One of the questions I get asked most often is….
“Should I avoid dropshipping from China?”
It seems like a lot of people in the community are talking about dropshipping from China using direct Facebook ads for Shopify stores.
And I know that’s something that people are interested in…
But here’s the thing, the people I know who have tried it aren’t getting great results. That’s why I want to share my experience and help you decide for yourself if dropshipping from China is right for you. Basically, it comes down to two issues, I’ll state them AND tell you when is the best time to use dropshipping from China for your business.
The disadvantages of dropshipping with Chinese suppliers
The truth is that the disadvantages of shipping wholesale products from China at low prices outweigh the advantages. Dropshipping with suppliers in China is not optimal and should not be the supplier of the main product of your e-commerce site. And I will tell you exactly why… Chinese suppliers should not be the primary supplier of your e-commerce product.
Shipping times with Chinese suppliers
I’ve never tried to run an entire business with products shipped from China, only with a few products in a store. And what struck me the most was the long shipping times. I’ve found that the product gets to the customer in two weeks, at the most.
Sometimes it can take up to four weeks!
If we take the average of these two figures, it will not be wrong to estimate that the products arrive at your customers in three weeks. Ouch! This is a huge problem if you don’t sell custom products because online shoppers want their purchases immediately. This puts you in a bad position because you have to explain to the customer why it will take them nearly a month to receive their item.
And the fact is, even if you put the warning upfront on your website,
You’ll still get emails about it. Saying something like “It’s been a week and a half since I ordered, where’s my product?” This will cause you to increase your customer service work considerably! This becomes a bad experience for your customer service and a terrible experience for your customer.
Which makes it a lose-lose scenario for all parties involved….
The result is long-term pressure that will cost you money overall. That’s why it’s best to use “in-country” drop shipping providers because you’ll get much better delivery times! This means happier customers and less pressure on your customer service.
This brings us to the second issue with dropshipping from China, returns. Many products are created in China, but they have often branded products. With the products you sell, you will likely have a higher defect rate than branded products.
This does not mean that China does not make good products,
But that will be the case with most of the products you sell through legitimate dropshipping suppliers from China. Since these will be products on Aliexpress, some items will be defective. Some items will not look like the image you give of your products on the pictures. Customers will then want to return them and what will happen next?
Hint: it’s not great…
Returns will not go back to the supplier. Like dropshipping on Amazon, these products will most likely be returned to you. You will have to pay for these defective products out of your own pocket. And this will quickly reduce your profits. It also seems that a lot of people I talk to about this (who actually do it) are selling products for around 20 euros. Which is true reduces the risk greatly.
Nevertheless, you should know that here I am only talking about dropshipping with a long-term vision.
You can of course make big money in the short term with a Chinese supplier, but if you want to create a store in the long term you will have to use European suppliers even if it means paying more.
Frankly, we didn’t consider dropshipping from China
Because we built our dropshipping program to work with long-term strategies that work best. Again, this doesn’t mean it doesn’t have its place. It just means that if you’re dead set on doing it, you need to take the course first, then you can explore it.
When to work with Chinese suppliers?
Dropshipping from China might be appropriate for beginners because you don’t have a big capital at the beginning. Then, I don’t suggest you use them as your main product supplier. Because of the long shipping time and the fact that you have to bear the return costs yourself.