What is “dropshipping” and how does it work in Sweden?

This guide summarises what dropshipping is, the roles involved, how it can work for smaller e-commerce companies, and the pros and cons it has as a delivery method. It also outlines how dropshipping can become part of your own business and how the benefit to the business can be assessed.
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Kvinna utforskar vad är dropshipping

Dropshipping: Introduction

Dropshipping has grown in popularity in recent years thanks to the ease of starting an online business, which comes with relatively low overhead costs. Sellers can create an online store and offer products from different suppliers without having to invest in stock beforehand. This allows them to focus on marketing and customer acquisition rather than worrying about the logistics of stock management and order fulfilment.

Dropshipping enables sellers to sell products without having to buy them in and keep them in stock before they are sold. Sellers therefore do not need to invest in warehouse premises or goods, and can instead focus on developing online stores and marketing strategies.

One of the main advantages of dropshipping is that it has a lower initial cost compared to traditional logistics solutions. Sellers don't have to spend money buying in goods, renting a warehouse or hiring staff to manage and ship the products. Where dropshipping is used as the delivery method, the need for large initial investments is reduced and so too is the financial risk of starting a new business.

The seller is also able to easily expand their customer base by varying the product range, giving the seller the flexibility to be able to respond to customer demand. At present there are many examples of companies that have chosen dropshipping as the basis for their business.
Global dropshipping amazon

What is dropshipping?

Dropshipping is one of several options that help sellers focus on online sales by outsourcing parts of the business to a third party.

In some cases, both manufacturing and warehousing are done by the same party, reducing administration and lowering the initial costs for the seller.

How does dropshipping work?

For dropshipping to work, detailed agreements and arrangements must be in place between the seller and the third party chosen to handle stocks and transport for the seller.

In most cases, the dropshipping process begins after a customer has purchased or ordered a product from the seller through an online order. The seller forwards the order, detailing the goods and quantity ordered, to their chosen dropshipper.

In the next step, the seller receives confirmation of the goods, quantity, delivery address, etc. for shipment from their dropshipper to the customer.

The dropshipper continues the process by picking ordered goods from stock and packing them for delivery. The dropshipper is responsible for the process steps until delivery has been made to the agreed address.

Sellers can choose to utilise automated notifications so that the customer can track the progress of their order. This may include notifications that the order has been packed, despatched, is in transit and when the order has been delivered at the agreed address.

Details of the process may vary depending on the business and its needs. It is the seller and the chosen dropshipper who agree on the various process steps.

Understanding the roles of seller, manufacturer and wholesaler

If you are an online retailer and want to start a dropshipping business, there are three main roles involved: seller, manufacturer and wholesaler. The seller is the one who offers and sells the products on their website or online store. The manufacturer produces the products and ensures they remain of high quality. The wholesaler is the intermediary between the seller and the manufacturer and is responsible for warehousing the products and shipping them to the customer. Together, these roles form an important triangle in the dropshipping model, allowing the retailer to offer products without thinking about the cost of warehousing and associated administration.
  • The seller in the dropshipping model is the retailer who offers and sells the products on their website or online store. The main task of the seller is to create an attractive website, acquire customers and provide customer service. The seller is responsible for ensuring that the products offered are of the right quality. The seller is responsible for ensuring that the products are always in stock and delivered to the customer on time. The seller is also accountable if there are problems with delivery or with the products. To succeed, the seller must work closely with the manufacturer and wholesaler.
  • The manufacturer is the producer of the products and is responsible for ensuring that the products are always of the right quality. It also has extensive knowledge about the manufacture and use of the products. The manufacturer is responsible for production and ensures that each product meets its requirements specification. The manufacturer can assist in the development of new products and improvements to expand the seller's range. Close collaboration between manufacturer and seller is essential to ensure that products meet customers' requirements and expectations.
  • The wholesaler is the intermediary between the seller and the manufacturer and is responsible for warehousing the products and shipping them to the customer. The wholesaler is responsible for ensuring that the products are always in stock and are delivered to the customer on time. The wholesaler is also responsible for packing and shipping the products and can offer discounts to the seller for bulk purchases. The wholesaler is an important partner for the seller and manufacturer to ensure that the dropshipping model runs smoothly.
Kvinna som sysslar med dropshipping

Dropshipping products from different suppliers

By using multiple suppliers in the dropshipping sector, the retailer can offer a wider range of products without the risk of being left with unsold goods. However, it is important to ensure that all suppliers are reliable and that product quality and delivery times meet customer expectations.

Because dropshipping can free sellers from having to buy and store products, some of them may choose to sell a range of products from different suppliers. These could be sourced, stocked and delivered by the same dropshipper, or each product could be handled by a separate third party – it depends on the agreement and the method chosen by the seller.

