Any Experience In Drop-shipping??

by regska
52 replies
Hi Warriors,

Can you tell me about your experience about drop-shipping? I heard that Salehoo and Worldwide brands are two of the best suppliers. I'm planning to set-up an online store and it seems that drop-shipping is a good idea, well, at least for me since I don't have any idea aside from it saves you time because they'll deliver the products for you.

Please provide me your feedback especially for those doing drop-shipping.

Thanks
#dropshipping #experience
  • Profile picture of the author Ryan D
    Banned
    No, those are horrible options. You don't find dropshippers by looking for "dropship companies". You find suppliers and ask them if they dropship. There is no special "list" needed or membership you need to pay. If you're an actual business, people want to sell to you.

    You can find real suppliers by searching for tradeshow information, ordering from competitors who you know dropship and doing a reverse search on the address, or typing "keyword"+"distributor". Something like that.

    You want the best suppliers. Not suppliers who will dropship. Awhile back, I went back and checked to see if any of my suppliers from my 4 sites were in those directories and they weren't. These were the top suppliers in these niches.

    And they aren't there because they don't want to deal with the typical ebay people taht want to make money online. They want to deal with people that run businesses. And eliminating people whose first question is "Do you dropship" is a good way to do that.
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    • Profile picture of the author alpacabob
      Ryan D- I hear what you're saying- I bought one of those lists and found the prices to be higher than normal retail sales for most products. Any suggestions on how to find good dropshippers? I don't have the capital to set up full-on supply lines right now, but would really like to add stores to my niche sites.

      Also- if someone wouldn't mind, a general outline of the steps to take when setting up ecommerce supply lines could be invaluable. I know people are guarded about their sources, but a general outline like, "1. pick a niche; 2. find wholesalers or manufacturers; 3. call them and set up an account with them; 4. get space in a fulfillment warehouse; 5. post your product." Disclaimer- that list right there may be totally off- I'm just posting it in hopes that someone will help.

      I'm really interested in putting a store on some of my niche websites, but I'm lost. Anybody able to help?

      Thanks!
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    • Profile picture of the author Chri5123
      Originally Posted by Ryan D View Post

      No, those are horrible options. You don't find dropshippers by looking for "dropship companies". You find suppliers and ask them if they dropship. There is no special "list" needed or membership you need to pay. If you're an actual business, people want to sell to you.

      You can find real suppliers by searching for tradeshow information, ordering from competitors who you know dropship and doing a reverse search on the address, or typing "keyword"+"distributor". Something like that.

      You want the best suppliers. Not suppliers who will dropship. Awhile back, I went back and checked to see if any of my suppliers from my 4 sites were in those directories and they weren't. These were the top suppliers in these niches.

      And they aren't there because they don't want to deal with the typical ebay people taht want to make money online. They want to deal with people that run businesses. And eliminating people whose first question is "Do you dropship" is a good way to do that.
      Yes, this ^

      When i first started out i did Ebay and dropshipping and the best way to get a good drop shipper is to contact the supplier directly.

      Alot of the membership sites that offer these services just end up swamping sites like Ebay.
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    • Profile picture of the author regska
      Originally Posted by Ryan D View Post

      No, those are horrible options. You don't find dropshippers by looking for "dropship companies". You find suppliers and ask them if they dropship. There is no special "list" needed or membership you need to pay. If you're an actual business, people want to sell to you.

      You can find real suppliers by searching for tradeshow information, ordering from competitors who you know dropship and doing a reverse search on the address, or typing "keyword"+"distributor". Something like that.

      You want the best suppliers. Not suppliers who will dropship. Awhile back, I went back and checked to see if any of my suppliers from my 4 sites were in those directories and they weren't. These were the top suppliers in these niches.

      And they aren't there because they don't want to deal with the typical ebay people taht want to make money online. They want to deal with people that run businesses. And eliminating people whose first question is "Do you dropship" is a good way to do that.
      Thanks for the advice. You mean to say that salehoo and worldwide brands are not the best options when it comes to drop-shipping? I'm planning to set-up a store page on facebook, not on ebay.
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      • Profile picture of the author Ryan D
        Banned
        Originally Posted by regska View Post

        Thanks for the advice. You mean to say that salehoo and worldwide brands are not the best options when it comes to drop-shipping? I'm planning to set-up a store page on facebook, not on ebay.
        No, they are horrible options. For one, the markets are flooded with people that have the same suppliers. For two, WorldWide Brands and Saleshoo started out targeting people who wanted to sell on ebay. What business wants to sell to people that are going to dump their products on ebay. I manufacture products and I wouldn't want to be listed in a directory targeted at ebay sellers.

        But in regards to a facebook page, you can do that, but I personally wouldn't. Either be in e-commerce or become an affiliate. And by being in ecommerce I mean have a store that is professional, easy to navigate, customer service information etc. A facebook page will likely have horrible conversion rates.
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        • Profile picture of the author regska
          Originally Posted by Ryan D View Post

          No, they are horrible options. For one, the markets are flooded with people that have the same suppliers. For two, WorldWide Brands and Saleshoo started out targeting people who wanted to sell on ebay. What business wants to sell to people that are going to dump their products on ebay. I manufacture products and I wouldn't want to be listed in a directory targeted at ebay sellers.

