I'm in the process of setting up a store in the men's apparel/accessories niche that I might like to eventually evolve further beyond a simple drop shipping model (ie. own print designs / private label items). I am having a particularly challenging time figuring out how I would build brand trust with a dropship model while using a method like AliExpress. From my research, it seems there are several issues that could arise often enough to basically trash the brand in the process.
I have found a handful of drop shippers I believe could be reliable suppliers operating outside of China and thus establish better credibility, however, I am concerned about how to communicate where products are coming from & how to assign shipping costs if a cart contains items from multiple suppliers. How do other stores manage this process? Do you let customers know the product is coming from 'x' country? Do you charge customers all the shipping costs or absorb these from your profit margins? Is this feasible?
I'd love to hear thoughts about any of the above!
I dropship and also have some products myself, so I have a combination of both..I let everyone know on the Ordering and Shipping pages that some products come directly from the vendor/manufacturer, so they know they might receive more than one package. I also have a tab on my product page with the information so they know upfront. It's also in the order confirmation email as well.
As for the shipping price, I find it's easier to just use one flat rate for everything. On some orders I might lose a bit, but on others I make up for it. It's too challenging to do it any other way for me.
Hope this helps :-)