Many entrepreneurs are taking advantage of the dropshipping method to set up a full-time or part-time ecommerce business from home without having to stock or store any inventory.
Dropshipping, in a nutshell, involves acting as a middleman between the manufacturer and the online consumer. Instead of storing the products you sell, you forward the orders to the manufacturer, who takes care of the shipping and handling.
Salehoo is a popular dropshipping directory that many dropshippers use to find manufacturers they can work with. All sellers on Salehoo have been verified and vetted, and it only costs $67 a year.
However, Salehoo is far from the only dropshipping directory out there. In this article, we will explore five other viable Salehoo alternatives.
Worldwide Brands is one of the oldest dropshipping directories out there, having been founded in 1999. They list over eight thousand sellers in their directory and give you access to over 14 million products.
Worldwide Brands costs a one-time fee of $299 for a lifetime membership. Once you join, you will have direct access to all of their manufacturers.
You’ll get the contact details of each manufacturer so that you can contact them directly and negotiate your price.
Worldwide Brands actually acts as both a dropshipping directory and a wholesale directory. If you want to run an ecommerce business the traditional way, by making bulk purchases of products and storing them yourself, you can use Worldwide Brands as well.
You can also use Worldwide Brands primarily for dropshipping and store only your most popular products that are guaranteed to sell.
While $299 might seem like a steep fee, it’s worth the time, effort, and money you’ll save by not having to deal with dishonest suppliers who will scam you or sell you overpriced products.
On the other hand, Worldwide Brands is geared towards those who are already experienced with ecommerce and know that paying the one-time fee will be worthwhile for them in the long run.
AliExpress is an arm of the Chinese giant Alibaba. It allows anyone to purchase products in bulk or one-by-one.
Many dropshippers have started to use AliExpress as their product source.
AliDropship is a WordPress plugin that helps you set up your ecommerce store by pulling product listings from AliExpress. When a customer purchases a product on your site, you’ll order it from AliExpress with AliDropship’s one-click method and have it shipped to the customer.
AliDropship’s automation features make this all super easy. You can filter for products based on keyword, category, or shipping options to instantly populate your site with many products.
Product data will continue to be updated automatically. Instead of manually choosing a price for each product you list, you can set up markup rules for each category to instantly set a price for all of your products.
There are many marketing tools and add-ons as well, such as coupon sharing, payment acceptance options, and social sharing buttons.
The AliDropship plugin costs $89. It works with WordPress and Woocommerce.
If you wish to host your AliDropship store on their servers, you can have them set up a custom store for you. This service starts at $299. You can read more on how to launch your own Alibaba dropship business with Alidropship.
Oberlo is another big name in the dropshipping world, but not many are aware of how it actually works.
Oberlo is similar to AliDropship, except that it is designed for Shopify stores and is not limited to AliExpress products.
If you have a Shopify store, the Oberlo add-on will help you quickly populate your site with products from AliExpress by using their Chrome extension. Oberlo also has their own directory of suppliers, including Oberlo Suppliers and Oberlo Verified Suppliers.
These suppliers are based all over the world, which is why many of them have quicker shipping times than AliExpress suppliers (though you can stick to ePacket suppliers for quicker shipping there too).
Oberlo suppliers have also been vetted and verified to be trustworthy, but Oberlo Verified Suppliers includes only Oberlo’s top performers. You can also search for the top performing products in the Oberlo directory.
Again, everything is fully automated on your end. When a customer purchases a product, you simply click a button and the processing, shipping, and handling will be taken care of for you.
The downside is that you will have to import each product to your store individually; you can’t do it in bulk.
The best part about Oberlo is that you can use it for free if you are just starting out. The free plan allows you to list 500 products and sell 50 orders each month.
There are also advanced plans – $29.90/month for 10,000 products and 500 orders, and $79.90/month for 30,000 products and unlimited orders.
If you are just starting out with dropshipping and find the fees for services such as Worldwide Brands too off-putting, consider trying out Wholesale Central.
Wholesale Central is a free directory of suppliers for both wholesale and dropshipping ecommerce businesses. The great part is that you don’t even have to create an account to use the directory; it is entirely free.
Wholesale Central has actually been around since 1996. There are over 400,000 products from over 1,000 suppliers listed on the site.
Although it can be used without registration, there are additional perks if you do create an account. This includes a newsletter and a product locator service, where you put out a request for a product that suppliers can respond to.
Of course, nothing that is free comes without downsides.
Since the site runs solely on ads, it is not updated as often as most directories. Some products or suppliers may no longer be active.
In addition, only some of their suppliers work with dropshippers.
A better alternative to Wholesale Central for dropshippers would be Dropship Direct. Like Wholesale Central, it is free to use.
They have a much smaller directory – only around 100,000 products. However, they focus exclusively on suppliers who work with dropshippers.
There is also a paid Wholesale Files option, which gives you advanced data and inventory management services for sites such as eBay and Amazon. This service costs $37/month, though you can qualify for free access if you meet certain sales quantity criteria.
The downside to Dropship Directory is that it currently only ships to customers in the United States, though they have plans to expand to Europe, Australia, Canada, and Israel.
Which Dropshipping Directory Is Best For You?
The answer to this question will depend on your needs and goals.
If you are an experienced dropshipper or own a traditional ecommerce store, Worldwide Brands would probably save you a lot of time, money, and hassle.
If you use WordPress, then AliDropship is a great plugin to use. If you use Shopify, on the other hand, Oberlo is a good alternative.
Finally, if you are just starting out, try out Dropship Direct or Wholesale Central. Your capabilities will be limited, but it’s good for a learning experience. Once you get more advanced, you can continue on to Salehoo, Worldwide Brands, Alidropship, or Oberlo.THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. PLEASE READ DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.
Sam Zaman loves to write on technology & related stuff. Ecommerce, mobile and internet marketing equally drive her interest. Likes gardening and experimenting with new recipes. An avid reader and absolutely mad @bout donuts 🙂