Starting an online business has never been easier than today.
With the growth of Amazon, eBay, Shopify and other online retail platforms, anyone with $20 can start an online shop.
If you’re just starting out, however, you may not have a lot of cash and a big house or warehouse to store your of goods. Plus it can be daunting to figure out what to sell.
That’s where dropshipping (and dropshipping supplier directories) come in.
Drop shipping is another name for price arbitrage; a fancy term which means you find low-cost products and sell them for a higher price.
With a dropshipping business you don’t need cash or storage space. You just need to set up your store, list your products and focus on marketing and selling.
It works like this:
First, you find and source a product from a supplier. Then, you place that product on your store and list it for a higher price.
When a customer purchases the item, you take their order and send it to your supplier. The supplier sends out your goods to the customer and you keep the difference between what you bought and sold the product for.
The great things about dropshipping:
The hardest part of being a new dropshipper is finding the right product & supplier.
Not only do you have to find a product people want to buy, but you also need to ensure that your supplier will deliver exactly what you advertise to your customer.
This is extremely important because you want to ensure your product arrives in a good condition, meets all of the customer’s requirements, is shipped quickly and will not be returned.
The best suppliers will even include your company’s marketing materials to make it seem as if you sent the product yourself!
Working with sketchy suppliers can ruin your business’ reputation or cause you to lose money, so make sure you choose the right supplier or service before you start your business.
To help you get started on the right track, we’ve reviewed 12 of the top directories and search platforms.
Because they authenticate and vette their suppliers to ensure you only find the absolute best, based on product quality, price, and legitimacy. You get to avoid fraud for pennies on the dollar.
A dropshipping directory is essentially a giant list of different wholesalers, suppliers, other dropshippers, auctioneers, and other types of people selling goods and products.
These sellers pay money to get their company listed on the board and for better visibility so they can be discovered by you, the dropshipper.
All of the sites we reviewed can be broken up into two categories:
The disadvantage of normal dropshipping directories is that you have to comb through them and contact the suppliers yourself. You also have to source and manage the back end inventory and product descriptions on your site yourself. In other words…
It can be a lot of work.
The other type of sites we reviewed are dropshipping platforms/services such as SaleHoo, Doba, and Dropship Direct.
These are online companies which have a directory of verified and authenticated products which you can search through and automatically integrate into your own store - all in just a few clicks.
What does that mean?
All of the product data, including names, descriptions, specs and images, is “pushed” to your site using software which integrates with your selling platform.
Because of this integration, all the back end management can be handled by the service and updated even on a hourly basis.
The main difference between a regular directory and a service/platform is that you usually have to pay for the latter on a yearly or monthly basis.
But in most cases, the time-saving aspect more than makes up for the costs.
Let’s take a look at 12 of the top dropshipping supplier directories you can use to build your dropshipping business today:
Based in New Zealand and started in 2005, SaleHoo is an online directory of suppliers and manufactures.
We personally verify each and every supplier on our site to ensure that every product in each of our 75 categories is authentic and legitimate.
We have a broad set of categories including clothes, electronics, furniture, books and entertainment, and more. And our directory comprises of more than 1.6 million products sourced from over 8000+ vetted suppliers.
With this kind of selection, you’ll be able to quickly find any product your niche requires. Our platform even has specific tools so you can find wholesalers who allow low or minimum amount orders.
We’re so confident in our suppliers that we fully guarantee their products in case of defect or scam. Not very many companies offer this type of guarantee.
In addition, we also provide you access to our Market Research Labs, an in-depth product discovery tool which will allow you to determine with a high probability if your product ideas will sell on platforms like Amazon, eBay, and more.
To get access to Salehoo’s directory, there is a yearly $67 USD fee which has to be paid upfront. However, we offer a 60-day money-back guarantee, in case you find it’s not a good fit.
We can also build your online store for you for an additional $27 a month.
Finally, we have 24 hour chat and email support and a ton of information on how to build a dropshipping business. It’s a great resource and you should definitely check it out.
Alibaba, the eBay for finding wholesale suppliers in Asia, is not an easy platform to work with if you’re a beginner.
Most of the listings are made by manufacturers, not suppliers, meaning they usually have no website, they don’t speak English, orders have to be paid with a wire transfer rather than credit cards and there is no guarantee you’ll get the items you want.
Aliexpress, on the other hand, is a sister retail site of Alibaba.
