How To Select Dropshipping Suppliers

dropshipping suppliers

There are so many factors that need to be taken into consideration when you’re looking for dropshipping suppliers.

Perhaps you already know which products you want to sell, and have great potential for your business, but you still need to make sure that those dropshipping suppliers are reliable.

We’ve put this article together to help you find the best dropshipping suppliers and to educate you on the type of suppliers that you should be avoiding.

Let’s jump into it!

Finding Dropshipping Suppliers

how to find clothing manufacturersDropshipping suppliers are not known for their ability to market themselves to their audience so it can be quite hard to find the right dropship suppliers for your company. Be aware that this process could take hours before it bears fruit so have patience. Another thing to consider is that most dropship suppliers are based in China, India and other non-English language native countries so the language barrier could take a little getting used to.

There are a few steps to take to find the right dropshipping supplier for you.

    1. Research

      Once you have decided on the products that you would like to sell, research what suppliers are out there and which ones suit your needs best. You might need to chose whether to go with a domestic or overseas supplier depending on the number of suppliers in your chosen product segment which will require more research into raw material sourcing, delivery times, and service potential.

    2. Contact Suppliers

      Talk to the supplier that suit your needs and start a relationship with them. Talking to them allows you to ask questions about the service that they provide. They may provide contact information from current customers so you can get first-hand experience of working with the supplier before committing to them. Maintaining a good relationship with your dropshipping suppliers from the very start means that when you start doing business together the trust will make it easier to get questions answered quickly, and disputes resolved straight away.

    3. Order Samples from the Supplier

      Oberlo verified supplier search
      Once you have chosen your top two or three suppliers to do business with, order samples from them yourself. Test their quality of service, delivery times, packaging, and other supplier-related questions that you may have so you are entirely happy with the choice you make. When your order samples from a dropship supplier yourself you will witness first-hand how your customer will experience it.

    4. Order From the Competition

      If one of your competitors are using the same supplier as you then you can find out how the supplier packages their products and offers their services, like custom labeling. If your competitor uses other suppliers you can order from them to get an idea of the level to service you need to provide to rank in line with the competition.

    5. Find the Right Supplier for You

      Suppliers can seem great when you look at their reviews and product offering but once you dig into the business they may not suit your audience. This could be because of the raw materials they use, the way they do business, or how they deal with returns. Be sure to talk to suppliers and get to know how they do business before you commit to them. Although you can choose not to use a supplier after issues arise, the damage might have already been done and your brand could have been harmed.

    6. Dropshipping Suppliers to Avoid

      It is hard to know which dropship suppliers to choose but there are some tell-tale signs that a supplier is to be avoided at all costs. Apart from bad reviews, negative feedback, and cheap quantity products, there are other factors that can anticipate a bad dropshipping supplier.

      • If a dropship supplier insists on monthly or ongoing fees to do business with them this is a bad sign. Ongoing fees could mean a supplier is part of a directory as opposed to a single supplier.
      • It is normal to have pre-order fees that increase slightly depending on size or complexity of an order, or decrease with bulk ordering. The research will highlight suppliers that charge higher than normal pre-order fees, which you want to stay away from.
      • Minimum order size is another thing to keep in mind when choosing a dropship supplier but most times a supplier is willing to charge the minimum order fee and fulfill orders as they come in. This means that if a supplier’s minimum order size is 200, you must pay for the 200 units upfront but the supplier will fulfill the orders as they come from your online store over a period to time. Suppliers that refuse to do this should be avoided as they are more suited for wholesale.

    How To Select Dropshipping Suppliers on Oberlo


  1. What is Oberlo?

    Oberlo is a marketplace that makes it easy to find awesome products to sell online.

    With Oberlo you can access a huge variety of different products with just a few clicks. Whether it’s fashion, electronics, toys, beauty, or the next trending product – Oberlo makes it easy for you to find products from dropshipping suppliers all over the world and instantly add them to your own online store.

    It costs nothing to add products to your store with Oberlo – you can use our forever free plan to start dropshipping today.

    How Does Oberlo Work?

    Oberlo helps you to find products to sell online by connecting you to dropshipping suppliers across the world. You can browse our marketplace to discover a huge variety of products, and add them to your store with just a few clicks.

