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From Idea to Inventory in Shopify: Mastering Product Sourcing Process in 2024

Embarking on a business venture is a challenging feat, especially when faced with the initial hurdle of having no products to sell. In reality, sourcing a reliable supplier frequently marks one of the primary steps in this entrepreneurial journey.



However, for those launching a store on Shopify, a plethora of product sourcing options awaits, facilitating the process of populating your store with sought-after items. These options allow you to forge partnerships with suppliers specializing in specific goods or infuse your unique creativity into white label products. Shopify provides a diverse array of avenues for entrepreneurs to kickstart their businesses and bring their product offerings to the market.

What is Product Sourcing?

Product sourcing comes into play after you have conceived a business idea, and it entails determining the method by which you will obtain the products you intend to sell. This process may involve finding a manufacturer for custom products, establishing ties with a wholesale supplier for third-party goods, or collaborating with a dropshipper.

Many of the product sourcing options outlined in this list allow you to adopt a dropshipping fulfillment model. This approach eliminates the need for you to store or manage inventory or handle order shipments—responsibilities that shift to the supplier with whom you choose to collaborate. Consequently, this approach allows you to concentrate less on logistical concerns and more on crucial aspects such as building your brand, crafting compelling product descriptions, and delivering excellent customer service.

Learn about other tricks to direct traffic on Shopify here.

Top Shopify Apps for Product Sourcing:

1. Printify: Infuse Your Brand with Creativity through Print-on-Demand Apparel and Accessories


Price: Free plan available

Printify emerges as a dynamic solution for Shopify store owners seeking to inject their unique creativity into their products. As a print-on-demand platform, Printify provides a broad catalog of products that can be personalized with your distinctive designs.

Key Features:

  1. Extensive Customization Options: Printify empowers users to unleash their creativity by offering diverse customizable products. Whether it’s T-shirts, hoodies, or coffee mugs, the platform allows for personalized designs on various items.
  2. Flexible Pricing Model: While Printify offers a free plan, users pay for products per order. When ready to scale operations, a paid plan at $29/month becomes available, offering a 20% discount on all products to enhance profit margins.

Types of Products You Can Customize:

  • T-shirts
  • Hoodies
  • Tote bags
  • Coffee mugs
  • Wall decals
  • Posters
  • Beach towels
  • Notebooks
  • Pet beds
  • And more

2. Oberlo: Elevate Your Shopify Store with Seamless Product Discovery


Price: Free plan available

Oberlo, recognized as an official Shopify app, redefines product discovery through third-party dropshippers. This user-friendly app streamlines the integration of chosen items into your Shopify store, offering your customers a hassle-free direct shipping solution.

Key Features:

  1. Effortless Integration: Oberlo seamlessly integrates with your Shopify store, ensuring a smooth and efficient experience. This integration simplifies the complexities of inventory management and order fulfillment.
  2. Diverse Product Selection: Gain access to an extensive catalog featuring millions of products across diverse niches. This breadth of selection empowers you to craft a distinctive online store tailored to a specific audience, whether pet accessories or smartphone photography gear.
  3. Informed Decision-Making: A standout feature of Oberlo is its provision of valuable data on each product’s performance. This insightful information equips you to make informed decisions when selecting items for your store, enhancing the overall effectiveness of your product lineup.


  • Sunglasses
  • Watches
  • Apparel
  • Electronics
  • Phone Accessories
  • And more

3. Spocket: Access Quality Products from US and EU Suppliers


Price: Free plan available

Spocket stands out as a reliable product sourcing app, providing the opportunity to add products from dropship suppliers based in the US and EU. With a diverse catalog of high-quality products, branded invoicing, and efficient shipping, Spocket ensures a seamless experience for Shopify store owners.

Key Features:

  1. Quality Products and Fast Shipping: Spocket offers a substantial catalog of quality products sourced from US and EU suppliers. The platform prioritizes fast shipping times, enhancing the overall customer experience.
  2. Wholesale Pricing and Profit Margins: Leveraging wholesale pricing, Spocket guarantees a 30-60% discount on the retail price of all products. This allows Shopify entrepreneurs to enjoy favorable profit margins and explore creative discount strategies.
  3. Diverse Product Range:
  • Earrings
  • Apparel
  • Sports and outdoor equipment
  • Footwear
  • Bath and beauty items
  • And more

4. Syncee: Streamline Your Product Sourcing with a Global Marketplace


Price: Free for 14 days (first 30 products)

Syncee emerges as a global marketplace of suppliers, offering Shopify store owners the convenience of browsing and importing products from trustworthy suppliers worldwide. Whether considering inventory, reliability, or delivery times, Syncee provides a comprehensive solution for effective product sourcing.

