In this article I will tell you how to Find Suppliers & Dropshippers, There are many products and lists available online that claim to be able to give you all of the sources necessary to help you start a dropshipping business.
Most of them are garbage. I know of a few that are outstanding, but the key to finding those is that they will focus on a very specific niche. A friend of mine has a great source report on Designer clothes suppliers in the UK. It’s one of the few that I’d stand behind personally.
- How to Find and Work With Trustworthy Dropshipping Wholesalers and Suppliers
- Where and How to Sell Your Products
- Methods To Accepting Payments
How to Find and Work With Trustworthy Dropshipping Wholesalers and Suppliers
In general, wholesale and drop shipper lists stink. Your best bet is to use your head:
- Who do you think would know about finding reputable drop shippers? The Manufacturer! Contact the manufacturer of your product and get them to recommend companies that would work with small quantities (if they won’t themselves).
- Check out eBay! Most of the sellers on eBay would be happy to either sell to you or give you their suppliers. Personal contact is the key here. Take a look at their products, listings and see what they offer. I’d be willing to bet that they would not mind sharing as long as you don’t compete directly. Here is a sample letter I used to contact companies on eBay:
Hi there! I am about to get into your field and really like the products you offer. Do you do any wholesale supplying? Your products are very reasonably priced for EBay, but I need dropshipping services. It really wouldn’t be very different from what you’re doing here on EBay. If I agreed not to compete with you here, would you be willing to give me the information for your suppliers? I greatly appreciate you taking the time to read my message and look forward to your reply!
Thanks for your time,
Ross Goldberg (put your website under your name if it’s up and running)
Modify the letter as you see fit and add in some personal information, like your background. The more personalized the letter is, the better your response will be. I’ve received the following responses to the letter above:
- We are just getting into wholesale and you’ll be our first client! Thanks for contacting us….
- We have a wholesale division and would be happy to supply products to you. You cannot sell them on EBay though….
- Our supplier is _______
- Just buy our products through eBay and send us the shipping address for your customer (horrible answer – don’t bother).
Where and How to Sell Your Products
Where is your potential customer? This should be the first thing that goes through your mind when opening a new business online.
Online auctions are a great place to start, but you must check to see what competition holds there. Auctions are good because people are already there looking for your stuff.
Opening a website requires a ton of work to find where your customer is and direct them to your website, but you hold total control and can modify what you’re doing and how you are finding your customer.
Selling physical products through online auctions gives you an immediate business and a chance to profit right away. When people look around on an auction site, they are doing something very important to a seller.
They are looking for products to BUY!
This gives you a captive audience that is specifically looking for what you’re selling.
Here are some crucial tips to success with eBay and other online auctions:
- Ensure you can make money! Profit margins are much lower on EBay than through regular websites.
- Check out your competitions auctions and the prices their listings are selling for. If their selling price is lower than your buying price, you have a very big problem.
- Make your listings better than your competition. No matter what they include, include more. More details, more pictures, better design, and professional listings can matter at least as much as price in an auction.
- Make your listings attractive. I used Auctiva, it’s free and you can actually make some cash through using their service. They save you a lot of money by inserting photos directly into auctions and circumventing the EBay fees involved.
- Make sure your photos are detailed enough to show all of the important aspects of your product. Check out the images used by your competition and make sure yours are better.
- Be as specific as possible with the details of your product. Remember to include things like weight, color, size, original cost, value of the product, and anything else you can think a buyer would want to know.
- Use you’re About Me page! On your about me page you can talk about you, your company, and your products. EBay allows you to include links to your favorite sites, make sure at least one of those sites belongs to you.
- eBay has some outstanding features that most don’t know about or utilize. Use their Reviews and Guides, Wikis, Want it now posts, and everything else they offer for their customers. It’s all geared toward helping you sell and spreading your expertise.
- Use multimedia! Audio and Video can make your auction stand out from others. Inside the content, you can forward customers from your auction (where you pay fees) to your website (where you don’t!).
- Schedule listings during the week! Weekends can be good for purchases, but weekdays are better on EBay. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday in the evenings are normally the best days to list an auction. Test this to see what works best for you.
- Don’t limit yourself to one site! When using Dropshipping your amount of product you sell is limitless! See the resource list at on the next page for plenty of other sites you can use.
Here is a list of auction and marketplace sites you should use:
- eBay – The king of online auctions.
- Bidville – Over 1 million listings. Great for certain niches.
- Yahoo – Totally free, results vary quite a bit.
- MightyBids – Newer site with some great features.
- OnlineAuction – $8 per month with unlimited listings, great for huge stores and shops.
- Ecrater – Free marketplace site. No HTML usage.
- Blujay – Free marketplace site. You can use HTML for pretty listings.
- Ebid – Large network of auction sites, separated by country. Great if you want to serve the world.
- Wagglepop – eBay knockoff that’s generating a following quickly.
Some Classified Ad Sites:
A website allows you total and complete control over the presentation of your products. The profit margin is better than with auctions, you can add anything you want to the site, and your only fees are related to how you take payments.
Setting up a website is difficult for someone that doesn’t understand how to do it. Instead of frustrating yourself, use sites like Scriptlance, Elance, and Guru to get it done for very cheap.
Another option is Instantestore. This site is a template based E-Commerce site creation tool that blows away all competition. Your site will be better than any other you compete with, the analytics is phenomenal, and functionality is the best available.
I could go on and on about the ins and outs of running a website, but if you are selling physical products, both auctions and a website should be in your plan of action. Setting up both will ensure that you have business through auctions while getting your website set up and making money for you.
Methods To Accepting Payments
You absolutely have to accept credit cards online. There are two main ways to do this:
Paypal gives you immediate access to funds when a customer buys. For Dropshipping, this makes life very easy. Paypal also has a debit Mastercard that you can attach to your account. You simply give your card number to your supplier and submit orders as they come in, they then debit your card and you get to keep your profit!
Paypal has functions similar to a merchant account and you can apply for their Virtual Terminal to process cards by hand. People are still leery of giving out credit card information over the internet and some would rather do it over the phone. This gives you the ability to take their payment that way.
A Merchant Account is directly attached to your bank account. It takes 2 to 3 days for funds to be deposited from the date of sale. This adds extra time to the fulfillment of orders, so make it clear that the extra time is tacked onto how long it will take for the customer to receive the product.
With a merchant account there is one main problem for drop shippers. You are supposed to only charge a card when the product is shipped. If everything is ready to go within a day or 2, you will probably never get caught, but if you do your merchant account will most likely be closed.
I use Charge.com for my merchant account, but I recommend searching around for the best rates. There are hundreds of options for merchant accounts, so be cautious.