If you know the product s you want to sell, call the manufacturer and ask for a list of its wholesale distributors. You can then contact these wholesalers to see if they drop ship and inquire about setting up an account.
Since most wholesalers carry products from a variety of manufacturers, this strategy will allow you to quickly source a selection of products within the niche you're exploring. After making a couple of calls to the leading manufacturers in a niche, you'll quickly be able to identify the leading wholesalers in that market. Using a certified wholesaler that dropships, is a low-cost solution for people who work from home, don't have money to spend on inventory and want to sell products online.
First, you can't just sell any product you want and expect to be able to compete with drop shippers. When you dropship a product, you are buying and selling one thing at a time.
Drop shipping - Wikipedia
That means your wholesale price is for one product when you have it shipped. Wholesalers always provide discounts to retailers when they purchase in bulk. That means your wholesale price for one product drop-shipped can be higher than a competitor who is buying in volume from the wholesaler which means they can sell that product much cheaper than you can, and in some cases, even cheaper than your wholesale cost!
You must be able to pick the right products to sell and the right types of products to dropship. You have to find the products you can have drop-shipped that you can compete within the current online market. Most of the results you'll find online are companies claiming to be dropshippers but they are nowhere near the quality and pricing you get from working with genuine dropshippers. Dropshipping can be confusing, especially when dealing with scammers, so here is a list of 10 tips for finding a wholesale distributor.
There are many ways a product can go from manufacturer to retailer. Not all wholesalers serve the same market. The different types of wholesalers include: Each product industry has its own unique distribution channels. Some retailers will move enough volume to bypass jobbers, or maybe in a smaller industry, importers sell directly to retailers.
When you first start, you'll be buying from the smaller wholesalers at higher prices. You might as well start at the source. If you're selling branded items, go directly to the manufacturer of the product. They might sell to you depending on their minimum order requirements. If you're too small for them or they only sell through established distribution channels, ask them for a list of distributors you can contact.
By starting at the source the manufacturer , you can either get the lowest prices or at least get a list of the most reputable distributors to kick off your search. The fewer people you have to go through, the lower your cost will be, allowing you to be more competitive in the marketplace. Take the list of wholesale distributors you got from the manufacturer, and start contacting each one. What you're looking for are minimum order requirements and their wholesale unit prices.
136 thoughts on “Dropshipping – Does It Really Work And Can You Make Money?”
You may also consider picking up the phone to make initial outreach calls or to follow up with the people you've sent your introductory emails to as well. As mentioned above, you can start your preliminary research with some basic Google search terms. As you get deeper into your research, you'll probably get more specific about the products you're seeking. Try product names, model numbers and brand names. In the rare case that the information is difficult to find or not readily available, you could do a WHOIS search to find the website's contact information.
If all else fails, some retailers or small wholesalers will sell bulk quantities of your product on eBay. Since eBay mainly targets retail consumers, the wholesale options you'll find here are usually only suitable for very low volume retailers. But if you're just starting out, eBay might be the easy start you need to dip your toes into ecommerce and start shipping your product.
Start at Alibaba which is the biggest of all the B2B marketplace of manufacturers , importers and wholesale distributors. Other retailers are not eager to share supplier information with competitors, so it'll take some networking to find the best possible wholesale suppliers for your small business. Start building relationships with industry insiders, and eventually, you'll be one of those insiders. Participate in online forums , build your LinkedIn profile and start building connections , subscribe to industry newsletters, and generally build your professional network.
Get every magazine or newsletter that targets retailers in your industry. Every advertiser in the magazine will be a product manufacturer or distributor looking to reach out to you. You should have a few dozen options from the ads in the back of the magazine. Also, subscribe to all of the online newsletters, blogs, and other sources of information available to you.
Attending trade shows is one of the most powerful ways to build and grow your business. These events are for retailers just like you. When you can talk face-to-face with manufacturers and wholesale distributors, it avoids all the noise of inaccurate information that can plague the web. The largest directory of trade shows is at tsnn. Your first wholesale supplier may not be your lifelong vendor. Creating your perfect supply chain is an evolution involving a lot of trial and error.
Remember, all you need from your first supplier is a product that you can ship at a profit. It may not be the best wholesale price for you, but don't sweat that in the beginning. Your first goal is to get your product shipped. Then you can improve your bottom-line by trying other wholesale suppliers. Unfortunately, legitimate wholesalers are harder to find and tend to not have a strong online presence.
This results in the non-genuine wholesalers — usually just middlemen — appearing more frequently in your searches, so you'll want to be cautious. There are some things to look out for that will help you discern whether a wholesale supplier is legitimate.
