SaleHoo Review 2021
Still based in New Zealand, SaleHoo was founded there in 2005 by Simon Slade (an online seller) and Mark Ling (an internet entrepreneur). The goal? To help online sellers overcome their most pressing challenges, such as finding reliable suppliers and choosing products. The first incarnation of the business prioritised a directory of wholesale and dropshipping suppliers, and that directory (SaleHoo Directory) remains the core of the business.
Over the years, though, the business expanded. The directory grew significantly, and currently lists over 8,000 verified wholesale and dropshipping suppliers granting easy access to more than a million products. These suppliers are spread throughout the world, but most are based in the USA, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, or China.
It also introduced new services to be used alongside the directory. Here’s the current list of available services, which each priced separately:
SaleHoo Directory. The aforementioned directory of dropshipping and wholesale suppliers, it also grants access to the SaleHoo Market Research Lab which uses rich analytics to help you find the right products to sell.
SaleHoo Dropship. This service helps you find trending dropshipping products from AliExpress and add them to a database that you can easily import into your Shopify store. This is essentially a direct Oberlo competitor.
SaleHood Educate. The latest addition to the SaleHoo platform, this service helps ecommerce beginners create their stores (dropshipping, selling wholesale products, or doing both) and start successful marketing campaigns.
The core appeal of SaleHoo will likely always be the huge directory of vetted suppliers, but the additional services ensure that the company can serve as a broad resource for new ecommerce sellers interested in dropshipping or wholesale selling. In this review, we’ll focus on the value it offers dropshippers specifically. Let’s continue.
Benefits of SaleHoo
SaleHoo offers some convenient options for dropshippers. In addition to providing an Oberlo-style service through SaleHoo Dropship (quickly finding and adding AliExpress products to a Shopify store), it offers a large range of vetted dropshipping suppliers from around the world (over 1,000 just doing dropshipping). Those suppliers do need to be contacted, but that allows while-labeling arrangements that other services don’t.
Additionally, SaleHoo Educate features enough useful information that it could be a huge help to entrepreneurs completely new to the dropshipping world. This combination of three potent services (along with the handy Market Research Lab) makes the overall SaleHoo package quite tempting for budding online sellers — though keep in mind that they’re priced separately, so you don’t get all of them for one set price.
Who is SaleHoo for?
SaleHoo is aimed at new online sellers and ecommerce entrepreneurs that haven't yet found the reliable suppliers they need to get their businesses going. When you're looking at suppliers around the world, it's hard to tell which ones are legitimate and trustworthy: many will never fulfil their orders, send low-quality products, or just prove unreliable with shipping.
Because SaleHoo Directory lists only suppliers vetted by the business, it allows dropshippers to skip a lot of arduous research and jump directly to working with suppliers they can trust to handle their orders. And with the SaleHoo Dropship tool also available to make it simple to add products to a Shopify store (whether you negotiated for them or took them directly from AliExpress), it’s possible to get going very quickly.
If you're considering starting a dropshipping business using SaleHoo to guide you, it’s worth reading the company’s comprehensive dropshipping guide to learn more about the general benefits of the approach, some issues you could face, and how you can get started.
There are various possible costs for using SaleHoo since you can have different mixes of services and billing options. Here are the details:
The core directory is highly affordable, but best suited to those with long-term ambitions. There are two options: you can pay $67 per year, or pay $127 for lifetime access. Keep in mind that access also allows use of the SaleHoo Market Research Lab, the members’ forum, and the official email support system.
Additionally, there’s a 100% satisfaction guarantee thrown into the sale. If the directory doesn’t live up to your expectations, you can email SaleHoo your receipt number and receive a full refund. Overall, this pricing is highly competitive.
If you only want to use SaleHoo Dropship (presumably because you run a Shopify store and AliExpress products are all that you need), you can solely pay for that service. There are two pricing tiers available to you, each billed monthly.
Both significantly more expensive and more limited than the SaleHoo Directory, this service is purely for those who don’t want to engage in any supplier negotiations whatsoever.
The SaleHoo Educate training platform doesn’t work through subscriptions. Instead, it offers an à la carte selection of training videos, with each one costing $47 for lifetime access (and some other perks thrown in, such as email support). How this compares to alternatives will depend on how well each course fits your specific needs and how you ultimately rate it.
If you don’t find the courses to be particularly special, then you’d clearly have a better time getting training courses elsewhere. There are plenty of places to find niche courses that are much cheaper than $47 each, and subscription-based services that can provide you with vastly-superior value in the event that you intend to consume a lot of training materials.
If you just want to take one training course, though, and you intend to use the SaleHoo Directory, then it might well be worthwhile to choose from the SaleHoo Educate selection.