Key Features:

  1. Global Supplier Network: Syncee connects Shopify entrepreneurs with a catalog of trustworthy suppliers from around the world. This ensures a diverse range of products to meet different market demands.
  2. Effortless Importing: Easily import products into your store with Syncee, streamlining the process of adding new items to your inventory and expanding your product offerings.
  3. Diverse Product Categories:
  • Baby products
  • Watches
  • Fashion items
  • Toys
  • Fishing accessories
  • Perfume
  • And more

5. Creative Hub: Unleash Contemporary Art in Your Store

creative hub

Price: Free to install

Enter the world of art commerce with Creative Hub without being an artist yourself. This UK-based marketplace offers an extensive selection of premium art contemporary artists create, allowing you to showcase and sell these unique pieces in your store. Each artwork comes with a retail price (the minimum selling price) and your vendor share (your earnings at the retail price). Some prints are exclusive limited editions, commanding a higher value.

Key Features:

  1. Global Reach Simplified: With a fixed international shipping cost of £6, Creative Hub facilitates easy shipping, enabling you to reach customers worldwide.
  2. Transparent Pricing: Clearly defined retail prices and vendor shares empower you to make informed decisions about the artworks you choose to feature in your store.
  3. Limited Edition Prints: Elevate your offerings with limited edition prints, adding a touch of exclusivity to your art collection.

Note: Frames are not included, but you can source them separately through compatible apps on this list.

6. Printful: Elevate Your Brand with Custom Print-on-Demand Products


Price: Free to install

Printful, a leading print-on-demand company similar to Printify, stands out with its extensive customization options and brand personalization features. Beyond the basics, Printful offers robust product customization, allowing you to create a unique brand experience through branded stickers, package inserts, and labels. The ability to order discounted product samples ensures you can assess the quality of your products before promoting them to your audience.

Key Features:

  1. Extensive Customization: Elevate your brand with highly customizable print-on-demand products, including apparel, accessories, and more.
  2. Brand Personalization: Add a unique touch to your customer’s experience with branded stickers, package inserts, and labels.
  3. Sample Orders: Order product samples at a discounted price to assess the quality before showcasing them to your audience.

Customizable Product Range:

  • T-shirts
  • Posters
  • Leggings
  • Embroidered hats
  • Sports bras
  • Socks
  • Phone cases
  • Pillows
  • Joggers
  • Bomber jackets

7. My Online Fashion Store: Elevate Your Fashion Line with Trendy Apparel

my online fashion store

Price: $29/month

Overview: My Online Fashion Store, a US-based dropshipper, specializes in offering a diverse inventory of stylish apparel for women. From tops to bottoms, jewelry to shoes, their extensive collection comes with suggested selling prices, providing clarity for your pricing strategy. While they provide free returns and attractive shipping rates, it’s important to note that their services are currently limited to customers in the United States.

Key Features:

  1. Diverse Fashion Inventory: Explore a wide range of trendy apparel and accessories for women to curate a fashionable collection.
  2. Suggested Selling Prices: Benefit from suggested selling prices for each item, facilitating transparent and strategic pricing.
  3. US-Centric Service: Enjoy free returns and competitive shipping rates, catering to customers within the United States.

Fashion Items You Can Source:

  • Scarves
  • Tank tops
  • Lingerie
  • Sunglasses
  • Handbags
  • Hats
  • Belts

8. Lulu Xpress: Bring Your Words to Life with Print-on-Demand Books

lulu express

Price: Free to install

Lulu Xpress specializes in print-on-demand fulfillment for books and calendars, providing the tools to launch your unique literary creations. This app allows you to customize the format, size, cover type (hardcover or softcover), printing preferences (color or black and white ink), and the paper quality for the interior pages of your books. Ideal for aspiring authors or those with a vision for a bestselling coffee table book, Lulu Xpress offers a low-risk platform to test and validate your ideas before committing extensive resources.

Key Features:

  1. Diverse Book Formats: You can choose from various formats, including hardcover photo books, novels, comic books, workbooks, poetry books, calendars, journals, and notebooks.
  2. Custom Printing Options: Tailor your book to your vision with customizable options like cover type, ink color, and paper quality.
  3. Low-Risk Testing: Before scaling your project, experiment with book ideas and concepts with minimal financial investment.

