Running your own dropshipping store can be daunting.
You've found a product on AliExpress, but:
- How do you know if you're getting it for the best price?
- How do you know if the seller will use the fastest available shipping methods?
- And, will the seller refund you if your product arrives damaged at your customer?
Luckily, there's some good news; dropshipping agents can help you.
Dropshipping agents take over a couple of your business' key responsibilities, allowing you to focus on other important tasks.
This article will go over six reasons why an agent can help take some of the pressure off of your shoulders and help you succeed with your online store.
Furthermore, it will go over how to find the right dropshipping agent for your business so you can have a hassle-free experience.
What is a dropshipping agent?
As you can see, a dropshipping agent acts as a middleman between you and your dropshipping supplier.
You can send product requests to your dropshipping agent, who will then search for suppliers that can offer the best quality version of your product for the best possible price.
After that, your dropshipping agent buys that product from the supplier in bulk and stores them in their warehouse. New orders from your dropshipping store get forwarded to your dropshipping agent, who finally ships them to your customers.
In between these tasks, most dropshipping agents will be able to offer you extra services that most dropshipping suppliers don't.
For example, a dropshipping agent can
- Do quality checks for your product
- Support you with branding, private labeling, and white labeling
- Select the best shipping methods for your target country
- Provide help in case of shipping delays or broken products
- Update you on the latest product and shipping trends
Sounds pretty good, right?
6 Reasons why you should use a dropshipping agent
So, are you ready to see the reasons why you should use a dropshipping agent?
If so, just continue reading, because you will soon find out!
Remember that I will also give you some drawbacks of using a dropshipping agent to stay objective. Nothing is perfect.
Let's now start with the first reason why you should use a dropshipping agent:
1. Better price to quality ratio compared to a dropshipping supplier
A dropshipping agent needs to be able to offer you lower-priced products.
Do you already have an idea why?
Well, if the agent's product price is much higher than on AliExpress, for example, then you would probably rather purchase it on AliExpress.
A dropshipping agent will use its network and negotiating skills to contact multiple factories. Their goal is to find the product you're looking for with the best possible quality at the lowest possible price.
Dropshipping agents can often offer your products at a lower price because they buy them in bulk from the factories. This allows them to get a discount from the factory.
Also, a dropshipping agent may be able to find a factory that is manufacturing the same product that you're currently selling. But since it's a different factory, the product's quality could be even better than the one you get supplied from your current supplier.
All in all, these are all reasons why dropshipping agents can provide you with a better service at a lower price.
2. Faster shipping times
Due to their expertise and experience, dropshipping agents often have access to the fastest shipping methods to your target customer's country.
If you're used to dropshipping from China with AliExpress, then you will probably recognize shipping methods like:
- AliExpress Standard Shipping
- China Post
Many dropshippers ship with AliExpress Standard Shipping or ePacket because they think it's the fastest shipping method from China.
Well, if you're dropshipping with AliExpress, that is indeed the case.
But the thing is, many dropshipping agents will be able to offer you even faster shipping methods, especially if they are located in a region where those shipping methods are available.
Chinese dropshipping agents, for example, are often located in:
- Shanghai/Zhejiang (1)
- Guangzhou/Shenzhen (2)
The second location (Guangzhou/Shenzhen) especially offers excellent shipping options to the rest of the world, partly caused by its close proximity to the Hong Kong International Airport.
Besides that, it's a region that is settled by thousands of factories producing everyday dropshipping products.
Thus, many Chinese dropshipping agents can ship your product using methods like:
- CNE Express
- YanWen Express
Furthermore, a good dropshipping agent will know exactly which shipping method will be the best to use for which country. For example, your agent might send packages to Germany using 4PX and to Austria using YunExpress.
An example of a dropshipping agent that can
3. Consistent pricing
With a dropshipping agent, you won't have to deal with large price swings.
Nothing is more annoying than using AliExpress to dropship a $36 product, only to find out that the price has been raised to $44 just a few days later:
With a dropshipping agent, you will be able to make fixed price agreements to make sure this doesn't happen to you.
Even if a dropshipping agent wants to increase his price, he would warn you beforehand to make sure you can anticipate on it.
4. Insights on the latest trends in the industry
Often, you won't be your dropshipping agent's only client.
They will probably be working with other people who are dropshipping. If your dropshipping agent works with many other dropshippers, he or she will have a good insight into which products are currently trending or selling well.
Since they have close contact with factories, they will occasionally get approached by them whenever a new product is designed. If you're open to it, your dropshipping agent will share those latest products with you.
That way, you can potentially become the first dropshipper that is selling that particular product! How unique is that?
5. 1-on-1 contact
Another great reason to use a dropshipping agent is the 1-on-1 contact you will have with him or her.
Whenever you have any questions, you can easily contact your dropshipping agent through platforms like Skype, Whatsapp, or Telegram.
This is great for whenever you have questions about the product, issues with the delivery, or anything else.
Also, your agent will warn you of upcoming events such as Chinese New Year, so it doesn’t come to you as a surprise.
6. Improve your product’s packaging
Dropshipping agents can provide all sorts of services that will make your dropshipping store look more branded.
For instance, you can ask your supplier to include your logo, a promotional code, a thank-you letter, or your product’s manual in the package.
Furthermore, some dropshipping agents will be able to put your products into customized boxes, like this awesome one from At Pace Design:
In other words, a dropshipping agent is a great way to make your dropshipping store unique!
An example of a great dropshipping agent that will help you with improving your packaging design is HyperSKU. Just check out this great video from them:
If you're interested in learning more about HyperSKU, check out this article here.
Does a dropshipping agent have drawbacks?
Like I already mentioned, nothing is perfect.
So, unfortunately, dropshipping agents also come with drawbacks!
The drawbacks of using a dropshipping agent are that you may be obligated to have a minimum amount of orders per day, pre-pay for the stock, and that it can take you more time to process orders.
I will explain each of those drawbacks in more detail below:
- Minimum Order Quantity (MOQ). Some agents will require you to receive a certain amount of orders per day. Of course, this makes sense. Dropshipping agents invest time to find your product and build a relationship. It won't be economically viable to do that just for one order per day. (More information about MOQ here)
- (Often) no fully automated order fulfillment. With most dropshipping agents, you will have to send a .csv file of your orders to them each day. Using it, they are able to process your orders. More “modern” dropshipping agents use an app that automates the order fulfillment process. You can read more about the dropshipping agent fulfillment process here.
- Trustworthiness is more of an issue. Unlike suppliers, most dropshipping agents don’t have a website for their business (or at least not an English one). For suppliers, you can easily find reviews of other dropshippers, but for agents, you can’t. That’s why you will have to trust a dropshipping agent before partnering with one.
How do you find and choose a dropshipping agent?
So, are you ready to start looking for your dropshipping agent?
If that's the case, you will learn about five tips on how to find quality dropshipping agents here, as well as a free template that you can use for your first message to a dropshipping agent.
Once you found several dropshipping agents to choose from, don't forget to consider these 11 things to make sure that you're picking the right one for your business.
And if you're interested to learn who the best dropshipping agents are, check out our list of the 11 best dropshipping agents here!
Using a dropshipping agent can be a great way to take some of the load off your shoulders.
A dropshipping agent can give you more time to focus on your store's marketing. Furthermore, an agent can offer you more opportunities to grow your online stores, such as branding, private labeling, and white labeling.
What is your opinion on dropshipping agents? Do you think that a dropshipper should use a dropshipping agent?
Let me know in the comments below!
Good luck with growing your online business!