How To Find The Best Dropshipping Suppliers for Your High-Ticket Drop Shipping eCommerce Store
So you've decided your niche and set up your business, next you need to find dropshipping suppliers. Luckily, you've already done a lot of the research necessary to find them, but before you go about contacting them, let's solidify a few key concepts here.
What Is a Drop Shipping Supplier?
We are known as drop shippers, but a drop shipper isn't just you or me. A drop shipper is also a supplier, and we are also known as online retailers, we are ecommerce marketing professionals, and you have to understand suppliers in order to work with them, who they are, where they're coming from and who they want to work with, who they want to partner with, what the ideal dealer for them is so that you can present yourself as the ideal dealer for them to work with.
Before you understand how to present yourself properly, Let's talk about one quick thing, because a lot of people that get into high-ticket drop shipping in e-commerce started out by looking for drop shippers online by typing in the word "drop shipper" plus their niche word, let's just say you're selling skateboards, for instance, you might type "skateboard drop shipper" into Google and see what comes up. What may come up is wholesalers, distributors, and middlemen that charge for access to brands products. They might say something on their website like "free access to over 1 million drop ship products, guaranteed lowest prices online, get started for free, no credit card needed."
Which Suppliers You Don't Want To Work With
There's a lot of more of them out here like this what they're doing is they're presenting themselves as if there's some sort of a drop shipper supplier. Any wholesaler you would think of as far as that goes but they're not really stocking anything. Most likely I'm assuming this but most likely what they're doing is they're setting up accounts and they're being in a middleman, FULFILLER so they might have a platform set up to where you can actually go to their website, upload the products onto your website, and try to sell them. Even if you did make a sale though you aren't actually getting that product dropship from the supplier. You're not even getting that kind of margin. You're getting much lower margins and you're not getting it from the actual supplier so instead of having a direct relationship with the actual supplier you are buying it from another middleman first. You want it just to be you, the manufacturer supplier, and the customer. That's the ideal business setup and so my suggestion is don't ever go with somebody like this.
You're gonna see that they charge 30 to 40 dollars per month for access to their wholesale platform these are what I call fake drop shipping suppliers and while some of them do offer a nice service of connecting you with wholesalers that you may not have known existed or whatever, you can always get those connections direct yourself. You don't have to pay their fees.
Directories: that's another tough one and dropship directories are one of those things where it's hit or miss. It's like going to a trade show its hit or miss. The only cool thing about it is that you don't have to walk around all day long and chat with people and spend a lot of energy and stuff like that. Some directories are paid, some are free. One of the most popular ones is Salehoo. Salehoo is not that great, honestly. I've tried it, I've used it. A lot of those suppliers have super high competition. Every single big retailer selling their products online and so you're not really going to find any. Other examples of drop shipping supplier directories are WholesaleCentral.com and WorldwideBrands.com.
The really good manufacturer suppliers that don't have a ton of online retail competition are the ones that you really want to get. So the suppliers in a directory can be hit or miss for sure. If you want to check out a high-quality supplier directory, I'm actually creating one unique eCommerce Paradise high-ticket drop shipping suppliers directory. So look forward to that for sure and make sure you're signed up to the email list because then you'll get notified as soon as it's ready.
The only thing that you might ever think about doing is paying for their automation services. Sometimes they offer a service where they will automate the inventory feed. So for instance, if the wholesale supplier sells 10,000 products, which is not uncommon, it'll upload to your website instantly and update the listings when things go out of stock or when things are discontinuing and when the price changes. So it's a really cool automation tool for sure. But you still have to be mindful that they aren't just connecting you to a distributor because you won't be getting the same margin you would get from a direct relationship with the brand itself. The distributor will always cut the margin in half.
You can even pay extra to have orders processed directly with the supplier, and yes, that might be worth paying for, but that's not till way later down the road. I would never think about starting there.
One example of such a combination of drop shipping supplier directory and inventory automation service is Inventory Source.
What you should think about starting in the very first place is looking for actual manufacturer suppliers. You are not going to find actual suppliers most of the time just typing in drop shipper and going to Google. The way you find actual suppliers is by finding your competitors first. So that's what you need to think about.
Find Manufacturer Suppliers So You Get The Best Margins
If you want to find a competitor online, I would say you can start with Amazon. You can type in, let's just try the skateboard for an example. Well, for dropshipping, let's just try like longboards because they're a little bit more expensive. But the most expensive kind of a skateboard these days is either a mountain board or an electric skateboard. So let's try it like mountain boards. Those are a little bit more expensive and you can always sort by high to low.
If you go on Amazon and follow me along right now. Let's just take electric skateboard. What you would do is you'd go to a listing that shows an electric skateboard brand, take the name and actually search it in Google.
So once you're in Google, you can find through Google shopping ads your potential competitors and you can then see if that competitor has a retail storefront or not.
NOTE: If you are out of the USA when you search Google, no shopping ads will appear. So, if you live outside the USA, you must use a VPN. I use and recommend Witopia. You can see all my recommended software, products, and services on my resources page.
