The world of dropshipping is often considered the easiest way to sell products online. The biggest difference between drop shipping and the standard retail model is that in drop shipping, the selling merchant doesn't stock his own inventory. Instead, the merchant purchases inventory as needed from a third party – usually dropshipping wholesalers or manufacturers – to fulfil orders.
Table of contents:
- Finding Dropshipping Suppliers
- Finding Good Dropshippers
- How to Spot Fake Dropshipping Wholesalers
- List of Places to Find Products to Dropship
- Dropshipping Countries
- Contact Relevant Businesses and Go to Trade Shows
- Costs of Dropshipping
- More Tidbits on Dropshipping
- List of Reputed Dropshipping Companies
- Over to You
Finding a Dropshipping Supplier
A number of different strategies may work for you, and some are more effective than others. The methods below are listed in order of effectiveness and preference, with my favorite methods listed first:
Contact the Manufacturer
This is my favorite way to easily locate legitimate wholesale suppliers. If you know the product(s) you want to sell, call the manufacturer and ask for a list of its wholesale distributors. You can then contact these wholesalers to see if they drop ship and inquire about setting up an account
Since most wholesalers carry products from a variety of manufacturers, this strategy will allow you to quickly source a selection of products within the niche you're exploring. After making a couple of calls to the leading manufacturers in a niche, you'll quickly be able to identify the leading wholesalers in that market.
Pro's & Con's of Dropshipping
Using a certified wholesaler that dropships, is a low-cost solution for people who work from home, don't have money to spend on inventory and want to sell products online. dropshipping does work and it works very well but you have to be careful with a few things.
First, you can't just sell any product you want and expect to be able to compete with drop shippers. When you dropship a product, you are buying and selling one thing at a time. That means your wholesale price is for one product when you have it shipped.
Wholesalers always provide discounts to retailers when they purchase in bulk. That means your wholesale price for one product (drop-shipped) can be higher than a competitor who is buying in volume from the wholesaler which means they can sell that product much cheaper than you can, and in some cases, even cheaper than your wholesale cost!
So how do you make drop shipping work?
You must be able to pick the right products to sell and the right types of products to dropship. You can't assume that just because you might think a product is a ‘good idea to sell' that you should jump in and start selling that product.
You have to find the products you can have drop-shipped that you can compete within the current online market. Doing a bit of market research before you start the selling process is critically important for you to emerge as a successful Shopify dropshipper.
The Pros of dropshipping:
- You don't have to buy or store inventory
- Very low startup cost
- Easily add or change your product offerings
The Cons of dropshipping:
- Not all wholesalers offer dropshipping
- Wholesale cost is based on one product only
- Must spend time researching to pick the right product(s) to sell
Finding Good Dropshippers
It's difficult to find certified dropshipping companies and it’s almost impossible to do an internet search for “dropshipper” without running into hundreds of scammers and middlemen.
Most of the results you'll find online are companies claiming to be dropshippers but they are nowhere near the quality and pricing you get from working with genuine dropshippers. It’s important to be patient when searching for a drop ship company.
Certified dropshippers don’t charge setup fees or monthly fees. So while doing your search, if you stumble upon a company claiming to be a “dropshipper” or having drop ship websites and they ask for a setup fee, monthly fee, or annual fee, that’s an immediate red signal.
Dropshipping can be confusing, especially when dealing with scammers, so here is a list of 10 tips for finding a wholesale distributor.
Click the + for more info:
How to Spot Fake Dropshipping Wholesalers
Depending on where you're searching, you'll likely come across a large number of “fake” wholesalers. Unfortunately, legitimate wholesalers are harder to find and tend to not have a strong online presence.
This results in the non-genuine wholesalers – usually just middlemen – appearing more frequently in your searches, so you'll want to be cautious.
There are some things to look out for that will help you discern whether a wholesale supplier is legitimate.
