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How to Prevent Fake Suppliers to your Dropshipping Store
Online sale of goods is a perfect way to earn some money while developing your shop. Traditional online shopping sadly requires a more significant initial expenditure to procure products, design production, and arrange shipping and more. Most people don’t have access to these resources from the beginning, which makes it impossible for them to succeed on their own in the long term.
Dropshipping means selling items in your shop without the inventory being sold. Instead, you are dealing with a supplier who manages it for you until the final product, so you don’t have to set up the infrastructure needed to manufacture or manage your inventory.
When an order is made, you buy from the retailer and forward the buyer’s details to the seller, who is processing it and shipping for you. Then you can pocket the difference, and everyone is happy-quick, right?
Unfortunately, when it comes to the business partnership, not all “suppliers” have the best intentions. You will have to sort through the people who want to take advantage of you to establish good relationships with legitimate suppliers when you choose your dropshipping suppliers.
Just like you, there’ll be people out there who’ll try to strike a bargain with the middleman. When you are trying to deal directly with a supplier to get the best rates, they claim to be a supplier while applying a discount to the prices that they charge you. This cuts in your earnings and can even result in scamming since they do not truly represent the supplier.
To confirm if you are not being used, do some online “supplier” research so you can find out whether they are doing stuff themselves, or whether they are dropshipping too. Things like their business license, factories, production facilities and other properties will possibly mean they are the real deal. You can also compare their supply catalogue prices against prices online for the same items to see if they charge more than another catalogue does, or if the price is too close to retail elsewhere.
Avoiding fake items
If you are using a big wholesale marketplace such as AliExpress or dealing with a single supplier, counterfeit goods are always a potential concern. Since you don’t see the product until it arrives, it is easy to give your customers a bogus or fake item if you’re not careful.
Not only can fake goods cost you money & damage your reputation as a vendor, but they can even put you in legal trouble. If you sell something that’s falsified but designed to fit a copyrighted product, you risk getting a lawsuit closing down your payment gateway or whole store.
Unfortunately, there is no exact way to remove the possibility of fakes entirely if you maintain an extensive product catalogue. You can also reduce them by doing the following:
- Contact & Create a Supplier Relationship: The first thing to do before you start dropshipping with a supplier is to contact them. Touching base helps you to ask for details about business verification (licensing, production, etc.) so that you have a clear sense about who you are dealing with. Legitimate wholesalers will be more than willing to offer their credentials, giving you peace of mind that they’ll do what they’re saying.
- Check Seller Feedback: If you’re using AliExpress or another open marketplace, product & supplier feedback could be your best friend. People who have got fakes will NOT be pleased so you can be sure that if anything is wrong, they can alert others. This allows the avoidance of particular sellers with a higher risk of problems.
- Place a test order: When you add a new product from a new supplier to your shop, you run the risk that it may be fraudulent. A perfect way to get an idea of the product’s consistency is to position yourself an order so you can test it for authenticity. That means you know what you’re offering to your customers and if it’s not up to scratch, you can avoid working with that provider.
Avoiding Wholesaler Membership Fees
Another way people might try to make a buck on you is to demand a “user fee” to use them as suppliers for you. If they aren’t the business itself, they will supply you with the same details that the actual supplier does, but for no reason whatsoever, pocket the fees you pay them every month – cut to the bottom line.
The exception to this rule is working to locate suppliers for your store in a directory. These directories are the curators of a list of various manufacturers & wholesalers that the organization also verifies to ensure they are legitimate. This can help to minimize fakes or price inflation, but you will be charged a monthly fee to access their database.
Recall it this way: if a single supplier is paid a bill, it is possibly unconstitutional. If you pay for access to a supplier’s catalogue (and the list is trustworthy online), this is probably secure.
Dropshipping WooCommerce: A more straightforward way to dropship
Woocommerce dropshipping is among your best choices when it comes to beginner-friendly online shopping. A woocommerce dropshipping plugin like WooDropship helps you to quickly import a supplier’s product catalogue to your store with only a few clicks. This allows you to sell a wide variety of items without the need to invest the hours it would take to set them up manually. These plugins also integrate with suppliers such as AliExpress which enables you to take advantage of their review system and other features for a more secure wholesaling experience.
Dropshipping can be daunting, to begin with, but as long as you take the necessary measures to screen any suppliers & do your homework, it can be a great way to earn some extra money. Keep in mind our recommendations when you get started, and sell the best of luck!