The recent disease outbreak in China has dropshippers asking how this might affect the industry as a whole. I answer a few of the most pressing questions.
What is the coronavirus outbreak?
If you don’t know yet, the coronavirus is a virus that causes respiratory illness, much like pneumonia. The death rate is up to 4% to 5% to the infected, in contrast, the flu kills only 0.05% of infected.
A new strain of coronavirus was found in Wuhan, China in January 2020, and it has since been monitored internationally. Many airports, transportation, shipping, and the like have been closed entirely or closed to Wuhan.
Will my customers get sick from coronaviruses on or in packages from China?
No. Coronaviruses do not survive on surfaces for more than a few days. It needs a human or animal host to survive for more than 48 hours.
Will there be a delay for my suppliers shipping and customers receiving packages from China?
There have been reports that the Chinese government has closed shipping for a period of time. Delays in production are but a certainty. Reports say factories will open on February the 10th.
The lunar new year is more of the major factor for a delay in shipping and handling from China. The weeks long celebration means the factories are closed. Some suppliers are closed for a month. Many factories close two weeks before the actual holiday. Banks and postal services also close. Workers take vacations to see families.
UPDATE: Reports now say that reopening may be as late as the 28th.
What other effects does the coronavirus outbreak have on the dropshipping economy?
Alibaba stocks are down. It may be a good time to buy shares when the dip stabilizes. The Chinese economy may recover sharply.
What can I do and shouldn’t do as a dropshipper?
Contact your agent and fulfillment centers in China to see if they have things in stock. Order in bulk. Factories reopeningwill focus on Chinese buyers, and then bulk.
You should not do standard ordering from AliExpress. It will be pushed back as it will not be their priority.
Start looking into more local sourcing than relying on China. Or focus on the products aren’t from China, such as any print-on-demand products you have.
Alternatively, you can simply close or reduce adspend until the outbreak subsides.
Samuel Garcia helps entrepreneurs, small business owners, and hobbyists succeed in using the Internet to increase their business.