The 3 Steps to Find Dropship Suppliers (E141)

Show Notes:

  1. Nitch down
  2. Research what others are selling to find brands
  3. Contact those brands directly to find out what are the options for
    a. Becoming a reseller of their products
    b. If they have a list of distributors they currently work with



Charles (00:00):

In this episode of the business. E-Commerce I talk about the three steps to find drop ship suppliers. This is a business of eCommerce episode, 141. Welcome to the business of eCommerce. They show the health eCommerce retailers start launch and grow your eCommerce business. I mean, it was [inaudible] and I’m here today to talk about the three steps of finding dropship suppliers. So we talked about buying drop ship suppliers specifically, in this context, we are talking about domestic drop-ship suppliers. So these are suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, domestic locally in your country. A lot of folks starting off want to either find that first supplier or expand the network of suppliers and have a little trouble doing so. And if you Google around, there’s a lot of folks kind of recommending different things, selling a product, selling a list, providing that their base supplier, and maybe, maybe they are not.

Charles (01:02):

And kind of everyone wants to get a piece and a lot of middlemen. So it’s kind of hard to Wade through that sometimes and figure out who’s really the person you should be talking to and how you should do this process. This episode is sponsored by drip, drip it’s of world’s first e-commerce CRM and a tool that I personally use for email marketing and automation. Now, if you’re running an eCommerce store, you need to have to portray. And here’s why drip offers one click integrations for both Shopify and Magento. There’s robust segmentation, personalization, and revenue dashboards. To give you an overview of how your automation emails are performing. One of my favorite features of drip is the visual workflow builder. It gives you a super easy way to build out your automation world visually and see the entire process. It lets you get started quickly, but also build very complex automation rules.

Charles (01:47):

It’s powerful, but also easy to learn. Unlike a lot of email tools that offer the same type of automation to get a demo of drip today, you can go head over to That’s O E now. So I want to have this quick episode talk about the three steps of actually finding the correct suppliers, correct who you should be talking to for particular products. Step one is niche down. So this is the first thing you want to do. You want identify what niche are you in? Let’s say you’re selling tens for camping or you’re selling and kitchen. Pup away are pots and pans. That sort of thing. You need to be in a very specific vertical, because that helps you. And a lot of people skip over this. And that’s why I want to mention it. That helps you kind of identify who even who’s the universe of suppliers you should be talking to in these cases, there’s usually only a handful, right?

Charles (02:46):

Most industries might have two to 10 suppliers and maybe the manufacturers, maybe these are distributors, but it’s not unlimited. And as soon as you start niching down, you start getting a sense of what’s the ecosystem. How many are there? Who should I be reaching out to first? And kind of, you can start building a hit list. So always step one, start with finding your niche, going into your niche and understanding that is step one, step two, find other folks or the retailers in that niche and see who they’re selling this of course is if you don’t already know the manufacturers in the niche, but let’s say you don’t, you decided, Hey, I’m going to build this new site, selling a certain product. You’re not really sure what, who actually builds products in an industry. You definitely just want to start off exploring other retailers, other sites, go on Amazon, figure out what’s being sold.

Charles (03:37):

Just find some products that you like and you want to sell. So then you start building your list of hair, suppliers, hair, the brands of those suppliers used to have building drilling down that, that niche and now suppliers in that niche. So essentially what you’re doing from step one to two, establishing the list of who to talk to, right? So now you have your niche. You have who’s in that niche and in facture is the brands that you say, okay, here are some of my top products that we have to have on the site. So you really start identifying those products. So step two kind of gives you now a more granular list of who should be talking to step three. And this is kind of where the rubber meets the road. Now that you have those brands reach out to them directly. So you’re going to be asking two things, right?

Charles (04:22):

You gonna find a brand that sells certain, a certain product. And a lot of times that brand either sells many products, most likely, or maybe they’re owned by a parent company. So you’re gonna have to start. This is where the research really comes in. She knows the brand. You use that understanding who is actually behind that brand, who is selling those products is the power company you should be talking to. Do you talk to the individual companies? What does that look like? You want to really ask them two questions. These are the two main things. When you reach out, once you find who that company is, should be talking to, you want to do one of two things, a how do I become a reseller of these products? You might find out. They have certain steps. She has to be a brick and mortar. You have to do X amount of business.

