When it comes to dropshipping, there are tons of benefits to choosing US suppliers. In our guide to finding the best US dropshippers, we can arm you with all the knowledge you need to find, and work with, the best dropshipping suppliers out there.
eCommerce is still growing, with a predicted 2.14 billion online buyers worldwide in 2021, according to Statista, and a vast number of eCommerce stores to match this demand.
How can you stand out in the crowd?
One way is to work with US-based dropshippers. There are many benefits to this, including better quality products, faster shipping, and (hopefully) happier customers.
Please keep reading to find out some hints and tips and various resources to find reliable dropshippers, like our own dropshipper's directory.
Let's start by looking at the benefits of dropshipping from the US!
The Benefits of Dropshipping from the US
There are a lot of benefits, which two main points can cover:
Shorter Delivery Times
The problem with dropshipping from other countries is that your customers are the ones who have to wait a little longer for their orders to arrive. Dropshipping from the US ensures that your customers will be able to enjoy a speedy delivery time - typically 1-3 days. Happy customers may return to make another purchase, so going for a US-based dropshipper is worth serious consideration for this factor alone.
The other thing to consider is that you should track your package, which can be very helpful (especially if anything goes wrong). Plus, you may be able to offer more shipping options for your customer, like next-day delivery.
Quality control can be an issue with dropshipping, as you can't tell for sure the quality of a product (which is why you should always try to order a test product if you can). US-based dropshippers have an excellent reputation for creating quality items.
With US-based products, you can add the label 'Made in America' (if this is true!) to your product descriptions. This may attract more customers, who may be more likely to purchase if they can support American manufacturers.
Plus, with this label, you can adjust your pricing. US-based dropshippers may charge you more, but you can pass these costs onto your customers, as they may be happy to pay more for a US-made product.
Add the shorter (and more reliable) delivery time and the quality of the products you'll be selling, and your customers may be far more likely to return again and again. Customer loyalty is essential, so US dropshipping is definitely worth the extra costs from that perspective.
What About the Downsides of Choosing a US Dropshipper?
Of course, there are some downsides. The main one is the cost. The draw of choosing a dropshipper from China, for example, is the reduced costs. You can get some incredibly cheap products from China, which is attractive not only for the obvious reason but because you may draw in a lot of customers if they feel they are getting a bargain from you.
You can mitigate the extra costs of choosing a US-based dropshipper in your pricing, of course. But this is something that may put some people off choosing a US-based dropshipper.
You may also find a smaller selection of products, depending on the niche you're in. With more and more US-based dropshippers popping up, this may not affect you, but you will be narrowing your choices if you decide to stick to American-made products.
What to Look for in a US Dropshipper
So how can you find the best US dropshippers? There are a few things you can look for:
This is one of the first things you'll want to look out for. It's vital to find good-quality products, and one of the best ways to do this is by ordering products yourself (you can read more on that a little later in the 'hints and tips section).
Reliability is a huge factor for any dropshipper. You're trusting them not only to have well-made products but to get them to your customer in the agreed timeframe. You have to put a lot of trust in them to do everything correctly.
Of course, all dropshippers will tell you they're reliable. This is why it's always worth checking for customer testimonials and reviews. You can also check your supplier's
social media pages. This is an excellent way to check how they respond to their customer's complaints or issues.
The other thing you can do is use a dropshipping suppliers directory, which takes a lot of the hassle out of finding a trustworthy dropshipper, but more on that a little later.
Following on from the checking-social-media idea, communication is critical. From enquiring about current products, suggesting ideas for future products, or resolving an issue, you will want to find a supplier that will be able to respond to you promptly, politely, and helpfully.
If you find a good supplier, you could be working with them for years to come. So finding someone who is open and transparent with you is ideal.
Other than shipping, there are some costs involved. Some suppliers may charge you a small fee, which is fine, but this should be presented to you clearly with no hidden costs. You can always drop them an email asking for a breakdown of any fees - this is a good way of working out costs, and you can get a feel for how they communicate at the same time.
It's also worth considering that you might come across a minimum initial order size, which means you have to purchase a certain amount for your first order. This may cause issues if you only have small purchases going through. You can always ask to pay them the amount that they require and have that money credited to your account for the future, but you'll have to be sure of their trustworthiness before doing that.
If you're trying to get your head around the costs, check out our guide to Dropshipping Startup Costs for more info. You might find our eCommerce Business Plan guide and worksheet helpful, too. It'll walk you through everything you need to get going in eCommerce.
What kind of shipping do you want to offer your customers? Ideally, you'll want to provide as many options as possible to make things convenient for your customers, and you'll want to look for suppliers who can offer fast shipping.
Shipping costs are another factor to consider, so it's worth checking how much they will be charging you to work out how much to charge your customers.
If (fingers crossed!) you suddenly get a ton of orders at once, will your supplier be able to cope with the demand? It's important to check this in advance, as having to let down your customers won't be great for your reputation as a business, which is crucial (especially in the early stages).
What is their policy for returns if your customer doesn't like the product or if something goes wrong? Again, how promptly they can deal with returns will impact how your customers feel about you as a business, so it's important to understand their returns policy beforehand if possible.
