The Challenge of Dropshipping – Finding Partners

The big challenge when it comes to dropshipping though, is finding a dropshipper! This is very clearly a business model that has more benefits for the marketer and so of course not everyone is going to be eager to offer their services. How do you go about finding a dropshipper when they’re in such short supply?

There are a number of options. But as with any digital business, we tend to prefer keeping things simple and cheap. In this case, the best place for you to start is by looking at websites that act as directories for dropshippers, wholesalers and manufacturers.

One great site that will do this is Alibaba. Another good one is World Wide Brands. The latter is probably preferable as this specifically features dropshipping companies and has a large number of advantages for dropshipping businesses. For example, you can use this site to make sure that you are dealing with the real wholesaler.

What does that mean? It means that you can avoid making the mistake of signing up to sell products that someone else is dropshipping to you – and thereby scraping profit from. This is a common practice and one to be careful of when starting out.

World Wide Brands is perfect if you plan on finding a dropshipping manufacturer quickly and selling their products on eBay or Amazon. The only product with this plan is that there’s a fairly hefty sign-up fee. Currently, it costs $249.

Okay, so that’s not astronomical and this is a lifetime membership. But if you were attracted to dropshipping initially because you wanted a business model with zero overhead, then it might be a little off-putting. Especially as your breakeven point has now been pushed back rather.

Another option is to try, which like Alibaba has a selection of different types of manufacturers and wholesalers selling different types of products and different types of services. Makers Row might also be worth checking out. Some other paid options include SaleHoo and Doba. A great free choice is WholeSaleCentral.

Failing that, another good strategy is just to search Google. When you know the type of product you want to sell, just try searching for that product on Google with the word ‘dropshippers’ and your location. If you’re hoping to sell clothing in the UK for example, then you can just search for ‘clothing dropshippers UK’. Doing this right now brings up ‘’ which seems to do exactly what we’re looking for, as well as several others.

Or perhaps you’re looking for a white label supplement dropshipper in the US? In that case, we can search ‘white label supplement dropshipping US’. This time, we find ‘Norax Supplements’, which lets us do exactly that. It’s a pretty simple and straightforward method and there are more and more businesses like this springing up all the time to meet demand! Norax will handle formulation, production and fulfilment on your behalf, making things nice and simple.

The third and final strategy for finding your online dropshippers is just to contact the companies you like directly. Find manufacturers for products you’d like to sell and drop them an email. Better yet, try messaging them via LinkedIn or a similar avenue and see if you can get them to respond that way (this way, your message will stand out from their crowded inbox). You can even visit stores in person and ask the owner if you could have the contact details for the company that sold them X product (this works best for smaller, privately owned stores of course!).

If the company doesn’t already offer the dropshipping services you’re looking for, then just explain to them the benefits and why you would like the opportunity to sell their products in this manner. In many cases, they will acquiesce and you’ll be able to start selling a product that other online retailers don’t have access to.

Another tip for finding manufacturers that you can email directly is to look on eBay. Search for a product you’d like to sell and if you notice there are lots of people selling the exact same item, then this is a sign that they’re using a dropshipper. It should then be a relatively simple matter for you to track down that original manufacturer and contact them so that you can try and do business with them yourself.

Note that many wholesalers and manufacturers don’t have a great online presence. This means it can be necessary to really dig deep in Google, or to try looking at trade magazines and papers instead in order to find your potential partners.

Crucial Tips for Finding and Working With Dropshippers

Resale Certificate

Not all, but many dropping companies will want proof that you’re a real retailer and not a consumer before they do business with you. Their concern is that consumers will simply claim to be dropshippers or resellers so that they can get items for cheap.

To provide this proof, U.S.-based businesses might need an EIN number for your business (you can find that here: and you might need a resale certificate (which you can learn about here:

A resale certificate may not always be asked for, but if they do, you might need to provide your business registration details relevant to your country.

If you’re going to speak in person, then it can also be a good idea to familiarise yourself with all the terminology regarding dropshipping so that you don’t sound like an amateur!

Look Out for Fake Dropshippers

When choosing dropshippers, there are a number of businesses that you need to look out for that are not really ‘dropshippers’ in the truest sense of the word. You need to avoid these companies, as they won’t always get you the best deals and they might not be able to offer you the same kind of value as other organizations.

Be aware of companies that want ongoing fees – which real dropshippers don’t require. Likewise, be careful of companies that also sell directly to the public. These companies often aren’t really dropshippers, so much as resellers that are just trying to trick you into making a bulk order.

Some Things to Expect

While monthly fees and direct commercial sales are warning signs, there are a few caveats and requirements that you may need to go along with. We’ve already seen that many dropshipping companies will require you to provide a resale certificate and likewise, you might find that you need to apply for an account before you can begin using their services – which will normally involve filling out a form and explaining the nature of your business etc.

You might also find that some companies require you to place a minimum order for your first sale. This is another strategy that they can use to drive away commercial customers, as well as merchants that are just ‘window shopping’ and that may not use their products in future. So for example, you might have a minimum first order of $500 – which is a little bit contrary to the entire concept of dropshipping as you’ll now have a bunch of inventory sitting around and the potential risk of losing that upfront investment.

So what can you do? The best advice is to ask if you can use this initial expense as credit. Pay the first $500 and then use that amount in order to offset future sales until they’ve paid the amount off. Drop them an email or speak in person to discuss this option.

Choosing the Company

A lot of people just starting out are going to be very eager to find a partner to work with and will feel privileged when they get a positive response to their enquiry. It’s an exciting feeling and certainly a compliment being given the go ahead to sell on behalf of a manufacturer.

But at the same time, you also need to be a bit discriminating in your choice. Don’t just go for the first company that is willing to work with you – make sure that they’re actually up to scratch! One thing to be careful of is quality control and this regard, you often get what you pay for! Be sure to ask the company what quality control measures they have in place in order to prevent problems like defective products and faults.

Likewise, speak with them regarding their delivery times and packaging. Remember that your reputation is going to be riding on the quality of their products and service, so you need to ensure that you’re happy with it! Another tip in this regard is to always ask for a sample of the product.

If you have demonstrated their ability to sell and they truly are a big business, then they should see it as a very small investment to see a sample of what they’re selling. And if they won’t, then order a product yourself as a customer. You really don’t want to put your name to anything that you haven’t personally checked out first!

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