Do you really need a dropshipping agent for your online store? Or you can succeed without one? Let’s find out together!
If there is one problem nearly every retailer has, it is this one – the cost of unsold stock. This is why many online retail businesses rely on trusted third parties or suppliers to ship orders directly to their customers.
In the world of e-commerce, this business model is called dropshipping. You probably already know this. But if you are a newbie who has just entered the dropshipping industry, it won’t hurt to look for some dropshipping expert advice.
Plus, it is a good idea to know the difference between dropshipping and wholesale.
Now, why don’t we return to the issue in question – “What is a dropshipping agent, and how to find the best one for your dropshipping business?”. Let’s start!
📝 Note: The list of the 14 best dropshipping agents is at the bottom of the article. 👇
What Is a Dropshipping Agent?
A dropshipping agent is your eyes and ears when you’re working with dropshipping suppliers from China or any other country that’s not a one-hour drive away.
Also, they are the ones that will help you manage your suppliers and products in case you can’t do this yourself.
In other words, a dropshipping agent is an individual or a company that offers a variety of services to dropshipping entrepreneurs for a fee. Some of these services include product sourcing, fulfillment, and shipping.
What’s more, they offer professional translators, exceptional rates, and everything else you might need as a dropshipper who is sourcing products from another country.
For example, let’s say that you’re dropshipping from China to the US. In that case, you’ll need to look for dropshipping agents from China.
Because they can go directly to the factories and inspect, manage, and keep an eye on the entire production and dropshipping order fulfillment process.
The same can be said for every country you have dropshipping suppliers.
Here’s how to explain it best:
“If you (the dropshipper) are the middleman between your customer and your supplier, a dropshipping agent is the middleman between the supplier and yourself.”
In addition, a dropshipping agent can also serve as your dropshipping supplier directly. These types of agents serve exclusively dropshippers from overseas.
Moreover, not every dropshipping agent has their own warehouse to store your products in. Many work for fulfillment warehouse companies.
This means that by hiring a dropshipping agent, you can run a successful dropshipping business. And you can do so without the hassle of finding a dropshipping supplier, sourcing or storing your products, and managing fulfillment and shipping.
If you are a bit confused and want to find dropshipping agents identical to dropshipping suppliers, read on!
The Difference Between a Dropshipping Supplier and a Dropshipping Agent
|Criteria||Dropshipping Supplier||Dropshipping Agent|
|Product Selection||Vast product selection (catalog)||huge product variety|
|Quality Assurance||only a few dropshipping suppliers do Quality check||many dropshipping agents include QA|
|Shipping Methods||Might include several shipping options||Supports the whole logistic system|
|Order Fulfillment||only store and ship products to your customers||does everything from product research, selection, and finding dropshipping suppliers, to shipping products to customers.|
The main difference between a supplier and an agent is that the dropshipping agent does a lot more for you than the dropshipping supplier does.
We will give an example to make things clearer.
Let’s assume that you have been in the dropshipping industry for a while, sourcing products from AliExpress.
Also, you have many responsibilities like doing your research and finding the right supplier that will store and ship products to your customer’s doorstep in a timely manner. Not to mention that you have many orders to process and place with your dropshipping supplier.
But, by working with a dropshipping agent, they will do that work for you. You just have to inform the agent about your chosen product and they will do the research and find the best dropshipping supplier for you.
They will also negotiate the best prices and shipping methods with the supplier. They will store your products in the fulfillment warehouse to which they have access. And they will ultimately ship the products to your customers.
This means that by working with a dropshipping agent, you do not have to deal with dropshipping suppliers. This will save you time and allow you to focus on marketing and scaling your business.
Unlike dropshipping agents, dropshipping suppliers only store and ship products to your customers. They do not source products for you.
👉 Learn how to find and work with the best dropshipping suppliers or manufacturers.
Do you really need a dropshipping agent for your dropshipping store?
