of them will be more than willing to sell small amounts to you at wholesale price.
Never make the mistake of going forward on closing a business deal without seeing the product. You can end up selling poor quality products to your customers, and you will eventually lose customer loyalty.
To do this, you need to go to the source. Look for a manufacturer that is willing to work with you, and explain what you need.
Whether you want to sell branded items or have someone manufacture for your brand, always cut the middle man.
Talk to the manager and inquire about their minimum order requirements. Get samples, and set quality expectations.
An example of this is a company found in AliExpress. The company is a watchmaker called Bobo Bird. It manufactures wooden watches from China, but it also accepts a rebranding of the watch with your own brand name.
Find Wholesale Suppliers That Ship Quickly
You don’t want your customers to wait.
As a drop shipper or online seller, you will be competing with giants like Amazon and eBay, and most sellers in these two platforms can commit and execute a 24-hour shipping business method.
It’s difficult to find wholesalers online who can make this commitment. After all, they will start manufacturing your orders only after you place it.
In the wholesale business model, it’s possible that you order the products in bulk, and once they are ready, that is the only time you sell them.
But with this model, you need to take into account the warehousing processes of your supplier, and the logistics involved when you ask them to ship your products.
So, you can forget about 24-hour shipping and instead focus on something reasonable like three to five business days.
It will be a good idea if you focus your search for wholesale suppliers in your country. If you do this, 24-hour shipping timeline is something you can easily achieve, provided that the products have already been manufactured.
One thing you can do is to look for sellers on eBay, Amazon, or AliExpress that offer 24-hour shipping in your preferred destination country.
Speak to the owner and make an arrangement that you will purchase his goods at wholesale prices, but he should not yet ship these items right away.
Instead, you will communicate to him where the products will be shipped individually. Since each shipment has a different cost, you might want to clarify what your terms are going to be in terms of price negotiations.
If you have the supplier ship the items to you, then you are no longer in the drop shipping business.
A good example of this is print-on-demand companies.
These businesses, also called PODs, allow you to order in retail but at a wholesale price. The company will only print your shirt, cup, or mug upon order and ship the product directly to your consumer.
However, companies like these typically charge a monthly subscription fee. An example is Printify, it charges $29 per month.
Either way, this article does list some good POP apps if you want to try them
Go To A Trade Show To Find A Supplier
Trade shows are held in large areas, mostly in the city, to showcase the same products from different suppliers.
If you are lucky, you can find dropshipping or wholesale suppliers at these events.
It is a powerful way to build a relationship with a supplier, and this is because the people who run the booths are decision makers.
Most of the people who participate in shows like these are business owners who are in the start-up phase of their business, just like you.
You must come prepared. When talking to these guys, do not expect answers if you do not have the right questions. It would be great if you can be as specific about the details of your products, and how and where you want to ship them.
It is during these events that you can spend some face time with the business owners, check the products, and attempt to make a wholesale deal with the manufacturer.
If you meet them, you can get accurate and updated information, as opposed to the wrong ones that you typically find in websites that do not get updated in real-time.
You can also demonstrate how you want to place your logos, or what kind of print material you are looking for.
If you are looking for a place to start, you might want to visit the Trade Show News.
It has the largest directory of trade shows, and you can search the kind of trade show you are interested in by industry or by country.
The Top Online Suppliers
Although this article is mainly about wholesale suppliers these dropshipping site also have sellers who sell in bulk.
AlieExpress is the great place where you can find wholesalers online. It is a worldwide website that has offices in the United Kingdom, India, and predominantly, China.
It covers a great selection of products. Some examples of the kinds of products you can find here are:
- Male, female, and children’s clothing and accessories
- Toys, dolls, and action figures
- Adult toys
- Mobile gadgets and all types of accessories
- Automobiles and motorcycle parts and accessories
The key to using AliExpress effectively is to look for suppliers that provide high-quality products. You will find that so many of the products sold here are cheap, really cheap.
The problem with cheap products is that they are also less durable, and most of them are poor ripoffs.
But this is not to say that you will not find good brands out there.
Before you contact a seller, check the seller’s ratings. What you want is a company in AliExpress that has its own store within the AliExpress universe.
For any products you choose, you can take a look at the shipping timelines per country in the upper right corner of the product page.
You must also read through the product details, as you will also find out from there if the company is doing wholesale, specifically for drop shipping.
The benefits of using AliExpress.
- Connected to Oberlo, a Shopify app that allows the seamless transfer of products from AliExpress to your Shopify
- Low-cost, high-quality goods
- Millions of products listed
- Most companies here are international shippers
- Has ePacket, a cheap way to ship products internationally, albeit it will take many weeks
Take a look at the products, and see if you can find what you are looking for. Remember, you must order a sample before making a business commitment.
SaleHoo is a place for wholesale vendors looking for drop shippers just like you. It sells affordable products that allow entrepreneurs enough room for high-profit margins.
