How to Find and Work With Reliable Dropshipping Suppliers

How to Find and Work With Reliable Dropshipping Suppliers and Wholesalers

One of the most common questions aspiring entrepreneurs ask is: What’s the best dropshipping supplier for my ecommerce store? 

A dropshipping supplier directory is a database of suppliers that’s organized by market, niche, or product. Many directories employ some sort of screening process to ensure the suppliers listed are genuine wholesalers. Most are run by for-profit companies who charge a fee for access to their directory.

While membership directories can be helpful, especially for brainstorming ideas, they are by no means necessary. If you already know the product or niche you want to sell, you should be able to find the major suppliers in your market with a bit of digging and the techniques discussed above. Plus, once you start a dropshipping business you likely won’t need to revisit the directory unless you need to find suppliers for other products.

That said, supplier directories are a convenient way to quickly search for and/or browse a large number of suppliers in one place and are great for brainstorming ideas for products to sell or niches to enter. If you’re short on time and willing to spend the money, supplier directories can be a helpful tool.

There are a number of different dropshipping suppliers and companies, and a comprehensive review of all of them is beyond the scope of this guide. Instead, we’ve highlighted some of the most well-known dropshipping supplier directories online. Please note we are not endorsing any of these directories, we’re simply providing you with some options.

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6 best dropshipping suppliers

  1. Oberlo
  2. CJdropshipping
  3. Supplymedirect
  4. CROV
  5. Modalyst
  6. DropnShop

To make it even easier to choose the best dropshipping company for your specific needs, we’ll look at these key factors:

  • Location and shipping options. Where does the supplier have locations? How long does production take after a customer has placed an order?
    • Product types. What types of products do they dropship? 
    • Recommended for. Is this supplier suited for beginner or experienced dropshippers?

        Oberlo

        Best free dropshipping supplier directory for Shopify

        Oberlo is a dropshipping platform that makes it easy to find products on AliExpress to sell in your Shopify store. The site offers over 30,000 of the best dropshipping products in 60+ niche categories from suppliers around the world. Oberlo offers free sign-up, with paid plans starting at $29.99/month.

        Location and shipping options: Oberlo connects you with suppliers in various locations around the world. Each typically offers several shipping options for sending products to your customers. You can find what shipping methods a supplier uses on each product page in the Oberlo app. 

        Popular shipping methods include:

        • China Post. Free/affordable shipping costs.Delivery can take 20–50 days.
        • ePacket. Free/affordable shipping costs. Delivery can take 15–30 days.
        • UPS/DHL/FedEx. Express shipping costs. Delivery can take between 5–15 days.
        • AliExpress Shipping. Affordable shipping costs. Delivery can take up to 15 days. 

        Suppliers can have warehouses in various locations, so shipping times and costs can vary depending on the countries you want to target. 

        Product types: You can find anything, including antiques, bracelets, car parts, sunglasses, wedding supplies, furniture, and more.

        Recommended for: Both beginner and veteran dropshippers.

        CJDropshipping

        Best dropshipping supplier with fast shipping

        CJDropshipping is a marketplace that enables retailers to scale their dropshipping business in an affordable way. You can easily import products into your Shopify store, normally at a price lower than on AliExpress, sourced directly from 1688 and Taobao marketplaces. It’s also a free Shopify app you can add to your store alongside other dropshipping apps like Oberlo. 

        Location and shipping options: CJDropshipping uses US-based warehouses to execute same-day processing for your store. It works with USPS, UPS, DHL, and FedEx. If you are shipping from China, it has its own shipping line called CJPacket, which can deliver products to the US in seven to 12 days. 

        Product types: The 1668 and Taobao marketplaces are home to independent designers and small-business owners in China. There are hundreds of millions of listings you can access through CJDropshipping, and products range from mainstream items to hard-to-find items and even virtual products.

        If a product doesn’t exist in the CJDropshipping app, you can put in a request and CJDropshipping will list it once it finds the best source. 

        Recommended for: Retailers who want a one-stop place for all things dropshipping, including product sourcing, order processing, fulfillment, and quick shipping to the United States. 

