• March 29, 2023

Dropshipping Agent: What Is It & Should You Find One in 2024?

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what is a dropshipping agent

In recent years, dropshipping has been evolving rapidly. According to statistics, the global dropshipping market size was valued at US$102.2 billion in 2018. It is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 28.8% from 2019 to 2025 to reach US$557.9 billion by 2025.

Dropshipping provides various benefits to online sellers. It has a low entry barrier and requires little investment upfront. In this business model, you sell without stocks, and your supplier manages the inventory on your behalf. This lowers your risk and saves you a lot of time.

However, running a successful dropshipping business is still a challenge. There are so many suppliers out there. Which one should you work with? It can be overwhelming to choose the perfect supplier, especially when you have little industry experience. This is where a dropshipping agent comes in.

A dropshipping agent is a middleman between you and the supplier. The dropship agent can help you source products from reliable suppliers efficiently and handle other crucial issues, such as product checks and branding. 

In this article, we’ll delve into the concept of a dropshipping agent, the methods to find one, and other important facets related to the topic.

What is a dropshipping agent?

the role of a dropshipping agent
the role of a dropshipping agent

dropshipping agent is an intermediary between you and your supplier. 

When you place a sourcing request, your agent sources products from one or more suppliers according to your requirements. Then the agent buys the products from the supplier(s) and handles quality checks, packaging, (branding,) and direct shipment to the customer.

Private dropshipping agents vs Professional dropshipping agents

There are two types of dropshipping agents, that is, private dropshipping agents and professional dropshipping agents. A private dropshipping agent is an individual or a small team that assists you with sourcing and fulfillment. They tend to process a few orders every day, and most of them don’t provide branding services. 

On the other hand, a professional dropshipping agent is usually a company. They can not only help with product sourcing and order fulfillment but also provide various customization options for branding. Moreover, they give you access to multiple resources for growing your business. Whenever you have problems, you can contact their dedicated customer service.

With a dropshipping agent, you don’t need to deal with trivial tasks such as negotiating prices, conducting product inspections, and arranging shipments. It saves you more time to focus on marketing and sales. If you are a newbie in eCommerce, a professional dropshipping agency can even give you ultimate guides to develop your business.

However, some people often fail to set a dropshipping agent apart from a dropshipping supplier. Remember that dropshipping suppliers usually deal with order processing and delivery. They don’t source products, brand them, or offer dedicated customer services. 

Here are more differences between a dropshipping agent and a dropshipping supplier.

CriteriaDropshipping SupplierDropshipping Agent
Product sourcingFew dropshipping suppliers offer product sourcing servicesSource products on behalf of the dropshippers
Product varietyLimited product choicesA wide range of products
Product inspectionSome suppliers may perform product inspectionCheck product quality before sending them out
Shipping methodsA few logistics optionsA large network of logistics companies
Customer serviceRegular customer servicesTailored customer services
CustomizationBasic customization optionsBroad customization services
the differences between a dropshipping supplier and a dropshipping agent

What does a dropshipping agent do?

What does a dropshipping agent do

The dropshipping agent plays an important role in the dropshipping business model. They serve as a middleman between you and the product supplier.

The primary functions of a dropshipping agent typically involve these.

Sourcing products

This is an important part of what a dropshipping agent does for you. The agent searches for a product from a supplier or multiple suppliers according to your demands. And then they sell it to you.

As they are experienced in this aspect, they can get you a high-quality and fairly-priced product with little effort.

Managing inventory

Dropshipping agents manage inventory on your behalf. A professional dropshipping company usually owns an inventory management system. This system can automatically spy on the stock in your store and effectively prevent the out-of-stock problem.

In addition, they rent a warehouse in their location and even global warehouses in your countries. With their warehouse service, you can preorder in case of out-of-stock issues during a busy event or on holidays. Plus, it helps to shorten the delivery time to your customer.

Quality inspection

Quality products can be the cornerstone of the success of a retail business. Dropshipping agents provide quality checks to reduce returns and refunds and improve customer satisfaction. They carefully check if there are any defects or damages among your goods before the goods are shipped.

Order fulfillment

From searching for the product to shipping it to the customers directly, a dropshipping agent handles the whole process. And you, therefore, are free up from trifles and have enough time for marketing and sales.