They want ongoing fees – Real wholesalers don't charge their customers a monthly fee for the privilege of doing business and ordering from them. If a supplier asks for a monthly membership or service fee, it's likely that they’re not legitimate.
It's important to differentiate between suppliers and supplier directories. Supplier directories (which we'll discuss shortly) are directories of wholesale suppliers organized by product types or market and screened to ensure the suppliers are legitimate.
Most directories will charge a fee – either one time or ongoing – but this necessarily doesn’t mean that the directory is illegitimate.
They sell to the public – To get genuine wholesale pricing, you'll need to apply for a wholesale account, prove you're a legitimate business and be approved before placing your first order.
Any wholesale supplier that offers products to the general public at “wholesale prices” is just a retailer offering items at inflated prices. But here are some legitimate drop shipping fees you’ll likely encounter:
Per-Order Fees – Many drop shippers will charge a per-order dropshipping fee that can range from $2 to $5 or more, depending on the size and complexity of the items being shipped. This is standard in the industry, as the costs of packing and shipping individual orders are much higher than shipping a bulk order.
Minimum Order Sizes – Some wholesalers will have a minimum initial order size which is the lowest amount you have to purchase your first order. They do this in order to filter out window-shopping merchants that will waste their time with questions and small orders but won't translate into meaningful sales.
If you're dropshipping, this could cause some complications. For example, what do you do if a supplier has a $500 minimum order, but your average order size is around $100? You don't want to pre-order $500 of product just for the privilege of opening a dropshipping account.
In this situation, it's best to offer to pre-pay the supplier $500 to build credit with them to apply against your drop shipping orders. This allows you to meet the supplier's minimum purchase requirement (as you're committing to buy at least $500 in a product) without having to place a single large order without any corresponding customer orders.
List of Places to Find Products to Dropship
The basic idea behind drop shipping companies (aka drop shippers) is that you contact a manufacturer or wholesaler who might be willing to partner with you. After that, you build an ecommerce shop and start selling some items that fall into a niche, like electronics or glow in the dark items. The more niche the categories the better. The world of drop shipping is often considered the easiest way to sell products online, and Oberlo is seen as one of the easiest ways to get started with this. Although drop shipping comes with various difficulties, it is a viable way to start an online business without much upfront capital.
One of the toughest parts of drop shipping is to find a company that would provide products.
Drop shipping is used all over the world and in this guide, I've put together a list of killer places to find products to dropship and sell on your store. It will also help you to find drop shipping companies in your area.
Free Webinar: How to Quickly Start a Profitable Dropshipping Store
Learn how to find high-margin products, import them into your store, and start selling — fast.
Best Print on Demand Dropshipping Company: Printful
Printful should be your first port of call for anyone wanting to create and sell custom products using the print-on-demand drop-shipping model.
The best thing about Printful is that it's free to signup, there are no minimum orders, and there are over 225 products for you to choose from. Including hoodies & sweatshirts, laptop cases, t-shirts & tank tops, embroidered hats, etc.
This is how it works. You connect your online shop and list all of your fabulous Printful products.
Then when a customer makes a purchase, the order is automatically sent to Printful. The Printful team then prints, packs, and ships the order directly to your customer. You'll then get a notification and tracking number when the order's shipped.
You can also opt for branded packaging, so it even looks like you've shipped it yourself!
Not to mention, you also get access to some of the best shipping rates on the market. Printful‘s partnered with some of the most trustworthy global carriers to bring you discounted shipping rates!
Check out our Printful Review to learn more.
Visit Printful now.
Drop Shipping Companies: Oberlo
Oberlo is our first choice for those using Shopify, as the Dropshipping tool is presented as an embedded Shopify app. The primary feature you get from Oberlo is the importing from AliExpress option. Since so many drop shippers use AliExpress to find and sell products, it’s a wonder as to why a tool like this hasn’t come around sooner.
Not only you gain access to thousands of suppliers on AliExpress, but the product images, details, and prices are all situated right there for you.