        SupplyMeDirect

        Best private label dropshipping supplier for US, UK, and European markets

        Supplymedirect

        SupplyMeDirect is a wholesale supplier that helps your dropshipping business scale. The app offers private labeling and reliable sourcing to sell branded products and increase profits. It’s a free Shopify app backed by a dedicated support team you can contact 24/7.

        Location and shipping options: SupplyMeDirect is unique because nearly 60% of its stock resides in warehouses based in the United States, Canada, the UK, and Europe. This makes shipping fast and reliable, with an average delivery time of four to seven days. 

        Product types: Anything from apparel to kitchenware, toys to accessories, and more.

        Recommended for: Dropshippers who plan to sell internationally and want quick shipping. 

        CROV

        Best dropshipping suppliers for multi-channel sellers

        CROV connects retailers to a wide range of products from a vetted list of US suppliers. This is another free Shopify app for populating your store with items and automating orders. 

        Location and shipping options: Shipping is available in 42 countries. Costs depend on suppliers and their shipping methods, which you can find on each product-details page in the directory. CROV has a US warehouse to ship domestic orders faster. 

        Product types: CROV offers more than 35,000 products in over 20 different trending categories from select suppliers. 

        Recommended for: Ecommerce sellers who want to sell unique products on Shopify, Amazon, and eBay. 

        Modalyst

        Best high-ticket dropshipping supplier for US clothing

        Modalyst is an automated dropshipping app for online stores. It’s known for offering products from brand names like Calvin Klein, DSquare, Dolce & Gabbana, and more well-known brands that shoppers will love. Modalyst also offers a curated list of independent and trendy brands for every target audience. 

        The platform has an official API partnership with AliExpress Dropshipping, giving you access to millions of products you can add to your store with one click through a Google Chrome extension.

        Location and shipping options: Modalyst has its own marketplace of US suppliers and brands that can ship domestic orders between six and eight days, for free. UK dropshipping suppliers and Australian dropshippers are also available. Businesses can ship to over 80 countries worldwide, excluding countries in South American and Africa. 

        Product types: General, with a focus on luxury and trendy brands. Modalyst is also a part of the AliExpress Booster Program, which gives dropshippers access to an endless catalog of products. 

        Recommended for: Shopify users who want to add unique products to their stores. You can also sell products with your own branding using the Modalyst Private Label Program. If you choose the Pro plan, you can take advantage of all the premium brands and suppliers Modalyst has to offer.

        dropnShop

        Best dropship supplier for French products

        dropnShop dropshipper

        DropnShop is a dropshipping app for Shopify that offers French products to sell online. It sources inventory from top French factories and, because of relationships with thousands of manufacturers, takes requests from ecommerce partners to help diversify your product catalog and grow your business. A free plan is available. 

        Location and shipping information: DropnShop works with different suppliers to provide worldwide shipping at a fair cost. Each product has different shipping information, but you can find everything you need to know on the product details page in the app.

        Product types: Want to sell the best beauty products from France in your store? You can with DropnShop. The supplier also offers thousands of SKUs across a variety of categories, from kids toys to hair and skin care products, all 100% made in France. 

        Recommended for: Ecommerce stores that want to add French products to their catalog. 

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        How to find dropshipping suppliers

        Like most things in life, suppliers are not all created equal. In the world of dropshipping, where the supplier is such a critical part of your dropshipping fulfillment process, it’s even more important to make sure you’re working with top-notch players.

        Before you contact suppliers

        All right, so you’ve found a number of solid suppliers and are ready to move forward—great! But before you start contacting companies, you’ll want to have all your ducks in a row.

        You need to be legal

        As we mentioned earlier, most legitimate wholesalers will require proof that you’re a legal business before allowing you to apply for an account. Most wholesalers only reveal their pricing to approved customers, so you’ll need to be legally incorporated before you get to see the kind of pricing you’ll receive.

