If you're thinking about starting an online retail home-based business, you may want to consider forming a relationship with one or more free drop shipping companies.
What Are Free Drop Shipping Companies?
Drop shipping companies are wholesale suppliers who provide order fulfillment services to resellers. When you work with a drop shipping company, you are able to sell products without having to keep an inventory. You can literally start an online store without having to invest money in products to sell.
Keep in mind that product shipping charges do apply when ordering merchandise from a free drop shipper. A company with free drop shipping is simply one that doesn't charge resellers a fee to utilize its services. Not all drop shipping companies are free. Fees can vary widely among companies, and can be charged on a monthly, annual, or per transaction basis.
Finding Drop Shipping Companies
When you search online for drop shippers, you will find numerous listings for drop shipping directories for sale. Be wary of spending money for these documents, as they are likely to contain information that you can easily find online free.
When researching drop shipping companies, it is a good idea to find out what other resellers have to say on the Wholesale Forum. Other resellers may not want to reveal their best sources to you, but they can certainly be an excellent resource for learning about companies to avoid.
There are drop shipping companies in virtually every product category. Whether you are interested in becoming a reseller for books, electronics equipment, gift baskets, pet supplies, or just about anything else, you are likely to find a drop shipper that meets your product needs.
Benefits of Working with Drop Shipping Companies
There are many benefits of working with a drop selling company, including:
- No need to invest in inventory.
- No worries about leftover items at the end of the season.
- No need for warehouse space to store inventory.
- You have an opportunity to offer a variety of products.
- You have the freedom to change product offerings quickly.
- You don't have to purchase shipping supplies.
- You don't have to place a minimum order to qualify for wholesale pricing.
Drawbacks of Drop Shipping
- You don't have control over your inventory.
- Someone else controls shipping times and methods.
- You may not be able to brand your packaging or insert cross selling information.
- You won't qualify for bulk pricing.
- Your profit margin may vary due to fluctuations resulting from wholesale pricing.
Cautions When Choosing Drop Shippers
- Be sure the company has sufficient inventory to fill orders in a timely manner.
- Make sure you see actual photos of products you plan to resell.
- Be certain you will be able to sell products for a profit, taking all fees into consideration.
- Request references and see what other resellers have to say about the company's products and services.
- Make sure you completely understand the fee structure before entering into an agreement with a drop shipper.
Drop Shopping Companies with Free Services Include
- Bonsai Boy of New York
- East West Imports & Services
- Eternal Light
- Gift Basket Drop Shipping
- Int'l Wholesale
- SNEDCO Wholesale Products
- Top Dawg Pet Supply
Publications of Interest
- Drop Shipping for Sellers: A Complete Guide to Making Money on eBay Without the Risk by Lloyd J. Boone
- Free eBook: Starting Your Internet Business Right
- Free eBook: Starting Your Online Retail Niche With Drop Shipping
- Independent Retailer
- How and Where to Locate the Merchandise to Sell on eBay: Insider Information You Need to Know from the Experts Who Do It Every Day by Michael P. Lujanac and Dan W. Blacharski
- The Merchandiser Group Magazines
- Success with Online Retailing: For Small Businesses by Patrick Tan
- What to Sell on eBay and Where to Get It by Chris Malta and Lisa Suttora
Starting Your Online Retail Business
Once you develop your business plan and determine that there is a market for the type of business you want to start, the next step is to find suppliers who meet your needs. Free drop shipping companies offer an excellent opportunity for business owners who want to get started right away without having to make a significant investment in product inventory.