Should I Change My Dropshipping Agent? Checklist to Determine if Your Current Agent Is a Good Fit
Updated: Jul 6, 2021
For your eCommerce business, changing a dropshipping agent is often a painful and messy business. Your Shopify account is linked to their systems. You still have outstanding orders that they have yet to process. And you worry about how to manage your orders during the interim transition.
However, sometimes it is more important to take a step back and consider if it is worth going through some short-term pain to emerge stronger, fitter and more ready to do battle in the cutthroat eCommerce world with a better agent partner by your side.
Here is a simple checklist to know when you should consider changing your dropshipping agent.
1. You cannot communicate with them.
“I said to wrap it in bubble wrap! Not send a free pack of bubble wrap with every order!”
Every business has hiccups and as a mature, reasonable, eCommerce seller, you are familiar with having to deal with client issues, logistics issues, product issues, and other things as they happen. However, you now dread having to get into a discussion with your dropshipping agent because they are simply unable to communicate with you in English. Spotty replies provided in badly translated English continue to frustrate you, and when you request a call with someone, anyone, from the company, they decline because no one can speak English. Meanwhile, your client pressures continue to pile up.
Clearly, this is a sign that you need to consider looking elsewhere. Usually if your products and orders are standard, most dropshipping agents would be able to serve you fairly well by using Baidu translate or you can try to communicate with them using Google Translate. Such communications problems tend to emerge when your products and orders start to get more unique, or when unusual problems crop up.
2. You have to keep chasing them.
“Please tell me my orders are finally out…. What do you mean you are not sure?”
If dropshipping is an exciting business for newbie entrepreneurs enamoured by “If you give me 5 minutes, I will make you rich” videos on YouTube, becoming a dropshipping agent is similarly seen as a booming area for independent entrepreneurs in China also trying to make a quick buck as middlemen. The only skills and assets needed are a phone, a laptop, and the ability to use translation software to communicate.
Such entrepreneurial dropshipping agents may be hungry for business and have amongst the lowest overheads in the industry. But they may find themselves easily overwhelmed by the demands of being an agent. So you may find: (1) delayed responses, (2) complete lack of response, or (3) worst of all, a holding response that promises a full response but in fact, turns out to be an empty promise and a waste of time.
In these cases, you find yourself in a never-ending cycle of chasing, hawk-like monitoring of your phone/laptop, relief to see some response, and sometimes continued disappointment that the problem is still unresolved. In this case, it might be a sign to reduce your stress by looking elsewhere.
3. Quality of product is inconsistent.
“How could 4 in 5 of my customers receive a broken product?”
In this highly competitive dropshipping industry, some agents may start initially with a good supplier and switch to a cheaper supplier midway to benefit their margins. Usually, cheaper suppliers have poorer quality checks or simply produce inferior products at lower prices. What makes it worse is that you are unaware until you receive negative reviews from your angry customers which hurts your business’s reputation.
4. Unexpected surprises (and not the good type)
“How long have you been inserting these ads into my orders? What do you mean you don’t know?”
Sometimes dropshipping agents are also eCommerce sellers with their own product to push. Or they may have private arrangements with specific manufacturers. In these cases, you may find that the packages your clients receive contain unsolicited offers or promotional materials about things that you know nothing about.
For small eCommerce sellers, these may not matter as much. However, if you are trying to build a brand or a reputation for reliability, then it could be very damaging to have these spoil the experience of your clients or steer them to other sellers. Depending on the importance of the client experience to you as an eCommerce seller, this may be a sign to change your agent.
The above are signs that something is wrong and it could be time to change your agent. However, what is the 1 critical reason that tells you it is definitively time to change your agent?
Quite simply, it is when you step back and realise your dropshipping agent can no longer keep up with your needs.
Every business grows through different stages.
When testing the first 1-2 products and figuring out if the product will sell, an eCommerce seller could start out with AliExpress or a small dropshipping agent to manage some standard products. Eventually, as volume grows, the eCommerce seller has more complex issues to deal with. At this stage, the eCommerce seller can no longer afford to chase down the status of every single order or have every order have some issue with it, no matter how minor.
At Xianchao Logistics, the smaller eCommerce sellers that switch to us tell us that these sort of issues became unmanageable when they started to get 5-10 orders per day. At their size, there starts to be a real trade-off in how you spend your time between handling yet another operational issue versus improving your SEO or other sales-generating activity.
Xianchao Logistics specialises in serving the needs of ambitious eCommerce sellers that have started to see some scale in their business. We have English-speaking staff who can communicate directly with clients. We have worked with factories to do both custom product manufacturing and branding for our clients. Our core business is being a dropshipping agent and we do not compete with clients or steal their customers.
We have seen our fair share of issues in the industry, oftentimes from our own clients. As such, we are heavily committed to take a different approach, give our clients a fair shake, and grow with our clients.
In our next article, we will share more about how our clients can test out dropshipping agencies before they make the painful but sometimes necessary step of transitioning to a new agent. If you are already facing the issues above and want to give us a call today, please fill in this form and we will get back to you in the next 2 business days. #dropshipping #dropshippingbusiness #shopifydropshipping #amazondropshipping #dropshippingtips #dropshippingsupplier #aliexpressdropshipping #dropshipper #dropshipagent #opendropshipper #dropshipperwelcome #agentdropshipwanted #dropshiper #dropshipwelcome #dropshipviral #opendropship #ecommerce #shopify #ecommercetips #shopifyexperts #shopifyseller #aliexpressbrasil #aliexpressalternative #dropshippingbrasil #dropshippingafrica #xianchaologistics