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Dropshipping for Newbies: A Comprehensive Guide

Dropshipping is an eCommerce business approach in which store owners process orders through third-party vendors or suppliers; the third-party dropshipping supplier takes responsibility for fulfilling the order to the customer.

It is unique in the sense that the retailer does not store inventory but instead delivers customer details to the supplier who ships the orders on the retailer’s behalf. Thousands of people make a comfortable living through dropshipping, and there is no reason you can’t do the same.

How dropshipping works

Dropshipping is based on a simple concept. It includes 3 simple steps

Step #1

The seller (drop shipper) publishes items he/she wishes to sell through his online store. The customer sees the items and places an order through the drop shipper’s website.

Step #2

The retailer gets the order details and forwards customer information to a dropship supplier (this process may be manual or automated).

Step #3

The supplier then packs and delivers the required products directly to the customer with the store owner’s branding.

Advantages of dropshipping

Easy setup

Establishing a dropshipping business is relatively straightforward. All you have to do is find a supplier, set up a website, and sell goods. Done the right way, it is easy to manage with minimal investment.

Minimal setup cost

Although traditional business ventures require massive amounts of startup investment (warehousing, purchasing inventory), dropshipping removes all these hurdles and costs. All you need to pay for is the cost of running and maintaining your website.

Reduced overhead

With dropshipping, you needn’t worry about renting or buying an office.

Limited risk

Since there is no need to hold inventory, your business has little to lose. Furthermore, there will be less pressure to make sales.

Location independence

You don’t need to have an office or warehouse to run a dropshipping business.

Product variety

Dropshipping lets you sell anything you want. You can enter any niche, and you don’t have to commit to any one supplier

Efficiency

In the conventional business model, you must work harder to earn more. Since the supplier ships the products to the customer, you can offer thousands of products without holding inventory. The shipping process is more straightforward, reducing the risk that items will be damaged in transit.

The drawbacks of dropshipping

Like everything else, dropshipping has disadvantages. Here are some of the most significant:

Relatively low margins:

Since you’ll be purchasing single items, you may have to pay a higher price. Most wholesalers and manufacturers do not dropship, which means you’ll have to buy from (more expensive) retail vendors. It is a costly arrangement that hurts your product margins

Full liability for losses.

You will be held responsible for anything that goes wrong when the supplier ships products to your customers, and it will affect the perceived value of your brand.

Limited control

In the dropshipping model, sellers have no say over the way their brands are portrayed to the customer. This happens because the supplier handles the order fulfillment process.

Shipping problems

If you have several suppliers for a single order from your customer, you may experience transportation problems.  Different suppliers charge different shipping rates based on product type, location, and other details.

Competition

With eCommerce rapidly gaining popularity, dropshipping has become a fiercely competitive industry.

Is dropshipping ideal for you?

Dropshipping does not fit all business types. However, there are several entrepreneurial models for which it is an ideal strategy.

Validating entrepreneurs: with dropshipping, you get the freedom to try out new products before investing in inventory and stocking. Stocking products involves taking on the risk that they will not sell. The strategy allows you (the entrepreneur) to lower risks and validate the demand for products before acquiring inventory.

Budget entrepreneurs: with dropshipping, you can sell online at a minimal cost. Consequently, it is the ideal model for entrepreneurs with limited budgets or startup companies interested in cutting their expenses.

New entrepreneurs: if you’re selling online for the first time, then dropshipping is the best model to implement.  E-commerce can be tricky. If you have no prior knowledge of digital marketing, then it’s best to start with dropshipping until you can handle the challenges that come with full-fledged eCommerce fulfillment.

Furthermore, because dropshipping requires little investment, you may use it to build brand value. It also gives you room to learn about online selling, conversion optimization, driving traffic, and other eCommerce fundamentals.

Large-scale entrepreneur: if you want to sell a wide variety of products, this business model might be the right one for you. Dropshipping lets you offer thousands of products that would require large amounts of funding to maintain if you were holding inventory.

How to find drop shipping niches and products

Choose the right niche.

Find ideas. Take a survey of everyone around you (yourself included) study what people like to buy online, what they like to take on vacation, and so on. This will give you a rough idea of the kind of products and niches that are good for dropshipping.

Study your competitors: study other dropshipping brands to find niches that might be too competitive, then ignore them. You may use google search, AliExpress, and Facebook search for this endeavor. For more on that, you may want to read “how to find the best product niches for dropshipping in 2020.”

study customer loyalty: Avoid products and niches that are dominated by national brands-

Target expensive niches: the higher your product cost, the higher your profit margins will be.

Avoid highly returnable products: don’t drop ship products with style and preferences as they have extraordinarily high return rates, and you don’t want that.

Avoid seasonal niches: selling products with stable demand helps you maintain constant sales volume – it’s a good thing because it allows you to predict consumer behavior trends.

How to find dropshipping wholesalers (suppliers)

After you’ve found the right niches and products, it’s time to look for dropshipping suppliers. You can use several strategies, remember though, that this may be the most challenging part of starting your business.

Before you reach out to potential suppliers, you should prepare. Have all the legal paperwork, plus your business vision and mission ready. Most reliable suppliers will ask for verifiable proof that you represent a legal business before partnering with you.

Talk to manufacturers

Product manufacturers know reliable wholesale partners because they often work together. Ask (politely) for a list of wholesale distributors and call them to schedule meetings so you can see if they dropship. Some manufacturers will have drop shipping programs for resellers.

