Thanks to the perks that the dropshipping agents bring, they have become extremely popular in the dropshipping industry. Instead of working with dropshipping companies and suppliers, dropshippers are relying on dropshipping agents to make their dropshipping business more efficient and scalable.
On reaching the stage where you want to take the business to the next level, some questions keep bothering you regarding the dropshipping business. A dropshipping agent is an overall solution to all such queries and here’s how you can find one!
Who’s a dropshipping agent?
A dropshipping agent is a one stop service where you can find the best products at best pricing. They often fulfill the requirement, arrange the shipment and save time so that you can spend it on business development. Dropshipping agents are capable of fulfilling high volume orders without compromising on the product quality. The primary function of a dropshipping agent is to negotiate the prices to attain discounts – around 5-10% per product, when ordered in bulk.
How does a dropshipping agent work?
After finding the dropshipping agent, you will provide the product details to them so that they can look for manufactures and suppliers that offer good quality/price for the product.
Once a mutual agreement is established, you can send payment to the agent for stocking the product along with their commission for the services. After the payment, you can send the daily orders as a CSV file to the agent asking them to fill it.
In few cases, you have to give the employee access to the agent so that they can install the concerned app and send the automatic orders. One such app that reduces the manual effort of both the customer and the agent is Massfulfill.
As the agent receives the order, he/she will acquire the product and send the package to the customer with the tracking numbers.
When should you get a dropshipping agent?
If you’re a beginner who has started working with the e-Commerce agents, you can start your process with AliExpress suppliers. On the official site of AliExpress, you can find an entire list of suppliers waiting for you.
In order to make an order fulfillment on AliExpress, you can opt either Oberlo App or DSers app. As soon as you reach 30 orders in a day, you can start looking for a dedicated dropshipping agent to work with you.
Most agents have a minimal requirement of 50 orders in a day, but they can be brought down to an average of 30 orders if you negotiate with them.
Where are the dropshipping agents located?
In order to work with a dropshipping agent, it is important to know who they are and where they are located. These agents are often located in China/Malaysia (or other countries where the suppliers are located) which is why they can get in direct contact with the actual dropshipping suppliers.
They speak both Chinese (other native languages of the suppliers) and English – the two languages that form the bridge of communication. As it is difficult to converse with an AliExpress/Shopify/Amazon (other e-Commerce giants) supplier in English, these agents bargain with them in Chinese (respective native language) to lower the product prices.
Apart from negotiating, they are also capable of doing other things such as:
1. Obtaining preferential quotes
Negotiation can go beyond discounts. A dropshipping agent should be able to get the preferential quote for the best product so that your business can benefit from it.
For example, a 10% price reduction on a product can reduce the expenses and increase the savings that add up to hundreds of Euros per month. As the dropshipping agent demarcates the number or orders per month, it is possible to plan the scaling of the business according to the savings as well.
2. Real-time Deliveries
Even with all the advantages that come with AliExpress/Shopify/Amazon Dropshipping, the delivery time for each other is inevitably long. People wait for more than 2-3 weeks and sometimes longer given the punctuality of the suppliers with no one to follow them up on timely basis.
The dropshipping agents can reduce the time that the packages take to arrive at your door. Any product that has been ordered will be delivered in between 7-20 days without further delay.
Additionally, the dropshipping agent acts like a reactive customer support who not only takes all of your complaints but act on them without any errors as compared to shipping services like ePacket and Aliexpress Standard Shipping.
3. Repackaging the packages
The dropshippers enable repacking of the packaged products in case if you want to replace or improve the packaging. At times, it occurs to us at the last minute that we want to add our brand logo or a promotional code to the product.
In such cases, the dropshipper makes it possible by personally taking care of the repackaging at a reasonable surge. They even add a thank you note to the client so that the client feels belonged while receiving the product.
While AliExpress/Amazon (other e-Commerce giants) doesn’t allow repackaging, AliBaba does it but only for larger orders. When compared to them dropshippers don’t care about the size of the order as they work to build customer loyalty.
4. Quality Control and Quality Check
A dropshipping agent checks and controls the quality of the product by personally contacting the suppliers. The agent knows that he/she is representing you with the suppliers, and therefore are careful with your choices.
They check all the imported products to make sure that they are meeting with your requirements and standards regarding the quality. Once the product is all set to be shipper, they do a final quality analysis to see if the product can be shipped.
In cases where the quality is unmet, the dropshipping agent contacts the suppliers to take care of the product delivery.
How does a dropshipping agent work?
As mentioned earlier, it is easy to work with the dropshipping agent if you know how to draft the order fulfillment. It is no longer necessary to manually place all the orders.
You can send the CSV file to the agent containing all the customer information so that he/she can take care of everything. If the file contains details about orders in prior, the agent can stock up the products to avoid the shortage in future.
Using apps like Oberlo and Dsers, one can save time and effort in placing the orders indulged in the repetitive task.
How to find a dropshipping agent through Internet?
Finding an agent is not as hard as it looks like. Just like every other service, you can use the Google search engine using keywords like ‘china sourcing agent’ or ‘dropshipping agent’ to find sites like nichedropshipping.com to find such sites.
For example, giants like Alibaba connect supply agents with different traders who take lower commissions but it will be your responsibility to check the expertise, packaging and quality.