Here are some examples of the products you can find.
- Robot toys
- Tents and rubber pools
- Electronic toys such as gyros and drones
- Cushion massagers
Like AliExpress, it has a lot of products coming from different suppliers. The good thing about it is that you are not forced to buy in wholesale.
It allows a drop shipping business model where you can buy in retail, and the suppliers will ship the products for you.
The company is not just a place where you can buy and sell, it is also a place where you can learn.
SaleHoo has a lot of guides that will help you learn tried and tested methods to succeed in the online marketplace.
But unlike AliExpress, SaleHoo is not free. You have to subscribe for a membership, and it will cost you $67 per month. There is no free membership here.
The difference between AliExpress and SaleHoo is that AliExpress is a marketplace like eBay and Amazon.
On AliExpress, the products are listed for consumers to buy directly from the merchant.
SaleHoo does not have this business model. What it does is to give you access to manufacturers who do not sell in retail.
Essentially, its a group of merchants that will extend their products and shipping service to you, even if you have no large capital to buy in bulk.
So, what will you get for $67? Here are the things you should expect.
- Access to a network of wholesale suppliers
- Access to a forum where all other members can ask questions or lend support to those who are struggling with their business
- Support from SaleHoo employees who will guide you through setting up your business model
- Access to SaleHoo’s Market Research Labs
The Market Research Labs is a tool exclusive to SaleHoo.
The main trouble that entrepreneurs face is that they either sell products that no one is buying, or they sell products that everybody is selling.
The Market Research Labs is a tool that provides business data so you can make informed decisions. The people at SaleHoo believe that you will only succeed if you sell things that people want, and yet nobody is selling them.
The Market Research Labs lets you see products that are in demand and an analysis of whether a new product will be a hot one soon. The tool allows you to access more than 8,000 suppliers, all of which are verified by SaleHoo.
Like SaleHoo, Worldwide Brands is a directory of wholesalers and drop shippers.
It has been around or 20 years, and it introduces you to a wide array of suppliers from around the globe.
Here are examples of the products you can find.
- Pet supplies
- Home and garden furniture
- Consumer electronics
- Baby products
These products are not seen by an end-user or customer. The only people who can see what is listed on the site are the members.
Worldwide Brands offers a list of manufacturers that will sell their products at low prices so you can sell them at retail with high-profit margins.
To date, the site has more than 16 million products that you can choose from.
So, what does this membership cost?
There are two plans here. The first is a one-time payment of $299. If you take this, you will no longer be billed anything until next year.
The $299 allows you to enjoy the features and benefits of the sire for one full year.
The other plan is a down payment of $99, and then two months of paying $110 per month.
You will get the same features and benefit, but for a higher price because you paid on installment.
This is not a cheap price to pay. But here are the things you are paying for.
- Access to millions of products
- Guaranteed low prices from manufacturers
- Availability of single-item drop shipping
- Access to bulk distributors and suppliers
- Access to liquidation deals
- More than 16 million products—all certified by the company
- Direct access to the supplier—the company will not take any profit or fee from your deals
Before making a commitment, you must carefully read the company’s terms and conditions, and explore the site thoroughly.
This company is best used by those who want to buy products in bulk, but it may not be the best choice of new entrepreneurs who are still unsure of what products to sell.
Alibaba is the ultimate marketplace in China where you can find not only retail products for the average Joe, but big machines that entrepreneurs need to run their operations.
Examples of these are.
- Commercial grade fryers
- Portable restaurant buildings
- FDA-approved packaging materials for food, cologne, and others
- Machine tool equipment
The website offers consumer protection, as it has a policy called Trade Protection.
The company offers a guarantee that the shipment of the products will be on time and that the products work as promised.
The main difference between Alibaba and AliExpress is that the former is a marketplace for wholesalers.
On Alibaba, be prepared to purchase in large quantities.
The site is best used by people who want to develop their own products, and then brand this products with their names.
After registering for an account, you can start looking for a supplier. You need to contact the supplier to discuss the terms and conditions of your dropshipping business.
You need to negotiate the cost, the quantity, and how the manufacturer will ship the orders to your customers.
Wrapping Up On Suppliers
Now that you have learned all of these, the first step to your journey is to execute an action plan.
To summarize it all, follow the steps below.
- Find a drop shipper
- Check the customer feedback
- Validate if they do wholesale and drop shipping
- Confirm if they can re-brand the product to yours
- Order the product to check for quality
- Determine shipping timeliness
- Create a business proposal and finalize the arrangement
- Finalize the price list
Do not get tempted to order in wholesale right away. You might be thinking that time is of the essence, but this can prove to be a terrible mistake. Ordering in bulk without seeing the product in person is a huge risk.
You might end up with boxes of products that you cannot sell.
Be patient when selecting drop shipping products, and take your time when researching. It will pay off once you found a drop shipping partner who can provide you with high-quality products that ships on time, every time.