Check directories

Whether it’s in an actual book or digital database, your work will be a lot easier if you have a database of suppliers sorted by their products or niches

Google

Use google to find reliable, high-quality suppliers. You should know how to do search engine research for the best chances of success. There are several eCommerce blogs and forums that will provide useful information on how to find reputable suppliers.

Visit trade shows

Trade shows are the ideal way to connect with manufacturers and dropshipping suppliers. Look for tradeshows within your niche and attend them whenever possible.

Pro Tip: It may be hard to know whether you and your drop shipper will be a good fit. Consequently, you should ask all the necessary questions and verify that they can deliver as promised.

Qualities of reputable suppliers

The following tips will help you find reliable, high-quality dropshipping suppliers:

Capacity

They should possess sufficient infrastructure: at the very least, a good supplier should provide a comprehensive digital catalog, real-time inventory updates, customizable d searchable order history, and customizable data feeds so you can manage your operations. If your supplier lacks technological capacity, they may fail to deliver when you need to scale up your operations.

Support

Your supplier should have helpful sales representatives. It is wise to look for dedicated representatives who can help you quickly sort out technical problems.

Reliability

The ideal supplier should be orderly, punctual, and efficient. Customers value fast shipping and will buy from retailers with the shortest delivery times, even when it’s more expensive. For this reason, you should find drop shippers who can deliver between 24-48 hours, without fail. You should also partner with suppliers who have the lowest failure rates. You can evaluate their punctuality by placing a test order.

High product quality

Reliable suppliers Provide quality products. The best products will satisfy your customers and get you positive testimonials and product reviews.

Start dropshipping

If you’ve reached this point, you know what dropshipping is, how it works, its benefits and drawbacks, and you’re sure you want to start a dropshipping business. You’ve also identified a profitable niche and found the best suppliers. Now it’s time to really get to business

Launch your online store/website

Create an online store. There are multiple ways to do this; if you may create a WordPress website and add an eCommerce plugin like WooCommerce, or you could let wholesale2b build a site for you.

Manage your inventory

There are several inventory management platforms available online. They will handle the most strenuous tasks for you, but you’ll still have to manage stock – even if it’s not on hand.

Develop a customer acquisition plan and evaluate your metrics.

You need customers, and one of the best ways to get them is through targeted ads. Launch Facebook and google ads campaigns to target your audience. This will help you generate quick sales.  For longer-term results, consider search engine optimization and email marketing. They will help you cut back on your advertising spend.

Pro tip: Remember to track your conversion metrics. Knowing where your customers come from and how they buy will help you optimize your marketing strategy. You

Optimize the order fulfillment process

Order fulfillment optimization will help you keep your customers satisfied and avoid disputes. For optimal fulfillment, follow these rules

  • Give customers tracking numbers, so they know when their products are processed and shipped,
  • develop a strategy for returns processing or exchange policy to handle damaged goods.
  • Once an item runs out of stock or is discontinued, do your best to find it for your customers, your customers will appreciate your effort and come back.
  • Have a clear returns policy, provide clear shipping communication, and reliable customer service.

Next Steps

Choose a dropshipping platform.

While it is possible to run your dropshipping business manually, it can be highly stressful and leave you prone to error. The ideal approach is to choose a dropshipping tool to help you manage things.

Whether you’re just starting a dropshipping business or looking to simplify your current setup, Wholesale2b offers a comprehensive dropshipping solution that grants you access to the best dropshipping suppliers through a single dashboard. With no credit card required, its risk-free solution will streamline your dropshipping operations and help you get the best products for your customers.

The Best Oberlo Alternatives for your Dropshipping Business

You must give your customers competitive pricing to stand apart from the competition. But you can’t do that if you (and your rivals) get your products from the same market place.

The good news is that there are several Oberlo alternatives you can try, and this post offers a review of the best.

Wholesale2b

Wholesale2b is a dropshipping company that promises its clients a one-stop solution to meet all their needs. They offer inventory and order automation, as well as hosting services and store design.

Features:

  • Free to browse catalog: you register and view wholesale2b’s catalogs and products for free – no need for credit card details.
  • Push products to stores: with wholesale2b, you can publish products to any eCommerce platform with a few clicks.
  • Flexibility: Wholesale2b offers various pricing options so you can choose the best one for your business.
  • eCommerce setup supports: if you want to sell online, but don’t have a website, Wholesale2b has a plan where they’ll build one for you. this feature helps you save time if you’re in a hurry, and it supports same-day shipping
  • Convenience: While other tools require that you place your orders directly from the dropshipping site, your Wholesale2b website allows you to make orders through its admin dashboard.
  • Multiple suppliers: wholesale2b connects you to a broad array of verified product suppliers. Furthermore, there’s an option to compare them by performance on order fulfillment and cancellation ratios.

AliDropship

AliDropship is a reliable alternative to Oberlo for people who want to start a dropshipping business on WordPress. Despite the rapid expansion of e-commerce enablers like Shopify, WordPress has remained immensely popular, and AliDropship is one of the best plugins you can use on the platform. It comes with several exciting features and is easy to use, but you may need to set some time aside to understand its functions if you’re unfamiliar with WordPress.

Features

  • The plugin comes with the capacity to semi-automate many of the tasks required for your business’s day-to-day management. This includes operations like pricing rules, product imports from AliExpress, inventory updates, order fulfillment, order tracking, and many others.
  • The service also has a browser extension that lets you quickly evaluate any product on AliExpress to determine whether it’s good for dropshipping. Besides their plugin, AliDropship continuously expand their product range, they provide custom store creation services, and they offer several free guides on all dropshipping-related topics.

The AliDropship plugin requires a one-time fee. There is no free trial, but you get lifetime support and updates at no cost.

Dropified

Dropified was the leading alternative to Oberlo in the days when it had just entered the market. At that time, the service went by a different name, calling itself Shopified to appeal to Shopify’s client base. The app has since rebranded to Dropified and can now integrate with several other eCommerce platforms that include Groovecart, WooCommerce, and Commercehq,

Features

  • Dropified has a clean, easy-to-use interface, and it comes with several features to optimize your dropshipping business. It allows you to price your products according to product category and supplier pricing. The prices are automatically updated if the suppliers change their prices, so there’s no need to worry about making losses.
  • You’ll be able to quickly fulfill orders and send tracking info to your customers at the click of a button. With Dropified, you can also import products from nearly 100 e-retailers. There are automation features available. However, you can only use them with AliExpress.
  • Dropify recently introduced a new service called “Dropified Black.” the service grants members access to suppliers of high-quality FDA approved health supplements. You label products with your own name and sell them under your brand while fulfillment is handled by the suppliers.

Shopmaster

Shopmaster is one of the most advanced Oberlo alternatives currently available. While the app is generally easy to use, its advanced features may prove too complicated for beginners. Shopmaster is unique among the Oberlo alternatives discussed so far because it offers a free version in which you can access its most significant features. You can use Shopmaster free of charge, and this offer includes unlimited monthly orders. Shopmaster has several automation features, and it can import products from over 30 suppliers. It integrates with eBay, Shopify, WooCommerce, 3dcart, and Wish.

Shopmaster lets you order and import products in bulk, set complex pricing rules, and it gives you notifications whenever there are changes to your supplier’s inventory. Shopmaster also allows you to change suppliers quickly – it does not rely on any one supplier.

Spocket

Spocket is highly rated on the Shopify app market, and it’s quite easy to use. If you want to avoid long shipping times and access suppliers based in the USA and Europe, Spocket may be the ideal solution. It simplifies product imports and order fulfillment and lets you brand your invoices so your customers can remember you. It is a relatively simple app, lacking many of the features others have. However, that may be a good thing for beginners who would rather not be overwhelmed by a plethora of features during their first attempt to set up a dropshipping brand. Spocket has 4 pricing plans, and each has a two-week trial.

Printful

Printful offers a wide array of products and product categories to choose from. It is an excellent service that is particularly ideal for vendors looking to sell customized products. The Printful team handles everything in-house, from warehousing to printing and order fulfillment. They take care of everything the moment one of your customers places an order.

Features

  • The best benefit of using Printful is that it is entirely free to use. You’re only required to pay when you make sales.
  • The service also offers several helpful resources to help you. The Printful team handles all its operations in-house.

Doba

Doba is one of the most established dropshipping companies around. Unfortunately, however, all their suppliers are USA-based. They don’t ship overseas, so it won’t work for international shipping.

Features

  • if you’re okay with its limitations, you’ll enjoy access to a broad range of products in a variety of categories and the ability to integrate your platform with most eCommerce platforms.
  • Doba requires a little more technical proficiency to operate than most other dropshipping platforms. It is ideal for experienced drop shippers looking to expand their product ranges.

Modalyst

Modalyst functions a lot like Spocket; The service grants you access to several local suppliers (USA) and others from other parts of the world.

Features

  • Modalyst is an official AliExpress partner, so you’ll get access to millions of products that you can dropship instantly. It’s easy to import products, fulfill orders, and share tracking information with your customers.
  • You also get real-time inventory monitoring, with updates to inform you whenever a product is out of stock or has a price change so you can quickly implement changes to ensure your margins remain stable.

Modalyst has three plans. One is entirely free, but with a limit to the number of products you’re allowed to import.

Printify

This is a print on demand drop shipping service that functions like Printiful, but with some notable differences. They outsource most of their printing tasks to different companies. Depending on your product type, you’ll work with different print providers.

Features

  • They offer a large variety of products, and you can get started for free. Printify integrates with eBay, Etsy, Wix, WooCommerce, and Shopify.

Dropship.Me

Dropship.Me is a popular Oberlo alternative for dropshipping entrepreneurs. Built to integrate seamlessly with WooCommerce and WordPress, the service appeals to brand owners who prefer not to run their businesses through Shopify.

Features

  • Me comes with full access to AliExpress, and you can import directly to your WordPress website.

Importify

Importify integrates with Jumpseller, Shopify, and WooCommerce. After you choose your designated platform, you can subscribe to any of their plans and quickly set up your dropshipping business.

Features

  • Importify offers a research tool to find verified top-sellers and quickly import products to your online store from Alibaba, AliExpress, Etsy, and hundreds of other suppliers.
  • You can also use their semi-automated order fulfillment system to quickly fulfill orders on Amazon, AliExpress, Wonify, and Dhgate.

Dsers

Dsers started in 2018 and is committed to offering automated dropshipping solutions that spare clients the hassle of manual order processing.

Features

  • Dsers is capable of dealing with multiple and bulk orders. You can instantly process hundreds of orders, and they’re all synchronized with Shopify, so you can place an order on AliExpress with just one click.
  • Dsers lets you choose multiple suppliers for your items. The substitute suppliers are only activated if the product is unavailable at your default supplier.

There are so many promising drop shipping options available. So, whether planning on starting a WooCommerce or Shopify brand, you have numerous opportunities to find reliable partners who’ll ship the best quality products to your customers.

With Wholesale2b, there’s no need to register with suppliers. You can manage several dropshipping tasks from order processing to tracking – all from your Wholesale2b account. The platform offers a unique chance to maximize your profits with the most competitive product prices. it is the ideal solution for retailers looking to grow their drop shipping brands

How to find the best niches for dropshipping (2020)

“How do I find the right Niche?” is a common question among drop shippers, and with good reason.  Choosing the right niche can mean the difference between a successful retail business and wasted effort. As such, it is a vital consideration. In this post, you’ll learn how to identify profitable niches for your dropshipping business that get you high margins and stable, year-round demand.

Get Ideas!

The first step to identifying profitable dropshipping niches is to find ideas, and it’s not something you can quickly do over a cup of coffee. You must set aside a considerable amount of time aside for best results.

To find ideas, study yourself and those around you. Record the items you have recently bought over the internet and consult friends and family so you can know what they have purchased. Doing so should give you some ideas for items you can dropship.

Besides that, here are a few other things you can do:

  • Ask yourself what do people like to do while they’re on vacation.
  • Study your friends’ and family’s hobbies?
  • What’s the priciest item closest to you?
  • How about your family and friends? What are the most expensive items they have in their houses?

Take note of everything, even if it appears absurd. Then take that list and do the following to ensure the niches you’ve identified are stable and profitable.

Study your competitors

Study other dropshipping brands to identify products on your list that are over-saturated.

  • You may use google search for your study.
  • Just type the product name and hit enter. The results page will show competitors who offer the same product. You may also perform an image search by using your product’s image to evaluate how many dropshipping stores provide the same product.
  • Look at the study the product’s demand on AliExpress. If it has more than 1000 orders, it is likely saturated.
  • Type the product name into Facebook search, then view the video results. If you get more than 10 videos with large view counts, the product may be saturated.

Evaluate customer loyalty

Avoid products or niches that are monopolized by national brand(s). National brands often enjoy considerable customer loyalty, and their customers will purchase their products regardless of convenience and price. In most cases, the customers are not interested in trying other brands, so they won’t provide reliable demand for your product.

Target expensive items

The higher the cost of your dropshipping products, the greater your profit margins. The traditional approach to dropshipping requires selling vast quantities of low-priced items, and it achieves low-profit margins. While it can be useful, it comes with several disadvantages. On the other hand, selling only a few items of considerable value will grant you a bigger advertising budget. Furthermore, since you’ll be shipping high-quality, you will achieve higher customer lifetime value.

Expensive items also have more significant profit margins. For instance, if you sell a camping net at USD 300 and your net margin is 25%, you’ll make USD 75 off each sale. In contrast, if you’re selling low priced items, like phone jackets at an average price of USD 15 and 30% profit margin, you’ll only get USD 4.5 from each sale.

Consider product Weight

You’ll want to dropship items that are both expensive and light-weight.  Heavy items cost more to ship, and this may affect your profits if you’re using shipping plans like flat rate shipping. Furthermore, even if you’re using a different technique, your shoppers need to have an accurate shipping cost estimate before they complete an order, and any inconsistencies at this point will cost you money.

Avoid Returns

Don’t dropship products with style and sizing preferences, as they have remarkably high return rates. Sizing and fit are one of the most common reasons customers return orders to e-commerce retailers.

Another problem with such items is the tendency for customers to “bracket their items.”

One of the strategies customers use to ensure they buy the right sizes for apparel is to purchase several sizes of the same item, try it on at home, keep what fits, and then return what doesn’t. In a recent study, nearly 50% of U.S. shoppers said they bracket their purchases. This is an increase from 2017 and 2018 when about 40% of consumers said they bracketed at least some of their online purchases.

Avoid seasonal products

Selling products with stable demand throughout the year helps ensure you have a steady sales volume.

Let’s take Bluetooth headphones, for example. The demand for this product will likely be constant throughout the year (with a probable peak in December due to the holidays). On the other hand, with items like air conditioners, likely, you won’t have any sales in the winter.

The idea is to avoid the types of products that don’t sell much at some points in the year. -the ideal product will ensure you attain stable turnover, which is crucial for anticipating stock changes.

The only seasonality you should accept is the peak sales that come with the end-of-year holiday period

Places to find in-demand products and profitable niches

eBay

eBay is one of the best tools you can use to check if items have sustainable demand. (just don’t copy eBay’s pricing plan -it’s too low).  It may not be as popular as it once was, with the emergence of Alibaba and Amazon, but it is still an excellent place to find profitable market segments.

  • On eBay, study products in niches you know are expensive.
  • As you explore the different categories on eBay, change your search results to display completed listings.
  • If a completed listing appears in red, the item did not sell. If its green, it means the item sold

Your focus should be on the products shown in green and look for completed listings only for that particular product.

Amazon

Amazon is the world’s largest retailer, and they sell just about every product ever manufactured. This makes it one of the most ideal places to find in-demand products

Here’s how to find profitable niches using Amazon

  • Click the “all” tab to the left of the main search bar. It will display a list of niches or categories
  • Select a specific category, it could be a random choice or something that interests you
  • Leave the search box blank and select go
  • A fresh page will appear, and on the left, there will be a long list of subcategories or “sub-niches.”
  • Choose a subcategory, and it will take you deeper into a specific sub-niche
  • You have now found a specific sub-niche, but it’s still possible to go further if you wish.
  • Amazon is particularly useful for finding ultra-specific niches and products that have high demand.
  • An added benefit is that you can select the best sellers from the menu at the top of the page just below the search box to see which items are selling best.

With these strategies, you have all you need to find stable, profitable niches for your dropshipping brand. It may take some effort, but you’ll get there.

Furthermore, if you’re just starting a dropshipping business, or looking to simplify your current setup, Wholesale2b has integrated accounts that offer access to the best dropshipping suppliers through a single dashboard. With no credit card required, its risk-free solution will streamline your dropshipping operations and help you get the best products for your customers.

How Wholesale2b Bypasses The Effects Of The Coronavirus On Drop Shipping

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Drop shipping is a common supply-chain method used by various companies across the world. It involves the transfer of goods from the retailer in question to the manufacturer, a wholesaler or some other retailer, from where it is sent to the customer.

Drop shippers are a profitable and efficient way for most businesses looking to expand. And in recent years, China has grown to become a major player in the drop ship business. However, with the recent spread of Coronavirus, many drop ship suppliers from China are experiencing problems.

The virus has led to multiple issues that is putting businesses at risk of foreclosure and customers not getting their products on time, or at all. But fortunately Wholesale2b is adapting during this time of crisis and delivering to their consumer base.

This article will first highlight the issues that coronavirus has caused drop shipping in general, and then discuss ways to combat and avoid these challenges.

The Effects  Of Coronavirus On Drop Shipping

According to multiple sources as well as CNN, drop shipping suppliers that take products from China are halting their transfers to mitigate the spread of the virus. This has affected companies worldwide as China is home to some of the biggest companies of the world.

The following are some of the major effects the coronavirus has had and continues to have on drop ship businesses.

Shipping Delays

One of the major problems most drop shippers are experiencing is the delay in shipment. Because the Chinese government as well as other nations’ main concern is the public health and safety of its people, products will not be delivered on time.

This is because further control and disease prevention methods have been put in place that not all companies, especially small-scale drop ship businesses can afford currently. Ultimately, this introduces financial dangers as various ports and pathways for transportation remain closed.

And finally, there is no way to predict when these restrictions and blockages will be removed. As a result, drop shippers are left in a state of uncertainty that gives rise to another problem caused by the virus.

Risk of Bankruptcy

Many small scale drop shippers are at risk of going bankrupt due to the lack of certainty on the time at which business will resume as usual. Such companies sustain themselves on being able to meet the requirements of their customers in timely fashion, so this issue may put them out of business.

Added to this, are the additional costs that drop shipping suppliers will have to incur if they look for alternative ways to ship their product to their customers. These include paying premium costs that some suppliers may not be able to pay, increasing the risk of bankruptcy.

Media Frenzy

In the age of social media, it is extremely easy to spread misinformation and create fake news that will grab the public’s attention. Given that coronavirus has received a lot of attention in the media, many have taken to social media to hype up the issue, affecting many drop ship businesses negatively.

This can and perhaps already has caused customers to stop buying or importing products from China, despite the requirements of health and safety being met. Even the centers for disease control and regulation are not trusted who may approve of a shipment as being safe to travel.

Ultimately, this is bad news for products made in China, and thus for the Chinese economy. Sales for products from China are likely to continue decreasing until the threat subsides. But until then, some businesses will most likely go under.

Possible Solutions By Wholesale2b

So how does wholesale2b avoid all these issues?

It is quite simple; we at wholesale2b integrate suppliers mostly from the United States, which enables us to continue to run our business smoothly.  We understand the importance of providing our customers with a safe and trusted experience, which is why we take pride in how we get you your products.

But if there are some of you looking to start your own drop shipping business or are already in the business and struggling, do not fear! We at wholesale2b recognize the importance of developing an action plan to deal with the situation at hand, so here it is:

The first thing you should do is to contact your drop shipping suppliers. Speak to them about the situation on the ground, as this will give you an idea of how serious is the issue that you are dealing with.

If there is significant risk, you may want to put a temporary stop on your ad campaigns to reduce money being wasted during this period. Instead, use this time to respond to and deal with the orders you have already received and stay in contact with your customers.

Ideally, you should be honest with them about the delays, as this will make them feel they are being heard and will not abandon ship so to speak in your time of need. Or if you wish to not induce panic, you can simply not state the reason for the delay.

However, this does not mean that you can be irresponsible with your products and their safety for your customers. Ensure that if and when they do arrive they are completely safe to use.

Lastly, you should consider looking for drop ship suppliers in other nations such as the States and Europe. This is perhaps the best solution in the given situation as it completely removes the fear that may keep your customers from buying from you.

You can tweak the action plan above to suit your business’ needs, but having a way to tactfully and timely address the concerns of your consumer base is essential in the establishment and survival of a business venture.

We hope these suggestions come in use for you.

How Your Small Business Can Find Dropshipping Wholesalers

With e-commerce becoming highly competitive, dropshipping has become the easiest way to sell products. When it comes to dropshipping, a small business owner does not need to stock the inventory themselves. Through a direct connection with the wholesaler, they can have the goods delivered to buyers straight from the warehouse to fulfil orders. With low startup costs requirements and flexibility of product offerings, dropshipping seems quite advantageous. Despite this, there are certain considerations to make. The most important of this is picking the right products to sell. Dropshipping high-conversion products can strengthen you against a competitive online market.

Starting out, you may not be able to compete directly with existing dropshippers. Wholesalers give a discount only when products are bought in bulk. When you’re dropshipping a product you’re buying and selling one thing at a time so your wholesale cost will remain high.  If you’re a business owner who already knows what you want to sell, here’s what you should do to find a dropshipping wholesaler:

Learn the distribution channels: Each industry has its own distribution channel. The most common types of these include:

1)    Manufacturer: Most products are bought directly from the manufacturers, and at cheaper rates.

2)    Exclusive Distributor: Depending on the industry, a business may have the sole rights to import or export products in a certain country. They may choose to sell these directly to a retailer, or to a smaller wholesaler.

3)    Regional Distributor: These are regional dropshipping wholesalers who take box-sized lots and break them down into truckloads of boxes to sell to local wholesalers.

4)    Jobbers: Jobbers or wagon-peddlers make local every-day deliveries to retail stores.

Cut the Middle Man: Your first reach out should be directly to the manufacturer themselves. It’s likely that they can give you the best possible offer (depending on the minimum product requirements), or a list of reliable distributors you may find useful. The fewer people the products go through before reaching you, the lower your costs.

Google Search: A preliminary search always begins with Google. Search for specific product-related wholesalers with the right keywords or search terms. You can also include any particular brand names or model numbers into your search. Most wholesalers will have a Google My Business listing which should give you their contact details, or you can also use a tool like Hunter to help you out.

B2B and B2C Markets: B2B markets can be the biggest hub spots for most manufacturers, wholesalers, and distributors. Platforms may vary depending on the target country, eg. Busy Trade in Hong Kong, and Global Sources in USA. Alibaba is an exception that remains the biggest platform for B2B globally. When starting out, small business owners can even try eBay where retailers or small wholesalers may sell products in bulk. Although this is more of a B2C channel, it’s one of the easiest places to start and suited for low-volume retailers.

DropShipping Companies: The entire objective of dropshipping is to specialize in niche products that people will come to you to purchase. Certain companies specialize in this, and can help make your selection of products to dropship easier. Sites like Wholesale2b list popular product categories to help you out.

Industry Communities and Groups: Another great place to find manufacturers and dropshipping wholesalers is from industry communities and groups. Several social media channels like Facebook and Linkedin have groups meant for certain niche industries and businesses. Although other retailers won’t be too eager to share their information with competitors, you can initiate building a relationship with other business owners to eventually become one of the insiders. Industry communities can not only help you network and find dropshipping contacts but also solve most other issues you face in business, whether it is marketing or getting a retail financing option. Keep posting and sharing, stay in the loop of discussions within the community and expand your professional network to make the most of these platforms.

Businesses in Your Area and Trade Shows: While of course, an online community is one of the best places to start your search, don’t be afraid to reach out to businesses in your locality as well. Attend trade shows where you can directly meet dropshipping wholesalers and build a connection with them, or other contacts of theirs. This will also help you avoid incorrect information you may find on the net. Trade Show News Network can help you find upcoming trade shows in your area.

Establishing Initial Contact: Once you’ve curated a list of dropshippers to reach out to, the important part is how you can position your business to them. Keep in mind that when it comes to dropshipping, they will handle the inventory and shipping the goods, so your business must prove a lucrative platform for them to sell through. Take note of their minimum order requirements and their wholesale unit prices. Stay honest with what you’re looking for, and don’t try to make your business sound larger than it is (with everything online, they’ll know your business numbers with a quick search). Stay friendly and direct on email, and you can even request to meet your dropshipper in person.

In case you aren’t able to meet your dropshipper personally, there are some signs that they may be illegitimate:

1)    They charge an ongoing fee: No wholesaler should charge you just for doing business with them. While a supplier directory (who may provide you a list of suppliers) will charge a fees, a supplier themselves should not. However, per-order shipping fees will be charged, which can be 2$ and more for individual shipping, because it is much more expensive than bulk shipping. This is a standard throughout the industry.

2)    They sell B2C: Another red flag is if a wholesaler directly sells products to the public. To do business with a wholesaler, you must create a wholesale account and prove you are a licensed business. If your wholesaler sells directly to customers, it means they’re a retailer who is just selling at inflated prices.

The most important factor of dropshipping is to sell good products at a profit. Your first wholesalers and manufacturers may not be the only vendor you use throughout your business life. Fast converting products are a trend that keeps changing, and it’s only possible to create a good supply chain process through trial and error. With time and practice, you’ll start to see a good improvement in your retail bottom line.

The challenges of drop shipping

Drop shipping isn’t all fun and games. There are a fair few issues that could possibly arise. Here are some problems and their solutions that will help you in your business.

Customer service

The backbone of a successful business is good customer service. Responding to client queries on time is key in building a positive brand image. Unfortunately, the nature of drop shipping doesn’t allow this. You will be answerable to your customers without having first hand knowledge yourself. You won’t know when exactly the order will ship, when the order will arrive, why is there a delay, etc. You’ll have to forward the queries to your suppliers, wait for a response, and then answer your client. To handle this, all you can do is make sure you choose a trustworthy supplier. Other than that, there isn’t much control you have here.

