How many dropship suppliers should you use?

One of the main benefits of drop shipping is that you can list products that you do not currently have physically available. This means you can essentially list in almost an unlimited amount of different products from different manufacturers.

At the first glance this may appear to be a great idea,  however if you start selling hundreds of different products all from different suppliers you will soon create an logistical nightmare. The reason for this is that most e-commerce platforms allow a user to purchase multiple products.

So just imagine what would happen if someone purchases 10 different product that you drop ship from 10 different suppliers?

The first thing you would need to do is find what manufacturer you used to get the product from, place an order with the manufacturer to send the item to your customer and repeat this for each product. You have to pay shipping for each item in any small order handling fee that you are charged.


Hopefully you are also dealing with decent suppliers that can process and ship orders quickly and accurately. It will become a disaster if in the one order multiple products were sent incorrectly or there are huge order delays.

Another possible issue is how much do you charge for shipping, especially if your charged shipping on each product from the same order. Ideally you want to pass the shipping cost directly to the customer, however depending on the value of the items sold you may not be able to charge the individual shipping rate on each product.

E.g. in the one order they purchase:

  1. Digital camera
  2. Digital camera bag
  3. memory card
  4. camera lens
  5. lens cleaning kit
  6. spear batteries
  7. battery charger unit

If each product is from a different supplier you will be charged shipping for each item. When checking out a customer will not want to see seven different shipping charges (one for each product) instead they would prefer either a flat charge or even better free shipping.

Just remember shipping as one of the main reasons for cart abandonment.

The best way to get around this is a bit of forward planning.

  • Check for decent suppliers before deciding on a niche.
  • Make sure you find a single supplier who can supply most of the products you want to list on your site.
  • If possible limit the amount of suppliers you use on a single website to only a small handful.
  • Make sure you place a few test orders before using a new supplier.
  • Add the suppliers shipping and small order handling fees directly to the product price.
  • If possible list products with a small flat rate shipping charge or even better free shipping.



Leave a Comment