Uniqueness – You will want a directory with uniqueness amongst it’s drop shippers. The drop shippers should offer a wide array of unique products that are not necessarily mass marketed. Why? Web sites offering unique and unusual products often do well on the Web versus sites trying to sell big brand name products that you can find with a mega retailer such as Wal-Mart. A directory offering a bunch of big brand name product drop shippers could land you in the highly competitive commodity market against the mega retailers.
3. Selection – A directory with a good selection of drop ship categories is important. The number of drop shippers or the number of products a directory carries should not be the goal. The goal and question should be, “Do they have a drop shipper that would fit my line of business?” A common mistake for many folks is getting fixated on the quantity of products a directory might offer with it’s drop shippers. The question they start to ask is, “A directory with over 1,000,000 products ought to have something for me to sell.” Wrong! Be sure to remember the first parameter we mentioned. Balance.
4. Search Method – The directory must explain the methods they use to find drop shippers. Be careful of directories that do not publish their search methods. If they do not explain their search methods, they may not have a solid search methodology. The directory could be full of a bunch of middlemen. At that point, the directory would be worthless to you. Directories using search methods such as trade show searches and foreign government agency searches are preferred over directories only focused on Internet searches. Why? Not all drop shippers and importers have a Web presence. A directory based on a bunch of Web searches could be missing some of the best hard-to-find drop shippers.
5. Sample – A sample of the directory should be made available to give an idea of format and information provided. The actual names of the drop shippers will not be given in a sample, but you will get an understanding of the type of information provided.