Finding the right wholesale supplier is the first priority for any dropshipper. After all, without a reliable supplier, there is no dropshipping business. When you search for wholesale suppliers, you'll see thousands of listings. You can go the long way to reach your goal by checking them all out one by one. One mistake with your vetting process, however, and you'll find that scamming suppliers are probably more costly than your business model can afford. Alternatively, you can take the shorter path and check out the directories compiled by reliable websites that give you the low-down with all the hard work and trial-and-error taken out of it.
Sure, you have to pay a fee to access most of the best companies for the wholesale trade, but then again, you know that this is their main business, not just a way to mine data or to make money from advertisements. You know that you, the dropshipper, are their top priority, and that you'll get the very best service possible.
Value for money, right? Having said that, there are some directories out there that can give you a leg up when starting your dropshipping business. Others are bit more hit-or-miss.
This directory has been around since 1996 and it's free because it charges suppliers a fee for the privilege of being included on the list. There are a lot of suppliers in this directory, offering thousands of products for dropshipping. The problem is some of the wholesalers also sell on retail, which is one sign of a potentially shady supplier you may have a problem with. Not to mention if the directory charges suppliers, that means the supplier is the directory's top priority, not the individual dropshipper. That being the case, they're less apt to thoroughly vet the members of their directory. Here's the hit and miss we were talking about.
If you're a serious dropshipper, you want to get your supplier list down pat, so you can get on with the main event of your dropshipping business: actual selling. Now that we've gotten the free directory out of the way, here are some of the best paid directories of wholesale suppliers that cater to dropshippers. Takes your pick.
If you like to keep it tight and personal, you may want to check out what this company has to offer. Technically, it's a fulfillment service rather than a directory listing. It's an owner-managed company, so you get prompt and quality customer service, much like a mom-and-pop operation. The list isn't as extensive as the bigger directories, but it includes suppliers that are offering some of the lowest prices out there for some of the fastest-selling merchandise, such as electronics.
On the downside, aside from its membership fee, which ranges from $19.99 a month to a one-time lifetime fee of $199, there is a $2.50 dropship fee per order. And if you're looking for extras such as data export features, you're in the wrong place.
This is an up-and-coming fulfillment company with a growing list of products at really low prices. You can easily export data to Amazon and eBay, and they ship under your name, so your customer won't even know you're a dropshipper.
On the other hand, it doesn't have shopping cart integration and tools for market research are very few. Worst of all, it has poor inventory management and notification features, which can be a major problem. In addition, the company charges $1.50 dropship fee for every order. You can try for free for 30 days, after which you pay $14.99 a month.
The basic membership for this directory is free, and that's excellent news if you're just starting out in dropshipping. It is easy to find products you're looking for and the catalog includes more than 40,000 of the best quality and bestselling products available in selected categories, specifically electronics, sports, and housewares. However, if you want the bells and whistles such as a data export tool, you'll have to fork over $39.95 a month. That's pretty steep considering the so-so customer service and the fact that you can only ship to the U.S.
Still, you can always try the basic membership since it's free.
As the name implies, this company specializes in one type of product: electronics. If you made this your niche, then this is the fulfillment service for you. With a reduced lifetime membership of $47, it is well worth it simply from the breadth of choices you have and the lowest prices available for high volume buyers and resellers. They also have an excellent inventory and ordering system in place, expressly designed to make dropshipping a breeze.
So what's the catch? You can only become a member if you're located in the US, AND they will only ship to the US. Of course, you can always have the items shipped to you and then you forward it to your international customers, but that's generally an extra step—with extra costs—that you don't really want to deal with.
This is a decent directory service with an easy-to-navigate website, and suppliers who offer more than a million products. It specializes in dropshipping for eBay. There are no dropship fees per item, and you only pay for an item after you've sold it. The service handles everything, including returns and customer service so you can focus all your energies on selling. You can even set up your own site that's fully functional with the package one-time membership of $199 ($29.99 monthly for web hosting, first 6 months free). Alternatively, you can just pay a one-time fee of $49.99 for a basic dropship plan.
