Here’s a question for you:
Does the dropshipping method really work on eBay?
Well, dropshipping can be a great starting point for your eBay business because it involves individual items being sent directly from your supplier to your customers on your behalf which immediately offers several advantages:
- You avoid storage issues.
- You do not have to pack and post your products.
- You can list as many or as few items as you wish.
- You can test new products before buying large quantities of stock at wholesale.
But before you start getting all excited, if you do decide to use the dropshipping method, the challenge is to find an efficient, reliable company you can trust to handle your orders and who won’t charge you the earth for their products and services.
You must also be realistic about your profit margins; expect them to be slightly lower than if you were purchasing wholesale stock. This is because, although you will still be getting ‘cheaper than retail’ prices, that price is based on single items rather than bulk quantities.
Although I believe dropshipping is a viable way of starting – or expanding – a successful eBay business, it shouldn’t be the only product sourcing method you use.
The big challenge, supplier-wise, is separating the wheat from the chaff – how do you know if you have found a genuine dropshipper who will literally deliver?
The short answer to this is research.
The Dropshipping Image
People with no previous dropshipping experience tend to have an image in their minds of what they should be looking for…
… Usually a massive website, packed full of all manner of products in a wide range of niches. (I know this because it’s exactly what I used to think).
Unfortunately, it’s not quite that simple!
Yes there are several reliable ‘all product’ dropshipping sources within the UK and if you want a variety of products to pick and choose from, jumping from niche to niche, then these are OK.
But, if you are serious about dropshipping, you should use other, little known, methods to choose the suppliers you work with. This way you will ensure you get better pricing and better service – which can only be a benefit to your eBay business.
Most people would not even consider trying to find a reliable dropshipper using the methods that I’m going to tell you about… but first you need to:
There are of course plenty of general and niche-specific dropshipping companies around and a quick Google search will produce quite a selection, but as I have said, it’s difficult to know just how many of these are reliable.
Quite honestly a Google search is probably the worst place to start looking, as many of these advertisers will be middlemen who are best avoided.
It’s the easiest thing in the world to search online and purchase a ‘Dropshipping Directory’ or similar from the Internet. But unless you know 100% what sources and details you will be getting for your money, then this is not the best way to find a dropshipper and it could end up ruining your business.
Choosing the right dropshipper can be a challenge and, to be blunt, the only way you’ll make the right choice is to ensure you do your proper due diligence.
Remember, the perfect dropshipper should offer wholesale pricing alongside reasonable fees. They should also be able to constantly supply your customers with high quality products and, most importantly, they should guarantee that your clients will receive efficient dispatch and delivery of their order.
But where do you find a dropshipper who meets these standards?
1. Go Directly To The Original Source
You might be surprised to know that not all businesses who dropship openly advertise the fact that they offer this service. I’m talking about product manufacturers.
If you know exactly which product you want to dropship and you also know that you can sell a certain quantity of that product per month, simply contact the manufacturer of the product and ask them if they will agree to a dropship arrangement with you.
The manufacturer will simply offer the product to you at a wholesale price and add the postage, packaging and labour costs on top. The manufacturer will still make a profit on their product and you get a genuine dropship service and price rather than a shoddy service with inflated costs – something that so often happens when middlemen get involved.
You might strike it lucky and find that your particular product manufacturer is quite happy to come to an agreement as they are already set up for this kind of thing, but unfortunately not every product manufacturer will do this.
I have to say, if you can persuade a manufacturer to agree to a dropship arrangement with you, then you have struck gold!
You can be totally confident that you’ll be getting a great price on the product – there’s no middleman and so costs can be kept low – and what’s more, this is the most reliable and safest way to dropship your eBay items.
2. Attend Trade Shows
Trade Shows take place up and down the country and internationally all year round and are actually a really good venue for discovering new manufacturers and wholesalers.
Importantly, businesses that exhibit at these shows are vetted by a trade association before they are allowed to attend and exhibit, so you can be sure that you will be dealing with bona fide businesses.
3. Buy Trade Magazines
Trade magazines are a fantastic source for discovering new suppliers, many of which are those little ‘secret sources’ that are fully set up for dropship services but simply don’t advertise the fact. You can easily contact any of the advertisers featured and discuss your requirements with them over the telephone or in person.
One of the best magazines featuring paid advertisers is ‘The Trader’ which is packed full of wholesalers and can be viewed online at www.thetrader.co.uk
The three methods I have outlined are by far the best routes to take if you want to try dropshipping as one of your sourcing strategies for eBay – especially if you have a specific product in mind.
The drop shipping route is not a ‘quick fix’ I’m afraid, and finding genuine wholesale dropshippers is something that requires patience and effort.
But, by researching properly and finding the right dropship partner, you will always be able to sell your products on eBay at prices that allow you to make a profit.
This can be a highly profitable route to take, but remember to combine it with buying at wholesale and dispatching your own products too!