The Chinese New Year (CNY) 2021 is coming up, and if you’re dropshipping from Chinese suppliers (or thinking about it), you need to come well prepared. Since Chinese factories are absent during this long holiday, all orders are put on hold, which can be dangerous for your business.

But we got you covered! We’ll cover everything you need to know about how the Chinese New Year holiday affects dropshipping stores and how to overcome the obstacles that come with it. 

Not only will you learn how to run your stores smoothly and efficiently for the CNY, but you’ll also know how to prepare for any other holiday coming up this year.

All that and a few extra perks, right up ahead!

What Is The Chinese New Year?

chinese new year 2021 dropshipping

Also known as the Lunar New Year or Spring Festival, the Chinese New Year is their most important festival throughout the year. The Chinese celebrate this public holiday by taking a week off work and spending this time with their family.

Fireworks, fancy restaurants, and beautiful decorations are all a part of this holiday for the Chinese, too.

So, when does the Chinese New Year 2021 begin? Friday, February 12th, marks the beginning of the year of the Ox, which is when the public holiday starts. The public holiday goes on for seven days, ending on February 17th.

Everything You Need To Know About Chinese New Year 2021

what you need to know cny 2021 online stores

Now that we’re familiar with the Chinese New Year basics, let’s go over the common dropshipping problems and questions that come with it. 

And, of course, we won’t leave you without solutions to everything so that your business stays safe. Here’s everything you need to know about the Chinese New Year in 2021 and how to prepare for it.

How Will Chinese New Year Affect My Dropshipping Store?

chinese new year affects dropshipping stores

Businesses and manufacturers all over China will be off work throughout the holiday. This means that you will most likely face numerous and long-lasting delays on your orders

Additionally, Chinese sellers & agents will not be available to answer questions. There is no customer support on the other side during this time. Thus, keep in mind that Chinese order/support channels will be unavailable between February 12th-17th.

Which Dropshipping Suppliers Are Affected By The Chinese New Year?

dropshipping suppliers affected by cny 2021

The Chinese New Year affects every Chinese supplier who is sourcing its products from China (AliExpress, Banggood, CJDropshipping, etc.). 

Therefore, as long as you are working with at least one Chinese supplier, you’ll need to start making relevant preparations for the expected shipping delays. We’ll walk you through the process below.

How Long Are Chinese New Year Shipping Delays?

chinese new year affects dropshipping shipping

Although the Chinese New Year holiday date is February 12th-17th, many Chinese suppliers stop working a week or two before the holiday begins. That’s why we should start preparing toward the end of January. 

The earlier we begin the preparations, the smoother the whole process will work through the holiday. 

How Can I Avoid Shipping Delays With Chinese Sources?

avoid dropshipping shipping delays

First, in some scenarios, Chinese suppliers source their products from warehouses outside of China (like US/UK Warehouses).

Check your supplier page to see if there are multiple warehouses available. If so, reach out and ask if they are working during the holiday. 

Furthermore, if a product is selling well, you can reach out to Chinese agents and ask if any special lines are working during the holiday.

Some agents can get a special line for your product to process your orders during the Chinese New Year.

What Niches Are Affected By The Chinese New Year?

dropshipping niches affected by chinese new year

Since the Chinese New Year holiday lasts two weeks, it’s wise to know which holidays we have in between. That’s because the Chinese New Year will affect shipping times on those holidays, too.

For one, Valentine’s Day falls on February 14th – a couple of days after the Chinese New Year begins. Additionally, we have Family Day in Canada on February 16th

Therefore, if you plan to sell China-sourced products for those holidays, you should start ahead of time and let your customers know about the expected delays. 

Prepare Your Dropshipping Stores For The Chinese New Year

prepare dropshipping stores for chinese new year

So, what steps are necessary to prepare our stores for the Chinese New Year shipping delays? We’ll split this section into two parts – for those dropshipping on eBay and Shopify dropshippers.

Ebay Store Preparation

On eBay, there are a few actions that we can take to prepare and protect our stores from the expected delays. Let’s go over each solution and how to implement them.

1. Schedule Time Away (a.k.a ‘Vacation Mode’)

ebay schedule time away

One way to let your buyers know about the upcoming shipping delays is by setting scheduled time away, formerly known as ‘vacation mode.’ While this feature is on, every time a buyer enters your listing, they’ll receive a message stating the delay.

