When starting your first dropshipping business, one of the key components is sourcing your product. In other words, finding the company that will supply the product you want to sell on your website.
Now, this can be a cause for concern in new entrepreneurs in fact, I’ve seen this paralyze people from even trying out an idea or product.
The fear of being ripped off by a Chinese supplier is enough to keep people from ever launching their first business!
Sure, when I first started out I had this concern too, and in fact on one of my very first overseas orders, my supplier shipped me the product, it got “stuck in customs” and there was nothing he could do about it! (Or so he said…)
I lost a little bit of money on that deal, but only because I didn’t know then, what I know now.
The global giant of the dropshipping industry is of course Alibaba.com, and I’m a huge fan! You can literally find anything you’ve ever dreamed of there on Alibaba and it makes connecting with manufacturers, distributors and company owners easier than ever. I’m so thankful for this website. (And you will be too!)
Not only does Alibaba.com make finding your product supplier extremely easy and convenient, they now make it extremely SAFE. And this is a big deal for us online dropshippers.
We can now order our products and without worry that our money will disappear.
Here’s What You Need to Know About Importing from China
1. Pretty much every single thing you see right now came from a Chinese factory. From where I sit I can see my computer mouse, second monitor, extra USB connector, coffee mug, lamp, bookshelf, my iphone 6…all from China.
2. People often perceive Chinese products as cheap and crappy. While that can be true (and can also be true from American made products) you have to remember, these are business owners and entrepreneurs just like you and me. Their reputation is on the line and they will produce high quality products so that you stay happy and keep buying from them.
3. You don’t need to be intimidated. When reaching out to suppliers on Alibaba.com simply send an email letting them know what you’re looking to do. (I even have sample email templates you can use inside the Escape Your Day Job Community) Ask them what’s the minimum amount of their products you can order at once, can you order just one at a time? How long does it take to get to America once ordered…Things like this.
It doesn’t have to be intimidating, the email access and live chat boxes on Alibaba.com are there to help you and the suppliers make a mutually beneficial partnership with you. Just get out there and go for it!
4. Your money is safe. Sites like Alibaba.com have added many safety features to eliminate the fear of getting ripped off.
- Trade assurance
- Escrow accounts
- Entire guides on how to avoid fraud
- Complaint and resolution service
- And more! They’re always looking for ways to improve their customer’s experience
5. What if There are Customs Issues? From time to time this could possibly come up, but 99% of the time you’ll be fine. Remember, most of these companies make their entire income from exporting to America. They’re used to shipping through customs and often have “shipping agents” on staff at their factories that make sure shipping goes smooth.
6. Always order a sample first. When sending emails and inquiring from different manufacturers on your products, they will often have a MOQ. Or a minimum order quantity. Let’s say they will only sell in sets of 100. Go ahead and email and ask if they will send you just one item to sample. Nearly every time I’ve asked this, they did so without any hesitation. This will allow you to test your product’s quality, take your own pictures of the product and begin promoting it confidently on your website.
7. Find multiple suppliers. Once you establish a relationship with a supplier, keep looking for more. You’ll want to have a backup supplier just in case something goes wrong later down the line. That company could change ownership, the person you like working with changes jobs and now the same relationship isn’t there, perhaps you get SO MUCH orders one supplier can’t fulfill your need so you get two suppliers sending you product. Either way, make sure you have more than one quality supplier of your product. You don’t want to put all your eggs into one basket.
Don’t Let Fear Hold You Back!
These fears can often keep people from even starting. Don’t play the worst case scenario over and over in your head, you have to go out and start. Just get out there and grab the cat by the tail!
When you find a product you like, do some research on the company. Alibaba already reveals a lot about their suppliers. Usually you can read reviews, see company revenue and employee number right there on the screen.
I’ve been successfully importing from China for nearly 6 years now and I’m so glad I just went for it instead of letting fear hold me back.
Use the safeguards Alibaba.com has built in for you and you’ll be fine.
Now let’s start emailing some suppliers and build your business!
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Travis Peters is the founder of EscapeYourDayJob.com, the online course that walks you step by step through the exact same formula he used to build a simple drop shipping site that brings in 20k per month. It's also home to the EscapeYourDayJob Community which gives you access to other like minded entrepreneurs, as well as personal coaching from Travis himself. Click here for a guided tour of the EscapeYourDayJob Course and Community.