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Drop Shipping From China

One of the questions I get asked most often is…

“Should I drop ship from China?”

There seems to be a lot of people in the community talking about drop shipping from China using direct Facebook ads to Shopify stores.

And it’s something I know that people are interested in…

But here’s the thing, the people I know that have tried it aren’t getting great results. That’s why I want to tell you my experience and help you decide for yourself whether drop shipping from China is right for you.

Basically, it comes down to two huge downfalls, I am going to cover those AND when it’s possible to use drop shipping from China for your business.

The Downsides of Drop Shipping with Suppliers from China

The truth is, the downsides of drop shipping wholesale products from China outweigh the benefits. Drop shipping with suppliers in China is not for beginners and shouldn’t be the supplier of your main eCommerce product. And I’ll tell you exactly why…

drop-shipping-china

Chinese suppliers shouldn’t be the main supplier of your eCommerce product. Click To Tweet

Shipping Times with Chinese Suppliers

I’ve never tried to run an entire business with products drop shipped from China, only with a few products in a store. And the thing that stuck out most to me is how long the shipping times are. I found that at its quickest, the product will reach the customer in two weeks.

Sometimes it can take as much as four weeks! Taking the average of those two it wouldn’t be unfair to estimate products reaching your customers in three weeks. Yikes!

This is a huge issue if you aren’t selling custom-made products because online shoppers want their purchases immediately. Leaving you in a bad position with having to explain to the customer why it’s going to take the better part of a month for them to receive their item.

And the thing is, even if you put it front and center on your website you’ll still get emails about it.

Saying something like “Hey it’s been a week and a half, where’s my product?”

Waiting For Chinese Drop Shipping

This creates a lot more customer service work for you! It becomes a bad experience for your customer support and a terrible experience for your customer.

Making it pretty much a losing scenario for all involved…

This leads to a long-term strain that will make you less money overall. That’s why using “in country” drop shipping suppliers is best, because you’ll have much better shipping times! That means happier customers and less strain on your customer support.

Returned Products

That leads us to the second issue with drop shipping from China, returns.

A lot of products are created in China, but they are often branded products. With the generic products you sell, you’ll likely have a higher defect rate than the branded kind.

Not to say China doesn’t make good products – they do, most of the products you’ll sell from legitimate drop ship suppliers come from China. But when you drop ship straight from China you’re going to have problems.

Since these are going to be generic products it’s going to lead to some items being defective. Some of the items won’t look like how they are portrayed in your product photos. That’s going to lead to customers wanting to return them and what happens then?

Hint: It’s not great…

Chinese drop shipping higher refunds

Because you’re drop shipping out of your home country, the returns won’t be coming back to the supplier. Similar to drop shipping on Amazon, these products will most likely be coming back to you.

You’ll have to pay out of pocket for those defective products yourself. And that’ll eat into your profits quickly.

dropshipping-returns

It also seems like a lot of people that I talk to about this (that are actually doing it) sell products around $20. They are directly pointing ads to Shopify and that just isn’t how I’ve done eCommerce before.

I’m not saying it won’t work for you but that isn’t how I’ve been profitable. It isn’t what we teach at Drop Ship Lifestyle.

The whole model for our success is based on drop shipping high ticket items. That way you get bigger profits per sale.

Frankly, drop shipping from China isn’t something that we accounted for because we built our drop shipping program to work with long-term strategies that work the best.

Again, this doesn’t mean it doesn’t have its place. It just means that if you are dead set on doing it, you should follow through on what the course says first then you can explore.

When to Drop Ship Products from China

Drop shipping from China could be appropriate for tripwire products but I wouldn’t suggest using them as your supplier for your main product. Because of the long shipping times and having to eat the cost of returns yourself.

Chinese Drop Shipping May Work For Tripwires

Tripwires are smaller products that you sell to your customer in order to warm them up to purchase your main offer. The idea is that you build trust and a relationship with them before they spend on your bigger priced product.