          But in regards to a facebook page, you can do that, but I personally wouldn't. Either be in e-commerce or become an affiliate. And by being in ecommerce I mean have a store that is professional, easy to navigate, customer service information etc. A facebook page will likely have horrible conversion rates.
          Thanks. Let's say I want to sell gadgets and jewelries. how do i search for the suppliers? i mean, can you give me any format?
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        • Profile picture of the author alpacabob
          Originally Posted by Ryan D View Post

          No, they are horrible options. For one, the markets are flooded with people that have the same suppliers. For two, WorldWide Brands and Saleshoo started out targeting people who wanted to sell on ebay. What business wants to sell to people that are going to dump their products on ebay. I manufacture products and I wouldn't want to be listed in a directory targeted at ebay sellers.
          That makes a lot of sense. But I sill find myself in the dark about how those of us who primarily do business on the internet establish supply lines. :confused: I guess it's sort of our failing since most of us spend our time dealing with code rather than product sourcing, but there's just not a lot of good information regarding where to get products, how to identify a good fulfillment center, etc. As someone who produces products, how would you want an online retailer to find you and approach you?
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          • Profile picture of the author Ryan D
            Banned
            Originally Posted by alpacabob View Post

            That makes a lot of sense. But I sill find myself in the dark about how those of us who primarily do business on the internet establish supply lines. :confused: I guess it's sort of our failing since most of us spend our time dealing with code rather than product sourcing, but there's just not a lot of good information regarding where to get products, how to identify a good fulfillment center, etc. As someone who produces products, how would you want an online retailer to find you and approach you?
            The thing is that there isn't much to it. The myth that companies like WWB and Saleshoo have perpetuated is that dropshppers are a "secret". They aren't. A dropship company could be the guy in your town that's a distributor.

            Here's a real world example. Say you want to sell "vacuum cleaners" online and you need a supplier. This one was easy because a wholesaler happened to come up as the first result when you search for "vacuum cleaner distributor". A true wholesaler does not sell to the public.

            Essco - Wholesale Distributor Of Vacuum Cleaner Parts

            But if you couldn't find them, then you could search for "vacuum cleaner trade show" and go to the site below. By searching the site for the most recent trade show, you would find the exhibitor list...and on that list, you'd find a list of related companies.

            VDTA/SDTA Las Vegas Convention Exhibitors

            And then you pickup the phone and call them. You say, "Hi, I'm a retailer who sells so and so and am interested in carrying your product. What do you need from me in order to get started. I don't need terms, I'd prefer to pay by credit card if possible". (this eliminates the need for a credit application).

            I don't say I'm a site owner. I just say retailer. After they give you the information, then you ask if they dropship. Most wholesalers will do it for a fee.

            That's it.
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  • Profile picture of the author adesbarats
    Ryan is absolutely correct. I currently have a number of companies with whom I deal on a drop ship arrangement. I simply went out and found them by attending trade shows or by rooting around on line. Some won't drop ship but many will..
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    • Profile picture of the author WilliamLark
      would you be willing to share a drop ship company or 2 with us newbies
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  • Profile picture of the author Joseph Michael
    I've tried dropshippnig on ebay. Got some decent mark up on psps and ipods.

    Problem was I got stung with import tax as they were from china... so ended up just about breaking even...

    In the end I just got into affiliate marketing,, much less head aches!!!!!
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  • Profile picture of the author Ricky Dawn
    I agree with Ryan .... Slightly

    everything said is true but you can find good drop shippers from Google it all depends on your niche.

    At the end of the day if you can setup a shop using drop shippers you found on google by typing 'watch wholesale drop shippers' and you made a nice looking website and you didn't get greedy and charge to much you can sell but... it all comes down to traffic if you get loads of targeted traffic come to your 'watch store' you will sell whoever your drop shipper is.

    I'm not saying click the first listing on Google and use them you still need to do alot of research on the drop shipper you intend to use.

    you should never pay for a list of drop shippers in any case!

    Also don't try and sell on ebay it will not work.. been there done that.

    I ran an online store and sold it for £12,000... I used drop shippers I found on Google

    Hope this helps.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ryan D
    Banned
    When I enter a niche, here's what I do.

    1) Pick a niche. Ideally something that can be found generally offline, but in far more abundance online.
    2) Do your keyword lists.
    3) Do a quick survey for suppliers.
    ---There are lots of ways to find suppliers. You want to find the big ones in the niche so see what your competition is selling. The easiest way is to just get a list of the top manufacturers and just call them up and ask them where you can purchase. Some you can purchase direct, sometimes they will direct you to a reseller. Other ways to find suppliers are simple google searches, mcree blue book, ordering from a competitor that's dropshipping, finding a related trade show and just looking through their exhibitor list, etc.
    ---Most suppliers will dropship, possible for a fee. But the fee is the price you pay for not having warehouse space or keeping inventory.
    4) This is simple, but SO POWERFUL. Place an order from your top direct competitor. For instance, if you want to sell power washers then place an order (for anything) at their site. Then wait a month and place another order. 99% of people use numerical ordering systems so you can just take the difference between the 2 order numbers to see how many orders they get in a month. This is what you can expect if you start to dominate.
    5) Finalize all relationships.
    6) Choose your shopping cart.
    7) Customize your site.
    8) Launch and promote.
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    • Profile picture of the author silentshores
      Originally Posted by Ryan D View Post

      When I enter a niche, here's what I do.

