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Drop Ship To Success Tips & Hints

Drop Ship To Success Tips & Hints
Hello and welcome to my Blog.  I am not going to go into a long personal history of myself here, that is a story for another Blog.  Let’s just say that I am an experienced user of Drop-shipping services and have been using various ones for many years.  I have had and/or run several brick and mortar businesses over the last 20 years, and used to do the “old school” style of mail order catalog drop shipping back in the day.  This Blog post is intended to hopefully help beginners, intermediates, and maybe give some insights for other professionals, as well.
What is drop shipping?
Drop Shipping is a service provided by many different warehouses and suppliers in which you sign up for if you have a business or would like to start a business selling a particular product online or off.  They provide the products for you, and they ship it to the buyer’s address.  I am not going to go into who is who, feel free to research it on your own, but I can tell you that some are free if you have a registered Tax ID or EID number, some charge a monthly fee, and some charge a “One-time fee for a Lifetime Membership”.
This is a great service if you are looking to get into the market of online selling, especially if you are lacking in product or inventory. They provide all the products to you at a slightly elevated wholesale cost with basic descriptions, photos, product specifications, with permission to use, and includes the rights and/or Official Re-Seller’s License for Officially Licensed products. You list the items for sale at your website, or other selling venue that you use for whatever price you think you can get for it. The general profit margin for drop shipped items is not great, usually not even 30%, but if the product is popular, you could make it in quantity of sales over time. You do not pay your supplier for the order until someone purchases it from your website or other selling venue. Just list it and wait for a sale.
Once the item is sold, you pay and order from your supplier, and they pack and ship the products to your buyer’s address for you, which frees you up from keeping so many packing supplies on hand, and frees up extra time from packing items yourself, so you can focus more on the front end of your business.
There are some other little perks and sometimes your supplier will have a limited time super sale on an item, which can potentially increase your profit margin; you just have to hope someone buys it before your supplier sale is over. Once you earn enough profits from your Drop shipping sales, most Drop Ship services also offer direct order services, where you can save an extra 20-40% sometimes by placing a bulk order and having it shipped right to you so you can start warehousing your own stuff. It takes time, but anyone can do it.
While all the pros may make this sound like a dream come true and the perfect business system, don’t dive in just yet; there are some negatives to watch out for, unfortunately:
Yes, they provide all the products for you, but in today’s saturated market of online selling, it is hard to find drop ship services that a million other people aren’t already using with the same products at cheaper prices that you have no chance of matching. These are usually the “bulk order” re-sellers. Although they do all the packing and shipping for you, the biggest disadvantage to this is that it takes the actual handling and viewing of the product out of your hands, so you are placing a lot of faith in your supplier to send a product that you’ve never seen or handled yourself. This can be a nerve wracking experience for some.
Suppliers can run "Out of Stock" or "Discotinue" products without prior notice to you, and if you are an eBay seller this can create all sorts of problems. If your supplier makes a mistake, like send the wrong product, or send the right product to the wrong address or whatever else could go wrong, which opens another whole can of worms entirely.
It’s been said throughout merchant history, and you’ve all heard it before, “Sell What You Know and Know What You Are Selling”. There is nothing worse than purchasing a product from someone who doesn’t even know what he/she is talking about. If you know cameras, sell cameras. If you know about cell phone technology, sell cell phones and accessories. A lifetime golfer friend of mine liked guitars and tried to sell them online, but he was unsuccessful because he knew nothing about them, other than he liked them. He is now selling golf equipment successfully.
“Love To List, Love To Sell, and Sell The Kinds of Things You Love”
Try to sell products that you know and love and are passionate about. When searching reliable drop-shipper sites, try to focus on searching for all the things you would have in your home that you know about and love, if money really was no object. Stay enthusiastic and love what you are listing. If you are not passionate about your product, creating listings, social networking, promoting, and sharing the product that you are selling, don’t even start. If you stay passionate and love what you are selling, it will be a lot easier to stay motivated, plus some of the friends you make while networking, to me, have been better friends than some of my family (No Offense, Ya'll).
When doing your searches for drop shippers, check the site thoroughly. Most of them these days have a feedback system for each supplier. When you see a product you like from a particular supplier, before you even look at the product and get your hopes up, check the supplier’s “dashboard” or feedback ratio immediately. This is where you will usually find the supplier’s profile information, including order fulfillment ratios, feedback ratings, shipping info, returns/exchanges information, and other reference data. If they are not at least in the 98% area, I will generally not use them.
Check their shipping policies very carefully. Some of them charge a drop ship fee, and then tack on shipping cost at the time of your order. I used one site once that said it drop shipped for a flat rate of $9.00, and I sold two items, but at the time I ordered the product for my customer, they charged me an extra $9.95 for shipping, so my profit on those two items were about $1.00 each.  I do not use any service that is not clear and up front with shipping, returns/exchange, order processing times, and that does not provide enough information about the products.
Here’s an example: I was browsing a supplier site for digital cameras one day, and I found one that had a bunch of different models which I thought I might be interested in, but his product info and description was minimal: “This is a great Nikon 8MP Camera for all your digital photo needs. Includes Strap, Setup Disc, New in Box.” Pass on that one. Next!
I am looking forward to providing you with the products that I love and am very passionate about in my endeavor to fulfill my dream of permanent retirement from a real job, so I can just sit home all day long and list, list, list-sell, sell, sell-pack products and print shipping labels for the products purchased from me.
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share on: Share it! Tweet it! Stumble it! Digg it! Email it!  |  Permalink  |  Tuckerstuff in Dropshipping | 20 Comments
Reader Comments  (20)