Also, Oberlo Supply is a special feature for Oberlo app users- with hand-picked suppliers who are much more trustworthy than those on Aliexpress. Oberlo Supply also has additional features like bulk ordering (you can place up to 1000 orders at once) and faster shipping times.
Check out our Oberlo Review to learn more.
Visit Oberlo now.
Best USA Dropshipping Suppliers: Spocket
Spocket is an app that enables entrepreneurs to find high-converting products with quick shipping times. You can choose from a plethora of suppliers who are primarily based in the US and Europe.
With the Spocket integration, you can add Spocket's products to your e-commerce store within minutes. It really is as simple as that.
They've also launched a print on demand collection that can be used alongside both Printful and Oberlo. So, this could come in handy if you're thinking about expanding your product line.
More importantly, Spocket's products come with a 30-60% discount on their standard retail price- which means healthier profit margins for you!
When it comes to practicalities, you'll be pleased to hear Spocket deals with both your inventory and order fulfillment. These processes are entirely automated, so you don't need to worry about them. Which means you can focus on more important things like marketing your business and securing more customers.
Check out our Spocket Review to learn more.
Visit Spocket now.
Best Drop Shipping Companies: Salehoo
Salehoo is our favourite choice. It focuses on presenting a detailed directory for companies you can partner with for your business.
The website has beautiful category tools for you to filter and search based on the products you're trying to sell, along with a market research lab to help you find the trendy and most profitable products.
Salehoo does not only help you to find and connect with dropshipping suppliers but also provides highly valuable free training guides and consistently manages a blog and a forum where you can learn and chat with others who are in the same boat as you.
Check out our Salehoo Review to learn more.
Best Drop Shipping Companies: Alidropship
Alidropship is probably the easiest dropshipping solution in the market. Installed as a simple WordPress plugin, you will be able to set up your dropshipping store in a few steps. But it does not end there. They have designed the plugin with automation in mind. Alidropship allows you to automatically export from Aliexpress the products that you want to sell so that you can just focus on marketing and sales. In addition, Alidropship offers a collection of add-ons to integrate and automatize your social media campaigns and other aspects of your business.
If you are an absolute beginner or just lazy, sign up for a custom store, and they will take care of everything. Setting up the hosting and Wordpress, guiding you through the selection of your niche and more!
The downside of so much automation is the lack of flexibility. You will be only able to dropship from AliExpress and the theme design is rather basic. However, AliDropship is definitely the cheap & low-risk solution if you want to test the waters of dropshipping!
Check out our Alidropship Review to learn more.
Visit Alidropship now.
Drop Shipping Companies: Printify
Printify is a print-on-demand drop shipping solution. You can choose from standard tees and hoodies and many other items, including sneakers, skirts, backpacks, and so on, totaling more than 250 product types.
Use its drag and drop design interface to position your designs on their products – there’s no need to install third-party apps.
Printify outsources to independent print shops so that customers have a choice of supplier. You can partner with printers close to home. Or you can work alongside printers as near to your customer base as possible – the choice is yours!
Printify’s suppliers are located across many US states, including Massachusetts, Colorado, California, and Florida. There are also three in the UK and one in China. However, express shipping is available only in the US.
Prices start from $0 for the free plan, ranging up to bespoke Enterprise level plans. In addition, Printify integrates with Wix, WooCommerce, Etsy, eBay, and Shopify.
Check out Printify Review to learn more.
Best Dropshipping Companies: Inventory Source
US-based Inventory Source is an order and inventory management software platform. It helps you monitor and update your inventory by syncing your IT and order data between your online sales channels and dropshipping suppliers.
Established in 2003, Inventory Source integrates with over 230 dropshipping suppliers.
Inventory Source’s software monitors your suppliers’ feed daily to ensure you never run short of your most popular products. In addition, their software uploads your suppliers’ product data to 25 eCommerce platforms and marketplaces, including Amazon, Walmart, and Shopify.
