As entrepreneurs, we need to make sure that we make logical and profitable decisions. I’m constantly looking for new tools to use that either save me time or make me money. I’ve recently been looking into Doba as many Oberlo users have asked us to explain the difference between the two platforms. In this Doba.com review, I will detail how Doba dropshipping works, pros and cons, Doba reviews from customers and more.
What is Dropshipping?
Dropshipping is when a retailer doesn’t carry inventory of product but rather uses a manufacturer to hold inventory. Then, the manufacturer ships the products directly to the customer on the retailer’s behalf.
Dropshipping appeals mostly to two types of entrepreneurs: new and risk averse. New entrepreneurs dropship products as they may not have experience running an online store. However, new marketers may have strong marketing skills that allow them to experience and succeed in entrepreneurship. Risk averse entrepreneurs also prefer dropshipping as they aren’t required to buy products in bulk saving them money. They also don’t have to hold inventory or meet minimum sales thresholds. Thus, making it a conservative business model that still allows great potential for big profit.
When comparing dropshipping to wholesale, dropshipping tends to be more favorable. When wholesaling, you buy products at a much cheaper rate but you need to buy and carry inventory and ship them out yourself. Also, you put yourself at risk if you don’t sell your inventory. When dropshipping, you don’t carry inventory, you don’t ship products, and you don’t need to hire staff to package and ship orders. Buying products as a dropshipper might be slightly more expensive (but not by much) when compared to wholesaling but the benefits of reduced workload while minimizing risk makes it a better alternative. You also benefit from much lower shipping costs.
What is Doba Dropshipping?
The Doba dropshipping platform connects entrepreneurs or retailers to products they can sell. Their website boasts a selection of over two million products ranging from apparel to books. Doba provides retailers the tool they need to find products to sell, export them into their store, and ensure that the supplier ships the product out when an order comes through.
How Does Doba.com Work?
Sourcing Doba Products and Suppliers
There are two main ways to find Doba products: ‘Catalog’ and ‘Suppliers.’ Under Catalog, Doba users can search for Doba products via search bar or by scrolling through trending products in various niches.
Under ‘Suppliers,’ you can either search through their newly added suppliers or search their listings to find suppliers you’re familiar with. With the new suppliers, you might not be familiar with their quality but it allows you to test it out to see if they’re worth continuing with. With their supplier listings, you can choose brand names you know and trust or check to see if a supplier you use has added any new products to add to your store.
Managing Your Inventory
When you first create a store during your trial period, you’ll find that there are already 20 items pre-loaded into your Inventory. This can be frustrating if you started adding products first. However, the items can be removed manually when you go to each product page and click on the remove tab above the product image. They’ll likely be easy to spot as there isn’t a consistent niche among the products preloaded into your inventory.
When it comes to building out your product line for your first store, make sure they have a consistent theme. For example, if your store is a clothing store for women, you might not only sell fashion items. You could also sell jewelry, shoes and handbags as it’s still relevant to your audience. You need to make sure that you keep your ideal customer in mind when selecting items for your inventory.
Exporting to Your Store
Once you have chosen your inventory you can export product information into an XML spreadsheet or other format. The final spreadsheet will detail valuable information such as the dropship fee, supplier, product name, product description and more.
Managing Doba Orders
As orders come in through your website, you can manage them in Doba. You can place orders and make payments on their platform. Under status, on the left-hand side, you can easily view items that are pending payment, shipping pending, have been shipped, and more.
Doba.com Review – Pros
- Has a large selection of products – Doba has over 2 million products to choose from in a range of categories such as Apparel, Automotive, Books, Entertainment and more. They feature products from recognizable brands such as Leap Frog and household names such as Harper Lee.
- Easily export to Amazon and Ebay – Doba allows you to export your product inventory to websites such as Amazon and Ebay which are popular among dropshippers.
- Free trial – According to reviews online, Doba previously offered a 7 day trial and required a credit card. Fortunately, they now offer a 30 day trial and do not require a credit card during the trial period. This allows customers to test out their platform safely without the risk of getting charged.
Doba Reviews – Cons
- Cost of goods – There are a few significant problems with the cost of goods on Doba. For example, the product pricing isn’t competitive. For example, a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles rug is featured on Doba for $30 (price dropshippers pay) with a suggested retail price of $58 (what customers pay). Yet, when you go to Amazon, the listing price is $13.33 for retail. Despite their size difference, most would likely buy the rug on Amazon for its affordable pricing.
Also, many of their trending products are in the high-end range ($80+) though they have a couple of items featured under $10. As a dropshipper, you’ll want to ensure you have enough variety in product prices so that you can ensure you have products that appeal to your ideal market. However, choosing only expensive products makes marketing more difficult as it doesn’t appeal to a great majority. It’s harder to find customers who will buy high end products that you can find affordably with ease.
- Cost of Doba – Doba is one of the most expensive dropshipping platforms. It offers customers four plans: Basic ($29), Advanced ($69), Pro ($249) and Enterprise. The pricing of the Advanced plan, which is often the most popular plan, is strange. It only offers three additional features, one of them being ‘Live Chat Support.’ Oberlo doesn’t charge premiums for better customer service.
- Lack of product reviews – An important part of product selection is reading reviews and seeing star ratings. None of the products on Doba show a rating which makes it difficult to gauge whether a product will actually perform well or not. For example, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles rug above has a 3 star rating on Amazon despite being a well known brand.
- Low Margins – Doba’s pricing is high for a dropshipping model. Dropshippers are typically the middle man between manufacturing and the customer. However, Doba’s pricing isn’t competitive for those who dropship. For example, Oberlo allows retailers to use AliExpress as a supplier. Here are two price examples of similar products on AliExpress and Doba: On AliExpress via Oberlo, a gold toned scooter costs $218.99. On Doba, dropshippers are charged $295 for a similar product. The product from AliExpress can make a larger profit due to its affordable pricing.
- Membership Cancellation – According to Doba reviews online, many customers have struggled to cancel their memberships. The only way for a dropshipper with a Basic plan to get in touch with support to cancel is via email. Unfortunately, there are often delays in waiting for a customer support member to respond to an email. A customer would have to have the Advanced Plan to be able to cancel via live chat which would be much faster.
- Product Inventory Low – Many of the products on the Doba website only have an inventory level of under 100 items. That number may seem high to an untrained eye. However, anyone who has ever run a successful dropshipping store knows that an ad promoting one product can sell hundreds of the same item in a matter of days. It’d be pretty frustrating to run out of product quickly when you’ve finally created a successful campaign. Also, think about how many other dropshippers are potentially selling the same item. It’s possible that the day after you upload a new product it’s already out of inventory.
- Hard to Navigate – Doba’s website lacks a modern look and is hard to navigate. Some aspects like searching through products is simple but when it comes to the getting it onto your store, it becomes much harder.
- Negative Doba Dropshipping Reviews – There are a lot of negative reviews online about Doba. If you look at Doba’s Better Business Bureau rating it has only 26 reviews: 16 positive, 1 neutral, and 10 negative. The 16 positive reviews seems promising until you do a bit of digging. The business had been accredited on BBB since 2003 but all of the reviews have been written in the past two years. What’s even more concerning is that in 2015 all their reviews were either negative or neutral.
- Customer Support – Getting in touch with a customer support representative should be easy. But, the only way for someone to get in touch with their team is by email. A phone number isn’t listed on their website. Live chat is only for those above the Basic plan. Doba isn’t accessible enough.
