Today we’re going to talk about how you can find suppliers for your dropshipping business. You need to have items to sell your customers. Finding those items isn’t as difficult as many people would like to believe. By the end of this article, you’ll understand how to find manufacturers in America and overseas to produce your products. This is one hurdle that keeps many sellers from not even opening up shop. It really isn’t as difficult as many would like to believe. Shopify wouldn’t be spreading like wildfire if it were difficult to source these items.
Choosing between domestic and foreign suppliers
If you’re an American, you may immediately feel the need to gravitate towards suppliers located in America. Here we’re going to talk about the pros and cons of American and foreign suppliers. You shouldn’t choose one over the other blindly. There advantages and disadvantages to each and you should be aware of them. At the end of the day, you need to choose which one is best for your business.
The advantages and disadvantages of domestic suppliers
The desire to go local is understandable when it comes to buying products to sell to your customers. Here we’re going to talk about the positive and negative aspects of this. You may be surprised to find out that there is still quite a bit of manufacturing being done in the United States. There isn’t a single state in the union that doesn’t have factories. With that said, it can be more challenging to have your products sourced in America.
The advantages of having your products made in America:
American made products may be of higher quality
This is not a general rule, and you’ve got to take it on a case by case basis. The quality of foreign products has dramatically increased over the past few decades. With that said, you may find some products are of higher quality when they’re made in the USA. Today’s truly global economy means that almost every country has access to the same raw materials. Some products such as leather goods are still all about craftsmanship. While products that are heavily reliant on plastics may not have a visible difference in quality when they’re made in one country or another.
There is no language barrier when buying from Americans
The language barrier when dealing with foreigners is a problem. No one is going to pretend that this isn’t ever the case. Foreign companies have been doing a better job at hiring people who speak English to handle customer relations. Though, the language barrier is nonexistent when dealing with American manufacturers.
Made in America creates confidence
Consumers connect with a product differently when it’s made in America. They will instantly think that your product is of higher quality. Whether that is true or not is an entirely different topic. You can play this factor up in your marketing. You may even be able to tack on a few extra dollars just because your item is made in America.
Faster shipping time
What’s one of the biggest concerns that drop shippers have? It’s the amount of time that it takes for an item to be shipped from China to the USA. You can cut it down from weeks to days by using an American manufacturer. This can make a difference if your customers are in a hurry to get their items.
You may have an easier time getting your money back
Disputes are a part of the business. You shouldn’t ever think that you’re never going to have a problem with a supplier. It might be easier to receive a refund from an American supplier. The threat of legal action is higher when you’re doing business with someone in the same country. The manufacturer will realize this and should act accordingly.
These are the disadvantages of having your products made in the USA
It’s going to cost you more
The cost of living is higher in America than it is in the developing world. That means you’re going to have to pay much more to have your products made. There is no way that an American factory can compete with the company in China or India. Their cost of human resources is much lower, and that’s why manufacturers can charge less for their items.
There’s a limited supply of items that you have made in the USA
This is just a fact and there’s not much you can do about it. There once was a time when anything and everything was made in the USA. That’s not the case anymore. You’re going to run into all kinds of situations where products can’t be sourced in the USA. Even if they can be, you’re going to end up paying far more than what will be profitable. If you only want to source products made in the USA, this is one of the challenges you’re going to continually face.
The advantages and disadvantages of foreign suppliers
As you can imagine there are also advantages and disadvantages to sourcing your products overseas. Here we’re going to go through a short list of them.
The advantages of having your products made overseas:
Your costs are going to be much lower
This means you’re going to have much higher profit margins. Why is this such a big deal? First off, it means you’re going to be making more money. That in itself isn’t the real reason why lowering your costs is so important. You’re going to have to buy advertising to sell your products. They aren’t going to fly off the shelves by themselves. The difference in price from American made products and products overseas will mean you’re able to buy advertising and still make a profit. You’re not going to sell anything at all if you don’t have an advertising budget.
There are many more manufacturers to choose from
This is one of those problems that you’re going to face down the line. The amount of American manufacturers is minimal. You will find so many more factories ready to do business in China and elsewhere. You can get anything that you need made over there. The reason why this is important since you can make the manufacturers compete with each other. You’ll bounce around price quotes until settling with the lowest factory that can produce a quality product.
Here are the disadvantages of using foreign suppliers
Customers may think foreign made products are lesser quality
There are still some people who see anything that’s not made in the USA as being lower in quality. This is probably not so true with the younger generations. Though, it is true that the general population does tend to view foreign-made products in general as being lesser in quality.
The language barrier can pose problems
You are dealing with people in a foreign country. You must keep that in mind when you’re communicating with them. You shouldn’t have many problems in this area. There are quite a few online translators that do a reasonably good job when translating English to other languages. Don’t be surprised if you have a few language related problems along the way. It’s to be expected when you’re dealing with people all the way around the world.
It takes longer for your products to arrive
There is no way to get around the fact that it takes a more extended period for customers to receive their products. Those of you who choose to go the AliExpress route can easily see shipping times that may be unacceptable. This is the one area of drop shipping that can be quite difficult to deal with. There is going to be a significant delay if you’re promoting items made in countries outside of the USA.
Importing your products and clearing customs can be a hassle
We live in a hazardous world where governments have to protect their citizens. Your products will have to pass through customs. This isn’t the government trying to hit you over the head with unrealistic red tape. It’s what has to be done to protect society from all kinds of dangers the world poses. This is a process that you’ll have to get familiar with and expect to go through when shipping merchandise from overseas.
Receiving a refund may be difficult
No factory is perfect, and they make mistakes. Most of the times you’re not going to experience any difficulties when it comes the quality of products that you receive. Though, you very well may end up needing a refund at some point. Receiving a refund may be more difficult from a foreign supplier. There’s less legal threat and they may be exceptionally slow.
Where to find American suppliers
Where to find foreign suppliers
Don’t waste your time searching Google for suppliers
Everyone has the same gut reaction when it comes to searching for anything online. You’re going to want to head on over to Google and search there immediately. This is a big waste of time, and you need to fight the urge. There are more than enough suppliers to be found in the directories above. Google doesn’t rank suppliers based on how well they perform. There are a million other factors in how their rankings are displayed. You should also be aware that many of the platforms listed above have buyer protections. You won’t have the benefit of those protections if you deal with the manufacturer directly.