If you’re like me, you’re thinking it’s time to get into a drop shipping business.
Maybe you already have an online business, or maybe you’re looking at starting one. After all, you just need to partner with a drop shipping company.
It’s estimated that 33% of the ecommerce industry uses dropshipping, and that number only continues to grow.
You market products on your website. A drop shipping company handles the inventory, storage and shipping. Your investment is minimal.
And you make money.
But you also know that in order to be successful, and maximize your business, you want to be sure to pick the best drop shipping company.
There are definite advantages to drop shipping, but there are also downsides and risks.
We’re here to help with the 5 things you need to know to pick the best drop shippers.
It gets better:
We’ll also share our top 5 picks for the best drop shipping companies.
5 Things You Need To Know to Pick the Best Drop Shippers
A drop shipping business means you partner with a supplier and you display their products in your online store. When a customer fulfils and order on your site, the supplier ships the product directly, and you don’t even see the product.
What are the benefits of dropshipping?
You don’t have to worry about stocking inventory, you don’t need to worry about storing the products, you don’t have to have a bricks and mortar store, and you don’t have the hassles that come with shipping the products to customers.
But there are some things with which you do need to concern yourself.
1. Things are not always clean and neat.
While drop shipping is convenient, for the reasons we just mentioned, there can also be complications that comes with having a third party involved in your sales cycle.
There will be frustrations along the way: things like running out of product, messing up an order, or incorrectly shipping the product.
Just understanding that ahead of time will save you some worrying when things do go awry. Unless you have recurring problems, the occasional glitch doesn’t mean you have to ditch your supplier, and it certainly doesn’t mean you have to give up drop shipping.
Accept that you will have some headaches, and deal with them.
2. Orders will get messed up.
It’s a fact of life. Whether you have one supplier or many, there will be times when the wrong item gets shipped, the item gets shipped incorrectly, or nothing gets shipped.
Here’s the deal:
Don’t blame the supplier. Own the problem and find a solution, including providing a benefit of your customer.
You could offer the customer an upgraded product, for instance, or you could refund the shipping fee. You need to get the supplier to pay to fix their mistake, but they don’t have to pay for any benefit you offer the customer.
If orders are constantly getting screwed up, it’s time to re-think using that particular supplier.
3. Use Multiple Suppliers
In dropshipping, one of the ways to ensure you have happy customers is to use multiple suppliers. This way, you’re not running out of product.
In particular, use a number of suppliers that have overlapping inventory.
Here’s the kicker:
You’re not only helping ensure items are in stock, you’re also not placing your business at risk if things change. Suppliers can always raise prices, quit working with you, or even go out of business.
If you have several dropshipping suppliers, you’re lowering your risks in many ways.
While you likely won’t find suppliers that have all the same products, you should be able to find overlaps. You could choose to sell products for which you have two or more suppliers.
At the very least, make sure you have more than one supplier for your top-selling products.
4. Choose Your Products Wisely
Just because drop shipping is easy and convenient doesn’t mean you can jump in and sell just anything. You still have costs, and you still have competition.
It’s vital that you pick the right products to sell and drop ship. Make sure you can compete. Do some market research.
To be successful, do some legwork before you jump into drop shipping.
5. Beware Fake Drop Shippers
It can happen:
You can come across phony wholesalers. Be cautious as you might end up with a middleman and not a genuine drop shipper.
Here are two sure-fire warning signs:
- They sell to the public. Genuine wholesale pricing is offered to those who prove they are a legitimate business.
- They demand ongoing fees. Genuine drop shippers don’t charge monthly fees for doing business.
- You may have to pay for a supplier directory – which is not the same as a supplier.
- You may have to pay a per-order drop shipping fee.
- You may have to fulfill a minimum order size.
Now you know the 5 key things about choosing a drop-shipping company.
Let’s move on.
The 5 Best Drop Shipping Companies
We’ve done the research for you. We’ve looked around to find what drop shipping companies will serve you best. And we’ve compiled our top 5.
Oberlo is the “Cadillac” of drop shipping companies, in our opinion, and therefore our top choice.
If you’re using Shopify, Oberlo is an embedded app. The main source of products from which you import is AliExpress.
But there’s a bonus.
You also have two other sources for products, which have been vetted on the Oberlo marketplace and which are monitored:
- Oberlo Suppliers – located all over the world;
- Oberlo Verified Suppliers – top performers from the supplier list that are selected by Oberlo as the best choices.
What we like about Oberlo:
- You get access to thousands of suppliers on AliExpress, which so many drop shippers are already using.
- Product images, details, and prices are all right there for you.
- You can try it out with a free account, although you will be limited to 500 products and 50 orders per month.
- Has a great user interface.
What bugs us:
- Only works with the Shopify platform
- The free account doesn’t track shipments of monitor order fulfillment.
Here’s the pricing summary for Oberlo:
The Starter account is free, with a limit of 500 products per month and 50 orders per month. You can sign up for a free account anytime.
The Basic account is $29.90/month, with a limit of 10,000 products per month and 500 orders per month.
