Drop Shipping Explained.
What is drop shipping?
Simply put, your customers orders are fulfilled from a 3rd party suppliers location, other than where your business is located, so the product your customer ordered from your business goes from that 3rd party supplier directly to your customer without you or your business ever having to handle that product. In theory this sounds great because your business doesn’t have to warehouse, ship or handle any products which means less cost and overhead for your business.
The reality is that the results can vary depending on the size of your business and where the 3rd party supplier is located.
Outlined below are three reasons why international drop shipping (including from China) to your customers may not be the best idea.
- Shipping times are too long - It can take up to 2 to 4 weeks for deliveries from China. Your customers are not going to wait that long for a shipment. What usually happens is that they will cancel the order while it’s in transit and that’s where the troubles begin. It's impossible getting your money back from a Chinese supplier on a returned item. They will offer you an ambiguous credit or a slight discount on your next order but will never give you a refund. Just say goodbye to your money.
- Blind Shipping is not available - Your customer orders a product from you. Then you notify your drop shipping supplier on in China. They fulfill and send the order to your customer. However, your customer will see that it’s coming from somewhere in China and now guess what...chances are, that next time, your customer will order direct from that Chinese supplier, essentially cutting you out of the next and future sales. A true drop shipper will always fulfill an order with your label and contact information only, so that your customer keeps buying from you, that is what Blind Shipping means. A legitimate wholesale drop shipper understands the relationship between themselves and you as their retail partner.
- Wholesalers that are also retailers - If you buy from a wholesaler that also sells retail, you are bound by their retail prices. They often sell on Ebay, Amazon and Etsy for very cheap prices. Your margins will be very slim to none and buying wholesale from those type of suppliers will not make any business sense whatsoever.