Starting up an online business? Then it’s time to start reading about e-commerce. Here you’ll find out what does and doesn’t work. You’ll learn about drop shipping and the ins and outs of it. You’ll find out that you can use drop shipping in lieu of a physical inventory and you can save tons of money in this fashion. You’ll also find out how to save your money and use it more wisely. Let’s focus on what we need to learn.
Up until now, you know that you must have a supplier to use when drop shipping. Etailers, as they are called, rely upon a drop shipper to fulfill their orders. Many questions regarding drop shipping go like this: “Can I find a drop shipper that I can rely on”? Let’s explore this question and more.
Drop Shipping And Fulfillment
It can be a monumental task to find a good drop shipper. Many of them have suppliers and count on them as the cornerstone of the company. If you’re using drop shipping you’ll want to choose one that is solid and you can rely on. Otherwise, you won’t be in business for long and you may find that you’re losing your good customers.
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Get It Together
Before you find your, supplier, you’ll want to ensure that you have taken care of a few things. You’ll need to be able to show proof that you’re an actual retailer. Otherwise, a drop shipper won’t work with you. You can check with your local city regulations to see what you’ll need to run your own personal drop shipping company. In most cases it is as simple as a business license and a few dollars to get yourself going.
You can apply for your EIN number as well and then you’ll be all set to buy wholesale and use drop shipping. It’s not a difficult thing to obtain and you’ll be well on your way to making money in your business.
Be sure that you have an EIN number at the ready. You’ll also need to have a resale certificate to show. With these in hand, you can then move forward to your drop shipping business.
Be familiar with the verbiage of drop shipping. You need to know what is drop shipping. You’ll need to know their common practices as well. Check out the general advice section and follow the helpful links at the bottom to ensure that you understand and comprehend what is going on. You’ll want to know how to avoid illegitimate suppliers and seek out legitimate suppliers that you can rely upon. Read everything that you can find on drop shipping and keep learning as you go. The more you know, the more likely you are to be successful at drop shipping.
1. Know The Industry
Various industries have various supply chains. Knowing where your company is going to fit into the picture will go far in helping you to find the right supplier. Be sure that you follow up and find out all of these important details before you begin. Small details can make a huge difference.
Example: If you’re in charge of a small boutique selling specialized items, you’re not going to have any success with larger distributors, you’ll want something that is smaller and more direct. You’ll be needing something that is unique in order to be successful.
2. Consider Manufacturers
Determine who makes the items you’re considering selling. Call the manufacturers directly and see if they are willing to drop ship for you. In some cases, they will be happy to do so. It’s better to call than to email as emails can readily get lost. Work with a smaller niche and you’ll be more successful.
There are usually three categories of vendors:
Drop shippers: They drop ship and you’re going to be happy.
Nondrop shippers: They don’t drop ship and likely you’ll be unhappy.
Resellers: Those that resell or don’t. If you find those that don’t, you’re not going to want to work with them. Move on to another.
Etailers with larger inventories will often use the direct contact for drop shipping. This is a wise move and will work well if you do your homework. They also offer great prices. They will have great leads on other manufacturers and can help you find more to add to your inventory.
3. Old Fashioned
Most suppliers don’t use SEO practices. The sites are time traveled and look like they’re right out of the 90s. Sometimes, it pays to be old fashioned. See how this works for you.
Newsletters and trade magazines may be valuable resources. They usually have ads from various suppliers and people like you. Check out the websites and peruse their resources to see what they have to offer. You may find great options here.
Drop shipping groups are ideal for learning even more. You can also find forums and online groups that go over various ways to use drop shipping to your advantage. Once you get the basics you can add from there and will learn even more. Keep an open mind and don’t be afraid to branch out.
Lastly, look at trade shows and see what they have to offer. Consider conferences and expanding your niche to learn even more. Talk with reps and suppliers and seek to follow up on what your options are. Don’t be afraid to step out and try something new.
4. Finding And Working With Reliable Drop Shippers
Reliable online suppliers are hard to find. Finding one is a frustrating and time-consuming process and for every reliable wholesale you might find, there are several with horrible terms, those that are scams, and two or three that are non-existent.
Nevertheless, you can use some simple methods to better your chances of finding good and trustworthy vendors on the Internet.
First, it is advisable that you be aware of the fact that most of the suppliers, even those who seem decent, have a weak online presence. As such, your research should go a bit deeper if you want to find the best candidate. In short, don’t be quick to settle on what you get in the first five pages in the search results. Jump to page 11, 12, 13, and onwards. The goal is to fish out different identifiers that will ensure you cover every possible base.
Your online search for products or vendors should be based on keywords such as “reseller”, “wholesale”, “manufacturer”, “distributor”, “dropship”, “fulfillment”, and “e-commerce”. Moreover, you can as well use specific phrases such as become a reseller, or retailer wanted.
Alternatively, your search can be based on location, which requires the input of a physical address to find vendors near you. Google provides a search feature that allows for country based searches. For instance, if you are looking for vendors or products on sites in China, just add “site: .cn” to the search.
Avoid ruling out vendors that have dated web pages; most suppliers on the Internet are never too keen on developing a good online experience. The primary object should be taking note of their contact page to see if they have accurate and updated information. Also, getting in touch with them is an important move especially if you feel that they are worth partnering with. Furthermore, be keen to find online reviews and testimonials that talk about the suppliers and what they offer.
A simple online search can give you results that have one or more vendors that look slick and with a notably attractive website appearing on the first page of the search results. However, opting to skip the first few pages can reveal vendors who may have better terms and prices than those in the first two or four pages. Furthermore, the possibility of other parties also searching for the same thing opting to work with the suppliers listed in the first pages is high. Thus, you stand to have less competition in terms of pricing offers.
5. Try What’s Left
At this point, your search results should have given you several possible option of potential vendors. However, if you are not successful and you still need more options, then you can consider leveraging the following resources.
You can choose to use online listings that charge an access fee. Keep in mind that some of the listed entries may be outdated or obsolete. Hence, exercise caution when relying on the information listed, just be sure that you work with updated information.
Lastly, to find vendors online particularly those in China, you can use sites such as Alibaba, which can help you make a list of drop shippers for specific products. It is an option that works for some people. However, it does have some drawbacks. For instance, the quality of the goods may be questionable, and it is hard to settle issues that may arise with the shipping or products, an issue that your customers’ will hold you liable for.
The best approach is minimizing on the risk factors; as such, you should consider starting out small. For instance, do not make a huge order or opt to do a wire transfer for your first payment. Strive to build some trust, a trust that they should earn because some Chinese suppliers are known to requesting for payments and never delivering the purchased goods. In regards to payments, it would be safer to work with vendors who accept PayPal or other secure forms of payment platforms. Most importantly, test and review the international drop shippers before you start doing any business.
Wrapping It Up And Shipping It Out
At this stage, you should have a list of potential vendors or have a solid idea on where to start your search for suppliers. Drop shipping is a growing and very promising industry as is evidenced by the increasing number of new and established retailers who are taking advantage of drop shipping in their different e-commerce fields.