The Pro account is $79.90/month, with a limit of 30,000 products per month and unlimited orders per month.
Here’s how we scored Oberlo:
Access to suppliers: 4/5
Ease of use: 5/5
Other (factors like flexibility of website, in this instance you have to use Shopify): 3/5
With Doba you get access to a detailed directory of wholesalers. You also get a platform to add the products you want. You don’t have to worry about partnering with a multitude of dropshippers.
Instead of partnering, you just find the product you want and add it to your site. Doba handles the relationship with the supplier and sends the product to the customer.
What we like about Doba:
- Has a huge product offering from hundreds of suppliers.
- You get email updates about any discounts, new products, or new suppliers in your chosen categories.
- Provides an organized list of products for export to your store.
What bugs us:
- The free trial is only 14 days. The basic package starts at $29/month.
Here’s the pricing summary for Doba:
The Basic account is $29/month, with a 0.99 per–order fee, access to millions of products and hundreds of suppliers, a community Q&A, email support, and Doba Deals weekly email.
The Advanced account is $69/month, with everything in Basic plus eBay Data Export, Elite Seller Report and live chat support.
The Pro account is $249/month, with everything in Basic and Advanced plus Amazon Data Export, Custom Data Export (all formats), Doba Prepay, Batch order upload and phone support.
The Enterprise account is specialized, and you have to contact Doba for details.
Here’s how we scored Doba:
Access to suppliers: 5/5
Ease of use: 4/5
Other (can use eBay and Amazon): 4/5
Salehoo has a bit of a different approach. With Salehoo, you get access to their detailed company directory, from which you can choose to partner.
In the directory, there are more than 8,000 companies and over a million products. All the suppliers are verified by the Salehoo team, giving you peace of mind.
What we like about Salehoo:
- The website is organized into category tools allowing you to filter and search based on your products
- They have a market research lab, providing you with information on what products are profitable, or currently trending.
- Includes free training guides, a blog and a user forum.
What bugs us:
- Doing the training could be too much for some users.
- There’s no free trial. The cost is $67/year but they do have a 60-day money-back guarantee.
Here’s the pricing summary for Salehoo:
There’s only one price – you get one year of full access for $67. With that, you obtain access to the SaleHoo Supplier Directory, the Market Research Labs, the members’ forum, personal email support, and a 60-day money back guarantee.
Here’s how we scored Salehoo:
Access to suppliers: 5/5
Ease of use: 3/5
Other (you get access to a directory): 2/5
4. Sunrise Wholesale
Sunrise drop ships products directly to customers, with more flexibility than some of our other choices.
You get access to over 15,000 branded products and the ability to search. You then export the images and descriptions. You can sell on Amazon, eBay, or you can set up your own website. You can also integrate with Shopify and BigCommerce.
What we like about Sunrise Wholesale:
- Flexibility of using different methods to sell.
- Known to be quick and accurate with processing orders.
- Easy to sell on eBay as it has a free eBay Listing Wizard and Research Tool.
- Equally easy with Amazon and its Selling and Research Manager.
What bugs us:
- Depending on your business, 15,000 products from 7 suppliers may not be enough.
- There’s a 20 percent restocking fee is customers return products that aren’t defective. Seems high to us.
Here’s the pricing summary for Sunrise Wholesale:
The monthly membership is $49/month.
The yearly membership is $199/year.
You can try it free for 7 days.
Here’s how we scored Sunrise Wholesale:
Access to suppliers: 2/5
Ease of use: 3/5
Other (you can use multiple websites): 4/5
Alidropship is incredibly easy to use. You simply install it as a WordPress plugin and get selling.
The plugin is automated, allowing you to automatically export from Aliexpress. You can also choose add-ons that will integrate and automate social media campaigns and other marketing aspects.
What we like about Alidropship:
- Great for a beginner or someone who wants to get going quickly.
- All you have to do is sign up for a custom store, and they support you by setting up the hosting, guiding you through your selections, etc.
What bugs us:
- Because it’s so automated, there isn’t as much flexibility and the theme design is pretty basic.
- You can only drop ship from AliExpress.
Here’s the pricing summary for Alidropship:
Create a custom store with three options:
The Basic is a one-time payment of $299, with an optional hosting fee of $48/year.
The Advanced is a one-time payment of $499, with an optional hosting fee of $48/year.
The Ultimate is a one-time payment of $899, with an optional hosting fee of $48/year.
Or, you can opt for a WordPress plug-in for a one-time payment of $89, with an optional hosting fee of $48/year.
Here’s how we scored Alidropship:
Access to suppliers: 1/5
Ease of use: 3/5
Other (theme design is basic): 3/5
We’ve given you some important points to consider when moving into the world of drop shipping. Or perhaps we’ve provided some considerations for growing your business.
Drop shipping is a great option for your e-commerce site. You get a lot of convenience, for minimal hassles.
In 2017, 23% of online sales, or $85.1 billion, were delivered to customers via drop shipping models. That continues to grow.
And with this comprehensive guide, you know what to look for, and you have some options among our top drop shipping companies.
What’s your favourite drop shipping company?