Lori L. Johnson
Lori L. Johnson | June 28th 2011 at 1309321991

I have thought about looking into the drop shipping but so unsure of a reputable, reasonable, easy to deal with one to check into. Thanks for sharing.
vinewood
vinewood | June 28th 2011 at 1309323418

nice blog with great info
Enchanted Jewelry & Collectibles
Enchanted Jewelry & Collectibles | June 28th 2011 at 1309324673

Great info here! Thanks for taking the time to put it all in one place!!
twysp2
twysp2 | June 28th 2011 at 1309325181

Lots of info that I did not know about drop shipping. My only problem has been buying from drop shippers it takes longer to get and often back ordered or out of stock. Perhaps I choose the wrong item or seller...
Tuckerstuff
Tuckerstuff | June 28th 2011 at 1309328765

Most of the better sites provide a percentage ratio of order fulfillment history. If the don't have a high order fulfillment percentage, avoid them. The "Out of Stock" issue thus far has not been a problem with me, so long as the customer has a choice of waiting extra time for restocking. Sometimes there is a problem with Discontinued products, but as long as you keep the buyer informed and give them their money back if that's what they want, then all is usually well. Most buyers have no problem with any of these issues in my experience, so long as they know what's going on and you keep them well informed, and if they want their money back, give it to them, especially if the item has been discontinued without notice. Just be sure to put it in the product description when creating the listing that "sometimes products may run out of stock without prior notice and is beyond my control. If this happens to be the case, you will be informed immediately via email with options and details." I usually only look for suppliers, also, whose average order processing and handling time is listed as 3-5 days. Some of my costumes I have no choice on, because they are made to order and take longer, but I've been holding my own so far, nothing to retire on full time yet, but a sale is a sale is a sale. Thanks, everyone.
Tuckerstuff
Tuckerstuff | June 28th 2011 at 1309329728 - in reply to EnchantedJewelry

You're very welcome!
Pacesetter
Pacesetter | June 29th 2011 at 1309335727

Great Read! I don't drop ship but have always wanted to be able to advise friends and family about how it works-now I know much more about it. Thanks!
Fredrick Nijm
Fredrick Nijm | June 29th 2011 at 1309341532

Thank you for sharing your knowledge and experiences with us. . So many sellers have inquired about drop shipping tools and tricks and how you can know if you found a reliable shippers. I have used some before and have had so-so experiences, with the main one being out of stock items.

Great information here. Also I wanted to add that we have a partnership with a company called Salehoo - a drop ship partner of ours that helps you find good reliable shippers and we have found their service to be very reliable.
Linda Jordan
Linda Jordan | June 29th 2011 at 1309351390

Thomas! I am so surprised; didn't expect the plug here! I'm just reading and reading....! My eyes fell out of my head! Thanks my friend!
Donna's Stuff & More
Donna's Stuff & More | June 29th 2011 at 1309351453

Thank you for the information. I really knew nothing about drop-shipping, and this was really usefull!
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Thomas Tucker Jr   | June 29th 2011 at 1309354678 - in reply to CabanaThreads

No problem. I figured out a little something, after all. Just went Pro, and will be doing a huge import soon.
Main Street VintageValues
Main Street VintageValues | June 29th 2011 at 1309358507

Thanks, Thomas - thinking about doing drop shipping for quality garden products, and will save your blog while I ponder.
BargainBasement
BargainBasement | June 29th 2011 at 1309365932

Very informative and interesting article to read. Thanks for taking the time to blog it.
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BeewitchingItems | June 29th 2011 at 1309379223

Thanks for all the information, I have thought about drop shipping in the past, just never could bring myself to try it.
Indizona Variety
Indizona Variety | June 29th 2011 at 1309398328

I have thought and thought about the pros and cons many times and have been wanting to use a drop shipper or more than one drop shipper. I figure I should probably have separate storefront for them though since I can combine shipping on my own items, but not on drop-shipped, or a combination of my items plus drop-shipped items. You have given some more information with your blog that I didn't know before. Now I have more to look for as I search for that company out there that I can trust.
beachcats_bargains
beachcats_bargains | June 29th 2011 at 1309410682

Very informative! I'm a control freak so I don't think it would work for me but I enjoyed reading your insights!
Pink Hill Vintage
Pink Hill Vintage | June 30th 2011 at 1309440043

Great information Thomas! I have wondered about drop shipping too and have heard more negatives than positives...but with getting info from a trusted friend that has been there and done that...it would be worth looking into. Thank you!
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Thomas L Tucker Jr   | June 30th 2011 at 1309440421

Looks like I'll have to write a Part 2 and cover a few things in a little more detail for you all. I honestly did not expect this response.
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Joyceb | June 30th 2011 at 1309462478

Thank for for the informative post on drop shipping. I am a certified eBay Education Specialist and have a lot of inquiries about drop shipping. It was good to see that you listed both pros and cons. That gives a good, balanced view of dropshipping.
Vintage Around The Clock
Vintage Around The Clock | August 20th 2011 at 1313866739

This is a great resource for sellers who are considering dropshipping. You've hit upon all of the plusses and minuses too.

Sue

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