There are many platforms for drop shipping sellers to list their products on. Not all platforms are really that great for this model, however. Selling online already has its fair share of problems. To add to the complexity of it all, the drop shipping model plays to quite a different tune. It’s not at all a bad model to use, especially if you value location independence. It can just be a lot easier for you if know which of the platforms for drop shipping are best to sell through to build a successful business.
These are the best platforms for drop shipping because of a few characteristics that make them stand out:
Drop shipping entrepreneurs will have the smoothest experience selling their products on this eCommerce-ready website builder.
It takes less than a day to set up shop, which is a lot faster than other platforms for drop shipping. Just choose one of the 10 free or 44 premium theme templates and pick a variation that suits your brand best. Each one is responsive and can be easily customized for color.
You’ll need to find an available store name and purchase your own domain, but it’s still an affordable option. This is a very important aspect since most drop shipping businesses don’t start with large capital investments. Shopify can cost as little as $21.75 per month for hosting plus a 2% turnover fee and around 3% + 30¢ per transaction for the payment gateway. Shopify offers Paypal, Stripe, Authorize.net, and several other payment options. You can also get lower fees if you are based in the USA, UK or Canada and you opt for Shopify Payments.
One of the best things about Shopify is that it doesn’t have any metrics that sellers have to maintain. This makes it a lot easier if you’re just getting started. If you are, however, able to meet very high standards of product quality, shipping time and customer service, you can also sell on Amazon through your Shopify store. More on the benefits of Amazon below.
(2) WooCommerce on WordPress
WooCommerce also offers a fairly quick website setup with almost any WordPress theme. It’s even easier if you choose a theme that was built specifically for WooCommerce integration and designed for eCommerce stores.
There are thousands of WordPress themes to choose from, and about a thousand WooCommerce-specific ones. Around a hundred of the latter are free, and there is also a variety of child themes that you can purchase from Woo from $39 to add more customization options. There really is no need, however, if you’ve chosen your theme with scalability in mind.
WooCommerce pricing looks a lot cheaper on the surface compared to Shopify’s, but the fees aren’t that straightforward. Hosting your store can cost as little as $5 per month, but it is offered through third parties and therefore not guaranteed. The WooCommerce plugin itself is free, and so are many WordPress themes, but you have to consider what you will pay for any additional extensions that you’ll need. You will also have to get your own SSL certificate to accept payments, probably from your hosting company along with your domain, which costs at least $100 per year. You will also have to deal separately with all these third parties.
The great thing about WooCommerce that other platforms for drop shipping don’t have is its connection with WordPress. WordPress has proved itself to be one of the best website platforms out there. It’s a highly customizable platform, offering you almost limitless options to grow your store without having to upgrade a plan. WordPress was also built with online searchability in mind, and offers you the best chance for organic Google rankings.
Amazon is without a doubt the best online marketplace. It ranks only third, however, on the list of platforms for drop shipping. This is mostly because Amazon has very strict seller metrics and specific policies for drop shippers. This makes it harder to run a drop ship store there because of the lack of control you have. Namely, you can’t control the quality of products that you can’t personally inspect before they ship. Still, it is very possible to succeed with a drop shipping business on Amazon.
Amazon subscriptions start at $39.99 monthly, or you can pay 99¢ for each item sold. Then there’s an additional 3% to 45% for referral fees with a minimum of $1 or $2 depending on the item and category, plus variable closing fees for media items. You don’t need a subscription if you sell fewer than 40 items per month, which can be cheaper when you’re just starting out. If you’ve done your research, however, you should be selling much more than that. Plus, on the professional plan, you can offer gift wrapping. In relation to the costs, know that drop ship margins on Amazon will be lower because of higher shipping costs for single orders.
The great thing about Amazon is its reach. No other online marketplace has been able to truly compete with the online retail giant. Walmart has come close, but with Amazon’s unending expansion plans and internal improvements, it is unlikely that the world will see a real competitor anytime soon. It’s always a good idea to go where all the shoppers are, and you’ll find most of them on Amazon. Amazon traffic is simply unbeatable, and its sales reports are astounding. As a seller on Amazon, you can take advantage of its brand reputation, which is primarily based on its customer satisfaction ratings.
The FBA program is not a huge attraction for drop shippers, who don’t pack and ship their own products anyway. Amazon does insist, however, that drop shippers use FBA exclusively. This means more fees. With drop shipping, you will also have to ensure that product can be shipped as fast as the Amazon standard.
One last thing to note is that your sales data is an open book an Amazon. If you want to keep these numbers to yourself, this is not the right platform for you.
eBay is not technically includes in the platforms for drop shipping, since it’s really an auction site. You can list fixed price products there, but you’ll have to constantly monitor your pricing if you want to sell.
Getting started on eBay is super fast. You can create an account and start listing in minutes. This is a definite plus for anyone who wants to simply start selling. There are no customization options for eBay listings, however, so you won’t be able to do anything for your listings’ visual appeal or your branding. Speaking of branding, your limited customer contact options will also limit you from building a loyal following. eBay is all about the products, but this can be a good thing if you just want to be able to sell without worrying about making long-term connections.
The fees on eBay can make it difficult, however. With already low margins, the fees on eBay can kill you quickly if you’re not careful. You may not have to pay for your listings, but you might be charged an insertion fee for each item, which depends on the category. Your insertion fee is based on either your minimum opening bid or your reserve price, whichever is higher. You will generally pay from 10¢ to $2 per listing with no reserve price for auctions and up to $2 for fixed-price listings. Insertion fees are nonrefundable. For each sale, you also pay a final value fee of at least 8.75% for items below $50 and an additional 4% on items up to $1,000. This fee is calculated based on how much the item actually sold for plus the shipping cost and other charges that the buyer pays. The final value fee also applies if eBay catches you offering your contact information or trying to take customers out of eBay.
Similar to Amazon, you don’t have to do a lot to market your products since eBay has already made a good name for itself. eBay has a good flow of online shoppers.
Before you sign up for any of these platforms for drop shipping, make sure you have all your ducks in a row. You need to know what you’re going to sell, who’s going to supply each product, and how you’re going to keep things running smoothly. Make sure you don’t hold any misconceptions about the model or how you expect it to work for you.
Once you have everything lined up, you can build and launch your store and start get straight to marketing your new products.