    Once you’ve made a sale your supplier will ship the products from their warehouse straight to your customer’s doorstep – you’ll never need to worry about storing, packaging, or shipping your products.

    Instead, you can focus on the things which really mattergrowing your brand and making sales.

    Benefits of Oberlo Suppliers Over Aliexpress Suppliers

    When it comes to picking dropshipping suppliers, there are some very clear benefits to choosing a product from Oberlo Suppliers or Verified Suppliers over AliExpress suppliers. Let’s take a look at them one by one.

    1. Quality of Supplier Selection

      Verified Suppliers
      Supplier selection is an important first step. Take your time to ensure that you have found the right supplier for your business. When selecting suppliers try to gather all the information available and weight up the pros and cons of choosing each one. Supplier selection doesn’t need to be stressful with Oberlo as we try to provide all the information you need to make an informed decision.

      Oberlo Suppliers and Verified Suppliers are hand-picked based on their experience as a supplier, and the service that they can provide to Oberlo merchants. If any of those suppliers do not meet our expectations, we will remove their products from our platform. The same level of trustworthiness cannot be guaranteed on AliExpress. That’s why it’s your task to carefully select suppliers and products.

    2. Knowledge of Dropshipping

      As we’ve already mentioned, both Oberlo Suppliers and Verified Suppliers are aware that you’ll be dropshipping.

      This means that you won’t need to worry about any promotional material or invoices appearing in the packages which they ship to your customers. This will save you a bunch of time and effort that would have been spent contacting different suppliers to request this.

      On the other hand, AliExpress suppliers don’t know that you’re dropshipping. That’s why you’ll need to leave a custom note letting them know not to include promotional materials when placing each and every order. However, with Oberlo you can automatically send a custom note to your suppliers each time you place an order on the AliExpress platform.

    3. Custom Labeling

      The Oberlo team in China is currently exploring white labeling and other customization opportunities. There are plans to introduce these features to Oberlo in the future.

      AliExpress suppliers typically do not provide custom labeling for dropshipping businesses, but you can contact each dropshipping supplier via direct message and inquire further into this personally.

      If you want to read more about custom labeling, check it out here.

    4. Shipping Times

      When it comes to shipping, ePacket delivery is one of the most popular shipping methods. It is offered by merchants from China and Hong Kong and is one of the fastest delivery methods that allow you to ship internationally.

      The majority of Oberlo Suppliers and Verified Suppliers ship orders within 2-4 business days.

      In comparison, AliExpress orders are usually shipped within 2-7 business days.

      Shipping can be one of the most time-consuming aspects of running an online dropshipping store, so check out our post on shipping tips to make your life easier.

    5. Fulfilling Orders

      Fulfill Orders Oberlo
      Once an Oberlo supplier ships the order, the tracking code is added to the Oberlo/Shopify platforms, and the order is marked as automatically fulfilled. There is nothing more that you need to do on your end.

      On the other hand, once the AliExpress supplier ships the order, you will need to click on the Oberlo fulfillment buttons to sync and fulfill your order. You can find further information about fulfilling AliExpress orders here.

    6. Returns and Refunds

      With Oberlo Suppliers and Verified Suppliers, you can report a problem to the supplier or ask for the refund directly. Refunds are normally issued from dropshipping suppliers for cases such as the following:

      The wrong item was received by the customer, such as the wrong color, size, or model (evidence is needed)

      • The package has arrived in a damaged condition (evidence is needed)
      • The item arrived in extremely poor quality (evidence is needed)
      • The order went missing
      • The estimated delivery time has expired.

      Check out more details on how to handle angry ecommerce customers, and how you should deal with returns and refunds.

    7. Disputes

      With Oberlo Suppliers and Oberlo Verified suppliers, any questions or open disputes must be responded to in 2-5 days, otherwise, our team will step in and mediate the situation.

      However, with AliExpress, you have to be careful about the suppliers you choose as some might take too long to reply, or in the worst case, some might not reply at all.

    Look here to know everything about dispute management.

    Want to learn more?

    Is there anything else you’d like to know more about and wish was included in this article? Let us know in the comments below!

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