If you’ve been in the eCommerce world, or you’re looking to get started with selling products over the internet, you might have heard about the terms drop surfing vs dropshipping.
While these terms are somewhat similar, there are differences between the two. In this article, we’ll look at drop surfing vs drop shipping in greater detail to help you understand the nuances between them.
Before we discuss drop surfing vs dropshipping, we need to define dropshipping because drop surfing is a new way of doing dropshipping. In other words, you cannot drop surf if you do not dropship.
What Is Dropshipping?
Dropshipping is a business model that involves selling products to customers without needing to buy or store inventory. This business model allows people to make sales online with little to no financial outlay.
As a dropshipping entrepreneur, you research products and market them, and then when a customer places an order for a product, you send the order to the manufacturer or supplier. The manufacturer or supplier picks the product, packs it, and ships it to the customer on your behalf. It’s that simple.
The dropshipper focuses on marketing the products to attract more traffic and customers and providing ongoing customer support.
As you can see, a dropshipper doesn’t purchase inventory until a customer places an order. They only need to focus on strategies that will bring in more orders.
The good thing about dropshipping is that it allows you to eliminate inventory management costs, hence saving money.
Why Do Sellers Do Dropshipping?
Dropshipping has a low start-up cost, so it’s easy to start. Dropshippers do not have to spend significant sums of money on purchasing and managing inventory. This makes it a great way to start an online business even though you don’t have much money to invest upfront.
This aspect also makes it an attractive business model for people who want to sell products online alongside their full-time job.
Dropshipping is a great way to earn extra cash if you can find reliable suppliers and use the right marketing strategies to attract more customers.
While dropshipping is a great business model with a huge potential in maximizing profits, there are some drawbacks to it. We’ll look at more advantages and disadvantages of dropshipping in another section.
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What Is Dropsurfing?
As we’ve already pointed out, drop surfing is a flexible way of doing dropshipping. There are two ways you can define drop surfing.
You can look at drop surfing as the practice of looking for the best deals for a dropshipping order.
Here’s a simplified drop surfing process for better understanding:
- A customer places an order for a product, and you receive payment from the seller
- You scan multiple vendors for the best deals rather than sourcing the product from a designated vendor
- Once you find the best deal in terms of price and shipping costs, then you place the order with that vendor
- You’ll provide the vendor with the customer’s details like name and shipping address
- The vendor will pack the item and ship it to the customer
With drop surfing, you simply source the product from the vendor with the best price, rather than a designated vendor. This is where the difference lies between dropsurfing vs dropshipping going by the first definition.
Let’s say you have a dropshipping store selling handbags. When a customer places an order for a handbag in your store, you’ll scan multiple manufacturers or suppliers to find one who offers the best deals.
If you’re able to find a good deal where you can save $3 and sell 300 handbags a month, you’d end up making $900 or more monthly from just one product.
Generally, you can make good profits using this drop surfing approach provided you create a smart marketing strategy and find credible suppliers.
Why Do Sellers Do Dropsufing?
Sellers do drop surfing to find the best deals from multiple suppliers so as to maximize their profit margin. Just like dropshipping, sellers find drop surfing to be a great way to sell products online without needing to buy or store inventory.
What Are The Advantages Of Drop Surfing Using The ‘Best Price’ Approach?
This strategy is about finding the cheapest supplier, so it gives you the opportunity to maximize your profits. If your current supplier increases their prices, you’ll simply move to a new supplier with the best deals.
- You Can Always Switch Suppliers If Your Current Supplier Offers Poor Service
Unlike dropshipping where you work with designated suppliers, drop surfing using the ‘best price’ approach allows you to avoid suppliers with poor service and find ones with great service.
- Out Of Stock Issues Are Unlikely To Occur
It’s unlikely that you’ll find a product out of stock across all suppliers. But when you work with a specific supplier, this issue is more likely to occur. Therefore, drop surfing using the ‘best price’ approach means it’s unlikely that you’ll be unable to fulfill a customer’s order due to a stock shortage.
What Are the Drawbacks of Drop Surfing Using The ‘Best Price’ Approach?
Drop surfing using the ‘best price’ approach can be a tedious and time-consuming undertaking. Doing comprehensive research to find suppliers with the best deals takes a lot of time, especially if you’re new to drop surfing.
Luckily, there are tools you can use to find reliable suppliers with the lowest prices. Some of the best tools you can use to find suppliers include Helium 10, SellerAp, AMZScout, IO Scout, and many more.
It’s easier to maintain consistent quality when you work with a specific supplier. But when you switch suppliers from time to time, it can become difficult to maintain good quality.
It’s best to do due diligence before working with a supplier to find out if they are able to deliver good quality.
The other drop surfing strategy entails selecting what to sell based on what’s popular right now. This approach is all about riding the hottest trends at the moment and jumping onto the next winning products once the current trends start to fade.
With this approach, instead of drop surfing the same products as we’ve highlighted in the first definition, you’ll rotate inventory by keeping tabs on the products that are trending.
Drop surfing by riding on trends is a great way to make money if you get it right, though it can be time-consuming.
What Are Advantages of Dropsurfing Using The ‘What’s Trending’ Approach?
- You Can Make Good Profits
Depending on demand, your marketing strategies, and your supplier, you can make more sales and generate good profits. If you can spot trends early, you can charge a bit more and make profits.
- You’re Guaranteed To Make Sales
Many people love to buy products that are trending, so you can be sure you’ll make sales with drop surfing.
What Are the Drawbacks of Dropsurfing Using The ‘What’s Trending’ Approach?
Even though this drop surfing approach presents an opportunity to make good profits, the nature of competition can be tough. There’s are many dropshippers out there riding on the wave of ‘what’s trending.’ That means you may get outcompeted if you don’t have a well-thought-out plan to stay ahead.
Keep in mind that some sellers using this approach will offer lower prices, and they’re more likely to sell. So you need to stay competitive when it comes to prices and quality.
- Customer Support Can Be A Challenge
Since you’re continuously rotating your inventory in order to generate profit, you might know all the products in your catalog all that well. This can present a customer support challenge when a customer is seeking answers to things like product usage.
Key Takeaway About Drop Surfing vs Dropshipping
Generally, both drop surfing vs dropshipping have their own advantages and drawbacks. But drop surfing gives you better chances of maximizing your profits by finding the best deals.
If you’re looking to get started with either dropshipping or dropsurfing, download this playbook and learn expert tips & recommendations, and expert insights to take your eCommerce brand to new heights.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Dropshipping and How Does It Work?
Dropshipping is a business model that entails selling products, without having to buy or keep stock. A seller finds products to sell online, markets them, and when a customer buys a product from their online store, the seller sends the order to the supplier who then ships the product to the customer.
What Is Dropsurfing and How Does It Work?
Drop surfing is a way of dropshipping whereby a seller looks for the best deals for a dropshipping order or selecting what to sell based on the hottest trends to maximize profits.
Which Is Better Dropshipping or Drop Surfing?
There’s no definitive answer as to which is better between drop surfing vs drop shipping. It all depends on a seller’s strategy and ability to find the best products at the best prices. Many sellers have succeeded with drop surfing, while others have made huge profits from dropshipping.
Does Dropsurfing Actually Work?
You can make good profits with drop surfing if you’re able to find suppliers offering the best deals. You’ll also need to implement the best strategies to grow your brand and attract more sellers.