Not sure how to pick the best dropshipping product sourcing method or what dropshipping product supplier to use? We can help you make the right decision!
Want to become a successful online seller? Then, you have to keep a steady supply of great products that will delight your buyers and solve their problems.
Knowing where to look for products is a deciding factor in whether they will be met with a warm reception.
But before focusing on the ways to source products for your e-commerce store, including the dropshipping product sourcing method, let’s define the term product sourcing.
What is product sourcing for dropshipping?
Product sourcing is the act of finding and acquiring products to sell online. To put it another way, it is the process an online business uses to acquire the goods it plans to sell.
Here you can find the best products to sell in 2022.
If you are wondering how to source products to sell online, read on!
4 ways to source products for your e-commerce store
Below, we will outline the different product sourcing methods to help you find the right one for your business. Let’s get started!
Make your own products
The idea of making a living by making things from scratch and selling or trading them for something else is as old as the hills. In today’s digital age, you have a much wider reach for selling your own products.
Undoubtedly, creating and selling your own products online is both exciting and challenging. Though coming up with your product idea is the first step in starting your online business, there is actually far more to the process.
You need to spend a lot of time planning, designing, creating, and marketing your products. Also, you need to think ahead about how you will scale and grow your online business.
The road to selling your own products online is difficult. That said, the deep pleasure and satisfaction you feel when customers like and buy your unique creations may make all the hard work worthwhile.
Have your products manufactured for you
If creating your own products is too much of a hassle, you can engage a manufacturer to do so on your behalf.
Still, having your products manufactured for you is not the easiest way to source products for your online store. But why is it so?
First, you need to start with product designs and prototyping. Second, you need to find a manufacturer that has the capacity to turn your own product idea into reality.
As you can assume, this type of dropshipping product sourcing is the priciest and the most time-consuming approach. And manufacturers usually have high minimum order quantity requirements to start production, not to mention the lead times.
Sure, this product sourcing method gives you greater control over production, adaptability, branding, and profitability.
Some manufacturers allow you to select a generic product they already manufacture. Then, they can improve or alter it according to your preferences. But this means you will have to deal with a lot of competition because the manufacturer will probably sell the same product to many other online stores.
Buy your products from a wholesaler
Buying your products from a wholesaler is definitely a much easier way to get inventory for your e-commerce business. In essence, wholesalers are middlemen between manufacturers and online sellers like you.
Moreover, they obtain large quantities of goods at lower prices and sell them to retailers and online businesses. And retailers and online businesses usually sell these products from their e-commerce stores to end consumers.
If you choose to source your products from wholesalers, you will enjoy discounted pricing and higher profit margins. But you will have to buy in bulk and make sure you have enough space for all your stuff.
Also, it is worth mentioning that many wholesalers offer dropshipping services. This means that you can source products for your dropshipping business by working with a wholesaler.
Wholesale vs Dropshipping Product Sourcing – What’s the difference? Find out here.
Buy your products from a dropshipping supplier
Compared to the previous product sourcing methods, working with a dropshipping supplier is the easiest way to source your products.
Let us explain what we mean. Namely, by using the dropshipping product sourcing method, you can list products from a dropshipping supplier on your online store without physically holding them. When someone orders a product from your dropshipping store, you place the order with the supplier. Then, the supplier ships the item directly to your customer. It is that simple.
That’s why the dropshipping product sourcing method is quite popular nowadays.
It is an excellent option for setting up a new e-commerce business. However, the main downside is that you will have more competition since many people choose to try their luck at dropshipping.
But if you have the business know-how, that competition should not scare you.
Now that you know the ways to source products for your online store, you are ready to choose what is best for your business.
But in the following section, we will focus on the dropshipping product sourcing method. Sure, we will also provide some helpful tips on how to source products for your dropshipping business.
Dropshipping product sourcing: How to source products for your dropshipping business
Here are the practical tips on how to source products for your dropshipping store the right way:
Do your own research
Just because you want to enter the dropshipping industry doesn’t mean that you must use AliExpress for dropshipping product sourcing.
The truth is, many great AliExpress alternatives may offer the best dropshipping products for your store. Of course, you can also take advantage of the best dropshipping product research tools to find what to sell.
Also, do not forget to do thorough research on your dropshipping supplier of choice. The supplier you choose to do business with must be legitimately registered, reliable, and reputable.
Once you have done your product and supplier research, you are ready to start the dropshipping product sourcing process.
Contact the dropshipping supplier
When it comes to the dropshipping product sourcing method, a phone call is the most effective form of communication with your chosen supplier. But it is advisable to send a DM to make that first contact.
Then, you can pick up the phone. Talking to a representative can help you find out if they are customer-friendly. If everything is going smoothly, it is time to negotiate contract terms with the supplier.
Negotiate contract terms with them
Do not be afraid to ask questions when negotiating contract terms with them. Remember that you will not upset them with your questions since it is a common practice in their industry. For instance, ask if their prices are negotiable and they will let you know if this is the case.
If their prices are negotiable, start the negotiation process like a professional. For example, treat your negotiation counterpart with respect and politeness while presenting your reasons why they should give you a better deal.
Sure, there are many other things to negotiate with your chosen supplier, not just prices. And these things include shipping terms, payment due dates, cancellation, return policies, etc.
In the end, make sure that the deal is a win-win for both parties.
Import products into your dropshipping store and start placing orders with your chosen supplier
You have decided which products you want to sell so far, right? If so, it is time to add them to your online store. In short, you need to browse your supplier’s product catalog, select your products, and list them on your online store. With this, you let your potential customers know that these products are available for sale.
And when you receive an order, just forward the order confirmation along with your customer’s home address to your supplier sales representative. The supplier will use your credit card to charge you the wholesale price of the product, including any processing or shipping fees. Then, they will ship the order directly to your customer’s home address.
To summarize, before sourcing products, you have to choose a product sourcing method that works for you.
If you opt for the dropshipping product sourcing method, evaluate different dropshipping suppliers and then pick one to work with.
Finally, use our advice to source products for your dropshipping store the right way.