That being said… I still believe you shouldn’t use this method if you are a beginner. If you’re building your first store, drop shipping from China is not a good idea. But if you have a thriving business you could try adding it into your product mix.

dropshipping-china

 

To summarize, drop shipping from China takes longer to ship to the customer. This leads to more pressure on customer support. It will also lead to you paying the bill on returned items since all the defective products will come to you, not the suppliers.

I don’t suggest it for your main offer and would not tell a beginner to start that way. I would also not suggest doing low ticket items unless you are warming up a customer to your main offer. That’s how we do eCommerce with high ticket items and $300+ profits.

Since this will be an ongoing discussion I would love to hear from you guys on your experience with drop shipping from China. And as always, if you have any questions I will answer them in the comments below.

Anton Kraly
 

Anton is a the Founder & CEO of Drop Ship Lifestyle - an online coaching program for eCommerce entrepreneurs. He began selling online in 2007 and has built and sold multiple seven-figure businesses while leveraging the power of drop shipping.

  • Tuan says:

    I seriously consider to purchase your course, but after some research I am wondering if this course is for a person like me.Hope you answer these questions specific and straight foward( Sorry about my English skills if this made you confuse).

    With what you said, is there any realistic chance for people from small countries to dropship or become an internet retailers and deal with suppliers from USA ? I am from Vietnamese.

    You said that we can outsource to reduce time of work on this model business to only 30 minutes per day. But I have seen a lot of video of guys who dropship with China said that this model business need a lot of time to work on. And when I see how they did, I think that’s true. My current business need only 3 hours to work per day and just make only 4000 $/ month. I don’t want to jump into another business cost me more time and give me less money. I’m not afraid to work at first because I’m just a newbie, but if I can reduce the time as you say less than an hour a day, how long does it take (average or example)?

    And another small question, please! What your advice about the budget enough to follow this business with your method as a newbie?

    Thank you and hope your answer !

    • Anton says:

      Hi Tuan,

      I love your country! I lived in Saigon for almost 3 years before moving back to the U.S.

      To answer you question, you can run your business anywhere in the world while being from Vietnam.

      At Drop Ship Lifestyle, we have Vietnamese students running their drop shipping stores in Italy, in Australia, and in the U.S. (and those are only the ones that I’m aware of).

      Regarding how long it would take to earn $4k/month or more – I’m sorry but I’m not legally allowed to make any income claims because of FTC laws here in the states.

      Wishing you all the best!
      Anton

  • Chantel says:

    Hey there I’m in Canada. Will drop shippers in the states be willing to work with me? I won’t have a US bank account or a US business address etc?

    • Anton Kraly says:

      Hi Chantel,
      You can still do business in the U.S. We have many members from Canada who are doing just that.
      If you’re a member of Drop Ship Lifestyle you should check out our private forum where there are many discussion threads about how to get your business set up 🙂

  • Dan says:

    Would love to know if you view would be adaptable for people in the UK where drop shipping supplies are a lot more difficult to find.

    • Anton Kraly says:

      Hi Dan,
      Yes, you can drop ship in the UK.
      We have many success stories from there, including one of our coaches.
      There are some small tweaks that you would have to make to our main teachings but this is covered in the Doing Business Abroad section of Drop Ship Lifestyle.
      Hope that helps!

  • Maria Rivera says:

    Thank you for the clarification. I have so much to go through.

  • Maria Rivera says:

    Hi Anton,
    I have been watching bits and pieces of your weekly videos and I had the idea in my head that the way you did things was to sell products from Aliexpress. Then I watched this video and am confused since you talk about selling products from China is not a good idea! So where to find suppliers if not from China? I’ve heard it is not easy to be granted permission to sell brand products and in another video you said that it is much easier to sell non-branded products. Please advise, I would appreciate any comment to clarify this. Thanks.
    Maria.

  • Hadas Harel says:

    Hi Anton,
    I need some help, its feels like I’m stuck with everything that im doing,
    I manage to open a store in aliexpress for my brand but I don’t know how to promote it.
    I’m also going to finish up my website soon, which will also have the affiliate program, this side sale all kind of fashion and decor from China Worldwide.
    I would love to know how can you help me to move it out.
    my Skype is: hadashael
    tks, Hadas

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