Have you ever been through Chinese New Year dropshipping? If not, you have no idea how much it can affect dropshipping businesses worldwide that do their product sourcing in China.
Known as the Lunar New Year or the Spring Festival, this is a period when most businesses in China, including product suppliers, close for some time.
So, how to prepare your store so that you can keep dropshipping during the Chinese New Year?
What Is the Chinese New Year?
Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival or the Lunar New Year, is a celebration of the new year following the traditional lunisolar Chinese calendar.
It’s known as the Spring Festival because it marks the beginning of spring.
This Lunar New Year is celebrated in China and other East Asian countries. It typically begins anywhere between January 21st and February 20th, depending on when the new moon appears.
When Is the Chinese New Year in 2021?
In 2021, the Chinese New Year was on Friday, February 12th. The Spring Festival started on February 11th and lasted 16 days, or until February 26th (the Lantern Festival).
When Is the Chinese New Year in 2022?
In 2022, the Chinese New Year will fall on a Tuesday, February 1st. Typically, the festivities last for 16 days, but most businesses will be closed for a 7-day long holiday (from January 31st to February 6th).
What Is a Lunar New Year?
The term “Lunar New Year” is a synonym for “Chinese New Year.”
This alternative name comes because it marks the start of the new year according to the traditional Chinese lunisolar calendar and starts with the appearance of the new moon.
What Is the Spring Festival in China?
The Spring Festival in China is yet another alternative name for the Chinese New Year. Considering that it marks the beginning of spring, it’s not surprising how it got its name.
How Will Chinese New Year Affect Your Dropshipping Store?
The primary issue of drop shipping during Chinese New Year is that businesses close for a minimum of one week, some even longer.
As we all know, the majority of dropshippers use Chinese suppliers for product sourcing. So, when these suppliers close their doors for one or two weeks, it affects countless dropshippers worldwide.
Needless to say, this results in tons of customer complaints and shipping delays. But, no worries, we’ve got you!
As China is practically closed down for a week or two throughout the Lunar New Year festivities, the only way to keep dropshipping is to get your stock outside of China.
We recommend collaborating with a dropshipping agent in China with a worldwide fulfillment center.
Ideally, your dropshipping company would be able to help you buy in bulk and pre-stock in their US or EU warehouses that are closer to your customers.
Ensure that your dropshipping agent helps you with product sourcing earlier to avoid all the chaos.
Many agents will be at full capacity handling dropshipper requests around that period, so we advise sourcing your products a bit earlier.
Can You Dropship During Chinese New Year?
Yes. As long as you prepare your dropshipping business in advance, you can continue dropshipping during the Chinese New Year.
As we’ve mentioned before, to drop ship during the Lunar New Year, the best is to buy in bulk in advance and have your stock delivered before the Spring Festival starts.
You could do that by having the products delivered to your home address and shipping them out on your own or collaborating with a dropshipping agent who has warehouses outside of China.
How to Keep Dropshipping on Shopify During Chinese New Year?
Dropshipping with Shopify can also continue throughout the Chinese New Year.
If you have a Shopify store, you can automate your dropshipping by integrating your store to different supplier websites like CJDropshipping, Oberlo, etc.
Although many suppliers on this network are from China, some have warehouses in the US or the EU.
By sourcing your products from warehouses outside of China, you can continue dropshipping during the Lunar New Year without any issues.
Your other option to keep your Shopify store up and running is to get in touch with a dropshipping agent.
They can buy products from China in bulk and store them in a warehouse that’s close to your customers (of course, outside of China).
Should I Close My Dropshipping Store During the Chinese New Year?
Many dropshippers decide to close their dropshipping stores during the Chinese New Year simply for fear of delays and customer complaints.
Especially if you have a brand to nurture, shipping delays and problems with product sourcing can quickly destroy your reputation and cause you to lose customers.
But, as long as you prepare yourself with stock, you can avoid the Chinese New Year holiday delays.
Does the Chinese New Year Affect the Shipping of Products?
Yes, sometimes. Due to services working with decreased staff, they will all be at full capacity around the Spring Festival. So, this can definitely affect the shipping.
And here, we have double trouble! Both the manufacturing factories (suppliers) and delivery services will be closed for the Spring Festival.
So, even if you manage to find a supplier for product sourcing, there will be shipping delays.
To avoid negatively affecting your business, we recommend contacting your delivery and postal services in China and asking about their closing and opening times.
Additionally, don’t forget to notify your customers of possible delays in advance, and stay active to reply to concerns and messages.
How Long Are the Chinese New Year Shipping Delays?
Nobody can tell you precisely how long the Chinese New Year shipping delays can be since it often depends on the supplier and shipping method that you choose.