Life gets busy, we get it. Perhaps many tasks ultimately fall on you and your to-do list gets longer every single day. Not to mention the extra effort required to find a reliable, reputable dropshipping supplier to source products.
And this does not include all the things you have to do in your private life as well.
You know that work is supposed to be challenging. However, it does not have to be too hard. As a dropshipping entrepreneur, you do not have to do everything alone. You can hire a dropshipping agent who will do some of the hard work for you.
But do you really need a dropshipping agent for your online store when you can work with a dropshipping supplier and have your orders shipped to your customers?
In reality, it is possible to work with a dropshipping supplier and run a profitable dropshipping business. However, you may need to hire a dropshipping agent, particularly if you are sourcing products from China.
Simply put, if you are sourcing products from AliExpress for your dropshipping business and want to make the entire process easier, it is advisable to find a dropshipping agent.
Most dropshipping agents are located in China. They can find the best Chinese suppliers for your chosen product in no time. And they will function as an extension of your e-commerce operation in China.
When To Hire a Dropshipping Agent?
Many dropshippers think that the best dropshipping agents only come in handy at the start of your dropshipping career.
However, even though this is still a great idea, dropshipping agents are actually even more useful when you’re scaling.
For example, let’s say that you’ve reached about 80-100 orders per day. Now, you want to do branded dropshipping and scale. But, you can’t scale with an unreliable AliExpress supplier who takes two weeks to deliver the product.
This is when a dropshipping sourcing agent comes in handy. Finding the right one means you’ll get better shipping time, cheaper prices, and better management, and all for the exact same product you’ve been selling so far.
Here, you can find the best e-commerce order fulfillment services.
How to Contact Your Dropshipping Agent
When contacting a dropshipping sourcing agent, it all comes down to asking the right questions.
Here is what you should aim to find out when you first reach out to them:
- How quickly does the supplier ship my orders?
- Will I have to pay a drop fee?
- Is there a dropshipping minimum order quantity?
- Do they offer order tracking information?
- How do you handle dropshipping returns?
Obviously, you’re free to ask any other questions that pop up in your head. In fact, the more you ask and find out the better.
However, keep in mind that finding out the answers to these five questions is very important before you start working with a particular private agent for dropshipping.
Pros and Cons of Working With a Dropshipping Agent
Working with a dropshipping agent is beneficial for many reasons. Aside from making it easier for you to run your business, a dropshipping agent can help you do better than your competitors.
So, let’s look at the actual advantages (and disadvantages) of working with a dropshipping agent and see if it’s worth it.
1. Quality products at the lowest prices
A great dropshipping agent works closely with various manufacturers and dropshipping suppliers. Additionally, they are also able to perform a strict quality inspection.
With their network and negotiating skills required for their job, they can get a better deal than you do. As a result, they can find a quality dropshipping item at a low price.
2. Super-fast delivery
It goes without saying that consumers expect their orders to be shipped and delivered to them as soon as possible. Thus, super-fast delivery plays a significant role in the success of your dropshipping business.
Luckily, a proficient dropshipping agent knows exactly what type of shipping method is ideal for each country.
They are experts in their field and usually have access to the fastest shipping methods to your customers’ countries. Oftentimes, the shipping methods they offer are not the same as those of some popular dropshipping suppliers but are definitely trustworthy.
3. Fixed-price agreements
When you work with a standard dropshipping supplier on AliExpress, the price of your dropshipping products may vary.
And nothing is more irritating than buying a product from a supplier for, let’s say, $10, only to find out that the price has been raised to $15 just a week later.
Nevertheless, when you work with a dropshipping agent, you can prevent that by making fixed-price agreements. And even if they plan to increase their prices, they will certainly let you know beforehand.
👉 Check out How To Price Dropshipping Products: Definitive Guide For Beginners.
4. A better understanding of the latest industry trends
In the present age, everything changes, and your dropshipping niche is no exception.
So, keeping pace with the ever-changing market and industry trends can be difficult nowadays. And, of course, you cannot focus on that all the time. After all, you have a business to run.
