Finding Suppliers/Dropshippers

11 replies
Hello Everybody

I am currently delving into the world of E-commerce stores at the moment. I have been messing about trying to learn a little here and there about SEO using adsense and affiliate marketing. I have a spare month or two now where I'm only working part-time before I have to go back to doing University full-time alongside my job.

I want to take some action and build an e-commerce store. I'm happy for it to be a failure as long as I learn some valuable information from all of this. In order to avoid wasting a massive amount of time I'm going to use a sort of micro niche approach to the site. As a mechanical engineer I intend to create my own products in the future along with some informational products, but for now I feel reselling would give me good experience.

Because my first one or two e-commerce sites aren't going to be huge sites it would be a bit silly to start buying clothing in wholesale and then either renting storage space or paying for fulfillment. Rather, it would be ideal for me to use a company that offers a drop-shipping service. This is where the headache starts.

There are a great deal of "drop-shipping" websites out there that supply a "drop-shipping" service. I'm a bit wary of them though. Firstly, because you're not meant to get your products drop shipped off of a "drop shipping company", you are meant to get them off of wholesalers. I thought that was meant to be the whole point behind it.

The dropshipping websites out there seem a bit scammy anyway. I don't like the idea of having to pay them before you get to see who the suppliers are. The other reason it doesn't work for me is that I'm looking towards smaller niches. It would seem to me that the products on these websites would be massively competitive (because everybody is trying to drop ship the same stuff).

My niche is in the clothing niche, and it's based on a particular style of clothing and a particular type of clothing e.g. trousers, skirts, hoodies (as I said micro niche).

I have tried going through suppliers out of the yellow pages in the UK and I'm not having the best of luck. I have looked on AliBaba but I'm sure it would be way too expensive and too slow to do P&P from places like India and China to the UK. I can see there are people selling this stuff online on ebay, and I have a hunch that they are also dropshipping product. How

Does anybody have any suggestions or tips for me for finding the best possible suppliers for dropshipping online. Any tips or help that you can give me? Anything to watch out for or avoid completely?

I have another related question as well. Another niche I am looking into later on is a small niche for very expensive mechanical equipment. My best bet would be to go directly to the manufacturers themselves and speak to them I would guess. Do you have any tips for me for how to approach them on this subject? Or about which angle to take when speaking to them.

Thanks a lot for any feedback given. Sorry about my grammar and unstructures writing in this post. Hope it isn't too confusing, I have to rush it as I'm just dashing out to work now.

Thanks a lot for any feedback given guys
#finding #suppliers or dropshippers
  • Profile picture of the author Alex Copeland
    Hi there.

    I run a bunch of stores in the UK too and have found the following places to be pretty good. You do need to pay to be on them though... but for that fee they vet them and I haven't had any issues with anyone I have used, obviously if you do use them you need to do your own research on the people you want to use though to be safe.

    Wholesale Suppliers & UK Wholesale Products Trade Directory -
    Wholesale Suppliers Directory - eBay Product Sourcing | SaleHoo

    best of luck and if I can help in something else let me know.

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  • Profile picture of the author GlobalTrader
    Worldwide Brands is one of the oldest and most reputable drop ship and wholesale supplier online. They are also an Ebay certified solutions provider. I am both a lifetime member and an affiliate but the link below is not an affiliate link -
    Worldwide Brands - Drop Ship Directory, Wholesale Drop Shipping for Retailers, Drop Ship Products

    I believe they have some sort of special promotion going on right now that gives you $30 off a lifetime membership - if you cannot find it on their website, email their customer service to ask about it - something to do with introduction of an APP or something like that.


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  • Profile picture of the author Robert Mangan
    Don't think I can offer any advice on sourcing dropship suppliers in the UK but, as to your second question about approach manufacturers/distributors of expensive items...

    I run an ecommerce store in the US that is 100% dropship. It sells fitness equipment - the site is fitnesslyceum dot com. I run it from Australia. All the products listed on my site are well-known brands in the US.

    I approached each one of my suppliers by calling them first. I simply went to each manufacturer's website and called their toll free number. I then said the following:

    “Hello. My name is Robert Mangan and I’m the owner of FitnessLyceum dot com, an online retailer of fitness equipment. I’d like to retail your company’s products. Could you please advise on who I should speak to about becoming an authorised dealer?”

    I then got put through to a sales rep and repeated the above. After that it depended on what they said next. The point is to call first and state succinctly who you are and what you want and keep you language business-like.

    Also, before you even begin phoning these companies you really must have the following in place:

    1. 1. A company
    2. 2. An EIN number (reseller's licence) - if they send you a dealership application form it will ask for this

    3. 3. A business bank account - again, the dealership application form often asks you to provide this information

    4. 4. A functional website - it can be empty but it must be fully functional
    5. 5. A debit or credit card – it doesn’t have to be a company card but it’s preferred.

    6. 6. A phone number - the phone can be your home number but don't give them your mobile number, give them a landline number

    7. 7. A fax number - not always required but some may insist that you return signed docs by fax

    Every manufacturer I approached wanted to see my website (usually the rep would look at it while we were talking over the phone). I guess they're checking to see how legitimate you look so, having a nice logo, toll free telephone number displayed, fax, contact page, return policy, shipping information, overall design etc.

    Anyhow, if you're serious about getting an authorised dealership from a manufacturer you have to show them that you're serious. Be as professional as you can when approaching them.

