I'm a purely ecom business. I don't want to buy and keep inventory but not all brands offer dropshipping options, what's a middle ground to achieve?
The middle ground here probably still requires the initial purchase of stock from your side as if it isn't being drop shipped then someone needs to hold the stock, unless you work on a just in time system. However, once this has been achieved you can create your own fulfillment and storage network delivered by a 3rd party that would prevent you from being impacted by some retailers not offering drop shipping. A 3rd party relationship with a business who can store your stock as consignment stock and deliver it to your customers may cost you some margin but it will save you from the hassle of holding stock yourself etc. So my recommendation here is sort of like an Amazon FBA model, except you replace Amazon logistics with a more affordable and smaller logistics partner to keep costs down.