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WEB/DIGITAL Do you use dropshippers for your online business?

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I feel dropshippers:

  • Are a great source of low price products. Which allows me to run my primary online business.

    Votes: 7 77.8%
  • Are a hassle, but I can make some money off them.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Aren't really worth it, but if you really want to start a business go for it.

    Votes: 2 22.2%
  • are to be avoided at all costs!

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    9

RaisingWealth

New Contributor
Feb 12, 2008
52
3
12
Ottawa, Ontario
I'm doing a poll to see if dropshippers are a viable route for starting an online store.

Obviously it depends on the industry but overall can they be profitable.

When you've finished the poll post your experience.
 

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aptohosting

Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Aug 16, 2007
360
68
38
North Carolina
I'm doing a poll to see if dropshippers are a viable route for starting an online store.

Obviously it depends on the industry but overall can they be profitable.

When you've finished the poll post your experience.

Yes it is a VERY viable route to start an online store. That is how I ran my entire store before I sold it (www.pbparadise.com). I set up the oscommerce, skinned it, coded a lot of the plugins and contributions, and made it all automated. To the point where it would work like this:

1) Client buys product
2) System recognizes the product purchased
3) Accepts credit card payment
4) System checks 4-5 suppliers I had connected to via the backend
5) "Sees" what supplier has the product in stock
6) Dispatch email to client confirming order, to supplier with DROPSHIP address, and to me letting me know order was made.
7) 3 days later client gets paintball gun with my packaging/promo goodies, and he never knew it came from Texas and I was in NC.


ONLY ADVICE I CAN GIVE YOU IS MAKE SURE THE SUPPLIERS ARE REPUTABLE!!!
Check references, order a few times and dropship to friends/family, call them up and see how responsive they are.

Thanks,
Tom C.
www.aptohosting.com
 

GoldenEggs

Contributor
Sep 4, 2007
321
38
25
Silicon Valley, CA
Our e-commerce site is drop ship, except for two vendors. It works great but our biggest problem is knowing our vendor's inventory. They are used to large orders a few months in advance. We're working on finding a solution to get around it.
 

royemunson

Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Jul 24, 2007
216
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SW Ohio
Tom,

was it tough to automate the order part?? I like the idea of having the system
search the suppliers and finalizing the order automatically.

Joe
 

aptohosting

Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Aug 16, 2007
360
68
38
North Carolina
Tom,

was it tough to automate the order part?? I like the idea of having the system
search the suppliers and finalizing the order automatically.

Joe
Yes it was really tough, took 3-4 weeks, and lots of time on the phone with suppliers "IT Department". They barely knew what PHP was, much less help us integrate into their system. Regardless they let us have access and we are able to finagle our system around theirs! However, if you need to do it with an existing supplier we can help!

Did you sell that site to a Fastlane member? I swear I have been on that site before - but it would only have been from linking to it from either here or the RD forums (which I haven't been to in a while).


I sold www.pbparadise.com to a member of another domain forum.

Tom
 

mtnman

Bronze Contributor
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Speedway Pass
Oct 3, 2007
1,761
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Don't you dropship nuts kurt?
 

kurtyordy

Bronze Contributor
Aug 28, 2007
2,375
279
70
42
PA
I was looking for a nut dropshipper at one point, but had to let it die because no time to launch it right.
 

biophase

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Jul 25, 2007
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I dropship for my online store. The biggest problem is inventory. I hate having orders and not being able to fill them. But on the other hand you can't exactly stop offering the product for sale when there's no inventory either.

Because of this I'm stocking a few of the popular items so that I can ship them out when the dropshippers run out.
 

MJ DeMarco

Administrator
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I'm not sure if this is new or not, but Amazon has a Amazon WebStore (AWS) program that does droppshipping, as well as integrates into your own existing products.

http://www.amazonservices.com/webstore/?ld=AZEnumSearchT

I spent some time there the other night reviewing the integration and it seems pretty rock solid. More importantly, it appears the site can be customized and branded to your own identity (with the exception to a "powered by").

So for those interested in niches, you can utilize AWS and pull specific products from the Amazon offerings as well as your own.

An example of a AWS powered store: http://augustinajewelry.com/ (Looks pretty custom which is the key!)
 

hakrjak

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Sep 15, 2007
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Colorado Springs
I've used dropshippers for certain products throughout the years, and then we stock inventory for the majority of products in our Warehouse. The e-biz / mail-order game is a tough one to crack, but you've got to go with your gut and load up on popular items that might sell out quickly. There have been a bunch of times when I have bought out inventory on a hot item, only to be the single seller with that item in a few months when everybody else is sold out, and there is a backlog in China. At that point you can really crank up your prices. On the flip side, there have been times when I've loaded up on something that I thought would be popular, only to find out some guy is undercutting me and we're stuck with 1000 units of X. As with any business, if you get big enough -- you can equlaize pretty quickly.

Cheers,

- Hakrjak
 

santiago

Contributor
Aug 20, 2007
108
26
22
Sorry to bring up an old thread - but I'm interested in this subject -

How does one go about finding a drop shipper? I see Doba and shopster mentioned above - is it best to go to a single source OR are you best going to, for instance the manufacturer?

