How do I start?

Mar 6, 2008
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Hi

Only found this forum tonight and after a bit of reading I just thought I'd ask for a bit of advice.

After spending months online searching and signing up to wholesale sites I just seem to have hit a block on how to actually get started and where to look without getting ripped off?

Any advice would be most welcome.

Thanks for reading.
Neil
 
Mar 6, 2008
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How do dropshippers work and what are the risks? I'm new to this so my understanding is very limited!
 
Mar 6, 2008
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Cheers for that mate, quite interesting and something i'd not thought of. Thanks again
 
May 20, 2008
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No problem, best of luck.
 
Mar 6, 2008
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I couldn't actaully access the link you sent, i just went to *******************. Was there anything specific on the link?
 
May 20, 2008
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Go to articles and tips category, there's a dropshipping faq's in there.
 
To be honest, I'm not excactly fond of Dropshipping.

The risks are higher, as are the prices. The average Dropshipper will charge £3-£4 more than the average Wholesaler. Profits will be much lower.

What about the risks ? The order could be lost. There may be a mix-up. And at the end of the day it's your responsibility. Dropshipping Companies will not be queuing up to refund you or re-send your order. They will want proof that it's never been delivered; And that can take weeks.

Take a risk and contact a few members of the forum - You won't regret it.

Good Luck :)
 
May 20, 2008
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I agree dropshipping is not perfect because as you mentioned you do not have full control. But from a newbies point of view with little start up capital and no storage , it is a way to get your foot on the ladder so to speak.

It also depends what the person wants back from there venture. If its just a way to supplement their income and not have the house full of stock its a good start.

What happens after that can be a different ball game altogether.
 
Feb 12, 2008
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Some people seem to make dropshipping work but I'm with Willhof on this one, I just don't like depending on a dropshipper, my reputation is based on the dropshippers performance. The pricing is generally high and I’ve never really found a product with enough profit to bother.

I much prefer just doing a little research then diving in, just get some products, take a little risk. Start off small, test the markets with products not theory. If that makes sense?

I’ve tested the market with a wide range of products and I’ve made money on all of them so far. If I was to make a small loss on a product, so what? You need to learn. It’s only a matter of time before I find one that sells fast and has good margin!

I also agree 100% on the advice of staying away from branded electronics, there is so many people trying to get involved in this saturated market it’s unbelievable.
 
May 30, 2005
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To be honest, I'm not exactly fond of Dropshipping.

The risks are higher, as are the prices. The average Dropshipper will charge £3-£4 more than the average Wholesaler. Profits will be much lower.

What about the risks ? The order could be lost. There may be a mix-up. And at the end of the day it's your responsibility. Dropshipping Companies will not be queuing up to refund you or re-send your order. They will want proof that it's never been delivered; And that can take weeks.

Take a risk and contact a few members of the forum - You won't regret it.

Good Luck :)

I've told this before, but it's time for a replay.

And, I do understand that dropshipping in the US is much more entrenched and advanced than elsewhere in the world. Some of the reasons I keep bringing this up is so that others around the world can use it as an example of how it SHOUILD work and possible convince their suppliers to give it a try.

I'm going to first mention what are regarded as Tier One dropshippers-

They hold their own inventory.

They have no minimum order quantity or amount.

They will ship one item at a time - with no additional cost. (One caveat, many wholesalers and distributors have a "small order fee" for orders placed under a specified amount. This may still apply. If you order one item with a cost over the "small order amount" there is no extra charge. If you order an item of low value, they will charge the small order fee, whether a dropship or not.)

THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE IN PRICE between a dropship and a direct to you order.

They ALWAYS ship "blind" - there is never any indication the order did not come from you. All paperwork, the shipping label, carton markings, etc. NEVER give a hint as to the real shipper. Naturally, they never include any promotional material of their own.

All customer service goes through you. There is no contact information to them. Of course, if the items themselves have warranty contact info to the manufacturer or service center, that stands.

They NEVER solicit business from your customers. Even if you cease to do business with them, they do not contact your customers on their own behalf.

They are responsible for the safe delivery of the product to your customer.

And YES, there are many, that's right, many companies in the US who do this. Thousands! In all sorts of product lines. And they've been doing it for decades.

Now, for a couple of specifics that directly refute what Willhof has stated. (Sorry, Willhof!)

Several years ago I sold thirty-some birdhouses to be use on what is called the "National Christmas Tree" that the President lights up each year. Big deal to some folks. Anyhow, it's managed by the Smithsonian Institution, one of the national museums on the Mall in Washington. They ordered early and had me ship to one of their warehouses on the outskirts of DC. No problem, got everything.