However, you can keep up with cutting-edge trends with ease if you know where to look.
Indeed, you have various apps and platforms like AdSerea, or Minea where you can find your winning products easily, but this also requires time, effort, and money!
Namely, partnering with a dropshipping agent can help you do so along with staying ahead of the curve and avoiding competitors passing you by.
To put it another way, your agent will have many other clients, i.e., other dropshipping businesses that operate in your niche.
Consequently, they will have a good understanding of which dropshipping items are currently trending or selling well.
They also tend to perform original market/industry research and follow influencers in various industries. And if you have a strong relationship with your dropshipping agent, they will be willing to share their findings with you.
Of course, you can do all this on your own, but remember that you don’t have all the time in the world to win over your competitors.
1. Minimum order quantity requirements
One of the disadvantages of hiring a dropshipping agent is that they may require you to receive a certain number of orders daily.
Sure, this is perfectly understandable because they invest effort and time to find the right supplier for your product, contact them, and develop a relationship with them. And they cannot do so only for one order daily.
However, for you, as a beginner might be expensive depending on the quantity they require.
💡Tip: Learn about MOQ Meaning: What Is MOQ and How To Use It In Dropshipping.
2. No automation
Although some “modern” dropshipping agents use an app to automate their order fulfillment process, most require you to send a CSV file of your order to them.
Above that, you have to do so every single day. This is considered to be another disadvantage of working with a dropshipping agent.
First off, automation is important in dropshipping because it helps to streamline and simplify the process of managing orders and communicating with suppliers and customers.
Moreover, it refers to automatically placing orders with suppliers, updating customers on the status of their orders, and handling other tasks such as tracking inventory levels and sending out shipping notifications.
👉 Check out the 12 Best Dropshipping Software To Automate Your Store.
Indeed, automation means saving time and effort, reducing error risk, focusing on marketing, and hiring a dropshipping agent means the same.
Now, imagine dropshipping agent without automation. Not good, right? We think you get our point here!
3. Vulnerability to fraud
While you are reading this article, you have probably got the impression that these agents are some kind of “angels” who can help you make millions with dropshipping.
But let’s be honest – not all dropshipping agents are trustworthy. Unlike dropshipping suppliers, many dropshipping agents do not have websites for their businesses.
👉 Read about Dropshipping Scams & How To Avoid Them As a Beginner.
We must point out that we do not want to make you avoid using dropshipping agents. We just want you to be aware of this and avoid agents who are not reliable.
However, we are not leaving you in the middle of the road, just keep reading. We made you a list of the best dropshipping agents below in this post.
👉 Familiarize yourself with the dropshipping taxes and payments before you start your Dropshipping Journey with Agents.
How to Find the Perfect Dropshipping Sourcing Agent?
The three most effective ways to find the best dropshipping agents are through Facebook groups, dropshipping forums, and by browsing through the list of verified dropshipping agents on Dropshipping.com.
Obviously, the choice is all yours!
1. Find a company that offers dropshipping agent services
There are several ways you can find a company that offers dropshipping agent services:
1. Search online
You can use search engines like Google to search for companies that offer dropshipping agent services.
Hence, you can use keywords like “dropshipping agent”, “dropshipping fulfillment”, or “e-commerce fulfillment” to find relevant results.
For example, you can check how dropshippers search for this kind of information, by checking on keyword search volume. Take a look at Ubersuggest results. 👇
2. Ask for recommendations
You can ask other e-commerce business owners or industry professionals for recommendations on companies that offer dropshipping agent services.
However, be careful about this one. Not all of them wish you the best.
3. Attend industry events
You can attend trade shows, conferences, and other industry events where you can meet and talk to companies that offer dropshipping agent services.
However, here are some of the well-reputed companies in the industry offering dropshipping agent services:
Thus, once you have a list of potential companies, you can research each one to determine which one is the best fit for your business.