Inventory Source syncs your prices, the number of products, and their status daily. So, you can also easily manage your product categories, price markups, and categories.
Order processing is automated, so when someone orders from you, their order is automatically sent to your dropshipping supplier. In addition, inventory Source syncs shipment tracking, so there’s no manual work involved.
But, the platform definitely isn’t cheap, with inventory automation prices starting at $99 a month, while full automation begins at $199 a month.
Best Dropshipping Companies: Dropship.me
You can easily spend hours researching potential products to dropship from your e-commerce store, to then realize no one wants to buy the product you chose.
Dropship.me is a plugin powered by AliDropship that eliminates the need for guesswork and time-consuming product research. This plugin helps you find and import top quality goods from virtually every AliExpress product category.
Check out our Dropship.me Review to learn more.
Visit Dropship.me now.
Drop Shipping Companies: World Wide Brands
When you complete a Google search for finding drop shippers, you may notice that many of the directories are filled with spam or non-existent companies. This is a huge problem since you don't want to waste time and money finding a viable dropshipping partner.
With World Wide Brands, every drop shipper in the directory is certified, so you can expect a response from each one. The World Wide Brands site sets you up with the manufacturer's contact info after you find a suitable match. After that, you can contact them whenever you want and build a relationship.
Drop Shipping Companies: Dropified
Similarly to Alidropship, Dropified offers automation tools to import products into your store from different suppliers. In this sense, Dropified is much more flexible, as it allows you to work with different ecommerce platforms and a wider variety of drop shipping sellers.
In terms of pricing, Dropified offers a very limited free version, with a working plan starting from $47 per month. Definitely, a good solution if you already have your own ecommerce store and want to start trying to drop shipping some products.
Check out our Dropified Review to learn more.
Drop Shipping Companies: Wholesale2b
With more than one million dropshipping products available, Wholesale2b is one of the bigger suppliers for anyone looking for a dropshipping solution. It’s been around since 2004, and registration is free to browse products. In addition, you only start paying when you activate a drop shipping plan, with prices starting at $29.99 a month.
Suppliers are primarily US and China-based. The platform is compatible with multiple eCommerce platforms, including Etsy, Amazon, WooCommerce, Magento, BigCommerce, Shopify, and more. Of course, the more expensive the pricing plan you subscribe to, the greater the access to each of these platforms.
Ordering is as simple as just a click, and you can source multiple products from tons of suppliers and sell them on several channels simultaneously while managing your operations from one centralized dashboard. Wholesale2b ships in the US and Canada and recommends using a forwarding service such as myus.com for international orders.
Drop Shipping Companies: Alibaba
Alibaba is one of the largest websites in the world, and one of the best parts of the site is that you can find manufacturers for your products, at relatively low costs. Keep in mind that you shouldn't just type in the product you want to sell and contact the manufacturer.
The Alibaba platform has thousands of manufacturers, and many of them don't offer dropshipping.
Drop Shipping Companies: WholeSale Central
The WholeSale Central company doesn't have the best website, but it's a decent tool for filtering through categories like apparel, electronics, and leather.
The drop shippers are then listed with details for you to click on and view. When you click through to one of the drop shippers it sends you to the manufacturer's website, meaning there are no middlemen to work though.
Feel free to contact certain drop shippers, and use the WholeSale Central page to find options that are close to you geographically. Traditionally, this can lead to a more reliable business partnership.
Drop Shipping Companies: Doba
Doba is one of the more comprehensive drop shipping companies since it not only provides a detailed directory of manufacturers and wholesalers but offers an interface for simply grabbing the products you want without having to partner with multiple drop shippers.
Generally, you may have to partner with and communicate with ten or twenty drop shippers. With Doba, you simply find a product you want to sell, list it on your website and process the sale with Doba. The Doba company contacts the drop shipper and sends the product to the customer, cutting out the tedious drop shipper management process.
