One way you could think of subscription charges is the cost of research - it amazes me (and we run a dropship service) that anyone can think of running any business without some form of investment - we have lots of people asking for free access to stock and pricing information, but to be honest whilst we want people dropshipping, we do want people who have at least a vague business sense - if anyone could just try selling items without investment, we would (from experience) just spend all our time answering e-mails to idiots who want their hand holding.
By charging a subscription, we have found that this at least means that people are putting a little bit of thought into their business, and tend to ask relevant questions and offer valid suggestions on how we can improve - nearly all the people who e-mail for free access and then subsequently decide to subscribe are a pain in the butt, but those that take the decision to subscribe all by themselves give it a good go.
So, I would suggest researching the general products you would like to sell and then just take the plunge and join a few schemes - if you haven't got the money to do this, or don't want to take the risk, I would probably suggest that dropshipping is not the way to go for you.
I would not pay any subscription fee to any website to see there products. From my experience most of those places are just middle men some are also scams. I have found reliable drop shippers I donít have to pay any thing to use, the only thing they require is a Tax ID and there is an application to submit.
For information on finding supplier check out wholesale411.com
Well then maybe this would be of help as well. How much profit should I make off of each item? 10%? 30%? More? I dont want to go with the first drop shipper I see and them charge way to much for each product.
Ive been ripped of by people who charge first then show you their list. The one dropshipper I am prepared to use showed his prices then his subscription fees.
I dont mind paying asub but put your cards on teh table first.
I've tried several different sources that charge to let you see their catalog and prices and have not only been unimpressed but extremely upset. It appears that every middleman out there thinks they can charge retail prices, call it a drop shipping service, go through a dog and pony show to falsely claim they aren't middlemen, and then charge you to see their (higher than retail) prices.
I'm sure there are legitimate drop shippers out there but if your products and prices are good enough to sell themselves, why would you need to charge people to see them?
Agreed this is what I am worried about. I also dont want to give my credit card to random places. So where do you go for a reliable drop shipper? Do you do straight to the manufacturer?
As the only person so far on this side of the fence in this discussion, I can readily see the merit in the points that are being raised here, but there is no business case for open access to this sort of information - witness Ebay where people sell items at 50p over cost for a few months before realising that they are really losing money and disappear before the tax man finds them, but not before screwing up the marketplace for everyone else - would you buy my goods if I was the one supplying the idiots?
You are never going to make a fortune out of dropshipping unless your customer footprint is massive - we do dropship for a large shopping portal, and they (and I) make good money from it - but for most people, it's a good starting point that allows you to try out a marketplace at minimum risk and then decide that you want to invest in it further.
Without wanting to pick on Junanagoh, in a way you make my case for me
<quote>I also dont want to give my credit card to random places<quote>
Well, if you are not confident in using your card on the net, how are going to convince your customers that your selling venue is safe? Perhaps before you set up a selling operation, you need to investigate and satisy yourself about these sort of issues before finding suppliers - the people who are winning on the internet retail front today are those that have gone beyond the "pile em high, sell em cheap" route (because Ebay has that well and truly cornered) and have researched and invested in improving the customer experience - by doing this, the worries about pricing become far less pronounced.
<quote>I'm sure there are legitimate drop shippers out there but if your products and prices are good enough to sell themselves, why would you need to charge people to see them?<quote>
For the reasons as stated in my first post and also enlarged upon above - if everyone was professional and looked to make a legitimate living , it wouldn't be a problem - but there are too many people out there who don't have a clue and want to sell on the side without telling the tax man, and in the long run that is suicide for me as these sort of customers don't even begin to bring in the revenue I get from the big boys.
Just to put it context, the minimum investment necessary to get access to our program is 4.95 (GBP) - even if you went and did that at 100 sites to find your 3 or 4 long term suppliers, you will have only invested 500 quid - if you're not prepared to do that for your ideas, then anyone should look and see if business is for them
Always go straight to the manufacturer if you can. Though I have not used the lisitngs in the drop ship databases I suspect that they are similar to trade shows, which have a significant amount of people posing as manufacturers when all they are doing is relaying orders to the manufacturer and having them drop ship same as you could do. I found it almost comical at one show where practically every booth had the same product and it was suppossed to be a wholesale show! Its best, though more time consuming to just do your own research on the web to find manufacturers. There is always someone who gives out a little too much information about there products, I wount say any more.
Thanks for the advice guys.
----------->>>>>>Without wanting to pick on Junanagoh, in a way you make my case for me
<quote>I also dont want to give my credit card to random places<quote>
Well, if you are not confident in using your card on the net, how are going to convince your customers that your selling venue is safe?<<<------------
I use my card online all the time. I just dont trust certain places espacially the places that obviously cry out "I am a scammer". Sorry I wont use a card at a place if for any reason I am suspicious. And to tell you the truth most of these 'drop shippers' sites seem to cry that out to me.
As for the manufacturer. I have emailed them. Ill see what kind of responce I get.
But I just wanted to know how can you tell what a reliable drop shipper looks like?
<quote>But I just wanted to know how can you tell what a reliable drop shipper looks like?<quote>
I would guess you look for the same signs as a retail site - easily visible contact address and phone number, look to see if they have a decent card processor (not just PayPal), lookup the whois to see how long the domain has been regsitered etc etc.
|Just to put it context, the minimum investment necessary to get access to our program is 4.95 (GBP) - even if you went and did that at 100 sites to find your 3 or 4 long term suppliers, you will have only invested 500 quid - if you're not prepared to do that for your ideas, then anyone should look and see if business is for them |
I drop more than that on new business ventures every month but I refuse to waste any more money to find out what glorified retailers are passing off as wholesale prices to unknowing suckers. Most of the drop shippers I found while wasting time on that charged more than the equivalent of 4.59 GBP. After you go to ten different sources and find the same bogus "we aren't middle men" claims, you almost have to be a fool to keep paying to access yet another catalog.
To the new person trying to find drop shippers, the industry appears to be full of middle men who charge higher than average retail prices for their supposedly wholesale products.
Ok so I am not the only one willing to pay into these scams.
For my new e-commerce store, which I'm still building, I did a search for wholesale widget. A lot of times, even if not mentioned on their site, if you email them, thye will also drop ship for you.
I use small businesses and not major companies for my drop ship products. I do not pay to access these companies' products in any way. We are doing them a favor by selling their products for them....why should we pay a "membership fee" to do so?
A lot of those sites that drop ship everything but the kitchen sink sell the exact same products as SMC...and they are all over ebay. Go for unique products, and products done by small biz.
I've done a lot of work for my neighbor's clients, uploading products to their stores and all they do is drop ship. One client makes $20K+/month (profit) and during holidays, it skyrockets.
Go to the manufacturer or distributor. Best to contact them by phone. Some will, some won't.
Drop shipping can be a real pain for both sides. As a retailer, imagine tracking down an order of multiple items shipped from several different locations. Good luck...
Like others, I would not pay for a list of drop shippers. In most cases, just the copy on the sites raise red flags. While it could be argued that they have already done the footwork for you, I question that the value is there for the cost.
Start with full retail and work backwards to determine a reasonable price. Divide by half each for wholesale, distributor and manufacturer prices. $100->50->25->12.50 Don't expect distributor prices unless you are doing distributor volume. Don't expect full wholesale discounts since you will be expecting them to pick up handling fees. It costs to pull and pack product.
Thanks for the help guys.
I am having a real problem with this product. All these 'distributors' are selling for %15 less then retail price (which is more then Amazon for heavens sake).
I think I might approach a local store that provides these specialty nitch products and see what they think. They might be up to it.