You may want to consider factors such as their pricing, shipping times, order accuracy, and customer service.
2. Look for a dropshipping supplier who offers sourcing and fulfillment services
Some dropshipping suppliers offer sourcing and fulfillment services, meaning that they also act as dropshipping agents. And here are some of the best suppliers for this purpose:
Indeed, we will give you a quick review of these dropshipping suppliers below in the post, and for many more as well!
3. Join and use Upwork
Upwork is a popular freelancing platform where you can find a trusted dropshipping agent for your business.
To find an agent, simply visit the site and type “dropshipping agent” in the search bar. Many suggestions for dropshipping agents will undoubtedly pop up.
What’s more, that way, you can see some social proof regarding their job success rate, their hourly rate, etc.
Also, by using Upwork, you can search by location. This allows you to find a dropshipping agent depending on where you want to source your products from.
4. Contact other dropshipping entrepreneurs
This is another great way to find dropshipping agents.
Thus, if you know someone that has a successful dropshipping business using a dropshipping agent, get in touch with them and ask them about their agent.
Just be careful with this because not everyone will be willing to give you information about their business!
However, this is not your only option, since we gave you 6 others. But also, take advantage of our list of the 14 Best Dropshipping Agents below in this post.
5. Dropshipping Facebook Groups
It literally takes three steps to get a list of plenty of the best dropshipping agents out there on Facebook.
- Go to Facebook
- Type in “dropshipping” or “dropshipping agent” in the search bar
- Select Groups from the panel on the left side of the screen
That’s basically it. Now that you’ve done this, all you have to do is to start joining groups and reaching out to people. Read further below to find out how to contact a private agent for dropshipping.
For instance, some of them are: eCommerce Dropshipping, Dropshipping, Dropshipping.com Community, and Dropshipping Suppliers in USA, EU & UK, etc.
6. Dropshipping Forums
A dropshipping forum is filled with experts in this industry. It can help you find anything that has the word dropshipping in it.
If you want to know how to find a dropshipping agent without too much hassle, dropshipping forums are built for things like this.
So, here’s what you have to do.
- Go on Google
- Type in exactly this: “best dropshipping agents +forum”
- Open several forums and search for “dropshipping sourcing agent”
- Then, go inside each thread and you’ll eventually hit a gold mine
If you don’t want to spend extra time searching through all the forums, here are the top 7 dropshipping forums in 2023 that you can benefit from.
Also, here are some of the best Dropshipping forums:
- Dropshipping.com: Dropshipping Premium Community
- Reddit: r/dropship
- Reddit: Dropshipping
- AliExpress Dropshipping Forum
- Shopify: Dropshipping
- SaleHoo: Drop Shippers
The easiest way for you to find the best dropshipping agents is to do a quick search on the supplier page at Dropshipping.com. The majority of the suppliers you’ll find there are verified and specialize in dropshipping stores.
To clarify, you will only be working with dropshipping agents who know how to handle dropshipping businesses. As a result, chances for errors, miscommunication, and misunderstandings are minimal.
Follow these steps to find a dropshipping sourcing agent at Dropshipping.com:
- Go to Dropshipping.com
- Click on Suppliers from the navigation panel at the top of the page
- Select the category (or niche) you want to search through
- Start analyzing the thousands of suppliers and agents that pop up
Once you open a specific dropshipping agent or supplier page, you can view their contact info, how much their products cost, where they operate, and more important information.
14 Best Dropshipping Agents for Your Store
Here is the definitive list of the currently best dropshipping agents you can work with.
Eprolo is a company that provides dropshipping services, which means that they handle the process of selling products online for other companies or individuals.
Furthermore, as dropshipping agents, their services include sourcing products, order fulfillment, quality assurance, warehousing, packaging, and shipping.
What’s more, the sourcing staff at Eprolo is always on the hunt for innovative, popular products. Thus, as soon as they find it, they are added to the Eprolo platform.
Also, Eprolo has a product catalog with millions of products in it. However, if you are unable to find the product you are looking for, you can send a sourcing request to Eprolo’s knowledgeable sourcing team.
Next, this dropshipping agent integrates with various eCommerce platforms like WooCommerce, Shopify, eBay, and Amazon.
Not to mention that Eprolo offers custom packaging. This means that you can customize the packaging with your logo and colors.
- Custom packaging
- Trustworthy suppliers
- 24/7 customer support
- Huge product catalog
- Integrated supply management
- Fast shipment
- Slow shipping time
- Limited suppliers and products
- A limited number of dropshipping agent services
- Doesn’t offer 24/7 customer service
Niche Dropshipping provides end-to-end dropshipping services. The interesting fact about this dropshipping agent is that you always interact with a team of people.
As a result, when you register with Niche Dropshipping, a personal account manager is given to you on Skype. After that, they will be accessible for any one-on-one discussions regarding your company.
Niche Dropshipping provides product sourcing, inventory storage, branded packaging (including private labeling), and international order fulfillment.
Additionally, this dropshipping agent finds goods from every category in under two business days. This implies that you can surpass competitors by selling popular items quickly.
Furthermore, Niche Dropshipping provides private labeling services along with one-on-one customer assistance.
More importantly, this dropshipping agent integrates with Shopify, eBay, WooCommerce, and ShipStation. Moreover, it supports 18 different shipping options like EMS, DHL, FedEx, ePacket, China Post, 4PX, etc.
- Fast product sourcing
- Private labeling
- Unique customer service
- International shipping
- Support team
- Requires MOQ (10 orders per day)
- Not suitable for beginners
Sourcinbox is a dropshipping platform that intends to compete with some of the biggest companies in the industry. This dropshipping company provides 100% free software and fulfillment services.
Thus, Sourcinbox charges you just the price of the goods and the cost of shipping.
Also, with over 40 skilled employees and its 4000 square meter warehouse, Sourcinbox can process up to 20,000 shipments each day using a sophisticated warehouse management system.
Correspondingly, you start working with SourcinBox once you send a request. The next thing you know the SourcinBox team will source and buy the products for you. What’s more, they also provide private labeling, so it is possible to customize your products.
- Affordable prices
- 1-on-1 client manager
- Bulk order fulfillment
- After-sales service
- Quality Control
- Some items require MOQ
- Not automatic order fulfillment
uDroppy can connect you with around 1000 suppliers to contact and work with if you’re looking for a general Chinese dropshipping agent with access to a wide range of items.
They provide an outrageously wide range of items from which to pick. You have a lot of space to choose the ideal product with reasonable margins.
Furthermore, you can quickly build a relationship with a supplier using Udroppy. Additionally, this dropshipping company offers custom packaging and can manage order fulfillment.
The platform also provides a solution that gives complete dropshipping automation.
- Vast product selection
- Order fulfillment in one click
- Outstanding user interface
- Paid dropshipping agent services
FillSell is a dropshipping agent that connects dropshippers with trusted shipping companies and Chinese suppliers.
This dropshipping agent interacts with Shopify and gives you a knowledgeable support agent to handle all of our dropshipping requirements.
Additionally, Fillsell confirms the reliability of every supplier they work with.
Because of this, they require their suppliers to work with reputable shipping and logistics firms.
As a result, the items are of guaranteed quality and are delivered to your consumers as quickly as possible.
Additionally, FillSell keeps providing assistance even after the product has been sold. Thus, they will deal with complaints, returns, and refunds.
- Fast shipping
- Verified suppliers
- After-sales guarantee
- Quality Control
- One-on-one account manager
- Only the premium plan offers a one-on-one account manager
- Requires MOQ ( 20 orders per day)
Wiio is an all-in-one platform for dropshipping that also functions effectively as a dropshipping agent.
Through the partnership with Wiio, you can access its extensive network of suppliers to identify in-demand items and benefit from integrations with Shopify, WooCommerce, and Yampi.
