You probably have heard what dropshipping is. It is one of the easiest ways to enter into the online selling business without managing inventory. The latest data forecasts the global dropshipping market size to reach $243.42 billion in 2023. This is because it has a low entry barrier and requires less capital to start but it has its downside. Today the market is saturated with dropshippers, 8 out of 10 online brands are dropshipping. Therefore to dominate the online market you should try its antipode: Reverse Dropshipping.

Reverse dropshipping, in a nutshell, is just like traditional dropshipping but instead of buying cheap products, you source high-quality products from countries like the USA, and the UK, and sell them in India.

What is Reverse Dropshipping?

“Turning the traditional dropshipping model upside down.” That’s what you could call Reverse Dropshipping. It’s a business model that’s all about breaking down barriers and defying conventions. In Reverse Dropshipping, the roles are reversed. Instead of selling products from overseas manufacturers, you source high-quality products from countries that are developed, and sell them in countries that are typically developing or underdeveloped countries.

This might sound a little confusing, but it’s actually a brilliant way to tap into new markets and expand your business horizons. By sourcing products from developed countries, you’re able to offer unique and high-quality products to your customers. And by selling these products in developing countries that are usually focused on exports, you’re able to capture a new audience and stand out from the competition.

Let’s say you live in India, and you want to start a business selling unique and high-quality products. You decide to source these products from Japan, which is known for its quality products and advanced technology.

You find a supplier in Japan who is willing to work with you and agrees to handle all the shipping and fulfilment of the products. You set up your online store and start advertising your products to customers in India. Customers place orders on your website, and you forward those orders to your supplier in Japan. The supplier then ships the products directly to your customers, and you keep the difference between the wholesale price and the retail price as profit.

Advantages & Disadvantages of Reverse Dropshipping


Minimal Investment

With reverse dropshipping, you don’t have to fork over a ton of cash to get your business off the ground. By avoiding the need to purchase inventory upfront, you’re minimizing the financial risk involved in starting a new venture. That’s like winning the business lottery without even buying a ticket.

Access to New Products

Reverse dropshipping allows you to offer new products from manufacturers without having to carry a single item of inventory. That’s like having a secret pipeline to the latest and greatest products before anyone else has even heard of them.

Test New Markets

With reverse dropshipping, you can test new markets and reach new customers without having to invest heavily in inventory or marketing. That’s like getting a sneak peek into the future without having to pay for a time machine.

Brand Expansion

By offering a wider variety of products through reverse dropshipping, you can expand your brand and reach new customers. That’s like having your brand stretch its legs and go on a worldwide adventure!


Dependence on Manufacturer

When you’re reverse dropshipping, you’re pretty much putting all your eggs in the manufacturer’s basket. They’re the ones responsible for product quality, delivery times, and customer service. And while that can save you a lot of hassle, it also means that you’re at their mercy. If the manufacturer messes up, it’s your reputation on the line, not theirs.

Limited Control

When you’re reverse dropshipping, you’re not exactly the captain of your own ship. You have limited control over the product and the shipping process, which can make it tough to address any issues that may arise. So, you need to choose a manufacturer that you can trust to deliver quality products and handle the shipping process professionally.

Shipping Delays

When you’re reverse dropshipping, shipping delays can be the equivalent of hitting a speed bump on the way to success. They not only ruin your customers’ day, but they can also damage your reputation as a retailer. Choose a manufacturer that has a solid track record of delivering products on time.

Steps to Start a Successful Reverse Dropshipping Business

Research and Define Your Niche

The first step to starting a successful reverse dropshipping business is to find your tribe, or more specifically, your niche. Choose a product or market that you’re passionate about and that has a strong demand. If you love dogs and people are always asking you for the best dog toys, then maybe the pet market is the one for you. If you’re a fashionista who knows all the latest trends, then perhaps the clothing and accessories market is the one to target.

Find and Evaluate Manufacturers

Now that you’ve defined your niche, it’s time to find the suppliers that will make your dream a reality. Look for reputable and reliable manufacturers who offer the products you want to sell. The key here is to find manufacturers that you can trust to deliver quality products on time and provide excellent customer service. You can search online for wholesale directories, attend trade shows, or reach out to industry associations. When you’ve found a list of potential manufacturers, it’s time to evaluate them.

Set up Your eCommerce Platform

Now that you’ve found your manufacturers and evaluated their products, it’s time to set up your eCommerce platform. This is where your customers will come to shop and make purchases, so you want it to look professional, user-friendly, and trustworthy. There are many eCommerce platforms to choose from, such as Shopify, Magento, and WooCommerce. Each has its own pros and cons, so take the time to research and choose the one that fits your needs best. Once you’ve chosen your platform, it’s time to set it up.

Your website should have a professional-looking design that is easy to navigate and represents your brand in the best light possible. Your shopping cart should be user-friendly, allowing customers to easily find the products they want and add them to their cart. And, of course, you’ll need a payment gateway that is secure, fast, and reliable.