Branding

Branding is crucial to set yourself apart from the others in your niche. A dropshipping agent enables you to brand your business in various ways. You can add fundamental changes to your products, such as adding your logo, brand name, and promotional messages to the product. Also, you may add a unique design with their print on demand service. Moreover, some agents offer private label services, which allows you to customize products at your will.

Pros and cons of having a dropshipping agent

Pros and cons of a dropshipping agent

Nothing is perfect. A dropshipping agent is no exception.

Here are the pros and cons to use dropshipping agent services.

Pros

Wide product choices

Dropship agents have connections with many suppliers. So they can offer you a wide range of products to choose from. Some products may be hard to find from a supplier you contact.

Better priced products

A dropship agent can often negotiate better prices from suppliers. This means that you may get products at a lower cost and increase your profit margins.

Faster delivery

Dropshipping agents have established relationships with many logistics companies. They can provide you with a fast and cost-effective shipping solution.

Reduced risk of scams

A dropship agent can distinguish a reliable supplier from those not. So they can help you avoid potential scams from an unreliable supplier.

Dropshipping agents often stay updated with the latest trends in the market. They can give you valuable insights into trending products and industry development.

Tailored support

Unlike a supplier, a dropshipping agent offers you personalized support. 1-on-1 customer service is available to you on 7/24.

Customization

With a dropshipping agent, you have multiple choices to customize your products. You can print them on demand, private label them, or just do some regular customization like adding your logo or brand name.

Cons

Lower profit margins

Dropshipping agents charge fees for their services. Some may add a hidden fee on top of the product cost. These fees can eat into your profit margins.

Lack of control

When you work with a dropshipping agent, you’re relying on them to handle the order fulfillment. This means that you have less control over the entire process.

Quality control issues

If the dropshipping agent doesn’t check the product quality carefully, you may get negative customer reviews because of damaged or poor-quality items.

Should you use a dropshipping agent?

Frankly speaking, you can still develop a successful business without a dropshipping agent. Done right, finding a dropshipping supplier would be enough, especially for a startup with a few orders per day.

But what if you have 50, 80, or 100 orders every day, can you still manage everything by yourself?

What about new niche stores? Where to find winning products for them? How to manage them when you have several niche stores?

It would work better to get a professional dropshipping agent.

A professional dropshipping agent like Sup Dropshipping can be an expert in the e-commerce industry. With more than 10 years of experience, we are clear about industry trends and winning products in Shopify and other selling platforms. Selling recommended products from us can improve your chance of success.

In addition, our automated inventory management system makes it easy to manage your stock when you scale your business.

In a word, finding a dropshipping agent is not necessary but helpful. It is recommended to work with one to improve the performance of your business.

Find winning products with Sup Dropshipping
Find winning products with Sup Dropshipping

How much does a dropshipping agent cost?

A seller is calculating how much his dropshipping agent costs
A seller is calculating how much his dropshipping agent costs

There are 3 charging models used by a dropshipping agent. They are the subscription fee, commission fee, and fixed price per order. Besides, you are charged for product costs and shipping fees. Some agents may ask you to pay for their additional services like photography, custom packaging, POD, etc.

Subscription fee

Monthly subscription fees can range from $10 to $300 per month. With different subscription plans, you are accessible to different features. Typically, a premium or higher-level plan with more advanced features costs more than a basic plan with common features.

For example, if you choose the premium plan of Printify, you need to pay $29 per month and have access to 10 stores per account and up to 20% discount on all products. However, you can only own 5 stores per account and have no access to discounts when you opt for a free plan.

Commission fee

Commission fees are a percentage of the total order and can range from 1% to 15%. For example, an agent may charge a 5% commission fee on each order. That means if a product costs $20, the agent would charge an additional $1 as their commission.

Fixed price per order

This pricing model tends to be used by private dropshipping agents. They often charge for their services based on the number of suppliers and products or service hours. For instance, a private dropshipping agent on Fiverr can charge you $5 to $100 per order for one or multiple suppliers they source.

How to find a dropshipping agent?

With the development of dropshipping, more and more dropshipping agents have been available than ever. So it is not hard to locate a drop shipping agent if it is what you need.

