If you’re looking to start a dropshipping business (or you’re already running one), you’ll be familiar with the money making formula that most people use.
It looks something like this: Find cheap wholesale products from Chinese suppliers and sell them for massive profits to customers in the US, Europe, or Australasia.
That business model still works today. BUT, with more and more people using this formula we’re seeing more and more Chinese products flood the market.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing. However, it means it’s getting harder to differentiate your business from all the others, especially if you’re relying on crowded marketplaces like eBay and Amazon.
One way that you can differentiate is by using suppliers that are based in the United States.
You don’t even have to be living in the US for this to be a good option. If you have a strong customer base in America, or you’re looking to break into the US market, then using local dropshippers makes a lot of sense.
I know, I know, the lure of cheap Chinese suppliers you find on Alibaba or Aliexpress is strong, but you’re going to want to hear me out.
There are many benefits to working with dropshippers in the United States, and I’m even going to share some of the best American suppliers with you at the bottom of this post.
Let’s get into it.
Why Dropship From the US?
There are a lot of great product suppliers and manufacturers in the United States, many of which offer dropshipping services.
You’d hardly know it, though, as most dropshipping advocates push the idea of buying cheap products from Asia and selling them in Western markets at significant mark-ups.
Let’s look at some of the benefits of using American dropshipping suppliers for your online store.
We all know how important shipping is when you’re buying something online. Shipping is one of the main downsides of using dropshippers in China. It can take days and sometimes weeks for a customer to receive their package. This alone can leave customers dissatisfied and make them unlikely to buy from you again. Working with US dropshippers ensures:
Fast Shipping for US Customers
Shipping typically takes between 1-3 days within the US. So your customer could buy something from your store and have it delivered the next day. A satisfied customer is your best marketing tool as it can lead to repeat business and word of mouth advertising for your store.
A Reliable Tracking System
Customers today expect to be able to track and trace their package in the post. US courier companies like UPS, FedEx, and DHL all provide reliable, comprehensive tracking systems, which you can share with your customers.
A Wide Range of Shipping Options
US courier services offer a selection of shipping options such as next-day, second-day, or third-day delivery. In some cases they even provide a same-day delivery service. Generally, the faster the delivery, the higher the price. But at least it gives your customers the option to choose, depending on how urgently they need their package.
Firstly, let’s address the elephant in the room. American dropshipping suppliers are generally going to be more expensive than Asian suppliers. It’s true. The cost of labor, materials, rent and other factors all contribute to higher product costs. But those added costs come with product benefits that will allow you to charge your customers higher prices. And with customers becoming more conscious of fair trade and quality, they’re more than happy to pay those prices. Let’s look at some of the product benefits of using US dropshipping suppliers:
US manufacturers have a reputation for quality products. Whereas products you might source from China, Taiwan, or Vietnam generally don’t have the same reputation. Why does this matter? People are prepared to pay for quality. You can charge more for quality. Selling products from China is often a race to the bottom in terms of price competition.
“American-Made” Stamp of Approval
You get to stamp “American-made” on your products (if, in fact, the products are made in America). This is a seal of approval for a lot of customers, especially patriotic Americans. It’s a powerful selling point and marketing tool that sets you apart from most sellers on eBay and Amazon. Again, people are happy to pay more for American-made products.
Higher Retail Prices
As mentioned above, you can get away with charging higher prices for American-made products. This negates the main attraction of using Chinese suppliers. While you pay more for American-made, you can quite comfortably pass those costs onto your customers so your profit margins remain the same, or perhaps even higher than they would with Asia-made products.
Better Customer Satisfaction
You can build a loyal customer base by using US dropshipping suppliers. Just think of the combined benefits outlined above. Faster shipping, more shipping options, quality products, the feel-good factor of buying American-made – they all add up to a highly satisfied customer that is more likely to return to your store again and again.
Easier to Make Sales
This is simply because there are fewer people taking the American-made route in eCommerce as most sellers are sourcing products from Chinese suppliers. When you have a point of difference and can stand by the quality of your products, it becomes easier to make sales, especially if you have effective marketing. There’s a reason why people buy Levi’s jeans over other, cheaper brands, even if the company’s “Made in the USA” claims are somewhat dubious. The story of wearing American-made goods – the story that Levi’s customers tell themselves – is often more powerful than the product itself.
What to Look for In a US Dropshipper
Just because a dropshipper is based in the US, doesn’t necessarily mean they’re a great supplier. You want to follow the same process that you would when vetting any supplier. After all, your supplier is one of your most important business partners. You want to choose the right one.
The main things you should look for in a supplier are:
Trust and Reliability
You need to know that your supplier can be trusted. How do you do this? Well, you could use a SaleHoo’s supplier directory which has more than 8000 vetted suppliers, including US dropshippers. You can also check websites like TrustPilot, or ask the supplier for references. If the supplier has social media pages you can check those for reviews.
Even better, make the effort to visit the supplier and meet them face to face. That’s a great way to see if you feel comfortable trusting them.
Friendliness and Communication
Trusting your supplier is one thing, but you also want to be sure that they’re easy to do business with. Are they friendly and cooperative, or cold and difficult?