Additionally, Wiio offers features for product sourcing and quality control. Likewise, Wiio keeps the goods in its warehouses after sourcing and purchasing them on your behalf.
Plus, Wiio maintains your inventory, making it easy to keep track of it for quicker, error-free operations.
Besides, Wiio provides you with customized photos and videos of your items, enabling you to advertise them successfully.
- Quality assurance
- Product Sourcing
- Order fulfillment
- Customized images and videos from the products
- Inventory management
- Low-quality customer service
- Limited integration of sales channels
- High-priced goods
- Ideal for increased order volume
With the aid of one of the most skilled dropshipping agents, QBSourcing can find items that are hard to find on the market and generate a bigger profit margin.
This dropshipping agent has integrations with Shopify, Amazon, eBay, Magento, Etsy, and WooCommerce.
Additionally, QBSourcing offers international delivery. And, although they are situated in China, they use several transportation methods to deliver goods to the addresses of your clients.
Additionally, they provide you with quality assurance, private label dropshipping, etc.
- Product Sourcing
- Private labeling
- Worldwide Shipping
- Quality Control
- Does not have any reviews yet (No social proof)
- Requires MOQ
DropHippo provides a full solution for product sourcing and fulfillment. It makes it easier to obtain high-quality items from China.
The thorough quality control staff at this dropshipping company makes sure that every product complies with a wide range of quality requirements. That’s why their clients always obtain high-quality items thanks to their stringent quality control procedures.
Additionally, Drophippo offers warehousing services in the USA, UK, and China. This guarantees speedy delivery of items and prompt processing of returns.
Plus, Drophippo is one of the few platforms that supports several languages.
However, this dropshipping agent only works with Shopify. That implies your stores must be created on Shopify in order for you to leverage its service.
Also, it has limited product offerings with only 300 products to choose from.
- Multiple-language application
- Several warehouses around the world
- Strict quality assurance
- Complete brand services
- In-app invoicing
- Limited eCommerce platform integration
- Small product catalog
- Paid dropshipping agent services
EcommOps has a vast network of manufacturers for sourcing products. They work with more than 1200 factories as partners!
Also, even though this is a Chinese dropshipping agent, the language is no barrier here, since all of the employees speak English fluently.
Likewise, along with having a large network of suppliers, EcommOps also collaborates with those suppliers to offer private-label goods.
What’s more, this dropshipping agent also offers bulk order fulfillment. However, they need a minimum of 50 orders per product every day before you can use their services.
Further, EcommOps integrates with Shopify, WooCommerce, BigCommerce, and Amazon.
- Fluently communicate in English
- Effective and efficient bulk order fulfillment
- Fast and automated order processing
- Fast shipping internationally
- Huge supplier network
- Private labeling
- MOQ required (50 orders per day)
- High barriers to entry
- Upfront fees
HyperSKU offers dropshippers their own expert dropshipping agents that will link you to everything that goes on inside the business.
Your personal dropshipping agent will always keep you up to date on everything. They will let you know when your order has been packed, and shipped, where it currently is, and basically everything else that should concern you.
In addition, the HyperSKU dropshipping sourcing agent will also help you with any internal errors or issues that you may be facing at any time.
To sum up, this dropshipping agent will act as your babysitter in order to make sure everything goes smoothly and you start making sales as soon as possible.
- No MOQ for dropshipping
- Integration with major eCommerce platforms
- Fast shipping
- It’s free until you start getting sales
- Branding services
- Automatic order fulfillment
- Limited services are offered under the free plan.
- Unreliable reviews
- limited integration of sales channels
CJ Dropshipping is a dropshipping agent that has been helping dropshippers since 2015. They specialize in helping beginners get from absolutely $0 in revenue and scale to six figures and above.
You don’t need to know a lot about dropshipping to work with this agent. They will help you with basically everything. From choosing the right product to setting up your store, and making your first sale.
