Where can I find a DropShipping supplier in the UK?
After the madness of the festive period, many different people are looking for ways to make more money. That might be because they’ve spent a bit too much during their celebrations, or it might be because this year is the year they’re planning to really scale their online retail business. Either way, people are looking for ways to start a business, or they’re looking to grow their business. There are loads of different ways to do this of course, but DropShipping is a brilliant way to make money, whichever camp you might fall into.
The first thing you’ll realise when you’re working on your business – whether you’re starting a business from scratch, or you’re a seasoned pro – is that a retail business is nothing without great suppliers. But finding DropShipping suppliers that are reliable can be hit and miss – especially if all you can find is suppliers from overseas and on AliExpress. Overseas suppliers CAN be great, but there’s a greater chance that you’ll encounter problems – so finding UK based suppliers is almost always better.
In addition to finding reliable suppliers, you need your technical setup to be easy to set up, and for it to continue to work for you with next to no maintenance – especially if you don’t have the technical expertise to configure those setups.
With so many things to consider and get right, you might find yourself scratching your head and spending more time than you’d like. In this post, we’ve rounded up some of the best places to find DropShipping suppliers, and those with the integrations and technical setups that you need.
Getting in touch with suppliers directly to create a setup is one way that you can get your business moving forward. It takes some time, and you’ll need to make sure the supplier is consistently reliable. (If you’ve never worked with suppliers directly before, and you’re worried that you might get duped, then our post about spotting fake DropShipping suppliers is for you!) A much easier way to find DropShipping suppliers is through supplier directories, that give you access to thousands of supplier details.
Most supplier directories contain information about verified suppliers, such as their niche, and their contact information – but in most cases, you’ll have to pay for that information. Can you find this information without the directory? Almost certainly, but the directory will make it much easier and faster, so you’ll need to weigh up the cost of your time, and if you have the money available to pay the (usually low cost) subscription fee.
eSources is a massive directory of suppliers and wholesalers. Most of the directory is made up of wholesale suppliers, but there’s also more than enough DropShipping suppliers to make it worth your while browsing the selection. They’ve been steadily growing since 2005, and they are meticulous in vetting suppliers before they permit them to be added to the directory.
When you first search for eSources, there’s a lovely slick homepage, but when you click through to the directory itself, the page is pretty dated – there’s lots of blue links and in a table grid format. Hopefully, since the homepage is much better now, they’re working on rejuvenating the directory itself, but the dated page shouldn’t put you off – it really is a useful resource. However, if you’re saving money by not paying for access, you’ll find most suppliers will have a minimum order quantity because they’re wholesalers – so you’ll need to figure out whether it is better to pay upfront or not. Since pricing starts at just £12.50, it won’t break the bank.
If you’re looking for suppliers to provide integrations with your sales channels, then eSources might not be the right solution, since eSources don’t have their own infrastructure – it is purely a directory. Some suppliers will have integrations, but you might end up needing to send your orders via .csv file.
One of the older retail directories, Wholesale Deals is well respected in the industry. There’s more than 1.4 million members that are sourcing from more than 480,000 verified suppliers, and at the time of writing, there were more than 10,000 live profitable deals available.
There’s a lot of UK DropShipping suppliers on this directory and you have the backup of Wholesale Deals should you encounter an issue with a supplier. Unfortunately, there aren’t any sales channel integrations, and you’ll be dealing with suppliers individually.
You can sign up for Wholesale Deals for free, but you can’t get supplier details until you’ve paid for access. You’ll get much more value from the database by signing up for a subscription. Monthly payments cost from just £14.99, but you can save by paying for a yearly subscription upfront.
SaleHoo is a supplier directory that is based in New Zealand, but they’ve extended to include suppliers worldwide. You can filter by location and where the supplier ships to, making it a great option if you’re looking to move into new markets internationally.
Like the other directories that we have talked about here, suppliers have to be verified by SaleHoo before they are allowed to be listed on there – so you’re unlikely to encounter fake businesses that are running scams. With that in mind, SaleHoo does offer a money back guarantee, as well as high standards of customer service, making it a good option for beginners.
Again, because SaleHoo is a directory, there aren’t any sales channel integrations that you can make use of, and you’ll almost certainly have to work with different setups from different suppliers, which can get tricky if you don’t have the technical knowledge to make that work for you.
Suppliers with sales channel integrations
Getting access to multiple suppliers with sales channel integrations is clearly going to make your life a lot easier if you’re a retailer, rather than a developer – and even if you do have the skills to make different setups work, work smarter, not harder! That’s where DropShipping marketplaces come in. They’re set up for exactly this purpose, to give you access to suppliers with plenty of lines in stock – which is exactly what you want and need. However, you’ll want to do your research before you get started, since not all DropShipping marketplaces have the integrations and functionality that you’ll want.
Syncee is a DropShipping marketplace that has integrations with a number of store builders, including Shopify, Wix, WooCommerce, and BigCommerce. There doesn’t seem to be any marketplace integrations available for Syncee at the moment, so if you’re planning to sell on Amazon and eBay, you’ll need to be aware that you’ll need to do those integrations manually.
Syncee suppliers are all over the world, although you can filter by location – which is great whether you’re starting DropShipping in the UK, or you’re building your business and expanding internationally. There’s a handy chat feature, so you can address any issues ahead of sourcing from a new supplier, and there’s automation for orders. If you integrate your online store with the relevant Syncee app, then orders can be automatically forwarded for processing by suppliers.
