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New European E-commerce Seller 101: How to Dropship on Amazon and Other European Marketplaces?

Blog, eCommerce Insights | February 22, 2019

Dropshipping is what took the e-commerce world by storm as part of the modern digital era. It has opened new doors and even more importantly new job positions.

From a customer’s point of view, we’ve reached a point where going to the store to purchase things is an actually unusual thing and from an e-commerce point of view, the new invention of the easiest business model-dropshipping made things easier for people to reach out and seek for their piece of the huge pie. Unimaginable amounts of money (and we are talking billions) is what keeps the wheel spinning keeping customers happy and potential investors drawn to it like an addiction.

Nevertheless, if you have decided to launch an online store or if you are already there but wanting to expand to the European markets don’t seize to read because here you might find a number of useful bits of information.

The Advantages of the European Market

Although, as we previously mentioned, spreading into the “unknown” can be difficult and challenging, have you stop to think about the number of opportunities and advantages that lie within? Adding more than 28 individual countries that are in the EU on to your list will not only generate a huge amount of revenue, it will grow your store, you will sell on an international scale, and you will be able to easily place your products to less saturated market. The EU market worth over 534 billion euro in 2017.

The Main Points You Should Consider

1. Choose your Strategy Wisely

One of the very first things you need to choose is your strategy- business model. Not only you should aim to, of course, start easily and have high-profit velocity (meaning making money fast) but you should consider the sustainability, the risk, and the level of competition. All of these aspects are quite important and one might just be the reason that you might “make it or break it”.

  • Dropshipping with your own website

The first business model is the simple one when you own a website but you don’t need to carry out any inventory but your vendor does it instead. The only thing you need is to use a platform such as Shopify and as soon as you are approved as a retailer you can access hundreds of products that can be added to your shop. As much as you consider this a good idea because you don’t need to rent a warehouse nor to worry about the shipping when the first problem appears in terms of on-time delivery, for example, you won’t be able to literally anything. Remember you are always heavily depending on your vendor so you will have to invest in content marketing and ads (Google’s Ads, Facebook Ads, and more).

  • Dropshipping on marketplaces

Dropshipping on different marketplaces such as Amazon is quite similar to the first option that we provided you with but instead of using your own website you are dropshipping the goods to a marketplace customers. If we take Amazon for example and the way things work firstly, you need to find a distributor that is willing to dropship whenever someone makes an order on Amazon (this model is not fulfilled by Amazon-meaning you are responsible for the delivery time). Now, there are a number of pros such as no start-up costs, nor the need to start a website but unfortunately, if you have easily found your wholesaler so can anyone else with the exact same products meaning the competition is fierce. However, again you are depending on your distributor and with the strict Amazon’s regulations for on-time delivery and no-cancellation policy, you are at constant risk of getting banned.

  • Selling Private Label Goods on marketplaces

The best way to create a brand from scratch and to make some money is to find a manufacturer that will produce customized products (commonly found in China via Alibaba) – Now you have the opinion to ship your products off to Amazon FBA warehouse in Europe, and to then used the already fully functional and developed Amazon’s marketplace to sell your goods. Sounds amazing, right? Yes, you do depend on Amazon but at the end of the day, you are creating your very own brand. Nothing can stop you, even a ban on Amazon. Not when you can always “pack up your brand” and sell it on your personal webpage.

  • Selling Private Label Products on Your Own Website

We have left this business model as the last one on our list because it has the highest long-term potential. Not only you get to customize your own products since you are selling them on your personalized branded webpage, but you are also literally having the control every step of the road. This business model is just fit for you if you are aiming to create something valuable in the long-run. The risk is that you have to make sure orders keep coming or your products sit in the warehouse which causes warehouse fees and constraints your cash flow.

2. Expanding to the European Market

The best and the easiest way to expand all the way to Europe is through their international platforms. Selling on International Marketplaces is the solution to your problems. In addition, we are presenting you the top local platforms. Before signing up to any of these, you must think about the products that you are planning to sell and find a suitable platform popular for the same or similar niche goods.

UK Online Marketplaces

With a value of more than £135 billion the UK E-commerce market is one of the world’s largest and most popular one so you won’t be making mistake if you choose to expand right here.

  • Amazon

Yes, with more than 304 million active users and over £6 billion in the UK alone, Amazon is one of the biggest marketplaces not only here but in 13 other countries worldwide too.

  • eBay

Another worldwide popular marketplace with a worldwide presence, an enormous amount of customers, and a number of practical tools makes the international selling hassle-free.

  • Game Marketplace

In this case, the name says it all. If you are searching for a new market for your computer hardware, toys, media, gaming, or collectibles sector-you are in the right place.

Other European Online Marketplaces

  • Allegro

If you are looking for a way to spread into Eastern Europe then this is the right platform for you and your product. Although it is operated from Poland it is considered as the fifth largest online marketplaces in Europe. Not only they can offer you more than 14 million customers, but additionally, they will offer you advertising and marketing support.

  • Cdiscount

This platform is one of the most popular web pages in France with more than 11 million users and visitors every single month. Divided into 40 different categories you will most certainly find a spot to place your product too. Not only they are popular, but their reputation also lies within their high-quality distribution composed of more than 19, 000 pickup points throughout France.

  • OTTO

Although Amazon holds the first spot for the most popular platform in Germany, OTTO is on the second spot. Besides mainly focusing on Germany and France they are present in more than 20 other countries too. Their trademark and what they are known for is the fashion and lifestyle section.

  • Fyndiq

They have rapidly become the number one marketplace not only in Sweden where they were founded in 2010 but in Europe too, since they are offering a variety of non-food retail products with truly affordable prices. With more than 2 million people “lading” on their webpage every single month, you should seriously consider starting your spread to the European market from the Nordic region.

3.    Never Rely on One Supplier Only

Never, but when we say it-we truly mean it, never rely on one supplier only. Always have a backup supplier. You need to fully grasp the idea that your supplier is the key component in this process. Each and every time when you start working with a new supplier you need to make sure he does the job properly. If you are not 100% certain, test it out, make some orders! Don’t forget to monitor the on-time delivery, examine the packaging, the shipment, the product itself. First and foremost, you must be a hundred percent fully satisfied in order to meet the expectations and the needs of your customers too.

4.    Source Your Products Skillfully

Since we’ve said everything else, the last piece of the puzzle or should we say the first one, is the products you are selling. No matter how great you are at marketing, choosing the right product to sell is the key to everything. The truth is you don’t own a factory for mass production nor a connections with manufacturers so it is always good to start looking for suppliers on B2B (business to business) directory or dropshipping website. Choosing either of these two options will simplify the entire process since you are shortening the supply chain.

If you don’t have a clue where to start we are offering a list with some of the best and most popular dropshipping suppliers.

  • AliExpress is probably one of the most popular dropshipping and wholesale platform with millions or products sorted in more than 40 niche categories.
  • SaleHoo is another wholesale supplier offering its services in the United States, Australia, and UK. There is annual fee $67 (per year).
  • Doba will allow you to create customized list with products and they are charging $29 per month for the basic service.
  • Wholesale2B has a stunning list of more than 100 suppliers and millions of products to choose from.
  • Worldwide Brands charges one-time fee of $249 and they are offering more bulk distributors.

Conclusion

As you can see, dropshipping is not a one-time call to be made but rather a variety of choices all “glued” together by one simple goal-providing the online customers with a seamless and fully functional platform that will offer plenty of products, everything from furniture to outdoor gardening products.

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