Many people who are new to dropshipping often seek out various resources to find the lowest cost way to get started.
Dropshipping is already one of the lowest cost online businesses that you can start. However, when you are on a budget, finding free tools can save a lot of money.
I did a search for free dropshipping plugins and came across a couple of resources. Inventory Source was one of them.
In this post, I will go over exactly what it is and provide some Inventory Source alternatives to give you some options when starting your dropshipping store.
How Does Inventory Source Work?
Doing a quick overview of the website, it seems like it is a great service for anyone who is looking to open a dropshipping store.
Basically, Inventory Source is dropship automation software that lets you easily connect to over 150+ dropship suppliers and automates specific processes such as:
- Product upload and inventory syncing
- Filter and category management
- Order sending
- Tracking syncs
You can connect the service to your own online store or to a marketplace such as Amazon or eBay. The service integrates with many major top eCommerce platforms such as:
- Big Commerce
- Presta Shop
- WordPress WooCommerce
- Channel Advisor
- Seller Active
- Open Cart
- Stitch Labs
- Trade Gecko
- 3D Cart
They offer two plan types: Inventory Automation and Full Automation.
Inventory Automation – Auto-Upload Products & Sync Inventory
This plan has three different pricing packages to include:
- Start Up ($50 monthly)
- Professional ($150 monthly)
- Enterprise ($300 monthly)
The thing to keep in mind about Inventory Automation is that it only allows you to auto-upload products and sync your supplier inventory.
Each pricing package has a certain number of “integrations.” An integration is a connection between your dropship supplier and your sales channel.
Meaning, if you wanted to sell on both Amazon and eBay, you would need to pick the plan that allows for more than one integration.
It gets more expensive to add on integrations. Under the Start-Up plan which has only 1 integration, it is an additional $50 a month to add an extra one.
Full Automation – Inventory + Order Automation
This plan also includes three different pricing options to include:
- Start-Up ($175 monthly)
- Professional ($275 monthly)
- Enterprise ($400 monthly)
This plan also has integration limitations depending on which pricing option you choose. However, each additional integration on each of the plans is an additional $50 per month.
What makes the Full Automation plan different is that it also includes:
- Auto Order Routing -OR- 1 Click Processing
- Multi-Supplier Split Order Routing
- Automatically Sync Shipment Tracking
- Order Management Interface
What I like so far about the service is that it does integrate with so many popular platforms. If you plan on selling on services such as Amazon and eBay, the software could very useful.
However, for the interest of the readers of this post, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of using Inventory Source for WordPress WooCommerce users.
Pros of Using Inventory Source
The service does offer many useful features. As a WooCommerce store owner who also wants to dropship products, these features are definitely pros:
- Connect to 150+ dropship suppliers or add your own private supplier
- Auto-upload product data and sync inventory
- Auto fulfill orders and sync shipment tracking
- Push supplier products to virtually any online store, platform, or marketplace
Cons of Using Inventory Source
Service fees are not always a deal breaker as paying fees are a part of running a business.
However, when you are a new dropshipper and also on a budget, Inventory Source’s pricing may be a bit much.
This is especially true if you want the automation features such as syncing inventory, auto ordering, and shipment tracking.
Your minimum payment would be $175 per month for full automation.
Inventory Source Alternatives with No Monthly Service Fees
The good news is that you can get all of the features you need for your dropshipping store to include automation without the expensive monthly fees.
The solution I am referring to is AliDropship. The cool thing about AliDropship is that it is a WordPress plugin and it also has a WooCommerce compatible version.
You can create a dropshipping store with a regular WordPress installation or you can use the WooCommerce version to work with WooCommerce.
Why AliDropship Works Well for Dropshippers Using WordPress
For one, it is an all-in-one solution. You get an eCommerce platform that works directly with the dropship supplier which is AliExpress.com.
You can import products form AliExpress into your store. If you have no concerns about other dropship suppliers and do not need to sell on other platforms, it is an ideal solution.
The best part is that your dropship store is 100% yours. You retain complete ownership. That isn’t the case with other eCommerce platforms such as Shopify.
All of the necessary automated features are included with your plugin:
- Search and import products
- Auto updates product information
- Pricing automation
- Fulfill orders automatically
- ePacket shipping filter
- Auto order tracking
You can import an unlimited amount of products and have unlimited automated order fulfillment.
In other words, you just get more bang for your buck with AliDropship. It is only a one-time fee for the plugin.
You also have the option of ordering a custom dropshipping store and have the AliDropship team handle everything for you.
They will do niche research, register a relative domain name, import your products, handle SEO, social media account setup, and so much more.
Anyone can have their own dropshipping store regardless of their experience level.
I think Inventory Source is a great service but isn’t ideal for everyone. If you are new to dropshipping and want to save some money on expenses, AliDropship is likely the better option.
It feels like Inventory Source may be best for those who are seeking to sell on many other eCommerce platforms at the same time.
The software looks like it does a good job of handling the various platforms. However, for those just starting out and on a budget, an AliDropship store is something to consider.