The best dropship suppliers in South Africa are CJDropshipping and AliDropship. These companies provide a system to access suppliers in Alibaba and AliExpress.
From my experience of many years, I know that price is a key success component in dropshipping. I recommend these two companies because you can sell products at an affordable rate and still make reasonable profits.
Before we move on, here are my criteria for choosing the best dropship suppliers for South Africa:
- Product price – must be affordable with room for profit
- Shipping dependability – must be able to ship to South Africa
- Integration – if possible, there must be an app or a system that will make product importation instant or automated.
After using and reviewing dozens of suppliers and databases, I want to present to you my list:
- CJDropshipping – best overall for South Africa dropshipping
- AliDropship – best for general store
- Eprolo – best for consumer electronics
- SaleHoo – best for AliExpress and Global sourcing
- Doba – best for beauty and skincare products
- Shein Africa – best for clothing
- Brands Gateway – best for luxury brands
- Spocket – best database of dropship suppliers to South Africa
- Printful – best overall for print-on-demand
- Printify – best for electronic accessories and toys
If you are ready, let us get started!
What is the eCommerce market size of South Africa?
South Africa is no longer the financially struggling country it used to be. Experts say that the country’s revenue for eCommerce by the end of 2023 will be around $6.9 billion .
While this number pales compared to other big countries, such as European markets, it is still a viable dropshipping market.
South Africa’s economic landscape is changing. By the end of the year, about 49% of people will make purchases online. By 2027, experts say that this figure will increase to 59%.
While it is true that 55% of the people still live in poverty , leaders are working hard to bridge the divide between ethnicities and races. It is wise to start dropshipping today in South Africa and be the first.
What are the best niches to penetrate in South Africa?
Before you choose a supplier, we must discuss what South African customers buy online. It would be a waste if you started a dropshipping website and realized later that no one wants your products.
Based on my research, the top products that South Africans buy online are:
- Toys, Hobby, & DIY
The fourth and fifth on the list of top niches are furniture and food. However, we will not discuss these two anymore because they are illegal. Well, they are not exactly illegal, but South Africa does not allow the importation of these goods.
Best Product to Dropship in Africa #1: Electronics
If you ask me, I will gear away from selling actual electronic items, like phones, tablets, and laptops. Instead, I would focus my attention on electronic accessories.
Here are some examples:
- Phone cases
- Stickers for laptops
- Earphones and headsets
- Chargers and USB cables
- USB data sticks
The main reason I do not recommend selling phones is competition. As you know, even manufacturers have online stores.
You can never compete against these online stores as far as prices go. In addition, most consumers would rather buy a phone from the manufacturer’s website than from an online retailer.
Best Product to Dropship in Africa #2: Fashion
Fashion refers to anything that people wear. As such, it is a huge niche. While you may have the temptation to sell everything, I urge you not to do this.
When you sell fashion items, concentrate on a single sub-niche. Do not attempt to become like Shein or Amazon right away.
Here are some of my recommendations:
- Women’s Clothing
- Men’s Clothing
- Children’s Clothing
To start, you must have a plan about what you want to sell. It is also equally important to determine who your target market is.
For example, I would target gentlemen and formal clothing. In this case, I will only sell the following things:
- Suede shoes
- Shirts for casual and formal style
- Leather belts
As you can see, my target niche is the somewhat-formal style of fashion. Because of this, I will not sell sneakers or jogging pants.
If I do this, I will earn a reputation. People will know that my store is a dropshipping store they need to visit for formal wear. You can do the same thing. If you want to penetrate the yoga market, sell yoga items only.
Best Product to Dropship in Africa #3: DIY, Toys, & Hobby
I agree with you if you think this sounds like a big niche. It is. We can both say that it is similar to the clothing or fashion niches—there are too many things to sell.
Like the previous niche, I advise you to become an expert on something specific. For example, if you want to sell remote-controlled helicopters, focus on them.
It would help if you did not fill up your Shopify dropshipping store with drones, RC planes, RC cars, etc. Start with something small and expand later.
