Drop Surfing: What’s The Differences With Dropshipping?
Drop Surfing focuses on maximizing profit by finding the most cost-effective suppliers to fulfill any given order. In contrast, traditional dropshipping relies on 2-3 suppliers to deliver all the products. One model is based on long-term collaboration for products fulfillment, and the other aims to find the best deal for the moment.
Every day more people search for means to diversify their income, primarily through the internet. In 2021, the number of consumers who purchased products online reached an all-time high of 2.14 billion, with a future upward trend.
The increase in online shoppers has led to a rise in eCommerce niches like dropshipping. Dropshipping is a continuous trend in eCommerce, but the new buzzword drop surfing has been gaining steam.
While the information on Dropshipping is easy to find, we cannot say the same for Drop Surfing; but what is Drop Surfing, and how is it different from Drop Shipping?
What is Drop Surfing?
Drop Surfing is essentially looking through a wave of suppliers for the one that offers the best deal for a dropshipping order. The goal behind drop surfing is to maximize profit.
A prime example of drop surfing is; a drop shipping seller receiving an order for a purple coffee mug. With dropshipping, there would be a supplier set to go with the delivery of the mug, but in drop surfing, the dropshipping seller would surf through various suppliers for the one that sells the same purple mug at the lowest price.
Once a supplier that offers the lowest price is found, the middleman orders it from that supplier, and the dropshipping seller gets to earn a more significant profit. The more profit the seller makes per order, the more business they can make dropshipping.
While this is a simple definition of Drop surfing, this second definition will explain why many choose to shy away from this form of eCommerce. The other meaning for drop surfing describes it as “surfing the web for top trends on different products” for ones that will generate the highest profit.
The reason most people shy away from drop surfing is that it involves intensive market research. The market research involves monitoring various drop surfing platforms for what suppliers or what products are hot, and many people do not have to time this.
Digital marketers are known for their flair with keywords and catchy phrases that make rising entrepreneurs stop and wonder what the fuss is, and drop surfing is no different.
What is Dropshipping?
In an alternate world, the definition of dropshipping would have come first since drop surfing is a branch of it, but the subject should come before the object of discussion. Dropshipping is a business model where sellers sell products to a consumer that they do not carry.
Dropshipping has been around since the ages, even though it sounds like a new term from the social media age. It is a unique business model that permits individuals to start a business with little to no capital.
Businesses that practice the dropshipping model are not required and often do not carry the products they sell in their store. Dropshipping reduces the inventory stress allowing business owners to focus on marketing.
The three major components of dropshipping are; the seller, the customer, and the manufacturer (supplier). The seller has an eCommerce store with products that the customer visits to place an order.
Once the order validates, the seller reaches out to the manufacturer, who fulfills the order by shipping it to the customer. The seller does not come in contact with the product at any point.
There are different ways to carry out dropshipping, but the common ways are through;
- Creating your designs that another company prints and fulfills orders on
- White labeling is rebranding someone else’s product as your own
- Selling someone’s product directly
The dropshipping route of order fulfillment is simple. A consumer places an order and makes a payment which the seller receives. The seller sends the order to the supplier/manufacturer who packages and ships the order to the customer.
Drop surfing versus Dropshipping
Now that adequate foundational knowledge has been supplied on both drop surfing and dropshipping, you may wonder what the main differences between these two are.
Drop surfing is not so different from dropshipping. If anything, drop surfing is an extension of dropshipping. The strategy of drop surfing promotes profit, and who wouldn’t want to make more money?
Drop surfing is a dropshipping model that thrives on competition between suppliers to find the best deals. Drop surfers often change ways to fulfill orders, while dropshippers tend to stick to a small group of vendors. Drop surfing is riskier and more time-consuming than dropshipping, but the profit is higher.
Most people, who practice dropshipping, use it as an extra income that requires minimal effort. But that can of mindset is not feasible with drop surfing.
The amount of market research and trend monitoring drop surfing requires means entrepreneurs need to sacrifice some of their time.
|Pros||-> Low up-front cost.|
-> Higher profit margin.
-> More options.
-> Back-up plans for in-demand products.
-> Lower the price for customers.
|-> Low up-front cost.|
-> Long-term partnership with suppliers.
-> Can be semi-automated.
-> Make semi-passive income.
-> Difficult to vet suppliers.
-> Higher refund rate and complaints.
-> Difficulties to ensure customer support.
-> Shipping time inconsistencies.
|-> You rely on a few suppliers.|
-> Limited profit if you select the wrong vendors.
-> Limited offers and shipping options.
Drop Surfing with Shopify
Of all the dropshipping platforms, Shopify is a popular platform that works seamlessly with drop surfing. And it comes with various plugins that allow business owners to add new products to their inventory efficiently.
Pros and Cons of Drop surfing
This article aims to help new eCommerce business owners fully comprehend drop surfing and determine if it is a venture they can proceed on. As with any other form of business, drop surfing has its pros and cons. Below are the major drawbacks and benefits of drop surfing.
Pros of drop surfing
- Drop surfing provides multiple vendors for eCommerce owners to choose from
- Sellers can garner higher profit than traditional dropshipping
- It is an accessible business to start with little to no capital
- The business model eliminates inventory and packaging costs
- It focuses on lower-cost products for a higher profit margin
- Business owners can focus efforts on marketing
- Using the appropriate software allows for automatic order placement.
Cons of drop surfing
- Drop surfing can be challenging and demanding to maintain
- Many dropshipping platforms do not allow drop surfing
- It can only be accurately monitored by software if you are looking to scale
- Drop surfing software for scaling the business may require monthly payments to use
- The software might not be compatible with all websites
The best platforms and sites for Drop Surfing
In our compilation of the drawbacks of drop surfing, we mentioned that not all platforms support drop surfing software. For individuals looking to begin their drop surfing journey, these platforms offer the best service and navigation for this business model;
- Big Commerce
- Commerce HQ
Drop surfing is not so different from dropshipping, but it is not exactly like it in the same way. While they both focus on profit, drop surfing offers room for higher profit than dropshipping so long as you have the right tools. There are numerous platforms and software tools available to make your drop surfing journey easy. What we do advise is that new eCommerce business owners do adequate research on the different tools available.