If they don't, then you know they're drop shipping and this one that I found doesn't. So you know you can then hit up that supplier whatever that brand name is.
Try to find their website online and once you found their website, then you can call them and say "hey guys I have an online store." I show you how to create a Shopify store in my high-ticket drop shipping masterclass as well as provide you with the eCommerce Paradise Shoptimized Theme for you to upload to your site which is customized and optimized for high-ticket sales.
After you get their dealer application, you just fill it out and send it back with your seller's permit and get their price sheet and UPC codes, upload them to your website, and then optimize the listings before running paid traffic. It's easier said than done but that's the process in a nutshell.
I created the High-Ticket Drop Shipping Masterclass to show you step by step how to do what I just talked about doing. There are like many other different ways you can find suppliers of course but that's the best way to find the best suppliers. The ones are for sure are gonna dropship for you so you don't have to go through a lot of trial and error talking to suppliers that are gonna say no we don't or yes we do but we have all these requirements.
Make Deeper Connections with Brands That Are Dropshipping Suppliers
The next method of finding high-quality profitable drop shipping suppliers that are the brands themselves is to go to trade shows. Trade shows are really cool especially trade shows in the US. A lot of these companies are based in the USA. You can reach a lot of different brands that might not be marketing themselves online that much or brands that might not be on your online-only competitor's websites. Maybe they're newer or maybe they're just a lot bigger and they don't consider it but if you talk to them and market to them you're potentially gonna get a lot of good supplier accounts. They're probably really high margin so you find some really good gold at trade shows so you go check that out. They might also be hard-to-get suppliers that aren't offering dealer accounts anymore and going to see them in person at the trade show is the only way to establish an account with them. this happens in almost every industry.
Find The Best Quality Suppliers For The Most Profitable Drop Shipping Business
The other thing that's important is with this method of drop shipping, you only working with USA-based suppliers. Suppliers that can ship out within two or three days are the best. The product should arrive at the person's door within a week to a week and a half at the most. Those are the suppliers that you want to work with because you'll get much fewer chargebacks because people get their product faster and you'll have an easier time dealing with the supplier in case there's product damage issues or warranty issues.
There are some extra steps you're going to have to take which I will talk about later like fraud prevention because of the higher price products you're selling.
You also want to avoid for the most part these low price products because you're going to have to do a lot more volume with those products in order to make a business out of it and a lot of time. That model is really product specific so you're gonna have to test out tons of different products and run all sorts of different ads and stuff like that. It's very time consuming whereas with high-ticket drop shipping, you will have a full brands line of products in your website and you pitch that brand and you run shopping ads and when someone actually searches for that product they're going to find you and place the order.
Avoid all these drop shipping from China apps if you want to use this method and set up a real long-term sustainable business because drop shipping from China has a lot of cons. I really don't suggest doing drop shipping if you're going to use Chinese suppliers. If you are going to use Chinese suppliers, I suggest importing in bulk, storing in your own fulfillment warehouse, private labeling your own brand, even creating a separate website for that brand, and then offering that product for sale in your dropship store maybe even doing Amazon eBay with it. And then of course in the future, you can always call your online retail competitors and have them upload the products to their website - and sell it for you for a discount so you then become a supplier. I suggest using Alibaba for that method but avoid Aliexpress.
So with that said Oberlo is one of those really famous apps you'll probably see. There's a lot of Oberlo's thing is being a third-party that connects you with the suppliers on Aliexpress. It also provides that same service I talked about uploading them to your website and then automatically fulfilling them. So if you did happen to want to go that route which I don't recommend but if you did then that would be a good app to choose from.
What You Need Before You Contact Suppliers
Before you contact suppliers you need to make sure that you have some things finished. You're going to have to create a website. You have to choose your niche, obviously create a website get the domain name all that stuff and I show you how to do that step-by-step in my in my masterclass. You need to be legal. You need to set up a legal business. If you've never done that before, if you're new to the business then you need to take a business course or consult with an accountant or a lawyer because everybody's situation is different.
I can't actually give you legal advice, legally, because I don't know your exact situation, but I will leave you with a tip and that is that a sole proprietorship is the simplest form of business to start, but it leaves you with the biggest amount of risk and liability. So if you have assets like a home or you know a bunch of cash and investment account, a sole proprietorship sets you at risk to lose those assets in case your business gets sued.
The type of business that a lot of people are starting now is an LLC. An LLC can cost a lot of money depending on what state you set it up in. It's different for every state, but it does give you limited liability. It stands for a limited liability company or the minute liability corporation.
There's a lot of different ways to set them up and they're taxable like a sole proprietorship or as a corporation or as a partnership. LLC's are great, they're really easy. That's usually one or two pieces of paper to fill out and a fee, and that's it!