Here are some ideas:
- Toddler toys
- Wooden blocks
- Educational toys
- Musical toys
- Puzzles of all sorts
Of course, you must consider the possible expansion when thinking of a business name. Do not name your store “RC Copters” if you plan to sell drones later. In this case, call your store “RC Haven” or something like that.
Items you cannot ship to South Africa
After careful research, I discovered from a carrier’s website what you could not ship to South Africa. Prohibited items refer to those that you can never import. Some examples are:
- Unwrought gold
- Fur or any kind
- Plant products
The list is a little longer than this. I can also tell you that I found it surprising that the South African government does not accept parts or accessories for ships (or boats). Maybe because of piracy? Anyway, you can see the full list here.
Best Dropshipping Suppliers in Africa
1. CJDropshipping – best overall for South Africa dropshipping
CJDropshipping is one of the biggest dropship suppliers globally. It is an ideal partner for dropshipping in South Africa because of two things:
- The proximity of China to South Africa
- The volume of products to choose from
- Sourcing – CJ is one of the few companies where you can expect sourcing services. If there are products you want that they do not have, they will take the time to find a supplier for you.
- Integration Options – CJ is fantastic because it integrates with many systems like Shopify, TikTok, eBay, Etsy, and many more.
- Warehouse – the company has several warehouses in Europe, North America, and Asia. Although they do not have a warehouse in South Africa, they will source the item from the warehouse closest to the shipping destination.
- They offer a sourcing service for products you want to sell
- The system integrates with several platforms
- They have print-on-demand services
- You can brand your products
- The shipping takes too long
CJDropshipping is a Chinese company that sources its products from Chinese suppliers. Trade between China and African countries increased by 700% in the 1990s. As such, you can expect better shipping rates and better economic ties.
2. AliDropship – best for general store
AliDropship is a plugin and store system you can use for dropshipping. I recommend it to South African dropshippers because of the product volume you can expect from it.
AliDropship is the best plugin you can use to import products from AliExpress. Although other systems do this, too, only AliDropship gives you unfettered access to the AliExpress platform.
- Store Builder – with AliDropship, you can pay as little as $299, and they will build a store for you. This store comes with a hosting package. You can ask them to create a store from scratch or replicate a store that has already seen success.
- AliExpress Source – all products in AliDropship come from AliExpress sellers. Because of this integration, you will have access to millions of products in the AliExpress marketplace.
- Plugin – if you want to build a store on your own, AliDropship has a plugin that you can install with a WooCommerce store. Use this to import products from AliExpress. The plugin also allows you to fulfill orders.
- They will imitate a dropshipping store for you
- The system allows you to access all AliExpress sellers
- You can ask them to create a niche-based store
- The plugin only works with WooCommerce
AliDropship does not integrate with many platforms. It is an excellent dropship system to source products from AliExpress. If you source from other suppliers, do not use AliDropship, as it has no other integration options.
3. Eprolo – best for consumer electronics
Eprolo is a Brazilian dropship supplier database. The way it works is you integrate it with your store. Then, you will import products from Eprolo to your store.
I recommend Eprolo to South African dropshippers because the company is in Brazil. The location is ideal for dropshipping in South Africa, as the distance is closer than the US or Canada.
- Integrations – you can integrate Eprolo with several platforms like Shopify, Amazon, and WooCommerce. They also have an API you can get if you use a different platform.
- Branding – they offer branding services where you can use custom labels, card inserts, gift cards, and many more. They also have packaging options.
- Print-on-Demand – Eprolo has a partnership with a company called InkJoy. They provide print-on-demand services like Printful and Printify. There is no minimum order requirement for this type of dropshipping.
- The company is in Brazil, which is close to Africa
- They have a lot of product categories
- They will build a store for you
- They allow product branding
- They only have two warehouses
Eprolo is 100% free to use. They also offer a fulfillment service if you want to do bulk dropshipping. In it, you will purchase in bulk and ask Eprolo to warehouse it for you. Then, they will ship the item every time a customer orders from your store.
4. SaleHoo – best for AliExpress and Global sourcing
SaleHoo is one of the most dominant dropship supplier databases in the world. It is an ideal partner for South African dropshipping because they have a global list of suppliers, not just AliExpress. They also offer their services at a low price.