Check out our Doba Review to learn more.
Drop Shipping Companies: Sunrise Wholesale
Sunrise Wholesale is a service that dropships products directly to your customers. You gain access to over 15,000 brand name products, and you can search for these products through the Sunrise Wholesale site.
Profit from the site by selling through places like Amazon and eBay, or consider setting up your own website for a better online presence. Not to mention, this solution also helps you connect with ecommerce platforms like Shopify and Bigcommerce.
Drop Shipping Companies: Modalyst
Modalyst is our go-to destination to find fast-shipping dropship products across a range of price points and categories.
Modalyst connects online stores directly to millions of products and suppliers, including Made-in-America brands, luxury international labels, and handmade, unique designers. Modalyst is the only drop shipping platform with automation offering brand names that are delivered to your US customer within 3 business days, guaranteed.
From the startup store looking to build a niche and get to market fast to the established e-commerce business testing demand for a new category, Modalyst has something for everyone.
Check out our Modalyst Review to learn more.
Visit Modalyst now.
Here are a few major factors used to classify countries based on drop shipping patterns and statistics.
Proven to work – as for the dropshipping business model, countries like the USA, Canada, and Australia are popular countries to be a Shopify drop shipper. The only catch is that there is a lot of competition.
High purchasing power and high average purchase size are two important economic factors. For instance, the population in the US consume more than any other country in the world. 25% of all the goods of the world are purchased there.
Online purchase frequency – the chart below shows how many online shoppers around the world are spending, according to Statista's Digital Market Outlook.
13 Best Countries to Dropship:
- New Zealand
According to the analysis of ShippingEasy clients, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia are by far the most common international destinations for ecommerce.
Countries to Avoid Dropshipping
Entrepreneurs have a possibility to dropship in multiple countries without any limit. No countries are considered unsafe in ecommerce. Despite that, beginners ask me often about risky areas to avoid so that they could be excluded in Shipping settings. Our list of markets to avoid dropshipping:
- South America
- Some Caribbean nations
- Some European nations and Asian nations
This list might change based on your experience dealing with different countries. So, how do you exactly assume that a country poses a high level of risk? Here are four factors to consider:
- In some countries, people prefer not to buy online
- Shipping charges are high
- Delivery period is long
- Fraud and chargeback are frequent
Contact Relevant Businesses and Go to Trade Shows
Quite often the best way to find a long-term partner for your drop shipping business is to start locating businesses in your area, or around the world, with a simple Google search. Cold calls the companies and asks for someone who might be able to help you with dropshipping.
The goal is to locate manufacturers who may be willing to take orders from you and ship upon request.
You can also check out trade shows, which puts in some face time with the wholesalers, improving your chances of building a relationship with them.
The key to drop shipping is that you don't carry any inventory. The wholesaler makes the products for you, stores them in their warehouses and ships them to the customers when you submit the orders. So, in a sense, you don't even have to see the items in order to make money.
Downsides to dropshipping include less product control, less shipping control, trouble with returns, slower deliveries, and smaller margins.
However, if you're on a tight budget and you generate a quality strategy, dropshipping might just work well for you.
Costs of Dropshipping
According to Dropship Lifestyle (DL), dropshipping outside of the U.S. costs a minimum of $274 to start. The largest cost is $238 to register your business in the United States. Then you have a monthly cost of $29 for running your Shopify store.
All costs are in U.S. Dollars:
- Domain Name – ~$2 to $16: The price depends on which provider you use to register your domain name.
- Hosting – ~$2.95 to $300 per month: Some of our recommendations are SiteGround – from $3.95 / month, Dreamhost – from $3.92 / month and Bluehost – from $6.95 / month. Check out our Ecommerce Hosting reviews to learn more about them.
- Business Email Address – $0 to ~$5/month: This can be done for free with zoho.com or you can choose an email with more features. For instance, Google Apps charges about $5/month.