        Bottom line? Make sure you’re legally incorporated before contacting suppliers! If you’re only looking to ask a few basic questions (“Do you dropship?” “Do you carry brand X?”), you won’t need to provide any documentation. But don’t expect to launch without having your business properly set up. 

        Understand how you appear

        Wholesalers are constantly bombarded by people with “great business plans” who pepper them with questions, take up a lot of time, and then never order anything. So if you’re launching a new business, be aware that many suppliers aren't going to go out of their way to help you get started.

        Most will be happy to set you up with a dropshipping account, if they offer it. But don’t ask for discount pricing or spend hours tying up their sales representatives on the phone before you’ve made a single sale. It will quickly earn you a bad reputation and hurt your relationship with the supplier.

        If you do need to make special requests (say, trying to convince a supplier to dropship when it normally doesn’t), you need to build credibility. Be definitive about your business plans (“We are launching this site on January 20”) instead of using flaky rhetoric (“I’m thinking about maybe launching a business sometime soon”). And be sure to communicate any professional successes you’ve had in the past—especially with sales and marketing—that will help you with your new venture.

        You need to convince suppliers that the inconvenience of accommodating your special request(s) will pay off down the road when you become a successful dropshipping company and start bringing them a ton of business.

        Don’t be afraid of the phone

        One of the biggest fears people have when it comes to suppliers is simply picking up the phone and making the call. For many, this is a paralyzing prospect. You might be able to send emails for some issues, but more often than not you’ll need to pick up the phone to get the information you need.

        The good news is that it’s not as scary as you might think. Suppliers are accustomed to having people call them, including newbie entrepreneurs. You’re likely to get someone who’s friendly and more than happy to answer your questions. Here’s a tip that will help you: simply write out your questions ahead of time. It’s amazing how much easier it is to make the call when you’ve got a list of pre-written questions to ask.

        Great dropshipping suppliers tend to have many of the following six attributes:

        Expert staff and industry focus

        Top-notch suppliers have knowledgeable sales representatives who really know the industry and their product lines. Being able to call a representative with questions is invaluable, especially if you’re launching a store in a niche you’re not overly familiar with.

        Dedicated support representatives

        Quality dropshippers should assign you an individual sales representative responsible for taking care of you and any issues you have. We’ve dealt with wholesalers that don’t assign specific representatives, and we hate it. Problems take a lot longer to resolve, and we usually have to nag people to take care of an issue. Having a single supplier contact who’s responsible for solving your issues is really important.

        Invested in technology

        While there are plenty of good suppliers with outdated websites, a supplier that understands the benefits of—and invests heavily in—technology is usually a pleasure to work with. Features such as real-time inventory, a comprehensive online catalog, customizable data feeds and an online searchable order history are pure luxury for online merchants and can help you streamline your operations.

        Can take orders via email

        This may sound like a minor issue, but having to call every order in, or manually place it on the website, makes processing orders significantly more time intensive.

        Centrally located

        If you’re in a large country like the United States, it’s beneficial to use a centrally located dropshipper, as packages can reach more than 90% of the country within two to three business days. When a supplier is located on one of the coasts, it can take more than a week for orders to be shipped across the country. Centrally located suppliers allow you to consistently promise faster delivery times, potentially saving you money on shipping fees.

        Organized and efficient

        Some suppliers have competent staff and great systems that result in efficient and mostly error-free fulfillment. Others will botch every fourth order and make you want to tear your hair out. The trouble is, it’s difficult to know how competent a supplier is without actually using it.

        Although it won’t give you a complete picture, placing a few small test orders can give you a great sense of how a supplier operates. You can see:

        • How it handles the order process
        • How quickly items ship out
        • How rapidly it follows up with tracking information and an invoice
        • The quality of the pack job when the item arrives

        Before searching for suppliers, it’s critical to know how to differentiate between legitimate wholesale suppliers and retail stores posing as wholesale suppliers. A true wholesaler buys directly from the manufacturer and will usually be able to offer you significantly better pricing.

