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For small Internet retailers, drop-shipping is one of the best innovations since sliced bread. How else can a start-up offer a wide variety of products and convince customers that they have a fully-stocked warehouse-while investing virtually nothing in inventory or warehousing? Before you jump right onto the drop-shipping bandwagon, however, there are some pitfalls to avoid.
While a quality drop-shipper is truly a dream come true for the Internet retailer, there are plenty of painful pitfalls to avoid. Things can get embarrassing and costly in a hurry when a drop-shipper:
? sends products out late
? forgets to process your orders
? sends out poorly packaged products
? double-bills your credit card for orders on a regular basis
? provides cheaply made products and/or shoddy workmanship.
A Matter of Credibility
In addition to the above drawbacks, many customers are not very impressed when they find out you retail drop-shipped products. This is especially the case with the rustic log furniture I sell on the web. Many phone customers ask if we make the products ourselves, or are "merely" drop-shipping.
They are relieved and impressed when they find that we manufacturer, finish or pack most of the log furniture we sell at our warehouse. We sell to a lot of people with expensive vacation homes, and quality is of utmost importance. It's always easier to testify to the quality of furniture when you have seen it yourself, and we are able to offer a more unique line by going to Amish suppliers whose products aren't sold elsewhere on the Internet.
Advantages of Drop-Shipping
With this said, there are still some sizeable advantages to drop-shipping. As the volume of our orders grows, it becomes more and more difficult to package all of that furniture. Fortunately for us, our largest supplier is only two miles away and we have a pretty good deal going: we finish all the log furniture they want finished, and they drop-ship the unfinished furniture. So they make it, we finish it.
That means if somebody orders unfinished furniture, it can go directly from the factory. This might have made me nervous about quality control at one point, but I have developed a high degree of confidence in our log furniture manufacturer. In the five years I have been associated with them, they have never let me down. They fill orders with a high degree of quality and accuracy, which makes our job easy.
Choosing a Drop-Ship Partner
Unfortunately, not all drop-shipping companies are as reliable as the one I have found. This is why it pays to do your homework before choosing a drop-shipping company. If you align yourself with fly-by-night operations, your business will most likely suffer as a result. If you are wildly successful, which you no doubt hope to be, a small start-up may not be able to manufacturer or ship product fast enough to meet your needs. A drop-shipper that is unstable as a business may be happy to take your cash but fail to fill orders on a timely basis.
Any business who drop-ships your orders will affect your reputation as a company one way or another. As a result, it's important to make sure any drop-shipping companies you partner with meet the high level of customer service and quality control standards you set for your business.
Copyright 2005 Log Cabin Rustics
Cari Haus is webmaster for http://www.logcabinrustics.com, an online retailer of quality log furniture.
The Australian Financial Review
No buyers for Paddington terrace once owned by Malcolm Turnbull
The Australian Financial Review
There were plenty of onlookers and some buyers, but no one wrote a cheque at three auctions The Australian Financial Review attended on Saturday. Nearly 80 people turned up for the sale of 44 Goodhope Street, Paddington, once owned by former prime ...
Fitzroy terrace soars $340000 above reserve in Melbourne's 'Super Saturday' of auctions
A terrace house in Fitzroy soared $340,000 above reserve on Saturday as property sales in the inner suburbs got a shot in the arm from a surge in auction listings. The renovated Italianate balcony terrace, at 32 Gore Street, was quoted at $3.2 million ...
Value-hunters thick on the ground at Sydney's weekend auctions
The bidding at some auctions was slow and cautious. But young buyers, in particular, are engaging in wide-ranging research of price trends and swooping on any listing that looks like a bargain. Cunninghams' managing director John Cunningham said all ...
The Australian Financial Review
'Some resilience' in auction market amid spring surge
The Australian Financial Review
The spring housing market has shown a degree of resilience as a surge of properties flooded in, ahead of football and rugby finals next week. With 2,404 homes taken to auction across the combined capital cities this week, the preliminary results show a ...
Comcast outbids Fox in a $39 billion takeover of Sky
Comcast outflanked rival Twenty-First Century Fox in a $39 billion takeover of British broadcaster Sky on Saturday, submitting a much higher bid in a rare three-round auction that pitted two of America's largest media companies against one another. The ...
Comcast outbids Fox in auction for Sky valuing media company at £29.7bn
for immediate release - Investors
Comcast beats 21st Century Fox with $53bn bid for Sky in rare auction
The £29.7bn valuation was by far the highest ever for such a process in the UK, which has conducted a handful of smaller-scale auctions to settle intractable bidding wars. The winning bid represents a premium of more than double Sky's value before ...
Wall Street Journal
Comcast Beats Out Fox to Acquire Sky
Wall Street Journal
If Fox had won this weekend's auction for Sky, Disney would ultimately have taken 100% control of the pay TV company. Instead, attention will now turn to whether Disney will sell the 39% stake in Sky—its value has increased by the bidding competition ...
We're betting on India's middle market of art: Edward Gibbs of Sotheby's
Indian clients are spending more on art auctions these days, so it's “a good time for us”, says Edward Gibbs, chairman for Middle East and India at auction house Sotheby's. Gibbs, who advises private, corporate and institutional collectors worldwide ...
Stay Golden: Ford Mustang GT Gets Vegas Hockey Makeover For Auction
One of the best places to pay it forward is through auctions. Here, you'll be able to extend a helping hand, as well as bid for a valuable thing that could be close to your heart – such as this 2018 Ford Mustang GT that's customized to wear a golden armor.
'Boceto for Spoliarium' by Juan Luna sells for P63M at auction
Going once, twice, and it's sold. The recently unveiled "Boceto for Spoliarium" by Juan Luna on Saturday fetched P63 million at the Rigodon Ballroom as part of the "Important Philippine Art" of "The Well-Appointed Life" by the Salcedo Auctions. GMA ...
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