What Is A Dropshipping Agent | 7 Tips for Selecting a Dropshipping Agent in 2021
What is a Dropshipping Agent :
Do not worry if you have not come across this term before.
If you are new to dropshipping , you might not be familiar with the roles of a dropshipping agent and how he can be an asset for your dropshipping business
People just get started in Dropshipping business after buying a dropshipping website gig from places like Fiverr and feel that they will start making money overnight.
They do not recognize that dropshipping is not a quick rich scheme and need lot of hard work.
You will always be looking for the trending quality products for your store at a competitive price and keep an eye on competitors. You must be looking for the ways to to reduce shipping time and cost.
You will have to look beyond the dorpshipping network like AliExpress (Why ? , I will come to this bit later.)
All the above objectives can easily be achieved by partnering with a good dropshipping agent
Most of the newbies start Dropshipping business treating it to be quick rich scheme. They rarely try to get themselves acquainted with the whole process of business, its terminology & various steps involved.
That could be one of the reason behind failure of almost 90 % of such businesses.
Once you get to know what is a dropshipping agent and what value can he provide to your business, you will be easily be to scale up your business to new dimensions.
What is a dropshipping agent?
A dropshipping agent is basically a middle man and may be considered as a supplement to to the dropshipping supplier.
Now when dorpshipping suppliers are ready ship the products directly to your customer , why on first place would you need the serves of a dropshipping agent.
I hope in this section itself, I will be able to throw some light.
A dropshipping agent though theoretically seems identical to the dropshipping supplier, there’s a key difference.
The dropshipping agent can offer you many value-added services that a dropshipping supplier can not provide.
A supplier will just provide you the catalogue , products and regular shipping services.
Some of the basic responsibilities of a dropshipping agent are :
- Source the products for you
- Store it
- Pack the Product
- Ship the Product on your behalf.
- helps in Private Labelling and Branding
Besides above, you can ask him to search some specific product that you are looking forward to dropship and they will search the most reliable suppliers for same and negotiate with them for the best prices. Once these arrangements are made, he will fulfil the orders on your behalf.
A dropshipping agent can either be self-employed or working for a fulfilment warehouse. ,
In any case, they have the access to the fulfilment warehouse and are responsible for quality control and shipment of the order.
They do not allow the suppliers to ship the products directly to your customer.
When you work with a Dropshipping agent, you can be rest assured that the quality products are being shipped on your behalf.
Once you start placing the orders on regular basis , your dropshipping agent will start pre-ordering the products from supplier on your behalf and keep ready for shipment in a warehouse to reduce the shipping time.
But this not all that dropshipping agent does. I have just discussed the basic functions and In the next few sections, We will go into more detail.
Dropshipping Agent Job Description :
A dropshipping agent provides many value-added services like searching for a product in the market on your behalf and negotiating with a supplier.
As they are in the market for many clients, they can extract the better price and ensure a quality check.
Here’s a list of all tasks that a dropshipping agent can do for you:
- Find the Suppliers for the requested product
- Negotiate with suppliers and OEM’s and source the product for a supplier offering the best price
- Ensure that there is no compromise on Quality.
- Stock the products in the warehouse for the fulfilment of the order.
- Pack the orders for shipment as per your requirement.
- Support in Branding and Private Labelling.
- Find the best shipping partners for the target countries.
- Helps in resolving the issue in case of delayed shipping or broken products.
- Keep updating you on the latest products.
If you thought that dropshipping agent is identical to the supplier, probably you were not aware of the services provided by the dropshipping agent.
Some of these services are not at all offered by the dropshipping suppliers and that’s why you should consider using the services offered by dropshipping agents for the benefit of your business.
Why a dropshipping agent is required for your business?
As a newbie, you may not require a dropshipping agent and it is very much possible to get started by finding reliable suppliers using Alidropship
You can even avoid all initial technical hassles by going for a readymade dropshipping store fully loaded with trending products from reliable suppliers.
But in the long run, when you start getting good number of orders and decide to expand the business, I would strictly advise you to find a good dropshipping agent, mainly if you’re sourcing products from china.
