How can you find suppliers for your e-Commerce business?

Yes, there are many better ways to find drop ship suppliers other than paying for a list of suppliers that may or may not be up to date. I would also avoid paying a fee to get the rights to buy from many of the companies that advertise themselves as drop shippers. When you do a quick comparison between what they want to charge you and what your competition is selling the exact same products for on Amazon, you can see there is not much room left for your profit. These type of companies attract a lot of customers that want to do business the easy way without any effort so they attract a lot of competition to the types of products they sell. These types of suppliers don’t really care who sells their product. Once you have paid your fee, they have made their money, and if 20 or 30 sellers on Amazon are selling exactly the same product, using exactly the same photo and ad copy, it makes no difference to them who gets the sale, as long as someone sells. Amazon and eBay are the same way. They don’t care who sells the product but just hope someone does so they collect their selling fees.

Depending on where you are located, I would choose as my first option attending a trade show for the product type you are interested in. Trade shows are available for all types of products and are often held in major cities around the world. When you attend a trade show you get to see first hand a large assortment of products and meet people from the industry you are interested in. You can discuss your requirements, pick up catalogs or DVD’s listing their products and discuss drop shipping.

If you are not able to locate a trade show in your area or are unable to travel to a city where a trade show will be held, I would next visit the website for the exhibitor or association sponsoring the trade show. Often they will have a list of exhibitors on their websites together with contact information and company website addresses. It is a great way to get a list of suppliers by product type.

I would take the time to subscribe to any trade or association magazines or e-zines offered on the trade association website. These magazines are a great source of industry news and new product introductions and often have articles about issues faced by the industry. They are often also free to subscribe to.

Search engines would be another option to finding suppliers, however, their effectiveness has been diminished by the trend to give companies that pay to advertise better rankings, thus making the search results all but worthless in many cases.

Some people recommend Aliexpress as a place to find drop ship suppliers, but I rank Aliexpress really far down the list of preferences. The suppliers you will find there normally have long delivery times and service can be sporadic. Often these Aliexpress companies do not carry inventory and would be drop shipping your order direct from the factory. Delivery may take anywhere from 2 weeks up to 7 or 8 weeks depending on their inventory level and the shipping service they use. Remember, the trend in eCommerce is for speed of delivery. The slow delivery may cause customer service issues with your customers, extra work for you to read and reply to their questions, and order cancellations if they decide they don’t want to wait so long. If you use a sales platform like Amazon or eBay, order cancellations and customer complaints may lead to your sellers account being canceled.

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