During your search for suppliers, it’s highly likely that you’ll stumble across a wholesale or drop shipping directory. Quite simply, a directory is a website that complies a list of suppliers, and their information, then stores them in one easy to use database.
In this article, I’m going to be breaking down both the good and bad points of using a drop shipping directory. Hopefully this information will help you to make an informed decision as to whether or not to use one, particularly if the directory you plan on joining has a membership fee.
The Benefits of Using a Drop Shipping Directory
The biggest benefit of using a directory is being able to quickly and easily find suitable suppliers. The directory ultimately saves you a whole load of time and effort by doing the searching, and sometimes even the researching for you. You won’t need to go down the route of spending hours on end trying to hunt down, and find the suppliers yourself.
Some directories take it that one step further by researching, and or verifying the suppliers information before listing them in their database. This comes with the advantage of having complete piece of mind knowing that the suppliers are legitimate, reliable and real companies.
If you’re the type of person who likes to know everything about a company before getting involved with them, directories make that easier for you too. Most directories store detailed information about the supplier including things like established date, location, product types, shipping details, returns details background history etc. Everything you need to know about the suppliers is right at your fingertips in one easy o use location.
The Disadvantages of Using a Directory
We’ve established that directories make it super simple to find suppliers to source from. However, this can also be a disadvantage. If the directory makes it simple for you to find suppliers, it means it’s also simple for others. Therefore, it’s not uncommon for directories to be over-saturated and ripe with competition. Let’s face it, most people prefer the easy way over the time consuming way. Therefore, they’re going to turn to a directory, the very same directory everyone and their dog is already using.
It’s also important to keep in mind that not all drop shipping suppliers will get listed on a directory. Therefore, if you’re too busy battling it out with the competition on a directory, you could potentially be missing out on an opportunity to partner with a fairly unknown or newly established supplier. A lesser known supplier essentially means less competition, and less competition means more sales for you.
Another disadvantage with using a directory is the costs that are often attached to it. Most directories will charge a membership fee. This is their rightful commission for the hard work they put into finding and researching suppliers. However, if you’re a brand new start-up business, the last thing you want to do is fork out money on something you can ultimately get for free, provided you’re willing to do the searching and researching yourself.
Beware of the Scams
Heavy competition and membership fees are not the only worry when it comes to using a drop shipping directory. Scams can also an issue. If you’re dealing with a good directory, the chances are, they’ll have some type of verification process to minimise the possibly of members being scammed by suppliers. However, some lesser established directories may not review or verify the suppliers that are listed. Therefore, until someone has been there, done it and had their t-shirt ripped off, there’s no sure fire way to tell if a company is legitimate or not.
Once you’ve made the initial contact with a supplier, from then on after, you deal with and pay them directly. Therefore, even with a strict verification process, the directory has no real way of being able to protect you. Just because a company is listed on a directory, it doesn’t mean it’s legitimate. Always do your due diligence and research before making the decision to get involved with any suppliers.
Sadly, this isn’t the only type of scam to look out for because some directories themselves can be the scam. Using unethical or misleading sales tactics designed for the sole purpose of lining their own pockets with your cash. This includes boasting of a large database when in fact, it’s mostly filled with outdated, poor quality or under established suppliers. If you do plan on using a drop shipping directory, doing prior research is the way to avoid being left disappointed upon gaining entry.
A drop shipping directory can help you to quickly and easily find suppliers to source products from. There’s some highly reputable directories out there that contain some very reliable suppliers to work with. In fact, here at Wholesale Frog, we have our very own supplier directory which is completely free to use. However, not all directories can be as useful as they may initial appear. To stay safe, make sure you do your due diligence before getting involved with any directory that charges a membership fee. Luckily, access to our directory of suppliers is free. Learn more.