Ecommerce Comparison Features
Free to Install
Free to Install
Ease Of Use
SaleHoo features summary
To use SaleHoo Directory for dropshipping, you first search through suppliers and products to find items that you want to sell. You then list them in your inventory, whether it’s for a dedicated store or a page on a marketplace such as eBay or Amazon (be aware that the SaleHoo Dropship import tool only works with the Shopify CMS).
Once someone purchases an item, you must log into SaleHoo, find the product and supplier, and purchase it from them. The supplier will then charge you to ship the product directly to your customer, leaving you to profit from your added margin.
SaleHoo Directory features dropshipping suppliers from various different countries, which means it’s often possible to find a supplier from your country. Since many dropshipping services only use Chinese suppliers, this can give you a significant edge over the competition: using a local supplier can save money and cut down on shipping time.
It's fairly easy to narrow down your search for suppliers and products in SaleHoo Directory — it's split into different categories, and you can filter by supplier location. SaleHoo also guarantees that you’re getting legitimate branded products (so no fakes or low-quality imitations that could damage your store's reputation). Additionally, each supplier needs to have had an active supply service for at least two years.
Overall, SaleHoo Directory is a potent resource that can provide online sellers with many excellent options for improving and expanding their businesses.
SaleHoo Market Research Lab
This part of SaleHoo Directory is one of the platform's best features. It's designed to find new suppliers and products, but it's a tool that you have to explore for yourself. In comparison, SaleHoo Dropship finds and recommends suppliers and products for you based on current trends.
SaleHoo Market Research Lab allows you to track sales data and trends (including particular markets or seasonal trends), helping you decide how you should update your inventory over time. It shows you which products have the highest profit margins and sell-through rates.
By picking a certain product or category, you can find out the costs involved, the number of people currently selling the same products, and the average price. It can help you to tell whether something is going to be a quick trend or a long-term product option.
This is most important if you're going to buy wholesale products so you don't end up with a load of stock you can't sell, but it's also useful for dropshippers to know which products are worth adding to their stores. Once you’ve selected your products, you can use SaleHoo Directory to find suppliers for those chosen products.
SaleHoo training and support
With a subscription to SaleHoo Directory, you also get access to personal email support and a members forum. The support allows you to request assistance with using SaleHoo, choosing products, or setting up an online store. There’s also a Help and Support Center that covers frequently-asked questions, of course, so you should be able to find answers.
The user forum is fairly active with over 137,000 members — you can get involved, ask questions, and learn from the many topics already discussed and archived. How useful you’ll find this will depend on how comfortable you are doing conducting research. If you don’t mind putting time into searching for it, you’ll find a lot of value.
SaleHoo’s other main offering is SaleHoo Dropship. This tool allows you to quickly find trending products with good profit margins to import directly into your Shopify store. It's designed to streamline the product search process and help you start selling more quickly.
You'll be able to access thousands of hand-picked products from AliExpress and SaleHoo Dropship will help you to find the cheapest items from trusted suppliers. You can see product cost, sales volume, supplier rating, shipping information, and images.
Overall SaleHoo provides access to an extensive database of trustworthy suppliers, which is very important for new online sellers. The SaleHoo Dropship tool helps narrow down the best products, which is good for beginners and those that don't want to spend much time hunting for products, plus they're guaranteed to be from reliable suppliers.
Through SaleHoo Educate, anyone interested in learning the basics of ecommerce can purchase a lengthy course. At the time of writing, there are only two courses available: Dropshipping on Shopify, and Amazon Product Launch, with each priced at $47 in what is ostensibly a launch price (it’s framed as a reduction from $247).
What you make of these courses will depend on how relevant they are to your purposes and how you find the tuition. Note that there is a 100% satisfaction guarantee, though it’s hard to tell how easily refunds are granted when complaints are received.
The smart way to approach SaleHoo Educate is to do some research, read some reviews, and decide if either listed course is worth trying. If you’re set on using the primary SaleHoo services then you might want to extend the benefit of the doubt — after all, the inevitable platform tie-ins will make the material more useful that comparable material elsewhere.
Offering convenient access to many suppliers, SaleHoo can point you towards products in just about every category. You can then import those products with ease if you run a Shopify store, or reach out to the suppliers manually to figure out some arrangements. The latter will be useful if you’re interested in pursuing options such as white labeling.
Despite the one-click importing options, SaleHoo isn’t the best for convenience. There are other dropshipping platforms that make it markedly faster and easier to expand ecommerce inventories. If you’re willing to put in the time to gain an edge over the competition, though, there’s a lot to like here.