In the scheduled time away settings, you can select if you wish to allow item sales (buyers can purchase from your store) or pause item sales (purchasing temporarily disabled).

Allowing item sales is possible for up to 15 days while pausing them grants up to 30 days. If you go for this solution, allowing purchases up to 15 days is enough.

Set your start and end date (in our case, February 12th-17th). However, beginning before the start date may be better as some Chinese sellers take time off before the holiday.

Additionally, you can set a custom automatic response for your buyers to read while your store is away. Let them know about the temporary delays because of the Chinese New Year.

2. Update The eBay Shipping Policy

ebay shipping policy

If you don’t want to schedule time away, another option is to update your shipping policy. Instead of the traditional 11-23 business days, we’ll stretch it to 11-35 business days.

Those extra 12 business days will give us the time we need to fulfill orders received during the holiday. If your handling time is 3 business days or below, update it to 4-5 business days to get some extra time.

Remember to implement these methods about one week before the start of the Chinese New Year holiday. 

On the one hand, we may notice a slight decrease in sales. On the other hand, our stores will stay protected. We’ll exit the holiday strong and with no troubles whatsoever.

3. Update Custom Messages To Your Buyers

ebay custom messages autods

If you’re using the Fulfilled By AutoDS service (or Automatic Orders), you can edit the automatic messages sent to your buyers after fulfilling their orders.

Navigate to Monitors > Orders Processor > Messages To Buyers. There, you can update the custom messages. The ‘After Order Success Message’ is enough to let them know about the holiday delays.

To help you with this, we whipped up a message template for you to use in this scenario:

Dear %FIRST_NAME%

I wanted to thank you for your order of %ITEM_TITLE% personally.

You will be provided with the tracking number A.S.A.P so you can track the shipment. The delivery estimation should be displayed in the order details.

IMPORTANT NOTICE:  I am currently celebrating the Chinese New Year, and all the factories & postal offices are now closed. Therefore, it will take me longer to process and ship your order. I have made sure to reflect that in my policy; this is just another quick reminder.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns!

Best regards,

Once you write your message and click on ‘Save Changes,’ your customers will start getting this message right after AutoDS fulfills their order.

Just don’t forget to revert to your original message once the holiday is over!

4. Update Your eBay Template

Your eBay template can include additional information about your shipping policies and more. Therefore, another way to notify your customers about the holiday shipping delays is to write about it on your eBay template.

To begin, on the AutoDS left menu, click on ‘Uploader.’ Then, on the right, click on ‘Edit templates.’ You’ll then see the edit template page, where you can choose which template you want to edit.

Click on the template you want to use, and add a message regarding the shipping times below the product description. 

Create a message along the lines of, ‘Please note that we expect shipping delays during the Chinese New Year Holiday from February 12-17th. Thank you for your patience!

After saving your template, we’ll need to assign it to all of the Chinese sources’ listings. To do this, on AutoDS, navigate to your active listings page. Then, highlight all of the products from Chinese warehouses.

Next, click on ‘Bulk Change’ on the top. There, you’ll find the ‘Template’ drop-down menu:

Now, simply choose the template with your custom message. Then, click on ‘Save Changes’ on the bottom. 

In the next few minutes, all of those listings will have the updated template, and your customers will be able to read it.

Shopify Store Preparation

Just like on eBay, there are a few actions that we can take on our Shopify stores to let our customers know about the expected delays. Here are the solutions:

1. Update The Announcement Bar

One of the first things your viewers see when entering your website is the announcement bar on top. This is the first section that we are going to edit.

On the Shopify store dashboard, navigate to Online Store > Themes > Customize. The Header section should have the announcement bar in it.

Once you’re in, scroll down and make sure that the ‘Show announcement’ checkbox is active. 

Then, in the text, write something along the lines of ‘We Are Expecting Temporary Shipping Delays During The Chinese New Year Holiday (February 12th-17th)’.

Next, click on ‘Save’ on the top right corner, and your new announcement bar will appear on your website.

2. Update The Product Pages

The second method is by updating your product pages. Under every product description, leave a brief note, like the following:

NOTICE:  We are currently celebrating the Chinese New Year from February 12th until 17th, and all the factories & postal offices are now closed. Therefore, it will take longer to process and ship your order. Hang tight – you’re well taken care of!

Also, be sure to add it only on products from Chinese warehouses. 