We’ve mentioned before that the holidays last seven days by law (from January 31st to February 6th in 2022), but many services take more than that.
Plus, manufacturers always slow down with production earlier, and once they open, they start slow.
So, realistically, depending on the period you placed your order, you can expect a delay from a week to a whole month! It’s the equivalent of the Western Christmas and New Year’s holidays.
So, prepare your store accordingly!
How to Avoid Shipping Delays During Chinese New Year?
There are two ways to avoid shipping delays during the Chinese New Year:
- Source products from China in bulk, in advance, and store them in a warehouse close to your customers; or
- Source products from Western suppliers or warehouses outside of China (in the US or the EU);
If you decide on the first option, your best bet is to contact a full-service dropshipping agent who has warehouses where they could store your bulk stock.
From there, they can ship out single orders as soon as you place them.
Is AliExpress Available for Chinese New Year Dropshipping?
As a marketplace, AliExpress is open 365 days a year, including Chinese New Year.
As you probably already know, the AliExpress platform is composed of different suppliers selling different products. AliExpress themselves are not the seller but simply the platform or the intermediary.
So, it’s logical to conclude that some AliExpress sellers or suppliers will work during the Chinese New Year, while others won’t.
If you source your products from multiple Chinese suppliers on AliExpress, we recommend getting in touch with each of them and asking them about their holiday days off.
If you’re dropshipping with AliExpress, that’s your best bet to make sure suppliers won’t let you down during this period.
How Long Do Businesses Close for Chinese New Year?
Usually, most businesses close only for seven days. However, some take a more extended holiday, even the full 16 days.
In the upcoming 2022, most companies will be closed from January 31st to February 6th.
It’s always wise to contact your product sourcing agent or product supplier in China and ask how long they will be closed during the Spring Festival.
Are Dropshipping Suppliers Affected by the Chinese New Year?
Dropshipping suppliers located in China are also a type of business that closes down during these holidays.
But, some, like NicheDropshipping, continue to work throughout the holidays, only with reduced capacity.
What Businesses in China Does the Chinese New Year Affect?
The Chinese New Year or Spring Festival, as it’s often called, affects:
- Product suppliers, manufacturers, traders, factories, etc.;
- Banks and financial institutions;
- Post offices and delivery services;
Can a Dropshipping Agent Help Me Dropship During Chinese New Year?
Of course. A full-service dropshipping agent should be able to help you drop ship during the Chinese New Year.
Specifically, we recommend looking for an agent with a worldwide fulfillment center and warehouses outside of China where they could pre-stock your products in bulk.
However, before deciding to buy in bulk, ensure that you have a winning product that you know you can sell.
What Niches Are the Most Affected by the Chinese New Year?
According to the date of the Chinese New Year, the most affected dropshipping businesses will be those selling Valentine’s Day gifts and clothing.
Then, you should consider Family Day in Canada and, of course, Mardi Gras.
So, if you’re selling products like lingerie, gifts, costumes, face masks, carnival stuff, etc., and you’re sourcing them from a Chinese supplier, prepare in advance.
Or, if you’re planning on drop shipping such time-sensitive products, ensure that you have a pre-stocked warehouse outside of China.
How to Prepare Your Dropshipping Business for the Chinese New Year?
Some of the best proactive things you can do to prepare your dropshipping store for China closing up are:
Work with a Dropshipping Agent
A dropshipping agent with warehouses outside of China (for instance, EU or US warehouses) can help you buy in bulk, store, and ship from a country closer to your customers.
By having your products pre-stocked in the USA, for example, you’ll provide much shorter delivery times for your customers and avoid shipping delays caused by the Lunar New Year in China.
Find Suppliers That Ship from Other Locations
If you work without a dropshipping agent but instead source your products from AliExpress, CJDropshipping, and similar websites, there’s also a way to continue dropshipping.
All you need to do is search for suppliers who “ship from” a country other than China.
Many suppliers have warehouses in different European countries or different states throughout the USA. Adjust your search filter and look for these suppliers.
Have Backup Suppliers
Are you worried that your supplier will be closed for too long or unresponsive? It’s always a good idea to have a backup!
Update Your Shipping Policy and Delivery Times
Hiding the shipping delays from your customers is a practice that can only result badly. To avoid losing customers and retain your customer trust and loyalty, you have to inform your store visitors in advance.
So, ensure that you update your shipping policy and delivery times throughout your website. Like that, you stay on the legal side, plus avoid negative customer feedback.
If your customers know that the products arrive from China, be straightforward and explain that it’s due to the Chinese New Year festivities.