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I was thinking about dropshopping, to suit my nomadic lifestyle, and doing your course to set up my shop. Hi Steve, I live in Jamaica I want to start an online store but shipping costs and time for me would be crazy. Jamaicans are not into online shopping yet. My Mother makes sandal on a small scale and we want to turn that into a online business and supplement it with other shoes while building her Brand.
I had considered drop shipping as a method of meeting my customers needs but this post has me really concerned. I sincerely urge you to open your mind and give it a try, despite your previous experience with dropshipping. I wrote this post during a time when dropshipping was all the rage so I decided to take on a contrarian point of view. Dropshipping can definitely work but the ramp up takes longer. Check this Out, this is how I started. So my question is instead of just droppshipping would you recommend going to a place like DSW or any outlet store for that matter and buying expensive brand name stuff at outlet store prices and then selling them full price online?
Have you had any sort of good experience with this? I actually looked up my boots on ebay and found they sell like hotcakes so I figured why not? I have looked into drop shipping so i can increase the range of my products, mainly small kitchen appliances and other consumer electronics. In my research i have found the profit margins to be non existent or extremely small ie: Also you may not have an integrated order system with them so you could sell 5 of one product and the drop shipper only has 2 left, leaving you with 3 orders to fulfill and 3 disgruntled customers.
You also have the monthly or yearly fees to pay many of them too, so if you find you sell less than 10 products it could really eat into your profits. The old sayings still hold true today in my opinion, buy low sell high, and stack em high and sell em cheap. People want things too quickly in this day and age, they want to put little work in for big profit, but like any business it takes long hours, plenty of effort and hard work, and sweat, tears, pulling your hair out and banging your head against a wall.
This piece was invaluable. That is your opinion no body can stop you from expressed yourself.
Where Should I Begin?
My family owns a brick and mortar retail shop and recently started selling our products online. Our e-commerce site is technically drop shipping but products bought online then ship to our retail shop for in store pickup. The biggest PRO is the inventory is auto updated and synced real time to distributor stock levels. BUT, the CONS are the fact all product descriptions, site design, site architecture and navigation is set by 3rd party.
But HOW do I do that? How do they sync with my distributor and fulfill orders like this? Essentially the orders been on hold, waiting for our payment to them, and the green light to ship it to us. Yes, your wholesale prices are higher, but your overhead is reduced in other areas.
Your comments, views and opinions are very negative and one sided. Whilst some of the problems about dropshipping you mention here might be true for some, there are hundreds of people on Ebay successfully running dropshipping businesses so it cannot be all that bad and hopeless. Even if you hold your own inventory and arrangement shipment of your own inventory things can still go wrong. For instance your supplier could run out of stock due to importing problems, warehouse fire or any other problem that could occur. Sometimes items can become damaged during the delivery process even if you do arrange your own shipment.
Posting centre can make errors. So I think it goes to show that even if you are an inventory seller, a number of things can still go wrong to give you headaches. Each selling method has its own pros and cons. And steve, I am just wondering, are you sure you are not trying to put people off dropshipping because this is in direct competition with your type of business? No need to answer, just a question that occured to me. Great article! I own a Scuba operation in Mexico. I was thinking about adding an online store to my website and offer t-shirt sales that would be shipped to guest and waiting for them when they get home.
What do you recommend? Yes, It is never easy to handle shipping and complains. In my site, I put. This is an amazing article! I feel like I now completely understand the real risks involved in dropshipping. I will be re-evaluating whether or not I will still undertake a dropshipping venture. Thank you so much! Some very true facts in this. The key is to choose good partner, test it first yourself purchase something and use good dropship-API.
Using several dropship partners is not a wisest choice. Your margin is smaller but you also dont have to pack and ship stuff or put a load of cash upfront into your stock. When you grow, you can always switch from dropship to your own fullfilment with own stock and overcome multiple-partners problem. Affiliate is not all roses too as the partners always shuffle links, products, prices, screw something etc. And with affiliate you have no control over the price, so affiliate shop is not a very good idea. You have to check it out for yourself. Only states the obstacles and not the advantages.
Ecommerce platforms like Shopify, 3Dcart, Big Commerce, etc have so many tools to make it easy…ier. Dropshipping can be a logistical nightmare…not really, these e-commerce platforms allow you to identify each ship point by manufacturer and calculates the correct shipping cost based off that location.
Product is shipped once…not twice. Like once to your warehouse and then to customer. The manufacturer can also pass on better shipping costs due to their volume. Costing — sure you were not getting the same cost but you also have a lower margin requirements and less funds sitting in a warehouse not moving.
I was a buyer for a fortune company and have been working for a national manufacture for years. This is where the industry is heading for sure. I know so many people doing this and doing it well because of the fear of others not to do it. Hey Just pointing out there, that there is a really good drop shipping platform that has over suppliers with really low prices.
