Drop shipping (otherwise known as direct-to-consumer fulfillment) gives you the ability to purchase a product from a manufacturer and ship it directly to the customer.
“Especially around the holiday season, drop shipping can allow you to focus on selling, promoting, and marketing your business,” according to Joey Blanco, Content Manager at Shipstation.
While drop shipping has some obvious benefits, the hurdles can be pretty steep, and it’s particularly risky for Amazon sellers, who have to adhere to Amazon’s strict shipping standards.
However, it can also be a smart business decision that can save you time and money. In this post, we’ll go over drop shipping tools that will make the process easier.
Psst..looking for drop shipping tips specifically for Amazon? Check out this post.
Best Drop Shipping Tools for Ecommerce
Established in 2002, Doba provides a directory of nearly 200 manufacturers and wholesalers. Normally, you would have to communicate with ten or more drop shippers–but when you use Doba, you find the product you want to sell, list it, and finish the process with Doba. Doba will contact the drop shipper and send the product to the customer, making the process painless for you.
Dropship Direct is free to use and has a huge inventory of 100,000 items. This service is very similar to Doba in that it does do not require any interaction with the drop shipper. In addition, Dropship Direct keeps you updated on the newest products and latest trends in its diverse inventory so you can add items to your store at your leisure.
Sunrise Wholesale started in 1999 and includes over 22,000 brand name products. You can export information about your chosen products–including descriptions and images–to Amazon, Ebay, or your own ecommerce website. This service syncs with Shopify and BigCommerce and comes with an Ebay listing wizard and research tool. You’ll also get access to the Amazon Selling and Research Manager, which is a great resource if you are just starting out.
Salehoo has over 8,000 suppliers in their network, and over 1.6 million products to choose from for your store. Each supplier is verified by the Salehoo team and includes a community where you can read the blog and participate in the forums. Salehoo also offers training, a Market Research Lab, and good customer support should any questions arise.
Alibaba is well known given that it is one of the largest websites in operation in the world. One of the best things about this site is that you can find all kinds of manufacturers for products at a relatively low cost. Alibaba also offers several other features including assistance with choosing an industry, personalizing your products with your logo, case studies on successful companies, and Trade Assurance which safeguards businesses from shipping, quality, and other issues that can pop up.
Pro-Tip: Search Alibaba for “drop shippers” to get a complete list of all of the companies that do dropshipping to save yourself some time and sorting!
The Bottom Line
There’s no doubt the benefits are enticing, and it can feel almost like a risk-free way to sell products–but make no mistake, drop shipping is a major business decision.
If you want to have complete control over your brand and ensure your customers have a consistent experience–well, drop shipping probably isn’t for you.
If you just want to test out some new product ideas and learn how to sell on a platform like Amazon, drop shipping is probably worth your time.
Weigh the pros and cons for your business, and remember–unreliable vendors, however cheap, aren’t worth ruining your brand’s reputation or getting your Amazon account suspended.
If you decide to go the DIY shipping route, read this post first: