ENTREPRENEURSHIP / MAY. 29, 2014
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Drop Shipping – Getting Started

Drop shipping has become increasingly popular with many online businesses. It involves selling products and having them shipped directly from the supplier to the customer. This saves you the trouble of having to stock your own products in a storage facility. So what are the advantages of drop shipping?

Minimizes risk

Businesses cannot accurately predict future tastes and trends. Therefore, having physical inventory is risky since there is no guarantee whether a product will sell or simply remain in storage. Drop shipping helps you minimize the risk of wastage since the supplier has all the products. You just need to buy the specific amount the customer requires.

Saves money

Drop shipping allows you to reduce several common business costs. Since there is no need to stock inventory, you can avoid incurring storage costs. In addition, you will be able to cut down on losses from dead stock or products damaged in transit. Finally, drop shipping allows you to pay lower shipping rates for products.

Allows inventory variety

Drop shipping allows you to include a variety of products in your inventory, ranging from the most popular to unique niche products. In addition, your choice of products does not have to be restricted by issues such as product perishability or size.

Where to find drop shippers

You can find a suitable drop shipper in three main ways:

1. Online search

You can find information by simply typing in the phrase ‘drop shippers’ into a search box. However, though this method is free, it takes a lot of time and effort. The top drop shippers might not appear in the first pages of your search results. This means that you might have to dig deeper to find what you are looking for. Besides ‘drop shipping’, it would also be advisable to use search terms such as ‘supplier’, ‘distributor’, ‘warehouse’ or ‘reseller’.

2. Paid directories

There are several sites online which have comprehensive lists of drop shippers. In most cases, users are required to pay a fee before accessing this information. However, there is need for caution when dealing with paid directories. There are many scam sites out there which offer outdated or false information about drop shippers.

3. Drop shipping sites

Drop shipping sites are a more costly alternative to paid directories. However, such sites are more trustworthy and offer a wider range of drop shippers to choose from.

How to select the right drop shipper

With the many options out there, finding a drop shipper that will meet your specific business needs is not very easy. When looking at different drop shippers, here are some factors you need to consider before making a decision:

  • Duration in business - You need to look for a well-known and reputable drop shipper that has a strong track record. The longer they have been in business, the more likely they are not to disappoint.
  • International shipping - Find a drop shipper that offers an option for international shipping. Even if you are not selling internationally yet, this option could come in handy in future.
  • Client portfolio - Carry out some research to find out who else has been using the drop shipper’s services. Read reviews to find out what people are saying about the company. This will enable you to make a more informed decision.
  • Return policy - The return policy will show if there are any charges or fees that you will incur for processing returns.
  • Payment - Find out if there are any hidden costs you will be required to pay besides the order fees.

Conclusion

Getting into a partnership with a drop shipper can pay great dividends for your online business. With the right information and some patience, you will eventually find a company that is right for your business.

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