    I wish you all the best.


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    • Profile picture of the author birdman87
      Hi guys, thanks for the replies

      Robert that is great advice thanks. I was thinking along the same lines as well, you've just given me confidence that it will likely work. I was thinking of calling myself head of sales or a client relationships manager or something to make my company look bigger.

      I've never heard of a resellers license before. Do you know if this applicable to UK businesses as well as US buinesses? How would I go about obtaining one?

      Have you ever had any problems with trying to pursuade them to drop-ship, or are they generally ok with the idea and open to it?

      When I get round to looking into finding a reseller for the high end manufactured products in my other niche, would you mind if I was to drop you a message if i was to need any advice that i couln't find anywhere else? I promise to only message you if completely necessary and to keep my question as succinct and possible.

      Thanks for the other responses guys. I have heard of two of those three dropship companies. I guess it just seemed a bit funny to me to be paying for something before i know what i'm getting. I feel a lot more confident though now that you two have recommended them without any kind of alterior motive.

      Are the markups from the suppliers on these kinds of websites as good as they would be if you were to go the traditional wholesale route? I think I will sign up for one of them and if they havn't got what i was looking for i'll just ask for a refund.

      Thanks again to all of you for being kind enough to respond
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      • Profile picture of the author GlobalTrader
        Originally Posted by birdman87 View Post

        Are the markups from the suppliers on these kinds of websites as good as they would be if you were to go the traditional wholesale route? I think I will sign up for one of them and if they havn't got what i was looking for i'll just ask for a refund.
        Worldwide brands (WWB) system is not a participant in the markup of any items. They basically are a clearing house (for lack of a better word) of both drop ship dealers and bulk wholesale sellers. All entries into their database are reviewed and must meet specific criteria before they are allowed to be added and from what I know of that criteria it has more to do with how they work with and treat the people who use the wholesaler or dropshipper services than anything else.

        WWB also has a free search engine that you may use 'prior' to buying into their program which allows you to search for various products to see if there are any or many potential dropshippers or wholesalers in their system. Instead of doing a buy, check out and refund, they have the ability for you to query their system 'before' going through any buying process.


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  • Profile picture of the author nthmarketing
    I too have to say worldwide brands is top notch.

    My 2 cents,
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  • Profile picture of the author Fernando1954
    For a UK clothes dropshipper these guys are 100% legit DevilWear - Von Zipper | Jack & Jones | Converse | Oakley | Globe | Skullcandy

    Guy called Robbo owns it,he also owns a dropship forum you will get a lot of info there been a member there couple of years now,should help you starting out as it's geared to UK dropshipping.
    The Dropship Forum - The Worlds Biggest Dropshipping Forum :: Forum index
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  • Profile picture of the author Robert Mangan

    Although originally from the UK (I now am in Australia) I've never run a business there so can't answer about the reseller's licence. However, the same principle will apply in the UK as it does in the US. A wholesaler WOULD HAVE to charge you sales tax unless you can prove that you're a retailer and that you will sell on the public and charge them tax.

    There will be some form of reseller's licence in the UK. Perhaps it's having a company and being VAT registered? I see you were given a uk dropship forum in a previous post. My advice is to ask about having a 'reseller's licence' or 'VAT' or whatever it is you need to provide to a UK wholesaler.

    As I said previously, I sell fitness equipment - average ticket is $700'ish - and when I approached manufacfacturers some were happy to dropship while other were not.

    Some manufacturers were happy to allow me to be an authorized retailer and dropship their product even though I am strictly an ONLINE ONLY RETAILER. Other manufacturers refused to do business with me because I don't have a bricks and mortar store.

    I dare say you may find this as well.

    Every manufacturer (except one) I approached was very helpful, even when they turned me down.

    If you've got your heart set on ecommerce I'd say go for it. Internet Marketing is great but I can't help feeling I'm running a REAL business with my ecommerce store - I'm probably going to get flamed from IM'ers who'll tell me that IM is a real business

    Here are some costs:

    website design $700-800 (that's what I paid for
    hosting: $5:99 (you can start with a shared server and upgrade as you get more traffic etc)
    domain: $10
    incorporation: not sure about costs of buying off-the-shelf companies in the UK but I think it's about 300 quid?
    telephone number and fax: I use a virtual PBX provider in the States for my toll free and fax numbers. There'll be something similar in the UK. If you want, just list your home landline number on your website. having a phone number displayed on your website is a 'must have' in my opinion.

    BTW, I use Magento as my shopping cart. It's open source, highly rated and there are lots of talented people out there who are very familiar with coding it etc.


    I'd only be too glad to offer any advise if you need it. I'm no guru but I have managed to set up an online business and therefore am aware of most of the obstacles in your way to getting your business up and running.


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  • Hi and thanks to all for the information provided.
    I think I cannot add more actually, because I'm just a newbie dropshipper

    Thanks and see you soon,
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    • Profile picture of the author thefsboking
      I would also like to try selling online using a dropshipper. I am interested in selling US football jerseys (NFL). Any suggestions for a dropshipper for this type of clothing?

      Mike Williams

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  • Profile picture of the author gid86er
    Really getting valuable informations here because i want to start dropshipping business.
    Proven Steps, Time Tested Method of Building Real Online Business | See How I built a list of 1000s of Subscribers and Loyal Customers While Earning Big Commissions Checks
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