Below are the most common methods you can take.

1. Fiverr

Find a dropshipping agent on Fiverr
Find a dropshipping agent on Fiverr

Hundreds of dropshipping agents are listed on Fiverr. Most of them are private individuals and small businesses.

Compared with professional dropshipping companies, they have limited resources for suppliers and products, but they embrace more flexibility and can provide more personalized services.

2. Upwork

Similar to Fiverr, Upwork is a platform that attracts a large number of talents. It is easy to find a dropshipping agent here. The fee they charge usually varies from $5 to $40 per hour.

Search with the keyword “dropshipping agent” on the search bar and plenty of related results will come out. And then your can pick up an agent according to the service fee, location, service description, and work history.

Find a dropshipping agent on Upwork
Find a dropshipping agent on Upwork

3. Search online

Search for an agent on your browser
Search for an agent on your browser

Searching for a dropshipping agent on your browser is simple.

You can search by keyword like “dropshipping agent” or “dropship agent” on Google. And then pick up an agent that ranks on the first or second page. You can also contact a dropship agent through a related post.

4. Search in the app store of your selling platform

Find a dropshipping agent in the Shopify store
Find a dropshipping agent in the Shopify store

This is a good way to find an agent for your dropshipping business.

If you sell on Shopify, you can open the Shopify App Store. And then enter “dropshipping agent” in the search box. There will come up with tons of related results. Read their reviews carefully and contact them for further communication.

5. Write a post on your social platforms

Writing a post in dropshipping groups on social platforms can be an effective method. Many dropshipping agents and dropshippers linger on Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Quora, etc. They pay close attention to updates on these platforms. You may get a response from them if you publish a post to look for a dropshipping agent.

Here is an example of the post.

“Hey, guys.

 I’m looking for a reliable dropshipping agent to work with for my store, SimpleStyle.com.

Does anyone have any recommendations or know of someone who provides great service at a fair price? I’m specifically looking for someone who can provide a wide range of products, fast delivery times, and good pricing.

Please let me know in the comments or feel free to message me.

Thank you in advance!”

6. Ask for referrals from your acquaintance

You likely know some drop shippers in your life or on the website. You may ask them to recommend a dropshipping agent for you. Since they have built a relationship with the agent, they can tell you details about the service of this agent.

What to consider when choosing a dropshipping agent?

There are a great number of dropshipping agents out there. How to choose the right one?

Take these factors into consideration when choosing a dropshipping agent.

Location

The location of the dropshipping agent affects the shipping time. If your agent locates near factories, processing your products may take a shorter time. Or if the agent is near your target market, your products can be shipped to the consumers faster.

Automation

Automation is an important factor to consider when choosing a drop shipping agent. If the agent automatically fulfills your order, you can save much time on forwarding order information to the supplier. And managing your store will take less effort. But mind that, usually, only a professional dropshipping company is able to offer automation services.

Shipping times and costs

The shipping cost and time may vary when a dropshipping agent cooperates with different logistics companies. You should choose an agent who can offer you a faster and cheaper shipping solution.

Fees and commission

One of the most important factors to consider is the fees and commissions charged by the dropshipping agent. This includes monthly or yearly membership fees, commission, and service fees. These fees can directly affect your profits. So be clear about them before you make the final decision on an agent.

Industry experience

An experienced agent can provide valuable insights and guidance on running a business and help you avoid common mistakes. Therefore, remember to look for agents with years of experience in your niche. Check their reviews and ratings in the industry to get a sense of their reliability and performance.

Customer service

Good communication and support are vital for a successful dropshipping business. Ensure the agent is easy to communicate with, and can offer you prompt support when you have any problems.

Customization services

Some dropshipping agents offer customization services, such as personalized packaging or branding. Consider these services if you want to create a unique brand image for your business.

Inventory warehouse

Check whether the dropshipping agent has an inventory warehouse near or in your target market. With the warehousing service, you can preorder inventory in case of logistics congestion and out-of-stock problems during an event.

Minimum order quantities

A few dropshipping agents could set a minimum order quantity requirement for cooperation. This MOQ is not a low threshold for a startup or small business. If your daily order volume is inconsistent, you had better choose a dropshipping agent that has no MOQ requirement.

