A big question that people have is how to find American based dropshipping suppliers. Unless you dig deep, it is very hard to find the quality suppliers by themselves. Additionally, there are steps to take to verify your supplier before finalizing a relationship with them.
As the Supplier Relationship Manager at Shop1, I have worked with a large portion of US-Based suppliers. In this article, I’m going to share with you about my experience finding American Based Suppliers.
How To Use Google Effectively
My very first thought when setting out to find American based dropshipping suppliers was Google. After all, I’ve been able to google most things and find them on the first 2 pages, so how hard could it be? I was absolutely wrong. Approximately 75% of people will never go past the first page of Google.
Companies with more brand awareness tend to capture the more organic first page spots. Interestingly enough by the way, sponsored ads do not get the same conversion rate as organic search positions. Just a solid bit of SEO advice (Search Engine Optimization).
Because of this, the majority of the first pages were all focused on dropshipping platforms or dropshipping supplier aggregators (When used, supplier aggregators are pretty much the middle-man of ecommerce and supplier relations). I will tell you more about dropshipping aggregators a bit later.
Since I wanted to work directly with the suppliers themselves, I had to dig deeper through the web. It isn’t that these suppliers don’t want to be found. It is that they have not been able to make it to page one or two of a Google search yet. So I decided to break my searches into two different methods: Solid google searches and dropshipping aggregators.
The first thing I did was to investigate pages 2-15 of google when doing a search. When I found a supplier I was interested in, I would research their site to see what they were all about. I would also reach out to the supplier via email and/or by phone.
I created an excel spreadsheet based off of these interactions and documented the suppliers by category and tracked different attributes. Here are the primary attributes I used:
- Does dropshipping
- American based
- Product category
- Product price points
- Variety level of products
- Did they provide discounts for dropshipping accounts
- What fees they charged
- What documentation they required
- Online Consumer/Business ratings
- Shipping policies
Organizing my suppliers was important to my search. It made sure I wasn’t hitting any suppliers twice and allowed me to decide which suppliers worked best for the Shop1 community based on their attributes. It also allowed me to clarify the information on the supplier site by calling or emailing with a company representative.
Oftentimes, I would get an account manager that was there to help in case we needed it, which was excellent. After doing my full diligence on a supplier through personal contact and research, it usually took between 2 days to a week to onboard them, depending on the supplier’s policies.
So why else was this important? Well, Shop1 wants to have fast and solid shipping with quality products, so we focus on finding reliable American based suppliers. The name of the game for us is quality, speed, and reliability.
Now, some suppliers say they are dropshippers, but really they are selling the product on their own site for the same amount, which does nothing for our clients.
I always verify that dropshipping accounts get a discount and what that discount is. There is no point otherwise because then our clients either (A) couldn’t get the same profit margins, and/or (B) the item won’t sell as well.Additionally, some of the suppliers charge fees to use them. It isn’t cheap and sometimes it is a big annual fee due up front.
While a larger marketplace like Shop1 can afford these fees, the first-timer entrepreneurs may not. That is the advantage the dropshippers get with Shop1 as we take care of these costs for you.
Outside of the fees, American suppliers require American business documentation that is gained by registering as an official business with . This is a legal requirement requiring a business to have an EIN number, which is obtained by registering your business. These items determine the experience of not only Shop1, but also you, our clients.
Pros and Cons of Using Supplier aggregators
The second thing I did was investigate the dropshipping supplier aggregators. Here is the way many of those work. The first thing to understand is not all of them are actual dropshipping platforms. But they have collected a large list of suppliers together that they will give you access to … for a price.
Of course, these aggregators do not take any responsibility when it comes to the quality or fulfillment. You’re still going to have to deal with the suppliers one at a time.
I say it this way because they wanted thousands of dollars for access to a limited amount of products. The justification was that they could integrate their product listings into the dropshipping platform we were using and automatically update stock and product data for us. Because we are using our own customer platform, this didn’t give any benefits.
Plus there was a limit per month of items able to be processed this way. Since they were not a dropshipping platform, a normal customer would have had to pay for a dropshipping platform as well. It makes not sense to most dropshippers as these fees add up and eat into your potential profits.
You can create an account and be able to look at the supplier listings with multiple dropshipping aggregators to see how legit they are and how they work. You could then maybe reach out to some of those suppliers that seem like a good fit for your business. Another great thing that came from this for me was that when I researched these companies, I was actually able to find similar companies to them on google by searching for the target company, which you need.
Shop1’s commitment is to provide quality dropshipping for our dropshippers. It is never good to put all of your eggs in one basket, and suppliers are not any different. If a supplier has any sort of production or supply chain issues it needs to have a minimal effect on our clients.
This simply is not possible if you only have 1 supplier in that niche. Also, you need to be ready for the possibility of that supplier deciding to close its doors.
How to Verify if a Supplier is American Based
American based suppliers. There are multiple reasons this is important to dropshipping in the U.S. Speed of delivery is the biggest one. Many dropshipping platforms use chinese suppliers, which increases shipping and response times greatly.
But how do we do this? Well the first thing is to go back to Google and look up the suppliers site to see where they have their headquarters located and what contact numbers they give out. Sometimes they don’t mention their headquarters at all and you have to go by if the contact number has european options or not. I’ve even had to type into google “ What country is *supplier name* based out of.”
Always check the online reviews for a company. There are some red flags to watch out for. Now google will have some reviews for a company, but those are usually not the best to use. I personally like looking up multiple business review sites as they take a more objective approach and yield more results. There aren’t always a lot of them and I’ve not usually found them to be useful.
However, there are sites that specialize in rating sites, such as https://findsuppliers.com. They have consumer responses and other information about the sites past dealings. There is a rating system as well so that people can rate their experiences with that company.
If there are only a few reviews, they are excellent, and they were posted around the same time period, I wouldn’t trust it. You will want to read between the lines when reading reviews. The other side of that coin is that usually people are upset when they leave reviews and they don’t always paint an accurate picture.
While oftentimes justified, we live in a time where people potentially leave bad reviews to sink a company. I also would look at sites like Glass Door where employees give their feedback.
Employees sometimes spill the beans on things that can be corroborated by the reviews left. I would apply the read between the lines strategy to this as well for the same reason as the consumer reviews..
Searching for suppliers takes a lot of time, money, frustration, and effort. Personal experience talking. But luckily you don’t have to do these things. Because Shop1 is finding these American based suppliers for you already, your time and money goes towards driving traffic and sales.
And since these suppliers are provided through our all-in-one system, you don’t have to pay for multiple platforms to handle what needs to be done.