This process is easier and faster via the AutoDS platform. Simply click on the product on the products page, then click to edit. 

Scroll down to the description and add your text.

Again, don’t forget to set a timer to delete this message once the holiday is over. This is why we always recommend tagging your products, so you can easily spot them later on.

3. Set Email Notifications After Purchase

An additional method to notify your customers is by adding an extra note on the email notifications. Once they place an order, they’ll receive an email with your message.

On the Shopify store dashboard, navigate to Settings > Notifications > Order confirmation

Don’t worry about all of the HTML codes and triggers. Look for the following sentence:

Hi {{ customer.first_name }}, we’re getting your order ready to be shipped. We will notify you when it has been sent.

Create a line break, and right below this line, add the following:

NOTICE:  We are currently celebrating the Chinese New Year from February 12th until 17th, and all the factories & postal offices are now closed. Therefore, it will take longer to process and ship your order. Hang tight – you’re well taken care of!

It should look like this:

 

That should do it! Click on ‘Save’ on the top right corner. Now, on every new order, your buyers will receive the delay notifications in their email.

4. Update Your Shipping Policy

As long as you didn’t change your shipping policy page location, the default placement is through your Shopify Dashboard > Settings > Legal Pages.

There, you can update your shipping and handling information according to the Chinese New Year.

Replying To Customers That Were Not Aware Of The Chinese New Year

No matter how hard we try, a small number of customers will simply not be aware of all of the warning signs. That’s why we need to be ready with a reply to every scenario.

When a buyer reaches out asking about the delivery time, you can use the following message template to reply:

(Note that this is a universal message template [eBay/Shopify]. Therefore, fill in the parentheses with the correct information).

Dear (Client’s name),

I apologize for the delay. Please note that we are currently celebrating the Chinese New Year. I have also made sure to adjust my shipping policies in advance. Rest assured, I will do my best to speed things up as much as possible from my side.

However, since most postal offices in China are now closed, it can take longer than usual. The holiday dates are February 12-17th.

If there is anything I can do to assist you further, please don’t hesitate to let me know!

Best regards,

(Your name/store name)

With these message templates, our jobs become easier and smoother to maintain throughout the holiday.

Diversify With Multiple Suppliers

dropshipping multiple suppliers

Working with Chinese suppliers is easy and profitable. However, we cannot afford to put all of our eggs in one basket

For one, working with only one supplier (or suppliers from the same region) will leave us vulnerable in times like these. 

For example, when there is an upcoming holiday, the supplier shuts down, temporarily putting our orders on hold. Not only that but also natural disasters can cause some sources to stop working.

That is why it’s essential to work with multiple suppliers when running your dropshipping business. For a healthy balance, one source should be from China, and the other from the U.S. 

This way, when one source causes problems, we can always lean on the other and have our business continue working for us.

We recommend that you read why you should work with American suppliers. This read also gives you a list of the best US suppliers that you can work with.

Go and learn about them, and enjoy the power of diversity!

Stay Up To Date With The eCommerce Calendar 2021

ecommerce calendar dropshipping

Never miss out on another holiday again! We created a free eCommerce calendar to remind you of every upcoming holiday. 

This way, you’ll always have enough time to prepare for each holiday in advance. 

The calendar updates every year with the relevant holidays, dates, and even product ideas to add to your store and rake in more sales!

So go ahead and grab your calendar, and stay ahead of the game.

Take Time Off And Learn Dropshipping

shopify dropshipping course

You don’t have to sit around and just wait for the holiday to pass. 

Why not take the holiday time to learn about dropshipping and return with a bagful of valuable knowledge and wisdom to grow your business

We have a full A-Z Shopify Dropshipping Course for anyone who wants to start a successful dropshipping store. Did we mention that it’s completely free? We cannot think of a more productive way to pass the time. 

If you haven’t begun eBay dropshipping yet, we recommend that you check out our eBay Dropshipping Course for a full walkthrough on starting a successful business from scratch.

Wrapping It Up

By making it this far, you know exactly what you need to do to prepare for the Chinese New Year

Whether your dropshipping platform of choice is eBay or Shopify, there are creative solutions to each problem that may arise. As long as we work hard on customer service and keeping our customers in the loop, there won’t be any surprises. 

Buyers appreciate good communication, and that is what you need to grow your store and customer base. 

We hope you found this information useful for your dropshipping business, and feel free to empower your knowledge even more with these related articles: