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.