Drop shipping is a great way to build a business, but to get ahead in competitive markets, it is always best to grab as much help as you can. There are many tools out there to boost your drop ship business, and our SaleHoo review will walk you through all the features and help you decide if SaleHoo is the product that will take your business to the next level.
So, we start this SaleHoo review by taking a look at exactly what it is, and importantly, what it does to help your drop ship business. I found SaleHoo by chance, I have been running a small drop shipping business on eBay for around 8 months, and I had relative success, but as it is a side business I use to fund extra trips and other treats for the family, it is not something I put lots of time into.
My personal experience of drop shipping from the start was that the challenge was not the selling part, a well written and promoted eBay listing of a good product will generate sales, it was finding the right drop shippers to partner with.
This may be something you have encountered as well, but for the business to work smoothly without investing huge amounts of time and taking me way from my other work, I needed a drop shipper who was reliable, with delivery times fast enough to keep customers happy, while having wholesale prices cheap enough that I could make a decent profit per item.
Going down the usual route of Ali Express, DHgate or Alibaba just swallowed my time, they are very comprehensive, and I have nothing negative to say about any of those sites, but it just takes so long to find the right kind of supplier there that it became a frustrating experience.
It was at this point I started looking for alterative ways of finding the right suppliers, and that is where I found New Zealand based SaleHoo. Launched in 2005, SaleHoo is an online directory of suppliers, sales training, a research tool and a community of people interested in drop shipping, all accessed through one simple interface.
What that gives is the tools to find the very best products and suppliers quickly, along with training and community support that can give you the advice and inspiration you need sometimes on this journey to success. In short, if you imagined everything you wanted from a guide to drop shipping, that is SaleHoo.
While Salehoo has all the tools to find the best products for your drop shipping business, as this SaleHoo review will show, it is not a wholesaler itself. Instead, it’s a directory of the best wholesalers, manufacturers and drop shippers out there, those who have competitive prices but still provide a reliable service with fast delivery to your customers. What’s even better, is that SaleHoo evaluate all suppliers before adding them to the directory, saving you a lot of time when finding suitable sources for the products you want.
Here’s a video, showing you how SaleHoo’s directory works:
Not only does it save you time, but it means that when you use SaleHoo’s research tools to drill down into the directory to find the products you want, you already know that the supplier meets the standards you are looking for. It’s a great confidence boost and really helps push the research part of setting up a new drop shipping project as quickly as possible.
No SaleHoo review would be complete without talking about the range of products you get access too through the accredited suppliers. There are around 8,000 suppliers in the directory, with businesses from all over the world included, with New Zealand itself, US, UK, China and Australian based suppliers being the most common.
That means that wherever you are, there is probably a supplier nearby who can help build your drop shipping business. More importantly, from those suppliers, SaleHoo lists around 1.6 million products, providing plenty of options for every niche you may be involved in.
The combination of approved suppliers in the database for peace of mind, a huge choice of products and the easy to use market research tool that allows you to quickly find the right product for your business makes a huge difference when setting up a drop shipping project, saving time and frustration compared to looking through Alibaba or other sites.
Their “lab” feature does all the work when looking for a profitable item to dropship, saving you the time and hassle of doing market research!
Here’s a video explaining how the SaleHoo Lab works:
That all sounds great, you are thinking, but an important part of the SaleHoo review is how much it costs, and what value you get from that. When I first heard about SaleHoo, I liked the features, but as a new business, I did think it would probably be too expensive for my needs. I was surprised when I found out it is only US $67 per year for membership, but it does mean that is within the reach of anyone, even new drop shippers.
For that $76, SaleHoo gives full access to everything on the site. That means the directory of 8,000 pre-screened suppliers, the full 1.6 million plus products, the research tool that allows you to quickly find what you need, with no restrictions on use, make as many searches as you like.
In addition, you also get the unlimited training that can help you master your new business, along with a very good support system, along with membership of the community, so you can share your experiences and ask questions from others in the drop shipping industry.
I think that offers a lot for the price you pay, even if you don’t want to use any of the training available, and as I will discuss later in this SaleHoo review, it’s worthwhile for everyone, the directory and research tools can save you so much time it easily pays for itself.
Anyone who has bought anything online, especially something to help their business, knows that sometimes, what looks good on paper is not so good when you try and actually use it. In this part of the SaleHoo review we will look at each aspect of SaleHoo and what it is like to use, and how it can help your business.
First, we look at the suppliers found in the SaleHoo directory. There is a broad spread of wholesalers, manufacturers and drop shippers, and every one of them has been assessed by SaleHoo staff prior to being included, making sur they are legitimate, trustworthy companies. This pre-screening by SaleHoo is important, as it means you can be confident in the suppliers when researching new products, removing one, time-consuming part of the work you need to do when sourcing new product lines.
