My name is Damian, and I'm looking into becoming a dropshipping supplier for online retail stores. I currently have access to over 2300 different skews in the kitchen and culinary accessories area.
But how do I go about doing that ? Where does one start, can I convert a shipify store to support such platform ?
Any leads, suggestions would be appreciated.
Before we can answer this question, let’s start with a few definitions…
Wholesaler (also called a Supplier, Distributor, Wholesale Supplier, Wholesale Distributor, etc):
These are the terms for a company which has the warehouse facilities, has a few million in product inventory on their shelves, and they have the facilities for taking an order and shipping these items.
Dropship Supplier (or Wholesale Dropship Supplier or Dropship Distributor, etc):
These are terms for the company who has the warehouse facilities, millions in product inventory, and the facilities for taking an order and shipping the items.
However, while a true wholesaler will ship orders in bulk, like a lot of 10 or 100 of the same item to a customer, a dropship supplier source can ship a single item. They will often put your name and/or logo on the package as the selling company so that is what your customer sees. They will not put their name on the package, but some suppliers might just leave the name/logo blank and just ship it “white label” to your customers, meaning no company name shows on the invoice and it would have more generic return address details. However, most of the dropship suppliers will at least place your company/store name on the package.
This is the term for a person/company that buys from a wholesale supplier. They purchase items in bulk and stock them and then sells these items to their customers at retail from their store or website or sales channel.
Dropship Reseller (or a dealer):
This is the term for a person who orders items from a dropship supplier. They are “reselling” the product details at retail. If you are a dropship reseller you are a retailer….the key here is when you purchase from the supplier. A dropship reseller works with a wholesale supplier that has a dropship program, aka a dropship supplier. They will list these items in their catalog or on their website or sales channel (like eBay, Amazon, etc) for sale. Only AFTER they get an order do they submit that order to their supplier. That dropship supplier will then ship the item with the logo and/or name of that dropship reseller to the customer so the package appears to be sent from that seller.
So if you are looking to sell items online from a dropship wholesale supplier:
1- You need to find a trusted wholesale dropship supplier source…..like those showing in the Inventory Browser Tool in your InventorySource.com account.
2- You then need to apply as a dropship reseller or dealer (both terms mean the same thing) for their program, so once you are approved (sometimes in 1-3 days) you can order products on your own account directly.
To work with a wholesale dropship supplier you will need a Tax ID or Reseller Certificate based on your state if you and the supplier are both based in the US. It is a quick and easy form and its free in most states to register as well. For suppliers or resellers outside the US the documents you need might be different, but what you need will be listed on the application process for each supplier. You can browse the application process and summary details in the Supplier Information Menu on the right side of your InventorySource.com account as well.
Now…it is true on a smaller scale you could become a dropship supplier. For this, you would need capital to buy inventory upfront and you would need to order from a manufacture in bulk or from a wholesale supplier. You would stock those items directly to ship them for your reseller/dealers or you would pay to house these items in a 3rd party fulfillment warehouse and that warehouse provider would get an order from you or the dealers and ship them out to your customers. So, if you have the inventory on hand and are willing to ship these items without your name on them in small orders for one or two items instead of only sending them out in bulk, then you could be a “dropship supplier.” However, this would not be your best approach.
If you are only going to stock a small volume of inventory from a brand you would be best to just sell directly at retail. A wholesale supplier can easily offer dropship because they are trying to move large volumes of inventory that they stock and they have everything in place to add the dropship option. If you only have a small number of products, instead of spending your time trying to sell your program to resellers, you could just sell your stock directly at retail and have more margin. So, unless you are moving millions in inventory each year, you might find it best to either buy products in bulk and sell them at retail or just work directly with a trusted and established wholesale dropship supplier and sell their items without needing to purchase any inventory up front.
Hello - thanks for the information. I read your descriptions and I'm sure that we are prepared to be a dropship supplier. We are a wholesaler and we warehouse our product, fulfilling wholesale bulk orders and individual retail orders. We'd like to use our shopify retail site to offer our own products (that we produce and wholesale) to dropship resellers, and we'd like to have those orders come in through the backend/admin of our shopify retail site, as if they were ordered on our own site. How do we set that up and become an automated dropship supplier?
Since so many of us have this question, I wonder how to find out! Do actual Shopify representatives ever provide info in this community? Does such a dropshipping feature or app exist?
I tried to google different phrases about this but it always ends up in showing me the suppliers of dropshipping products. I think there is not a universal platform for doing this like an app or plugin. It takes some serious programming skills to develop one for yourself.
Now, I am trying to test, understand and see if the Affiliates system in Shopify can simulate what I need to do instead of dropshipping. Waiting to hear from experts or people who have done it too.