Not so wholesale

Drop shipping businesses run on the concept of buying at wholesale rates and selling at regular prices. This is how drop shipping businesses earn profits. However, if you look from the suppliers’ point of view, this method is rather unprofitable for them. You’re not technically buying products in bulk. Instead, the supplier is sending out one or two items at a time. Finding suppliers who are okay with this model and still agree to sell on wholesale prices is hard. The solution here is to research hard. There certainly are wholesale suppliers who work happily with the drop shipping model. Wholesale2b is a good option to consider. You won’t have to face this challenge as such if you choose them.

Product returns

Online shopping has earned the trust of people due to one basic feature; guarantee of return. If people don’t like the quality of what they chose unseen, they can return the product to get their money back. Similarly, this process also covers the cases in which the product is faulty or damaged. In drop shipping, the client will demand the refund from you. However, you’ll have to make sure you get your money back from the supplier too. The chain of communication is longer and the process is slower. Once again, your solution is to opt for a supplier who’ll deal with such situations professionally.

Competition

The suppliers you bag won’t be providing the items just for your online store. There will be tens, sometimes even hundreds, of other stores selling the exact same product as you. This high competition may force you to narrow your profit percentage. Sometimes, you may even find competitors who will be selling the product at a price that would bring a loss to you. To tackle this challenge, you need to do two things. First of all, decide a store niche that is relatively unique. You won’t have to worry about the excessive competition and people will be attracted to the different items on your store. Secondly, don’t compromise on the supplier. Choose the best of the best, and the best isn’t always the cheapest.

Dive into drop shipping businesses with these challenges in mind. Better cautious than sorry!

Best drop shipping companies to work with

Drop shipping businesses can be a huge success if you partner with the right company. We’ve made things easy for you by compiling a list of the best companies out there that you can choose to work with if you start a drop shipping business.

1.    Sunrise Wholesale

This is a wholesale drop shipping company that has been awarded an A+ by the Better Business Bureau. Sunrise Wholesale work in partnership with another importer. Overall, you get the benefits of both along with a 600,000 square feet warehouse and distribution center. You’ll have 15,000 branded products to choose from. If you sign up with them, you get special tools that make eBay and Amazon marketing much easier for you. There is a limitation of 7 suppliers only but if they’re trustworthy, you don’t have to worry about the small number.

2.    Oberlo

Oberlo is a rather famous name in the drop shipping industry. It is loved for its user-friendly interface along with the technical facilities. You can create a free account on Oberlo to test things out. The direct link with AliExpress and Shopify makes things very convenient. However, the restriction is that this will only work with Shopify accounts. Other than that, the only suppliers they have for now are those on AliExpress. There is still a wide variety of options for you to choose from.

3.    SaleHoo

SaleHoo is a platform where suppliers meet website owners. People like you, who are starting a drop shipping business, get to connect with more than 8,000 companies. In total, these companies supply around 1.6 million products. The best part is that every single one of the suppliers on SaleHoo is verified. There is no risk of fraud or lack of quality. Other than that, this platform also offers market research tools that you can use to figure out which products will work out best for your business. If you want to try SaleHoo, you can’t do it for free. Although there is no free trial, you do get a 60-day money back guarantee so you can dive in without a worry.

4.    Megagood

Unlike previous options, Megagood isn’t a platform for wholesale companies. Instead, Megagood itself is a supplier. You get 45 categories of products. The variety is great but the product count is still very low. But, then this service is one of the cheaper ones too. There are pros and cons but it’s up to you to decide if it will work fine for your business.

5.    Wholesale2b

Wholesale2b is a platform that provides 1000s of product options. With trustworthy suppliers, you don’t have much to stress about. You’ll get the cheapest rates here in terms of platform subscription as well as product prices. Another convenience offered by wholesale2b is that they allow you to access product information so that you have a guarantee of quality.

You can further look into the subscription details of each of these wholesale platforms. Choose the one that fits your budget, scale of business, and niche.

Legal considerations in a drop shipping business

Drop shipping businesses are expanding all over the world. They are super easy to set up. In the excitement and hurry to start your own drop shipping business, don’t forget that there are a few legal requirements you must fulfil. Fulfil these requirements to keep yourself from any trouble in the future.

Licenses

Any business that sells tangible products requires a number of licenses. Even if you’ll be operating the business from a single website from within your home, you’ll need a registered office location. You will have to decide a business name and get that registered. Then, you’ll have to go to your local county. This will be the county that is connected to the office address that you registered. After getting the country license, you’ll have to get the city license. Unless your registered address is in an area that comes under no city, this license is a must have to operate a legal business. Lastly, you will need a reseller’s license. This will allow you to sell products via drop shipping which is basically reselling in the simplest terms. These licenses can be obtained rather easily. Make sure you keep getting them renewed whenever they expire to steer clear of legal trouble.

Tax ID Number

A tax ID number (TIN) or Employer Identification Number (EIN) is a must have document for any business that is going to hire employees. You might not need it if you plan on running the business on your own. However, we would recommend you to still get one for future safety. This number will be needed for business bank accounts too. You can get your TIN from IRS.