- Shopify integration – the platform works with Shopify. With the app, you can import products straight from the SaleHoo list of suppliers.
- Market Research Lab – you can view which of the products in SaleHoo have sales. You will also see which ones can give you the most profit margins. Because of this, you can eliminate effects off your checklist if they have no sales.
- Supplier Vetting – there are more than 8,000 suppliers in the SaleHoo database. All these suppliers went through a verification process. You can rest assured that all of them comply with the expectations of dropshippers.
- More than 8,000 vetted suppliers
- Over 2.5 million products to choose from
- You can integrate the app with Shopify
- They have a market research lab
- The dropship database does not come with the app; the app is a monthly subscription
At this point, I must say that SaleHoo offers two services. The payment for the dropship supplier list is different from the app. As such, you must decide which one to take.
If you only want the list of suppliers, you can pay for that, but you will not have access to the integration application.
5. Doba – best for beauty and skincare products
Doba is like Eprolo but with a focus on premium products. For dropshipping to South Africa, Doba can give you access to many beauty and skin care products—one of the things that demand in South Africa.
- Clearance – Doba always has a clearance sale. If the product you sell is in this category, you can buy them at a lower price than normal.
- Integrations – you can integrate the Doba app with several platforms like Wix, eBay, Amazon, BigCommerce, and others. You can also get the API if your store does not operate in the platform they support.
- Premium Products – if you want to target the upper and middle-class markets in South Africa, you can subscribe to a paid Doba plan. This subscription will give you access to the premium products they offer. Premium products can give you a higher profit margin.
- High-quality products
- Lots of categories to choose from
- The system integrates with major platforms
- They have a reasonable refund policy
- You must subscribe to a paid plan before you can use the system
Use Doba if you want to sell premium products. However, access to a list of dropship suppliers for premium products is not free. You must upgrade to a plan if you want to access premium suppliers.
In addition, you can use Doba for free, but the free account does not allow integration. You also cannot import products to your store with a free account.
6. Shein Africa – best for clothing
Fashion is one of the top sellers in South Africa. On the other hand, Shein is one of the biggest fashion brands in the world. It is why I recommend it for South African dropshippers.
- Returns – Shein allows product returns and refunds except for lingerie or personal products. You have 30 days from the delivery date to file for a refund.
- Shipping – although shipping times vary, they offer free shipping if the purchase reaches R1,050. The average shipping time, however, is two weeks.
- Tracking – Shein will give you a tracking number after they ship the item. You must log in to your account to track the status of your order. The only downside is that your customer cannot track the package.
Shein Africa Pros
- Lots of products available for the fashion industry
- They allow returns and refunds
- Shipping is free if you meet the order count requirement
- The products are always trendy
Shein Africa Cons
- No app to integrate with your store
Shein is a global conglomerate that has warehouses spread out. They have sites in Europe, Africa, China, and North America. They also maintain several websites based on the geographical target market. Use Shien Africa and buy from that site to ensure fast shipping.
7. Brands Gateway – best for luxury brands
Brands Gateway is where you want to go to sell branded goods. If you want to penetrate the luxury fashion niche in South Africa, this one is what you partner with.
Brands Gateway Features
- Product Catalog – the company has a huge catalog of products you can sell. Most of the items are for women. Some examples of the categories are clothing, bags, shoes, accessories, and jewelry.
- Turnkey Shopify Store – if you do not have the time to create a Shopify store, they will make one for you. However, this comes at a hefty cost of €1,499. You get a seriously unique and professional Shopify site, not a cookie-cutter dropshipping store.
- Integration – the application integrates with Shopify, WooCommerce, Wix, and Shift4Shop. If you do not like the turnkey store, you can always skip that and build the store by yourself.
Brands Gateway Pros
- You can work out a private-label deal with suppliers
- You can get branded goods at significant discounts
- They have a dropshipping program
- All products are legitimate
Brands Gateway Cons
- There is no app for integration
- There is no branding or packing option
Brands Gateway is a dropship business entity. It means that they understand the challenges of being dropshipper. You no longer need to know how to look for a dropship supplier—they already took care of this.
