When it comes to scaling online businesses, sellers often struggle to find suppliers that offer the most competitive prices, the lowest minimum order quantity (MOQ) requirements, sufficient inventory, and fast shipping times.
When sellers can’t find a reliable dropshipping supplier, they may consider hiring a private agent to manage inventory instead. But is working with a private agent worth it?
In this article, we are going to compare the two dropshipping solutions for scaling your business so you can decide which one is right for you.
Private Agent vs. Dropshipping Platform
Generally speaking, private agents act as middlemen to connect you and the manufacturers. Private agents have access to warehouses and either work independently or through a company.
You can find private agents online
You can easily find many private agents on social media like Facebook or freelancing platforms like Upwork. To get in touch with them, you can simply join a related Facebook group or a freelancing platform and post your request.
Effortless as it is, just be wary of scammers, especially when you are asked to provide personal information.
Screenshot of Facebook Groups
You’ll need to meet a MOQ to start
For the most part, private agents establish a minimum order quantity and often prioritize working with veteran dropshippers with stable order volumes.
If you’ve just started your business, make sure you can meet the minimum order quantity of the private agent you’d like to work with.
You might have to hold inventory
To avoid being adversely impacted by supply chain shortages, private agents might advise you to purchase an inventory of your most in-demand products in advance and have them keep storage for you.
Private agents prefer one-product stores
Before asking your private agent to find winning products for your business, you will need to know exactly what type of product you intend to sell. Unlike dropshipping platforms, private agents aren’t able to offer you a variety of products to choose from.
On top of that, private agents prefer not to work with general-purpose stores because it costs them much more to take care of all the business needs. Dropshippers with general-purpose stores usually have to work with different suppliers simultaneously. This is a time-consuming process— and it’s even less manageable if most of the items are not so profitable.
A dropshipping platform can be used as an all-in-one supply chain tool that provides comprehensive dropshipping solutions. Generally, it is integrated with product sourcing, order processing, and shipping fulfillment to help online store owners fulfill orders automatically.
No minimum order quantity required
Although the specific MOQ requirement can differ from one dropshipping platform to another, usually, there are lower or even no minimum order amount requirements for sellers who use those platforms. This means you don’t need a hefty upfront investment to start selling your products.
CJdropshipping is a platform with no MOQ, thanks to our relationships with thousands of suppliers all over the world. And this undoubtedly minimizes risk upfront for owners of small online businesses.
Still, you may find that some products are priced higher than on wholesale sites like Alibaba. Because CJdropshipping sells at the retail price while sites like Alibaba sell at wholesale price.
24/7 online support
To improve communication with users, dropshipping platforms are usually set up with online customer service. Even so, 24-hour live customer support is difficult to achieve for most online service businesses. Businesses tend to prefer using chatbots when there’s a shortage of staff.
CJdropshipping provides online customer support 24/7. Since dropshipping is a business model that involves global stakeholders, customers all over the world may require support at any time.Inventory storage
Like private agents, dropshipping platforms like CJdropshipping hold inventory for their users.
If your online store targets US customers, for instance, you can store your products in US CJdropshipping warehouses. The delivery time can be reduced in this way to only 3-5 days once orders are placed.
As an added bonus, there’s no storage fee for inventory storage at CJ warehouses for the first three months when you buy from CJDropshipping. This means that you can store your goods for free as long as you are constantly getting orders from your customers.
Customize your packaging
Another benefit of platforms that work with factories is the add-on services like custom packaging. CJDropshipping offers unique packaging with different logos per seller requests. Your products increase in value if they have branded packaging.
Downsides to both options
Private agents rarely work with small business owners because the cost of labor and shipping fees will be way too high for small order volumes. It’s also very time-consuming to build and grow a brand new online store. Plus, private agents tend to focus on marketing specific products, which doesn’t make sense for dropshippers.
As for dropshipping platforms, communication efficiency and order processing time are what online sellers are most concerned with. Waiting for online support slows everything down. It may also take longer for dropshipping platforms to purchase items from different suppliers to ship in one parcel, which leads to longer fulfillment times.
Why choose a dropshipping platform like CJ?
CJDropshipping selects quality suppliers to ensure the best supply chain (processing time and shipping) experience.
And we are always looking for new ways to improve our supply chains. CJDropshipping agents can pick and choose from the products of thousands of top-notch Chinese manufacturers.
Online store owners can connect their stores with CJdropshipping to automate order fulfillment. CJDropshipping is integrated with 13 leading eCommerce platforms like Shoplazza, Shopify, WooCommerce, BigCommerce and more.
CJdropshipping combines the advantages of dropshipping platforms and private agents. Get in touch with CJDropshipping by leaving a message in the chatroom, and we’ll find you a personal agent to help with product sourcing, warehousing, order fulfillment, and more!
Before starting your dropshipping business, carefully consider how you are going demonstrate to potential buyers the value of your store.
While private agents and dropshipping platforms both have benefits and drawbacks. What really matters is having a clear business plan before selecting a supply chain system to scale your business.
The good news is that you now know more about supply chain solutions, reach out and start a conversation with us to explore more possibilities for your business!