Physical Location: Orem, Utah
Doba is the clear winner of our review. They are leaps and bounds ahead of the competition when it comes to usability, product selection, customer service, and innovation.
Doba works with several wholesale suppliers, aggregating all their products into one service and standardizing much of the data and many of the processes involved in working with dropshippers.
As described by the company, their business model is not to make money on product sales, but to profit from the membership fees charged for access to the suppliers and the additional tools that can make your life easier. This is important because it means they’re not trying to take a cut of all your sales. You pay them the same membership fees whether you order one product or one thousand products.
They still aren’t the magic button, get-rich-solution that so many people seem to be seeking, but for people wanting to work with a trustworthy, legitimate drop shipping solution, it’s hard to beat Doba.com.
Unique Products - 1,000,000+
With over 1,000,000 unique products, Doba has plenty to choose from. In fact, if I have one complaint it’s that with so much to choose from it’s hard to know where to start and what to sell. Once you get used to using the advanced search, it gets easier to find the products, but there is a learning curve. They seem to be adding new suppliers and new products all the time so look for the number of products to keep going up.
Doba claims that by leveraging the buying power of all of their members, they can get better product pricing and lower drop ship fees from the suppliers than any small business could on their own—and based on updates made over the past year (see their Updates page), they seem to be backing up their claim. Their site’s Alexa Rating also seems to support their claim that a lot of people are using their service. It appears that they get more traffic than any of their competitors.
Though Doba didn’t win every comparison we did among the reviewed companies, they won more than any other supplier and were consistently competitive every time. Will all of their products sell for a profit anywhere you choose to sell them? Absolutely not. Do they have a lot of products that can make you money? Most definitely.
See below for the Amazon match-up as well as some comparisons to the other companies reviewed. Comparisons were made in December 2005.
|SKU #||Description||Doba.com Price||Amazon.com Price||Difference|
|VR30||SVA 30” LCD HDTV||$758.96||$899.99||$141.03|
|ZI110||Zippo Titanium Lighter||$51.94||$98.00||$46.06|
|SPBIN1050||Magnacraft 10x50 Binoculars||$23.10||$49.99||$26.89|
|TA-57||Tom Anderson Pantera Claw||$15.84||$34.99||$19.15|
|SPBIN1050||Magnacraft 10x50 Binoculars||$23.10||$27.09||$3.99|
|PYD1940||PyleUSA 4-Channel DJ Mixer||$127.18||$140.99||$13.81|
|2350||Heritage Stand Mixer||$106.00||$110.82||$4.82|
|VR30||SVA 30” LCD HDTV||(NEW) $758.96||(REFURB.) $925.37||$166.41|
|N2750W||Viewsonic 27” LCD TV||$794.98||$799.99||$5.01|
|JXM-P124||jWin 128MB MP3 Player||$37.08||$39.99||$2.91|
Fees / Trials Offered
Doba offers a seven-day free trial on their site. During the trial, you get complete access to view and order any product on their site. They do make you give them a credit card to start the free trial though. And they don’t show you the pricing for their account memberships until you are on the credit card page of the trial. I found this to be a little annoying.
After your free trial, your credit card will be automatically charged the membership fees you agreed upon during sign up. Depending on the options selected, the monthly membership fees vary from $29.95 – $59.80. $29.95 gets you basic access to all the suppliers; however, in the free trial, they often include one or more of the additional services, so make sure you check to see how much you'll be charged when the trial ends. If you don't want to pay for the extra services, be sure to call them before your trial is up. The additional fees are for other tools/services Doba provides like their Data Export Tool, Push To Marketplace Tool, or Elite Seller Report. Additional discounts are given for upgrading to an annual membership. You can call in to cancel the membership anytime during the seven day trial with no penalty.
Dedicated Support - Yes
Doba offers toll-free phone support M-F from 7 AM to 8 PM Mountain Time, live chat from 7AM to 6PM, and email support with most emails answered in 24 hours. Their phone number is 1-877-321-DOBA; however, they do request that issues related to product and order questions be handled via chat or email.
Our experience is that their support team is polite, friendly, and well trained and it’s nice to know that they’re there for you when you need them. Hold times on the phone have never been too long and the service reps know how to help (or at the very least who can help).
From the sign-up process all the way through the order process, Doba’s site is the most intuitive and user friendly of all the services we reviewed. For the most part, things just seemed to be where you would expect them to be and work how they should.
A couple exceptions were the order manager and order tracking emails, but overall we were pleased.
- The order manager would be much more useful if you could sort your orders by status and view more than 10 orders at a time.
