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  • Dropshipping

    Has anyone had any experience with drop shipping? Can you tell me how you went about it and did you draw up a contract? Do you draw up contacts with your suppliers?? Any advice would be much appreciated. Thanks!
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  • #2
    Drop shipping

    There usually is no formal contract for drop shipping its just a service some companies offer. How it works, is you contact a company that supplies a product and offers a drop ship service, if its online they will usually give you a login password. They will usually supply you with images and some specify the price you have to sell their items at. Once you get an order you either contact them, or log into their website and place the order and make payment for the goods (usually allows you into drop shipping, wholesaler section where you can add all the information you need and nay notes for delivery driver). Drop shipping can be good for small companies looking to build up their stock/products.
    What you need to consider is:
    1. What is their returns policy, many dropshippers offer unreasonable terms such as 24 hours to let them know of a fault. (I personally would never offer that too customers as its not good practice) The shortfall of this is you can soon be lumbered with a few hunderd pounds worth of goods if you are not carefull.
    2. What level of insurance does the drop shipper provide, are they liable if something goes wrong with a product and the individual makes a claim against you or do you need to have your own insurance for cover of the goods.
    3. Whats the dispatch policy of the items, some companies only dispatch a few days a week, so if you order on a monday, it may not get set out untill the middle of the week. If you offer next day delivery, thats not much good.
    4. product stock levels. You may have a great morning and sell 15 teddy bears, but when you contact the drop ship company they arent going to have any more in stock for 2 weeks.

    Dont let me put you off I have a baby supplies website which I use a drop shipping service with a number of companies all of which I use because they are reliable and Im happy with their service and most importantly their returns policy.

    Good luck

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    • #3
      I've both dropshipped and had someone dropship for me - I looked into some of those large warehouses that offer dropshipping but they often charge a registration fee before you can look at their product list - then once you've paid you find out their stock isn't particular good, extensive or saleable.

      If you're thinking of dropshipping for other people it can be a nice little earner for little or no outlay - they advertise the product, they do all the marketing and all you have to do is send off a product when they've paid for it. I sell my dropshipping items at just a tad above my wholesale prices (about 15% more on average). The person you're dropshipping for makes a little and you make a little.

      The person who drop ships for me is a craftsperson I found through a google search - I bought some wooden soap moulds from him and thought they were brilliant. I asked if he would let me advertise them on my websites/ebay store and I don't have much space for stock so we worked out that I'd get 25% of anything I sell. It's early days but it's worked really well and I would recommend getting in touch with small companies that might be open to those kinds of offers. My soap mould guy had never done anything like it before and it's generating quite a few sales for him so if you see something you think would look good on your site or would complement your existing product line it's well worth just asking.

      I would recommend having some kind of agreement though - it's one of those things you don't think about until it happens. Like who covers loss/damage in the post? Anyone who dropships for you must absolutely agree not to advertise their own site or offer to supply your customers direct - it's not the done thing and they are YOUR customers not theirs!

      A word on the returns policy mentioned by Flooby though - there are distance selling regulations and laws that online retailers must abide by - one of them is that people who buy online are allowed to change their minds either before the item has been dispatched or after they receive it. I think this 'Grace' period is 14 days but it may be 7... so anyone who says that you have to notify them within 24 hours is probably breaking the law - I could be wrong and if so forgive me but it's worth checking with Trading Standards or Government websites are very helpful with that kind of thing.

      Hope this helps and good luck
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