The top 5 UK dropshipping suppliers and companies for small businesses 2024

Dropshipping providers can save small retailers lots of trouble when managing inventory. Find the best provider for your small business with our expert guide.

Our Research

When recommending the best dropshipping platforms, our expert team of writers and researchers focus on the features and offerings that matter most to small businesses. We rate platforms on their price model, user friendliness, integrations with other systems, and help and support plus customer feedback.
Written and reviewed by:
Helena Young

Startups.co.uk is reader supported – we may earn a commission from our recommendations, at no extra cost to you and without impacting our editorial impartiality.

Choosing the right dropshipping supplier is like finding the ideal business partner – it can make or break your dropshipping venture. But with so many options, how do you choose the correct provider?

We’ve conducted our own in-depth research and found that DSers is the best dropshipping supplier. It offers users integration with Shopify and has expansive store management options that make dropshipping feel easy.

Best Dropshipping Suppliers

The best three dropshipping providers for small businesses in the UK, according to our research, are:

  1. DSers for Shopify users
  2. Modalyst for Wix users
  3. AliExpress for product range

In this guide, we’ll do a deep dive into some of the best dropshipping suppliers in the market, equipping you with everything you need to make informed decisions. We’ll compare providers based on their features offering, international shipping options, customer service, ecommerce platform compatibility, and more. We’ll also unveil some red flags to watch out for, ensuring you choose a partner who empowers your business success. 

Swipe right to see more
0 out of 0

DSers

Modalyst

AliExpress

Avasam

SaleHoo

Pricing

$15.9 – $399 (around £13 – £315) per month, billed annually

Pricing

$0 – 90 (about £0 – 72.41) per month

Pricing

5-8% commission fee

Pricing

£0-£149.99 +VAT  per month, billed monthly

Pricing

$27 – 97 (around £22 – 80) per month

Pros

– Integrates with Shopify

– Manage 10 stores & 20,000 products

– Process orders in bulk (100+ orders)

Pros

– Integrates with Wix

– Add products in just one-click

– Real-time inventory updates

Pros

– Unlimited inventory

– Reliably large company

– Delivery from 1 to 3 days in national territory and no restrictions on European delivery

Pros

– 250 orders per month

– 4 channel integrations

– Product sourcing

Pros

– Good for high profit product selling

– Smart automation tool

– Month-by-month sales trends

Free plan?

Yes

Free plan?

Yes

Free plan?

Yes

Free plan?

Yes

Free plan?

No

[Prices correct as of March 2024]

The best dropshipping suppliers should integrate directly with your ecommerce platform. Read our guide on the top online store builders to get started.

1. DSers

  • Best for: Shopify users who want a platform that integrates smoothly with their pre-existing ecommerce setup.
  • Pricing range: $15.9 – $399 (around £13 – £315) per month, billed annually
  • Countries shipped to: Brazil, Chile, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Israel, France, Portugal, Japan, Korea, Canada Italy

DSers is a highly-rated dropshipping tool that lets you manage orders directly from your online store and is all synchronised in one place. It’s available across several market-leading ecommerce platforms, such as Wix and Woocommerce, but works best with Shopify. Shopify provides an easy-to-use platform with customisable storefronts and various apps, while DSers serves as a feature-rich dropshipping tool that streamlines order processing, automates tasks, and facilitates bulk order fulfilment from multiple suppliers. In combination, these two suppliers simplify inventory management, order tracking, and product sourcing.

Some features we’ve tested and liked is the Dsers supplier optimiser, which allows you to find cheaper and better suppliers that sell the same products as your current partners. This can help save you money and improve product quality. You can also easily create bundle deals for customers and refine your offering by hiding products you no longer want to process in one click.

Despite these positives, DSers does come with a number of setbacks. Users have reported data synchronisation problems and delays in processing, which creates the risk of customers growing frustrated because their orders aren’t being fulfilled. DSers can be complicated for those who are unfamiliar with dropshipping, as getting to grips with its interface and number of functionalities requires a steep learning curve.

DSers interface screenshot showing the Variants page with a t-shirt as a product example, showing how you can alter size, cost, price value, and Stock to Wix

DSers change product details settings. Image: Startups

Features

🔨 Connection to AliExpress providers
🔨 Over 150,000 merchants to choose from
🔨 Bulk order fulfilment
🔨 Shipping method pre-selection
🔨 Automated order status updates
🔨 Supplier optimiser
🔨 Automated address fixing
🔨 Available in six languages

How much does it cost?

DSers offers four different pricing plans:

  • Basic – free
  • Advanced – $15.9 (£12.5)/month, paid annually
  • Pro – $39.9 (£31) /month, paid annually
  • Enterprise – $399 (£315) /month, paid annually

We recommend going for the DSers Advanced Plan because you’ll have a more generous monthly limit on products and more features, all while still paying for an affordable subscription. It is worth noting that DSers does not charge transaction fees, so the cost you’ll pay is entirely upfront. This is the cheapest price available when compared with the other top providers on this list. This plan will give you access to:

  • a 20,000 product limit
  • a bulk order option
  • Real-time order tracking
  • 5 staff accounts
  • Save Shipping Adaptor

What ecommerce app does DSers integrate best with? Shopify, which you can also try for free for 3 days.

Shopify: Everything you need to start dropshipping from your own website

It makes sense to set up your ecommerce platform before committing to a dropshipping provider. This way, you can ensure the provider you choose integrates well with your online store.

We highly recommend Shopify owing to its excellent ecommerce offering for dropshippers – especially those new to the game.

shopify dropshipping exampple

Our own user testing discovered that Shopify offers some of the strongest sales features of all the platforms we looked at, like easy multi-channel integration (for selling on social media, etc.), fully customizable checkouts, and unlimited inventory allowance for those wanting to scale their stock without additional costs.

Plus, Shopify is a popular choice; it earned the highest customer score of any platform we tested – a whopping 4.7 out of 5! And you can find out why risk-free: start a free trial today, and see what Shopify can offer your dropshipping business.

2. Modalyst

  • Best for: users who are used to Wix and need a platform that easily integrates with the ecommerce giant.
  • Pricing range: from $35 per month
  • Countries shipped to: USA, Canada, UK, France, Germany, Australia, Singapore, China, and Mexico.

From our first-hand user testing, we found that Modalyst’s mix of features is great for dropshipping beginners because it gives you generous insight into how your store is performing and if you could be making larger profit margins. It also is the only supplier directory that integrates with Wix, our top-rated small business website builder – this makes it super easy to drop items into your Wix eCommerce store.

Modalyst also integrates with a few ecommerce apps, including Shopify and BigCommerce. This makes it easier to set up a sleek ecommerce storefront and run dropshipping businesses seamlessly, while getting all the data insights you need to grow your operation. It also comes equipped with an API that is linked to AliExpress, letting you access an incredibly expansive inventory.

Unfortunately, the product offering is quite slim in terms of who your suppliers are. The selection comes mostly from AliBaba or AliExpress, which means you’re stuck with products that will take 2 to 8 weeks to ship. To circumvent this issue, you’ll need to commit to a ‘Pro’ plan to access premium suppliers. It also has less integrations than DSers, meaning you’ll have to switch back and forth between software to run some aspects of your dropshipping business.

 

Modalyst interface screenshot showing showing the search results for women's clothing and accessories

Modalyst marketplace. Image: Startups

Features

🔨 Curated list of independent and trendy brands
🔨 API partnership with AliExpress Dropshipping
🔨 Ship to more than 80 countries
🔨 Part of AliExpress Booster Program

How much does it cost?

Modalyst has three payment tiers: Modalyst Hobby, Start Up and Pro.

  • Modalyst Hobby – £0
  • Start Up – $35 (£27)
  • Pro – $90 (£70)

We recommend Modalyst Start Up for small businesses. It has a limit of 250 products, and when compared with our top provider, DSers, Modalyst does not have the most generous product limit. In addition to the subscription fee, Modalyst also charges a transaction fee of either 5%, 2%, or 1%, on dropshipping sales based on your plan type. That means the more you spend on a payment plan for Modalyst, the higher your profits can be.