Establish Clear Policies and Procedures

Now that your eCommerce platform is up and running, it’s time to establish some clear policies and procedures to ensure that everything runs smoothly. This includes defining your return and refund policy, shipping policy, and process for addressing customer issues. Your return and refund policy should be fair, transparent, and easy for customers to understand. Make sure to clearly outline the conditions under which a customer can return an item and the process for doing so. Your shipping policy should also be clear and concise, outlining the estimated delivery times and shipping costs for customers.

Build Your Brand and Market Your Products

It’s time to get the word out and start attracting customers to your new reverse dropshipping business. The first step is to create a strong brand image. This includes developing a unique brand name, logo, and tagline, as well as establishing a consistent visual style across all of your marketing materials. Once you’ve got your brand in place, it’s time to start marketing your products. This is where the fun really begins. There is a multitude of marketing channels that you can use to reach potential customers, including social media, search engines, email marketing, influencer marketing, and more.

Monitor and Analyze Your Results

You’ve set up your eCommerce platform, established your policies and procedures, and started marketing your products to the world – now it’s time to see how you’re doing. To get the most out of your reverse dropshipping business, it’s important to regularly monitor your sales and customer behaviour and make adjustments as needed. To do this, you’ll need to have a solid understanding of your key metrics and the analytics tools that you’ll use to track them.

Some of the key metrics that you’ll want to pay close attention to include your sales volume, average order value, conversion rate, customer lifetime value, and customer acquisition cost. By monitoring these metrics, you’ll be able to get a good sense of how your business is performing and identify areas for improvement.

Finding Low-Cost Suppliers and Reliable Distributors

Research and Networking

When it comes to finding low-cost suppliers and distributors, research and networking are your best friends. You can kick things off by checking out trade shows and events related to your niche and chatting with other business owners in the industry to see if they have any recommendations for suppliers or distributors.

Online forums and industry websites are also great places to network and learn about potential suppliers and distributors. These platforms can provide you with valuable insights into the industry and help you identify companies that may be a good fit for your business.

Evaluate Quality

Evaluating quality is crucial in making sure your business has a good reputation and satisfied customers. When it comes to inspecting samples, make sure you don’t skimp on this step just to save some bucks. Take your time, be meticulous, and make sure you cover all the bases. Ask yourself questions like “does it look durable?” “Is it well made?” “Will it perform as advertised?” “Is the packaging up to par?” Remember, you’re looking for products that are not just cheap, but also of good quality.

Establish a Contract

Establishing a contract with your supplier or distributor is a crucial step to ensure a smooth and successful partnership. It’s the legal document that lays out the terms and expectations of both parties, so it’s essential to get it right.

Build a Strong Relationship

Foster a strong and long-lasting relationship with your suppliers and distributors to ensure a steady and reliable supply of products for your business. When it comes to building a strong relationship with your suppliers and distributors, it’s all about communication and trust. Make sure to have regular check-ins with them and keep them in the loop on any changes to your business.

How Reverse Dropshipping Works

Step 1: Retailer identifies a product they want to sell

Step one is all about finding that perfect product to sell, something you’re passionate about and that’s in high demand. Think of it as the hunt for the Holy Grail of products! You’ll want to do your research, scope out the competition and identify what your customers are looking for. Once you’ve found your dream product, it’s time to track down the manufacturer who creates it.

Step 2: Retailer lists the product on their eCommerce platform

The retailer then lists the product on their eCommerce platform, such as an online store or marketplace, at a price they choose. The price should be high enough to cover their costs and make a profit, but still competitive enough to attract customers. The retailer can choose to list the product with their own unique description and product images, or they can simply use the manufacturer’s provided information.

Step 3: Customer places an order

A customer browsing the retailer’s platform spots a product they fancy and decides to take the plunge, clicking the “Add to Cart” button and proceeding to checkout. The retailer receives the order and customer information, including the shipping address. With a flick of the wrist, they forward the details to the manufacturer, who is ready and waiting to fulfil the order.

Step 4: Manufacturer ships the product directly to the customer

With all the necessary information from the retailer, the manufacturer takes care of the heavy lifting and ships the product straight to the customer’s doorstep. No more worrying about inventory storage or packing and shipping orders, the manufacturer handles it all!

Step 5: Retailer pays the manufacturer

The retailer acts as the middleman, making a profit by marking up the cost of the product before selling it to the customer. Once the manufacturer has shipped the product directly to the customer, the retailer pays the manufacturer for the cost of the product, minus their markup.


  Also Read: How to Start a Dropshipping Business With No Money?