        7 best dropshipping companies worldwide

        1. Worldwide Brands
        2. SaleHoo
        3. Doba
        4. Wholesale Central
        5. AliExpress
        6. AliBaba
        7. CDS

        Worldwide Brands

        Best dropshipping wholesale supplier directory

        Worldwide Suppler wholesalers

        Worldwide Brands, established in 1999, is one of the oldest and best-known supplier directories. It advertises that it only includes suppliers that meet a set of guidelines, to ensure legitimate, quality wholesalers. We’ve used the directory in the past to find legitimate wholesalers and to brainstorm niche ideas and found it useful. 

        Location and shipping options: Worldwide Brands serves retailers around the world. The company is a supplier directory, so shipping costs and locations depend on the dropshipping wholesale supplier you find through the platform. 

        Product types: Though the directory is missing some suppliers we’ve worked with, it does include a large collection of legitimate wholesalers. There are over 16 million certified wholesale products to choose from in niches like pet supplies, jewelry and watches, consumer electronics, home decor, apparel, and more.

        Recommended for: If you want lifetime access to a quality directory and are comfortable with a larger one-time payment, Worldwide Brands is a safe bet.

        SaleHoo

        Best supplier directory for Amazon dropshipping

        SaleHoo homepage

        The SaleHoo supplier directory lists more than 8,000 bulk-purchase and dropshipping suppliers and seems to cater heavily to merchants on eBay and Amazon. Although we’ve never used SaleHoo to source products, its $67 annual price is one of the most compelling values among supplier directories and includes a 60-day money-back guarantee. 

        Locations and shipping information: SaleHoo serves the United States, UK, and Australian markets.

        Product types: SaleHoo’s inventory source is AliExpress. You can find pre-vetted suppliers from a variety of trending and profitable niches, then import items directly to your Shopify store. 

        Recommended for: If you’re comfortable paying an annual membership—or only need to use a directory and research tool temporarily—SaleHoo might be worth a look.

        Doba

        Best dropshipping supplier directory for eBay

        doba dropshipping

        Instead of simply listing suppliers, Doba integrates with dropshippers (hence why it only has 165 suppliers), allowing you to place orders with multiple warehouses using its centralized interface. Membership also includes a Push-to-Marketplace tool that automates the process of listing items on eBay.

        Doba’s centralized system offers more convenience than the other directories, which we imagine is why the $60/month fee is significantly higher than other directories. If you place a high value on convenience and can find the products you want among their suppliers, Doba's interface may be worth the cost.

        Locations and shipping information: Ships globally, rates depend on individual suppliers and the prices you set. 

        Product types: Over two million products with decent profit margins

        Recommended for: If you can identify quality suppliers on your own and don’t mind working with them directly, you’ll be able to save around $700/year. If there are only a few key suppliers in your niche—reducing the number of parties you have to coordinate with—Doba may be the way to go.

        Wholesale Central

        Best free dropshipping directory

        Wholesale Central 

        Unlike many other directories, there’s no charge to search Wholesale Central for suppliers, because it charges suppliers a fee to be listed and displays ads on their site. It also claims to review and screen all suppliers, to ensure they are legitimate and trustworthy.

        Locations and shipping information: US-based suppliers; shipping depends on which supplier you work with. 

        Product types: Over 1,400 dropshipping suppliers with 700K+ products 

        Recommended for: It’s difficult to argue with free, and there’s no harm in browsing the listings at Wholesale Central, but you’ll need to be a bit more discriminating. A number of the suppliers we found appeared to be retailers selling to the public at “wholesale” prices—not something a supplier would do when offering real wholesale pricing. So while we’re sure there are genuine wholesale opportunities listed, you may want to be a little more thorough with your due diligence.

        AliExpress

        Best dropshipping company from China
        AliExpress homepage

        AliExpress is a wholesale and dropshipping platform that connects ecommerce stores to suppliers and products. The majority of merchants selling through AliExpress are based in China and source their products from the region. It’s open to people around the world for free. 

        Locations and shipping information: AliExpress ships to 254 countries around the world. Packages sent with standard shipping can take between 15 and 45 working days to arrive. If you pay for premium shipping, the estimated delivery time is between seven and 15 working days.

