How to Deal With Long Shipping Times When Dropshipping From China
If you’re starting, especially if you’re dropshipping from China, one of your biggest concern will be, how to deal with long shipping times when dropshipping. Or you might be thinking, is it even possible to sell an item to a customer in the United States who have to wait 2-3 weeks or even a month to get their order delivered when they have faster alternatives? If you can relate to these questions, you are not alone.
In this post, we are going to unmask some shipping time myths when dropshipping from china. We will discuss the different types of shipping methods available, how long they take, tips to overcome customer concerns about long shipping times and Finally how to actually improve the delivery time.
Understanding Shipping Times
As a first time dropshipper, you may or may not be aware of calculating the exact time it takes an order to be delivered. A mistake most newbies make, they only check the shipment time. But there are more things to be worried about.
You can divide the whole shipping time into two.
- Processing time – This is the time taken by the supplier to process the order. You can imagine the supplier finding the order in their system and packing it up for shipping. If the product is developed on demand, then this also includes the manufacturing time. This usually takes between 2 – 6 days.
- Shipment Time – This is the time when the product/package is in transit. It is calculated from the moment the package is handed over to the shipment company by the supplier until it is delivered to your customer’s doorsteps.
You should have guessed it by now. The actual shipping time is the processing time added with the shipment time. So next time when you contact a supplier keep this in mind.
Different Types of Shipping Carriers Available
As the world’s largest exporter of goods, there are several ways to ship a package from China to other parts of the world. Some carriers like DHL, UPS, and EMS are very expensive for a dropshipper and you probably won’t make a profit if you use these shipping companies.
So considering our budget we have three options.
- China Post Ordinary
- Aliexpress Standard Shipping (If you’re Dropshipping via Aliexpress)
China Post Ordinary and Aliexpress Standard Shipping are cheap options but have a very long delivery time. Also in some instances, it doesn’t provide a tracking number. Personally, I will not order anything online without being able to track my package, praying my order will be delivered someday.
So if you’re going with these carriers. Make sure to double-check if it provides a tracking number and has an okay shipment time.
And then there is ePacket. Dropshippers most loved shipping method. ePacket is a shipping method used by merchants in China and Hong Kong and it is the cheapest and fastest shipping method available. In addition to being fast and cheap, it also provides us with a tracking number.
Even though ePacket shows that the orders will be delivered within 2 – 3 Weeks, 90% of the time it delivers much faster than stated. Most of your orders will be delivered within 2 weeks (7 – 9 days in the best cases). This Shipping method currently covers 41 countries and soon to be expanded to other countries as well.
So always try to go with ePacket whenever possible even if the other shipping methods offer to deliver the package for a low price. Remember, ePacket is your friend.
Overcoming Customer Concerns About Long Shipping Times
Will your customers wait 2 weeks for your product? Yes, if the conditions are met. You need to fulfill these conditions to overcome customer concerns about your long shipping time. The conditions are easy and straightforward. Let me break it down for you.
1. Sell a Product Your Customer Wants
Before anything else, you need to find a product your customer wants. Doesn’t matter if it takes 2 weeks or 4 weeks to deliver the product, It should be worth the wait for your customers. Look for products that cannot be found anywhere else easily. If you sell the exact same super-viral product Amazon is selling. Then you might not have any luck.
Your product has to be unique or cannot be found anywhere else easily. At least without any research. People go to sites like Amazon when they know what they want. But in your case, they were just scrolling down their Facebook feed before they saw your ad and now they badly want your product. Unless you’re selling a super-viral product everyone is talking about, they are most likely to visit your store and purchase that product without looking in other places.
2. Be Very Clear About Your Shipping Times Upfront
Being very clear about shipping times will save you from refunds. There are several ways to do this. First of all, you can include the details about your shipping times in product pages. In every product page, just under your description add this info. It can be simple as “This Product is Delivered within 2-3 weeks” or a little creative like “Due to High Demand. Please Allow 2-3 Weeks for this Product to be Delivered”
Secondly, you can add a Shipping info page. Create a page that clearly states about your shipping times and make it easily accessible for your customers. You don’t want to create this page and bury it somewhere no one can find it. Add a link to this page in your top navigation menu and the footer menu.
3. Offer Customer Support & Tracking Facilities
Offering Customer Support especially, a live chat feature automatically solves half of your customer problems. As time passes, your customer is going to get nervous. They will wonder where their package is. When they do, they should be able to easily contact you and inquire you without any problems. Most of the time they are not worried about the delay. They just need a confirmation from a human on the other end.
Having a Tracking Facility in your store will dramatically reduce your customer support inquiries. This will enable your customers to know the status of their package without having to contact you. You can use an app like Aftership which will add this feature to your store or just point your customers to a tracking service like Parcelsapp
4. Offer Free Shipping Whenever Possible
Free shipping is a great move to increase your conversion rates and also to deal with long shipping time problems. When your customer finds out that they can get that awesome product for a good price and even without having to pay for shipping on your store. They will take the deal without a second thought.
Also not charging anything for shipping will make you less responsible for any delays. Since your customer didn’t pay you anything for shipping, they are less likely to be worried about it taking an extra 2 days for delivery.
How to Improve the Delivery Time
Using a fulfillment center in China or in your customers country
There are order fulfillment centers/agents in China who also have a warehouse in the USA and Europe. These people can help you improve your delivery time. What they do is purchase the products from the supplier and have it ready for shipping. When a customer places the order. They quickly pack it up and ship through the fastest shipping carrier.
While this is a good way to improve shipping time. This isn’t free. Normally a fulfillment center charges an extra $1 from your product and shipping cost for their service. Also, you need to meet their minimum orders per day requirement for them to work with you.
Finding a supplier who has a warehouse in your customer’s county
Some suppliers also have warehouses in the USA and Europe. Most of these suppliers offer local shipping options to deliver the products to your customers much faster. Find a supplier with a warehouse in your customer’s country.
Finding a Supplier from USA/Europe
The Best way to reduce shipping time from china, Is not to ship from china. Yes, Find Your Own Supplier from USA, EUROPE or anywhere in the world depending on where your customers are. You can use our highly vetted supplier directory to find these suppliers.
Final Thoughts. If you’re dropshipping, then you probably can’t offer the same fast shipping options as amazon or other sellers who have their own warehouse. But it should not stop you from building a highly profitable ecommerce dropshipping business.
Happy Sales Everyone 🙂