      1) Pick a niche. Ideally something that can be found generally offline, but in far more abundance online.
      2) Do your keyword lists.
      3) Do a quick survey for suppliers.
      ---There are lots of ways to find suppliers. You want to find the big ones in the niche so see what your competition is selling. The easiest way is to just get a list of the top manufacturers and just call them up and ask them where you can purchase. Some you can purchase direct, sometimes they will direct you to a reseller. Other ways to find suppliers are simple google searches, mcree blue book, ordering from a competitor that's dropshipping, finding a related trade show and just looking through their exhibitor list, etc.
      ---Most suppliers will dropship, possible for a fee. But the fee is the price you pay for not having warehouse space or keeping inventory.
      4) This is simple, but SO POWERFUL. Place an order from your top direct competitor. For instance, if you want to sell power washers then place an order (for anything) at their site. Then wait a month and place another order. 99% of people use numerical ordering systems so you can just take the difference between the 2 order numbers to see how many orders they get in a month. This is what you can expect if you start to dominate.
      5) Finalize all relationships.
      6) Choose your shopping cart.
      7) Customize your site.
      8) Launch and promote.
      I totally agree with Ryan and his step by step guide, i think its the best way to start an online business with drop-shipping, i recently started before i read this thread and did the same steps and it worked for me. i don't have a e-commerce website yet but i am working on it, as it says try to make multiple streams of income then sticking on one.
      Researching a niche is the most important part as obviously you want to sell what is hot is the market. And to find the right drop-shipper, i don't think that there isn't any one drop-shipper that will be perfect for all types of your product listings, here Google make it much easier to find the right one for your services. So you have to have multiple drop-shippers for multiple product listing on your website.

      Thanks,
      Qamer Qureshi
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  • Profile picture of the author humbledmarket
    Banned
    Thanks Ryan D.
    You seldom see someone so informative and willing to help others out especially their potential competitors.

    By the way in case you guys are missing it there is a small thanks button under each post. I'm just surprise he hasn't gotten one yet
    I know it isn't much but it's better than letting someone who deserves a thanks for sharing their knowledge go off without any gratification.

    I've spent a lot of wasted time trying to search for dropshippers but never really found any good ones. I guess this is the answer.

    By the way if anyone is looking to purchase wholesale there are also other good wholesale forums and I've seen some pretty good deals there. The best part is that is forums have an integrity system through itraders, reviews and other security measures so they can also be a good source at times but not always.

    Some Dropship companies, supplies, distributors and Representatives also hang out there but I guess the best is what Ryan D said to go straight to the manufacture that way you know it's authenticity and reliability.
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  • Profile picture of the author Underground SEO
    I would steer clear of dropshipping, especially from China etc - you have massive problems on your hands when things go wrong e.g. products don't turn up or are damaged, I've had first hand experience with this!
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  • Profile picture of the author Silas Hart
    It took me a long time to figure out how I can dropship products. I don't do it by going to a supplier and asking them, although this is the one of the most efficient ways.

    Going through WorldWideBrands and Salehoo pretty much makes no sense.

    I use dropshipping for what Might be considered market testing. I'll show you what I do.

    I just got started into really selling female clothing made in China on eBay/Amazon/Bonanzle/etc (can't just sell on eBay any more) and the market can and will change by the month. For example, right now market research conducted through TeraPeak has told me that one of the trends right now is Zebra print. (Mostly dresses and swimwear)

    So, I narrow my search from literally a couple million items into maybe 6 or 7. (Of course, I have to make sure to look at sizing and stuff, since us North Americans are bigger than the average Asian girl) So, for example, I find something like this:


    So what I will do is list this on all of my selling platforms, such as eBay. I do two things, I take what the lowest cost of a similar item is and I undercut by 5-10%, and then I also start off an auction at one penny (which drives traffic). This helps me understand the actual market value of this item is. I of course have money backed up as my "insurance" (actually, I have to use double the amount now that PayPal holds funds until feedback is received) in case the product is junk and the customer wants their money back. Which happens.

    After that, dropshipping is no longer useful for selling that product. Due to shipping costs, and buying power when trying to buy several pieces as opposed to one piece, I can make a lot more money buying several pieces at once.

    For example, that dress I posted above would cost me 59 RMB, plus 10 RMB for shipping to my office in China, which would then send it to me for 135 RMB. This comes to a grand total of 204 RMB which = $30.00 which is actually a lot. Reason being is because when I buy one, I can hardly argue the seller down in price, and I'm doing 5-7 day air mail from China to the U.S. and directly to my customers door. In the auction, I MIGHT make that with eBays high fees, and I MIGHT be able to sell it as a Buy It Now hopefully for $40 or more. I do lose money every so often, but its better to lose $6 than it is to lose $160.

    So, say I decide that this product is indeed in demand, which most items I sell are, I look at how many sold and decide how many I need to buy. For example, if I see that there isn't much competition and the high demand means that I could sell a lot of these.

    So, say I decide to purchase 37 of them.

    I can say "Look, I want 37 of these, and my offer is 665 RMB" and they might haggle a higher price, but I could always go to a similar product. 90% of the time, they take it. So, I get them shipped to my office in China for, again, 10 RMB. Now, I can wait 2-3 weeks for shipping, although I said the market CAN change within a month, is the risk I take. (Or else I go into what I call "annoying corner salesmen mode" if I've missed the trend. I usually break even when I do.) and instead of this costing me 135 RMB per piece, it might cost a total of 468 RMB (including tax) and in total, this costs a total of $169 which comes to about $5.00 per piece. Now if I know I can sell these for say $38.50, in THEORY (without going into detail about market value destruction, principles of supply and demand and availability, and other factors) I would make a total of $1239 (of course, fee's aren't included)

    ...and that's pretty much what I personally do on a daily basis. Of course, now I have someone who looks at the data and looks for deals, and someone who handles the shipping for me in China, so that makes things move a little quicker.

    Point of my story:

    Dropshipping is Not to be used as your primary way to sell physical goods. You will have to stay glued to your computer 24/7 and things you might be selling for $10 profit one day, could very well be selling by other sellers for a -$4 profit. True story.

    Why wouldn't it happen? If 4 people are selling the same thing, say the base price is $10, and you see it selling on eBay or where ever for $20, people are going to undercut you. You don't make money until something sells, and if someone has to sell something for a $9 instead of $10 in order to make any money, they will without hesitation. This is WHY Salehoo and WorldWideBrands kind of sucks.

