Finding the right wholesale supplier can be tricky. However, once you know what to look for in a good and reliable supplier, it will get much easier. In this post, we’ll go over some things that make for a trusted supplier and a few thing that should set off red flags. A lot of our readers and customers choose overseas suppliers. We’ll cover the use of a directory like AliExpress in this post too. By the end, you will have an understanding of what makes for an amazing wholesale supplier and what doesn’t. You will feel confident in choosing a wholesale supplier for your business.
What are the attributes of legitimate wholesale drop shippers?
There are a lot of attributes associated with legitimate wholesale suppliers. If they are a great and respectful business they will have a reliable customer service team. That’s the most important feature of a great company. A respectable company will have respectable customer service because it’s the face of the company after all. You can direct any questions to them about how to get started working together, for instance, because you’re brand new to this.
Second, they will be organized and efficient. You don’t want to do business with anyone who is messy and disorganized, who would? A good supplier knows to deliver any information you requested quickly. They will ship samples to you quickly and include tracking information. The items will be well packaged. The wholesale supplier’s reps will email you back swiftly with all the right pieces of information too.
Third, they are the expert in this niche. You can ask them anything and they will provide you with a proper answer without hesitation. They should know the ins and outs of the wholesale business as well as the industry of the products they are selling. You should be able to ask their amazing customer representatives anything about the products they sell. For example, you can ask how the product compares to another, and receive an answer. If they don’t know the ins and outs, they are not the wholesale supplier for you.
Fourth, the supplier should provide you with a data feed. This is important once you start working with them. A data feed will update any details for the different products and their variations. This way, you don’t have to waste time updating this yourself on regular basis. It will be done automatically. You don’t want to work with a company that does not provide this.
The last thing any good wholesale supplier will have is an application. In order to set up an account with the supplier, they will ask you for two main things: your EIN# and reseller certificate. This pertains to US based companies. They will not open an account for you without this information.
How to spot a fake wholesale supplier?
Getting scammed is no one’s idea of fun. You don’t know what to look for to spot an illegitimate supplier when you’ve never done anything like this. So, I will tell you about three dead giveaways that should set off big red flags for you. If you come across any of these do not contemplate the supplier. Just walk away. It’s tough luck but it’s better than being taken advantage of or stolen from.
First, wholesale suppliers never sell to the public directly. That’s the whole idea behind wholesale, after all, B2B. If a potential supplier is selling both wholesale and directly to the public, walk away.
Second, they will never have fees to do business with them. This may be in the form of monthly fees or pre-order fees. You will have to walk away from any supplier that wants to charge you for doing any business with them. Their way of making money is to sell you wholesale goods, not through fees. There are plenty of suppliers that do not take advantage of their customers this way. It’s not something you should ever put up with. Period.
Third, a legitimate supplier does not publish their prices publically . Nor will they sell anything to the general public. They must be a strictly B2B company. In order to obtain prices, you will have to inquire about a quote for whatever items you want to buy from them. They should never have a pricing page or a menu of any kind. Shopify does a great job of explaining what makes for a great RFQ.
How to select trustworthy wholesale supplier on AliExpress?
If you’re in the drop shipping business, you will sooner or later end up on AliExpress. It’s an amazing resource to consider when looking for a supplier. While shopping for a supplier on AliExpress, keep in mind how you’d buy any other product. You want to make sure they have an overall positive rating. It’s easy to trust any supplier with a great rating of 95% or higher. That’s going to be the biggest deciding factor. The more positive reviews the wholesale supplier has, the better they are. That’s kind of a simple but still great starting point.
Another thing to watch out for is their shipping turnaround. I’ve mentioned this before when you’re looking for suppliers elsewhere and it’s true on AliExpress too. You want the items to be shipped to your customers in a short time frame. That’s why you look for suppliers with ePacket or AliExpress Premium Shipping. It will come with a tracking number for your customer and will take less than 14 days to be delivered to your customer’s front door. The last thing you want is an angry customer because their item hasn’t come yet. That’s the worst.
Tomas Šlimas wrote a very good guide on how to use AliExpress for drop shipping. You should definitely check it out if you want more information on working with AliExpress.
These are the few things you should be aware of before looking for the right wholesale supplier. There are ups and downs with working with them but if you’re smart and watch out for the things mentioned in this post, you’ll be off to a good start. Nothing beats your own experience, so it’s best just to start and keep learning as you go. You’ll get the hang of it sooner than you think.