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Fancy running your own online shop? Dropshipping makes it easy to sell products online, without any need to stock them yourself. 

The dropshipping model is straightforward – you sell products on your own sales channel, such as an E-commerce website. When a customer purchases a product, the supplier fulfils the order directly. 

Though it’s a competitive industry, you’re in the right place to give it a go. The UK is the third largest E-commerce marketplace in the world. So, there’s definitely an audience waiting for successful dropshipping businesses.

Before you start, however, you need to find a reliable supplier and set up the dropshipping arrangement. Choosing the right dropshipping supplier in the UK is a tough challenge, but you need to get it right if you want to succeed. 

To help make things easier, we’ve created this guide to the best dropshipping suppliers for UK sellers in 2024. We’ll quickly cover the basic ideas behind dropshipping and then explore our pick of the best dropshipping websites you can use to set up a profitable dropshipping business. 

What is dropshipping? 

Dropshipping is a retail fulfilment method in which a customer’s order is sent by the supplier rather than the seller. It means you don’t need to hold any stock and you don’t need to worry about logistics since the supplier will take care of packing and sending the order to your customers. 

Dropshipping’s very nature means you have less control when compared to a traditional E-commerce business. You can’t inspect your products before they reach customers, you won’t be able to track things down if there’s a problem easily, and you might even be selling the same products as your competitors. 

To make it clear, here’s a comparison between a traditional E-commerce model and a dropshipping one. 

Traditional E-Commerce Dropshipping
Sourcing products Source profitable stock by identifying attractive wholesale prices and purchasing in bulk Agree to a pricing structure with the dropshipping supplier and identify products from their catalogue
Order test products and inspect quality (though there’s no guarantee customers will receive the same in their orders)
Create product listings that reflect your real-world inventory and pricing strategy. If the supplier doesn’t have product photos, you may have to take them. List products on your site, with photography and information typically provided by the supplier
Selling to customer Process customer payment and capture order details Process customer payment and capture order details
Send order details to supplier
Packaging can be customised
Fulfilment Product picked and packed in your own facility Order packaged and sent by supplier
Order either collected by courier or sent to shipping
Profits The difference between the wholesale price and selling price, minus costs, is yours to keep as profit. Profit margins are far smaller as the supplier is handling more of the work. You’ll need to agree to a payment structure, such as a monthly invoice based on a percentage of sales.

In a dropshipping model, you’ll sacrifice control over fulfilment for more flexibility and scalability. Some E-commerce owners even experiment with holding physical stock for some products and dropshipping others. Whatever you decide, it’s essential to know the advantages and disadvantages of the method… 

The advantages of dropshipping

  • The supplier handles the delivery and logistics, leaving you free to focus on branding, marketing, and other growth-focused activities. 
  • You don’t have to purchase or rent storage space for physical stock.
  • There’s virtually zero chance of being left with surplus stock you have to sell at a discount. 
  • Your costs and risks are far smaller than starting a traditional E-commerce shop. 

The disadvantages of dropshipping

  • You don’t have control over order fulfilment, so tracking down a customer's order if they encounter any problems will require liaising with the supplier and their chosen shipping partner. This can frustrate customers and even lead to refunds or cancellations.
  • You won’t have much say over the branding or packaging of a product unless you have a strong relationship with the supplier. 
  • Profit margins are heavily reduced compared to standard E-commerce models, as the dropshipper will take a far higher cut for their part in the process. 
  • Any issues with a supplier will quickly spiral to your customers. If, for example, a supplier ceases manufacturing a product and forgets to inform you, you’ll still have the product listed as ‘in stock’ on your site despite it now being impossible to fulfil.

Just as modern E-commerce has evolved, so too has dropshipping – with many suppliers now helping sellers overcome common dropshipping issues by offering things like branded packaging. 

It’s for reasons like the above that you need to forge good relationships with reliable suppliers as early as you can. Finding a trustworthy supplier who won’t disappoint you or your customers is essential to growing a dropshipping business. 

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How to find the right dropshipping supplier

Before we share our list of the best suppliers to get you started, there are some general tips about finding a good dropshipping supplier. 

You’ll start by creating a list of suppliers who can offer the products you want to sell and are amenable to a dropshipping arrangement. For the most effective relationship, you should always aim to work with suppliers directly rather than through an agent. 

