Just as important as the products you want to sell on your website are the dropshipping suppliers you use.
Suppliers might not be able to give you all the services and goods you need. In this case, you might want to take them off your list and find a new supplier who can offer the latest and greatest innovations that others can’t, or you might find a need in the market that a new supplier can fill.
Why asking the right questions is important
Dropshipping means that your customer gets your product straight from the manufacturer or wholesaler. You don’t see or touch your product between the time someone orders it and the time they get it. It might make some business owners feel like they’re missing out, but it’s a good idea for some brands, and here’s why.
When you ship directly from point A to point B, you save time and money because it takes less time, organization, and space to store, pack, and ship your inventory.
Dropshipping lets you keep your staff and space small while keeping your flexibility, which is one of the best things a small business can have. There’s a catch, though.
When another organization gets involved with your business, it could cause new problems. Even if your supplier ships your products, you are still in charge of customer-facing things like stock, packaging, and delivery times. In business, that’s how things work.
You must decide if dropshipping is right for your business and if the pros are more important than the cons. You should talk to your supplier about dropshipping before you do business with them, if possible.
Questions to Ask Your Drop-Shipper
Before starting a new business relationship with a new supplier, you should ask the following questions.
Do you only run a business-to-business market?
Another very important question to ask your dropshipping provider is if they only do business with other businesses. You may be dealing with a real dropshipper if they sell to the general public at the same prices they sell to you.
This is a big warning sign that you shouldn’t work with them. Instead, you should move on to the next dropshipping company that only works as a B2B marketplace.
How do you treat your customers?
We’ve already talked about how a dropshipping supplier can give you great customer service. So that you can help your customers well, you need to talk to your supplier as soon as possible.
So, your supplier must be able to speak the languages you need and give you multiple ways to get in touch with its team quickly if there is a problem.
Are there any fees to drop?
Drop fees are charges that suppliers add to an order to cover the extra cost of packaging and shipping a single item. Most of the time, this fee is around $5, but it can be more or less depending on the situation. Don’t worry about the fee; it’s common in the business world and shouldn’t have a big effect on your dropshipping margins.
Is it hard to get in touch with you?
Even though their websites look like they were made in the 1990s, wholesale suppliers are not known for being hard to reach. You should be able to talk to someone on the phone about products. If your supplier is always giving you the runaround, you should find someone who will talk to you.
Can you meet our needs with what you have?
Find out when the supplier was started, how many people work there, and who they already sell to. This will give you a good idea of how much they are used to selling. You should be able to tell them how much your orders are worth and ask them if they can meet your needs.
Can we grow together while making money?
If you want to build a long-term relationship with a potential supplier, you can find out if it is willing to do so by asking this question. Find out if your company is an important part of their plans for the future.
Do they see a future where they work together instead of just making deals to make money? At its best, the relationship between a manufacturer and a supplier is like a strategic partnership.
What are your service level agreements?
A service level agreement (SLA) is a contract between a business and its suppliers that spells out the service they must provide and how well they must do it. The agreement also spells out who is responsible for what and what comes first.
A service level agreement (SLA) is a contractual obligation that can be added to any contract with a supplier. An average SLA should have:
- Services were given
- High standards are important to them.
- When the package will be sent
- Responsibilities of the supplier and the customer
- Legal and regulatory requirements must be met
- Ways to keep track of and report on services
- Payment terms
- Dispute resolution
- Confidentiality and non-disclosure clauses
- Conditions for leaving
- Most of the time, the SLA tells you how to get paid if your suppliers don’t do what they’re supposed to do. This usually comes in the form of rebates on service charges. If the SLA doesn’t guarantee the service quality you need, you should look for other suppliers or make plans for what to do if something goes wrong.
Do you require a minimum revenue or order amount?
As you start your dropshipping business, you might not be able to reach your sales goals as quickly as you thought. Before you start working with a dropshipping supplier, you should find out if they have a minimum order amount or a minimum amount of sales you need to make.
Before sales start, it can be risky for a new store to commit to a certain goal. Keep this in mind and look for a supplier who doesn’t have a minimum order quantity.
Will you be able to keep up with the needs of my store?
If you are in charge of marketing for your dropshipping business, you need to be ready for when your customers want to buy more of your products.
For your dropshipping supplier to be able to meet the needs of your store, they need to be ready and able to do so. If they aren’t, your business will go downhill.
How long does it take to ship?