To sum up, this dropshipping agent is here to help you start and scale a successful dropshipping business from scratch.
- No minimum order quantity
- It’s cost-efficient even if you make 2-3 sales per day
- Help with finding a winning dropshipping product
- Regular product quality checks
- Help with order management
- Easy integration with your store
- Expensive shipping
- Obsolete website
- Higher-priced goods
Out of all the dropshipping agents from China, Nihao Dropshipping is among the most reputable.
This agent offers a one-stop dropshipping solution that effortlessly integrates with your Shopify, WooCommerce, BigCommerce, or Magento store.
In addition, it can help you find multiple winning products from dozens of popular categories.
The reason why Nihao Dropshipping is one of the best dropshipping agents is that it is highly reliable and perfect for both beginners as well as more experienced sellers.
- Countless products to sell
- Excellent communication
- Affordable prices
- Easy-to-use platform
- Requires MOQ
Almond Global’s slogan says all you need to know about this dropshipping agent. – “We’re in China so you don’t have to be!”
The best thing about Almond Global is that it’s led by an American staff who lives and operates in China. They know how the American market works and are the ideal choice if you want to dropship within the US, and even globally for that matter.
To put it differently, Almond Global is one of the best dropshipping agents mainly because of its friendly, cost-efficient, and highly skilled service and staff.
- Extremely easy communication
- Sample evaluation
- Product sourcing and manufacturing
- Fulfillment companies
Did you know that there’s a way to get even cheaper prices for dropshipping products than on AliExpress?
Dropship Agent offers exactly this. This service is the pick of the litter when it comes to clean and simple dropshipping. They help you find products that sell well, that are affordable, and that you can start selling right now.
In addition, Dropship Agent will help you set everything up and then automate the order processing for you as well.
As a result, this agent definitely deserves a spot in this list of the best dropshipping agents in 2022.
- Quick integration with Shopify
- Offers cheaper product options
- Automates order fulfillment
- Offers relatively fast shipping
How Much Does a Dropshipping Agent Cost?
The cost of a dropshipping agent can vary significantly depending on the services they offer and the extent of their involvement in your business.
Thus, some dropshipping agents may charge a percentage of each sale that they facilitate, while others may charge a flat fee or hourly rate.
Anyway, it is difficult to give a specific cost without knowing more about the specific services being offered and the needs of your business.
1. Fixed price per order
Dropshipping agents who charge a fixed price per order typically offer a set of services for a pre-determined fee. This fee is usually a flat amount that is charged for each order that is placed through the dropshipping agent.
Some examples of services that a dropshipping agent might offer for a fixed price per order include:
- Sourcing products from suppliers and adding them to your online store
- Handling communication with suppliers and placing orders on your behalf
- Quality checking and inspecting products before they are shipped to customers
- Arranging for products to be shipped directly to customers from the supplier
- Providing customer service and handling returns or complaints
For example, you can determine that you need quality control, supplier sourcing, and negotiating. So, if the supplier charges you $200 for quality control, $50 for negotiating, and 300 for supplier sourcing, you will have to pay $550 in total.
Lastly, a fixed price per order can be beneficial for you since you get the same cost regardless of the order size. However, you should consider that there is an upfront payment with no guarantee of quality services.
2. Percentage commission per order
Next, some dropshipping agents charge a percentage commission on each order that they facilitate. This means that they will take a percentage of the sale as their fee for handling the order. The percentage commission will vary depending on the agent and the services they offer.
For example, a dropshipping agent might charge a 7% commission on each order that they facilitate. If an order is placed for $100, the dropshipping agent would receive a commission of $7 for handling the order.
Also, keep in mind that the commission rate for each order under this model ranges from 3% to 10%.
What’s more, agents that charge you 0% or 1% should be avoided. This is because they either work with subpar suppliers or they add additional charges on top of the commission.
3. Monthly or membership fee
Dropshipping agents who charge a monthly or membership fee typically offer a set of services for a recurring fee. This fee is typically paid on a monthly basis, although some agents may offer other billing intervals such as quarterly or annually.
