For those frustrated with the drop-shipping process or who are simply looking for a change of pace, there are a number of alternatives that can be explored. Some of these resources are from larger, well-known companies, and others come from up-and-coming players in the wholesale industry.
Fulfillment by Amazon
Amazon.com is a leading online retailer, if not the leading online retailer. However, the online superstore also offers a service called Fulfillment by Amazon, which allows wholesalers who drop-ship to sell their products online with Amazon doing much of the heavy lifting. Amazon will store, package, and ship merchandise on behalf of sellers as well as provide customer service if needed. Fulfillment by Amazon also allows sellers to have their orders filled from multiple sales channels; all while being stored in one of Amazon's fulfillment centers.
ShipMyOrders provides order fulfillment, logistics, and warehousing for a wide range of products, including DVDs, books, cosmetics, electronics, and more. ShipMyOrders specializes in warehousing, order processing, and fulfillment as well as distribution to customers worldwide. Among the company services are merchandise storage, product photography, and customer service.
National Fulfillment Services
National Fulfillment Services serves business-to-business companies as well as consumer-facing entities. The company, in business for more than 45 years, serves a wide range of industries, and its warehouse is able to ship products using any standard carrier. Additionally, NFS can gift wrap products, include special promotional materials and messages, or provide other specialized packaging needs.
Bonanzle is one of the growing newcomers to the scene and aims to be the "simplest marketplace online." The company recently picked up $ 1 million in venture capital funding and is quickly nipping at the heels of larger companies in the drop-shipping arena. Bonanzle users can quickly import their eBay drop-shipping listings onto the site, and its fees are significantly lower than those on eBay. For instance, items listed at less than $ 50 incur a $ 1 final value fee, whereas on eBay many final value fees are a flat 12 percent. Another bonus is there are absolutely no listing fees on Bonanzle.
eCrater is another alternative to drop-shipping and is similarly light on the fees that frustrate many wholesalers who drop-ship. Among the many touted benefits of eCrater are the site's unlimited categories and products available to sellers. eCrater is also compatible with PayPal and Google Checkout, and merchants can use up to 10 photos per listing at no cost whatsoever. As a "100% totally, completely free" site, eCrater also offers bulk listings, eBay listing imports, and fully editable stores at no cost to users. Users can also make their storefront addresses customizable, with a personal eCrater URL included for free. One thing to note is eCrater's listings are based on fixed prices, so those looking for auction-style sales should look elsewhere.
A relatively newer company, Highwire strives to take the guesswork out of online merchandising with its suite of products and services. From marketing and site design to product management and order processing, Highwire aims to make it easy and affordable for drop-shippers to create their own online stores. Among Highwire's benefits, the site offers flexible shipping options depending on your businesses' needs, and shipping rates are calculated in real time. Highwire's services come on a multitier pricing scale, ranging from absolutely free to about $ 50 a month for premium service.
Integrated into Facebook, Payvment is new but may have the advantage of a captive audience in Facebook's millions of users. The service allows drop-shippers that already have a Facebook fan page to integrate the shopping experience on Facebook; Buyers no longer have to navigate away from Facebook to purchase your wares. Payment's Open Cart Network lets customers finalize purchases from any Facebook storefront, so the chance of users abandoning their shopping carts is diminished. Payvment supports more than 20 currencies and is TRUSTe certified. You don't need a merchant account to use Payvment, but will need a PayPal account to collect payments. Customers can pay using PayPal, Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or Discover.
While not directly in the drop-shipping business itself, SaleHoo can point you in the right direction. The site serves as a directory to other drop-shippers, providing product reviews, supplier information, and many other details that buyers are looking for. The site features more than 8,000 legitimate drop-shippers, manufacturers, wholesalers, and liquidators. All of SaleHoo's suppliers are verified, and the site utilizes a review system to weed out dishonest dealers.