Charles (05:08):

There’s going to be certain requirements. You want to find that out. So you start off. How do I become a reseller, certain industries or exclusively brands work with resellers. If you’re in an industry that’s very common. You could be in the industry where step two, let’s say there are very high hurdles. For instance, auto POCs, right? You can’t reach out to Ford and say, Hey, I want to buy auto pots off you. They always work exclusively in a distributor model. So option B is you might also reach out to them. If you find out, Hey, I can’t become a reseller for whatever reason. Great. What re what distributors do you work with is question two, right? So this is your second option plan, date and that. So if you can’t become a reseller or if it’s just something you don’t want to do at this time, find out what distributors they work with.

Charles (06:02):

Some there’s some industries that never worked distributors, some industries that sometimes do and others that always do. So you want to kind of start figuring out where you are in this world. Then you’ll get an understanding, Hey, I can work with this distributor and maybe they can sell me the products they can drop ship for me. Right? So you kind of just now understand the supply chain, how these brands produce and sell the products. Are they selling direct to retailers? Are they selling to distributors? Are they selling to both distributors, have a whole different level of how do we become a reseller for your products? So that’d be kind of next question. You go to each distributor, how do I become a reseller? Again, some are gonna have higher bar, some, a lower bar, but at least you start kind of just wandering down that chain and exploring and understanding.

Charles (06:49):

If you do get hooked up with the distributor, a lot of times you can have slay low profit margin, right? The distributor takes that cost, but you’re gonna have a larger product catalog. So if you’re selling certain niches, they most likely work with many brands in that same niche. And then that way you can use that distributor and kind of leverage out and figure out, Oh, I can get with these 10 other brands are a hundred or a thousand as well, right? So that gives you a lot more distribution going into the distributor model. Not everyone does. So that might not be an option, but just know that if they have both direct selling to retailers or you can go through distributors, sometimes if you’re just signing off distributors, giving you a little more breadth of products, even if the margin is slightly worse. And that’s a nice, just a nice way of getting products on the site, getting some sales, get your feet wet.

Charles (07:38):

So I would always start off asking those two questions. How do you become a reseller of your product? And what distributors do you work with? If they work with resellers, they’re going to have a standard form. You’re going to fill out a standard list. Here’s a credit check. They’re going to have this all kind of figured out. If they work with distributors, they’re going to say, here’s, our list is going to have a PDF. They just going to send it to you with all names, addresses, phone numbers, that sort of thing. So whichever method they work with, you kind of just figure out that and then try to fit into that mold. So I’ll run through the steps real quick niche down, build your hit list, right? Get your list of who you’re gonna be. What niche going to be working on. Step two research with other sellers are currently selling what brands that gives you more granular.

Charles (08:22):

Now, you know exactly the brands, you know, the order, you know, your targets. Step three, reached directly out to those brands. You want it to options a how do I become a reseller B what distributors do you work with? Find out these two questions and just drilling down and down and down. And you’re gonna hit some dead ends. Some brands only sell the resellers and the resellers need to be, you know, buying. They don’t do dropship and need to buy minimum of a hundred thousand dollars a year to even consider opening an account. So when maybe that’s not you yet, that’s fine. But because you have to hit list from step to go down that list and just go to the next brand and figure out what are their steps. And eventually you will be selling at that level and you will be able to go back to that brand and say, we’ve done it.

Charles (09:08):

Let’s open an account, right? So even, even if you’re not ready now, just keep going through the list. And you might get down to your fifth pick. You might open the account there, and that’s what you start. So just have the list and you’ll be reviewing this periodically. And as you grow and your business grows, you can go back and talk to these same folks again. And sometimes even if you don’t meet the minimum criteria, there is some wiggle room. So once you kind of get your feet wet and you have kind of a track record, you can usually push a little bit harder though. So always keep that in mind. I hope this helps check back next week from other tips like this, I’ll talk to you soon.

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