A Beginner’s Guide to Approaching Dropshipping Suppliers
Do you have a list of potential dropshipping suppliers but don’t know how to approach them? Did you send an email to a supplier to request a price quotation but didn’t get a reply? Have you listed products in your dropshipping store but don’t have the details to write the descriptions? If you answered “Yes” to any of these questions then you came to the right place.
Today, I will share with you a few tips on how to speak to dropshipping suppliers, get approval to drop ship their products, and get more information you’ll need for your business.
Do you need approval from the supplier before dropshipping products?
Absolutely! Dropshipping products from suppliers are asking for a partnership. Unlike buying in bulk in which suppliers can ship out the products to you in one go, dropshipping will have them fulfill orders no matter how small they are from individual customers. Your business relationship will last while you are sourcing products from them. The commitment that a supplier must make is much bigger in a dropshipping arrangement than in the wholesale one.
Also, when you get suppliers’ agreement to partner with you, they would be more responsive to your questions and requests because they expect to earn big from your orders. Meanwhile, if you just list their products to your store and just contact them when you have an order, you’ll have a hard time requesting information like product details because they expect you to buy after providing the details of the first product. Additional product inquiries will not be entertained with the same enthusiasm as the first and worst, they will not respond at all.
Not getting supplier approval before carrying their products is very risky. There are many reasons that they can not fulfill your customers’ orders. Some could be because you did not meet their MOQs, the product is out of stock, or they don’t ship to some specific locations. If you don’t have an arrangement with them beforehand, they will not feel accountable for updating you on product supply, shipping policies, and other things that may have an impact on your business and customers.
Why wouldn’t they provide the information that I need when I’ll be dropshipping products from them once I got orders?
This is the question that new drop shippers often ask themselves and the more experienced drop shippers. To understand how dropshipping suppliers works, particularly China-based suppliers, you have to put yourself in their shoes.
You both want to make money by selling products. The only difference is, suppliers need to sell much more product than you. You can get by with selling items individually but the supplier needs to move goods in higher volumes to cover overhead and inventory storage expenses.
The dropshipping suppliers choose their clients very carefully and will work only with those who can commit to a certain level of time. They need dropshipping entrepreneurs that can consistently generate sales and have a higher probability of doing business with them for the -term. Their first impression of you will highly influence their decision of whether to partner with you or not.
So, how do you make a good impression on suppliers and bag their business?
Here is a guide to follow:
Never say that you’re a newbie.
As I’ve said earlier in this article, the suppliers are extremely careful when picking clients. You have to act more confident and larger than you truly are to get their attention. Never divulge that you’re new in the dropshipping industry because they will not be interested to deal with you. They wouldn’t waste their time on a clueless newbie who can’t guarantee to drop-ship items in high volume from them.
To get their attention, you have to be confident, specific, and concise. Research the supplier in advance, tell them what items you are looking for, and refrain from asking stupid questions.
Be brief in your first email.
Don’t overwhelm the supplier with questions on the initial contact. You wouldn’t want to appear too eager or too desperate either. You just want to discern how the supplier responds and know if they have items that you want to sell. Most suppliers are busy which is why you should respect their time. These are the things that you should include in your email:
- Information about particular products you’re interested in selling
- Minimum order quantity (MOQ) for specific products
- Product pricing
- Availability of product samples
- Shipping and lead times
Only when you receive a response from the supplier and determine that they are a potential fit that you proceed to ask more questions.
Get into specifics.
Don’t be vague with what you’re looking for. Specify the items that you want information about. Suppliers are less likely to respond if they thought you are just fishing for information and are not serious about dropshipping from them.
Avoid putting off dropshipping suppliers by clearly specifying the products you’re looking for. When you’re clear about what you want, you’re showing the supplier that you did your homework and you are sincere about carrying their products in your store.
It is normal to get intimated in approaching dropshipping suppliers for the first time. Yet, don’t forget that they are just regular people who are operating their business to get the best possible deal just like you. Their primary need is to work with a client who can generate consistent revenue. Before you approach them to make sure that you already have a game plan in place that would benefit you and the suppliers. Getting products at the lowest price possible is a tactic that will surely piss them off. Therefore be creative with your deals. Learn how to negotiate with dropshipping suppliers the right way so you can still get a good deal if the prices will turn out to be non-negotiable.
Want to learn more?
A Dropshipper’s Guide to White Label Dropshipping
Dropshipping Business: 5 Free Marketing Strategies
The Truth About Dropshipping Trademark Products