What’s The Best Drop Shipping Company for Your Business?
Drop shipping companies are a relatively new phenomenon that eases the burden and costs of starting a new business or expanding business offerings.
What is Drop Shipping?
Online businesses, especially new businesses, usually don’t want to carry a lot of inventory. Inventory requires space, costs a fair amount to purchase, and requires storage space and costs. High shelf prices make it difficult to carry an extensive inventory.
However, drop shipping solves this problem for small retailers.
Drop shipping lets you save space and money by reducing shelf space costs, and helps you avoid ever having to order a large inventory in the first place. You’re not constrained by the amount of physical product you have on hand, freeing you up to focus on running your business.
Drop shipping lets businesses quickly order more product when they need or when business experience a sales spike. In fact, the merchant doesn’t ever have to come into contact with the product. When a customer places an order, you place an order purchase with your drop shipping company, and they ship it directly to the customer.
Entrepreneurs looking to start an e-commerce store can start up their business with dramatically fewer start-up costs. There is little to no investment required. You don’t need to purchase the product until a customer has ordered and paid for it.
With low overhead costs, you can even run your business from a home office with only a laptop, in any location you choose. It’s also easy to expand your business when you use drop shipping, compared with physical inventory. Growth in a drop shipping-based company doesn’t require a proportionate increase in workload and resources.
You can avoid the following tasks usually required for an online store:
- Paying for storage at a warehouse
- Keeping track of stocking and restocking
- Purchasing packaging for products
- Shipping products
- Managing returns or other inbound deliveries to your business
- Keeping inventory records for your taxes and accounting
Even big companies like Sears and Home Depot use drop shipping for less popular items that they might not keep in stores.
Some companies you’ll find online are the drop shipping companies themselves, while others are directories. These directories provide verified suppliers you can use through a subscription.
What to Look for in a Drop Shipping Company
The most important consideration is making sure the company sells the types of products you need to sell. Before choosing a company, try to get a look at their product catalog and make inquiries if the information you need isn’t readily available on their website.
If you have any plans of expanding your business beyond what you currently sell or plan to sell, you should anticipate the types of products that you could easily and sensibly add to your online store. The drop shipping company you choose should have all the goods you need to sell and additional products in relevant categories.
Integrates to Your Online Store Easily
If it’s done right, partnering with a drop shipping company will save you tons of time. However, if your business can’t integrate easily with the software you use, it might mean more headaches for you. Not all drop shipping companies can work with all e-Commerce software.
A few drop shipping companies also offer plans that include e-Commerce website builders or services. With one of these plans, you wouldn’t have to even think about integration.
Ability to Sell Through Multiple Marketplaces
You might be loyal to one marketplace now, or sell only through your personal website, but doing so could be limiting your potential profit. Many retailers sell on multiple platforms, especially if they don’t yet have brand awareness.
Sometimes products sell better through massive marketplaces like Amazon and eBay. Those market giants also have the advantage of trust and name recognition. Even when their businesses take off, many people continue to offer products through multiple channels, which can always widen your business’s reach and profit.
Your drop shipping company should have the ability to sell through multiple platforms, even if you don’t yet want to utilize those channels.
Shipping Options and Pricing
Of course, you’ll want to choose a company that offers plans and fees within your budget. There’s a wide variety out there, and it’s a good idea to start with recommended, reputable companies, and then consider their price options.
You don’t want the drop shipping company you chose to raise your shipping prices and deter customers from buying. Businesses usually keep shipping costs low particularly on their popular products.
Free shipping is becoming more common, and this has changed customers’ attitudes while online shopping. A 2004 study found that on Amazon, 52 percent of customers abandon a purchase if there is no free shipping offered.
Several complaints about customer service is a red flag. So is a support staff that’s nearly impossible to reach. No matter what company you choose, and no matter how simply your system may be, you’ll want support to be available if you need it.
Today support is widely available. Many companies offer 24/7 support. Don’t forget to pay attention to the means of communication available for customers.
Can you reach your drop shipping partner by phone? Email? Live chat? Phone and email are a must, but live chat is another convenient feature.
However, if a company only accepts support requests through a support ticket system, you have reason to be wary. This type of system means the company can address your issues at their own pace, and during busy hours or seasons, it might be a while before they get to your ticket.
Best Drop Shipping Companies
*The world of drop shipping is still complex and cluttered. If you want to DIY – you can always go to AliExpress / Alibaba and do a deal yourself. These are not personal recommendations and should be only viewed as a jumping off resources.
Doba has an easy user interface. You can add large amounts of product at once. The company gives you inventory notifications when your stock is running low. They offer great support through phone, email, and live chat.
One disadvantage is their shipping speed, which seems to vary. It’s also one of most expensive services, with monthly and yearly subscription options. You can try Doba with a free trial.
Salehoo is a wholesale directory with several companies in their network. All their listed suppliers are verified and legitimate. Their team offers excellent customer support and educational resources for users to utilize on their own. Salehoo has low pricing, but unfortunately, no free trial. Check out Salehoo here.
Worldwide Brands is another company directory with over 9000 suppliers. They use a strong certification process to ensure legitimacy for all their wholesalers. You only need to pay a one-time fee to use Worldwide Brands, which is very rare for the industry.
The downside is that this one-time fee is more expensive than monthly payments. Worldwide also lacks some of the features of other brands, like automated listing tools, website packages, and custom file uploads. Since they only charge you once, their website is full of suggested to purchase additional products. Visit Worldwide Brands to learn more.
Dropship Direct has some of the best pricing on the market. They use PushList technology, which allows for easy management. You can add products automatically to websites and marketplaces, and even customize your packaging, which helps you set your brand apart.
They don’t have a very large directory, with only about 100 suppliers and 75,000 products. When you make orders, you’ll have to do so manually through the Dropship website or email. Learn more about Dropship Direct here.
Wholesale2b has some of the best shipping options. You can place orders from the website admin dashboard, and you don’t even need to log in. Wholesale2b lets you manage products through a watch list and notifies you when any inventory is running low.
A con of this company is the lack of customer support. You can only contact the team through their support ticket system, not phone or email. The several plans on their site can also be confusing. It’s hard to know which one is the best choice for you. Visit Wholesale2b here.
Sunrise Wholesale integrates well with most shopping site platforms. You can export products from Sunrise to your website, eBay, and Amazon. It works especially well for sellers using eBay and has partnerships with BigCommerce and Shopify. Product analysis is available as well as market research to see how your business measures up.
They do charge a 20 percent restocking fee on non-defective products returned by customers, so you should be careful about the products you sell through Sunrise. They only work with seven suppliers for a total of about 16,000 products. Check out Sunrise Wholesale here.
National Dropshippers is known for their quick speed, with shipping of usually one to three days. Their directory has about 250,000 items in several different categories. They offer features like the ability to export products, images, descriptions to websites and marketplaces. You can also buy and build your own eCommerce website through this company.
However, National Dropshippers doesn’t offer any analytical or research tools to keep track of how your products are selling or trends in the market. You can view National Dropshippers here.
Investory Source has almost 100 suppliers and an impressive one million products. You can export products, and opt for a website building plan. They offer a unique forever free plan, with only operating costs after you sign up.
The disadvantage is that you’re charged for each supplier you use. There’s a monthly rate for using one vendor with additional fees for any others you add. Check the Investory Source website for more information.
Megagoods is one of the cheapest options available. However, there are some notable drawbacks. Their product focus is on electronics, and they have a small inventory with about 2,000 products. Megagoods has excellent shipping speed with an average of one to two-day delivery.
There are no analytics or new-product notification features. Exporting products to your site is more complicated and requires you to do more manual work. You’ll have to place all orders manually by logging into Megagoods. View Megagoods here.
- Search for a drop shipping company that offers the products you need and a few extra within your product category.
- Do your research beforehand on compatibility with your software and marketplaces.
- Choose a plan that fits your budget and preferences (one-time, monthly or yearly fees).