Finding a supplier is pretty easy, finding a good supplier not so much.
When selling online the supplier is a direct part of your business, your customer will judge you based on your supplier. In essence, you need to find a supplier that matches what you want your business to represent. In this article, I am going to show you the best and easiest way to find good, legitimate drop shipping or & wholesale suppliers that you can trust. Whether your business is drop ship or wholesale this method works for both.
How do I find Drop Shipping companies/Wholesalers?
There are numerous ways you can find good suppliers, here are the ones I recommend, sorted by the easiest and least time consuming.
1) Subscribe to a dropshipping/wholesale directory service
Perfect if you are short of time and have lots of different products where you likely need access to lots of different suppliers. The directories below give you access to over 8000 different verified suppliers. They also provide training if you are just starting out. You also get access to exclusive member forums so that you can connect with other people in the business.
What is a wholesale/drop ship directory service?
A wholesale/dropship directory is exactly what it sounds like. It is a directory of verified and vetted suppliers. You are not actually purchasing goods from the directory. They are like the middle man that is connecting you to great suppliers.
A lot of online retailers choose to pay for a directory service for a few reasons:
- Save time – finding good suppliers can be time-consuming as you probably know. Having access to lots of suppliers by pressing the click of the button well that convince.
- Avoid the risk of scams – if you’ve been in the game a while you have probably come across the vast amount of scammers in the business. Those who charge a membership fee or admin fee to get access to their stock file only for you as the retailer to find the stock never arrives. I’ve been there and it’s why businesses like Worldwide brands exist to connect you as a reputable business with a reputable supplier.
- Having access to lots of suppliers – Ever had a supplier let you down last minute and need to somehow fulfil your orders? This is the huge advantage of a directory service you can search for the product you need and get access to another supplier just like that.
The best directories
Boasts the largest collection of worldwide verified dropship and wholesalers. They have a member base of over 135,000 and over 8000 suppliers to choose from. The video below explains a bit more how it works.
If you are an Amazon or Ebay reseller they have a free training also package to support you. Right now through memoremoney you can get access to Salehoo for 7 days for just $1!
Other related articles: Salehoo Vs Doba
Perfect if you are mainly a wholesale retailer and looking for suppliers in the USA. Worldwide brands boast the largest number of verified suppliers in the USA. You can read my full worldwide brands review here, or check out their offer here.
2) Contact the manufacturer
This method works but is a little more time consuming, it could especially be very time consuming if you have lots of products that you want to source.
If you know the exact product you want to source then go the manufacturer directly and ask them who they supply to. They should then pass on the relevant contact details.
You can then investigate with the supplier if they drop ship or what services they can offer you.
3) Use Google Search
This is the riskiest method as you find lots of spammy, non-legitimate suppliers if you are not careful. Again this can be time-consuming but it is a free method.
How can I minimise the risk of dealing with a non-legitimate supplier?
Finding reviews on the supplier
Do some background research on your supplier, do they have any reviews online that other users have posted? If they are USA supplier then check if they are registered with the Better Business Bureau. What about a simple search on trust pilot? See below for Worldwide brands it’s one of the reasons I recommend them.
Hidden fees or subscriptions
Legitimate suppliers won’t charge you additional hidden fees. Ask up front what additional charges they apply and if its seems fishy move on to another supplier.
Do they ask you for your credentials?
Legitimate wholesale and dropship suppliers won’t deal with the general public. If they are legitimate they should ask you for proof that you are in fact a legitimate retailer.
If you are US based this is usually in the form of an EIN number.
Do they ask you to register for an account?
Again usually a good sign, you are usually asked to register for an account before you can get access to suppliers. This is another benefit and timesaving feature you will get with a directory they have the details ready for you to easily sign up with suppliers. Worldwide Brands, for example, have a form prefilled for you just to add your details as they know what the supplier will ask of you.
Asking for payment through non insurance terms like Western Union
Be careful to research the payment terms, the scammers you will find will insist you pay through services like Western Union where the payment cannot be traced should anything go wrong. This once actually happened to me and there is nothing the local authorities can do about it so make sure how you pay is traceable should anything go wrong. This by the way is why I recommended option one of using a directory service as every supplier on these services has already been vetted. Yes you pay a small fee but in comparison to loosing money on a large order I personally think it’s worth it.
Should I drop ship or buy products in bulk?
Drop shipping is fantastic if you are just starting out or you want to test out a new product range to see if it sells within your market.
It’s good way to start a relationship with your supplier too as you can relatively risk free see if the products and the supplier are good. The other great benefit to drop shipping is you do not have to find space to store goods.
After you are confident in the product offering and know the sales rate you can then easily switch to a bulk wholesale order. This will save you money and increase your profits.
In summary use a combination to keep your business agile.
How Do I know what products to sell?
This part can be tricky free tools like Google Adwords and Google trends could help you decide if a niche is worth exploring. It’s also worth exploring Amazon and Ebay to see what products are popular and how many different retailers have them for sale.
Another option you also have if you do subscribe to a directory service is to use their tools.
An example what Salehoo also do, as a member you also get access to their research lab technology.
This searches for markets with low competition and high demand this is a great tool and helps with making a decision on your niche. If you have options and then choose from what is right for you that’s easier than starting from scratch, right? See the video below for full details how it works.
Salehoo have also published a free guide on trending products for 2020, you can check that out right here.
What kind of fees do drop shipping companies charge?
There are two potential fees you’ll likely encounter with drop shippers:
Per Order Fee: It’s common for drop shippers to charge a per-order fee to cover the expense involved with packaging and shipping an individual product. These fees are usually in the $2 to $5 range, although they can be higher for items that are extremely large or difficult to process.
Monthly Fees: Some “drop shippers” may try to charge you an ongoing monthly fee for the privilege of doing business with them. Most of the time, this is an indication of poor quality and/or “fake” drop shipper. Very few legitimate drop shipping wholesalers will require you to pay an ongoing fee, and you should be wary if they ask you to.
Purchasing Minimums: Some legitimate drop shippers may require a minimum purchase size, either for your first order or on a monthly basis. If you don’t meet these sales threshold, they’ll charge you a fee. They do this to filter out non-serious business owners who will likely be more trouble than they are worth.
What is the difference between a manufacturer, a wholesaler and a drop shipper?
A manufacturer is the actual builder of a product. For example, Nintendo is the manufacturer of the Wii gaming console. A wholesaler is anyone who buys directly from the manufacturer and resells to retailers at discount wholesale prices. A drop shipper is anyone who will ship a product for you directly to your customer.
So it’s possible for both a manufacturer and a wholesaler to be a drop shipper. If you find a manufacturer who is willing to ship their products directly to customers for you (rare), they will be acting as a drop shipper. Similarly, any wholesale distributor who will ship to your customers directly on your behalf is a drop shipper.
As I mentioned at the beginning finding a supplier can be quite easy, but if you’re like me then you want to find a great supplier.
For me personally the directory services value far outweigh their small costs to join. They give peace of mind that you are dealing with a genuine supplier and give you time back to spend marketing and developing you business. Whatever you decide to do remember to do your homework and make sure that any supplier you choose will represent your business well.
Do you have any other tips that would help others easily find great suppliers? Leave in the comments below