Working with the right dropshipping agent could be beneficial to your eCommerce business in many ways.
For a dropshipper to stay ahead of the competition, he must find ways to offer something better or new to his customers. One strategy they employ is to hire a dropshipping agent from the country he’s dropshipping from and this is usually in China. However, not everyone can easily work with dropshipping agents. As dropshippers need to pay the agent for doing something for them, their turnover should be able to cover the fees that the latter charges. Or, they have a fund allotted for the extra costs of using a third party from sourcing their products to shipping them to customers.
If you’re just starting in eCommerce and are not yet ready to drop a huge amount of money, dropshipping products from AliExpress suppliers would be a low-risk business model for you. Working with a dropshipping agent is an option that is more feasible to seasoned dropshippers wanting to scale their business but, too risky for newbies who lacks the knowledge, experience, and fund to run an eCommerce business.
What is a dropshipping agent?
A dropshipping agent can be an individual or a company that offers its various services to dropshipping business owners for a fee. They make it easier and quicker for dropshippers to source great products from local manufacturers or suppliers in China, attach their custom labels, and ship to their customers faster than AliExpress suppliers. Some services that dropshipping agents provide include:
- Finding unique products that you can sell
- Storing your products in their warehouse
- Attaching your labels to your products
- Inserting your marketing materials before shipping
- Shipping ordered products to customers
Although these are the services you can usually get from an AliExpress supplier, dropshipping agents offer additional services that make it more convenient for dropshippers to work with them. Check out this article to know what are the pros and cons of working with dropshipping agents and how you can find them.
Like your dropshipping suppliers, you should be mindful in picking a dropshipping agent. Not all dropshipping agents are genuine and the best. Don’t be a victim to scammers who are out for your money. To choose the right dropshipping agent, you should know what questions to ask during the vetting stage. This way you’ll be able to filter out the bad from the good and would be able to come up with a list of potential agents that have a good reputation and integrity.
10 Things to Ask Dropshipping Agents
- Location and photos of their warehouse
- Their processing time (from receipt of fulfillment request to issuance of the tracking number)
- Their shipping time and offered shipping methods
- If they’re selling directly to customers to know if they’re a direct competitor
- How they conduct quality control inspection
- If they offer complete product labeling and packaging solutions
- Their return policy
- Their minimum order quantity (MOQ)
- If they provide inventory data updates and how often
- Their service charge and best contact channels
Should you work with a dropshipping agent?
If your dropshipping store is already getting consistent high sales, working with a dropshipping agent will benefit your business. It allows you to differentiate your business from other dropshipping businesses and add real value to your customers. Once you buy inventory upfront through a dropshipping agent, you’ll no longer be dropshipping. You become an eCommerce business that’s on your way to becoming a successful brand.
However, if you’re just a beginner in eCommerce, dropshipping products from AliExpress supplier would be less of a risk for you. You don’t need to spend huge money to buy your products up front and pay for dropshipping agents. If your dropshipping business fails due to your inexperience or for selling the wrong product in the end, you don’t have to worry about excess inventory that you can’t sell because nobody wants it.
The option to work with a dropshipping agent is not for everyone. Make sure that you’re already at the stage that scaling your business by hiring an agent is the most sensible thing to do. Don’t make the mistake of immediately working with a dropshipping agent because your lack of experience and knowledge in managing an eCommerce business may cause your downfall. Build your dropshipping store for success not for failure.