        Product types: There are over 100 million products on AliExpress, in categories such as fashion, toys, consumer electronics, hair and beauty products, jewelry, furniture, and even cars and motorcycles.

        Recommended for: Both beginners and veteran dropshippers can use AliExpress to find trending products, do market research, build relationships with vendors, and order wholesale. 

        AliBaba

        Best dropshipping company for B2B wholesale 

        Alibaba homepage

        AliBaba is a B2B marketplace that connects buyers and sellers. The platform is more for wholesalers rather than single sellers and facilitates transactions directly with manufacturers. Suppliers provide bulk items and can fulfill orders for your dropshipping business. 

        Locations and shipping information: Dropshipping from Alibaba can take time depending on where you live. You can expect to wait up to six weeks for deliveries. To cut back on costs, you can choose to ship by freight or air, however, you should do your research and plan accordingly. 

        Product types: AliBaba has more than 2.8 million supplier online storefronts and more than 5,900 categories. 

        Recommended for: Advanced dropshippers who prefer private label manufacturing and want to buy bulk goods at the distribution level to sell as consumer items.

        CDS (formerly Bluember)

        Best dropshipping supplier in India

        CDS

        CDS is one of India’s best dropshipping companies. It was the first supplier in the country and has become known for its automated dropshipping services in the region. It’s an easy way for Indian dropshippers to get in the game, connecting with hundreds of thousands of products. CDS ships globally and offers free sign-up. 

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        How to spot fake dropshipping companies

        Depending on where you’re searching, you’ll likely come across a large number of “fake” wholesalers. Unfortunately, legitimate wholesalers are traditionally poor at marketing and tend to be harder to find. This results in the non-genuine wholesalers—usually just middle men—appearing more frequently in your searches, so you’ll want to be cautious.

        The following dropshipping tips will help you discern whether a wholesale supplier is legitimate.

        They want ongoing fees

        Real wholesalers don’t charge their customers a monthly fee for the privilege of doing business and ordering from them. If a supplier asks for a monthly membership or service fee, it’s likely not legitimate.

        It’s important to differentiate here between suppliers and supplier directories. Supplier directories are directories of wholesale suppliers organized by product types or market and screened to ensure the suppliers are legitimate. Most directories will charge a fee, either one-time or ongoing, so you shouldn’t take this as a sign the directory itself is illegitimate. 

        They sell to the public

        To get genuine wholesale pricing you’ll need to apply for a wholesale account, prove you’re a legitimate business, and be approved before placing your first order. Any wholesale supplier that offers products to the general public at “wholesale” is just a retailer offering items at inflated prices.

        But here are some legitimate dropshipping fees you’ll likely encounter: 

        Per-order fees

        Many dropshippers will charge a per-order dropshipping fee that can range from $2 to $5 or more, depending on the size and complexity of the items being shipped. This is standard in the industry, as the costs of packing and shipping individual orders are much higher than shipping a bulk order.

        Minimum order sizes

        Some wholesalers will have a minimum initial order size, which is the lowest amount you have to purchase for your first order. They do this in order to filter out window-shopping merchants that will waste their time with questions and small orders that won’t translate into meaningful business.

        If you’re dropshipping, this could cause some complications. For example, what do you do if a supplier has a $500 minimum order but your average order size is around $100? You don’t want to pre-order $500 of product just for the privilege of opening a dropshipping account.

        In this situation, it’s best to offer to pre-pay the supplier $500 to build a credit with them to apply against your dropshipping orders. This allows you to meet the supplier’s minimum purchase requirement (as you’re committing to buy at least $500 in product) without having to place a single large order without any corresponding customer orders.

        Tips for working with dropshipping wholesalers

        Now that you can spot a fraud from the real deal, it’s time to start searching for suppliers! You can use a number of different strategies, some more effective than others. The methods below are listed in order of effectiveness and preference, with our favorite methods listed first.

        Contact the manufacturer

        This is our favorite way to easily locate legitimate wholesale suppliers. If you know the product(s) you want to dropship, call the manufacturer and ask for a list of its wholesale distributors. You can then contact these wholesalers to see if they dropship and inquire about setting up an account.

