As an Amazon seller, you have a lot of different things to juggle in order to become successful.  One of the most important – and trickiest – aspects of online selling is the art of successfully mastering and managing drop shipping. 

In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about this vital part of your business, including the 24 best drop shipping providers for 2018.

A quick guide for this article:

What is drop shipping?

For the uninitiated, drop shipping is a supply chain process whereby products ordered by a seller are delivered directly from the wholesaler or manufacturer to the customer or to an Amazon warehouse without first going to the Amazon seller who purchased them.


Put simply, an Amazon seller will order a product online from a supplier and will then transfer the sale to their chosen drop shipping company who will then deal with processing and delivery. 

Drop shipping is vital for Amazon sellers, particularly for those selling large quantities of product.

The advantages of drop shipping are that there is little financial outlay to begin with, and, sellers are able to ‘drop’ low performing product relatively easily. Although drop shipping exists to make a seller’s life easier, it’s not without its pitfalls and it can take a little practice to avoid costly and time-consuming mistakes.

How does Amazon drop shipping work?

The following step by step guide to drop shipping will help you to avoid the common mistakes made by many sellers when they first start out.

The first thing you’ll need to do is to identify your product – and the supplier of that product.

Once satisfied that this is the product you wish to sell, make contact with that supplier to discuss your requirements – at this stage, it’s really important to make sure that the supplier is happy to process orders from yourself to be delivered directly to your customer.

You’ll then need to negotiate prices with your supplier. Look at your pricing carefully; to make a profit, the price which you pay to your supplier needs to be significantly lower than the price paid to you by your end-customer.

Once you’re happy with the product and the terms agreed with your supplier, you’re ready to begin selling.

The following is a guide to help you understand the process of Amazon drop shipping:

  1. Identify your product and link up with your chosen supplier.
  2. List your product on Amazon and begin promoting the product.
  3. Customer places an order with you (The Seller).
  4. You forward the customer’s order to The Supplier. The supplier will already have your payment details and, payment will be taken per order.
  5. The supplier will then ship the product to the customer directly.
  6. Although the package will come from The Supplier, the paperwork will state that it comes from yourself and will include all of your relevant information so that The Supplier’s identity is not revealed.

Because payment is taken for each order by the supplier at the time of that order, you need to ensure that funds are available in order to make sure that the order can be packed and shipped in a timely manner.

As the customer will only have your contact details, you will be responsible for liaising between the customer and the supplier regarding any issues such as non-delivery of or damaged product.

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The Pros and Cons of Amazon drop shipping

As with anything else, there are pros and cons to drop shipping and, you need to carefully weigh these up in order to make sure that it’s the right option for you.

Pros

Time – Drop shipping saves Amazon sellers a huge amount of time; particularly those who are selling a large volume of product.  This leaves you free to focus your time on marketing your product.

Expertise – Your supplier will usually be extremely experienced and will therefore be fully conversant in the best and quickest ways of professionally packaging and delivering the product.

Finances – Your initial financial outlay will be minimal as you will only be paying for product per order, rather than buying stock in advance.

Space saving – Because you are not having to buy bulk stock, there’s no need to find space to store a large amount of product which is waiting to be sold.

Flexibility – If a product is not performing well, you can discontinue selling it with a minimum of fuss and expense whereas, when you’ve bought bulk stock in advance, you may end up stockpiling it or throwing it away if it doesn’t sell.

Volume – You can offer a large number of different products without worrying about financial outlay or storage space.

Cons

Profit – You will need to pay The Supplier for this service which will eat into the profits made on the sale.

Control – You will need to rely on The Supplier to package and deliver the item correctly on your behalf.

Rules – Amazon has a number of rules and guidelines with respect to drop shipping and you must ensure that you adhere to these rules or risk being penalized.

Reputation – If The Supplier provides an inferior service to the customer, it’s your reputation which will suffer.

How do I find a reputable drop shipper?

Needless to say, when choosing a drop shipper, it’s essential that you make sure that your chosen company is qualified, reputable and reliable. Again, it’s your reputation on the line so this is one of the most important decisions you’ll make.

Unfortunately, as Amazon selling becomes more popular, a number of fake drop shippers and wholesalers have been springing up and it’s essential that you’re able to recognize – and avoid – these.

  1. Fake drop shippers are unscrupulous individuals who claim to be offering a drop shipping service to Amazon sellers, often at very low rates. Most of these fake drop shippers will ask for some form of payment up front which they’ll term ‘administration fees’, often claiming that this is to pay for verification of your identity and to set up your account.
  2. To the uninitiated, fake drop shippers can be difficult to spot as, after all, all that’s really needed is a website with a payment portal – something anyone can get hold of for just a few dollars.
  3. Fake drop shippers will often ask for a large up-front fee which should be an immediate red flag – a legitimate drop shipping company will only charge you per order.
  4. Fake drop shippers will often direct your payment to a PayPal account – this is because PayPal accounts are relatively easy to set up with a business name with very little verification.

