Online shopping sites are a dime a dozen these. What once was a two-player game, has become an MMORPG, with thousands of participants.
Besides the biggest names (Amazon and eBay), the marketplace platform for online buyers and sellers is steadily becoming extremely diverse. Drop shippers need to take particular note, because many of these online shopping sites allow users to list inventory, and there are plenty of others that can simply be used as resources for buying in bulk.
Of course, nothing beats a good old-fashioned directory as far as wholesale sourcing goes, but you get the drift.
Unfortunately, a lot of these sites can be kind of obscure. You see, they're often tucked into their little niche corners of the Internet, and either don't have the marketing budgets to get your attention, or they're simply satisfied with the amount of business they're already doing. Thus it's on the drop shipper to seek out bold new frontiers on which to sell their wares, or find more wares to sell, as the case may be.
This of course boils down to the bane of any drop shipper's existence: online research. Allow me to set you up with a shortcut. Today I've assembled a list of sites, both familiar and faintly recognizable, for you to peruse. Here are 19 online shopping sites that every drop shipper should know.
Bidstart is an auction site that deals mostly with the collectibles niche. With fixed-price buying options as well, you have flexibility as either a seller or buyer. If your chosen niche is comic books, baseball cards, and the like, then this website can be a potential goldmine for sourcing good inventory on the cheap. Unfortunately, its traffic rankings aren't so hot, so it might not be the best spot to sell.
Because it's another niche marketplace, drop shippers dealing in unique and/or vintage fashion items will feel right at home at ASOS. This marketplaces avoids the auction format, so you may not find the best prices for sourcing inventory, but you can certainly sell to this passionate and active community of buyers, so long as your inventory strikes the right creative chord.
I mentioned we would be venturing into the obscure, right? 121bid.com is a little known website that's steadily growing in popularity. This is mainly due to the no-fee policy. The site doesn't charge for listing, buy it now options, final value, or any second category fees. This is a good spot to test the waters for new inventory, before you risk buying bulk and listing on bigger platforms.
iOffer is another auction-style online shopping site without listing fees. You can use iOffer to setup your own storefront for free, and hold auctions for your inventory. Though not the best-known name, iOffer still pulls in decent traffic volumes. According to Alexa.com, the site is ranked 3000th for traffic in the U.S., which isn't stellar, but it isn't exactly miserable either. Though its popularity has declined sharply over the past year, there is still plenty of opportunity to profit on the site.
Now we arrive to the part of the presentation where things begin to look a bit more familiar. Overstock.com is a well-known surplus and wholesale site, which runs on an online auction model. In addition to decent traffic volumes and a wide variety of inventory, Overstock has one of the best-rated customer support teams in the industry. As such it's real claim to fame is being user-friendly.
Craigslist has always been an interesting marketplace for just about any interest or niche. Since it's geographically organized, you have the option to buy or sell local to save on shipping costs. No matter whether you're looking to drop ship your inventory or find inventory to ship, Craigslist is an invaluable resource for your efforts.
Newegg.com is a marketplace that caters specifically to the technology niche. It's one of the major techie sites, specializing in providing shoppers with cheap access to hardware and software solutions. One distinct advantage of puchasing inventory from this site is that there are no additional fees when it comes to payment processing.
Another marketplace which allows for a free online storefront, eCrater is like a shopping mall where vendors don't have to pay to rent their spaces. This site is best utilized by drop shippers with large inventories of inexpensive goods that would incur higher costs on other platforms.
Another community-driven niche online shopping site, Artfire focuses on bringing together buyers and sellers with mutual interests in art goods. The fees here are very reasonable and the platform is integrated with Google Products Base.
Tias.com is an online retail marketplace for both collectibles and antiques. The site boasts an impressive amount of customization for its online storefronts. This allows sellers to really personalize their product offerings. It's somewhat of an exclusive community though, as the entry fee is cost prohibitive at a minimum monthly payment of $34.95. For this fee you get to create a storefront that appears on eBay and Google, access to more than 700,000 monthly customers, and unlimited listings.
Formerly known as Buy.com, Rakuten has access to millions of products from books to electronics, all at reasonable prices. This is a favorable setup for those drop shippers looking to import overseas. The major appeal to Rakuten is the high volume of traffic that comes through the website. Design your product offerings carefully, and there is a lot of profit potential when listing your items on this site. There is also plenty of competition though, so be aware that you've got to have an edge on your fellow sellers to be successful here.
Shopzilla should be another name on this list that you recognize. This platform connects large brands with small shops all over the globe. For a good while, Shopzilla was at the top of the heap when it came to comparison shopping engines. It belongs to Amazon now, but Shopzilla still manages to hold its own in the sales department.
Bidz is an online auction site that mainly caters to people looking for high-end jewelry at a low-end price. You can't sell your own inventory on Bidz, as the site only offers auction on its own inventory, but if you're willing to work at it and set up some autobids, you can occasionally find some incredible deals on beautiful jewelry here. Resell these pieces for their actual value, and you'll do quite well in the profit margin department.
Doba is a drop shipping directory with a huge catalog of products — more than 1.4 million to be precise. The price is a bit steeper, but Doba takes a lot of the guesswork of product sourcing out of the equation. If you want to drop ship, but hate contacting suppliers, this might be the platform for you. Read more about Doba here.
This is a no-brainer. If you aren't already listing on Yahoo Shopping, you certainly should be. It's the fourth-ranked site globally by Alexa.com. As you might imagine, this gets more than a few eyes on your products. Competition is, of course, fierce. So be sure to pack your product pages with relevant keywords and high quality images.
CafePress is a self-styled "creative mind marketplace" where, rather than selling your own inventory, you have to design inventory to sell. You can list the items you create on your own website, while they'll also show up on CafePress. This gives you two outlets to make sales. All inventory is made to order, and the company handles everything from checkout to shipping costs. You're just the creative force behind the drop shipping process.
Zazzle is another creative design site for niche sellers. It allows you to create your own store to market and sell your designs online. A platform working to empower artists (while taking a healthy cut off the top), Zazzle is similar to CafePress in that it doesn't allow you to sell inventory that the site doesn't already offer.
Oodle is an online classified ad search engine. Famed for providing highly accurate search results, Oodle can help you geographically target your buyers. This is especially useful for hard-to-ship items. Keep in mind that because it's a classified site, Oodle doesn't offer you buyer's or seller's protection like many of the other e-commerce sites we've listed.
Bonanza is a site that I've personally gone over in depth before. Having worked so extensively on that research, I feel more than confident saying that its user-friendly interface is definitely worth checking out. The site is ideally suited to niche sellers, and it has an interesting feature that allows you to import listings from eBay and Etsy.
That's it for my list of online shopping sites every drop shipper should know. Did I leave any out? What are your favorite sites to list inventory on? Let me know in the comment section.