Best Dropshipping Agents

1. Sup Dropshipping

Sup Dropshipping

Founded in 2010, Sup Dropshipping is an all-around dropshipping services provider in China.

Sup has built a close relationship with numerous suppliers and manufacturers. Working with us, you can access a wide range of quality and competitive products. Every week, we recommend you top winning products on YouTube and via newsletters. If you want to source a product from marketplaces like Amazon and eBay, you can upload its photo, search by keyword, input its URL, or use our Chrome extension. Placing a sourcing request and having the dedicated agent do the rest is optional as well.

Also, you have many customization options with Sup. For example, you can print your products on demand. There have been hundreds of printable products in various categories on our platform. The free design tool allows you to design your unique products with a few clicks. Meantime, tons of free patterns are available to you.

Additionally, Sup is easy to integrate with the major e-commerce platforms and marketplaces including Shopify, Shopee, WooCommerce, Etsy, Amazon, Wix, etc. Even if you sell in a not common platform, our free API program works to connect your store with our app and automatize order fulfillment. Managing your store is a breeze with us.

As for shipment, we have been in cooperation with many logistics companies such as DHL, UPS, FedEx, Yunexpress, ePacket, Yanwen, 4PX, and so on. Clear about their features and fees, we can tailor the best shipping method to your order.
Whatever problems you have with products, services, or fulfillment, the designed personal agent is accessible to you 24/7.

Pros:

  • A vast range of product choices
  • Quality inspection
  • Multiple customization options
  • Free POD patterns and design tool
  • Automatic order fulfillment
  • 1-1 customer services
  • Free to use
  • No MOQ

Cons:

  • An evolving brand, some improvements needed

2. HyperSKU

HyperSKU

As a dropshipping platform, HyperSKU connects with thousands of vetted Chinese suppliers. With HyperSKU, you can access tons of products in various categories. It is even likely for you to import liquids and battery-required items from China. Their product development team recommends you potential best-sellers in your niche regularly.

Orders fulfilled by HyperSKU usually take 7-12 days to arrive at most destinations such as the US, Canada, Australia, Brazil, and Europe. And those processed in the US fulfillment centers can take 2-4 days to be delivered. But using US warehouse service requires a 500 MOQ regardless of product category. You can enjoy this service for free for only 30 days.

HyperSKU allows you to customize and private label products at a low to no MOQ limit. Plenty of white and private label products are available to you.

Pros:

  • Connection with many vetted suppliers
  • Private label products with low MOQ
  • US warehouse for a faster delivery
  • Ship liquids and battery-required items
  • Free to use
  • Intuitive interface

Cons:

  • Not shipping worldwide
  • High MOQ for warehousing inventory

3. AutoDS

AutoDS

As a dropshipping company, AutoDS makes your dropshipping business much easier. On the AutoDS Marketplace, you can easily find potential products and best-sellers with their product research tool.

Once you receive an order from your customer, the order will be automatically fulfilled with their system. And tracking number and order status will be updated accordingly.  

With AutoDS’ automatic price tool, you can optimize your product price to maximize your profits.

Pros:

  • Easy-to-use product research tool
  • Free eBay fees calculator
  • Free learning resources about dropshipping
  • Support integration with multiple marketplaces and selling platforms

Cons:

  • Expensive monthly membership fees
  • Sourcing and branding services are not available

4. SourcinBox

SourcinBox

SourcingBox is a dropshipping company based in China. This company sources products directly from Chinese manufacturers. So the product price is affordable and also negotiable.

Currently, SourcingBox can integrate with selling channels like Shopify, WooCommerce, Etsy, SHOPLAZZA, Yampi, etc. After you register an account, they will assign you a customer manager, who offers you a prompt response to your queries.

At SourcingBox, your orders are automatically fulfilled within 24 hours with preordered inventory and 3-5 days without preordered inventory.

You can brand your business with their POD and private label services. But the customization choice comes with a high MOQ requirement. Therefore, SourcingBox may be not a right fit for you if you are a small business and intend to build your brand.

