Not all dropshipping suppliers from China are created equal. In today’s article, I list down 8 dropshipping suppliers that are worth considering based on important criteria.
Dropshipping is generally a good way to start earning from your website. You get to sell products at affordable prices while leaving the inventory management and shipping to your supplier.
However, it’s precisely because you’re delegating a large part of your dropshipping business to your supplier that finding the right supplier (or suppliers) to deal with is crucial to your business.
While there are manufacturers and suppliers that dropship within the US, it’s hard to beat the prices of dropshipping suppliers from China. They’re even stepping up their shipping game, offering quick and affordable shipping internationally.
In today’s article, I list down reputable dropshipping suppliers from China that are worth a look based on the following criteria:
Product range. You want a supplier that offers plenty of products to increase the chances that you’re able to find a variety of products that suit your niche.
Payment. You want a site that offers PayPal as a payment option, at the very least, so that your payment and personal information are adequately protected.
Required sales volume. There may be a minimum number of items required to meet per month to retain your dropshipper status.
Customer service. You’ll want to be able to speak to someone or at the very least, contact someone through email if anything goes wrong with a customer’s order. Plus points if they have a US address and phone number.
Return/refund policy. It’s useful to know beforehand if the supplier has a return policy or if they refund customers who don’t receive their products. That way, you know what type of return policy you can offer your customers and if you can afford to swallow any return expenses if your supplier won’t cover them.
International reach. How many countries do they ship to? This might not matter too much if you’re only planning to sell locally. But if you’re targeting a wider market, this is definitely something you should know.
Others. These are miscellaneous aspects that could be deciding factors for some dropshippers.
Other criteria that I did not include in each supplier’s summary are membership fees and markup limits. These were not included because none of the suppliers mentioned have membership fees and markup limits, but these are still things you need to take into consideration when you check out other suppliers that are not in this list.
Membership fee. Some suppliers charge a fee for you to access their entire product database. This is an additional cost that you’ll have to take into consideration when pricing your products.
Markup limits. A number of suppliers have a minimum selling price that you must sell their products at, and not following that price might be grounds for them to not accept you as a dropshipper.
On the other extreme, there might be a maximum price on the product as well. Again, you need to take this into consideration when deciding on the prices of your products.
Before I continue with the list, I would also like to include a disclaimer: None of the links to the suppliers that I provide below are affiliate links. I was not paid to include any of them in this article.
Let’s start with arguably the most popular one in the list.
AliExpress is an online platform connecting international buyers from all over the world to small businesses in China. It’s sometimes compared to Amazon, but it’s more similar to eBay in that both individuals and business can offer their products on their site.
Curiously, AliExpress doesn’t allow buyers from mainland China, and doesn’t allow businesses or individuals who are non-Chinese to sell on their platform.
Some of the stores in their platform have limited information available, so you’ll often have to rely on their store rating system and reviews by others who have ordered from them.
AliExpress does offer buyer protection, but in general, refunds are only given when shipped products are not received or if the product received is different from advertised in the case of high-ticket items like jewelry and electronics. No returns, no exchanges, no warranties.
DHgate.com is similar to AliExpress in that it’s an online platform that connects buyers from all over the world to small-to-medium businesses in China.
They don’t carry as many products as AliExpress, but they do carry a wide range of products in various categories.
DHgate also offers buyer protection, but they also have an escrow system wherein they’ll only pass the payment from the buyer to the seller when the buyer has received what they ordered.
From other online reviews, DHgate seems to mediate in disputes between buyers and sellers when issues arise, but only after a certain time period has passed, allowing the buyer and seller as much time as possible to resolve it between themselves first.
TOMTOP is a wholesale and retail site with a wide range of products but focusing mainly on gadgets and electronics.
This company has a dropship program, with clear terms and conditions, so if you want to work with them, you better make sure you adhere to these terms and conditions.
Another thing to note here is if you decide to scale up your business and be a wholesaler instead of a dropshipper, you don’t need to look for other suppliers. TOMTOP has a wholesaler program with plenty of additional benefits and discounts.
Something that’s rare to see with dropshipping suppliers from China is that they have a warranty for refund, replacement, or repair. However, different products offer different warranties, plus they don’t cover the shipping costs of sending back the item to them. If you’re dealing with low-cost items, the cost of returning the product might not be worth it.
TOMTOP has warehouses in 9 countries, including the US, and goods shipped from there get delivered faster. However, it’s unclear from their return policy where to send back items received from local warehouses (i.e., if you need to send it back to the same warehouse or back to China).
DealeXtreme mostly focuses on gadgets and electronics, but they have a large selection of categories to choose from.
They pride themselves on being the first retailer in the industry to offer local access phone numbers to customers in the US and 4 other countries. They also claim to have an unbiased feedback forum where the moderators are other customers and not employees of their company.
DealeXtreme also welcomes dropshippers. They explicitly state that all packages they send out don’t have the DX logo or any other identifying marks.
Customer experiences seem to vary, but a big factor for people still choosing to shop here is that they accept PayPal and that they offer free shipping anywhere.
LightInTheBox specializes in apparel, accessories, gadgets, and home and garden products. They also offer customized dresses for weddings and proms at slightly higher prices.