You’ll need to look at various resources across the internet to find suppliers. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Google search: Google is the internet’s greatest repository of contact information. Look for wholesalers, manufacturers and distributors rather than ‘dropshippers’ as this often returns dropshipping agents rather than actual factories. 
  • Reddit: As one of the world’s largest social media platforms, Reddit has a variety of boards catered to sellers such as /r/dropshipping. You can sign-up and ask questions on these boards (be sure to read the rules first) or simply search within the boards for contact information. 
  • eBay: Some distributors sell directly on eBay. Look for products delivered from overseas and that have a large number of products in stock. Contact the wholesaler and ask if you can speak to them about dropshipping. 
  • Social media: Various social platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram, have communities and influencers who share opinions on dropshipping and suppliers. Engage in the discussions or simply listen in to spot reliable contacts. 

Once you’ve found contact details on a dropshipping website, it’s time to refine your search by asking your suppliers important questions and determining crucial factors like shipping speed and pricing structures. 

You need a supplier who can commit to an acceptable delivery window. Some suppliers promise 7-10 days, whereas others offer far longer timeframes. Shorter windows incur higher costs, so you’ll have to balance the customer benefits against an even higher percentage of your profits. 

Some suppliers are already engaged in dropshipping and can provide technical support to integrate their inventory management system with your website. If managed correctly, this can be a huge benefit. 

If your supplier offers additional personalisation such as branded packaging it may help you stand out from the competition, just be sure to work out the costs involved before signing an agreement. 

Most suppliers have some form of product catalogue. The more accessible and easy to understand it is, the better it will be to work with them. 

The 10 best dropshipping suppliers in the UK for 2024

When putting together this list, we’ve included directories that share direct contact details for wholesalers as well as technology-led dropshipping platforms, which automatically connect your sales channels to supplier inventories.

The best relationships are ones you arrange on a direct basis, but the reality is that modern dropshipping platforms are beneficial and can save you lots of valuable time. 

With that in mind, here’s our list of the best dropshipping suppliers you can use in the UK in 2024. We’ve selected industry-leading dropshipping platforms and UK-specific wholesale directories to give you the best options for selling to customers up and down the country. 

A quick reminder about objectivity: Crunch is an E-commerce accountancy software provider. We have no relationships with any suppliers in this list – it’s purely a resource designed to help E-commerce business owners and entrepreneurs who want to explore dropshipping. 

1. SaleHoo

SaleHoo is that must-have digital tool for dropshippers, giving you access to thousands of suppliers via its directory service. 

SaleHoo’s directory offers loads of filters and sorting tools to help you find suppliers that will ship to the UK in the timeframe you need. Customer reviews for suppliers ensure you can avoid bad sellers and most will even offer to work with you with no or low minimum order volume, making it perfect for new dropshippers looking to get started. If you want to take things further, SaleHoo also offers a Shopify integration to connect directly with your site and allow you to sell supplier products with ease. 

  • Huge directory of dropshipping suppliers
  • Modern filters and sorting tools to help you quickly find contacts
  • Shopify integration designed for E-commerce

2. Cjdropshipping

A large dropshipping company based in China, Cjdropshipping allows you to browse thousands of manufacturers and arrange for the listing and shipping of products with ease. Better still, the site holds a 4.9/5 score on TrustPilot and even offers a wide range of E-commerce store integrations for platforms like Wix, Shopify and WooCommerce. 

  • Experienced dropshipping provider with international delivery options.
  • No minimum monthly fees or order volume.
  • Stellar customer reviews on TrustPilot and other third-party review sites.

3. HyperSKU

There are quite a few businesses built around connecting suppliers with sellers, many of which share the same database. For a seller, that means the real ‘difference’ is only in how much support you receive and any additional benefits they can give you. HyperSKU gets a lot of this right, with a stellar 4.9/5 TrustPilot score and smooth integrations with WordPress’s WooCommerce and Shopify. 

  • Extremely positive customer reviews
  • Dedicated integrations with popular E-commerce shopfronts
  • Supports the shipping of liquids and battery-required items

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4. Avasam

Similar to the other dropshipping platforms featured on this list but with a unique difference, Avasam focuses on connecting your shop with UK-based suppliers. It comes with a rich feature set that includes sales analytics and inventory synchronization, making it a compelling option if you’re looking to rapidly scale up your digital sales channels without having to invest in other third-party tools. 

