Wondering if Zendrop is the right tool for your dropshipping business?
It’s one of the largest dropshipping platform in the ecommerce industry. They claim to have helped over 250000 ecommerce entrepreneurs scale their businesses to new heights.
Zendrop has a wide range of features that make it an attractive choice for ecommerce businesses. They offer a complete end-to-end solution that includes order management, inventory management, fulfillment, and shipping.
But there’s no dearth of competition around. Does Zendrop really match up to the hype?
In this Zendrop review, we take an in-depth look at their features, pricing, and more to help you decide.
What is Zendrop?
Zendrop is an online procurement and fulfillment platform that helps ecommerce businesses streamline their operations.
They offer a range of features including order management, inventory management, private labeling and express shipping. Ecommerce businesses want to focus on their customer service and sales rather than the back-end operations.
Zendrop offers an easy to use platform with all the features and integrations needed to run a sizeable business operation smoothly.
Who can use it?
From one man bands to large businesses, Zendrop can support online retail businesses of any size. Their features cater to businesses of all sizes and capacities. They have no MOQ, no inventory storage up front, and they offer private labeling on all products.
They also have specialized support for high volume sellers. So, the businesses that can use Zendrop are those that want to streamline their ecommerce operations. This can include online stores of any size, as well as brick and mortar outlets.
Related reading: 11 Best Dropshipping Agents
What are the key features of Zendrop?
Zendrop happens to be one of the most feature-rich ecommerce fulfillment platforms in this industry. They have some of the best features that you can get, and this includes:
1. Automated fulfillment
Automated fulfillment is a term that’s loosely thrown around in the ecommerce industry by fulfillment services. But most of these are not really automated. There’s always some amount of manual input involved. Be it in the form of adding products to your store, or configuring shipping rules.
But with Zendrop, it’s different. The platform has a legitimate, one-click automated fulfillment system which once configured, can practically run your business on autopilot. You’d still need to set it up one time. But that’s not a quibble for most people.
This is a huge time saver, and can free up a lot of your resources to focus on other areas of the business.
2. Fast shipping
Zendrop has three shipping options. There’s ecomony, which is the cheapest shipping option. There’s standard and there’s express shipping for Zendrop Pro users. The standard shipping option offers shipping times like 7-15 days to the US and 5-10 days to UK. It’s about 12-days to Australia.
That’s pretty good considering it’s the standard shipping option. But the express shipping is even better. With this, you’re looking at times like 5-10 days to the US, 3-9 days to the UK and 3-9 days to Australia.
If you are looking to speed this up even further, you can pre-order the inventory and stock it in Zendrop’s US warehouses, which will bring the shipping time down to 2-3 days.
3. 24/7 Support
Many of the dropshipping companies in the ecommerce industry are based in China. This means that the support team also works during Chinese working hours. This can be a problem for businesses in other parts of the world who need help outside of these hours.
Zendrop is one of the few fulfillment companies that has a 24/7 customer support team. So no matter what time you need help, there will always be someone available to assist. While there’s no clarity on the TAT for support requests, this feature can be beneficial for businesses in different timezones.
Related reading: How to Choose the Right Fulfillment Company
4. Custom branding
Transitioning from a dropshipping business to a private label is the logical next step for many ecommerce entrepreneurs. It’s a move that can lead to increased profits and margins. But it’s also a big undertaking, and not everyone is ready for it.
Zendrop makes the transition easy with their custom branding feature. With this, you can add your own branding to products without having to worry about the logistics of manufacturing and packaging.
Zendrop will take care of all that for you. You can also request for a custom-branded ‘Thank You’ card in every order. This is a nice touch that can help you build brand awareness and customer loyalty.
Related reading: Private label vs White Label
5. High volume support
Businesses generating a higher volume of sales will need specialized support from their supplier. Zendrop offers this through their high volume support feature.
If you are a high volume seller, you get a dedicated success team that offers customized one on one support. Your support requests are fast tracked. You get proactive price negotiation, which means your account manager will negotiate with suppliers on your behalf to get the best possible prices.
You also get access to expedited 2-day shipping from the US. This is an excellent feature set for high volume sellers.
Zendrop has three pricing plans. The first is the free plan which lets you browse through the supplier catalog and add products to your store. But you can’t place orders on the free plan.
If you want to place orders, you have to upgrade to the Pro plan that’s priced at $49/month.
This gives you access to most of their services, except for the premium features such as Zendrop academy, Private product listing, trending product finder and subscription boxes.
Their top tier plan is the Plus plan priced at $79/month, which gives you all these features. It’s not cheap. But if you are a high volume seller, we believe that it can be worth the price initially.