Beware of drop shippers who do not require you to set up an account before commencing business; drop shippers are wholesalers and, as such, require each seller to hold an account with them.

If you suspect that a drop shipper may not be genuine, try the following in order to confirm your suspicions:

  • Look at the telephone number provided to see if it looks like a business number – try calling it to find out if the call is answered professionally.
  • Do a quick Google search of the company name – in many instances, a scam or fraudulent company will have a number of red flags online.
  • Check the website for a company registration number; this can then be checked online at Companies House (UK) and equivalent authorities within the United States.

There are plenty of great and trustworthy drop shippers out there – directories such as Salehoo will keep you up to date with drop shipper listings for a fee of $67 per year – a small price to pay for information on the best drop shippers out there.

24 of the best UK and US drop shippers

Drop Shippers in the USA

Specialist drop shipper Viking specializes in collectable knives and swords.  Sellers need to have a business license which must be faxed to Viking before filling out the application form on the website.

Fastfurnishings.com is a well-respected wholesaler of patio and outdoor furniture for sale within the USA and Canada. The company offers three separate packages for sellers – the free of charge Entrepreneur Package, the Pro Package for $49 and, a Premium Package for $39.

The sweet smell of success comes easily to Fragrance.net sellers of perfumes and scents. Wholesale and Resale application forms are available to Amazon sellers on the home page of the website.

Megagoods is a drop ship specific supplier of electronics and video games offering a wide range of products for Amazon sellers. Membership costs $14.95 per month with a 30 day free trial to begin with. Amazon sellers can sign up using a simple online form.

Professional security supplier, Cutting Edge Products, is a provider of security and surveillance products. The ‘Start A Biz’ tab features instructions for Amazon Sellers on partnering with this North Carolina based company.

Wholesale Blades offers a wide range of self-defense and weaponry tools as well as novelty items. The Wholesale/Drop Ship tab features instructions for Amazon sellers and an online form to be completed.

Eclectic wholesaler, Visol, is a treasure chest for Amazon sellers. Featuring product ranges including electronics, gadgetry and novelty items, Visol is a one-stop shop for sellers.

Sellers specializing in selling diamond jewelry need look no further than Best Diamond Drop Shipping. A formal application is required which will be approved within 72 hours and there is a small charge which sellers will be notified of on request.

Novotech Wholesale offers products to sellers with no signup or drop ship fees. Products include electronics, fashion, homewares and gadgets.

For a fee of $29 per month, Collectivefab offers a large range of fashion and beauty products for sellers. Sign up is through an online form and there is a free 30-day trial available.

Specializing in crafts and homewares, Shopwci is available to sellers with a fee of $3 per dropship.

Drop shippers in the UK

An Englishman’s home is his castle and Amos Mann Furniture a one-stop shop for those looking to sell homewares and furnishings.

Liberty House Toys is another UK based drop shipping company specializing in furniture and soft furnishings for sellers. Membership is available through an online form on the website.

Specializing in beautiful wooden furniture, Baumhaus offers drop shipping services to sellers on request by telephone or email.

Drop shipping is child’s play for Drop Ship Kids. Based in the UK, the company offers a variety of products for Amazon sellers and membership is available via an online form.

NitroTek offers explosive deals for Amazon sellers on radio controlled models including cars, planes and helicopters. As well standard drop shipping, NitroTek also offers reward schemes for sellers.

For the fashionista seller, Fashion Drop Shippers offers white label drop shipping to Amazon sellers around the UK. Online registration with Fashion Drop Shippers is free to sellers.

If electronics are your thing, Electric Shopping offers a great range as well as fashion, gifts and gadgets for sellers. Register online for free.

Free to sign up, Oberlo offers Amazon sellers a wide range of products for sale as well as tips and advice on making the most of your online business.

Puckator is a specialist giftware drop shipping company for the UK offering free registration and tips and advice for newcomers.

Tekbox offers a wide range of electronics and computer accessories for Amazon sellers at low prices. Drop shipping fees apply and are supplied on request.

If you’re looking to sell toys and games, look no further than Duplay.  With a wide range of indoor and outdoor toys, Duplay is a premium UK drop shipping supplier. A one-off fee of £39 is charged on sign up.

MX Wholesale is a specialist drop shipper for low priced products including £1 items. Online registration and instructions are available for new members.

Although you may need to pay a registration fee to your drop shipper, this will generally pay for itself quite quickly as you reap the rewards of this time and money saving service.

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