Drop Shipping

What is Drop Shipping?

  • Dropshipping is a way of running your own website shop that enables you to sell your products online without actually pre-buying or storing any of your items.
  • A drop shipper is a company that makes and stores all of the items and acts as a distributor. The vast majority of drop shippers are based in China.

How does it Work?

  • Any orders you take via your website will automatically get forwarded to your dropshipper who will (usually for a small fee) deal with all of the postage and packaging.
  • Some drop shippers have an annual subscription fee and will automatically update your online store as and when they make changes to their stock details and images
  • Other drop shippers add a small cost onto the item price to cover the postage and distribution and you will need to manually keep on top of any changes to your website.

Pros

  • One of the biggest benefits of using a dropshipper is that there is no need for you to pre-purchase (or store) any amount of stock, meaning you will have no initial outlay, apart from the setup of your website, dropshipper subscription fee and any marketing or advertising.
  • As you are not pre-purchasing or stocking any items you can change items from your online store and keep up with trends, fashions and forever evolving technology.
  • All of the hassle of posting and packaging are performed by the dropshipping company.

Cons

  • You will be totally dependent on the delivery service and times of your dropshipper, and as over 90% of the drop shipping services are based in China, your customers may be put off by the normally lengthy wait, this is quite often between 5 to 8 weeks, if not longer.
  • You may never actually get to see some of the products and therefore have no influence over quality control.
  • Product returns can prove to be a total nightmare. Your customers will need to return any faulty or unwanted goods direct to the dropshipper, and as this is probably China, it’s not difficult to imagine the chaos this can cause.

Alternatives

  • Running your online shop without using a drop shipping company gives you total control over all aspects of your business. Buying products in bulk can work out surprisingly cheap, and for small items, storage is normally not a problem.
  • You will have to manage packaging and postage yourself but this can be reasonably cheap, and most importantly, delivery times within Europe are fairly quick.

If you would like any more information about starting an online business please drop us a line, and we can discuss things further.

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