Our website, http://www.bestofthehome.com has been listed in the Open Directory Project for over a year. Recently, I conducted a search of the ODP for my site, to update it, and found that it was no longer listed in any category.
I went to the ODP forums http://resource-zone.com to try to obtain information as to why this had happened. The editors and moderators of the forum informed me that websites that sell products via the drop-ship method do not get listed in the ODP, because the content of these websites are not unique and the sites are just order takers for the wholesalers. ODP will gladly list the wholesalers if they meet the ODP guidelines.
The guidelines for a site to be listed in the ODP Shopping/Home and Garden/Furniture Category are listed below:
Submission guidelines include that the web site itself actually be a means of selling the Furniture products. Thus, appropriate product images and descriptions, specific product pricing and a means of ordering from the web site itself are required to qualify as a “Shopping” site.
As you can see, the guidelines say nothing about the fact that if the website uses the dropship method that they will not be listed. Even the category descriptions, Sites which sell Furniture used in the home are listed in this category. Please note that web sites listed in this or any Furniture Shopping category must be the “means of selling” the furniture, and therefore must properly display and describe the products for sale, give specific prices and provide a means of ordering the product from the site itself. does not mention anything about dropship websites not being listed.
In our own case, our website meets all of the requirements above, we list the products for sale, we have pictures and descriptions of all the products we sell, give specific prices and provide a means of ordering the product on site, but since we do not design and manufacture the products we are considered a drop-shipper for the wholesaler.
The OPD, by their own admission, looks at dropship websites in this fashion, and these are direct quotes from some of the moderators on the forum,
Let’s call the real businesses “mom-and-pop businesses” and the other … oh, I think “pseudonymous fright wigs for anonymous faceless giant corporations” pretty well covers the relevant facts.
drop shippers are a variety of affiliate operation, they don’t offer anything unique, and they act merely as an extension of the marketing department of the corporation they are affiliated with. Therefore we don’t list ’em. Renting storage space in someone else’s warehouse to store your own goods, using an independent courier to deliver, etc. don’t make someone a drop shipper. But then again the independent distributor of mass market stuff is unlikely to make it in if we already have sites selling the same mass market stuff listed. Unique content is king. In addition, a site’s placement in the directory is subject to change or deletion at any time at our sole discretion.
A drop-ship order taker isn’t information, it is disinformation. “I claim to be doing this for money, but I won’t tell you who actually does it.” It’s a lie, pure and simple .That is just flat not honest. If it is not outright criminal fraud, still, the mere fact that society tolerates that kind of deception — that shoppers aren’t taught from birth to avoid it like an Ebola outbreak — gives unlimited unquenchable opportunities for outright criminal fraud. No, there are surely thousands of genuine little shops out there, providing their own unique goods and services, and depending on the net to find customers. The Vstore spammers try to bury the real little guys in doorway spam. Who wouldn’t sympathize with the little guys? Who WOULD sympathize with the bully with a thousand fright masks (each claiming to be a “little guy”)?
As you can see, the folks at the ODP do not think much of websites that use the dropship method of selling products, regardless if it a cost effective method for the website. It comes down to this, if a company designs and manufactures something, then obviously they are offering both unique services and unique goods. Such a company has ample scope for creating a website containing an authoritative description of those goods and services, and that would indeed be listable. By their very nature sites which promote someone else’s wares neat don’t provide unique content, simply another way of purchasing the same thing.
If the ODP thinks otherwise then you are considered a drop shipper and will not get listed in the ODP.
My advice to all the websites out there that use the dropship method to sell products on your websites, even if your site is one of a kind, do not bother trying to get listed with the ODP, because you will not. If youre already listed, check periodically to see if your listing is still there and be thankful if it is, because if an ODP editor happens across it, chances are it will be deleted.
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