  • Dropshipping automation platform that integrates with your sales channels
  • Offers useful features such as bulk sourcing, listing management and automated pricing rules
  • Focuses solely on UK-based suppliers

5. AutoDS

Like others on this list, AutoDS helps connect you to suppliers – but it does so with the additional benefit of having more customisable order options, such as adding your branding to orders. In a fast-moving world, AutoDS helps sellers capitalise on new trends with a TikTok spy tool that showcases trending products. 

Perhaps its most powerful and valuable feature is an automated price and stock monitoring tool that keeps sellers on top of pricing changes and stock levels with suppliers – ensuring you don’t ever accidentally sell an order you can’t fulfil. 

  • Great stock and price monitoring tool
  • Integrates with virtually every shopfront option, from Shopify and Etsy to eBay and Amazon
  • Access to multiple marketplaces such as AliExpress, Costco, Banggood and more

6. The Wholesaler UK

If you’re interested in building direct relationships with suppliers, you’ll need to find companies that stock the products you want who are amenable to dropshipping. The Wholesaler UK is a directory that lists thousands of suppliers across a huge number of categories – meaning you can find a partner that manufactures or supplies virtually any product you could ask for. 

This small business wholesale supplier’s UK-focused approach is quite different to other Far Eastern marketplaces. It also independently verifies and approves all suppliers for extra peace of mind. 

  • UK-based directory listing thousands of suppliers
  • Not a technology platform – a direct gateway to real wholesalers
  • All suppliers checked and verified before inclusion 

7. Esources

Like The Wholesaler UK, eSources is a directory that allows you to connect to wholesalers/suppliers who will ship to UK customers. The site is free to use initially, and there’s no barrier to prevent a free account from being contacted by a wholesaler. There’s also a useful premium option that allows buyers to list products they want to stock so suppliers can contact you directly with offers.

As with any wholesaler database, it will fall on you to negotiate a dropshipping arrangement with a supplier. The site does, however, have 177k suppliers registered under ‘dropshipping’, giving you a great place to start. 

  • Extensive database of UK and international wholesalers, with 177k dropshipping suppliers
  • Free and premium options available
  • Great resources to help new sellers get started 

8. Wholesale Deals

The tighter margins associated with dropshipping mean that you need to sell at volume to make good profit. Alternatively, you may also simply chance into a great deal where even after the supplier takes their cut, you’ve made a good chunk on the sale. Wholesale Deals helps you find those types of opportunities by promoting bulk deals and stock liquidations. 

With a database of almost 60,000 trusted suppliers, this is a great place to find and negotiate with wholesalers on a direct basis. 

  • Shares great wholesale deals that can help you earn better margins
  • Pay for a specific supplier’s details once you find a product, or subscribe and become a member for unlimited access. 
  • Founded in 2004 and headquartered in Europe. 

9. AliExpress

Though AliExpress offers a B2C E-commerce offering, it is still primarily a marketplace designed to connect suppliers with sellers. Most of the dropshipping platforms we’ve listed use AliExpress as one of their main sources, so it’s no surprise that we’re recommending it here as an option, too. The brand offers its own dropshipping hub that you can use to find the products you want to list easily. 

  • One of the world’s biggest supplier marketplaces
  • Extensive history in the sector and used as a source by most dropshipping platforms
  • Offers its own dropshipping hub

10. Banggood

A similar marketplace to AliExpress, Banggood has an enormous database with over 250,000 products. Based in the Far East, you’ll need to navigate language barriers and logistical challenges before you can forge a reliable dropshipping agreement – but the cost savings compared to using a dropshipping tool/platform/agency can make it worth the hassle. 

  • Another large online marketplace with virtually any product catered for
  • Lots of discount and cashback offers for sellers
  • Efficient shipping structure to minimise delivery times

Starting a dropshipping business? We’ll Crunch your numbers

Dropshipping can be a fantastic business venture, especially once you build good relationships with suppliers and begin to scale. As your profits go up, so do your tax and accountancy obligations. 

Like many of the digital dropshipping tools we’ve listed here, Crunch is a digital accountancy platform that tracks your business and handles your tax requirements. 

Give our E-commerce accounting tool a try and see how we can help your new business grow.

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Updated on
July 3, 2024

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