You have a wonderful website and it’s being going quite well. However, it seems that business has leveled out. You need more products on your website and you want to give your inventory a fresh, new, infusion. You’ve already heard of ecommerce drop shipping and it does seem like a good idea. With drop shipping, you do not have to buy extra items. The vendor will retain his stock but he will provide content, images, description and details that you can upload on your website. All you have to do is promote the products online and get orders. Once the customer orders come through, you have to forward the orders to the vendor. The vendors will then pack and ship the item to the customer. This seems like a win-win deal for everyone but you do have doubts. If drop shipping is so good, everyone should be using the process, right? What are the problems and fees involved in this process and how do you ensure that the vendor ships on time? Of course, these are legitimate questions and this short FAQ section should help you considerably.
FAQ # 1 – Do They Have a Good Reputation?
The internet is a vast place. There are many websites providing products and promising the world, states Volusion. However, not all of these websites are good and some cannot manage the shipping process and speed that you want. Before you do this, it’s a good idea to find a retailer with a good reputation. Use trade websites and trade directories that list the name of the vendor to assess the reputation of the vendors, the average length of client relationships, the Better Business Bureau, etc. Ask the vendors for additional details and personal testimonials if possible to ensure that they can provide what they are promising, states the Small Business Administration.
FAQ # 2 – Is the Order Taking Process Automated?
Orders can come at anytime as websites work 24-7 all through the year. It’s not possible for anyone to open emails and collate orders all through the day and night. As a result, an automated POS system is necessary. The system should collect orders from all websites and forward them to the vendor or the warehouse ready for packing and shipping the next day. This automated process is vitally necessary as retail websites also prepare and send shipping labels. These labels contain the customer order, address, the website name and other details. If the drop shipping vendor or supplier does not have an automated system, mistakes can happen and orders get delayed.
FAQ # 3 – How do their Process Orders and Returns?
For wholesalers, the returns and exchange process is quite simple. They pick up the product from the customer, exchange it for another product or process a return payment. However, when drop shipping is involved, the vendor has to do all this and quickly. No one likes handling returns but as a website owner, you have to discuss this aspect with the vendor clearly. Find out how they process returns and exchanges, whether they charge fees, incidental charges for you, etc. before you sign the contract.
FAQ # 4 –Do they Send Automated Confirmations when Products are Dispatched?
Good drop shipping vendors usually acknowledge receipt of the order to the vendor and to the customer. This acknowledgement ensures that everyone is updated about the order processing. Most vendors also notify the customer by connecting them with a courier website so they can check the progress of the shipment.
FAQ # 5 – How Much do they Charge?
Most drop shippers do not charge you for opening an account. However, you do have to pay for the shipping process or you may be charged a small fee for storage. This varies from vendor to vendor. Ideally, you should not be charged anything for tying up with the company. The company will have a cost price and you can charge more than this to make a profit. Ideally, all of these fees and payments structures are listed clearly on the contract and they should cover everything related to customer orders, packing, shipping, and delivery.
FAQ # 6 – Are there any Minimum Quantity Restrictions?
Ideally, the vendor will not have any minimum quality restrictions and you can order anything from one item to more than 2,000 items. The website should offer volume discounts when you order in bulk.
Navigating the drop shipping process may seem time consuming and difficult. However, if you do your research properly, you can easily find reliable and trustworthy drop shipping retailers anywhere in the world. You should know though that vendors who supply to two or more websites are quite experienced in drop shipping and they know their job well. With the right drop shipping partner, you can easily double or triple your website’s business, but with very little investment.