Before we discuss how to solve the 3
biggest problems with using a drop shipper
to source e-commerce products, let’s take
a look at the benefits of using a drop
shipper to start an e-commerce business.
Benefits Of Drop Shipping
No upfront investment for inventory.
Simply put, your customer will pay you for
their order, you then submit the order to
the drop shipper, who will take care of
everything else for you!
No paperwork. When buying wholesale
products, most wholesalers require you to
possess and submit paperwork such as
articles of incorporation, business
license, and/or a tax ID number but drop
shippers do not require this.
You don’t have to store inventory. No
need to invest in warehouse space to store
inventory or take up space in your home or
office. Your drop shipper manages all of
that for you.
No packing and shipping products. Your
part is just to forward the orders you
receive to the drop shipper and they take
care of packing and shipping too.
All of the benefits of drop shipping
listed above sound great, but as with
anything else in business, drop shipping
does have its problems. You are dependent
upon the drop shipping company to package
items carefully, send the correct item to
the customer, and ship the item quickly to
ensure that the customer is satisfied.
Fortunately, there are ways to decrease,
and in many cases, eliminate most of these
issues. Let’s discuss the 3 biggest
problems with using a drop shipper to
source e-commerce products and how to
1. Products Out of Stock
This is one of the biggest complaints you
will get, especially if it is a very
popular and difficult to find. This can
happen to any store and it definitely
upsets customers when it does happen.
It is very important to keep track of
stock to minimize the potential for
upsetting customers. They will be much
more unhappy if your site shows that you
have the product they want in stock and
they place an order only to find out the
product is out of stock. They will be
much less likely to become upset if they
are simply notified before their purchase
that the product isn’t available.
To avoid this issue, it is best to use a
plugin, app, addon or extension, depending
on the e-commerce platform that you are
using, to automatically update your site
whenever products are out of stock. This
is a whole other topic but many solutions
can be found by doing a search.
2. Slow Shipping
Depending on the supplier, you may end up
with unhappy customers because the
shipping is a lot slower than they
anticipated or are used to. With the
common use of free 2-day shipping with
Amazon Prime, Walmart, and similar sites,
customers are used to getting their
product purchases very quickly.
Because drop shippers don’t have contracts
or agreements with shipping companies, and
because some of them ship directly from
China, shipping can often take days,
weeks, or even more than a month to arrive
to the customer. You will find that a lot
of customers won’t be happy waiting that
long to get their purchase.
You will probably get faster shipping if
you use a drop shipper based in the
country where you live, however, product
prices will probably be higher and result
in lower profit margins.
If you decide on using a drop shipper
outside your home country with slower
shipping times to increase your profit
margins, you can keep your customers happy
by making your shipping times very clear
on the product page and on your shipping
If you decide to only use a drop shipper
within your home country, simply take the
time to research to find the best price on
products in your chosen niche before you
begin selling. A great solution for
finding wholesalers in the US is by using
Worldwide Brands. They are product
sourcing experts and I have been a member
since around 2007 so I highly recommend
them. Check them out by clicking the link
Every business in existence must deal with
product returns. Even if you have a strict
no-returns policy, you will still have to
deal with unhappy customers that will ask
for a refund. Telling them no will only
result in very angry customers who will
not return and may even tell other people
not to buy from you.
I know of someone who purchased a lot of
clothing from a very popular discount
shopping app. When the products arrived,
they found that the quality was horrible
and the sizing was way off. They could
not return the clothes because the company
had a no-returns policy. The customer was
very upset and left negative reviews for
the company all over the place. This was
far from the only person complaining about
not being able to return items.
For this reason, it’s definitely not a
good idea to have a no-refunds policy on
physical products. This will only lead to
chargebacks, which could result in getting
your account with PayPal or another other
billing company canceled. It’s just not
worth the risk.
Also, people who are unhappy with their
purchase and cannot return it will create
negative reviews, which can have a
negative impact on your products sales in
the long run.
Always make sure your product descriptions
are as accurate as possible. Always and
make sure you have sizing charts, when
applicable and pictures of all your
products to minimize returns.
If a product is under $20, you might want
to ship another item to the customer
without requiring them to return the
original one. If the product cost is more
than $20, have the customer ship the
return to you and send them a new one as
quickly as possible as soon as the return
arrives. If a product is returned because
it is damaged or defective, just return it
to the supplier.
You can simply send the return to the next
customer that orders it, assuming it’s
still in new condition, their correct
Drop shipping is one of the easiest, most cost-effective ways to build an online business fast. No business comes without issues but if you plan ahead, you can avoid them before they begin.
Please leave a comment below and tell others about problems you have experienced with drop shipping and how you resolved them. Also feel free to ask questions.