Depending on how you do this, offering different products from different suppliers could have some possible benefits, such as:
  1. You could offer a wider range of products to customers. When you choose multiple suppliers for your business, they might be able to provide you with a wide variety of products. This makes it easier for you to offer more choice to your customers.
  2. You could widen the scope of your business network and build more relationships. Using multiple suppliers to source your products from provides you with the potential to start numerous business relationships. This can be a potentially large advantage when your business grows.
Before deciding on your dropshipping structure, you should bear in mind that it might not be easy to deal with multiple suppliers.

Is dropshipping right for your business model?

Ultimately, it's up to you to decide if dropshipping is the right business model for your particular business. Here are some important things to keep in mind when considering dropshipping for your business.

Do you want to sell products with your own brand?
Developing and establishing your own brand can foster high recognition value among customers, limit price pressure and can contribute to customer loyalty.

When building your brand, it's extremely important to create the most appealing shopping experience possible, from the first click in the online store to delivery at the customer's door. Dropshipping allows you to outsource many individual steps to the partner, but you lose control over product quality, packaging, shipping and delivery to customers. If the quality is poor, customers will leave the brand and buy from competitors. The potential to achieve uniqueness and build your own brand is inherently limited in the dropshipping model.

How much control do you want over product quality?
The quality of your products plays an important role in your business. High quality is promoted by positive feedback and supports marketing. However, if the goods delivered do not have the quality promised in the offer, returns will generally be high. The consequences will be negative customer reviews and customers drifting away. Therefore, evaluate how important it is for your business to have consistently high quality for customers and business.

With dropshipping, permanent quality control is sometimes difficult to achieve because processes involved in delivering the goods are left to a third party. The choice of dropshipping partners is therefore important from a quality point of view and for long-term success.

What delivery times are important to you for your products?
Customers who shop online typically expect fast delivery. Surveys indicate that 84% of all online retailers regard fast deliveries as an important part of the shopping experience. Delivery times that are too long create a negative image of the online business and brand. When choosing a dropshipping provider, pay attention to the delivery conditions and delivery times, as well as costs. Tracking can be an added benefit, if this is possible.

What are the possible pros and cons of dropshipping?

Possible advantages of using dropshipping include low initial costs, no need for warehousing and shipping, and a wide range of products to choose from. Possible disadvantages include reduced profit margins, limited control over product quality, and potential delivery delays or wholesale sales.

Advantages of dropshipping

  • Low initial costs: Dropshipping doesn't require stocking, which means you don't have to invest money in buying products or renting warehouse premises.
  • No need for physical storage space: Since you don't have to keep stock yourself, you don't need any physical storage space, so you have no additional costs for rent, insurance or maintenance.
  • Flexibility: Dropshipping lets you work anywhere, as long as you have an Internet connection. This gives you the flexibility to work from home, from cafes, co-working spaces or wherever you want.
  • Wide product range: Since you don't need to buy stock, you can easily offer new products without running financial risks.
  • Scalability: Dropshipping lets you grow quickly without having to worry about expanding your physical infrastructure. You can easily test new products and markets, and scale your business as demand increases.

Disadvantages of dropshipping

  • Less control over product quality: When you use dropshipping, you trust the supplier to ship and deliver the products to your customers. As a result, you have less control over the quality of the products delivered, and this may lead to dissatisfied customers.
  • Competition and saturation: Dropshipping is a popular way to make money online, which means that competition is high. It can be difficult to distinguish yourself from other dropshippers and find a profitable niche, especially if it is already saturated.
  • Shipping difficulties: Delivering products from multiple locations can create logistical challenges, such as delays, lost packages and customer complaints.
  • Margins: Dropshipping companies often have lower margins than traditional retail businesses because they typically have no physical stock. That means it can be difficult to make enough profit to keep the company going.
  • Reliability of suppliers: Dropshippers depend on the reliability of their suppliers to deliver the products on time and in good condition. If your supplier fails, it can cause major problems for your business and damage your reputation with customers.
If the advantages outweigh the disadvantages, then dropshipping can most likely suit your business. If not, there are other options to explore, such as Affiliate Marketing or Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA).

How does Fulfilment by Amazon work as an alternative to dropshipping?

If dropshipping is not a good choice for your e-commerce business, consider using FBA instead.

FBA is an Amazon service that allows sellers to stock their products in Amazon fulfilment centres. Once an order is placed, Amazon handles shipping, packing and customer service for the seller. This makes FBA a popular alternative to dropshipping, as the seller has control over their stocks and can offer faster delivery times.

FBA also allows sellers to take advantage of Amazon's extensive customer base and Prime shipping programme, which can help boost sales and customer loyalty. In addition, FBA provides access to Amazon's customer service team, who can help resolve any issues.

Overall, FBA can provide sellers with a hassle-free way to manage their stocks and fulfil orders, while taking advantage of Amazon's vast resources and customer base.