    So, say you go and search for something that is doing well on eBay. Chances are, people out there are doing the same. Same thing usually happens. With fees as high as they are on the higher traffic selling platforms, you can't afford to pay a months fees of 200 items that aren't selling.
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  • Profile picture of the author pappyy3
    I don't understand why people bag salehoo and worldwide brands.

    I've some some reasonable success using both these companies as well as finding dropshippers directly using google.

    Product research is crucial when dropshipping due to the competition levels.

    My recommendation is to find a NICHE that you want to pursue and tightly focus on that.

    The problem with most people getting into dropshipping is that they try and sell everything to everyone. eg: I've seen ebay stores set up as a business that sell electronics and dog collars (???) To me they looked like they weren't sure what their business was about.

    Better to focus in one area, and be the go to person for a range of goods in a particular niche.


    Google Tip: Just enter your niche+dropship and the google results should give you a few options if any exist.

    Selling on ebay is not the only way to dropship. Build your own website, and use ebay listings to drive traffic to your own website!! (There are ways to do this legitimately )

    Good luck
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    • Profile picture of the author JayPeete
      Originally Posted by pappyy3 View Post

      I don't understand why people bag salehoo and worldwide brands.

      I've some some reasonable success using both these companies as well as finding dropshippers directly using google.

      Product research is crucial when dropshipping due to the competition levels.

      My recommendation is to find a NICHE that you want to pursue and tightly focus on that.

      The problem with most people getting into dropshipping is that they try and sell everything to everyone. eg: I've seen ebay stores set up as a business that sell electronics and dog collars (???) To me they looked like they weren't sure what their business was about.

      Better to focus in one area, and be the go to person for a range of goods in a particular niche.


      Google Tip: Just enter your niche+dropship and the google results should give you a few options if any exist.

      Selling on ebay is not the only way to dropship. Build your own website, and use ebay listings to drive traffic to your own website!! (There are ways to do this legitimately )

      Good luck
      I was introduced to Worldwide Brands through Stompernet and they are a good company that spends a ton of money checking out drop shippers for you.

      There are some other good suggestions here but I don't see anything wrong with Worldwide Brands.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jamian
    Try this site they offers an extensive how-to guide for finding manufacturers willing to drop- ship product to your customers.
    Drop Ship, Light Bulk, Liquidation and Import Wholesalers from Worldwide Brands! - Home Page 1-877-637-6774

    Jamian.
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  • Profile picture of the author l23bc
    i used to be a powerseller on ebay many years ago until there fees got ridiculiously high and took a lot of us offsite but here is a free method thats better then any drop-shippers ideas

    Go to the site Goofbay.com or terrapak.com And look for products you want for your store goofbay basicly these sites shows the lowest prices on ebay france,Uk,us,austriala auction sites and who the dealers are as well how much on a whole there selling for(example a camera could be 80 bucks in the usa but only 35 pounds in u.k so you stand to make a profit by re-listing it for the sales price on the us site if bought from the usa)

    Next you can then contact the dealers and arrange on ebay usa or ebay france a lower fee and then get the products you pay for shipped ect,

    Then relist them on ebay site such as the u.k or austalia, Thats how alot of the powersellers do it to break profits.

    The next best way is searching online is for companies such as agros(if your u.k based anyway) clearnace which lets you use ebay to sell there clearance products and make a commision.


    Never bother with Drop shipping, Its more of a nightmere and never profit plus paypal and ebay can shut you down for "suspicious trading" if one of your customers complain.

    hope that helps
    andy


    Originally Posted by regska View Post

    Hi Warriors,

    Can you tell me about your experience about drop-shipping? I heard that Salehoo and Worldwide brands are two of the best suppliers. I'm planning to set-up an online store and it seems that drop-shipping is a good idea, well, at least for me since I don't have any idea aside from it saves you time because they'll deliver the products for you.

    Please provide me your feedback especially for those doing drop-shipping.

    Thanks
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  • Profile picture of the author Silas Hart
    Originally Posted by cjmo75 View Post

    I tried this 2 years ago on Ebay selling electronic products and it was a complete nightmare. Between the returns and the company screwing up the orders I think I lost make or made very little. I remember thinking taht I'd bnever do it again. Maybe I was just selling the wrong thing. Also, so many other people were doing the same thing I could only make like $1-$2 profit per product. It just wasn't worth it.
    Dropshipping electronics is generally troublesome.
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  • Profile picture of the author JESSICA PITTS
    To find a good dropshipper, sometimes it can be hard. So you'll have to do research and maybe spend money. The best way to find one is to sign up to They have both international and national drop shippers from different variety of items.
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  • Profile picture of the author Street Jammer
    Drop ship is a bad idea , already tons of people selling the same things in ebay etc , competition is high and some people offer the same product at the price we get from drop shippers

    the real business in when you deal directly with suppilers ,

    Always cut the MIDDLE MAN !
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  • Profile picture of the author Dean Wh
    I just thought I'd add my thoughts, as I have had experience in dropshipping, but I will add, it didn't make me rich!

    My web site was selling wildlife figurines. Unfortunately, I sold to it another Aussie, who must have been wanting to spend money before tax time, as he did absolutely nothing with it afterwards and didn't even renew the domain name before it expired, wouldn't answer my emails etc. The web site was simply _wildfigurines.com.

    Anyway, half the battle is not just finding suppliers, it's getting yourself in front of your potential customers ahead of your competitors, and if your site is going to be just based on products that are drop shipped this is even more important. I spent more time on SEO, Article marketing, etc, than I did on sourcing suppliers, but as Ryan D has said, if you do your research you will find suppliers out of the mainstream 'dropship' targeted lists.