Unfortunately, there is no free trial and existing users often aren't happy with the customer service it provides to their buyers, and many members found them difficult to communicate with. This is a major drawback for any dropshipper, who is at the mercy of the supplier.
You can join for free and get immediate access to suppliers and more than a million products, but a dropshipper would be better off with the Download File User Membership at $25 for the first supplier you use and $15 for each additional supplier. There are no monthly fees so if you only use three or four suppliers, you're in a good place. For more features, you need to pay more. The website looks professional, but isn't ultra user-friendly. It can often seem too technical for newer dropshippers. The return policy is also a bit unclear, which can be a big problem.
In terms of the dropshipping mechanics and costs, this is a good option to look into. It has great customer service with membership packages that emphasize easy setup for your own website, so you can populate it with great low-cost product lines. You can join for free, but Gold members ($19.95 a month or $179.95 a year) get 25 percent off on most products and shipping fees, plus other freebies, which is an excellent thing given the typical narrow profit margin in dropshipping. You pay the same for an eBay Auction Wizard Membership if you sell exclusively on eBay. You can also get that and the Gold membership privileges for $249.95 a year.
On the downside, the website doesn't look as professional as the others, and the while product choices are high quality, they are much more limited.
This directory has a huge selection of branded products from more than 350 suppliers. The website is user-friendly but you need to register to see the prices, but we can tell you that prices often range from at least 30% to 70% lower than the retail.
There are no dropship fees, but you do pay a 3.5% surcharge when you pay with a credit card.
The site offers a wide range of products, but the best suppliers are mostly for clothing, shoes, health and beauty, and sports. The lifetime membership options are simple and straightforward for eBay (Advanced, $295) or for your own website (Enterprise, $695) but it stops short of offering value-added services, which is a shame. The site only ships to the US, Australia, Canada, and the UK; anywhere else and you have to get it shipped to you first.
If you like massive, then you'll love this site. Worldwide Brands has more than 8,000 screened and verified suppliers on its roster, selling over 8 million products. It is easy to find what you need once you've signed up because the catalog is highly organized and filters can be used to a limited extent to narrow down your search. It also offers excellent support to its members.
However, because there are so many suppliers, not all of them will work out for a dropshipper. Some require a minimum number of orders to be able to give you the posted unit price. Others won't even accommodate orders done on eBay or other auction sites.
Lifetime membership is $299 for a straight payment, but you have the option to pay $319 over three installments instead.
We've written about Doba before, but it's worth mentioning here as well. While this site doesn't have the most products available, they're generally of better quality than most. Moreover, Doba has a lowest price guarantee as well as excellent member support. The website is very easy to navigate and use. They've also got just the features a dropshipper needs to make a success of their business without all the fluff.
Doba has a great reputation among resellers because they really know what they're talking about and work hard to improve the experience of their members. You can try it for free for 7 days and purchase a membership for $59.95 a month after that. Not too shabby considering they handle the fulfillment of all your orders. They have fraud protection of up to $500 per transaction, which can be a big relief.
However, if you need help with setting up a website of your own, you won't find it on Doba.com.
Finally, of course, there's us. We don't mean to brag, but SaleHoo is easily a top contender for the best directory of wholesale suppliers. With our comprehensive directory of thoroughly screened and verified suppliers, that all offer massive selections, we also features one of the top online retail systems to benefit both retailers and dropshippers. SaleHoo offers fantastic membership value, which includes access to our research lab and numerous educational resources, and easy setup of your own online storefront. Membership is a straightforward $67 a year, and comes with a 60-day money-back guarantee.
However, because it does have a lot of suppliers, you will have to exercise caution when selecting one for its fantastically low unit price. Some will require a minimum quantity to ship the goods, but if you have the juice for a bulk purchase, our suppliers do offer some of the lowest prices around.
So there you have it: all the resources you will ever need to find wholesale suppliers for your dropshipping business. Choose carefully and you will never have to look back.
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