        Since most wholesalers carry products from a variety of manufacturers, this strategy will allow you to quickly source a selection of products within the niche you’re exploring. After making a couple of calls to the leading manufacturers in a niche, you’ll quickly be able to identify the leading wholesalers in that market.

        Use Oberlo

        Oberlo allows you to easily import products from suppliers directly into your Shopify store and ship directly to your customers—all in just a few clicks.

        Features:

        • Import products from suppliers
        • Fulfill orders automatically 
        • Inventory and price auto updates
        • Product customization
        • Pricing automations

        Learn more about Oberlo’s dropshipping features.

        Search using Google

        Using Google to find high-quality suppliers may seem obvious, but there are a few rules to keep in mind:

        1. You have to search extensively. Wholesalers are terrible at marketing and promotion, and they’re definitely not going to top the search results for “wholesale suppliers for product X.” This means you’ll likely have to dig through lots of search results—possibly hundreds—to find the wholesaler’s website listed way down at #65.
        2. Don’t judge by their website. Wholesalers are also notorious for having poorly designed ’90s-style websites. So while a quality site may indicate a good supplier in some cases, many legitimate wholesalers have cringe-worthy homepages. Don’t let the poor design scare you off.
        3. Use lots of keyword modifiers. Wholesalers aren’t doing extensive SEO to ensure you find their websites, so you might need to try various search queries. Don’t stop at just “[product] wholesaler.” Try using modifiers such as “distributor,” “reseller,” “bulk,” “warehouse,” and “supplier.”

        Order from the competition

        If you’re having a hard time locating a supplier, you can always use the old order-from-the-competition trick. Here’s how it works: find a competitor you think is dropshipping and place a small order with that company. When you receive the package, Google the return address to find out who the original shipper was. In some cases, it will be a supplier you can contact.

        This is a tactic we’ve heard discussed by others but haven’t used ourselves. And if you haven’t been able to find a supplier using the other techniques discussed above, there might be a good reason (for example, the market is too small, there’s not enough demand to justify a supplier, etc.). So keep this technique in mind, but don’t rely too heavily on it.

        Attend a trade show

        A trade show allows you to connect with all the major manufacturers and wholesalers in a niche. It’s a great way to make contacts and research your products and suppliers all in one spot. This only works if you’ve already selected your niche and/or product, and it isn’t feasible for everyone. But if you have the time and money to attend, it’s a great way to get to know the manufactures and suppliers in a market.

        Ways to pay dropshipping suppliers and companies

        The vast majority of suppliers will accept payment in one of two ways:

        Credit card

        When you’re starting out, most suppliers will require you to pay by credit card. Once you’ve established a thriving business, paying with credit cards is often still the best option. They’re not only convenient (no need to write checks regularly), but you can rack up a lot of rewards points/frequent flier miles. Because you’re buying a product for a customer who has already paid for it on your website, you can rack up a high volume of purchases through your credit card without having to incur any actual out-of-pocket expenses.

        Net terms

        The other common way to pay suppliers is with “net terms” on invoice. This simply means that you have a certain number of days to pay the supplier for the goods you’ve purchased. So if you’re on “net 30” terms, you have 30 days from the date of purchase to pay your supplier—by check or bank draw—for the goods you bought.

        Usually, a supplier will make you provide credit references before offering net payment terms, because it’s effectively lending you money. This is a common practice, so don’t be alarmed if you have to provide some documentation when paying on net terms.

        Start dropshipping today with Shopify

        Whether you’re a newer ecommerce business owner or a pro dropshipper, knowing your dropshipping supplier options can help source high-quality products at a low cost and increase profitability.

        With the rise of global online sales and shipping efficiencies, it’s no longer a challenge to dropship online and get products to your customers fast.

        Using this dropshipping guide to further improve your online business and create a path to financial freedom, you can live the life you’ve always wanted and make money doing it.


        Ready to create your first business? Start your free 14-day trial of Shopify—no credit card required.

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