Top 3 signs you should not work with a supplier if you're a dropshipper

Jul 06, 2020 Adam Eleiko Adam Eleiko

As a dropshipper, your store and its reputation are completely dependent on your supplier's shipping speed and product quality. Attract all of the customers you want; if your supplier cannot meet the demands your business requires, then your online store will suffer and fail. Dropshipping is already hard enough without problems occurring in your supply chain, so here are three signs you shouldn't work with a supplier. 

The prices are too high

One of the most important factors when looking for a supplier is the cost of their products, most notably when items are purchased in bulk. If their prices are too high, then either your markup will be lower to keep prices appealing, and you'll barely have any net profit left, or your unadjusted markup will cause prices to skyrocket. Customers will lose interest as soon as they see the price and won't click through to other products, meaning your overall revenue will suffer. And that's before the supplier fees! Research prices for the same item from different suppliers and see the average costs, so you don't get taken advantage of. 

Communication is poor

It is quite irritating when a dropshipper is unable to contact their supplier when there is an issue or if they have a question. It doesn't matter how superior their products are, if a supplier is non-responsive or it takes several days to receive an email from them, their store's customer service will drop. If a supplier has products that are too good to turn down, only choose a few items of theirs to resell. You can also buy the product for yourself and study it to answer any questions that come up. 

The shipping time of their products is slow

A good supplier needs to be able to offer different methods of shipping that are both quick and reliable. Contrary to popular belief, not all products have to arrive at a customer's door in less than two days. Most people know this is only possible with Amazon Prime. Businesses that have two to three week shipping times do well if their customers know how long it will take for their product will arrive before they complete their purchase. Providing a tracking number and alerts to monitor their order is also a good customer service move. But too many slow or lost products will come back to haunt your store as the bad reviews and return requests start piling up. 


There are many problems a drop-shipper can experience while they are running an online store, so it is in their best interest if they perform their due diligence and ensure that they don't end up with a poor supplier that might cause these problems. If they work with an untrustworthy supplier, they could end up paying more for their products, which will raise the overall price in their online. Also, customer service will drop as communication with them falters, and as customers complain about their slow order or lost items. Dropshippers should be sure to research each supplier before they partner with them. Do you know any other signs dropshippers should watch out for when finding a new supplier?

Adam is a 6 figure dropshipper, eCommerce enthusiast, and head of digital marketing at SaleSource - the all-in-one eCommerce tool.

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