January 22 is the Chinese New Year 2023. While the whole of China and some parts of the world celebrate this event for 16 days, every dropshipper and eCommerce seller should know how to prepare dropshipping for Chinese New Year.
As East-West company has pointed out in the paragraph below, all offices including manufacturing companies shut down during this time of the year.
Once you understand that China shuts down nearly everything for CNY and nothing, absolutely nothing, will get out of China during that time, the better you can plan. Your orders need to ship prior to CNY, and don’t forget to plan for inventory needed to get you through the holiday. There is no way to avoid CNY — it happens every year (albeit on different dates) and it requires advanced planning to minimize interruptions on your end.
But keep calm! Read this article and you will find the answers on how Chinese New Year dropshipping can work and how to prepare your online store beforehand.
When is the Chinese New Year 2023?
The Chinese New Year 2023 is a Year of the Rabbit, more specifically, Water Rabbit. It starts on the 22nd of January and ends on February 9th, 2024Celebrations last up to 16 days, but only the first 7 days are considered a public holiday.
By the way, these dates can help you to be ready for future festivities:
- Chinese New Year 2023 – January 22nd.
- Chinese New Year 2024 – February 10th.
- Chinese New Year 2025 – January 29th.
Understanding Chinese New Year
If you did not make a plan for the coming Chinese New Year 2023, you are in fact way too late. Officially, the holiday starts on January 22nd, however, businesses are going to be disturbed for pretty much a month because workers visit their homes from coast to coast. Nonetheless, you can still make some adjustments in your preparation for the slowdowns in terms of shipping during China’s most significant holiday of the year.
Celebrations of the Chinese New Year will start this year on 22nd January. It is the so-called Chinese New Year’s Eve. In 2023, the holiday ends on February 5, with the Lantern Festival.
During the first week of the Chinese New Year, Chinese workers have 7 days off to enjoy the holidays. Many of them usually extend holidays. Similarly, as we prepare for Christmas and New Year.
Therefore, if you think you might have urgent questions and business to have done, hurry up! And take care of it in advance.
Now let’s see how Chinese New Year affects dropshipping stores.
What are Chinese New Year Effects on Dropshipping Business?
China had always been known as one of the main sources of dropshipping products and manufacturing. The fact that the Chinese New Year is going to be celebrated for about 16 days, it follows that many suppliers are going to shut down to give way for the event. This fact will highly affect many sellers who are dropshipping from China, for example from AliExpress or CJ Dropshipping, mainly in shipment and delivery time.
Since shipping from China during the Chinese New Year will take longer, dropshippers will need to update their shipping policies as well as make sure their products will be delivered on time. You know that delays or wrong dates in your shipping terms directly influence feedback from your customers, and if they will return to your eBay, Facebook stores, or Shopify stores in the future. In general, it may jeopardize their business as resellers. And there are more important things to pay attention to…
Three major impacts of Chinese New year on dropshipping stores:
- No new orders are accepted even a couple of weeks earlier the holiday begins. Many Chinese suppliers may not accommodate new orders as they anticipate a delay in shipping as a result of the Chinese New Year’s preparation.
- Suppliers in China (including suppliers in AliExpress, CJDropshipping, and Chinabrands) can be closed for a month. 2 or 3 weeks prior to the festival, many stores shut down to celebrate the festival. Then, it takes time (1-2 weeks) to start processing your orders. Therefore, orders during that time cannot be accommodated.
- Slow production after Chinese New Year. After the festival, other stores may have already resumed but a majority of the stores slow down on production resulting from a lack of people or laborers during that time.
Be ready that your Chinese suppliers and manufacturers can be closed for up to 1 month during the Chinese New Year!
Looking at all three impacts of the festival, these highly affect dropshippers who mainly dropshipping from China. Therefore, every drop shipper must have a backup plan to support their business during this time.
How to prepare dropshipping for Chinese New Year
So the Chinese New Year dropshipping worst scenario is weeks without products or shipped orders. And we don’t want that, right?! That’s why it’s super important to prepare for CNY in advance. And here is what you can do:
- Planning ahead is important. You may want to talk to suppliers as early as November. Plan your orders as early as December. Stall specific orders as early as January. And revamp your orders at least 2 weeks after the Chinese New Year.
- Forecast dates and a possible timeline for the Chinese New Year. Just like any other business, forecasting or looking ahead can help a lot in your line of business. Forecasting makes use of data from the past years in order to somehow make smart decisions for your business. Your data can determine products that may go through delayed shipment. Use the same data to contact certain suppliers that may shut down on CNY (for example, local dropship sites). The same information you already have should also help you find possible alternative sources.
- Create a backup source for a product. A good drop shipper knows that a product is never exclusive to one supplier. One product can be available to many suppliers but varies in price. Dropshipping from China usually provides the lowest price possible. Nonetheless, to prepare your store for the coming Chinese New Year, it is nice to look around for other backup sources other than China and adjust your price according to your alternative source. With this tip, your eBay or Shopify Chinese New Year store will keep operating.
4. Order your bestsellers in big quantities in advance. Another option many do is to order a big quantity of their best dropshipping products before the Chinese New year. And fulfill them from the warehouse ( it will have some extra costs) or from home themselves. However, to do it, you need to be really sure that this product will bring you profit.
5. It’s not a time to relax. Use this time to improve your marketing campaigns, optimize your dropshipping store, and finally, prepare in advance for other big retail holidays. Don’t forget to prepare what to dropship on St. Valentine’s Day. This holiday usually brings the biggest revenue for the eCommerce stores in February.
6. There is nothing more effective than communication. Talk to your dropship suppliers to know specific dates on when they are shutting down operations and when they are going to resume. Knowing these specific dates can help you slow down on ads for certain products and when to put them back in full blast. This may also help in your line of customer service where you are able to provide a timeframe on when a product can be available for purchase.
Prepare your store to keep your customers informed
Take a few steps to prepare your store for dropshipping Chinese New Year for you and your customer’s peace of mind.
1. Consider adding a little banner that informs customers of delays in shipping. If you don’t want to tell your customers that your products ship from China, you can provide dates on shipping delays.
2. Use email to remind customers of shipping delays. You may want to set up an automated email to send out as soon as they made an order. The automated email will let customers know the time frame for delayed shipment. Give them an option if they are willing to wait or cancel the order.
3. Respond to all customer questions. There could be orders that had been set out already. These orders could be affected by the month-long festival. These orders may upset a few customers. So it is just right to answer all their queries to give them assurance and peace of mind. The least you can do for the moment is to provide exemplary customer service.
4. Place orders on time. Follow your supplier’s timeframe. By doing so, you can still get your orders before the store shuts down for the huge festival. Do not place orders outside your supplier’s timeframe.
Now you know how to dropship during Chinese New Year and how to prepare your Shopify store or eBay selling account for this big holiday without losing revenue and nerves then.
Chinese New Year could be the most significant holiday in the Chinese calendar. Nevertheless, you will find a number of other Chinese holidays that may have an impact on your dropshipping business and bring changes to the usual workflow. Find out about other Chinese Holidays and other big eCommerce holidays to keep your store prepared all year long.