Just go here. Zappos started out by drop shipping as many orders as they could in the beginning. They eventually grew out of it and started fulfilling their orders. They still fulfill some orders using drop shipping, as does BestBuy, Target, Home Depot and hundreds of other companies. Very informative. I was just introduced to drop shipping and began my research here. Nice things to take into consideration in contrast with affiliate marketing. Thanks for the info!
A great read. They are very unorganized and it unfortunately trickles down to me and makes ME look unorganized. When I started my dropshipping business in , there had been very few people and experts who actually know about dropshipping. But since , a lot of companies, specially dsmtools.
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These tools really make a lot of things easier and help us all in moving ahead to make a bigger impact in the small size to mid size businesses and lives of smaller businessmen. Dropshipping is clearly more easy than buying wholasale and going to post office for shipping order everyday, so never listen to any negative thinker. You will lose faith and give up. Like with everything else there will be problems that need to be solved, we need to think HOW to make it work.
Good luck to everyone in their pursuit. The internet is full of overblown claims about the glories of drop shipping, but there are far fewer sites exposing any of the downsides. I already know the upsides of the business. This site helps immensely with that. Obviously this guy has drop shipped before — he is not being negative he is giving us the nitty gritty details.
Great referral plug there towards the end buddy! You gave us a strategy and then immediately used it yourself. Thanks for that. Make your own product and brand. First find your market THEN make your product. You want to advertise affiliate product in your website and want customer to pay you money at your website? Let me ask you this question.
How about the seller that you are affiliating their product? They ship out product without getting any money? Have supported suppliers and list the items on eBay only with few clicks. Connect more than one Repricer. Edit your images with Photo Editor. SEO Templates with shortcodes meta-tags. I do not intend to discourage people from trying dropshipping but I only wish to warn them of the dangers. Part one of my post. If I cannot post links to my own blog please say and I will write my blog posts here instead.
It can be something of a headache but as the saying goes you never know once you try it yourself. I thought this very interesting. Things to know. I am 73 wanting to work and make Xtra money. Hi Steve.
Good explanation of Drop shipping. The key points are very well understandable. Can you add best companies for drop shipping? So that it will be easy for sellers to find out best companies. I have found out this link http: Do you think it is a good company to start off with drop shipping? But ive got to do something. Anyone have really good advice? Yes, I would highly recommend affiliate marketing for 1 as well as selling your own products that you own to sell on Shopify, that way you have all control over your products and business.
I know plenty of people who makes a good living just by doing affiliate marketing without a website. Stay Away from China! It is a nightmare. Aliexpress, DHgate, all of those can take a month to two months for orders to arrive to your customer. You have mentioned a good reason to start a Dropshipping business. Steve, I want to get started in ecommerce. I have been reading your posts and I feel like I am going around in circles. I really like your posts, but in one post you say to avoid Drop shipping and then I read one where you you say if you were to start an online business now, you would go with drop shipping because the ramp-up to a quicker profit is not what you need at this point in life.
Either way you will still have to deal with customer relations. I have no idea where to start, please help. Great article. Easy to Scale — With a traditional business, if you receive three times as much business you'll usually need to do three times as much work. By leveraging dropshipping suppliers, most of the work to process additional orders will be borne by the suppliers, allowing you to expand with fewer growing pains and less incremental work. Sales growth will always bring additional work — especially related to customer service — but business that utilize dropshipping scale particularly well relative to traditional ecommerce businesses.
All these benefits make dropshipping a very attractive model to both beginning and established merchants. Unfortunately, dropshipping isn't all roses and rainbows. All this convenience and flexibility comes at a price. Low Margins — Low margins are the biggest disadvantage to operating in a highly competitive dropshipping niche. Because it's so easy to get started — and the overhead costs are so minimal — many merchants will set up shop and sell items at rock-bottom prices in an attempt to grow revenue.
They've invested so little in getting the business started so they can afford to operate on minuscule margins. True, these merchants often have low-quality websites and poor if any customer service. But that won't stop customers from comparing their prices to yours. This increase in cutthroat competition will quickly destroy the profit margin in a niche.
Fortunately, you can do a lot to mitigate this problem by selecting a niche that's well suited for dropshipping. We'll discuss this more in Chapter 4. Inventory Issues — If you stock all your own items, it's relatively simple to keep track of which items are in and out of stock.
But when you're sourcing from multiple warehouses, which are also fulfilling orders for other merchants, inventory changes on a daily basis. While there are ways you can better sync your store's inventory with your suppliers', these solutions don't always work seamlessly, and suppliers don't always support the technology required. Shipping Complexities — If you work with multiple suppliers — as most drop shippers do — the products on your website will be sourced through a number of different drop shippers.