Dropship vs. Self Maintained Store

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I've been thinking about running some merch at Warrior Forum and exploring the idea. But before I do, I'd love to get some feedback and thoughts about dropship vs. self-maintained stores (I'm no dropship genius but I have some clue).

For obvious reasons, dropship is far more convenient because well.. it's dropship lol but marginally / cost-effectivity - is it worth it? What's your experience with the quality of dropshipped items?
#dropship #maintained #store
  • Profile picture of the author spiderweb1100
    I am just starting my first drop shipping store. I know margins are not as good as sourcing your own products but you need basically no money to start. Also if you find the product you selected does not sell you have not wasted any money.
    I am using shopify with the Oberlo add on.
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  • Signed up with about a dozen "suppliers" but every one of them that drop ships just has retail prices until I actually sell a large volume for them. The quality is also crap. I've decided to just choose a niche and buy some inventory and see how that goes.
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  • Profile picture of the author Splatterfox
    Originally Posted by WFMarcus View Post

    I've been thinking about running some merch at Warrior Forum and exploring the idea. But before I do, I'd love to get some feedback and thoughts about dropship vs. self-maintained stores (I'm no dropship genius but I have some clue).

    For obvious reasons, dropship is far more convenient because well.. it's dropship lol but marginally / cost-effectivity - is it worth it? What's your experience with the quality of dropshipped items?
    It highly depends on your goals and products.

    If you have like 500 articles in mind, then a stock-based model is hardly possible. If its only 10, then you should definetly consider buying stock upfront, just because of the reasons you named already (+ higher quality control, faster shipping, better customer service etc.)

    Myself I do a mix of both, but around 75% stock 25% dropshipping. Its nice to start out using dropshipping, but at the same time its also harder to get your first sale.
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    • Profile picture of the author Marcus W K Wong
      Its nice to start out using dropshipping, but at the same time its also harder to get your first sale.
      Now you have me curious how it's harder to get the first sale if an item is dropshipped instead of self managed > packed > sent.
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  • Profile picture of the author dave_hermansen
    The quality of your products has nothing to do with whether they are dropshipped or not. Also, sometimes the margins are exactly the same whether you buy in bulk or dropship - every niche is different, in fact, in some niches EVERYBODY dropships.

    I think the main problem people here have with dropshipping is that they use poor quality products from poor quality suppliers. If you're getting them from Alibaba, you are probably doing it wrong! Successful dropshipping stores usually sell known name brands and you will not find those on Alibaba (that aren't counterfeit). The other problem is too many people are lazy and use dropship directories. You will NEVER get the best prices through these places! You HAVE TO contact the brands directly. You're wasting your time, otherwise.

    If you are selling your own private label products or generics, you can certainly get them through an Alibaba referral. NEVER dropship them until you have ordered the products, yourself, to test how long they take to arrive and the quality of the products. Use them for awhile to see how long they last (a whole lot of Made in China stuff works great for a short time and then stops working).

    The main disadvantage to dropshipping is that you do not control the shipping process. You are reliant on your supplier to package/ship things in a timely manner and to provide tracking. That, and you can sometimes get a better deal buying in bulk. The main disadvantage to the stock and ship model is you have far more upfront cash outlay and far more risk that the products don't sell well. You also have a far more limited variety of products.
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    • Profile picture of the author Marcus W K Wong
      The main disadvantage to dropshipping is that you do not control the shipping process.
      Yeah totally get that this is the case, it's also quality control that's the other disadvantage I'm coming across.

      Where would you recommend as an alternative of Alibaba to find drop shippers? I have no issues with Alibaba as a brand/marketplace, but I dare say there are some questionable vendors on there..
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  • Profile picture of the author Splatterfox
    Originally Posted by WFMarcus View Post

    Now you have me curious how it's harder to get the first sale if an item is dropshipped instead of self managed > packed > sent.
    I mean indirectly it is, because you normally have very poor product pictures (just the sample ones everyone uses) and you have insane delivery times on your sales page.

    Originally Posted by WFMarcus View Post

    Yeah totally get that this is the case, it's also quality control that's the other disadvantage I'm coming across.

    Where would you recommend as an alternative of Alibaba to find drop shippers? I have no issues with Alibaba as a brand/marketplace, but I dare say there are some questionable vendors on there..
    Take a look at Walter's and Dave's answers, there is basically no good platform/directory per se. It comes down to which supplier you use in the end. Some of them are great, but the majority is really, really bad. Gold supplier means nothing on Alibaba as well.
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