Real wholesale dropshippers are easy to spot. Their business model is relatively simple, it has no promises of get-rich-quick associated with it and it is used by numerous different types of online retailers. This business model is well-understood, well-established and is a legitimate way of doing business. There are imposters to this business model, you can separate the good from the bad by understanding what you should expect from real wholesale dropshippers and understanding how those that are offering something entirely different endeavor to misrepresent themselves.
A wholesale dropshipper is in the business of order fulfillment. They’re not in the business of multi-level marketing or affiliate marketing. They are simply warehouses that have a lot of stock and that provide it to retailers. Retailers pay them wholesale prices for the products, which they sell to their retail customers at a profitable markup. It’s no different than traditional wholesaling other than in its use of just-in-time inventory models. It’s ideal for online stores and for those who operate on online auction houses. The just-in-time model allows them to list products instantly, even if they don’t happen to have them in stock at the time, which is a significant advantage in terms of staying competitive.
An affiliate program will usually set your prices for you. Real wholesale dropshippers do not; you may retail their goods for however much you can realistically get. If you choose to take a loss to get more business into your store, that’s up to you. The wholesale price remains fixed, either way. A wholesale dropshipper may provide you with images and text to use, but will not require that you use it and will not tell you how to design your site. You can offer whatever other brands you want on your site. A real wholesaler is just selling to retailers.