With suppliers located around the world, I have been able to connect with companies that are able to provide a fast and cost-effective service to my customers, an important part of the drop shipping process, and I have found accessing the data I need for these suppliers, and the ease of getting in touch with them through the provided outreach templates, a valuable part of the SaleHoo service.
However, nothing is perfect, and while there are a large number of suppliers, and they are spread all over the world, there are still plenty of legitimate, trustworthy businesses not included in SaleHoo’s directory, so you are restricting your choice of supplier. This is understandable, they cannot be expected to include every supplier in the world, and so the question we have to ask for ourselves is a simple one. Is the convenience and usability of the pre-screened directory worth the narrower range of suppliers you have access to?
For me, the answer has to be yes. In my struggle to find good suppliers, searching through scam listings and endless disappointment as I found supplier after supplier didn’t respond, wanted too much per unit or too long for delivery, I wasted valuable time, but also got incredibly frustrated. Through SaleHoo, I have found some incredible suppliers, and I have been able to do that quickly and easily. I believe that for most of us, that compromise on how many suppliers we have access to is definitely worthwhile.
No matter how easy it is to find new product lines, or how good the pool of suppliers in the SaleHoo directory are, none of that matters if the products are not good enough. After all, above everything, as drop shippers, we want products people will buy, so what are they like?
With over 1.6 million products available from the SaleHoo approved suppliers, there is obviously plenty of choice. I was pleased to find that whatever niche I looked at, several alternative products were presented from the search tool, so you always have options when it comes to choosing suppliers. Pricing does vary, and this is an aspect that you really have to pay attention to, because I did find some products being offered at a similar price to those on eBay, with little room for any profit. SaleHoo does make product finding easier, but you still need to check everything yourself.
As with the number of suppliers, the available products are limited compared to the choice on the wider markets. Again, this is a balance between having easily searchable, good quality products from pre-approved suppliers and access to a bigger range across the internet with all the reliability and delivery problems they bring. More products is always a good thing, and SaleHoo are continually adding more suppliers to deliver that, but I do think that this service offers a good balance, and I have never been in a position where I felt I could not find what I wanted.
Overall, SaleHoo has given access to good quality products, including new and upcoming trends that have allowed me to stay ahead of demand and react to market changes before some of the competition.
Sometimes, finding the right product for your business can be a real challenge, its easy miss upcoming trends, or find yourself getting into a product range as the market loses interest, but with SaleHoo you get the tools to overcome these issues, at least to an extent.
There are extensive search options in the database that allow you to quickly find the product you are after when looking for something specific, but SaleHoo also include unlimited access to the Market Research lab. This is a simple to use tool that allows you to choose certain parameters, including sell rates and competition, and it highlights products or niches that meet them. SaleHoo can even highlight trending niches for you to provide inspiration, which can be a good option for those just starting out, where choosing the right product can be overwhelming.
The research tools are very good, and along with the design of the site make it a simple process to find the product and supplier that fits your needs. For someone who had spent such a long time going through sites like Alibaba as I tried to find my way in this business, SaleHoo has transformed my workflow.
Nothing ever goes completely smoothly, at some point we all need a little help, and the SaleHoo site offers this in three ways:
Salehoo delivers a great product, thanks to its pre-screening, you always know you are dealing with reputable suppliers, it has a broad range of quality products and a great support system including an easy to use product search that helps you spot new trends and provides inspiration for new product ideas.
It does not offer the perfect solution, while 8,000 suppliers and over 1.6 million products are a huge range, and it includes a significant number of big brand items, more is always better, and you do restrict your options a little compared to the huge range available across the web. But that compromise does seem to be worthwhile, with the ease of searching and reliable suppliers making the research for finding a new product so much faster.
At $67 per year, the price is good too, and even someone just starting out can make use of SaleHoo without having to invest a large amount to get the information they need, with the included training it really is a great option for new businesses.
Overall then, with their pre-screened suppliers, SaleHoo take a lot of the challenges drop shippers face away, no more worrying if the supplier will run off with your money, you are only dealing with people who deliver. It’s the same with the products, being able to identify trends quickly and locate suitable products in minutes makes a huge difference, and that lone is worth the yearly price of membership on its own. When you add in the exceptional support and community aspects, SaleHoo does deliver for drop shippers of all kinds, and is especially good for those just starting out.
SaleHoo is not perfect, more products would be good, and some products are just too expensive to make money on, but it offers a set of features that make a real difference to any drop shipping business, and at just $67 per year, is not only something you should buy, but I would call SaleHoo a bargain!
If you liked this review, check out our other article about wholesale drop shipping suppliers!