Dropshipping agents are everywhere but should you work with them?
Due to the popularity of AliExpress as the leading eCommerce platform for dropshipping products from China, there are now many dropshipping agents offering their services all over the internet. These are individuals or companies based in China who work as the middleman between dropshipppers and manufacturers. They deal with AliExpress wholesalers and other Chinese manufacturers and provide a range of services that range from product sourcing to order fulfillment. The question is, do you really need them?
It is tough to compete with other dropshipping businesses nowadays. As anyone with a computer and a small amount of money can start dropshipping anytime, the competition keeps on increasing every day. Breaking through the noise to catch shopper’s attention will take more skills, time, and money. Advertising and marketing will cost much than building a dropshipping store. If they are not done correctly, you may not see returns even weeks of running campaigns.
I say this not to scare you away from dropshipping, but it’s the hard truth that you have to recognize and accept if you want to survive and succeed in this industry. Those who want to make dropshipping work for them find ways to get an edge over their competitors, and one strategy is to hire dropshipping agents to do the legwork for them. Dropshippers who use this strategy believe that there are more advantages to working with dropshipping agents than negotiating online with dropshipping suppliers on AliExpress. Will it do you good working with them? Let’s find out!
Why dropshippers hire dropshipping agents?
Dropshipping overseas particularly in China does not give you the luxury to negotiate face-to-face with manufacturers or suppliers. You cannot visit their warehouses and check the quality of their products yourself without flying to China, and this will take more money and time to do. It is something that most dropshippers don’t have at the moment. The inability to spend more money is the main reason why they choose to dropship products in the first place.
Some dropshippers hire dropshipping agents based in China to do the things that they cannot do themselves at a lesser cost and these include:
- Finding reputable suppliers with premium quality products and reliable customer service.
- Overcoming communication issues that often arise in negotiating with foreigners.
- Ensuring fast delivery of the correct, undamaged products to customers.
- Picking products without manufacturer’s or brand’s logo.
- Taking photos and videos of the dropshipping products they want to sell.
A legit dropshipping agent performs as the middleman and has a real warehouse in China. Most dropshipping agents provide a one-stop service which may include the following:
- Product sourcing.
- Inspecting product quality.
- Buying products from local marketplaces or China-exclusive platforms like Taobao.
- Stocking dropshipping products in their warehouses.
- Labeling and packaging products before shipping to customers.
- Shipping using faster carriers than China EMS and ePacket.
Working with dropshipping agents have many advantages yet, there are certain disadvantages to consider too.
- You’ll never know if your dropshipping agent is offering the right price or not for suppliers and manufacturers you can’t find online.
- You’ll be charged for recurring monthly and/or annual membership fees.
- You’ll be competing with lots of dropshippers that use their services.
- You can only access a small number of manufacturers or suppliers.
- You might pay more with a middleman than negotiating directly with suppliers on AliExpress.
If you believe that exploring the option of hiring dropshipping agents will be more beneficial for you then go for it. You’ll never know if it is truly advantageous for your dropshipping business unless you try it.
How to find dropshipping agents?
DropshipBob, CJDropShipping, and Shipmentify.com (Formerly AliExpress Agent) are just some of the dropshipping agents you can find online. To look for dropshipping agents, you can do a Google search, post a question in dropshipping communities or forums, or join dropshipping Facebook groups. However, to find out if they are the right people to work with, here are some things you could do:
- Read third-party reviews to get an unbiased opinion and real experiences.
- Ask other dropshippers who used their services through forums and Facebook groups.
- Look up their address on Google Maps to see if there’s indeed a warehouse or business in their listed location.
- Search on Google the business name to know they have been reported as a fraud or a scam.
- Call the dropshipping agent’s office to talk to their representatives.
If you’re a serious dropshipper, you will always find ways to beat your competitors when it comes to acquiring and retaining customers. Scaling up your business might mean changing strategies to cope up with the increasing orders and demands from your customers. If you consider working with a dropshipping agent, make sure to analyze first its pros and cons so you’ll know what to expect. And the only way to know if it will work for you or not is to try it out.
If you, however, choose to continue sourcing dropshipping products from AliExpress, these articles will be useful for you.