This is commonly utilized by dropshipping agents that have an extensive database of registered suppliers so you may view them and choose the ones you need.
Usually, order sizes are restricted and there are MOQs. Also, additional services like quality control or packaging are included in some of the pricing plans.
Tips on how to evaluate if a dropshipping agent is suitable for your online store
As we have already said, not every dropshipping agent is reliable. Do not be a victim to scammers that are out for your money.
So, to ensure a productive working relationship and business success, you must choose an agent who is trustworthy, delivers great customer service, and meets your specific needs.
Picking the right agent involves much more than scanning a series of fee lists. It is recommended to do a little more detective work and ask them to answer the following questions.
This can give you additional peace of mind and help you ensure they are qualified and the best fit for your business needs.
- “Where are you located?”
Some agents have their own warehouses, whereas others work for fulfillment warehouse companies. Either way, you must know their location. Your chosen agent must be based close to the product factory or dropshipping supplier so that they can restock faster.
Furthermore, they need to ship your products to your customers as soon as possible. Therefore, it is important that they are based in a location where there are good shipping routes available.
If they have their own warehouse, you can ask them to send you photos of it.
- “What is your processing time?”
For those who do not know, processing time starts when a customer places an order with you and ends when the dropshipping agent fulfills that order. The time in between is the processing time.
Different dropshipping agents have different processing times. But the typical processing time is anywhere between 2 and 3 days. And remember that if the processing time takes longer, the shipping time will take longer too.
So, you must ask the agent how long it will take to process an order.
- “What is your shipping time?”
Similarly, you also need to ask them about their shipping time. A good dropshipping agent must offer good shipping options and fast shipping times.
Make sure that they offer a shipping option that’s both fast and inexpensive.
- “Could you tell me more about your business network?”
This is another important question you need to ask when picking the right dropshipping agent for your business. If the agent has mutually beneficial relationships with other business people like manufacturers and suppliers, that’s a great plus for you.
It would be great if your chosen agent has genuine connections with local factories. This can increase your chances of business success.
Avoid agents that source your products from AliExpress or Alibaba since you can easily do it yourself. You do not have to pay an agent for that.
Learn how to start dropshipping with our Ultimate Alibaba Dropshipping guide.
- “How do you perform the quality inspection process?”
The term “quality inspection process” refers to the activity of checking products. And if the agent does not care to tell you how they check the products so that no poor-quality products are sent to your customers, it may be a sign that they are unreliable.
- “What is your return policy?”
Handling returns is a crucial part of running a dropshipping business. However, this process is not entirely up to you – the dropshipping agent is responsible for that.
And that’s why you must be familiar with their return policy. That way, you can let your customers know what products can be returned and for what reasons. Also, that way, you can inform your customers about the timeframe over which returns are accepted.
- “How much do you charge for your services?”
The majority of dropshipping agents do not charge a fixed fee for their services. So, you need to know how much the agent charges for what they do. If they charge a reasonable fee without any hidden costs, you may consider working with them.
- “Could we schedule a video call?”
Of course, asking someone you do not know to set aside time in their busy day to talk to you can be challenging. But a trustworthy dropshipping agent will not hesitate to make a video call.
Not only will this help you meet them, but it will also help you determine if they are reliable. Needless to say, video calls can also facilitate remote team bonding if you choose to work with the agent.
To sum up, a dropshipping agent is an intermediate between the dropshipping supplier/manufacturer and the dropshipper (you).
Dropshipping agents can make the difference between a profitable dropshipping store that’s easy to operate and one that causes lots of stress every day.
Although you do not need a dropshipping agent to be successful, it is a good idea to hire one, particularly if you are sourcing from China to the United States or Europe.
Just be careful when selecting the right agent for your dropshipping business because not all agents are reliable!
As a result, use this guide for finding and working with the best dropshipping agents to your advantage.