This retail company is unique from others on this list in that it is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange (as LITB), which means they have a US address to contact in writing if needed. LightInTheBox also offers duty and tax insurance so that if you get charged duties or taxes, they’ll refund it to you as long as you provide proof.
They also have a dedicated dropshipping website called DropInTheBox for those who want to dropship LightInTheBox products. Perks include additional discounts and a dedicated account manager for high-volume sellers.
Banggood got its start selling on eBay, with cellphone accessories and LED lights as its bestselling items then.
Currently, they have more than 200,000 products for sale in 14 product categories, giving you plenty of product options to dropship.
Banggood also has an explicit dropship program with perks such as higher discounts, hot product recommendations, and exclusive Skype and email for dropshippers. They’ll also provide you with watermark-free photos of the products you want to dropship and ship your products without any identifying information from them.
In contrast to other suppliers, Banggood has different return policies for different types of products. This is potentially confusing, but they outline each and every one of them in their help center. Even the procedures are carefully outlined.
They also have a forum for members to share tips and product guides with like-minded members. Banggood encourages members to write content by offering coupons in exchange for quality content. As a result, members in the forum are engaged and actively contributing.
Their forum is also a great resource for first-hand accounts of experiences with Banggood, whether positive or negative. It’s always great to have someone else who has experienced a particular issue answer questions aside from Banggood’s customer service agents.
Tmart focuses mainly on consumer electronics and computer accessories.
You can apply for a Tmart’s dropshipping program to get benefits such as additional discounts, watermark-free images, and no identifying information on packages they send out.
Tmart also hosts a forum where customers can talk about products they’ve bought as well as tips and reviews. They even have an offtopic subforum so that users who share interests outside of Tmart can interact as well.
They have a separate page called Tmart Express to order products that are available in their US warehouse so buyers from the US can enjoy shorter delivery times.
This goes one step further from the usual method of simply indicating availability on the product detail page, where it could be missed. By placing these products on a separate page, buyers can rest assured that the products here are indeed in Tmart’s US warehouse.
PandaHall specializes in products used in jewelry making, such as beads, chains, earring settings, and special tools.
PandaHall is more specialized than the other suppliers I listed, but it’s a noteworthy inclusion because jewelry is a profitable niche on its own, but it can also complement plenty of other niches, such as women’s fashion (accessories), alternative medicine (crystals), self-improvement (affirmation bracelets), and more.
They don’t have a special policy or support center for dropshippers, but their customer service agents are reportedly helpful when contacted regarding dropshipping support.
Let me recap the dropshipping suppliers I listed down for you today:
It’s a lot to take in, but I hope I’ve given you a solid starting point for when you go off and look for dropshipping suppliers from China. Here are a few more reminders for you.
As is the case with everything that generates income, scammers are also present in these parts. They may come in the form of bogus suppliers or shady dropshipping “experts” who’ll teach you a “foolproof” system… for a fee, of course.
Be very, VERY careful who you give your money to. Double- and triple-check everything. When you feel even just a little bit of a nagging doubt, or if something sounds too good to be true, don’t be afraid to just walk away.
It’s better to miss out on a good deal than to lose money on a bad deal.
Because you’re dealing with suppliers based in China, you can expect to deal with delivery issues such as long wait times, damaged packages, and items getting lost in transit.
The customs bureau where you’re at could charge duties and taxes, which the suppliers do try to work around. In some cases, though, when the work around fails, your customer might be charged for these duties and taxes.
Sometimes you might even encounter getting products that aren’t as described or, in extreme cases, being knock-offs of the brand advertised. People who have ordered cellphones, memory cards, or USB drives have complained how they received refurbished or faulty stocks.
These risks are inherent to the industry. It’s the nature of the beast, so to speak. This makes finding the right supplier even more critical to the success of your dropshipping business. The more you minimize your risks by going with the best suppliers, the more success you’re likely to attain.
It also helps if you choose low-risk items to dropship that don’t cost too much and won’t be too hard on you if you have to eat the cost of returns from your customer.
Just because other dropshippers have good experiences with a supplier doesn’t mean you’ll have one, too.
Do your due diligence and evaluate your prospective suppliers.
Get as much information as you can about the company who’s actually going to fulfill the order. Often, the website where you found the actual seller (as is the case with AliExpress or DHgate) will have limited information and can do little to help in case there’s a problem with the order or the product.
I would suggest ordering a product yourself and see how the entire transaction goes; from ordering on their website, to payment, to waiting for delivery, to the packaging, up to their after-sales support. The idea is to know first-hand what your customers will experience.
Once you receive the products, examine and test them thoroughly to find out if the quality is truly satisfactory. You might want to take a couple of photos of your tests and of you using your product should you want to write about it on your blog.
You might find yourself ordering the same product from different suppliers for a thorough comparison.
When it comes down to it, the one with the higher quality should win, and not the one with the lesser cost (and thus have a larger potential profit margin).
Choosing the supplier that’s best for you and your customers is imperative for your dropshipping business to survive in the long run.
Have you started looking for dropshipping suppliers from China, or are you already working with one? Are there any other awesome suppliers that I missed? Tell me in the comments!
JoAnne is your average, everyday, sane stay-at-home mom who believes in the power of the internet to make dreams come true. She has an insatiable appetite for chocolate, as well as all things internet marketing. She keeps up with the latest trends in blogging, affiliate marketing, e-commerce, and more.