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What is e-commerce drop surfing?

Drop surfing is concept finding more suppliers once you have a winning product.

Drop surfing is a made up term which is part of the dropshipping system. Over the last year, the term “Drop Surfing” has been appearing as a marketing term for a few ‘fake gurus’ to push their online courses.

You know how online gurus always like to ‘coin’ new terms and come up with the next ‘hot thing’. Well this is one of them.

Except, there is nothing new about it.

Drop surfing is the practice of basically having multiple suppliers lined up for each product, so when you sell an item via dropshipping, you then pick and choose the cheapest supplier to ship the item for you.

Which if you’ve ever done dropshipping, you’ve been doing this all along.

All dropshipping courses worth their value (even free ones) have had this practice in it for 10+ years. There is nothing new about it, it just didn’t have a ‘coined name’.

Picking and choosing suppliers to get the best deal has been around forever. Anyone whos ever worked as a buyer, or in a purchasing department for any company has been doing this. It’s standard practice.

Anyone in dropshipping who’s been successful has been doing this, it’s not new.

Some people are trying to make the public believe that ‘drop surfing’ is different than ‘dropshipping’. It’s not. That’s kind of funny too. If you are already dropshipping, then you are already doing the drop surfing ‘methods’ or should be already. It’s kind of part of the deal.

Margins in dropshippers are generally lower then other methods of eCommerce. When you do dropshipping correctly, you already have multiple suppliers lined up. Even if you have 5 suppliers for each item type, you are constantly looking each and everyday for more to ensure you have the best prices at all times. This is standard. Nothing special about it.

Advantages of using the drop surfing e-commerce method to promote your business

1). It has a low start-up cost: One of the biggest upsides of using the drop surfing eCommerce method is that you can start your online business on a shoestring budget. You don’t have to spend too much money on buying all the inventories, but simply contact the third party seller and provide the link in your online retail shop, which will allow you to sell the product directly from the third party stock at the most competitive price and not face hassle of maintaining stock at your end (and paying a huge amount of money on it). You only need to pay the cost of eCommerce website development or eCommerce app development depending on your planning.

2). Open your retail shop faster. The reason is that they don’t have to buy a different kind of products that they wish to sell on their online store. Additionally, they are able to keep their operating cost very low by avoiding expenditure on storehouse, packaging those goods, keeping a track of the inventory, and shipping the goods. Since in drop surfing e-commerce strategy you don’t have to follow any of these steps, you can start your business in a flash.

3). Saving on overheads: The overhead cost also reduces considerably as you don’t have to pay a huge amount of money for stocking your goods, paying salary to your workers working in your warehouse and packaging the department.

4). Get a flexible location for shipping of goods: This method allows you to the option of using flexible locations to sell your goods. As you are not storing any good in your own warehouse, you can simply connect to any third party in any part of the world to sell their goods through your store. Therefore location is not a big issue for you.

5). Provide a wider variety: It allows you to offer a wide variety of products to your customers. Since you are not investing a huge amount of capital in buying inventory, but are depending on third parties to sell their products to your customers, you get the option of selling a large number of products through your easy retail website.

6). Scale up your business: This method allows you to easily scale up your business by simply adding new third parties to your list of suppliers whose goods you can sell through your own online website or mobile app.

7). You are selling trending goods: In drop surfing, online retailers mostly sell those goods that are trending. Therefore, you have a great demand for your product which ensures that your business remains viable.

Disadvantages of drop surfing e-commerce method

While this method gives you several advantages, there are certain disadvantages associated by following this process to expand your online business.

1). Fall in share margin: Since you have to share your profit with the third party whose product you’re selling through your online store, your margin remains very low (even when you are buying from a supplier that is selling the product at the most competitive price in the market) ,which can affect the viability of your online with business significantly.

2). No control over inventories: If you have your own inventory then you can easily keep a record of them with yourself and know which one of them are in good supply and which are not available. Therefore, if you to display a product is available in your website or app, but when you contact the third party to supply that particular product and they show their inability to do so due to either limited stock or not available, then it can have a serious impact on your online business reputation.

3). A complex shipping process: When you contact many suppliers to sell their product(s) through your store, then it will become sometimes a logistical nightmare when different suppliers use different shipment options and it becomes difficult for you to keep a track of all the products sold to your store on a real-time basis.

4). Mistakes of the suppliers impacting your reputation: Since you are selling the product through third party suppliers, there is a possibility that they might make some mistake either in the shipment, the product or the cost. Any mistake from their site will have an adverse impact on your market reputation as good online retail.

Wrap up

So, you have seen that drop surfing method has pros as well as cons. You need to figure out your own situation, if you do not have financial problems then it’s wise to avoid drop surfing and vice a versa. The primary factor for an online business is its website or mobile app.


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Andy Chou
Andy Chou
You sell - we ship source and ship for you !