- Logo Design – ~$5.50: We recommend you use fiverr.com, where you can find a good artist to make a logo for about $5.50.
- U.S. Based Phone Number – $0 to ~$30/year: Google Voice will give you a free U.S. Based phone number you can use to route to a Gmail account. From the Google Voice account, you can check voicemails, receive, and take calls. There are also paid options like Grasshopper that cost about $30/month.
- Incorporating a U.S. Based Business as a Non-citizen – $238: This will likely be your biggest starting expense. You can incorporate in U.S. states like Delaware, Wyoming, or Nevada. Please note: When using this service you don’t have to pay to get the U.S. federal EIN number, you can do this yourself for free! Use My USA Corp for this task.
- Advertising – This will depend entirely on your niche and how competitive it is to advertise. We have members that pay less than $0.10 per click and others that pay well over $1.00 per click based on their niche. However, there is a free $75 Amazon Ad credit and free $100 Google Ad credit for all members. A good rule of thumb is to budget about $100/month in advertising to start with, after using your free credit.
Dropshipping is a practice adopted all over the world and this guide will help you find the best drop shipping companies in your area.
More Tidbits on Dropshipping
English speaking countries – Many drop shippers are native English speakers and online stores are launched in English.
Number of the population – this is elementary; greater the number, more people you can sell out to
If suppliers ship to the countries you plan to target – this point should be checked as logistic and packaging issues are resolved by merchants.
If your carrier arranges to ship to the country you plan to target – check a list of countries of your carrier.
Economical shipping and short delivery time – you wouldn’t want your order to be delayed by a month or more. Enquire about the estimated delivery dates before proceeding to place your order.
Product type – make sure your products are allowed for shipping to the country you plan to target, for instance, leather, wooden, bamboo and related goods are not allowed for importing to some countries. Or they should meet the import conditions.
International Dropshipping: Challenges
Let's see what international drop shipping challenges expect those who plan to go international. The following 8 issues should be thought over before you start an international drop shipping business.
- Find suppliers – You may ask your current supplier if he/she dropships worldwide. Or use sources like Spocket or AliExpress. On both marketplaces, there are merchants from China who drop ship internationally. If you are confused about choosing between US-based suppliers or China-based suppliers, read the answer.
- Calculate delivery expenses – Contact your carrier to learn about expenses for further calculation. Or visit a product page on the Dropwow marketplace to see a shipping cost there.
- Resolve customs charge issue – This information may also be provided by your carrier. However, non-expensive items which drop shippers often select don't usually require customs charges.
- Use ePacket – Work with suppliers who provide ePacket. This shipping method is the best one if you cooperate with Chinese merchants. It's available for many countries, it's much cheaper than other variants through it has limits (small and lightweight packages) that don't actually limit dropshippers. Learn more about ePacket and its limits.
- Find products – Choose products that may be easily shipped (lightweight, small, not delicate).
- Set up shipping rates – You're able to set up your shipping rates on your store. There are two variants to do it – by price or by weight. The shipping rate affected by price will depend on an order price. The other variant will depend on a total weight in return. Learn more about each variant and how to set up shipping rates here.
- Apply currency converter app to help your customers. Find the app in the Shopify App Store.
- Do not translate – Sometimes beginners ask if they should make a translation or not before they start promotion to other countries. In most cases, dropshippers do not do it. As there are no limits for targeting other nations like Germany, France, Spain, etc. The point is that it's not about translating the text into a store. Your advertising, emails and online chat for customer support should be translated too and Google Translate will not help you much. Focus on your sales first but not localization.
Bonus: Premium List of Dropshipping Companies
I hope this table assists you at times of need. You'll find a list of reputed dropshipping companies and the means to contact them via email or the good old phone. The table contains further details on the category of products they deal with and the primary location they serve.
Over to You…
Have you ever had the chance to take on dropshipping as a business? Share your story, or let us know if you have any questions about getting a dropshipping company up and running.