In the past few years, customers have asked for faster shipping more and more. If they want to get the goods they ordered within a week, the shipping time can’t be longer than 5 days.
So, you should ask this of your dropshipping provider. Most of the time, dropshipping suppliers from China don’t deliver quickly because they have to ship goods all over the world. This means that delivery can sometimes take as long as six weeks.
So, the best way to get your products to your target market quickly is to work with dropshippers that have multiple warehouses, preferably in the US and Europe.
Can I keep track of what my customers order?
Your possible dropshipping provider should also be able to tell you if your customers’ orders can be tracked. You will be able to run a smooth delivery process, and your customers will have a better experience with your store if they can see how their orders are doing.
This will also give them the impression that you are a reliable and honest seller, which will lead to good feedback and more sales in the long run. Because of this, you must get a tracking number for every order so that you and your customers can always know how the order is going.
Do you give each customer their own account manager?
Even if you have been doing dropshipping for a long time, it can be very helpful to hire a dedicated account manager when you are just starting out. You will have a dedicated account manager who is always up-to-date on your business and can help you as much as possible with your business strategy or technical problems.
How do you package your goods?
When you dropship, you give up control over how your customers’ orders are packed and sent to them. In some cases, your supplier may have to put its name or warehouse address on the packaging. This is important to know.
But some packages can be left without a brand. To keep the integrity of your store, you should make sure that your dropshipping supplier does not put their brand on the packaging.
Can you tell me about the product and show me pictures of it?
Your dropshipping business will do much better with product names, descriptions, and high-quality images that are SEO-friendly. You won’t have to take pictures of your products, and your search engine results will be better because the dropshipping supplier can help you.
As you learn more about the products you sell to customers, you will be better able to answer their questions about how they are made.
Can you sell in different currencies?
Dropshipping stores can sell to people all over the world, so they must sell items in the currency of the country where the customer lives. Changing your prices based on the actual exchange rate can take a lot of time.
So, you need to find a dropshipping supplier whose dropshipping plugin makes currency conversion easy so that your prices sync automatically and quickly.
How often do you come out with new things?
You should also ask your dropshipping provider how long it takes for them to send you new products so you can always have something new to offer your customers.
If you keep selling the same products, you won’t be able to give your customers a reason to come back to your store and look around again and again.
Make sure that your dropshipping supplier gets new stock every week so that you can always offer your customers new products.
Can you help dropshipping stores run their businesses?
If you’re new to dropshipping, you need to get the best business help you can, whether it’s from paid online classes or your supplier. Dropshipping suppliers who have been in business for years know a lot about how the eCommerce market works.
When you ask your dropshipping supplier for business advice before you work with them, you will not only get help with your marketing and SEO strategies, but you will also be able to judge them.
Where do you keep the things you sell?
When it comes to delivery times, the warehouse or warehouses of your dropshipping provider are very important. Not only do you have to think about this, but you also have to think about where the products you are selling come from.
From a consumer’s point of view, taxes and customs fees are both important because they are extra costs on top of the price of the item.
As a dropshipping supplier, you should always choose one that has warehouses close to the markets you want to sell to. It’s even better if the supplier has more than one warehouse around the world. In this way, you can give your customers the best service possible.
Are your goods the real deal?
Before you start working with a dropshipping company, you should ask this question if you want to sell branded products.
Even if you are selling fake items without knowing it, the customer will have a binding contract with you, not with your supplier. If your products aren’t 100% real, you could be charged with copying and violating someone else’s rights.
How does the process work?
Knowing your dropshipping supplier’s return policy is important for more than one reason. First, you need to make sure that your return policy is the same as your supplier’s so that you don’t have to pay for a broken item out of your own pocket.
During the whole process, it is also helpful to know your supplier’s return policy. This will make things as smooth and easy as possible for your customers.
Do we need MOQ?
People can always ask if they will go down. You don’t want to offer the price, so let them come back to you if they’re willing to go in at a lower price and pay a higher minimum. Ask them if they will lower the minimum price if I pay more, and how much more.
Find out if the manufacturer has any leftovers from orders that other customers canceled, so they don’t have to make anything from scratch.
It’s not always easy to find dropshipping suppliers for your online store. But if you do your research and find a supplier that meets your business goals, you’ll put your business ahead of the competition.
Most of the time, the answers to these questions will be enough. Of course, the answers will encourage more questions. Dropshipping suppliers should be willing to talk with you about how to make your business and their business both successful.