With FBA, Amazon arranges storage and delivery of your products. However, before you can start selling using FBA, you have to first package your chosen products according to Amazon's packaging guidelines and, following our shipping requirements, ship them to a nearby Amazon Fulfilment Centre.

Once the products are stocked in the fulfilment centre, they will be listed as available for your customers to buy. This is one of the big advantages of becoming a seller on Amazon and using FBA to deliver your products to customers.

After this stage, whenever a customer orders a product, Amazon is in charge of picking, packing, shipping and delivery. We will also handle all customer service requests as well as any returns.

FBA also offers different options for specific requirements, such as FBA Small and Light (SE), FBA Subscribe & Save, Multi-Channel Fulfilment and FBA Heavy Bulky.
Man tänker på dropshipping-verksamhet

Is dropshipping the right choice for you?

Now that you know more about dropshipping, here are some potential factors for consideration to help you decide.
  • Brand identity: Whenever you sell a product, the look, feel and design of your products can be a deciding factor for customers. For various reasons, dropshipping only gives you partial control over these aspects. If you are not able find a dropshipper who can customise products the way you want, this could be a potential drawback.
  • Product quality control: Once again, because you have limited visibility into the actual items being bought and stored by your dropshipping partner, you have limited control over the quality of the product. If the end products are not of the promised quality, this could result in customers dropping you as their preferred choice.
  • Delivery times: Since the delivery and fulfilment process is in the hands of your dropshipping partner, you need to ensure they have a good track record when it comes to timely shipments. Services like FBA can actually help you deliver products faster – some may even be eligible for free two-day delivery under Amazon Prime, if they meet certain conditions.
  • Funding: If you have less capital to begin with, dropshipping and certain other alternatives can allow you to reduce expenditure on sourcing and storing products before you start selling them.
Considering the above will bring you closer to deciding whether you want to use dropshipping as part of your e-commerce business.


Dropshipping is a retail method where a store does not have the products it sells in stock. When a purchase is made on your website, the item is purchased from a third party responsible for shipping the product directly to the customer. The third party may be a manufacturer, wholesaler or other retailer.

The main advantage of dropshipping is its low initial cost due to the fact that you don't have to buy stocks in advance. It gives you greater flexibility because you can easily change your product range without having to worry about unsold stock. In addition, the risk of holding shares is minimised because you don't own any products.

But there are also drawbacks to dropshipping. First, profit margins may be lower because of competition in the market. Second, you have less control over product quality, delivery times and packaging, which can lead to poor customer experiences. Furthermore, relying on a third party for product delivery can cause product availability issues, and the lack of control over the supply chain can make it difficult to scale your business.

Overall, dropshipping can be an excellent option for those looking to start an online business with low initial costs, but it requires careful planning and management to succeed.
What is dropshipping?
Dropshipping is one of the ways a seller can outsource to a third party the process of stocking, packing and delivering products to customers.
Do I have to use dropshipping to deliver my products?
No, it is not mandatory to use dropshipping.
Is dropshipping allowed on Amazon?
You must follow Amazon's dropshipping policies if you intend to fulfil Amazon orders using a dropshipper.
Can I do dropshipping via Amazon?
No, Amazon is not a dropshipping service but Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA) is an alternative to dropshipping, where Amazon will store, pick, pack and ship your products.

By opting for Amazon's multi-channel fulfilment, you can also utilise FBA to deliver products that you sell on your own e-commerce website or on several other websites, not just on Amazon.
What is the difference between a manufacturer, wholesaler and retailer?
Manufacturers generally make the products, as the name suggests. Wholesalers usually buy products in bulk from manufacturers, and then sell them on to retailers – in most cases they do not sell directly to end consumers. Retailers, on the other hand, can operate small e-stores from which they sell directly to end consumers. Some manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers may also offer dropshipping solutions to deliver products to end customers.
Can I deliver products all over the world using dropshipping?
You should check this with your dropshipping provider. Some of them deliver internationally, while others don't.
What is the difference between a dropship manufacturer, wholesaler and retailer?
A dropship manufacturer ships products directly to customers, wholesalers sell products in large quantities to retailers, and retailers sell products to end customers. Dropship manufacturers manage the logistics, wholesalers act as intermediaries, and retailers sell directly to end customers. Wholesalers often sell at lower prices than manufacturers' recommended selling prices.
Do I need to register my business to use a dropshipping provider?
Yes. To use a dropshipping provider you need to register your business. Dropshipping providers usually require you to have a business registration and VAT registration to become their retailer. In addition, some suppliers require you to have a website or other sales channel where you can sell their products. It is important to check the requirements of each dropshipping provider you are considering using and to comply with all laws and regulations for operating your business, including VAT and tax requirements in your country or region.
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