When following the dropshipping model, we at SaleSource recommend that you find third-party companies that will stock and ship your products, making it a vital aspect of building and starting your business.
Want To Stand Out? Find Wholesalers!
Many dropshippers will use the same suppliers. This results in thousands of people selling the same thousands of items. By researching your own wholesalers, you can oftentimes take advantage of a niche that isn’t oversaturated. Try any of these 3 Google searches:
“Your Industry” + Wholesale OR “Your Industry” + Dropshipping OR “Your Industry” + Supplier
Some manufacturers will let you buy directly from them, which works best for boutique type stores. In this case, stores can buy small shipments of items to stock their racks straight from the company who is designing and creating the clothes.
Some industries will use an importer or exclusive distributor, if they have the sole rights to import and distribute in particular countries. Instead of selling to retailers directly, most will sell to smaller local wholesalers where you can buy your products from.
Wholesalers and regional distributors will take deliveries of larger shipments, break them down and then sell the products to smaller local wholesalers, essentially adding an additional person to the process.
Lastly, logistic workers will make daily deliveries to local stores, which is primarily used for items like produce and small brick-and-mortar stores that need constant and daily deliveries. Or for stores that have an ever-changing inventory.
Once you have selected your dropshipping supplier, reach out and get information about their minimum order requirements and wholesale unit prices. This ensures you and your supplier are on the same track about what your business relationship will look like moving forward.
Attend Some Trade Shows
If you are having difficulties finding unique retailers to work with, it might also be beneficial to take a trip to trade shows. These events are put on directly for retailers like you, and can be very helpful to have face-to-face conversations to begin building your company.
During these shows, you can research your products, make new contacts, and find suppliers all in one place, making trade shows a great option for those in a niche market trying to figure things out.
Trade Shows exist for the sole purpose of connecting product manufacturers with product distributors. They are a prime breeding ground for wholesaler + dropshipper relationships.
If you’re unable to attend trade shows, then you can always use a product research tool, such as SaleSource, to help you find winning products.
Beware Of Fake Dropshipping Wholesalers
Make sure you are able to distinguish between legitimate wholesale suppliers and potential retail stores that pose as wholesale suppliers. The following are tactics to look out for when discerning if a wholesaler is legitimate and worth your time:
- Ongoing fees – Authentic wholesalers won’t charge their customers a monthly fee. If they do, they might be a supplier directory, or a database of suppliers that is organized by a particular market.
- Per-order fees – The average price of a dropshipping fee per order should range from $2 to $5. Keep in mind that this depends on the size, amount, and complexity of the items that are being shipped.
- Minimum order sizes – Not all, but most wholesalers will have a minimum order size for your first initial order. This means they set the terms for the lowest amount you have to purchase for your first order to use them as your supplier. Hopefully, this will lead to a meaningful business relationship.
- Selling to the public – Oftentimes retailers will call themselves a wholesaler despite the fact that they sell to the general public. If you’re buying an item, marking the price up, and having it drop shipped for a profit, you don’t want your customers to Google the product and realize they can buy them cheaper from the same supplier.
You Don’t Need To Be Unique To Be Successful
Despite the topic of this write-up, we want to leave you with one last thought: You don’t need unique products or unique suppliers in order to be successful (although it certainly can help!) There are thousands and thousands of entrepreneurs making a living solely from dropshipping using Oberlo where all items are pulled from the same supplier, AND THAT’S OKAY! The important thing is that you work hard and stay disciplined, and you’ll still come out ahead.
Looking for a good drop shipper to partner with can be challenging, especially since even a simple Google search will result in scammers and middlemen that will not benefit your company. Patience is needed to be able to find the perfect company that can handle the quality and pricing that work with your specific needs.
A product going from manufacturer to buyer has many avenues, and not all wholesalers serve the same markets. This is why it is so important to take the time in the beginning to learn your industry’s distribution channels. There are different types of wholesalers that may or may not better assist your new business.
There are three key aspects to a dropshipping business: the first is the manufacturer, the second is the retailer (that’s you), and the third is the customer, or client. The manufacturer creates the product, holds it in its inventory, and ships it to your customer. They also replace damaged or unwanted products and restock them.
Your job as the retailer is to sell these products on behalf of the manufacturer under your own brand or label. You’re also in charge of choosing and marketing the products you want to sell, setting their prices, and the costs of shipping. You also handle all aspects of customer service. And lastly, you already know that the customer’s role is to purchase your products and to reach out to you with any questions or concerns they may have regarding those products.
With the explosion in the popularity of online shopping over the past 20 years (an industry that has grown an average of 17% annually), the popularity of the dropshipping method of inventory management and order fulfillment seems to be just ramping up.