Where to Find Reliable Suppliers
Now you know what to look for, how can you find these suppliers? There are some great resources out there that will help you to connect with US-based dropshippers. Here's a rundown of your options:
Spocket is a great choice that integrates with Shopify and WooCommerce. It has the advantage of allowing you to order test products, and they offer personalized branding for receipts and invoices. You can focus on US-based manufacturers, too.
Salehoo is a market research tool and supplier directory. For $67 a year, you'll gain access to vetted suppliers across a wide range of niches. Plus, you can refine your search so you can focus on US suppliers.
If you're focusing on fashion, Modalyst can help connect you with high-quality suppliers. Like Salehoo, you can refine your searches by country so that you can choose US-based suppliers. It integrates with BigCommerce, Shopify, and Wix.
Doba is another good option for dropshippers, with plenty of vetted suppliers to choose from. It integrates with Amazon, eBay, BigCommerce, Shopify, and other platforms. You can narrow down your search by country so that you can focus on US-based suppliers.
Oberlo has a free plan, and you can filter your search results via country so that you can focus on US-based suppliers only. You can read more about it in our Spocket vs. Oberlo comparison if you want to find out which one we think is better.
You can also choose to go with a suppliers directory (such as ours), which links you to some reliable and trusted suppliers across a huge range of niches. You can search by area, focusing only on local suppliers, and you can find direct links to contact details. This can save you a ton of time and hassle trying to find a good supplier.
Once you've paid, you get lifetime access to updates, too, with new dropshippers being added all the time.
Hints and Tips for Dropshippers
Here are a few tips on what to do once you've found a potential supplier:
Make an Order
The best way to test how a supplier works is to make a sample order with them. That way, you can check the turnaround time, how the product arrives, the packaging, and the actual product itself. If you're not sure whether or not a supplier offers sample orders, drop them an email and see if they can set something up - again, this will give you an idea of how flexible they can be/what their customer service is like.
Check for Quality
You can check the quality of the items at this point. Check for the quality of manufacturing and how well the packaging has protected the product in transit. You can also check for fakes, which is essential when it comes to high-quality branded or designer goods.
There are a few extra tips on checking in our in-depth guide to finding the Best Shoe Dropshippers and our guide to partnering with the Best Fashion Dropshippers if you're working in those specific niches.
Think About Branding
Branding is an important thing to think about when it comes to dropshipping. How can you ensure that your customers enjoy a cohesive brand experience when they shop with you? Sometimes, the little touches (like invoices and packaging with your branding on them) make all the difference to your customers' shopping experience.
Some suppliers offer more flexibility than others when it comes to branding, so if there's something specific you're looking for, it's always best to reach out and ask if they can accommodate you.
Check Out the Competition
Finally, it's a good idea to observe your closest competitors. How do they deal with branding? What delivery options do they offer? What is the quality of their products like? This way, you can figure out your USP based on the market gap, or you can aim to improve upon what other companies are doing.
Frequently Asked Questions
Before we wrap up, let's look at some of the most commonly asked questions about US dropshippers:
Is dropshipping legal in the US?
Yes! It's 100% legal to dropship in the US. You can find out more about the legal side of things in our article Is Dropshipping Legal?
What is the best eCommerce platform for my new dropshipping store?
We'd recommend Shopify. It's an excellent platform that is super easy to use, even for beginners. It integrates with tons of other services, and you can get going quickly. It works well for dropshippers.
You can determine how to set up a Shopify store in our in-depth tutorial on How to Start a Shopify Store. You can also find out how to build a landing page in our How to Create a Coming Soon Page in Shopify to start drumming up interest in your new venture.
How Can I Find the Best Products to Dropship?
It's always a good idea to settle on a niche that you're already interested in, as having an authentic passion for what you sell can make it easier for you to keep your enthusiasm going in tough times.
If you're stuck, you can get some ideas in our guides: 15 White Label Products Worth Selling in 2021 and 30 Best Dropshipping Ideas That Will Make You Money in 2021 - they are packed with ideas that are popular right now.
Are there any pitfalls I should know about?
Unfortunately, there are a few things that could crop up when looking for a dropshipping supplier.
The main 'problem' to look out for is falling for a scammer or an untrustworthy supplier. There are a few key things to look for in a 'bad' dropshipper:
- They sell to the public - a dropshipping wholesaler should be providing a service to you, not the consumer. If they're selling to the public, they're more likely to be a regular retailer, which means you may not be getting access to wholesale prices.
- They charge excessive fees - excessive monthly/yearly fees are a bad sign. Some fees are to be expected, but you shouldn't have to pay a monthly membership.
- They're difficult to contact - some suppliers offer no way of contacting them or minimal contact methods (like email only). For obvious reasons, fake scammers and companies won't want you to get hold of them quickly, so a lack of contact details is a red flag.
The other pitfall to look out for is oversaturation. You might face a lot of competition if you focus on US-based suppliers, so you'll either have to be very savvy with your marketing or try to choose a less popular niche.
To Sum Up …
Hopefully, this has helped give you all the knowledge you need to find the best possible suppliers for your dropshipping venture. Still, want more info? Check out our blog for tons of how-to guides and inspiration!