Then, in November I got a phone call from the warehouse manager. As they were getting things together fro the tree, they found 3 of the birdhouses missing. He said he knew they had them, that they were lost, or someone took them home. Regardless, how quickly could I replace them?

I called my service rep at the dropshipper and she not only had them sent second day at no charge (including shipping), she told me if I would have called her about the whole order, they would have donated the entire order. Well, I didn't want that, I wanted the profit, but it was a nice gesture.

A real "big bad dropshipper", huh?

Next story, same company - Another year they double shipped a $ 1500 order to my mall shop. Never happened before or since, but it happened that once. Also charged my debit card twice. So, I got on the phone. They issued an immediate credit and told me to keep the second order. Said I could return what I wanted after the first of the year and just pay for what I did not return. They would even pay the return shipping.

Another "horror story", eh?

BTW, same company, one dropship, one direct to me ship. Same prices. They publish one printed price schedule and it applies regardless of where they ship. They do have a small order fee of $ 2.50 for orders under $25, but that's it.

With this company, and others, if there is ever a shipping problem, damaged goods, etc. they handle it all. In fact, after one or two claims they don't even want to see the damaged items. They take your word for it and ship a replacement. I tell the people to throw the stuff away, unless it can be salvaged, then give it to a church, the scouts, etc.

Another case, this with commercial goods, not retail sales. I sell custom labels by the millions to gift sales rep agencies. I have 25 or 30 who, while competitors, will join together to buy in quantity so they can all save. The last order I placed got shipped on Dec 28 and everyone was a little hungover by the time they actually got delivered. One of the customers claimed they never got theirs and after some prodding, UPS said they were delivered at 3:12 AM to the loading dock at the building where the firm is located. 3:12 AM!

Anyhow, while it took a special setup to run just a small quantity of the usual order - bear in mind these are special order goods, requiring setting up a production line. But the factory did a special small run for this one customer of mine and sent it out just as quickly as possible. Again, at no charge.

I have dealt with a company which dropships printed materials for me. Invoices, checks, things like that. I can't begin to guess how many times they have replaced, at no charge to me or my customer, items that were ordered incorrectly. My customer, or in more than one case I, would give them incorrect or misspelled information. They would still replace the goods at no charge, including shipping.

Maybe it's just a different attitude here in the US. I must say I'm finding much of what I take for granted as far as customer service is not something that seems to exist anywhere else. Whether dropshipping or just plain seller to buyer service.

Don't mean to editorialize. But you guys outside North America (I'd say most of what I have said would also be true in Canada.) just don't realize how well it could work for everyone involved. Yes, even the manufacturer / dropshipper who may seem to "eat" the costs, since it all comes back in satisfied customers and increased sales.

Not meaning to be political, but I'm honestly amazed to see how lacking in regard to customer service the rest of the world really is.
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Wow - You guys are lucky in the states :)

It shows how more advanced the United States are in terms of Dropshipping.

If there were Dropshippers like that in Uk, I would live in a 10 Bedroom House :D

Great Post as usual Pete, you really are one of the Forums top members.
 
May 30, 2005
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I post this sort of stuff so others can use it to "twist some arms."

Go to some of the UK "dropshippers" and tell them to get otu of the dark ages and maybe everyone would benefit.
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Have you thought about using a dropshipper to ease youself into it with less risk, not having to hold stock etc..
Yes, it's relaxing to dropship at home, but it seems that dropshipping brings little profit. And it's so difficult to find a reliable dropshipper.
 
research, research and more research its key to everything.
 
I am a UK expat resident in Kenya and looking to start an online shop for local sales. Paypal is available to Kenyans but on a 'send only' basis so they are OK for purchases. I will be using my UK verified business Paypal account for taking money (if there are any sales). I have set up an OScommerce site with a few addons (currency converter, show final prices in USD, multivendor shipping).

I should point out that Kenyan ecommerce is virtually unheard of at present but I suspect that it will take off in the next 2 years as fibre-optic cables will reach Kenya in July 2009 so speeds will rocket and prices plummet.

I am now looking to add some products. I have approached several local retailers who are keen to sell on the shop but seem to never quite get around to follow up on meetings.

I am now looking at dropshipping to stock the shop but am not sure whether dropshippers would send items to Kenya and whether the shipping costs would make the price charged too high. I am also not sure of how the import hoops would be dealt with. Is that something the shipping company would deal with or would I have to see everthing through customs myself?

Has anyone else had experience of setting up a dropshipping site anywhere outside of EU, US, OZ etc?