Pros:

  • Free to use
  • More than 100 languages are optional on this platform
  • Dedicated customer manager
  • Flexible contact methods
  • Fast delivery

Cons:

  • High MOQ for customized products
  • Some products with unclear information according to their customer reviews

5. Zendrop

Zendrop

Zendrop is a leading dropshipping platform in the US. A ton of products from the US and China are available to you on this platform. Their team provides you with free product sourcing services. With their US warehouse, you can expect your customers to receive their packages within a few days.

Zendrop currently can connect with a Shopify, WooCommerce, or CommerceHQ store. But automation fulfillment service is only available to you with at least a pro subscription.

Besides, you can be charged for branding services with their paid plans.

Pros:

  • Wide product selection
  • Fast delivery with US warehouse
  • Analyze your business performance in one dashboard
  • Order data and tracking information are automatically updated in your store

Cons:

  • Limited integration
  • Pro services like branding may be only available with paid plans
  • Frustrating customer service to their customer reviews

6. Eprolo

Eprolo

Eprolo is a China dropshipping agent service provider. Millions of products in multiple niches are available to you with Eprolo. And these products from Chinese suppliers and manufacturers are at a reasonable price.

At Eprolo, you are accessible to their customization services. You can print your products on demand and there is no MOQ requirement. Or you can private label them at a minimum cost of $19.9. It usually takes 1-3 days to process private labeling orders.

EPROLO’s shipping time is usually 5 to 15 days. It can be shorter with their overseas warehouses in the UK and US. But using the warehousing services needs to meet the MOQ requirement. Product quantity should be more than 10 pieces in China warehouses and 100 pieces in global warehouses.

Pros:

  • A variety of products
  • Fast delivery with global warehouses
  • Branding services available
  • Excellent customer services
  • Integration with major selling platforms

Cons:

  • Warehousing services are optional at a cost and with a MOQ limit
  • The user interface needs improvement

7. Wiio Dropshipping

Wiio Dropshipping

As a China dropshipping agent company, Wiio Dropshipping offers all-around dropshipping services to dropshippers.

On Wiio’s outstanding website or app, you can find weekly trending products. Meanwhile, you can customize product videos and photos, or add inserts, cards, labels, and your logo to the package.  

Before shipping out the order, the Wiio team adopts product inspection to ensure the products meet standards. Their personal sales agents can choose the best shipping solution for you with a wide network of shipping methods. With their US warehouse, your orders can be shipped fast.

If you have a Shopify, WooCommerce, CartX, or Yampi store, you may integrate it with Wiio for a smoother operation.

Pros:

  • Free to use
  • Weekly trending products recommendation
  • Outstanding interface

Cons:

  • Poor customer services
  • Slow delivery

8. Dropshipman

Dropshipman

Dropshipman is a China all-in-one dropshipping solution. But don’t mind that this company serves and ships worldwide.

Using Dropshipman, you can source products for free. There are more than 10 million selected winning products on this platform. Both labeling and packaging on demand services are possible.

If you connect your Shopify or Aliexpress store with Dropshipman, inventory, prices, and the order along with delivery information will be updated automatically.

Once any question occurs, their 24/7 live chat customer support is there for you.

Pros:

  • Wide product selection
  • Winning products recommendation
  • Free product sourcing
  • 24/7 customer services
  • Allow Shopify apps integration with your store
  • Quality checks before shipment

Cons:

  • Free to use only for 180 days
  • Limited branding services

9. Sourcingbro

Sourcingbro

As the name suggests, this dropshipping company provides you with product sourcing services. But what they do is not only sourcing. They also offer you white and private labeling to brand your business. The warehousing service is offered with no charge for storage fees.

At Sourcingbro, packages usually take 5 to 14 days to arrive with a standard shipping solution and 3 to 8 days with a priority solution.

Pros:

  • Transparent information about suppliers
  • Personalized customer support
  • Free warehouse storage

Cons:

  • Require a MOQ of 10 orders per day
  • Scanty information about the company
  • No live chat

10. Dropified

 Dropified

Dropified is another US-based dropshipping agent on our list. This agent company permits you to source products from multiple selling marketplaces and platforms like Aliexpress, Alibaba, and eBay.  

On Dropified, you can enjoy private labeling services at a membership fee of $97 per month and a $397 one-time set up fee. And there is no MOQ, and no warehousing and freight fees.