The benefits of Zendrop
There’s no dearth of dropshipping services who source from China and offer a cloud-based platform to automate your ecommerce business. So what makes Zendrop different? Let’s take a look at some of the benefits that Zendrop offers.
1. Huge repository
Zendrop has over 100,000 products listed on their platform. This gives you a lot of options to choose from, and also the opportunity to source products that may not be available on other platforms. These cover the bulk of the product categories that are popular with ecommerce businesses.
In addition to this, if you are unable to find a product on Zendrop, but can find it on Aliexpress or some other platform, you can simply place a request with Zendrop. They will source the product for you and add it to their repository. This is ideal for startups and brands starting off with a limited product range.
2. Brand development support
There’s so much more to building a successful ecommerce brand that customizing products with fancy logos. You need to brainstorm product ideas, come up with a unique selling proposition, create attractive packaging and work on your marketing strategy.
This is where Zendrop’s brand development support comes in. With this feature, you get access to a team of experts who can help you with all aspects of brand development, from product ideation to marketing.
This is an excellent service for businesses who are already generating a steady volume of sales and looking to scale up to the next level. These business need all the help they can get in terms of brand development and Zendrop’s team can be a valuable resource.
3. US Warehouses
Having warehouses in the USA is a vital part of many ecommerce businesses’ fulfillment strategy. This is because it allows them to offer faster shipping times to their customers.
It also reduces the risk of lost or damaged shipments, as the products don’t have to travel as far.
Zendrop has multiple warehouses in USA. This gives you the option to ship from a location that is closer to your customers. This can help you save on shipping costs and also offer a better delivery experience to your customers.
4. Zendrop academy
Zendrop Academy is a value added service that Zendrop offers to its customers. It is an online learning platform that offers courses on ecommerce, dropshipping and marketing tutorials. A lot of entrepreneurs enter the industry with no experience whatsoever about running an ecommerce business.
Zendrop’s courses are designed to help these entrepreneurs learn the ropes and get up to speed quickly. They have a 45-video tutorial on how to set up, test and scale Facebook Ads. Facebook Ads are one of the most popular and effective marketing channels for ecommerce businesses.
If you are new to the industry, Zendrop Academy can be an invaluable resource.
5. Subscription boxes
Subscription boxes are a popular product category in the ecommerce space. They are a great way to build loyalty and repeat customers.
Zendrop offers a subscription box service that helps you automate the process of shipping and billing for your subscription boxes. The boxes are automatically fulfilled at Zendrop’s warehouse and shipped to your customers on the schedule that you have set.
This is an excellent service for businesses who want to get into the subscription box business, but don’t have the time or resources to manage it themselves.
The top drawbacks of Zendrop
While Zendrop happens to be amongst the top platforms for dropshipping, it is not without its drawbacks. Here are some of the things that you should keep in mind before signing up for Zendrop.
1. No barrier
Like every other big ticket dropshipping platform, Zendrop’s revenue comes from sales. The more sales you make, the more money they make.
This aligns their interests with yours. But it also means that they sign up with every merchant who wants to use their services. It’s no wonder that they claim to have worked with 250000 plus ecommerce entrepreneurs. Now, here’s a possible scenario. Let’s say that your winning product, also happens to be a winning product for ten of Zendrop’s other customers.
Suddenly, during peak sales season, there’s a short supply of your product. How does Zendrop handle it? Well, they don’t have any preference for one merchant over the other. The first person to order the inventory, gets it.
This can obviously be a problem if you are depending on Zendrop to maintain a steady supply of your products. It’s even more problematic because they have tiered memberships. Let’s say you are a Pro customer. But another merchant is a Plus customer. Who do you think will get priority in terms of product availability?
The answer is obvious.
Sourcingbro’s solution: Low barrier
One of the core values that we based our organization on, is equal attention to every customer.
We don’t have different levels of service for our customers. Everyone who signs up, gets the same attention and service from us.
To ensure that we are able to offer this level of service, we have capped the number of customers that we work with. At any given time, we work with limited number of customers. This way, we can give each one of them the attention that they deserve.
It also helps us keep a close relationship with all our customers and quickly resolve any issues that they might be facing. We have found that this level of personal service is essential for a successful ecommerce venture. To this end, we have in place a low barrier to entry.
You don’t need to make a big commitment to sign up with us. It’s just $1000 of inventory and a minimum sales volume. This may seem like an arbitrary number, but it ensures that we are able to work with only those businesses who are serious about ecommerce.
2. Not transparent on product source
Zendrop has a repository of over 100,000 products, which they claim to source directly from manufacturers and suppliers, at the best prices. But you never come into contact with the vendors directly.