3. AliExpress

  • Best for: product range
  • Pricing range: 5-8% commission fee
  • Countries shipped to: 220 countries including South Korea, Russia, Brazil, Malaysia, Belarus, Israel, EU countries, US, Canada, Australia, UAE, Saudi Arabia, India.

Operated by the global online marketplace, Alibaba, AliExpress offers millions of products and takes care of virtually everything you need to run a successful dropshipping site. It handles all of your shipping and tracking needs, and gives you access to millions of products to help you build an impressive product line for your consumers. It’s also great for dropshippers of all levels because it lets you find trending products, do market research, build relationships with vendors, and order wholesale.

In terms of ecommerce integrations, AliExpress integrates directly with DSers and BigCommerce, and is available as an app for popular brands including Shopify, allowing you to add its products directly to your online shop.

The downside is that nearly all of the products available ship from China. This means you’ll need to justify shipping delays to dissatisfied customers. If time is of the essence, we’d recommend going for DSers instead.

Features

🔨 Standard shipping takes 15-45 business days to arrive
🔨 Over 100 million products
🔨 User-friendly interface, which supports multiple language and currencies
🔨 Buyer protection program that gives customers a secure shopping experience

How much does it cost?

Retailers don’t pay a monthly subscription fee to sell on AliExpress. Instead, the software takes a 5-8% commission fee per sale, depending on the product you’re selling. This means you can also sell single units or items, which is a novelty within the dropshipping supplier market.

Did you know?

The UK has the most advanced e-commerce market in Europe and in 2022, it had nearly 60 million e-commerce users. This means that a minority of the population are non-digital buyers.

4. Avasam

  • Best for: inventory management
  • Pricing range: from £0 per month
  • Countries shipped to: only within the UK

Like DSers and Modalyst, Avasam connects product suppliers and online sellers in one fully automated platform. With a network of over 100 suppliers within the UK, Avasam offers a diverse catalogue boasting a staggering 200,000 products across 18 different categories. As some of its strengths, Avasam shares updated information, offers reliable customer service, features trustworthy UK supplies and has automated order processing. More specifically, its strong inventory management automates inventory synchronisation, which prevents you from selling products you don’t have. It also allows you to download CSV files for editing and uploading products in a spreadsheet format.

The downside is that it has limited shipping options and does not accept PayPal. This narrows down your payment methods. Moreover, since you’re limited to only UK suppliers, the products you acquire can be more expensive in comparison to larger markets like the US or China.

Avasam screenshot showing outstanding invoices report page

Avasam invoice management. Image: Startups

Features

🔨 Automated order processing
🔨 Verified UK-based suppliers
🔨 Thousands of products
🔨 Inventory synchronisation
🔨 Multi-channel selling
🔨 Live customer support

How much does it cost?

Avasam offers four different subscription models:

  • Avasam Starter: £19.99 per month, billed monthly. Gives unlimited integrations and 50 customer orders per month.
  • Avasam Advanced: £49.99 per month, billed monthly. Gives you 250 customer orders per month.
  • Avasam Business: £99.99 per month, billed monthly. Gives you 1,000 customer orders per month.
  • Avasam Guru: £149.99 per month, billed monthly. Gives you unlimited order per month.

(+VAT per month – for all plans)

We recommend Avasam Advanced. Although on the pricier end compared to other providers, it means you have a more expansive customer order. The good news is that if you’re daunted to commit to such a costly subscription, you can first try Avasam Free, which permits 10 orders per month. This will give you a taste of whether Avasam is for you.

5. SaleHoo

  • Best for: large seller network and international markets.
  • Pricing range: from £22 per month
  • Countries shipped to: US, UK, Australia and New Zealand

SaleHoo Dropship integrates with your ecommerce site to import products to your Shopify store, similar to Modalyst and DSers. The unique selling point of SaleHoo is the SaleHoo Directory. Paid on top of your subscription, you’ll be able to view one of the largest curated lists of international suppliers, all of whom are carefully selected and trustworthy. This will give you the right level of confidence needed to diversify your supply chain and expand your product offering. This means it has an edge over Avasam because it doesn’t restrict you to certified UK-based suppliers.