It allows Chinese “stores” to sell the goods made by the manufacturers to customers all over the world. It’s like the Chinese version of Amazon, except everything is really low-price and takes 2-3 weeks to be delivered to your door.
The good thing about AliExpress is that you can use credit cards or AliPay to ensure safe transactions. And, their rating and review system gives you a good idea about the seller, so you can make an informed choice on which product to buy.
Finding products on Aliexpress is a bit like searching on Amazon: You won’t get much information on what’s hot and popular. There is no search engine to determine what products will be good for your niche. You have to do this work yourself.
The great thing about Aliexpress is that it’s free.
Unlike some of the other paid services we’ve listed here, there are no upfront costs or monthly fees to join Aliexpress.
Surprisingly, Aliexpress support is actually pretty good. I’ve contacted them several times about issues with payment and shipping and they provide round the clock service.
While they can’t provide super in-depth information about specific problems sometimes (they’ll just say it will take a day or 5 to fix with no timeline), they have solved all of my problems eventually.
The biggest benefit of working with Aliexpress is that you can use the Oberlo integration with your Shopify store. This automates your sales process, reducing the need to manually submit an order to your suppliers.
The downside to Aliexpress is that shipping takes at least two weeks to get to the United States and can rise to more than a month for other parts of the world.
This can be a barrier to a lot of sales and could drive traffic away from your business to a site like Amazon, where they could pay a little more and get the item within a day or two.
Additionally, because you are dealing with separate sellers, you won’t have the option to bundle up multiple products if they’re sourced from different suppliers. Some customers may not like getting one package one week and then two more the next.
You need to be clear when setting up your site, detailing all of this shipping information.
Overall, Aliexpress is a decent option for beginners. There are no upfront costs, you get buyer protection and their rating system makes it easy to choose a good supplier. However, you must deal with communication barriers and potentially fraudulent orders.
Worldwide Brands is the “grandfather” of wholesale supplier directories, founded in 1999 by eBay Powerseller Chris Malta.
Like SaleHoo, it has verified and vetted each one of its 8000+ suppliers. It does this by meeting the companies at trade shows, visiting their factories, and seeing for themselves that the products being offered are legitimate.
The biggest hurdle for WWB is that it has a one time lifetime membership fee of $299 USD.
While in the long run, this may actually be less than other paid sites like Doba and Salehoo, for many the upfront cost will be too big of a barrier to join.
What WWB provides, though, is a comprehensive directory where you can search for products from a regularly updated list of verified suppliers.
A query will return supplier information, such as the company name, website, full address, phone number, and all other payment and ordering details you will need to contact them with your order.
The issue for dropshippers, also known as Light Bulk Friendly on WWB, is that prices offered for low or no-minimum orders can be unprofitable unless you are making large purchases.
You may not get a discount big enough to be very profitable on eBay or Amazon.
One thing that irks me a lot is that they try to upsell you on every additional service other than the directory. They are partnered with other sites like Quickbooks and Sell-Niches.com, both of which give WWB a commision if you use their services.
While I think it’s fine for them to push for affiliate sales, it would seem like the $300 upfront fee should give more access to quality free content.
WWB provides some support for it’s members, but it’s not anything you couldn't learn elsewhere on the internet; Things like how to find a niche, how to choose the right supplier, how to set up your legal business, etc.
If you want more you have to buy into one of their expensive upsell products.
Overall, WWB is more for those making large orders and have significant e-commerce experience. It’s not a place for beginners and you would be much better off trying out one of the other sites.
With more than 100,000 products sourced by more than 900 suppliers, Dropship Direct provides a robust directory for you to build your dropship business with.
While this may not seem like a lot in comparison to some of the other sites reviewed here, their product selection is pretty robust.
Dropship Direct excels with its transparency and back end data feed management.
Dropship Direct is very open about the pricing of its products. Once you’re approved for an account you can inquire about the Minimum Advertised Price (MAP) of a product.
This means you’ll know exactly how much you will pay for each unit. There is no ambiguity.
Its PushList data feed technology is the best out of all of these services. You can use it to customize data feeds for a host of markets to include Amazon, eBay, Shopify, etc.
These feeds contain all of the info used in the creation of your listing, including photos, descriptions, specs and more.
Additionally, all products sourced through Dropship Direct are delivered blind, meaning that there is no promotional material inside and it appears as if you sent the package yourself (also called “white labeling”).