8. Spocket – best database of dropship suppliers to South Africa
Spocket is one of the world’s biggest dropship supplier databases and systems. They are great for South African dropshippers because you can find suppliers from specific countries.
- Filter – you can find suppliers based on where they are. You can also use the filter system to find suppliers based on how long it takes them to ship an item.
- Supplier Sources – Spocket works with thousands of suppliers. Although most of their suppliers are in China, they have companies in the USA and the UK.
- Private Label – Spocket supports private-label dropshipping. It means that manufacturers will manufacture products according to your specifications. They will also package it using your brand name and logos. However, you must pay for a certain amount only.
- There are suppliers from US, EU, and China
- The system integrates with several platforms
- The dashboard has a fulfillment system
- There is a robust analytics tool
- The free account does not do much
- You must upgrade to be able to use the dropshipping system
What makes Spocket an ideal partner is that they have a complete system. The platform integrates with several store builders like Shopify, WooCommerce, Wix, and many more.
In addition to this, they recently launched a new tool called AliScraper. With it, you can download and install a Chrome extension. What it does is import thousands of AliExpress products to your store. It also helps you automate the entire process.
Use Spocket if you want a one-stop system where you can browse, import, and fulfill orders. You can also use it to view your stats and other analytics data.
9. Printful – best overall for print-on-demand
Printful is a print-on-demand dropshipping source. I recommend it to South African dropshippers who want to target fashion and electronics.
- Design – there is a designer tool inside the system. You no longer need to use a third-party tool to be able to design products. In addition, the system has a mock-up tool. After creating, you will see the product “in use” by a person. You can use this mock-up for your ads.
- Printing Techniques – you can choose several printing techniques like embroidery, direct-to-garment, and all-over printing.
- No MOQ – there is no minimum order requirement to be able to sell unique products. You can order only one piece, and the supplier will process it.
- Lots of blank items to choose from
- They offer several printing types
- You can sell the items at retail
- You will get lots of mock-up images
- You can only get a discount if you upgrade
Use Printful if you want your store to stand out. With it, you can design products that only you can have. It has a wide variety of clothing and electronic goods, so you can use it to target the top two niches in South Africa.
10. Printify – best for electronic accessories and toys
The last on our list is also a print-on-demand company and supplier. The main difference between this and Printful is that with Printify, you can sell puzzles and toys.
- Lots of electronic items to sell
- The shipping rates are mostly flat
- The system integrates with several platforms
- You can only use the embroidery if you upgrade
The overall features of these two companies are essentially the same. You can pretty much do the same things on both platforms. However, Printify allows you to sell plushies, puzzles, playing cards, etc.
In addition, both platforms have integration systems with WooCommerce and Shopify. Importing products is so easy with one click. The fulfillment system is also highly intuitive.
Dropshipping in South Africa FAQs
Is it legal to dropship in South Africa?
Yes, it is legal to dropship in South Africa. Just ensure that the items you sell are not, in any way, violating the law. Like any country, your shipments are subject to customs verification and checking. You will get into trouble if you ship illegal items.
Is South Africa good for dropshipping?
Yes, South Africa is good for dropshipping. In South Africa, millions have escaped poverty in the last decade. Many consumers now have credit cards. It is an indication that the economy is good.
How do I dropship in South Africa?
You can dropship to South Africa by choosing one of the suppliers on our list. In addition, I strongly recommend using our Dropship.IO system if you want a fighting chance. Our program can show you better ways of finding products that sell.
How can I find a supplier for dropshipping?
Please start with the list we have in this article. If you want, you can also visit our blog posts on global suppliers. There surely are South African companies that offer dropship, but they are also online retailers. At best, you must look for suppliers who do not post their products online for retail sale to consumers.
The best dropshipping partner for south Africa is CJDrosphipping. It has fulfillment capacities, hundreds of thousands of products, and several options for integration. The next step is to try the system. Register now for an account—it is free!
You can also test our product database, Driopship.IO, and see how it works. We offer a 7-day free trial, which I think is luxurious, so that you can explore other dropshipping options! Good luck, and more power to your dropshipping career!