Doba Vs Oberlo Review
While Doba and Oberlo are both in the dropshipping space, they both differ from each other greatly. Here’s why:
- Products: Doba dropship uses branded products while Oberlo uses AliExpress products. At first glance, branded products seem appealing. There are a few problems with that though. First, margins on brand name products are almost always smaller. Brands will always make more money off the products they create than the person selling them. Second, you can never make it look like they’re your products. For example, if people know they’re buying a name brand product, they know where else they can look to find it. If they don’t know the brand name, then they’ll usually assume they can only buy it from that retailer’s website. With Oberlo, you have access to millions of AliExpress products that allow you to make a profit while also being able to build your own brand. AliExpress suppliers also stay on top of current trends, which allows store owners to provide timely products to their customers.
- Margins: As mentioned above, margins on Doba are tighter than on Oberlo. Using the scooter example above you can see that Doba’s pricing is pretty much on par with retail pricing. This makes it next to hard to make a big profit. With Oberlo, the product price is so low that you can make a profit from products, even if you sell it at the same price as Amazon.
- Start now: With Oberlo, you can start your store right away for free. You can quickly import products into your store in minutes. Within minutes of importing products, you can create ads and promote your products the same day. There’s no need to contact suppliers.
- Business Entity: With Oberlo, you don’t need to officially own a business in the beginning. Eventually, when you start achieving success you’ll be required to register a business for tax/legal purposes. However, Oberlo gives you a chance to test the waters first and make sure you enjoy running a business. With Doba, upon registration you’re asked about your business entity.
- User Friendliness: Oberlo is easy to use. Even someone without a business or technical background can set up their first store with ease. Oberlo provides resources, a free eCommerce ebook, tutorials and easy to follow steps. Oberlo believes anyone can build a business. People need to be given the tools to succeed. Doba provides tutorials as well, however, their layout and website can be confusing at times.
- Doba Shopify: On the Shopify app store, Oberlo is the one of the most popular apps. They have over 1000 reviews (990+ that are positive). Doba is also on the Shopify app store. However, they currently have three reviews. And two of them are one star reviews.
Doba.com Dropshipping Review – Is it worth it?
At first glance, Doba offers a wide selection of branded products. The product brand recognition alone can draw in a dropshipper in quickly. However, their high prices is likely going to make your dropshipping business short-lived. It’s a competitive marketplace out there. In order to create a sustainable, long-term thriving business, a retailer needs to have access to affordable products with margins that’ll allow them to market their business, cover necessary business expenses and make a profit.
For someone to succeed using Doba, they’d need to be able to create low-cost ads in order to make any real profit off their product. They’d also need to promote their products on their own website as they wouldn’t be able to offer competitive pricing even if they wanted to despite a big angle of how dropshippers can sell on Ebay and Amazon.
This Doba review shows that Doba may not be worth pursuing. However, that doesn’t mean you should rule out dropshipping altogether.
Best Doba Alternative
Oberlo is the best alternative to Doba. Here’s why:
- Easy to Succeed: When comparing Oberlo success stories to Doba, Oberlo’s customers are succeeding by a landslide. Many Oberlo users have been able to hit 6 or 7 figures with their stores in a matter of months. The low product cost makes a huge difference in allowing people to make a profit.
- Easy to Choose Products: It can be hard for an entrepreneur to know the best products to sell. With Oberlo, you can easily see the bestsellers, their star rating and order volume. All of this information allows you to become a better entrepreneur.
- Affordable Pricing: Oberlo’s monthly plans start with a free for life plan. This keeps the risk low. We offer a free plan because we want to help more new entrepreneurs succeed. We want you to be profitable in your first few months. That way you can re-invest more into your business and scale.
- Positive Feedback: In the Shopify App store, Oberlo is the highest rated app in the Inventory section. It also has the most reviews. Oberlo focuses on providing customers a great product, user experience and customer support. Customers love how easy it is to use. They also love the affordable pricing. And they rave about how efficient it has made their business.
When it comes to dropshipping, Oberlo is definitely worth exploring.
Sign up for a risk-free Oberlo Starter plan now.