You can even have your brand materials included with the packaging slip. This gives you a more personal feel.
Additionally, they handle all of the logistics when it comes to shipping, including flat rate pricing for more than 20,000 products.
Dropship Direct is free to join. The application process takes a few days to be certified, but once approved, you get access to their large database of products.
In order to get the PushList back end management system, you either have to pay $37 USD a month or average more than $1000 in orders. Premium members get access to better inventory updates, restricted product lines, and more in-depth statistics.
In case you need support, it’s easy to get in touch with their service reps, either by email or on the phone. Their phone lines are open from 10:30 AM to 4:00 PM PST.
They also have a large database of helpful materials on their site and a few tutorials on how to use their service.
This is another good service for beginners because of the low upfront costs. While they have a smaller selection, their service and back end management more than make up for it.
TheWholesaler.co.uk is the largest UK based wholesale directory and it’s free to us for anyone who wants to buy wholesale.
The directory is large and well divided into sub-categories.
The sites functionality is limited, however, since it’s just a listing board for wholesale companies.
You won’t find individual products; instead, you’ll get info about different companies and then be directed to those companies’ sites to see their merchandise and contact info.
The good thing about TheWholesaler.co.uk is that all of the companies listed are UK based and a few companies will even provide wholesale supply of licensed products from companies like Disney.
If you are based in the UK, definitely check it out. For anyone outside of the UK, check out some of the other options listed here.
eSources.co.uk is another UK based wholesale directory.
Boasting over 350,000 different domestic wholesale listings and more than 170,000 drop shippers, it’s one of the largest portals for UK wholesale distributors, suppliers, and for other products.
One benefit that eSources offers is its TradePass company verification system.
If a company has the TradePass logo next to their name, it means the company has been authenticated and verified by eSources.co.uk and the owners and employees of the company are who they say they are.
In order to get access to the company listings, you have to create an account.
If you’re only planning on buying products, it’s free to sign up. However, if you want to contact companies directly and gain access to eSources.co.uk’s database, the subscription cost is £20 a month, £50 for six months, or £75 for 12 months.
Again, if you are based in the UK, using eSources.co.uk will be an attractive offer because of its broad database and domestic access to goods. However, if you are outside of the UK, look for other options.
As one of the oldest wholesale directories, WholesaleCentral.com provides free search and contact options to buyers looking to find suppliers.
WholesaleCentral.com is an offshoot of Sumner Communications, Inc., a trade magazine publisher. Like a trade magazine, the site makes its money by selling listings to companies.
No registration is required to access the database and search for products to sell.
However, if you do create an account you get access to their “Product Locator Service,” trade magazines, and their list of trusted suppliers.
If you’re ready to look through their directory and reach out to companies yourself, you may find some good opportunities. Check it out, but be prepared to put in a lot of work.
As one of the leading whole trade platforms, Toptenwholesale.com connects buyers with wholesale suppliers, importers, distributors and other resellers of both new and used products.
Like the previous few sites, it’s a trade board, meaning it only has listings for products and suppliers.
The products are laid out pretty clearly and it’s easy to navigate, but it lacks a lot of the refinement seen in some of the top wholesale sites.
One of the issues is that a lot of the products can only be bought in bulk, so it may not be the best for dropshippers.
It’ll be tough for beginners to navigate because, while it's laid out well, someone who doesn’t have a lot of industry knowledge will have a hard time contacting the suppliers one by one.
Toptenwholesale.com does provide verification for some of it’s suppliers and products, so you know you are getting a legitimate authentic product. They also source from many US based suppliers.
Globalsources.com is a wholesale site based in China that’s solely focused on large amount orders.
The site has a large collection of goods ands suppliers, however there is not an option for low or no-minimum orders.
This site isn’t geared towards dropshippers. It’s better suited for those who want to buy in bulk or need private label goods created.
Inventory Source is a dropship service software that has robust inventory and back end management features.
It’s also integrated into all of the major eCommerce sites like Shopify and Big Commerce.
With more than 1 million products available from over 100 suppliers, you’ll definitely be able to find the right fit for your niche.
Inventory Source’s powerful software allows you to export product descriptions and images to your site with the click of a button. If you don’t have a site, they can even build one for you.
One thing Inventory Source can’t do is ensure that your orders can be combined together. That means you’ll have to contact sellers directly to discuss bundling your goods.
