Authored by Malcolm Tatum in Small Business
Published on 11-26-2009
Having your own business, especially an online business, requires that you team with the right wholesalers. A good wholesaler will have a line of products and services that you can market to your customers, and earn a profit for both you and your supplier. At the same time, you want a wholesaler that can dropship the orders directly to your customers, thus avoiding delays or the need for you to maintain a large inventory. Unfortunately, the Internet has spawned a number of scams involving purported wholesalers and dropshippers that take the money but never deliver the product. Here are some tips on finding real wholesalers and dropshippers that will serve your business well.
One of the first things to consider is the type of products offered. Ideally, you want quality items that are likely to attract attention. If you partner with someone who sells junk, your opportunities for growth will always be limited. For this reason, take the time to investigate the product line thoroughly, and do some research on the actual products. While time consuming, this will help you avoid getting involved with a wholesaler that ultimately does very little for your business reputation.
Also take the time to look for reviews of any wholesaler that catches your eye. The testimonials provided by the wholesaler may be legitimate, but keep in mind that even scammers can manufacture positive comments. By spending some time on entrepreneurial web sites, you can get an idea of what wholesalers work well with their partners, what type of support they provide, and how fast they process orders. There is also a good chance that these same sources will point you toward other wholesalers worthy of your consideration.
As part of the package, you want to make sure the dropshipping process is a friendly one. You can find listings for dropshippers all over the Internet. There are even ebooks and other resources available for a small fee. However, keep in mind that ebooks and similar products can often be outdated, which means you end up paying for a lot of useless information. By researching different web sites that offer information for free, and verifying that information is current, you save money and ultimately save a lot of time.
Don’t forget to qualify the dropshipping in a manner similar to the way you qualify the product quality of the wholesalers you consider. You want to know that the orders will be filled in a reasonable amount of time, that you have the ability to monitor the shipping process, and that you can get an accurate projection of when the order will be delivered. This is especially important if you like to follow up with new customers, and make sure they are happy with what they received. Dropshippers who take their work seriously will be more than happy to answer your questions. If you come across one that seems to find your questions a distraction, or offers you nothing more than canned answers that do not really address your query, end the conversation and keep looking. In time, you will find the right wholesaler with the right dropshipping program, and be well on your way to a successful business.