United States Suppliers versus China Suppliers

Having the right drop shipping supplier is crucial to the success of your online business. But with so many options out there it’s not always clear which supplier to go with. China has many drop shipping suppliers, as does the USA. What are the benefits and drawbacks of choosing one over the other?       

The benefit of choosing a Chinese supplier is obvious: money. Things in China can be mass produced, and because they don’t have the same labour laws and restrictions, wages are significantly lower. This means that the products from China are significantly cheaper.

That cost savings are nice, but you have to ask yourself is it worth it. Here are just a few common issues that occur when dealing with Chinese suppliers.

Chinese Suppliers

Communication Difficulties

When dealing with suppliers overseas it can be very difficult to communicate because of the language barrier. Google translate is great, and the supplier may speak basic English but stuff is still going to get lost in communication and can cause problems. As a business owner this can be extremely frustrating as time that could be spent growing and expanding your business is spent dealing with someone who speaks an entirely different language.  

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Customer Service Limitations

If you are not speaking the same language it can be very difficult to get customer support if you need help. Odds are good that at some point, something will go wrong (perhaps because of a communication issue) and you are going to need some help to fix it. This can also be an issue because of the time difference. You may need help during the day and it’s the middle of the night over there. This can cause delays and even more problems.

Shipping Times

When you are dealing with a country on the other side of the world, it’s going to take time for products to ship. You’re not getting same day delivery. In some cases it can take 3-4 weeks or more for a product to arrive in the USA. Even when it does arrive in the USA, it still may take days before it’s delivered to the customer. This is a big concern for businesses as speed of shipping is one of the top priorities of online consumers. Why do you think Amazon has had so much success with same day delivery? People don’t like to wait, and with a supplier from China there will be plenty of waiting.  

Return Policy

If you have to wait 3-4 weeks for a product to arrive, imagine what it’s like to return something. Many Chinese suppliers will have limited or no return policy. Even if you are able to return something, it’s unlikely the supplier will cover the cost, meaning you have to pay the return shipping cost out of pocket and at that point the return hardly seems worth it. Whether you return something or not, you are taking the financial hit.  

Product Quality

Finally product quality is an issue. Because China mass produces so many products the focus tends to be more on quantity than quality. A product that isn’t up to standards may end up shipped out anyway because of the hurdles it takes to return it. Many consumers prefer things made in North America, as you can trust the quality. Plus if there is an issue, it’s not a big problem to return or make an exchange.

USA Suppliers

When dealing with American drop shipping suppliers, these issues are non-existent.

You are going to be dealing with people who speak the same language. This is makes communication much easier. Any issues that arise can be dealt with through customer service. The time zones are close so you can count on getting reliable customer service when you need it. And there is something to be said for dealing with someone from the same background and culture as you. You can connect with that person easier and in business that can go a long way.

Being in the same country there are no shipping delays. You don’t have to deal with border crossings and customs. The product is already in the country.  When you order a product from the United States you can count on it arriving in just a few days. The longest you may have to wait for a product to arrive is a week or two. Not long at all in comparison. This keeps your customers happy and keeps them coming back to your business since they know they can trust you and your supplier to get their product delivered in a timely and efficient manner. And again if there is an issue, nobody’s perfect right, those issues can be handled and returns and exchanges can be made without hassle.

The biggest benefit of using a US supplier over a Chinese supplier is the quality of product. You are going to get a product that is built to last and can withstand whatever you put it through. The people that are supplying the products are American just like you. When a product gets shipped out they know it could be going to a family member, friend or neighbour and they ensure that they are getting nothing but the best.   


So you have to ask yourself is it really worth saving a couple bucks to go with a Chinese Supplier? When you lay out all the factors, it doesn’t seem to be. You can save some money in the short-term but long-term it can cost you dearly. You run the risk of having unsatisfied customers, who had to deal with shipping delays and poor product quality. That kills any chance you had for repeat business. As the business owner you add unnecessary stress to your job having to deal with language barriers, time changes and other communication issues. Your life is stressful enough as it is, don’t make it worse. The choice between a USA drop shipping supplier and a China drop shipping supplier is obvious.