eCommerce Lifestyle

Finding The Gold


In today’s episode of the eCommerce Lifestyle Podcast, Anton talks about finding suppliers that will literally send you sales.  

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Hello, everybody. Anton Kraly here and welcome back to the eCommerce Lifestyle Podcast. This is our bi-weekly show, new episodes every Monday and Thursday morning, all designed to help eCommerce store owners to increase their revenue, automate their operations and become the authority in their niche. Now, today's episode should definitely help people with the first one, which is increasing their revenue. Now, you also might notice my voice is a little off today. Don't worry. It's not a problem with the recording setup. I've just been, I don't even know, some type of sick for the past week or so where I feel fine, but my voice is a little bit out. So bear with it. The value is here, so yeah, don't mind the different tone today.

With that being said, though, what we're going to talk about is finding the gold, specifically as it applies to suppliers for your drop shipping store. Now, if you are a member of my coaching program, the Drop Ship Blueprint, which you could find out, you probably are aware that in module two, where I dive deep into market research, I show you how to find suppliers for your niche. One of the things I do there is show you how to segment them into different tiers. I refer to those tiers as silver suppliers, bronze suppliers, and gold suppliers.

Now, silver suppliers will make up the majority of the suppliers you work with, especially in the beginning, simply because out of all the suppliers out there for any given niche, the majority of them are silver. Then bronze, you will certainly find, but bronze are the ones you would never want to work with because they will lose you money and they should be avoided at all costs. But the top tier, the gold standard for drop shipping is gold suppliers. Now, the reason most of your business won't come from them is simply because there's the fewest amount of them in any given niche, and also because they take the most work to get approved with. You typically need a history of sales, revenue, really to prove yourself to get approved to be an authorized retailer for them.

Again, that's all covered in module two, along with the scripts for what you should say to get approved, but that's not the point of this episode. If you want a refresher on that again, just log in to the Drop Ship Blueprint if you're a member, go through module two. Now, let's just quickly hit on, though, what is so good about gold suppliers. Well, one of the things is they offer great customer service. So you as the retailer, not only will have a customer service rep or sales rep at these companies, but they'll also be extremely responsive, extremely helpful. They'll be proactive in working with you for getting new products uploaded to your site, getting product pages optimized. So they are there for you.

They ship products fast. They have easy processes to go through. If there's ever any issues with products, simply great customer service wraps up that part. Also, they heavily enforce their MAP policies, which stands for minimum advertised price. So if for any reason somebody is trying to undercut the competition and sell at discount prices, then these suppliers are quick to either have those other retailers update their prices or they simply drop them, don't let them sell anymore, which of course is great for our margins.

But my favorite thing about gold suppliers is that they refer business to you. Meaning, if somebody contacts them and says, "I want to buy product X, Y, Z," gold suppliers will actually refer that business to us, right? To me, if I'm in that niche and I sell for them, or to you, if you're in that niche and you sell for them. So you definitely want gold suppliers, because again, it's free money. Now, when we want to determine, how do we know if a supplier is silver or gold, because a lot of them are kind of borderline, right, on the fence a little bit.

I'll give you some tips to help to check for those three things I just mentioned that are not all unique to gold suppliers, but things that really if all three of them hit, then it's a gold supplier. So how can you check and verify if it's a silver or gold supplier? I should say too that's not like a term you can Google and find reviews on different suppliers for. That's an internal term that I use for my company when we were evaluating suppliers and it's a term I teach in the Drop Ship Blueprint.

Okay. So with great customer service, how can you know if a supplier offers that before you're approved to sell for them? Well, an easy way is just check their reviews, and the way you can do this is just by using Google and searching for their company name and then looking for reviews, not specifically for their company, but for their company's products. So of course, you're not going to be the first online retailer to ever sell for these suppliers. So you want to see from your future competitors' websites what people are saying about their products.

Is everybody happy with the quality? Are people saying this thing arrived damaged, this thing was broken, this thing didn't match the product description? If you're finding issues like that, even things like it took twice as long to ship as I thought it would, then that might be a red flag that this supplier might not have the best service and that might mean they're not a gold supplier.

Now, let's move on to the next one, MAP policy and heavily enforcing it. How can you tell if a supplier does that? Well, you could simply go to Google. I do this in Google Shopping, which again is free. I search for products from that specific supplier. What I look at is everybody's selling for that supplier and advertising the products on Google Shopping and I look at the prices. Are the prices the same? Or is everybody selling for let's just say $1,000 and then you find two other online sellers there that are selling for 900 and 800? Well, if that's the case, then that supplier does not strictly enforce their MAP policy because they're letting people get away with it.

Now, I should mention here that this is something that suppliers have to react to when retailers violate MAP policies. So it's possible that a company is maybe just changed their prices, try to undercut MAP, and the time you check when you're doing your research is within a few day window before the supplier either cuts them off or has them change their prices. So if you find different retailers breaking MAP for a specific supplier, maybe just make a note to check back in a week and see if all the prices are then, in this example, 1,000, right? Did the supplier make them fix it? So that's what I do there.

To check the final thing, to know if a supplier is gold or not, to see if they can refer business to you is to simply go to their website and see, and this is the suppliers website, right, their brand's website, and see if they have a section that says something like where to buy or something like retailers. What you want to look for there is are they linking to other online stores? Ideally, they're only linking to a handful. So let's just say the niche you were researching was stand-up desks and you went to a supplier's websites for stand-up desks where they talk about their company, look for a section that says where to buy and see how many different websites they link to. We want this to be a low amount because we want to get approved and we want to be included in that section of where to buy, because that is how they are going to refer us business.

So those are a few quick checks we do guys to kind of just tell, "Okay, is this a silver supplier, or is this a gold?" Again, check reviews for their products on your future competitors' websites. See what people are saying about shipping times and product quality. Also, check if they enforce MAP policy by Googling their products and looking in Google Shopping results and seeing if everybody sells at the same price, or if stores are undercutting it. And to see if they refer business to their other retailers, just go to their website, look for a section that says something like where to buy, see if they link to other online stores. Ideally, it's a small number of them so you can eventually get there.

Now, with that being said, if you want to know how to get approved with silver suppliers and gold suppliers, and if you want to know what to do if they reject you right away, that is all covered, specifically that part, in module four of the Drop Ship Blueprint, which is all about supplier approvals, and that is all covered when you log into the members area. If you're listening to this, for some reason you're not a member, you could just go to, D-R-O-P-S-H-I-P, I have a free training for you there. Plus, I make a special offer on the blueprint so a great way to get enrolled.

With that being said, that's going to do it for episode, guys. I'm going to rest my voice, hopefully feeling better by the next one. But hope you got value either way. If you did, would really appreciate it if you can leave a review on Apple Podcasts and I will be back on Thursday, hopefully with a clear voice to keep sharing information, keep helping you on your journey and hopefully to keep helping you get results with your eCommerce stores. Thank you, everybody. I appreciate you. I will talk to you on Thursday for the next episode of the eCommerce Lifestyle Podcast. See you, everybody.