Other solutions include using freelancing websites where the agents list themselves but one has to be careful with these sites as they can lead to potential scams.
Finding a dropshipping agent at a trade show:
If you are interested in getting touch with the agents directly, attending the trade shows is the only way. It is important to remember that the trade shows are not arranged randomly but they can provide you ways of getting in touch with the supplier companies.
Trade shows are known to support large importers with their history of providing dropshipping agents in millions. It might not be the best solution out there, but it is interesting to know how they work.
The prominent trade shows usually occur in Yiwu and Hong Kong where you can get the best Chinest dropshipping agents that work across different markets across the world.
Should you be working with a dropshipping agent?
If the annual turnover seems profitable, there is no second question about working in hand in hand with the agent as it would be entirely beneficial for the customer. The association with the dropping agent allows you to scale the shop up by adding realistic value to the e-Commerce.
Additionally, the agent can help in differentiating things from one another for smooth processing of the products. However, it does take adequate research to find the right agent so spend more time in finding the one that fits all of your needs without having any regrets.
Dropshipping agents can’t be termed as indispensable mediators but they will improve your business by taking you up the ladder of the competitors.
Why you should move on from big e-Commerce agents?
Sites like AliExpress are definitely greater places to find for products in case if you are testing their quality. Once you have found the winning supplier and are sure of making consistent sales, it is time to find a dropshipping agent for profits. The topmost reasons for moving on from AliExpress and likewise sites are:
· Lesser profit: All the e-Commerce suppliers usually source their products from manufacturers in China/India. They add their own profit to sell them at a quoted retail price. Therefore, the client can only get lower profits even with bulk orders.
· Longer fulfillment periods: The average processing time for a single product order on AliExpress is around 3-7 days. Imagine the time that a bulk order takes! In case of bulk orders, AliExpress takes more than 24 hours to verify the payment and then takes around two weeks to update you with the tracking number.
· Adding Promo Items: Even after telling the supplier to avoid the promotional materials like coupons, brochures, discount codes; some suppliers disrespect the clients by ignoring the message and sending the same. It tells that these suppliers don’t care or don’t get strict instructions from the sites.
· Expensive yet delayed Shipping: The shipping options on AliExpress and other sites are limited. It is because these sites have prior associations with certain shipping platforms for standard deliveries. Some of these platforms charge a ton and yet process the shipping over a month or so. Out of all the available options, the only good one is ePacket but lately it has been changing the rules as well.
· Attention and Optimization: AliExpress has a habit of revealing the total order count of each product. If you are satisfied the product, other shippers might be noticed of your dropshipping process and opt for the same products as well. The optimization leads to an increase in the product competition.
· Lack of Quality Control: Unlike dropshipping agent, AliExpress do not have control over the quality of the product, unless you receive it yourself and check it. If you are ordering larger orders on daily basis, the supplier might include a bad product or two as no one checks them for quality.
· Inconsistent Customer Service: The main reason for poor quality customer service is the language barrier. Even when you approach the customer support for a bad order, the suppliers can’t be of much help. On top of that, they can decide to stop working with you if you can’t keep up with the order count.
Therefore, the primary solution for all these products is to find a fully functional dropshipping agent!
Benefits of Hiring a Dropshipping Agent:
· Quicker fulfillment:Unlike the usual suppliers, the fulfillmentof bulk orders get done within 3-7 days through different apps.
· Faster Shipping: The agents come up with new and updated shipping options like DHL eCommerce and Yun Express.
· Work through Holidays: The orders are also fulfilled during the Chinese holidays through the usage of stock inventory option.
· Tracking Option: Once the shipping is done, the provided tracking number will update you about the delivery.
· Extended Profits: As the purchase is done directly from the supplier, the product costs are cheaper with additional discounts.
Requirements of hiring a Dropshipping Agent:
1. Bank Account: The payment to the dropshipping agent should be done through bank transfer. As a result, the client should have proper business banking option.
2. Fulfillment Apps: The clients should install and access their own dropshipping apps from the store so that the agents can also use them through employment access.
3. Minimum Requirement: The client should have a daily order requirement of 30-100 orders that can be negotiated over time.
Best Place to find a Dropshipping Agent:
· Search for Freelance Websites: You can go and search for a dropshipping agent on sites like Fiverr and Upwork. If you are specific about the job, you can post the job description and wait for people to contact you.
· Use Product Sourcing Sites: As an alternate option, you can use product sourcing websites that only cater the dropshippers like DropshipchinaPro or Wiio.io. These websites act as agents by sourcing the product, acquiring it, storing it, packaging it and shipping it.
Questions you should ask the Dropshipping Agent before hiring them:
There are many variables that come under picture as you try to hire the agent. A dropshipping agent has the potential to ruin the reputation if he/she is not doing the part rightly.
So, make sure that you are with a responsible and accountable dropshipping agent who is accurate with shipping, processing, payments, disputes and even refunds.
- Could you share your previous dropshipping experience? A video walkthrough is suggestible.
- What are the volumes you have worked with in the past?
- How many products per day you have shipped?
- Could you share the last 10 tracking numbers you have handled?
- What type of products are you able to source and ship for us?
- How can you assure the product is of highest quality available in the market?
- What are the shipping times you can offer?
- Do you provide any warehousing facilities?
- How quickly you can process our orders on a daily basis?
- What are your payment terms?