    I used both. I used commonly used dropshippers to 'get started'. Some suppliers want to see a live site before they'll dropship for you, but without any products at all your site is nothing.

    Also, when selling common products, you need to be different. Customer support, easy navigation with web site, payment processing, security and so on, i.e. research your competitors and 'out do' them.

    The use of dropshipped products is not just for store front type web sites either. If you are a photographer by trade selling your photography and/or photography services online, the selling of dropshipped products can be an added source of income for the site, rather than the sole source.

    Dean
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  • Profile picture of the author Witchie
    I've used drop-shippers since 2002 and I would say its a great way to start your online business if you don't have the cash to make an initial investment. Search for niche+wholesale then contact the companies for specific information.

    I would advise you to really research your suppliers before committing to them on your website (adding a ton of their products). I've seen two issues popup with drop-shippers: #1 Stealing customers; there are companies out there that will send follow up catalogs to your customers. That's a NO NO! And #2 limit your suppliers per website or you will find yourself having shipping issues quickly. If you offer products from say three suppliers and a customer orders one from each you pay 3 times the shipping. This eats up your profit and many times you end up out of pocket if your not careful!
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  • Profile picture of the author Love2KnowU
    I'm wondering if Wholesale Central drop ships...
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  • Profile picture of the author Bruce NewMedia
    When I first started online over a decade ago, I did some drop-shipping. IT was a lot of work for very little money. That may have been due to to the niche (electronics/computers), but I later developed direct sources and for a time did much better. Some niches and product categories work better for drop-shipping than others, imo.
    _____
    Bruce
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  • Profile picture of the author l23bc
    If you are also in need for items to sell try big companies over here in the u.k one main company called agros(google agros affilate or agros clearance) have everything such as wide screen televisions and they have like amazon a affilate clearance part which means you can list the items on ebay with picures and set it to buy it now which re-directs to there store and makes you a nice commision,

    the other latter of places to find items are police auctions. you know when bad people have there cars and houses or items seized because...well they been bad if you look up on google "state fair police auctions item sales in say new york or something" you can find alot of items not claimed by owners get re-sold and you could get quite a bit of stuff to sell,

    beats drop shopping, going offline and finding junk is quite positive like they say what is one mans junk is another mans treasure.

    hope that helps
    andy
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    • Profile picture of the author Sam England
      Right on Ryan D...you obviously know your **** when it comes to drop shipping!
      You are using the same techniques that I have been using since 2003...and I thought I was the only one using trade shows to find decent drop shippers.

      Guys and Gals here is the inside scoop...go to Google and type in "trade shows" or "merchandise mart"...merchandise mart works better for me...
      You can then narrow down your search for the area of the country that you live to find one close to you.

      Atlanta, Chicago, Texas and California all have some great shows to attend, I really recommend attending one or two of them to see what companies have to offer and the great part is you get to speak with them directly, but if you do not have the time or money to go to any of them you can do this (drum roll please) type in directory right after "merchandise mart" so it should look like this in googles toolbar...

      "merchandise mart" + directory
      "trade show" + directory

      Buy doing this you do not have to attend an event, you can find all of there showroom merchants right there...now you can get the phone numbers, web addresses, etc...and contact them directly...

      I have been drop shipping since 2003 and run about 20 ecommerce websites doing just what I have just told you so it works for me...and I have been "drop shipping" full time for years making a decent living with it, so it does work...

      All I have to say about WWB and Saleho is to stay away from them if you want to get the most out of your business and put more money in your bank account... also I have to say DO NOT and I say DO NOT sale drop ship products on Ebay or you will be kicking yourself in the ass over and over again... the headaches are not worth it...been there done that!

      Its funny because I made a video showing how to find drop shippers with marts and trade shows a few months ago, here is the link to it...

      Power Selling Online - Learn how to find the best Drop Shippers super fast!

      If anyone has more questions feel free to contact me and I will give you my honest opinions...
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  • Profile picture of the author alpacabob
    I realize this thread is a little old, but I've been working through some things and I thought some warriors might have some good advice.

    My first question is if there is a good software program for managing supply chains with dropshippers. I'm not talking about a shopping cart- I've been around long enough to know that I need one of those. However, I have a market with a ton of products that I'm doing affiliate work in. It makes logical sense to extend it to physical object sales. The trouble is that you can be VERY picky about what you want- it would be like selling computer parts (it's not- but the idea is the same- just to sell GPUs, you'd need to stock dozens of models). Given the surfeit of individual products and models, it makes the most sense to me to find a willing supplier who will dropship for me than to warehous it all. However- this could lead to the ever-looming nightmare that occurs when the supplier runs out of product X. Is there a software solution that syncs a dropshipper to your shopping cart or website so that I can say if a product is out of stock?

    My second question is more general. There are always amazing deals on products from China or Hong Kong. Given that half of what I have in my house is from one of those locations, there must be legitimate suppliers- maybe even some dropshippers. How do you vet a supplier from Asia and ensure that they are legitimate? I can't seem to find any good information regarding how to do this. Most seem to be money-motivated (i.e. alibaba saying that their "gold suppliers" are trustworthy- but all they have to do is pay to be on the list). Anybody have a good solution to genuinely vetting a supplier you've never met and probably don't share a language with?

    Thanks everyone!
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  • Profile picture of the author kbs
    Yeah, I tried it and got my a$$ kicked. I won't touch it again w/ a 10ft pole. Just my $.02
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  • Profile picture of the author Scrambler
    Sorry for the long post but I think it can help you out.

    We did drop shipping for a while, mostly using ebay and andale auction software. We started with World Wide Brands and found a few good dropship companies through them. By good I mean they always had things in stock, shipped quickly and had good customer support. But we did not make much money using that model, the prices were just not low enough for us to turn a profit.

