At first glance, dropshipping seems like an ecommerce business owner’s dream. There are no products to store, ship or much more. Basically, all you do is sit back and let the dollars pour in.

If only it was really that easy. You have to find the products that you want to sell before you can do anything, and that starts with sourcing your products.

The e-commerce business lives and dies from customers and their satisfaction. In the dropshipping business, product quality is even more important. You need to find a business partner – one who will find and ship the products on your behalf. This, as well as your products themselves, is the key to a successful business model.

Product sourcing is not about the product and the price. It’s about the supplier being able to meet customer requirements within reason – shipping and returns – and a few other elements.

If you’re interested in the dropshipping model as a company, read on.

Dropshipping definition

Those who are new to dropshipping will enjoy the following benefits. Dropshipping means you don’t have to have inventory on hand or shipping. You make a sale and your partners do the rest on your behalf and on behalf of the customer.

You start with a store front or somewhere like Amazon where you have a list of your products. A customer purchases, the sales order goes to your business partner and the order is executed. You get a percentage of the sale.

On the surface, this looks like quick and easy money. After all, how difficult is it to sell other people’s products and earn a percentage without worrying about all the business details?

Actually there is a lot to fear.

Entering the dropshipping world won’t be easy. You will compete against established companies with a lot of experience and customer bases. You are already moving the products that you want to sell. It’s going to be an uphill battle.

Product Sourcing Strategies

Finding the best products is not impossible. All you need is the strategies to find them.

Research on the Internet

There are already many dropshipping companies online selling products. This means that there are many directories and platforms with a list of providers. This significantly reduces the time required for research.

The proverb: garbage in; Garbage out is definitely right here. If you choose the first delivery company you find, you probably won’t get the products you want. Invest the time and effort to find a quality supplier. You gain the desired competitive advantage over your competition.

Reverse engineering

Finding out which suppliers your competition is currently using for their products is a pretty good idea. Look for a product you like and a dropshipper. Go to the manufacturer’s website. You are looking for terms like “dropshipping” and “wholesale”. Do you want to take it seriously? Find a phone number or email and contact the manufacturer directly. More on that in a moment.

Fraudsters abound

Dropshipping is a popular business method. This makes the format an ideal place for scammers to look for unsuspecting new business owners. Here is a partial list of the most common characteristics of scammers:

Membership fees

The honest dropshipping providers make their money selling. If you see a fee for signing up to list products, it’s a big red flag. The same goes for directories and other platforms – there are plenty of free websites with the same services.

Expensive

Check all wholesale prices for consistency. Exceptionally high prices could be a scammer looking to make a profit on the difference.

Contact the manufacturer directly

Dropshipping is one of the more direct ways to work with delivery partners. If for any reason you need to contact them, do so. Occasionally you may find someone who has not yet done the dropship model and if so, this is a great opportunity for you and your supplier.

Final thoughts

Dropshipping has a unique advantage over other ecommerce models because of the close relationship. This means that you need to be extremely careful when looking for quality suppliers. Be sure to check their reputation before going too far forward.