- It would save a lot of time if the order tracking emails provided me with more information about the order that shipped rather than forcing me to login to get more info about the shipped order.
- The watch list wasn’t really explained well even though it is very useful for keeping track of products and for using their Push to Marketplace Tool.
Online Ordering - Yes
Online ordering is quick and easy. Doba provides multiple order statuses resulting in a high level of visibility for what is happening with your order. It takes some time to learn what all the statuses mean, but once you get the hang of it, it’s nice to know what’s going on. They also provide automatic email notifications each time an order ships or if there are any problems with an order that require your attention.
For high volume sellers you can even enter multiple orders and then pay for them as one group. It could be better if you could upload batch files of orders, but none of the other services have reached that point either.
eBay® Certifications - Yes
Doba is an eBay® Certified Service Provider. This certification is eBay’s validation of businesses helping online buyers and sellers achieve their objectives.
Doba is also an eBay Certified Developer and their Push to eBay Wizard is an eBay certified application, interfacing directly with eBay’s platform.
As a side note, Doba also exhibited at eBay Live! in 2004, 2005, and 2006, and in 2005 and 2006 DobaFounder, Jeremy Hanks presented in eBay’s product sourcing seminar.
eBay Integrated Auction Tools - Yes
“Push to Marketplace” is Doba’s integrated eBay tool. It by no means qualifies as a complete auction management solution, but it is a great way list products from their site on eBay in a matter of just a few clicks.
Simply put, the Push to Marketplace Tool pulls product information such as title, description, and image into an editable form, allows you to decide on basic listing features, and then publish your listing straight to eBay from your Doba account.
It’s not fancy, but it does support HTML and can save you a lot of precious time. It also allows you to list items directly to an eBay Store, ProStores website, or a ValueWeb website if you subscribe to those services.
BBB Member - Yes
Doba has been a member of the Better Business Bureau since July 2003, they participate in the BBB online reliability program and have a “satisfactory” record with the BBB.
Research Tools / Tutorials Offered - Yes
Doba obviously understands that one of the hardest parts about starting a business is not just finding good products to sell, but knowing which of those product to sell. They address the problem in three different ways:
- Product Research Tutorial – This tutorial is available to all members and provides some great insights on doing effective research.
- Data Export Tool – This tool is an additional service that costs an extra $9.95 per/month, but if you have a good understanding of how to use spreadsheets, it’s worth every penny. Basically, it allows you to export the data for all of the products from any of their suppliers or from custom parameters you define. You can then view that data in a spreadsheet and manipulate it in various ways that can help you sort through the massive number of products they have. Their research tutorial touches on how to do this effectively.
- Elite Seller Report – This monthly publication is also an additional service. It contains information about what products sold well the previous month, examples of products that sold for a profit on eBay, additional research resources, and marketing tips. If you can find time to read it, most of the information is actually pretty decent. The lists and examples are a month old by the time they’re published, but they can serve as good motivation if you’re getting discouraged, and they’re great for getting new ideas of what to sell.
- Doba University – This is an area of their site containing several trainings, tutorial, articles and ebooks.
Instant Access - Yes
It took about two minutes to complete Doba’s sign-up process, and we received our username and password immediately.
Integrated eCommerce Website - Yes
Doba doesn’t have their very own integrated solution, but they’ve partnered with several other companies that specialize in e-commerce webstores. Here’s a list of some of the e-commerce website solutions that have integrated Doba’s products into their offering:
Accepts PayPal - Yes
Doba doesn’t accept PayPal payments for membership fees, but they do accept PayPal for product payments.
You can tell that Doba has been around for a while. Before March 1, 2006 they were known as Wholesale Marketer, so a lot of what you’ll find is related to that name. A savvy searcher can find a lot of buzz about this company—some good, some bad.
Most of the bad has to do with product pricing, and most of that from people selling on eBay (probably the world’s most competitive, price sensitive marketplace).
The good is the number of devotees who come to Doba’s defense in the online community. It wasn’t an overwhelming number, but when it comes to sticking up for your product source, most sellers don’t, making it a big plus in Doba’s Public Opinion Rating.
Though it had little impact on the Rating here, it is worth noting that we were also impressed with Doba’s straightforward method of responding to complaints. They are professional and polite, unlike some of the overly defensive and sometimes even rude rebuttals common in complaint message boards like Rip-off Report.
In Business Since - 2002
Wholesale Marketer (which became Doba) was registered: February 15, 2002.
Disclaimer: To the best of our knowledge, this information is deemed acurate as of 10/05/2006. We will try to update this information as necessary. If there is any inaccurate data in this review, please send an email to [email protected] with the correct information.
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