5 Issues That Often Arise With Suppliers That All Dropshippers Must Know!
Updated: Jul 6
As dropshippers, we all know that the relationships we have with our suppliers are important in keeping our businesses going. When you have been doing dropshipping for a while, you would have had experiences with suppliers which are less than ideal. Whether you are new to dropshipping or have already been at this for a while, here are a few common mishaps experienced with dropshipping suppliers that you MUST know!
Miscommunication due to language barriers
Most Chinese suppliers are not fluent in English. There is a high chance that your suppliers are communicating with you using a translation app. As such, you may end up facing issues where your supplier fails to deliver what was expected. That may not be their intention- translation apps aren’t 100% accurate and your message may have been lost in translation.
Suppliers given inaccurate shipping timings
Another common mishap that happens with dropshipping suppliers is when your customer receives parcels later than expected. This usually happens because you are given inaccurate shipping speed. Suppliers are usually given a range of days which products will be shipped. As the dropshipping industry is highly saturated, competition with other suppliers is rife. EVERY CLIENT AND DEAL MATTERS TO THEM. In order to secure your deal, they would tell you the fastest shipping time out of the shipping duration that they were given. This usually does not include processing time and emergency situations that may arise, delaying the shipping time.
Here’s how you what you can do in response to this:
1. Ask how much processing time is needed on top of shipping time.
2. Ask them what is the proportion of orders that fail within the estimated range given.
3. Do your own research with regards to how long different couriers take to ship orders.
4. Add buffer time to the shipping time given to you to manage customers’ expectations.
Claim that they use local fulfilment
Unfortunately, as ludicrous as it may sound, it does happen. Suppliers from China usually won’t use local fulfilment in your country. When your parcels reach the country of destination, it would be transferred to a local shipping service which will deliver the products to your customers. Your supplier will then receive another shipping number. This is the shipping number which some dishonest suppliers may pass off as local shipping. Moreover, your customers would care more about how fast their purchases are shipped to them than whether the parcels were stocked up in a local warehouse. Hence don’t be fooled by ‘local fulfilment’. Choose a Chinese fulfilment service that is reliable. This would help you to fulfil your orders better than one claiming to use ‘local fulfilment’.
If you’re experiencing at least 30 orders a day and looking for a Chinese fulfilment provider, look no further. With decades of logistics experience and good relationships with suppliers, Xianchao Logistics will see to your orders being fulfilled. All you would have to do is to list your dropshipping needs. We smoothen your backend processes so you can focus on getting more sales.
Telling you that they have enough inventory
You usually find out that your dropshipping supplier has run out of inventory only when your orders are not fulfilled on time. Many of us choose the dropshipping model to start their business due to the low financial commitment. As such, dropshipping suppliers react according to this trend. Few suppliers would stock enough to support scaling as it is not a wise business strategy on their end. Think of the financial losses suppliers would incur if they stock up a product that doesn’t sell well! The losses will be huge!
On your end, you would want your customers to receive the goods they paid for. What you can do to prevent not having enough stock for your business is to pre-stock your goods in advance. The best way to do so is by working with a dropshipping agent. Communicate your business’ needs with your agent and plan for stock with them in advance. If you’re scaling up your business, not only is this the best method for scaling up, this is key! Never ever expand your dropshipping business when you don’t have enough supply on hand.
Lack of trust between you and the suppliers
Usually the lack of trust between you and the suppliers stem from the fear of committing too much. All sharp dropshipping business owners are always looking out for cost savings. So while working with suppliers for their winning products, they are also looking out for the next supplier who offers them a better deal. Suppliers aren’t stupid- they are well aware of this. And thus they are also looking out for other clients too. You may find the same supplier cross selling to your competitor and they have every right to do so. This results in competition for the same product stock. What you can do to mitigate this is to diversify your supply chain. Instead of limiting yourself to only one supplier during your sourcing stage, narrow your search down to a few trusted suppliers.
At the end of the day, behind the supplier account are humans too. They are also facing pressures to reach certain sales KPI and fulfil orders from different clients. Given the high levels of competition between suppliers, it is only understandable that they do what serves their profits best. As a dropshipper, you just have to plan your business strategies with these scenarios in mind.
With over 30 years of logistics experience, Xianchao Logistics began to branch out to serve the dropshipping industry in 2015. With our experience in logistics fulfilment and close relationships with suppliers, our company has risen to help different dropshippers grow their businesses over these years. We believe that our company’s success and growth will only come with helping our clients grow. Do you have a dropshipping business to grow? Discuss with us and let’s get started ASAP!
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