Anything interesting you want to do with branding — any labels you want to swap out or changes you want to make to product varieties — will require discussions with SaleHoo suppliers, meaning SaleHoo itself won’t be involved.
The same thing goes for using custom designs. SaleHoo isn’t about the production process. There’s a possibility that you’ll be able to negotiate custom designs with its listed suppliers, but it depends on what those suppliers do — whether they have production facilities or simply liaise with manufacturers. You’ll need to investigate.
The SaleHoo Dropship tool only integrates with Shopify stores. Once you've signed up to SaleHoo, you can connect your Shopify store in a few moments, after which you can start browsing products and importing those you wish to sell.
You can still use SaleHoo to find products and suppliers if you're using another ecommerce platform, but you’ll need to configure everything manually instead of relying on importing. The value of this option will depend on how valuable you find SaleHoo’s process of curation.
The SaleHoo dashboard is straightforward, making it easy to navigate around the key elements of your account: suppliers, products, and training resources.
The suppliers section allows you to search for suppliers, reach out to them, and view the suppliers you’ve already communicated with (plus the relevant exchanges). You’ll receive dashboard notifications whenever you have new
messages, though the functionality is very basic: if you need to deal with complex issues like processing returns or checking invoices, you’ll likely want to handle discussions outside of the SaleHoo system.
The products section shows all the products you're currently selling and gives you an overview of your sales. Using the directory, you can easily search for specific products or product categories, filtering by fields such as location, minimum order, and shipping destination. Contacting a supplier is as easy as clicking on a product.
Lastly, the dashboard allows you to track the progress you’ve made through SaleHoo’s learning guides, and provides notifications from the SaleHoo forum. If there’s something that requires your attention, the dashboard should do a decent job of letting you know.
SaleHoo doesn’t handle any shipping. Once you’ve chosen from its list of curated suppliers, you’ll need to arrange the fulfilment details: everything from packaging to shipping. The requirements of this process will be different for each supplier, but the curated nature of the directory ensures that every SaleHoo supplier will be worth your time and investment.
As with many other things, SaleHoo offers no inventory management features. How you handle your products will always depend on how you prefer to work and what ecommerce system you’re using, but it’ll fundamentally be your task to deal with.
In some cases, you’ll likely need to manually review and adjust stock levels with suppliers, negotiating as you proceed. This will give you some advantages but take up more of your time than you might like to commit.
In other cases, you’ll probably want to lean on inventory management software to make your life easier. Automation is always worth your consideration, particularly when you’re using a fulfilment model like dropshipping.
As part of the SaleHoo Directory service, you can access support via phone, email, Twitter, Facebook, or live chat. SaleHoo staff members are available from 10:00pm to 2:10pm NZT between Monday and Friday, but you can log a support request at any time of the day.
This support service can help you with using the SaleHoo platform or choosing products, but it can also offer general advice about starting and managing an ecommerce store. Usefully, it grants access to guides and videos covering key ecommerce topics, and allows you to engage with thousands of other sellers via a community forum.
Through the SaleHoo Educate service, you can pay for high-quality ecommerce courses put together by relevant experts. In addition to gaining access to all the course materials, you also receive personal support as you work through them. There are only two courses available at the moment, though, so don’t expect a huge number of options.
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How to set up a SaleHoo account
Each of SaleHoo's three services (Directory, Dropship, and Educate) requires a distinct sign-up. To use Directory, the main focus here, you can choose an annual payment or pay for lifetime access. Here’s how you can open your account:
- Click 'Get Started Now' on the homepage to view the sign-up page, or visit the Pricing page to select SaleHood Directory as your chosen product.
- Click 'Get Started' and enter your name and email address.
- Enter your payment details to purchase the product.
Ecommerce Comparison Features
Free to Install
Free to Install
Ease Of Use
Sign up to SaleHoo
SaleHoo makes it simple to access reliable suppliers, which is why it’s hugely tempting for new online sellers. Having a list of vetted dropshipping suppliers makes it so much easier for budding entrepreneurs to build working relationships with trustworthy people.
The generous refund policy allows you to check out the directory and other features without worrying too much about the cost. The extensive array of resources is a great bonus for beginners, comprising guides, tutorials, support services, and a handy forum.
Additionally, the SaleHoo Market Research Lab and Dropship product can streamline the process of finding popular products with attractive profit margins. Anyone launching a Shopify store can get things going extremely quickly by taking this route.
In the end, though, it’s important to remember what SaleHoo doesn’t do. For instance, it isn’t a dropshipping service. It also isn’t a sales platform. It’s a facilitator, dedicated to forging connections between sellers and suppliers — and that’s really all it is. If that’s all you need, then great! You can sign up to SaleHoo now with great confidence.