Business account and credit card

A lot of people tend to forget this basic requirement. You’ll need specifically a business account for all your transactions. Opt for a bank that offers online banking for your convenience. Moreover, keep preparing your account to meet the requirements of a business credit card.

IP alteration

Opening a bank account will be troublesome if you’re not a US resident. They usually approve the opening of the account but later on, under Patriot Act, FBAR, FATCA, BSA, and hundreds of other laws, they might close your account. There is nothing illegal about your accounts yet, you may have to suffer loss. You can use VPNs while logging into your accounts from abroad to prevent this issue.

Deposits

After every sale, the ecommerce company you partnered with will deposit money in your account. By default, this money is deposited in your name even though it is not all yours. Overtime, such huge amounts of transactions will become red flags for the authorities. To keep yourself from legal trouble and baseless suspicions, make it clear with the ecommerce platform to deposit money in the name of the company.

Originality

Lastly, make sure in the process of building your own business, you don’t intentionally or unintentionally replicate someone else’s website. From branding to design to aesthetics, keep everything original no matter how hard you have to work.

How to start a drop shipping business

Time changes everything and if there is one thing that must adapt to these changes, it is the nature of businesses. To accommodate consumer demands, new business models are introduced so that business owners can make the most out of every situation. Drop shipping is one such new model that is becoming popular. You can enjoy the luxuries of a drop shipping business as well by setting your own startup in 5 simple steps.

What business to start?

Successful businesses are those in which the owner has a personal touch. Don’t just set up a makeup store because it has a broad market. Instead, opt for something that you’re genuinely interested in. Even if the consumer market isn’t very broad, you’re more likely to succeed and enjoy a business niche that interests you. There are a few things you need to consider at this stage. After you’ve finalized a niche, start digging deeper. Find an aspect that a lot of people will be interested in. A simple rule here is to go for a product category that isn’t already easily accessible. This could be due to high prices or unavailability in the market. Make sure that whatever you end up finalizing is something that you can get a hold of commercially, that too in a lower price than average. Do not go for something that will end up creating issues for you. Lastly, at this stage, you have to think of your branding. The image, the strategies, and the message that your brand will adopt has to be finalized at this point.

Who’s your competitor?

Never start any business without weighing the competitors. Here you’ll research businesses selling the same product as you, catering to the same audience, and conveying the same brand message. In case of every single competitor, think of at least one way that you’re different. If there is no difference, create one or else, there will be no reason for customers to choose you over them. If you have no competition, that’s probably a bad sign indicating that the demand for your products is nil in the market.

Who’ll supply your products?

Here comes the most important part of a drop shipping business. Research your options of suppliers. It needs to be someone with experience. Your supplier should have the potential to cope with the demand of your business. Research thoroughly before making a final decision.

What kind of a website does your business demand?

Hire professional website designers. They’ll be able to incorporate your brand identity while designing a professional running ground for your business. Your website is your only source of connecting with the consumer. Do not take a risk here.

What will make your customers stay loyal?

You practically have your drop shipping business ready to go. But, one last thing you have to do is take steps to make your customers permanent. Keep a tab on this by making use of analytical tools such as Google analytics, Facebook conversion data, etc.

You can use wholesale2b to help build a professional business easily!

The evolution of drop shipping over the years

Selling products used to be a simple process. The business owner bought the products in bulk from the manufacturer. Due to the massive purchase, the business owner got a bargain deal. He then sold the products individually at the average price. This led to a successful business with huge profit margins. Then what exactly happened that evolved this basic purchase and sell model to drop shopping?

Product catalogs

In the 1950s, some business owners started facing issues of storage. They had to pay rents for warehouses to store products that weren’t to be sold in the near future. Eventually, the storage cost exceeded their profits. They figured out that they won’t manufacture and store their products. Instead, they sent out catalogs that had pictures and details of every single item. These catalogs were mailed to potential clients. Interested people could place an order. Once the company received confirm orders, they began the process of manufacturing. This way, they only had to pay the expenses of raw material, storage, processing, etc. of the final products that had already been sold. It was a win-win situation which is why the trend extended further.

JIT

JIT manufacturing is just in time manufacturing. This was the next step in the business world. After the method with the catalogs was successful, business minded people took it a step further. Now, a third party was involved. Instead of the company sending out direct catalogs, independent people started doing the job. They would promote products to people and get orders. These orders were then forwarded to the manufacturer. The product was manufactured ‘just in time’ for the delivery. This method was the most advance drop shipping method for that time. The JIT manufacturing was also a pretty fast service so there was no inconvenience as such. The manufacturer would produce the item within 3 to 4 days.

The market was very limited with these methods. With the introduction of the internet services, the exposure increased to a whole new level. The idea of these previous methods was improvised with the latest advancements.

Ecommerce

The drop shipping model that is implemented today is at such a huge scale all because of ecommerce. The idea of online businesses encouraged retailers and manufacturers to connect with each other as well as with a wider consumer community. This has increased the market by huge percentages. At the same time, this model of drop shipping has expanded the options too.

Till a few years ago, drop shipping wasn’t very widely known. But, as shipping facilities have improved, so has this business model. Moreover, exposure to this new business model has encouraged better software options as well. All in all, every aspect has been polished and improved one at a time. The drop shipping business model we know today actually started as a simple idea decades ago. Gradually but successfully, it adapted to the needs and technologies of time to result in such a successful business model!