You get your LLC and then you have to register with the IRS. You have to get an EIN number which is free and they have a website for that. And then you have to get a seller's permit in the state your business is located. Then you have to get a business bank account. You'll need a business credit card. You might have to get a DBA (which stands for Doing Business As) depending on your state.
Now there are all sorts of ways you can do this, different banks you can go to. Check my resources page for my recommendations.
Get Approved with Drop Shipping Suppliers
First things first, don't just email suppliers, call them. If you just email suppliers, you'll only get 2 out of 10 that you contact. But if you call them, you'll get 8 out of 10. You have way better odds of landing a lucrative dealer account by calling.
When you call the supplier, you have to understand that how you appear to them, how professional you seem to them, makes a big difference in your likelihood of getting approved. So you want to have your whole script down. Have an actual call script and a list of facts about your business you can refer to when they ask you tough questions so you aren't saying "um" a lot and trying to remember your business figures off the top of your head.
The key on the phone with the supplier is never to be afraid. Have full confidence in your business even if you've never done it before. You don't need to lie but you need to know at the same time that you're confident and talking like a real business owner. You don't want to talk like a newbie or sound like a newbie because you come off like a newbie and chances are you won't get the account.
Supplier Recruiting Coaching Call
Listen in to this supplier recruiting coaching call I did for one of my students so you can get a better idea of how to approach suppliers to get sign up with them as an authorized dealer.
Identify The Best Drop Shipping Suppliers
Let's talk about some of the traits of good suppliers you should look for. There are different types of suppliers. Great suppliers are essential to running a profitable business and a business that gives you the lifestyle of your dreams. You don't want to have to deal with a lot of issues all day long because that's not a fun.
Expert, Friendly, and Dedicated Support Staff
A good supplier is going to have expert staff and definitely focused on their industry. They're going to be doing a lot of marketing for their products and they're going to be really friendly and knowledgeable. They're going to have dedicated support representatives. Those are people that you go to specifically to deal with issues because there are always issues with e-commerce drop shipping fulfillment and business in general and so you want to be able to contact specific people that are trained and ready to take your phone calls or emails and actually deal with the situation at hand.
Some of these brands I've dealt with in the past are like single person businesses maybe even have one person on staff and if their product happens to sell a lot it can be a big pain to deal with support later if they don't have dedicated support representatives so keep that in mind that you want a business that's going to have the money and the know-how to invest in their technology. They should have data feeds and an order processing system which really makes your life as a retailer a lot easier. If they don't have those systems in place that technology it's going to be difficult dealing with their inventory upkeep and dealing with invoicing.
Can Take Purchase Orders Via Email
Make sure that they can take orders via email because having to process orders online is a pain and it takes a little bit more extra effort and training to do. With an email, you can just print out a purchase order and email it to them or even set up auto fulfillment through Shopify and it's a lot easier that way.
Centrally Located Drop Shipping Suppliers
Suppliers that are centrally located in the US are definitely a lot better than suppliers that are on either coast because, for instance, a supplier in Los Angeles will take seven days to get to New York when they ship, but a supplier located in the Midwest somewhere like Salt Lake City takes maybe three to four days to ship to the East Coast and West Coast. So, if they're located more centrally in the US, it could be a lot faster to ship stuff and that comes in handy when you have to ship out replacement parts because they will show up a lot faster which looks better for you.
Suppliers with Organized and Efficient Systems
At the end of the day, you want everything to be organized and efficient and you don't want to have to deal with a supplier that's disorganized and inefficient with their processes because the more organized they are with follow up the better. You want to make sure you only partner with the best suppliers and even if they're not the best that you work with them to improve their systems so that your business looks better to your customer.
Suppliers Using Quality Shipping Vendors
There are some suppliers I've dealt with in the past that have really bad shipping practices. For example, if they don't ship in thick enough boxes or they have carriers that just destroy the packages, your customers will be very upset. Every single time that happens you have to tell your supplier about it and raise a red flag because that will continue to happen if you don't.
Your business depends on the UPS driver or the LTL truck driver to not make mistakes so you need to only work with suppliers that will help you through the process or be willing to find new shipping companies if there continue to be problems. Bad suppliers will just go with the cheapest quote and that can result in lots of shipping delivery and damage upon arrival issues.
Suppliers That Accept Business Credit Cards For Payments Of Purchase Orders
You can usually pay a supplier with a credit card but some suppliers won't even accept a credit card from internet dealers, so they will require you to wire or ACH transfer funds for each sale, which is ridiculous and completely negates your ability to rack up significant rewards benefits using a rewards credit card to purchase products you sell online. What I always recommend doing is paying with a business credit card so you keep your finances separate. If a supplier doesn't accept credit cards you probably shouldn't be working with them anyway.
Which Dropshipping Suppliers You NEVER Want To Work With
There are certain characteristics of bad drop shipping suppliers and I recommend that you never work with these suppliers.
Do I Need To Fill Out Supplier Applications for High-Ticket Drop Shipping Suppliers?
The answer is yes, but it's not as hard as you might think and it's really important.