If you’re just starting out in DropShipping, you can have a go at using Syncee for free for up to 25 products. When you’ve made sales and profits, you can use those profits to pay for the basic package, which is $29 per month. As always, make use of the free account before going all in, since many reviews talk about Syncee being tricky to set up and use until you get used to it.
CJdropshipping is a DropShipping marketplace with suppliers that have warehouses worldwide, and you can filter based on warehouse locations – so if you’re only interested in products that are already in the UK, you just need to filter by British warehouses. With such a huge operation, it isn’t surprising that there are thousands of products available, and if you’re looking for something specific that you can’t find, the CJdropshipping team will try and source it on your behalf.
The advantage of working with CJdropshipping? There are no monthly subscription fees to pay, but it is a similar setup to AliExpress, in that you aren’t making lasting connections with suppliers. However, it is a relatively easy way to start sourcing, and there’s a lot of products available from multiple suppliers, so this might not put you off if you’re just starting out DropShipping. There are connections to some sales channels available, including one for TikTok which could be potentially really lucrative if used well – but few connections are available for marketplaces like Amazon and eBay.
AliExpress is synonymous with DropShipping, and has been for quite some time. There have been various ways of accessing suppliers and products from AliExpress, including the now defunct Oberlo. Shopify (who owned Oberlo) now recommend DSers to connect AliExpress to your store, and there are a number of other apps that you can use if you’re sourcing from AliExpress suppliers and you’re not using Shopify for your store, and if you want to sell those products on marketplaces.
If you’re thinking that all AliExpress suppliers are based in China, and you’re not interested in shipping from there, then it could be worth a look again. Suppliers listing on AliExpress are now offering products from fulfilment locations outside China – including some in the UK – and you can filter based on location. While there’s a chance that some of these suppliers are saying their products are in the UK and they’re actually not, reviews and your test orders should flag these.
Pricing of products on AliExpress are usually pretty low, which means you can almost certainly make decent margins, and you’ll be able to find products in most categories and niches. However, although some businesses manage to make a business from AliExpress, there are a few challenges that you need to be aware of. AliExpress is well known for having dishonest suppliers – not just with shipping times, but also with whether they have actually shipped the product, even though they have taken your money. In addition, there’s absolutely nothing to stop your customers from finding the listing you’ve sourced from and ordering it directly from your supplier. Is AliExpress DropShipping right for your business? Maybe, but if we were starting out, we wouldn’t start with it ourselves.
The UK’s only full service DropShipping marketplace, Avasam was designed to benefit eCommerce businesses of all shapes and sizes from the get-go. We have a constantly growing number of UK-based suppliers that have brought hundreds of thousands of products to the marketplace for you to source. And because we verify every one of our suppliers, and the product data that they provide for us, you can start sourcing those products without worrying that you’ll run into problems. Not only that, but you’ll find integrations for all the biggest sales channels, including Shopify, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, and EKM, as well as marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, and OnBuy. We can also help you to connect to a number of other sales channels, so if you don’t see the ones you want, just ask.
We’re currently building our range of suppliers and we will be onboarding international suppliers with international shipping in the near future. (if you’re a supplier, wholesaler, or manufacturer looking for ways to sell more, then get in touch – we’re keen to hear from you!) Not only that, but we’re continuously building new functionality, with new integrations that we know our users want and need – we’ve recently released our integration for EKM, and Wix is on the way too. If you’re looking for an even better value solution for launching your DropShipping business, then check out our Click to Launch initiative with BigCommerce to get started completely free and in under 90 seconds.
You can find out whether Avasam is right for your retail business by registering for your free account. Once you’re ready to start sourcing and selling, you can choose the right level of subscription for your business based on what functionality you need, and how many products you want to sell.
Which method of finding suppliers is best for my business?
There isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ answer to this question, unfortunately. We built Avasam with all levels of retailers in mind. We built functionality that entrepreneurs that are taking their first steps to building their own business need, as well as established retailers that want to scale their business without investing cash, and for suppliers that want to launch their own marketplace. Despite that, and the fact that we’ve got countless additional features on our roadmap for the future, we are fully aware that it isn’t the right solution for all businesses. And that’s the same for pretty much every other supplier directory and DropShipping marketplace. Every business owner, and manager needs to do their own research, and make those decisions based on what their existing business needs today, and more importantly, in the future as the business grows.
While we’ve just said that there isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ answer, in general we know that beginner entrepreneurs, and retailers with little time and resources available will be able to grow and scale their business more quickly, and with less hassle by making use of a DropShipping marketplace like Avasam. Retailers with plenty of experience, technical ability, and an existing setup that they can easily add to are more likely to find a supplier database useful for their business.
This might have you wondering whether you can use more than one method of finding suppliers. And yes, you can – but you’ll need to be able to handle the technical setups. This can be challenging, and if you don’t have developer skills, or have access to a developer, keep it simple – you need to be able to focus on selling, rather than coping with setups that don’t work, or having to issue refunds because something went wrong.
When you’re making plans for your business, there are infinite numbers of decisions to be made – but with the right solutions, your business can grow quickly and exponentially. As we have said enough times, there isn’t a one size fits all solution for every business in retail and eCommerce, and of course, these aren’t the only options available to you! You’ll need to make your decisions carefully, based on what your business needs today, and over the next few years.
If simple access to UK suppliers is what you’re looking for, then a great place to start is with an Avasam account. You can sign up and take a look free of charge with our trial – and our experienced team is ready to support you if you’re an existing retailer.