Dropified now can integrate with Shopify, WooCommerce, Bigcommerce, CommerceHQ, and GrooveKart. After integration, your store would be managed more easily.

Another highlight of this company is that it allows you to sell your products for free on the Facebook marketplace. This could give you an edge in expanding your selling channels.

Pros:

  • Fast delivery
  • Access to USA-made consumable products
  • No MOQ and freight fees for private labeling products
  • Selling in the Facebook marketplace is possible

Cons:

  • 10% fulfillment fee for free plan orders
  • Customization is offered at a cost

Frequently asked questions

1. What is the role of a dropship agent?

A dropship agent is a middleman between you and your supplier. They usually handle tasks such as product sourcing, order fulfillment, quality control, and delivery. Some professional dropshipping agents provide you with comprehensive branding solutions.

2. What are the benefits of a dropshipping agent?

A dropshipping agent can help streamline your sourcing process. They have connections with many suppliers and they offer plenty of product choices. In addition, some dropshipping companies integrate with various selling channels. It makes it easier to import, list, and manage products. They can also provide an array of customization options so you can build your brand to differentiate yourself from the competition. In addition, dropshipping agents take charge of order fulfillment including product packaging and shipping. This saves you from a lot of hassles and you can focus on other important aspects.

3. Is a dropshipping agent better than a supplier?

Which is better depends on your specific business needs and preferences. If you have a limited budget and don’t need to do branding, a dropshipping supplier might be sufficient. To make an informed decision, you can refer to our comparison between a dropshipping agent and a dropshipping supplier.

4. Is dropship agent free?

Dropship agents are not typically free. They charge fees for their services such as sourcing service, fulfillment service, and so on. But there are some drop shipping companies that provide a free plan. You can access ultimate features for dropshipping. Take Sup Dropshipping for example.
On Sup, you can use most of our services including sourcing, fulfilling orders, and print-on-demand services for free. You just need to pay the product cost and shipping fees. As we have a vast network of suppliers and logistics companies, we can offer you the most affordable products and tailor the perfect shipping solution. It is pretty cost-effective to work with Sup Dropshipping.

Sup Dropshipping pricing
Sup Dropshipping pricing

5. How to find dropshipping agents in China?

There are several ways to find a China dropshipping agent.

  • Search with “Dropshipping agent in China” on your browser
  • Search with “Dropshipping agent” or “Dropshipping” in the app store of your selling platform
  • Write a post on social platforms or forums like Facebook or Quora
  • Ask for referrals from your acquaintance
  • Attend trade shows in China

The easiest way is to work with Sup Dropshipping. We have built a relationship with major China suppliers, such as 1688, Taobao, Alibaba, and Chinagoods. We can help you find the best products at low prices. Additionally, our sourcing features like picture scanning and Chrome extension allow you to find an item in a few clicks. You can also forward the sourcing work to your personal agent. The customer service is available to you 24/7.

Sup Dropshipping has connections with major China suppliers.
Sup Dropshipping can help you source products from major China suppliers.

6. What is the best dropshipping agent?

There are a great number of dropshipping agents on the market. Popular options include Sup Dropshipping, Eprolo, AutoDS, and Zendrop. When choosing a dropshipping agent, consider these factors:

  • Location
  • Integration
  • Shipping times and costs
  • Fees and commission
  • Industry experience
  • Customer service
  • Customization services
  • Inventory warehouse
  • Minimum order quantity

Wrapping up

A dropshipping agent is a service provider who connects the supplier and you. Working with an agent can bring you many benefits. Though there are multiple methods to access them, the most straightforward way is to collaborate with Sup Dropshipping.

Sup Dropshipping is a dropshipping company located in Hong Kong. We provide worldwide dropshippers with all-around services from sourcing to shipping. With more than 10 years of experience in e-Commerce, we can ensure you a happy and satisfying experience collaborating with us.

Click to learn more about us!


About the Author

May
May

May is a blogger at Sup Dropshipping with over 5 years of experience in eCommerce. May’s passion for eCommerce drives her to stay updated on the latest trends and share her expertise with you through her blog. In her spare time, she likes to read a novel or chat with friends.



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