Physical Location: Long Beach, California
If you’re the type of person that stays up late watching infomercials, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of OnlineSupplier. They have a TV celebrity sponsor, good sales copy, and an attractive site, but their dropship service has several weaknesses.
Online Supplier is a subsidiary of CommercePlanet, a publicly traded company that also markets BuyDiscount.com and several other sites. BuyDiscount is essentially trying to be an online Costco or Sam's Club. They charge a membership fee for you to be able to buy product for yourself. Essentially, it's the same platform as Online Supplier with a different focus. A large concern we had over this is that by launching their own consumer-focused web site, NeWave has put themselves in direct competition with all of the sellers who've signed up for the Online Supplier service.
If you sign up for OnlineSupplier, get ready for some high pressure sales, lots of phone calls, and upsells. It almost seems like they’re doing everything they can to sell you something other then the dropship service you signed up for.
They made their way into our review not so much on the quality of their service but because of the propensity of their advertising.
We’re not saying that you couldn’t make any money using online supplier, but in our opinion, there are certainly better options available.
Unique Products - 5,200
OnlineSupplier recently made an expansion to their product selection by adding Ingram Micro as a supplier on 1/26/2005. This gives them a decent selection of products within consumer electronics categories; however, it's also made their site harder to browse, and the product pricing on the newly added products is not very competitive. It also appears that they don't offer all of Ingram's selection.
Online Supplier’s wholesale selection is made up largely of products you can find from several other dropship companies for less. They are not impossible to sell, but it will be a challenge. Most of Online Supplier's products com from Ingram Micro. Though Ingram Micro is one of the world's largest wholesale distributors, in our opinion, their drop shipping prices are not as competitive as other consumer electronic drop ship suppliers. The majority of Ingram's resellers buy from them in large bulk amounts, qualifying for bulk discounts.
See below for the Amazon price comparisons:
|SKU #||Description||OnlineSupplier.com Price||Amazon.com Price||Difference|
|KTFLASK4||4oz. Stainless Steel Hip Flask||$4.41||$7.99||$3.58|
|SPSEAT2||Club Fun Stadium Seat||$10.97||$19.99||$9.02|
|PYD1940||PyleUSA DJ Mixer||$140.99||$135.99||- $5.00|
|INMOTION||Altec Lansing Audio System for iPod||$176.99||$99.99||- $77.00|
Fees / Trials Offered
Online Supplier offers a 14 day “free” trial, but they will charge you $1.95 to ship out your package. This package, according to one of their sales reps, contains basically the same information you find on their site. We don’t know as our package never arrived.
After your trial expires, the monthly fee is $49.95, but be prepared to get lots of calls/offers trying to get you to spend more.
Dedicated Support - Yes
Our experience with OnlineSupplier’s support team was the bright spot in an otherwise not-so-great review. Do not confuse their support team with their sales team. The phone number on the home page is the sales number, but if you ask them, they’ll give you the support number.
After signing up, our package containing the login information for the site never arrived. Their support team was extremely helpful in not only providing us with that information, but also taking the time to walk us through the site, show us how things worked, and tell us what we should do first to get started quickly.
On another occasion, the checkout process for ordering products didn’t seem to be working properly so we called support again. The problem turned out to be a minor glitch that was fixed later that day. However, we were able to get through to support with minimal holding time and were impressed with their polite nature and ability to help.
Based on a lot of the things we’ve read about this company, our experiences with their support team may have been lucky exceptions; nevertheless, to us they were very helpful and eager to please.
The usability headaches started with the sign-up process and didn’t end for quite a while. To sign up, you’re taken to a landing page with a count down time saying the special offer will end in 15:00 minutes. I don’t know if there’s anyone left on the Internet that still falls for this tactic, but just in case: The offer won’t end. Just refresh the page and the countdown will start over.
After you sign up, you immediately start getting all kinds of offers: Clubs they want you to join or special buying programs. All of them are free or cost only a dollar, but always in the small print is the clause that when the trial period is over, your credit card will automatically be charged an auto-renewing fee. Maybe they are things that some people are interested in, but we were signing up to get access to OnlineSupplier, not to get blasted with other offers for other services.
The worst was when we had already declined several of the offers and then got a “Live Chat Bot” trying to pressure us into accepting the offers we had already declined by using nearly the exact same copy but this time in the guise of a live chat operator typing it out. Very annoying. It seems clear that Online Supplier is targeting Internet novices.
Later, we received emails and phone calls for the same offers we had declined already.
After that, we started receiving phone calls about joining the Success Team or receiving special coaching. The calls are very flattering. They will tell you how smart/talented/perfect you are for starting an online business. They’ll get you to tell them your business goals, dreams, and inner desires and then try and use them to get you to sign up for a package that invariably costs several thousand dollars.
We did not sign up for any of those programs and can’t report on them. We do have experience with coaching programs and while some of them are great, others are a waste of money. Usually, they are as good as the person getting coached. If you put your time into it and do what your coach tells you, you’ll have a lot better chance of being successful.
After wading through the offers and sales efforts, we finally managed to get a login and password to the site. The ordering process is fairly straightforward; however, there’s no good way to keep track of your orders.
We were also frustrated that once you click in to the web store builder (included with the membership), there’s no navigation back to the products portion of the site. You either have to click your browser’s back button several times or go back to the home page and log in again.
When checking out, it was annoying to have to reenter my entire credit card number, expiration, security code, and a customer service phone number each time I processed an order. Why not just store a default billing profile?
On the plus side, it was nice to get a shipping estimate right on the product page (without having to add it to the cart and start going through the checkout process).
Online Ordering - Yes
Online ordering is fairly easy.
eBay® Certifications - No
OnlineSupplier doesn’t have any eBay® certifications.
eBay Integrated Auction Tools - No
Online Supplier doesn’t have any eBay Tools.
BBB Member - No (F)
OnlineSupplier.com is not a member of the BBB. The LA-BBB gave them an Drating. Drating is defined as:
We strongly question the company's reliability for reasons such as that they have failed to respond to complaints, their advertising is grossly misleading, they are not in compliance with the law's licensing or registration requirements, their complaints contain especially serious allegations, or the company's industry is known for its fraudulent business practices.
Research Tools / Tutorials Offered - No
OnlineSupplier.com offers no specific research tools or tutorials, unless you count the coaching programs they try to sell you for additional fees.
Instant Access - No
After signing up, you must wait for the “Free Kit” containing your log in information. Ours never arrived at all. After waiting almost two weeks, we were finally able to get our login from a support rep.
Integrated eCommerce Website - Yes
The package does include an eCommerce Website solution. We won’t critique it here because we didn’t take the time to use it extensively; however, our opinion after a quick perusal was that it was an okay solution. It appeared to be a solid builder with okay flexibility.
Accepts PayPal - No
Online Supplier doesn’t accept PayPal payment for orders or membership fees.
After much scouring, we really couldn’t find anyone with anything nice to say about OnlineSupplier. Lots and lots of complaints, but no devotees.
In Business Since - 2002
We couldn’t find an “established” date on their site so we went off the date their site was registered: April 25, 2002.
Disclaimer: To the best of our knowledge, this information is deemed acurate as of 3/27/2007. We will try to update this information as necessary. If there is any inaccurate data in this review, please send an email to email@example.com with the correct information.
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