Welcome, welcome to another article full of valuable advice on how to build your eCommerce business. In this article, I’m going to give it to you fast and I’m going to teach you how to find a drop ship supplier by looking at the competition in your product market.
I used this strategy to build relationships with thousands of suppliers while running my first drop shipping business and it’s a tactic that I continue to utilize today as I continue to research the market for drop shipping online.
Ready to learn? Buckle in.
Step 1: Find Competitors That Are Dropshipping in Your Product Niche
Let’s say that you’re selling toys online through your own store, or it could even be through a marketplace like Amazon or eBay.
You’re looking for more toys that you can start selling through your online store and you don’t know how to find out if the products you want to sell can be drop shipped.
Many eCommerce entrepreneurs find themselves in this situation (and it’s one that I fell into as I was starting my first drop shipping business selling on Amazon.)
But don’t worry, that is where your competition comes in the clutch.
Take one of the products that you sell or that you want to sell and search it on Google and Amazon. Go to Google shopping and look at the other companies that are selling the same product. Similarly, go to the Amazon listing and look at the other sellers that are on the listing (that are not FBA).
Copy down this list into a document.
Find the website for each company and go through their site. Look for other brands that you know that are already drop shipping.
If you can find another product/brand that you know drop ships with their retailers, there is a good chance that the retailer/seller that you’re looking at is also working with other companies that drop ship.
Are you following me?
Let me elaborate on the example.
I want to sell Kidkraft products. My main customers are moms and dads that love their children. And I know, from feedback, that they love the Kidkraft brand. I don’t know if they can drop ship.
I search a KidKraft product on Google or Amazon and I see that Wayfair, UnbeatableSale, and Hayneedle are also selling the same Kidkraft product for around the same price.
From industry intel, I know that those three retailers/sellers are big proponents of the drop ship business model.
That dings a bell in my head…
DING, DING, DING! KidKraft can drop ship.
Step 2: Find the Contact Information For the Brand/Supplier That You Want to Sell
Go into the doc that you created and in a separate tab, put the brands/suppliers that you think have the ability to drop ship based off of your competitor research.
Open up their website and find the contact information for their wholesale department. Copy that down for all of the brands that you’re going after.
The easiest way to find the contact information is to look for these keywords in the header and footer:
Become a Supplier
Look through those areas of the site and even look for the keyword “drop ship” anywhere to see if you can get a confirmation that they definitely drop ship.
Step 3: Contact the Supplier with a Customized Sales Pitch
Now that you have the suppliers that you think have the ability to drop ship and you know you can sell well through your store to your target customer, it’s time to reach out to them.
From my experience, I saw the best results through emailing and cold calling.
For both to work well, you need to know what to say to quickly convince the wholesale department rep that you are a good option for them to work with.
Here is an example of a sales pitch that has worked well for me in the past.
Email Template: Getting in the door
Subject: Interested in Carrying Your Products
I’m looking to get in touch with your wholesale department to discuss carrying a selection of the KidKraft products in my online store, ConnorGillivan.com.
I have been selling online for over 4 years, have fulfilled over 10,000 orders, and have an email list of over 5,000 customers. I have been asked by customers to start carrying the KidKraft brand.
Can you please introduce me to the best person to speak with about this?
Once you have the contact information of the best person to speak with within their wholesale department, aim to get a phone call set up or simply call them directly if they provide you with their phone number.
Have a sales pitch ready to roll when talking to the wholesale rep explaining why your eCommerce business is a strong choice for them to work with. At the same time, express that you are interested in a drop ship relationship.
If you start to get kickback from the rep when you mention drop shipping, show that you know what you’re talking about and that you have the operations set up to make sure that it is a good relationship.
Talk to them about how you’ll organize inventory levels, communicating orders, handling returns, and working with customers if they have any issues.
If you have it, provide data on the sales that you’re currently receiving for similar products of the traffic that you’re generating to similar products on your online store.
If you can demonstrate that you’re an expert in drop shipping, your chances of landing the relationship can drastically improve.
Get Out There and Give It A Shot
As with any business model, you’ll never know until you get out there and you go through different tests to see what works best.
Through the 8+ years of building two multi-million dollar businesses, I’ve always been on the hunt for new strategies that work best. To find those strategies, I test, measure, make adjustments, and move forward with the winners.
The same philosophy applies when looking to land new drop ship suppliers. Even if the supplier drop ships, it doesn’t mean that you are a definite for them.
But that’s okay. There are thousands of suppliers that drop ship out there. Tweak your pitch. Improve your talking points. And keep hustling until you find the equation that works best for your business.
If you have any specific questions about this strategy, leave them in the comments and I’ll respond. Or reach out to me directly at Connor@ConnorGillivan.com.