Zendrop always stands between you and the supplier. This lack of transparency makes it difficult to know if you are getting the best possible price for your products. It also makes it difficult to build a relationship with the supplier, which can be important in the long run. What happens when the supplier is about to go out of stock for a product that’s selling like hot cakes? You never know it in advance.
Instead, you are suddenly looking at a backlog of orders that you can’t fulfil.
Sourcingbro’s solution: Complete transparency on suppliers
The Sourcingbro team has worked in various capacities in the ecommerce industry. We have over 10 years of experience in sourcing products from China. Over the years, we have built strong relationships with various factories, manufacturers and suppliers in China.
When you sign up with us for sourcing, we will try to source your products from these suppliers that we have worked with in the past. But there’s a huge difference. We also share complete details about the supplier with you.
You will have all their contact information. You can directly get in touch with them, and have access to their latest updated pricing chart. This way, you can be sure that you are getting the best possible price for your products.
3. Inventory is not guaranteed
As you scale your ecommerce business, you will start to realize that planning inventory in advance is vital to the long term success of your operation. It helps you avoid stock-outs, and also take advantage of discounts that might be available for bulk orders.
Most importantly, it helps you avoid a disgruntled customer base posting recurrent refund requests, who will quickly take their business elsewhere.
Zendrop does not guarantee inventory for its customers. We already mentioned one of the reasons for this above. They are not transparent about their suppliers, and you never know when a product might go out of stock.
This puts you in the difficult position of having to constantly monitor your inventory, and re-order products at the last minute. This is not a scalable solution, and will quickly become unviable as your business grows.
Sourcingbro’s solution: Done for you inventory management
Sourcingbro takes off the burden of managing inventory for you. We will constantly monitor your inventory levels, and place orders with the supplier in advance. This way, you will never have to worry about stock-outs again.
What’s more, we will also work with the supplier to get you the best possible discounts. Also, we have multiple suppliers for each product, so that in case one goes out of stock, we can quickly place an order with the other.
This way, you can be sure that your customers will always receive their orders on time, and you will never have to deal with refund requests from irate customers.
4. Shipping weight is based on estimations
It is vital for an ecommerce business to be able to calculate shipping costs accurately. This is because shipping costs are generally calculated on the basis of weight. And if you are overcharging or undercharging your customers for shipping, it will quickly eat into your profits.
The problem with Zendrop is that they use estimations for the shipping weight of products. This can lead to errors, and you might end up overcharging or undercharging your customers.
It is particularly problematic for businesses that have multi unit orders, where the shipping cost is calculated on a per unit basis. For instance, let’s assume that the shipping cost for a Zendrop product is $4. If the customer ordered 2 units, you will have to pay $8 for shipping instead of getting charged on the basis of the parcel weight. In such cases, even a small error in estimation can lead to significant losses.
Sourcingbro’s Solution: Accurate shipment billing for every package
At Sourcingbro, we have dealt with our share of inaccurate shipping bills. We understand how frustrating it can be for our customers. That is why we have put in place a system where the shipping weight of every parcel is automatically synced to your dashboard.
The weight comes directly from our courier partners. This way, you can be sure that you are always billing your customers the correct amount for shipping. Even when prices from Chinese logistics providers change, our system will automatically update your shipping costs.
You never have to worry about overcharging or undercharging your customers again.
5. No payment credit
A problem that is consistent across every fulfillment service that we have used is the fact that they do not offer any payment credit. This means that if you want to fulfil an order, you have to pay upfront.
The problem with this is that it ties up a lot of your working capital in inventory. And if you are not careful, it can quickly lead to a cash flow crunch.
Sourcingbro’s solution: Weekly payments
When we set out to design Sourcingbro, one of our focus points was to create a service that was as flexible as possible. We understand that our customers have different needs, and we wanted to be able to cater to all of them.
One of the ways in which we have done that is by offering weekly payments. This way, you only have to pay for the inventory that you have used in the past week.
This not only gives you better control over your cash flow, but also allows you to better utilize your working capital.
The Bottom Line
Zendrop certainly ticks a lot of boxes when it comes to features. They have a massive repository of products, have automated fulfillment, US based warehouses and separate support for high volume sellers.
However, they also have a few key drawbacks. Their inventory management is not as robust as it could be, their shipping weight estimations can be inaccurate, and they do not offer any payment credit.
At Sourcingbro, we believe that every business is different, and we have designed our services to be as flexible as possible. We offer a complete transparency on our vendors, inventory management, fast shipping and most importantly, weekly payments.
If you are looking for a reliable and flexible dropshipping fulfillment service, we believe that Sourcingbro is the right choice. But if you want to know more about how we can help, get in touch with us now.