How to find a good supplier depends on the size of the order, since different orders need to be made with different plans. There are three types of order volume: 0–20 orders per day, 20–100 orders per day, and more than 200 orders per day.
0 – 20 orders per day
At this stage, it’s not a smart idea to stock up or rush to find a source. It’s hard to create a steady, long-term relationship with a tiny provider.
The following are better options:
(1) DSers app or Aliexpress
The website makes it easy to combine and automate orders, and the ordering process isn’t too difficult if you place fewer than 20 orders per day.
Disadvantages: The pricing isn’t inexpensive compared to other options, shipment can take up to a month, you may encounter dishonest vendors, and you may obtain a phony tracking number.
logistics tracking number: If there are more than 20 orders a day, it may be impossible to place an order; other merchants can spot explosive products because AliExpress shows the number of orders.
Use these guidelines to choose an Aliexpress supplier: Check shop hours. Open longer, better. Most customers choose AliExpress Standard Shipping for shipping; if you need to, you can choose Ship From USA. Faster shipping costs extra.
(2) Oberlo Suppliers
Advantages: Oberlo-certified suppliers will be more reliable in general, logistics will move faster (by about two weeks), and placing orders will be easier and more automated.
Cons: Prices will be a bit higher, and there won’t be as much to choose from as on AliExpress.
I can compare the price to these things: it takes about two weeks to ship, there aren’t as many products to choose from as on AliExpress, and the ordering process is mostly easy.
(4) CJ Dropshipping
Logistics take about 1.5 to 3 weeks, and some products can be shipped from the U.S. to the U.S. The scale is big, and logistics and customer service are pretty complete. Customized services like brand packaging, brand cards, and photo shoots can be offered.
The price is in the middle, neither too high nor too low. It takes about two weeks to ship, and it’s best to use them when you’re getting more than 20 orders a day. They offer personalized services like brand packaging, brand cards, and photo shooting.
Some products are sent quickly to places like the United States and the United Kingdom. It might take a week. Of course, it’s important to find and vet local suppliers. In general, merchants with more positive customer reviews are more reliable. Ordering has to be done one at a time, which is good for testing but not for mass production.
20 – 200 orders per day
When a product gets more than 20 orders a day, you might want to find a supplier agent. You could also go to some foreign freelance websites, like Upwork or Fivver, where there is a full and fair rating system. Go to Supplier Agent and look for the one with the most happy customers.
The best way is to go to AliExpress (or 1688 or Taobao or other e-commerce platforms) and contact merchants who can sell this product and have a good overall rating. You need to talk to as many merchants as possible through private messages on the platform, such as Whatsapp, Skype, WeChat, email, etc., to see if you can get better prices and services.
After finding a supplier, the normal way to ship something is:
1) Export the order from your website’s background.
(2) Desensitization processing, delete everything that isn’t needed, like the user’s mailbox and the selling price.
(3) Send the desensitized order documents to the supplier. Depending on the situation, the supplier will make a quote and do a number of other things.
(4) If the price isn’t a big deal, you can use Paypal, Aliexpress (ask the other party for a VIP link to place an order), Alipay, and other official ways to pay. Do not send money directly.
(5) Get the document from the supplier with the logistics tracking number on it.
(6) You can use MassFullfill to upload the document to the backend of Shopify or send the information to other places where you need it.
At this point, we don’t recommend:
(1) Alibaba. The platform itself is fine, but there aren’t enough orders yet.
(2) Etsy. The platform is fine, but the prices are higher and there are fewer products to choose from.
200+ orders per day
When you have more than 200 orders per day, you can ship from the whole warehouse yourself or use a fulfillment center overseas. Logistics companies include Yuntu, Yanwen, 4PX, DHL, etc. Pay attention to fulfillment centers overseas.
(1) The traditional fulfillment center model is a third-party logistics warehousing services merchant (like Shipbob, Shiphero, etc.) + Alibaba (order a large quantity from here). A lot of goods are ordered from Alibaba and sent to the warehouses of different third-party logistics warehousing service providers. Then, if a customer places an order on the website, the product will be sent directly from the warehouse of the third-party logistics warehousing service provider. At the moment, it’s not just a simple dropship. You have to order more than one item at a time, and you have to keep a small stock.
(2) This is good because the product will be cheaper and shipping will be faster (it may take about a week from the fulfillment center to the user, of course, it still takes time from China to the fulfillment center). You can also make brand packaging and cards at this time.
(3) It’s important to know how many products will sell over a certain period of time and in different areas, or else it’s hard to plan ahead and reserve products.