Types of Books:

  • Hardcover photo books
  • Novels
  • Comic books
  • Workbooks
  • Poetry books
  • Calendars
  • Journals and notebooks

9. Shapeways: Elevate Your Business with Premium 3D Printing


Price: Free to install

Overview: Shapeways is a premium 3D printing and fulfillment service that empowers you to transform your 3D models into tangible products. While it may involve higher upfront costs due to 3D modeling requirements, Shapeways provides a platform for creating unique, high-quality products suitable for on-demand sales or rapid prototyping.

Key Features:

  1. Custom 3D Printing: Utilize Shapeways to turn your 3D models into physical products with various available materials.
  2. Premium Material Options: Access diverse 3D printing materials, including plastic, steel, gold, aluminum, sandstone, and carbon.
  3. Unique Product Creation: Create one-of-a-kind products that stand out in the market, leveraging the power of 3D printing technology.

Available 3D Printing Materials:

  • Plastic
  • Steel
  • Gold
  • Aluminum
  • Sandstone
  • Carbon

10. Modalyst: Access a Vast Network of Suppliers with Swift Shipping


Price: Free plan available (5% transaction fee on sales)

Overview: Modalyst offers a comprehensive supplier network, providing access to US-based drop shippers with efficient shipping times. This platform lets you discover independent brands, trendy products, and cost-effective goods to feature in your store. Modalyst’s network includes Shopify merchants who meet stringent criteria and are open to forming dropshipping partnerships.

Key Features:

  1. Supplier Diversity: Explore various suppliers offering backpacks, formalwear, T-shirts, footwear, swimwear, jewelry, and electronics.
  2. Fast Shipping Network: Access suppliers with a focus on relatively fast shipping times, enhancing the customer experience in your store.
  3. Quality Product Selection: Source high-quality and trending products from independent brands within the Modalyst network.

Types of Products:

  • Backpacks
  • Formalwear
  • T-shirts
  • Footwear
  • Swimwear
  • Jewelry
  • Electronics

11. MXED: Unleash the Power of Officially Licensed Merchandise (US Only)


Price: Free to install

Venturing into the realm of officially licensed pop culture merchandise often involves intricate negotiations with licensors. MXED simplifies this process, providing an easier avenue to sell licensed merchandise from renowned brands legitimately. MXED is committed to offering fast 3-day shipping, ensuring a stellar customer experience that aligns with the premium nature of the products you’re set to showcase.

Key Features:

  1. Legitimate Licensed Merch: MXED facilitates the sale of officially licensed pop culture merchandise without the complexities of direct negotiations with licensors.
  2. Efficient Shipping: Enjoy the benefit of fast 3-day shipping, enhancing customer satisfaction and delivery experience.
  3. Diverse Pop Culture Products: Explore a plethora of pop culture products, including backpacks, T-shirts, wallets, and more, featuring iconic universes like Assassin’s Creed, Street Fighter, Overwatch, Sonic the Hedgehog, Star Wars, My Hero Academia, Looney Tunes, DC Comics, Marvel Comics, Naruto, and more.

Popular Universes Featured:

  • Assassin’s Creed
  • Street Fighter
  • Overwatch
  • Sonic the Hedgehog
  • Star Wars
  • My Hero Academia
  • Looney Tunes
  • DC Comics
  • Marvel Comics
  • Naruto

No Products to Sell? No Problem!

In the dynamic landscape of ecommerce, the traditional hurdle of product sourcing is now an impediment to starting your own business. With the proliferation of third-party suppliers and marketplaces, such as those mentioned above and countless others available in the Shopify app store, aspiring entrepreneurs can seamlessly embark on a low-investment journey, gaining hands-on experience in the thriving world of ecommerce.

FAQs on Product Sourcing for Shopify:

What is the difference between domestic and international product sourcing?Domestic sourcing involves acquiring products from suppliers within your country, offering quicker shipping times and potentially higher production costs. International sourcing involves suppliers from other countries, often providing cost savings but with longer shipping times and potential logistical challenges.

How can I ensure the quality of sourced products?

Request product samples, conduct factory audits, and establish quality control measures in your agreement with suppliers. Regularly communicate with suppliers, provide detailed product specifications, and consider third-party inspections for added assurance.

What role does product differentiation play in sourcing strategy?

Product differentiation is crucial for standing out in the market. While sourcing, look for unique features, customizations, or exclusive arrangements with suppliers to offer products that distinguish your brand from competitors.

How do I handle intellectual property concerns when sourcing products?

Be aware of intellectual property laws, trademarks, and patents in your sourcing process. Work with reputable suppliers, clearly define intellectual property rights in contracts, and consider legal consultation to protect your brand.

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