For dropshippers who want to keep the source of their products anonymous, you could write something like:
“We apologize for the slight shipping delay. We’re experiencing an increased number of orders, so bear with us ? We’re working on delivering all orders as soon as possible.”
Strengthen Your Customer Support
No matter how well you prepare your dropshipping business for the Spring Festival, you’ll inevitably have more customer inquiries.
So, don’t forget to set up a good customer support team. Answer all your customer inquiries in detail and be as helpful as possible. Your buyers will remember it and build trust.
Adjust Your Marketing Efforts
When you know that your supplier won’t respond as quickly as usual or that you won’t be able to reach them for the next two weeks, don’t forget to adjust your marketing efforts.
Are you doing paid advertising on Facebook? Lower your budget not to attract traffic and sales that you aren’t able to handle.
And if you can continue dropshipping throughout this period and are well-prepared, go ahead and keep doing what you’re doing.
Plan and Prepare Early
The biggest mistake dropshippers make is to wait until it’s too late to prepare for the Chinese New Year holiday.
Contrary to popular belief, holidays for certain businesses in China can start a week or two before the official start of the festivities.
So, pre-stock in advance if you buy products in bulk, or get in touch with your dropshipping suppliers to learn when they close and start operating again.
Place Your Product Sourcing Orders on Time
If you’re using a dropshipping supplier website like CJDropshipping, or AliExpress, it’s crucial to automate your dropshipping or, at least, place them manually as soon as you receive them.
With this, you’ll make your part of the whole process efficient and save time where you can. Placing a supplier order two days later means two more days of waiting for your customer.
How to Handle Customer Inquiries for Late Packages During the Chinese New Year?
Here’s the best way to keep your customers’ loyalty and handle their inquiries throughout the Chinese New Year festivities:
Shipping delays are nothing new but still irritating, especially for time-sensitive orders or gifts.
So, in times like the Lunar New Year, ensure that you create a pop-up or a status bar on top of your online store informing your customers of the possible delays.
Furthermore, don’t forget to post this throughout all your social media accounts. Even better, make it a pinned post so that all of your customers see it.
With this, you’ll severely decrease the number of customer complaints.
Set Up Automated Emails
Set up an automated email your customers will receive, explaining that you’re experiencing slight shipping delays.
With this, you will reassure them that their orders are on their way and that someone is handling the situation.
Without getting any information, they might start suspecting the legitimacy of your online store and leave you bad reviews.
Provide Great Customer Support
The fact that there’s a holiday in China doesn’t mean that you have to interrupt your customer support. On the contrary, this is a period when you need excellent customer support more than ever.
Build genuine relationships with your customers. Be present and answer politely to customer inquiries or questions. Remember, you need them to come back to your store over and over again.
When Does Business Go Back to Normal After the Chinese New Year?
As we’ve mentioned before, some businesses take just one week of a holiday while others can take a bit longer.
However, stopping their production process means that your suppliers will be at full capacity and completely overworked during the next period.
So, realistically speaking, you can still expect some slight delays up to one or two weeks after the chaos has settled.
Altogether, in worst-case scenarios, the Chinese New Year can cause a disruption or a delay of one to a maximum of two months.
Should I Buy in Bulk Before the Chinese New Year?
Unless you’re starting to dropship with no money, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t buy in bulk before the Chinese New Year. That’s the best way to avoid order and shipping delays.
If you can put some budget aside for placing a bulk order, we recommend collaborating with a product sourcing or dropshipping agent in China who has warehouses in the US.
Through them, you can buy and pre-stock in their warehouse and deliver with zero problems.
Your other option would be to find and pay for an inventory storage space or warehouse space on your own and order in bulk before the Spring Festival starts.
Is It a Bad Idea to Start Dropshipping Right Before Chinese New Year?
If you’re starting to drop ship before the Chinese New Year due to any particular sales demands, have a stock of a winning product, and have the experience to deal with it, go ahead.
However, if you’re entirely new at dropshipping and want to start your first dropshipping store, maybe this is not the best timing for you.
You might experience shipping delays and higher storage or delivery prices than what you’d typically expect.
Of course, you could always get the help of a well-prepared dropshipping agent who can help guide you through making your first sale.
To Wrap Up
For all dropshippers out there who source products from China, we hope we managed to help you prepare your dropshipping business for the Chinese New Year holiday.
All dropshipping store owners who buy from China should do these preparations in advance since most factories throughout China start to slow down in January already.
Have you experienced Spring Festival dropshipping before? If you need the help of a dropshipping agent in China, don’t hesitate to get in touch.
We can help you buy in bulk and store your stock in our US warehouses. With this, Chinese New Year dropshipping will be a breeze, and it won’t affect your dropshipping business at all! Contact us to get your store ready for CNY!