With Shopify, you can choose from a list of pre-integrated suppliers. Customers have to set up a reseller account with each supplier, though, and pay a diminished price for each additional supplier.
One of the best things about Inventory Source is its customer service. They will go above and beyond for their clients, answer every question, and even provide advice on best practices.
To sum up, Inventory Source is great if you have multiple suppliers and want to integrate them all into one feed for your store. This back end management is key for dropshippers to focus on what matters most: making sales instead of inventory management and product updating.
If you want to pay per supplier rather than per 1000 items of product sold, they’re your best bet.
Doba is one of the biggest dropship services, based in Utah, USA.
They aggregate products from suppliers and acts as a middleman so you can easily find new products to ship to your customers. They also offer the biggest selection and most comprehensive back end management system; However, this comes at a high cost.
Doba has more than more than 2 million products from over 200 suppliers aggregated in its database and has the largest product offering on the internet.
Using Doba is extremely simple. Its user friendly UI makes finding products and exporting them to your store super easy.
Doba supports all of the major ecommerce platforms in its data export process and can even export lists in CSV or XML.
Additionally, Doba has a robust inventory management system which will tell you when you’re running low on a certain product or if the description has changed.
Doba is one of the most expensive services, though.
Starting at $29 USD per month for their basic plan (which gives access to their database and support network) this could be a higher cost than some beginner dropshippers want to pay.
However, the more expensive plans offer greater functionality, such as Amazon Data Export and batch order uploading.
Doba also has great support. If you have any questions, they’ll quickly get back to you. For more expensive accounts, they even offer 24 hour telephone support.
After you sign up, you’ll even be contacted by a support representative who will help you setup your account and get the ball rolling.
To sum up, Doba offers great support, tons of products and suppliers and has the best back end management system. However, this all comes at a cost, which could be prohibitive to beginners.
Doba is a good platform for more experienced drop shippers, but those starting out should try other services if startup costs are an issue.
If you want to focus solely on consumer electronics and video games, Megagoods is the hub for you.
Based out of Los Angeles, CA, this wholesale dropshipper only has around 2,000 products, but they are hyper-focused around one niche, which makes up for the lack of goods.
The site does not have broad search functionality, which limits its usefulness.
One of the better benefits of working with them, however, is that they will blind drop ship your goods, using your branding and name so the customer doesn’t know they were sent goods from a third party.
Their shipping policy is pretty good. They’ll ship goods in 1-2 days and they offer tracking on all shipments. Drop shippers can offer a variety of shipping types using FedEx, UPS, or USPS.
Additionally, their return policy is pretty robust for a consumer electronics dropshipper. They offer a 30-day guarantee against manufacturers defects from the date of delivery on most all products.
You can also export their products to your store, but bear in mind they only have a few file types and it may not work for your site. Images come as a ZIP file which has to be manually sorted.
Becoming a member of Megagoods gives you access to better pricing and restricted goods. The cost of a membership is 14.99 a month.
This is low in comparison to some of the other sites we reviewed, which may make it a better choice for you (assuming your niche is consumer electronics and video games).
In addition to the monthly payment, there’s also a $1.50 surcharge for drop shipping an item. They also charge a 20% restocking fee on all unwanted returns.
All in all, it's a good dropshipping service if electronics are your niche. However, if you want to sell more than just this, check out another one of the services we reviewed in our guide.
One of the biggest issues when looking for wholesale suppliers and dropshippers is fraud.
There are a lot of dropshipping companies out there who are just looking to take your money. They could sell low-quality goods or even not ship anything at all.
Supplier directories help avoid these fake dropshippers so you can rest easy. For more on spotting fake dropshippers, check out our full guide.
Just because directories make it easier to find a good supplier, doesn’t mean they’re the only way to do so.
Additionally, finding a supplier is only half the battle. What do you do if you’ve found 5 solid suppliers and aren’t sure which one to choose?
We wrote a full guide to help you find suppliers (with or without a directory) and choose them based on price, product quality, and more.
Finding quality products and strong suppliers is the most difficult part of dropshipping.
If you want to open an online store, using adrop shippingg directory is the easy, quickest, and safest way to find suppliers.
With the top 12 supplier directories on this list, you’re sure to find on that’s a great fit for you.
Is there a directory you’re wondering about that we didn’t cover? Let us know in the comments below!
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