Automating the Delivery Process with Efficient Logistics Solutions


Step 1: Choose a Logistics Partner

Selecting a logistics partner is like finding a wingman for your business delivery needs. Make sure to pick someone with a proven track record of efficient and cost-effective deliveries. Do your research, read reviews, and ask for references or take the easy path and consult with NimbusPost’s experts to help you choose a logistics partner. Choose a partner who will have your back and ensure your customers receive their products in a timely and reliable manner.

Step 2: Integrating Logistics Software

Get your tech on point. Integrating a top-notch logistics software with your eCommerce platform can make all the difference in streamlining your reverse dropshipping process. Integrate your logistics with NimbusPost’s tech-enabled platform and say goodbye to manual order tracking and hello to real-time updates.

Step 3: Establish a Fulfillment Process

Establish a smooth and seamless fulfilment process that makes your customers feel happy. This includes packing products with care and precision and shipping them to customers with speed and efficiency. The goal is to provide a level of service that has your customers singing your praises and coming back for more.

Step 4: Optimize Routes

It’s time to get smart with your deliveries and optimize those routes. NimbusPost’s Logistics optimization tools can help you identify the quickest and most cost-effective routes for your deliveries. Think of it as your personal GPS for deliveries. No more aimless wandering or getting lost en route.  By reducing delivery times and costs, you’ll not only make your customers happier, but you’ll also give your business’s profits a much-needed boost.

Step 5: Monitor and Adjust

The key to successful delivery automation is constant monitoring and improvement. Regularly review delivery times, costs, and customer feedback to identify areas that can be optimized. Whether it’s adjusting delivery routes, changing up packaging, or incorporating new technologies, always strive to make the delivery process faster, cheaper, and more delightful for your customers.




Tips for Building an Effective Strategy


Conduct thorough market research

“Market research is like a treasure hunt, except instead of searching for gold, you’re searching for the most profitable and in-demand products for your reverse dropshipping business. A little bit of digging and analysis can go a long way in helping you make informed decisions about what products to sell and how to sell them. Start by analyzing market trends and consumer behaviour, taking note of what products are selling well and why. Look at popular eCommerce platforms, social media, and industry blogs to get an idea of what products are making a splash.

Choose the Right Suppliers:

When it comes to reverse dropshipping, choosing the right supplier can make or break your business. So, it’s essential to do your due diligence and find suppliers that you can trust to keep your customers happy. Here’s what you need to keep in mind when choosing suppliers for your reverse dropshipping business:

  1. Reliability: Look for suppliers that have a proven track record of delivering products on time, every time.
  2. Quality Products: Make sure the suppliers you choose offer high-quality products.
  3. Efficient Shipping: Quick and efficient shipping is key in reverse dropshipping.
  4. Competitive Prices: This will allow you to sell the products at a profit while still providing customers with good value.
  5. Good Communication: Good communication is key in any business relationship, and it’s especially important when it comes to reverse dropshipping.

Offer Unique Products

Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and offer products that aren’t commonly found on other eCommerce platforms. This will give your customers a reason to choose your store over the competition. Plus, offering unique products can lead to higher profit margins, as there is less competition for those items.

Build a Strong Brand

Building a strong brand is like putting together a winning puzzle – When it comes to reverse dropshipping, a strong brand can be the secret ingredient that takes your business from bland to grand. To get started, focus on defining your unique brand identity, showcasing your products in a way that sets you apart from the crowd, and delivering consistent, high-quality customer experiences.

Offer Exceptional Customer Service

Treat your customers like royalty and don’t be afraid to roll out the red carpet for them. Quick response times, personal attention, and problem-solving skills are all essential ingredients to delighting your customers and leaving a lasting impression. Remember that happy customers lead to repeat business, positive word of mouth, and a stellar reputation – all of which can make your reverse dropshipping a success.

Optimize Your Website

Give your website a digital facelift and make sure it’s as attractive as it is functional. Make sure it’s easy to navigate, loads quickly and is optimized for search engines to help drive traffic and attract customers. And remember, first impressions are everything, so make sure your website puts its best foot forward.

Utilize Marketing Tools

If you want to be the top player in the reverse dropshipping game, then you need to be a marketing pro. Make sure you’re utilizing all the latest tools to reach your target audience and drive sales. From email marketing to social media marketing and influencer outreach, there’s a tool out there that can help you connect with potential customers and get the word out about your amazing products.

Automate the Delivery Process

Reverse dropshipping can be a complex process, but automating the delivery process can simplify it and help you achieve your business goals. By automating the delivery process, you can reduce costs and increase efficiency. This is achieved by streamlining the logistics process and reducing the need for manual intervention. Automation can also help you improve customer satisfaction by ensuring that deliveries are made on time and without any errors.





Reverse dropshipping is fairly a new business model and that’s good because many people don’t know about this model and there is less competition, unlike traditional dropshipping. Doing reverse dropping will give your online business a competitive advantage because your product will be high-quality sourced from developed countries rather than low-quality products that every dropshipper is selling.

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