Working With Drop ShippersWritten by Ray Yee
Drop Shippers, manufacturers or distributors who are willing to ship their products to your customers, bring a powerful benefit to ecommerce. Online businesses that engage in wholesale-retail trade can cut down on all hassles of shipping their products by simply establishing business relationships with drop shippers, and using them as part of their business model. This article will cover aspects of selecting a reliable drop shipper, process of setting up with drop shippers, and also some of common problems that may arise from working with drop shippers.
Selecting a reliable drop shipper is a very crucial element in your drop shipping business. If drop shipper you work with is honest and reputable, you can consider yourself to have won half battle in order fulfillment process. Although this may not be true in some circumstances, direct manufacturers and upper level distributors are usually more reliable than smaller distributors. Manufacturers usually produce their products in large quantities, and require higher capital to finance their companies. More often than not, these businesses are reliable companies, because only businesses with a strong track record have ability to secure such high capital to finance their manufacturing process. Also, first and second tier distributors are usually reputable as they are bigger and more established, since their distribution spans a wider region. This is in contrast with lower tier distributors or middlemen, who make their profit simply by marking up prices. Some low-tier distributors may be fly-by-night organizations or businesses that may shut down easily due to their small size. Hence, whenever possible, you should look for direct manufacturers or distributors of products and ask if they offer drop shipping services, due to their reliability. Direct manufacturers or distributors should also be your first choice because their prices have not been marked-up by any middlemen, and thus higher your profits can go.
(This is not to say that smaller distributors are unreliable, there are also numerous honest distributors out there with established track records.)
Simply phrased, drop shipping process is as such: You set up a website catalogue selling goods that you want to sell. After a customer has placed an order on your website, you can call or email your drop shipper to deliver specific quantity of products to your customer. Your drop shipper will then ship products to mailing address as specified on order form.
When selecting products you want to sell, you have to also consider shipping costs involved. If your drop shipper and your customer base are located in different countries, you should definitely sell products which cost in price range of hundreds or thousands of dollars, so that higher international shipping fee would account for a smaller proportion of retail price of product. If your drop shipper and your customer base are located in same country, it would then be feasible to sell products that are cheaper as shipping costs are much lower.
So how should you go about looking for your product suppliers? The first approach you can take is through search engines. You can start off by searching for ‘Manufacturers directory’, ‘Wholesalers Directory’, or ‘Drop Shippers Directory’, and look through websites containing lists of such manufacturers. Alternatively, you can type your product keyword together with word ‘wholesale’. For example, if you want to sell wooden carvings, you may want to try term ‘wholesale wooden carvings’ and take note of websites offering wooden carvings at a wholesale price. After which, you can email or call manufacturer and check if they offer drop shipping arrangements. Or, if they offer function to sign up for their drop shipping service on their website, you can immediately sign up for it, but only after verifying that they have a record of excellent and ethical service. (You can do this easy way by browsing their website. Most of them will display awards or commendations they achieved for excellence and reliability.) A good example of a wholesaler that offers drop shipping registration on their website is http://www.artinternationalwholesale.com. The drop shipping service can be found on left navigation bar under ‘Wholesalers’.
Remember to target manufacturers as your first choice. You can find a directory of manufacturers and distributors at http://www.thomasregister.com. If you cannot find any manufacturer offering drop shipping services, you should then target direct distributors one level below manufacturers. Their prices would have only been marked-up once, and hence lower your cost. You can locate these distributors by getting manufacturer to recommend some of more reliable ones. If none of these first-tier distributors offer drop shipping, you then move on to second-tier, and so on. However, it is not advisable to go on to lower tiers, as your profits will decrease.
What To Do After Your eBay Auction ClosesWritten by Lewis Leake
So your auction closes. Now what?
Hopefully you made a sale or several sales. Now important work begins. Here are some tips on what to do after your eBay auction closes.
Once your items have sold, be responsive to buyer. Contact them in a quick manner, thank them for their purchase, and provide required information for payment.
When you wrap your items, wrap it professionally in nice, clean tissue paper. If breakable, be sure item is wrapped with bubble wrap as well. Include a business card with your website information, name, address, or a printed out statement showing items name, items number, price paid, and a small hand-written note thanking buyer for their purchase.
Insurance is usually a good idea but in general, it should be an optional feature, with decision left to buyer. Remember two important things about insurance. First, insurance is VERY inexpensive. Therefore, in your description, you should state how much insurance would cost and recommend it. Second, you should also state in description that if insurance is not purchased, you are not responsible for lost or damaged items.
Go Extra Mile
You want every customer to be a happy customer. If you have to do a little more research on shipping, or negotiate on price, remember that customer is reason you will have success. Therefore, be prepared to go extra mile in providing them with superior service every single time.
Unlike other sites that use a feedback system, eBay’s feedback is sacred and taken very seriously. Negative feedback is never removed. Therefore, if you leave negative feedback rather than trying to handle a tough situation between you and seller, this could give you a bad reputation. If people see that you consistently leave negative feedback because your buyer did not pay as quickly as you like or whatever reason, buyers will be leery of buying from you in fear of getting negative feedback themselves should something go wrong.
It is extremely important that you handle your account with integrity. The number of positive comments and amount of stars earned are what will be deciding factor for many buyers. Be professional, polite, and stand by what you sell.