Many new online store owners use directories like Worldwide Brands or marketplaces like Ali Express to find drop shippers to supply their customers. There are advantages and disadvantages to each of these – which I will talk about in this article.
The main good point about a directory like Salehoo or Worldwide Brands is that all of the drop shippers are certified and therefore guaranteed to be reliable – that means you can trust them to actually fulfil the orders from your customers. Another is that there are thousands of products in the same place, and that many are based in the USA – so can offer fast shipping.
The disadvantages to joining a directory are the costs involved – membership is often expensive (Worldwide Brands costs $299 to join) – and that many of the suppliers are US based, so their prices are higher than Chinese wholesalers.
Marketplaces like Ali Express are cheap (actually free) to join and they too have millions of products, but they are not from certified suppliers like those in a directory. The prices of products are often lower too as most suppliers are based in China, but this also means that shipping is much slower to customers in the United States.
Essentially it's a choice between paying for good quality, or going for a cheap solution – both of which can be effective business models.