I guess I'm looking for advice on how to get started finding dropshippers for the products I'm looking for?

Thanks in advance..
 

czach41

Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Oct 11, 2007
208
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Denver
Sorry to bring up an old thread - but I'm interested in this subject -

How does one go about finding a drop shipper? I see Doba and shopster mentioned above - is it best to go to a single source OR are you best going to, for instance the manufacturer?

I guess I'm looking for advice on how to get started finding dropshippers for the products I'm looking for?

Thanks in advance..
I am in the same boat as you, Santiago. I just made a deal to get a site designed fairly cheap with good hosting, so now my next step is to find my niche market/product(s) to sell, then find a supplier who can dropship it.
 

michaelscheuren

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Apr 5, 2008
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I am in the same boat as you, Santiago. I just made a deal to get a site designed fairly cheap with good hosting, so now my next step is to find my niche market/product(s) to sell, then find a supplier who can dropship it.

I am in the same situation as well.

I am in the process of developing my online store, just trying to find a good niche product(s) to sell. I have looked at a few dropshippers and am now contacting the manufacturers to see if they dropship or if they have a list of wholesalers or dealers that will dropship. I don't really know if doing this type of business is fastlane or not but, I figured, you have to start somewhere. I hope this helps.
 

djs13

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Read Millionaire Fastlane
Oct 3, 2007
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I've heard of a place called World Wide Brands. The cool thing is that it gives you a huge list of drop shippers and market research on how the product sells. The not so cool thing is that is costs $300. It's a one time fee only but it's still really high. If anyone knows of any other directory for drop shippers please share.
 

michaelscheuren

Contributor
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Apr 5, 2008
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Escanaba, Michigan
i have also found drop ship query. it's a tool to use to find dropshippers. also salehoo, shopster, simplx. i have not tried any of these yet and i believe they charge to use their service but not sure of the amount (if any ) they charge. that's what i have found so far.
 

nipsid

Contributor
Jan 6, 2008
131
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Phoenix
Before using any of them you should google the company followed by review to see if they are legit.
 

czach41

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Read Millionaire Fastlane
Oct 11, 2007
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Denver
I just now signed up with WWB. They seem like a very reputable place. Now I have no other excuses to get to work on this, as I have a website development team waiting for me to give them the specifics of what my site will look like and feature, and now I have an entire inventory of wholesale drop-ship suppliers to research.
Also, I need to get a Tax ID so I can start doing some business!
 

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djs13

Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Oct 3, 2007
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NY
Hey Zach! Congrats man. Keep us updated on your success because I've been thinking about signing up with WWB too.
 

czach41

Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Oct 11, 2007
208
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Denver
Hey guys, I have another question which I think you can answer.
I have been doing my research about e-commerce and have learned a lot. One thing I am unsure of is with regards to the packaging/label of the product.
So let's say I have found a reputable supplier who is willing to dropship. My question is... when they are sending out Product_A to a customer who bought from my website, is the actual packaging/label going to be from the wholesaler? Isn't the idea for them not to know it came from a 3rd party. How do you have your personal label appear on the product being sent out to the customer?
 

LightHouse

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Aug 13, 2007
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Hey guys, I have another question which I think you can answer.
I have been doing my research about e-commerce and have learned a lot. One thing I am unsure of is with regards to the packaging/label of the product.
So let's say I have found a reputable supplier who is willing to dropship. My question is... when they are sending out Product_A to a customer who bought from my website, is the actual packaging/label going to be from the wholesaler? Isn't the idea for them not to know it came from a 3rd party. How do you have your personal label appear on the product being sent out to the customer?

That depends on how they are set up. Some you can send your return label to and they will place it on the package, others have it automated to have your company/website printed with their facility as the address.
 

ZenSatori

New Contributor
Sep 2, 2008
50
12
19
Marietta, Georgia
Yes it is a VERY viable route to start an online store. That is how I ran my entire store before I sold it (www.pbparadise.com). I set up the oscommerce, skinned it, coded a lot of the plugins and contributions, and made it all automated. To the point where it would work like this:

1) Client buys product
2) System recognizes the product purchased
3) Accepts credit card payment
4) System checks 4-5 suppliers I had connected to via the backend
5) "Sees" what supplier has the product in stock
6) Dispatch email to client confirming order, to supplier with DROPSHIP address, and to me letting me know order was made.
7) 3 days later client gets paintball gun with my packaging/promo goodies, and he never knew it came from Texas and I was in NC.


ONLY ADVICE I CAN GIVE YOU IS MAKE SURE THE SUPPLIERS ARE REPUTABLE!!!
Check references, order a few times and dropship to friends/family, call them up and see how responsive they are.

Thanks,
Tom C.
www.aptohosting.com
Tom,

I know you run a web hosting service, so it may be second nature to you, but I am curious about Step 4. Do each of your suppliers provide you with an API to their inventory system? Is there an industry standard? If I was interested in creating a website with your hosting service, is this something you can provide as well?

Thanks!

Zen
 

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