    Eventually we did start to make some money by finding other sources of products and mailing products ourselves after buying them whole sale.Your goal here is to get your products from a distributor as close to the manufacturer as possible. In some cases you may be able to work directly with manufacturer of a product, but it's unlikely. What i am getting at is eliminating as many middle men as possible so fewer layers of the distribution chain take their cut.

    Start by searching for "your product + distributor' or "your product + wholesaler." Then get picky about who you follow up with; if they want money to give you information stay away from them. Also stay away from companies that: Do not require your tax ID number; Deal with the general public, or post their prices on the internet. Real distributors and wholesalers will send you a product catalog and a seperate price list once they get your business credentials. And yes, take the time to get your resellers license in your state, get a tax ID number, many of the better companies will not work with you if you dont have them. If you are a small operation you can use your social security number, at least in the US, in place of a tax ID number.

    Ok did all that? Now do this. figure out what you want to sell. Say it's small kitchen appliances. Go straight to the horses mouth, the manufacturer. Actually call them, cold emails here will mark you as a tire kicker or mom and pop operation. Let them know you want to sell their product. Then politely ask them who their authorized distributors are, most companies are more than willing to let you know exactly how you can obtain their products at true whole sale to sell them. It never hurts to ask if they work with small sellers, but expect a 95% no answer to that. Contact the distributor the manufacturer recommends then get take it from there, be sure and say that so and so from "kitchen aid" pointed me in your direction. Some places may drop ship and some may not.

    Want an example? For a look at a true wholesaler of sporting goods equipment check out Blue Ridge Knives. BR Knives was top notch. Another is Valor, I think these days Valor is also listed at world wide brands. valor was good but somtimes they had issues not having things in stock, so i found it better to spend a chunk of money on a bunch of items I knew i could sell then distribute them myself.

    In the end it turned out not so hot a business proposition, but many years later after learning about other IM models I think a person selling to a niche market off your own website may have better luck.

    Good Luck on your ventures.


    Best of luck
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    • Profile picture of the author alpacabob
      That's a fantastic post- thank you so much!

      From what you're saying, you're confirming my thoughts on how to do this. I want to go to the manufacturer and get the best wholesale deals. This is, however, a long-term strategy. I'm working on building up my general website first and monetizing some of that traffic. I figure that once I have enough traffic, it justifies jumping into sales. The market is large, but the competition does not match the demand. That's not to say there isn't competition- it's just not up to the same standards as it is in other industries.

      So then let's say I do this. I get to a point where I want to launch an ecommerce section of my website. Maybe in the mean time I do pre-launch work (list building, whatever). From there, do I find suppliers, buy the goods, and warehouse them myself? My worry with this is that it's a rapidly changing industry. Let me give an example- I'm working on an affiliate program for a ski company. They're a niche company, but even their products change every few months. So if I was running a ski website, I would want to work with Solomon, K2, Rosignol, Elan, Mountain Hardare, Northface, and so on (my first job was ski instructor- so I know this field). And people won't want to buy last year's skis- they want the best and newest- even if the only difference is that it has a gadgety light that turns on when kinetic force is applied. But some people will want the old model for a discount. My concern is that it's a ton to store- and none of it's cheap (my industry is cheaper than skiing, but not a lot). Do you just buy warehouse space and take the plunge into shipping hard goods on your own? Or is there a middle space for dropshipping? Like- could I call an Elan distributor and arrange to dropship Elan skis?

      For that is possible, that leads to my other question- how do you link your online store to the actual goods in stock? I don't want someone to come pay for the latest, greatest ski and get an out of stock message. I want it to be listed on my website that it's out of stock.

      So- first- if you warehouse your own goods, what software is good for this? Second, if you don't, is there a way to link a supplier's stock to your own website?

      Thanks again for the great help!

      Thanks again for the help!
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      • Profile picture of the author Scrambler
        Alpacabob,

        You can warehouse your merchandise if you are selling limited quantities. Keep in mind that if you are having things delivered to a residential address most companies will charge an extra fee for that. I know there are companies that are like fulfillment centers that will rent you warehouse space and fill your orders, but I think that requires some serious movement of products. I never came close to exploring that option.

        For keeping track of your own stock I am sure there a plenty of programs out there. We never needed anything more than a spread sheet. We sold cutlery, hunting knives, and tactical knives, so it was easily possible to stock multiple sets of say fifty best sellers on a big shelf in the corner of the basement. Skis would be a different story.

        You asked how do you link the product on your sites to in stock items. If you are drop shipping I am not sure how you can do that. Better drop ship companies will show you online how many items they have in stock and ready to go. But if the next guy buys them up you will be out of luck. That is exactly why I would buy ten or twenty of one item if I knew i could move it.

        You may want to search the forums for drop shipping threads. I am sure there are warriors who made the system work for them.`

        You may also want to search for threads on article and hub page marketing to determine what should sell for you.
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  • Profile picture of the author Biggy Fat
    Stay away from dropshipping, period.

    No no, let me rephrase that.

    Stay away from dropshipping, exclamation point!
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  • Profile picture of the author Recession_Proof
    I have over 9 years of drop shipping experience within the electronics and gaming sector. Let me tell you that you are going to and WILL lose money when you first start out.

    The reason is that you are going to start out like most people do looking online for a wholesale drop shipper either through Google keywords or on Alibaba, Tradekey, DHGate, etc.

    The problem in both scenarios is this...

    1. Most if not all the companies that you will find on Google are NOT WHOLESALERS. No wholesaler that is legit will ever put prices on their site for the world to see. That defeats the purpose of wholesaling. A wholesaler exist not for the end user, they exist for the retailer.

    A true business cycle exit like this. And I don't care what business degree you have and what not.