The downside is that SaleHoo doesn’t give you the option to check available stock before joining, therefore it’ll be hard to predict if SaleHoo does offer the type of product you want to launch your dropshipping store. Moreover, reviews report that many of the companies dropshipping on SaleHoo require a minimum order or charge a large amount for shipping, which can dig into your profit margins or force you to keep a small amount of stock stored.

SaleHoo marketplace. Image: Salehoo

Features

🔨 More than 8,000 wholesalers
🔨 Accessible price point starting at $27 per month
🔨 Serves in US, UK, Australian and New Zealand markets
🔨 AliExpress inventory source with pre-vetted dropshipping suppliers

How much does it cost?

Your SaleHoo Dropship subscription costs $27 per month (around £22). However, you’ll have to pay an additional £50 per year (or £93 for lifetime access) to get your hands on the SaleHoo Directory. SaleHoo does not have a free plan, which puts it at a disadvantage, particularly compared to Avasam. But if you sign up for a plan and then change your mind, there is a 60-day money back guarantee.

How to choose a dropshipping supplier

Finding a reliable dropshipping supplier is vital for your online store’s success. They handle warehousing, packaging, and shipping your product directly to customers. Here are some criteria to keep in mind:

💡 Keep your niche: understanding your target market helps narrow down product selection and find suppliers specialising in those items. Check if the platform you have in mind works with suppliers that focus on your niche.
💡 Research and compare: utilise online directories and supplier websites to compare pricing, product quality, and shipping times. Look for customer reviews to gauge real experiences.
💡 Location: consider your target market’s location. Ideally, your supplier should have warehouses close to your customers for faster deliveries and happier buyers.
💡 Communication is key: contact potential suppliers and ask questions. Understand their ordering process, return policies, and minimum order requirements. A responsive and transparent supplier is a valuable asset.
💡 Test before you invest: order product samples to assess quality and presentation. This also allows you to experience their fulfilment process firsthand.

How long does it take to build your dropshipping business?

The average dropshipper will reach profitability within six months. However, keep in mind this is not a guarantee as your success will depend on a number of variables, including the products you’re selling and your profit margins. If you’re looking to make dropshipping your full-time income, this can take up to a year.

How much do I need to invest to build my dropshipping business?

It is possible to set up your dropshipping business for less than £100 per month, making it a solid option for those who are looking to bootstrap their next business venture.

How do you use a dropshipping supplier with your ecommerce platform?

Swipe right to see more
0 out of 0

Wix

Shopify

Squarespace

BigCommerce

WooCommerce

 

BEST FOR

All-round ecommerce platform for small businesses

BEST FOR

Best range of apps and extensions

BEST FOR

Best for ease of use and great design

BEST FOR

Best sales features

BEST FOR

Customisation and scalability

Overall Score
Based on our in-depth research and user testing
4.8
Overall Score
Based on our in-depth research and user testing
4.6
Overall Score
Based on our in-depth research and user testing
4.6
Overall Score
Based on our in-depth research and user testing
4.2
Overall Score
Based on our in-depth research and user testing
4.1
Pricing

£14-119 per month, billed annually
£13.50-£107.10 with code “TAKE10”

Pricing

£19 – £259 per month, billed annually

£1 for first month

Pricing

£17-£35 per month, billed annually

Use code “SU10” to receive a 10% discount on all Squarespace plans

Pricing

$29-$299 (around £23-£240) per month

Pricing

Free to download but themes and plugins cost extra

Dropshipping integrations:
  • DSers
  • Modalyst
  • Printful
Dropshipping integrations:
  • DSers
  • Modalyst
  • Avasam
  • Printful
  • SaleHoo
Dropshipping integrations:
  • Printful
Dropshipping integrations:
  • Modalyst
  • AliExpress
  • Avasam
Dropshipping integrations:
  • AliExpress
  • Printful
  • Avasam
  • SaleHoo

To use an ecommerce builder alongside your dropshipping supplier, you simply need to install the latter as an app on your website builder.

It will then manage the purchase, packaging, and shipping of the chosen products on your store front, so you won’t have to worry about storage or excess stock.

For example, the DSers dropshipping app lets you source products from AliExpress suppliers. Through the DSers app, available free of charge in the Shopify app marketplace, you can import products to your online store, edit product listings, and you place orders individually or in bulk.