Though you can source cheaper products from China using Aliexpress, it is advised to find a china based dropshipping agent to avoid any communication problems due to the language barrier.
For a dropshipping agent based in China, it’s much easier to find the manufacturers for your products as they speak and read Chinese.
Moreover even today, a Lot of non English speaking small suppliers from china are not directly selling online. and selling through some traders.
Therefore You may be to get the better price from offline Chinese suppliers, if you deal with them through your dropshipping agent.
You will observe that rates at the major dropshipping networks are almost standardized and it is difficult to get a price advantage.
Moreover, it is the Chinese mindset that the westerners have a lot of money and that’s why they jack up product prices for them.
What are the main benefits of using a dropshipping agent?
While appointing a dropshipping agent, you should definitely be looking for lower prices, better quality, faster shipping times and good after-sales service that include dispute resolution.
Below, I am going through these benefits in detail:
Better price and Quality:
An established dropshipping agent will have a good network of suppliers, manufacturers and shipping agents. He will also have the skills to find the best quality product at the lowest price. That will definitely help you to beat the competition.
As the Business with your dropshipping agent grows, they will buy the products and keep in their warehouse. That would allow you faster shipping and an advantage over competitors. Besides they will also find some other ways of shipping the products, that are not available on Aliexpress.
No Surprising Element:
In case the manufacturer decide to change the specifications of the products, they will not intimate on the dropshipping network. But your dropshipping agent will have beforehand information and will inform you to incorporate changes on your dropshipping site. Moreover, if the manufacturer decides to stop manufacturing any product in future, you will be well prepared without any element of surprise.
Good After-sales Service:
As your business grows, there will some replacements, cancellations of order due to delays or receipt of broken items. Under such circumstances, you will have to refund the customer’s money. Your dropshipping agent will be able to provide the help to resolve the issue and also refunds in time
Private Label and Branding:
You can ask your dropship agent to arrange the packing in your brand so that you get recognition in the market. You can have a logo on top, a leaflet and thank you letter inside with companies email address and social medial accounts. That will help you in establishing in the online industry as an eCommerce player and not just a drop shipper.
Drawbacks of Using a dropshipping agent?
Despite having so many benefits, Dropshipping agent may not fit into everyone’s business model especially when it is new and have money constraints. Dropshipping agent cost can be a major factor in keeping the agent.
Some of the drawbacks are detailed below :
- The agent will ask for minimum order per day or per week
- They will demand the pre-payment for keeping stock in the warehouse. It is just like investing in your inventory and that may not be possible for a new business.
- The order will not be fulfilled automatically.
- Finding a trustworthy Dropshipping agent for a newcomer may not be easy.
Trustworthiness – A Big Hurdle?
Finding a trustworthy dropship agent is most important or else you may lose lot of money. If you are just looking for a dropshipping agent online, you may across such people who are there to scam you.
Since the agent will not be from your country, you may not be able to do much legally.
I am not saying that all the dropship agents online are scammers but you will have to be careful while partnering with a dropshipping agent.
I can give you some tips to avoid online scams in finding a reliable dropshipping agent.
Looking For Dropshippinig agent - Follow the following 7 Tips
- Try to take reference from other existing drop shippers, if you can find one.
- Alternatively, You may ask the dropshipping agents to provide the details of other dropshippers with whom he is working. It is better to get the verification done from some drop shipper in your own country
- Ask the dropship agent about their previous tracking numbers to check the promised delivery times.
- Ask for their social media credentials, if possible.
- Avoid working with any dropship agent who asks for a high setup fee.
- Confirm their return Policy
- Schedule a skype or any other video call.
.What is a dropshipping agent? I hope I have been able to throw light on this. Now you will be able to decide how a dropshipping agent can be helpful in scaling up your business.
There are some drawbacks as discussed but the advantages outweigh the disadvantages if you carefully select a dropshipping agent.
In case you have any queries please leave a comment below in the comment section and I will respond at the earliest.