    Manufacturer-
    Distributor-
    Retailer-
    Consumer

    They best deals you will find are between the manufacturer and the distributor link. The problem is that most of the time this requires you to buy with a MOQ (minimum order quantity). Unfortunately this is out of reach for most beginning drop shippers.

    2. A lot of people searching for wholesale products to sell are often approached or steer into the path of dishonest companies operating out of China.

    YOU WILL LOSE YOU SHIRT DEALING WITH THESE SCAM ARTISTS.

    Do not trust these companies if you have not actually been to China and reached some sort of agreement. And for goodness sake do not sent them any payment through western union. They will take you money and be gone.

    My advice is to find a USA distributor and setup an account with them.

    For example this is a distributor that I work with and they never miss a beat. They provide electronics to Best Buy and Walmart. No MOQ required although it helps.

    Still if you want to sell for example a MSRP $700.00 laptop. Your cost would be $505.00. That is a nice mark up for you to make some good profit.

    www.electronixhq.com is the site, but I don't know if they have any more room for agents. They usually only allow 900 or so in. My id number is 622 and that was like 2 years ago.

    Good Luck
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  • Profile picture of the author derekwong28
    It seems that drop-shipping is rather like a hit or miss business, just like affilliate marketing for physical products in general. Judging by the above responses, it appears that most people do not do well.

    I was luckly as I only used one drop-shipper and was profitable right from the beginning. It drop-shipped batteries from Hong Kong and had over 20,000 items in its inventory. We never had any problems with late shipments and they would use our own company stamp on the parcels. However, it was they who approached us in the first place because we were a well known retailer of PDA accessories then.

    We have since closed our shop but if I were to start up again with them, I am confident of earning at least $1000 per month. They require $1000 in deposit though and that is why I am worried in recommending them to to others just in case if something untowards happens suddenly.
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  • Profile picture of the author txholdem
    It's not surprising that you get so many negative opinions about dropshipping. Especially if you get any dropshipper and do a quick price comparison, you are going to find their "wholesale prices" beat on Amazon or eBay easily, for just about any item!

    A lot of people talk about niches. Theoretically that seems to be the way to go. After all, you should know what you are selling. That, however, seems to be a lot of work to me. I wonder if you find a very profitable niche, how long can it last? Prety soon, people will be doing the same niche.

    However, look at those huge retailers, I mean the HUGE ones. Aren't they trying to sell everything to everybody? Would you say newegg.com has a niche? if you call "computer related" a niche. buy.com? How fast did Amazon give up their "book niche?" Of course you can sell DVD and apples at the same time! (OK thats a bit exaggerating.)

    I have a hard time comprehend how a company can stock millions of items even if they have billions in annual sales. According to my research, I don't know about newegg.com, but buy.com dropships too! buy.com, according to my calculation ships 10-20K packages a day on eBay sales alone. They are just about as big as it gets when it comes to e-tailing (not counting market places, i.e., ebay, amazon). Now that they are big enough, they (as well as newegg) are having their own market places.

    So, in my opinion, dropshipping is not a bad idea at all. Obviously the advantage is that you don't have to stock which lowers your risk and expense, as well as hard labor. I think that's also where the real big potential is, as I don't see how a niche can come close to buy.com.
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  • Profile picture of the author humbledmarket
    Banned
    Personally I wouldn't waste your money. Just contact the supplier or manufacturer directly would be your best bet. They can recommend you a local distributor you can strike out a deal with.
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  • Profile picture of the author mattjay
    this thread has helped me alot. i've been thinking about getting into dropshipping. but i agree with the above posts. if someone was such a good dropshipper, they would not advertise their "wholesale" prices readily available to the public. i agree with humble that contacting the supplier for a local distributor is the best bet.
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  • Profile picture of the author Aussie_Striker
    Great information guys. This is something I have been looking into as well and it does seem hard to know which to go for and which not. It seems that sometimes when sites have clearance sales you could get stuff at much better prices then onsell them. The disadvantage with that is that you are having the purchase yourself first, not actually dropship as such. By the comments that have been on here it seems getting the product yourself may be the better option to go although unfortunately it is more work intensive.

    Having a lot of comments that seem to be fairly negative about competition and such on EBay, have people found that any other auction type sites are better? Alternatively have people used dropshipping much on ECommerce sites, or maybe even classifieds or other methods. I know a few people have mentioned things.
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  • Profile picture of the author biz33ham
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    • Profile picture of the author alpacabob
      So if the big companies are dropshipping and the little guys are dropshipping sometimes and we all have heard the tricks for how to leverage eBay, the value of setting up your own ecommerce, etc. etc., then I guess the key really is supplier. So the trick is- how good are you at convincing a company to give you a good deal? If you're buy.com, you don't need to be convincing- you're buy.com that's good enough. But if you're some no name like me, then you need to somehow convince people that you're worth their time.

      People practically keep their supplier's name in a locked safety deposit box- so you have to go out and figure it out yourself. So what about the process of getting said supplier? There are all kinds of recommendations- call a local business, use Salehoo/WWB, do Google searches in certain ways, but what I keep hearing is that going outside the box is your best bet. Maybe you'll luck out with one of the lists- but maybe not. If you don't, what kind of things have people said to suppliers to leverage their support? I can't say, "I'm one of the most dominant markets on the web" so I need something else. Any ideas? I'm innovative, I have traffic, etc.?