After you make a sale in your Shopify store your customer paid for, your business then purchases the products from a supplier and they will be shipped directly to your customer.
Another bonus? Some providers, like Shopify, offer a range of additional ecommerce website tools, such as a branded invoice and shipping label templates.

Did you know?

The average success rate of a dropshipping business is between 10% and 20%. While this sounds slim, if you have the right dropshipping platform for your business, your chances of dropshipping triumph improve.

Methodology

Our in-house research team conducts thorough in-depth testing of the dropshipping platforms, with the process taking 5 months to complete. We go through a round of preparation, planning, data collection, and delivery to source you the best dropshipping suppliers so you can boost the chances of your venture succeeding.

We test suppliers more thoroughly based on these categories:

  • Dropshipping features → from inventory management to product tracking, we look at how expansive the features offering of each provider is.
  • Customer score → in addition to our first-hand research, we also wanted to make sure real-world customers are happy with their experience of each provider. We look at review websites like G2 or Capterra to get a feel of this.
  • Help & support → we look at the offering of customer support so that if you run into a dropshipping SOS, you can mediate your expectations and get a feel of how useful each provider will be.
  • Value for money → pretty straight forward – based on the features you’re offered, we determine whether you’re getting good value for your buck so you can feel you’re making a worthy investment.
  • User experience → we do the testing ourselves to understand where you might experience some pain points and what parts of the interface are good or could be improved. This gives us an idea of how beginner-friendly the platforms are.

Verdict: Choosing the best dropshipping supplier for your UK business

We think the best dropshipping supplier overall is DSers. This is owing to its intuitive, highly automated user experience, its generous pricing model, and the fact it’s an app specifically designed to integrate with Shopify, our top choice of ecommerce platform for dropshipping. You can take a look at what Shopify has to offer to see if this is the right set-up for your dropshipping business.

As we’ve mentioned, our ultimate line of guidance is that you should always match your dropshipping supplier with your ecommerce platform. And of course, Shopify is not the be all and end all. If you built your website using Wix eCommerce, Modalyst is your best bet.

Choosing the best supplier by examining how well it integrates with your existing digital shop will enable you to maximise your ecommerce offering, and make the most of both your online store builder and dropshipping supplier.

Dropshipping platforms can be expensive. If you want to save money and find a cheap website builder, read our guide to the top freemium web builders available for small businesses.

FAQs
  • Do I need permission to dropship?
    To start dropshipping, you'll need to register your business. Once you hit a certain income level, the majority of payment providers will require you to prove that your business is registered.
  • Is dropshipping profitable?
    Dropshipping is a very profitable business model because you can get large returns for relatively little cost. You don’t need to manage your own inventory, so you’ll save on the expenses that a traditional retailer or ecommerce store would incur. As long as you are pricing your products in a way that covers your branding and shipping costs (and in the case of AliExpress, commission fees), it is possible to make money with a dropshipping business.
  • Is dropshipping illegal?
    Dropshipping is a legal business venture. It's a legitimate method that thousands of business owners use worldwide. However, you can encounter legal issues with dropshipping if you work with dubious suppliers that use another company's intellectual property, so you need to make sure that the suppliers you’re using are verified.

Startups.co.uk is reader-supported. If you make a purchase through the links on our site, we may earn a commission from the retailers of the products we have reviewed. This helps Startups.co.uk to provide free reviews for our readers. It has no additional cost to you, and never affects the editorial independence of our reviews.

Written by:
Helena Young
Helena is Lead Writer at Startups. As resident people and premises expert, she's an authority on topics such as business energy, office and coworking spaces, and project management software. With a background in PR and marketing, Helena also manages the Startups 100 Index and is passionate about giving early-stage startups a platform to boost their brands. From interviewing Wetherspoon's boss Tim Martin to spotting data-led working from home trends, her insight has been featured by major trade publications including the ICAEW, and news outlets like the BBC, ITV News, Daily Express, and HuffPost UK.

Leave a comment

Leave a reply

We value your comments but kindly requests all posts are on topic, constructive and respectful. Please review our commenting policy.

Back to Top