Sell Online without an Inventory: Tips to Finding a Drop Shipping Wholesaler

Warehouse with inventory

When you work with a drop shipping company, you can sell online without housing your own inventory.

Plenty of people dream of ditching the suit and tie and working from home, maybe starting an ecommerce business. If you have the desire, the drive, and a business plan, you’re halfway there. Now, all you need is something to sell.

That’s where drop shipping comes in. Drop shipping refers to a method of retail in which you work with with a supplier who stocks, maintains, and even ships its own inventory. Essentially, all you have to do is take orders, forward all the necessary info along to the wholesaler, and let them take it from there.

First, Search for Wholesalers

Here are 3 tips for finding a drop shipping wholesaler:

  1. Call the manufacturer.
    If you can get in touch with the manufacturer of the product that you want to sell, they’ll be able to provide you with a list of their wholesale distributors. If you can get in touch with some distributors on that list, you’ll be on your way.
  2. Search the web.
    If you don’t get anywhere speaking with manufacturers, a web search may be your next best bet. But don’t settle for the front page of Google! Wholesalers aren’t always easy to find. (And it doesn’t help that they sometimes call themselves “resellers” or “distributors”—so make sure to vary your modifiers while you’re searching.) Dig through a few pages and be as specific as possible in your searches to increase your chances of finding what you’re looking for.
  3. Invest in wholesale directories.
    If you’re willing to spend some money to save your self some time, you can find wholesale directories for sale for a few hundred dollars. This will certainly save you some time and effort, but if you’re pinching pennies, it might not be the best option.

Then, Evaluate Your Options

Once you find a few wholesalers who stock the products you’re trying to sell online, you’ll have to evaluate each one to determine which company will best match your needs.

While you’re evaluating the wholesaler, some important questions to consider include:

  • Does their website have all the necessary info? Do they seem reliable based on their web presence?
  • How do they take orders (i.e., through email or just over the phone)?
  • How are their sales representatives?
  • Are they centrally located?
  • What are their fees?

When you sell online, your wholesaler will be a sort of unofficial partner in your business, so it’s extremely important that you are working with a reliable company. Once you’ve found a good, reliable wholesaler, you’ll be one step closer to starting your ecommerce business.