      My other question- what should I reasonably aim for if dropshipping? In other words- it doesn't cost the company nothing to dropship for you- even if it's just part of their workflow and you pay for everything- they still have to pay somebody to box up your item. I'd imagine they don't want to bother with that. And if you scale up to the point where you could hire them an employee- well- we're back to the "get your own warehouse" place. So how little can I reasonably offer a company or wholesaler without them balking at the offer? After all, I want the best profit margin, but I don't expect some kind of saintly offer in which they just hand me what I want with no cost. That would be ridiculous. Do people offer a per item fee? A percentage? And if so- what fee or percentage? In this, I'm assuming that I've gone to some local wholesaler or store owner or something and am proposing a unique solution.

      Any thoughts? What do I put in it for the wholesaler to sound convincing? I'm pretty good at convincing people that they want to do what I want them to do, but if I'm looking for a long-term business relationship, it has to continue to provide for them.
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  • Profile picture of the author mnonline
    I don't recommend you to use dropshippers at all. They are helpless. Don't use them. Dropshippers are middleman. You want to use direct supply purchase and ask for that company to dropship for you. Up to date i still haven't found a real supply company that will dropship for me. I have tried suppliers from China. It did work for a short while. After that I had conflicts with them. Be caution when dealing with suppliers from China. Make sure you order a sample. Check the quality for assurance. It is very important. It will be worth it.

    My revenue from sale was about $10,000 within the first month when i just started from dropshipping. However, i stopped selling since i had issue with the merchants
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  • Profile picture of the author alpacabob
    I appreciate all the warnings- I've come to realize believing in the image of dropshipping as "risk free" is a specious temptation. That's why I'm trying to figure out how people have experienced dropshipping success. What I like about it is the idea of selling real goods- there's just something satisfying about the idea of selling something real- but God knows I don't have the startup capital to just warehouse and go.

    I guess that's why I'm pressing to figure this out. Clearly, it's a rigorous and difficult process to figure out how to effectively dropship online- not some simple thing like people make it out to be.

    It seems that the link in the chain that kills everyone is the supplier. I'd really like to find out if anyone has some system down for figuring out who is a good supplier and who isn't, if people us established dropshippers, and what tricks people have used to establish relationships with businesses that don't already dropship.

    I may end up deciding that it's a terrible way to go, but I'd like to hear more about what people have done to make it work for them. It may turn out to be something like speculating on commodities markets or something- it looks easy, but turns out to be too complicated to be worth it- but I generally hear a lot of "do it" or "don't do it." There's some really good information in here, but I'd love it if someone could explain a rigorous system for establishing supply chains/supplier relationships.

    Thanks!
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  • Profile picture of the author Conrad Stuart
    I run my family business, and we actually do the dropshipping for some customers.

    My advice is that

    #1 Dropshipping is NOT as easy as it seems. Most dropshippers run their businesses part time or fulltime. No passive income here. Customer service, invoicing, phones, email, returns, etc.

    #2 As soon as you become successful in your niche, if it is a small business in a relatively small niche, the dropshipper will get tired of you and cut you off or place limitations on you. We had to do this to our dropshippers and were sad to do it but it was necessary. 10 Dropship orders a day isn't that bad. 50 gets pretty annoying.

    Use dropshipping as a temporary solution or a bridge to other things, like flipping the site or running your own ecommerce store. It is not as stable or profitable as many would like, it is better to sell the stuff on your own if you're gonna dropship, packing isn't that hard and shipping can be automated. But then employees... ha nothing is easy

    These tips are only from my experiences, I know there are people dropshipping successfully who would disagree
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    • Profile picture of the author huron
      #2 As soon as you become successful in your niche, if it is a small business in a relatively small niche, the dropshipper will get tired of you and cut you off or place limitations on you. We had to do this to our dropshippers and were sad to do it but it was necessary. 10 Dropship orders a day isn't that bad. 50 gets pretty annoying.
      I don't get it... you mean if you start selling a lot of products then your supplier will cut you off? why?
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      • Profile picture of the author wzx
        Originally Posted by huron View Post

        I don't get it... you mean if you start selling a lot of products then your supplier will cut you off? why?
        I'd imagine it gets to be more of a burden for them to have to dropship so much to so many different people for you. They'd rather concentrate on shipping bulk orders that'd make them much more money.
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  • Profile picture of the author Robert Mangan
    Ryan D is right on about approaching manufacturers directly. I live in Australia but set up an U.S. business retailing fitness equipment in the U.S. only. (my site if fitnesslyceum.com if you're interested).

    Therefore, trade shows weren't an option for me as I didn't have the funds to fly across the pacific when I started my online business.

    Being a 'remote retailer' also forced me to go dropship. Fulfillment services can work but on large items like fitness equipment it's too expensive.

    I approached the manufacturers directly. I simply went to their website, called the toll free number and went from there. To my surprise (and delight) most offered dropship.

    Even if you approach a manufacturer and they don't offer dropship then ask them for a list of suppliers and then approach each one of them and ask if they dropship.

    If you are going to approach manufacturers or distributors directly then you should have your own website, LLC, EIN number, toll free number displayed on site etc. Don't worry if you've no suppliers yet; when I approached manufacturers in the beginning my site had a few 'sample' products loaded onto it so that manufacturers could get a good feel for the site.

    When I called each manufacturer and finally got speaking to the sales guy, every single one of them wanted to know my website URL and they would look at it while I was on the phone to them.

    Another tip, if the manufacturer is hard to track down, i.e. if you're thinking of selling jewellery then the manufacturer (or brand) isn't usually displayed on the site. Here's what I'd do to go about sourcing them. Call your competitors and pretend to be interested in buying an item. Ask them if the ship from their store or from the manufacturer/distributor. If they ship from the manufacturer/distributor, ask them where they're located at and EVEN ASK FOR THE NAME OF THE SUPPLIER.

    My customers are always asking me if I'm shipping from my own warehouse or not. If not they will always ask where it's being shipped from.

    So, don't be shy. Call your competitors and ask questions.
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