It’s possible that you’ll be working with a supplier for many years, so you want to make sure they’re someone you get on with.
Jump on the phone and have a chat, or visit their warehouse or factory and meet in person. You can also tell a lot by the tone of their emails.
Shipping Costs and Information
Fast shipping is one of the main benefits of using US dropshipping suppliers so it’s important that your supplier is up to speed.
You want to make sure they can provide all of the expected shipping options such as same-day and overnight delivery so that you can pass these benefits on to your customers.
Be sure to ask for the shipping costs and any other information as you don’t want to have to charge more than you have to for shipping.
If your supplier is also the product manufacturer, you should ask about production capacity. This relates to how much product they can make at a time.
This is important as if you business takes off and experiences a surge in demand, you want to know that your supplier can meet that demand in a timely manner, otherwise they could be responsible for slowing the growth of your business.
It’s normal for suppliers to charge a dropshipping fee, but you need to ask what it is up front so that there are no surprises. It’s also worth asking if they have any other charges that you should know about.
If you get a list of obscure fees back, it’s probably best to avoid that supplier as they’ll be shaving money off your profit margins.
Warranty and Returns Policies
Be sure to get all of the relevant product warranty, guarantee and returns information from the supplier and go through it with a fine-toothed comb. If things go wrong with their products, you want the supplier to bear as much of the responsibility as possible.
10 Verified American Dropshipping Suppliers from SaleHoo
I’ve compiled a list of 10 US dropshipping companies for you to use. These suppliers have been checked and verified by SaleHoo staff so you can be confident in their reliability.
iFunCity is a US-based dropshipper that has served customers in over 60 countries since 2007. The supplier offers a blind dropshipping program with free customer support.
They offer a wide range of products from fashion accessories to various in-demand electronics and video games. The company sells both branded and non-branded items. You can easily browse through the inventory and select which products you wish to sell. They can provide you with a product data feed, which is updated daily.
Based in the Austin, Texas, Teledynamics is a wholesale consumer electronics distributor of over 80 product lines, such as Plantronics, Panasonic, NEC, AT&T, SBC, Sony, Motorola, Siemens, Polycom, along with many others. They have no minimum order requirements. They also offer a blind drop shipping service at no extra cost.
The company offer net terms to companies with good standing credit history, credit card and COD options. They also offer a data feed and online catalog as well as order access once you have become a dealer. A reseller identification is required.
This supplier is a family-owned and operated manufacturer and wholesaler with nearly 40 years of experience providing quality wide width shoes at competitive wholesale pricing to retailers across the globe. They offer blind dropshipping so your customers will never know where you got the products from.
FragranceNet has been in business since 1997 and has shipped over 10 million orders. The company offers dropshipping and wholesale.
Once you sign up for the dropshipping program, you have access to the complete wholesale inventory of fragrances, skincare, haircare, aromatherapy products and candles. Shipping charges begin at $5.95 and each other item is an additional $1.00 for US customers. International shipping rates vary according to weight, customs policies, as well as destination country.
I&I Sports Supply Company is a US-based supplier of paintball products, arcades, martial arts merchandise and airsoft products. They specialize in carrying closeouts, soft goods and accessories.
They also offer blind dropshipping services if you have your own website, or online store.
Whitney Brothers is a dropshipper and manufacturer of children’s furniture – perfect for schools, play rooms, nurseries and day care centres. They stand behind all their products and offer a lifetime warranty.
New Concepts Distributors International is a manufacturer from Miami that distributes shapewear, underwear, and other related merchandise. They have an A+ rating on BBB.org.
A nominal fee of $3.00 is added on top of the product price itself should you wish to participate in their dropshipping program. However the good news is that there's no minimum order requirement. They'd be happy to ship even a single unit to your customer.
This supplier is dedicated to product innovation and research in order to give the consumer quality beauty products at a reasonable price. Their patented tools are made locally in Las Vegas, USA while their polish and kit components are purposefully and carefully sourced and manufactured in the USA.
Wholesale and dropship pricing is available upon request. Products are available for international purchase.
Fashion Stories, based in New York, is a manufacturer of accessories such as bracelets, rings, necklaces, and other related merchandise.
They offer dropshipping services with no minimum order requirement. There are no additional fees either other than the product price itself and the shipping fees.
Parkflyers RC, based in New Jersey, is a trusted supplier of RC helicopters, airplanes, cars, and toys. Almost all of their products are manufactured by them. They can absolutely guarantee the quality of their products, as each of them has a QC card which includes inspection details and factory employee number.
They offer blind dropshipping with a set up fee of $99. There are no extra dropship fees per order. You simply have to pay for the item and the shipping fee.
You’re all set to go
Now that you know the benefits of using US-based dropshipping suppliers, you might consider it as a viable alternative to using Chinese companies.
The thing is, you don’t have to do one or the other. You can work with Chinese suppliers AND US suppliers at the same time. That way you can get a feel for what works best for you and which option is bringing in the most money.
If you’ve had experience with using American dropshipping suppliers, please share your tips and advice in the comments below.
Read more: salehoo.com