Our current situation is to look for a Chinese supplier that is reliable, efficient and can perfectly dropship single item packages anywhere in the world. If you approach and ask some Chinese suppliers, Do you dropship?, you may not get a straightforward answer may for the reason that they have little or does not know what the question is all about.
First Question: "Do you offer a Dropship Program for online stores?"
You cannot answer this by a simple Yes or No since there are two different meaning for the term dropship.
Retailers can avail of dropshipping as well. A good example would be to place an order for a friend. This would mean that it could be a single item. They will certainly accept it but if I did not sign for a dropship program, this is a typical order only. This would mean that the company name will be labeled on the packing slip and the recipient will now be aware that it came directly from the retailer.
This is widely used on online stores. The customer’s order will be shipped directly to them with the seller’s company name on the packing slip and not the dropshipper name. On cases like this, the customer doesn’t have any idea that their order was directly shipped to them from the supplier. The reason for all of this was I use a dropship program. Sellers would love this method of marketing for they receive a discount on all the merchandise they purchase plus they will mark up the product. Overall, the sellers gain from this.
These questions should always be asked to the supplier.
- Most retailers would offer their products to businesses for wholesale. But once you approach them about the dropshipping program, you must be certain that they understand what you are talking about or else there might be some misunderstanding. Before you close the deal, be sure that the wholesaler understands what you are talking about.
- Not all wholesalers and manufacturers offer dropshipping. Most often they would only accept dropshipping for purchases with a minimum amount of $1000. You have to tell right away to the wholesaler your intentions.
Second Question: Are you sure that my company’s information will be on the packing slip/package?
This question might be too redundant, if the dropshipper answered a yes to the first question. However, you need to always ask this question. It would help a lot if you will repeat over and over again so that nobody will be mislead.
There are times that instead of your company’s name on the packing slip, the dropshipper would simply put ”Fulfillment Center” which you do not want to happen. This usually happens and sometimes they do this on purpose because they want to save time and money when they are dealing with large number of dropship clients. For sure, you would want your clients to see that the packing slip bears your company’s name.
Verify or be certain what you would want to appear on the packing sleep. You wouldn’t want your customer to bother you because they got hold of your phone number, would you?
Third Question: What are the discount’s would you receive on your products for dropshipping?
Naturally, you know the exact amount of the goods you’ve order. This will give you an idea on how much profit you are going to make. But you need to know the discount they give for a dropship program.
If you are dealing with a retailer like you as your dropshipper, you need to ask them how much discount you will get from them. Remember, that like you they are also retailers therefore, they are your competitors as well as supplier. On cases like this, you must be very observant. If the supplier only offers you 15%, remember, that it will be hard for you to compete. However, if the price of the product is extremely low, the 15% discount is just right. Always be aware that if you are dealing with a retailer, you must adapt a different marketing strategy. It might be difficult for you to be the leader of low price company. People are always on the look out for something cheaper therefore, you need to compete and stand out from others.
As a dropship client, you should know that suppliers charge their dropship clients more than they charge their wholesale clients. This is reasonable for they do not only provide you with a product but a service as well. Oftentimes, wholesaler would charge their dropship client with a small percentage. Others would just charge additional $3-$5. This is reasonable enough and standard price when working with a China wholesaler but you must always be on guard that cost is logical.
The pricing of your products depends entirely on the overall cost. The USP (Unique Selling Proposition) is dependent on the cost you have encountered. The USP is the unique and special value you offer to your customer. The usual examples of USP are as follow.
- Are you the low cost leader in the market?
- Do you have the biggest selection in the market? and
- Can you guarantee same day shipping?
The cost of the product may affect your USP therefore you need to study very well on this matter and be sure that your pricing are right and support your USP.
Fourth Question: Do you have any return/damaged policies for dropship orders?
It’s standard that dropshipper a return order policy but they charge 25% once your customer decided to return the product. This means that you lost $25 already if the product is worth $100. You cannot do anything about this. Also you have to ask the time line for their return policy. What if you offer 30 day return policy and the dropshipper has only 10 day return policy permit? What will you do? You have to honor what your retrun policy and must be true to your words.
Here are some tips to help you lessen the burden of return costs for small orders:
- Have your customer do the shipping of the return back item and not the dropshipper
- Keep the items in your office
If there is an order made to you on the same item, you can readily give that item to your customer. This method will let you loss less money in return items and at the same time you will not be out of order on the said product.
Always ensure that once the dropshipper replaces the returned item, there is very minimal effort on your part. Some dropshipper replaced damaged items painstakingly difficult to the sellers. You have to send them an uploaded picture of the damaged item. You will have to upload them in your website. As much as possible avoid this kind of dropshipper for they are the worst and low quality dropshipper ever!
Remember not everybody has the knowledge of uploading pictures and even if they do, I don’t think they would go all that trouble. Anyway, it is the dropshipper’s fault that the item was damaged. The best dropshipper will not ask you any question. They will just replace the damaged good or they wouldn’t require you to return the item. This will make any business easy.
Fifth Question: Do you charge sales tax or would my seller’s permit is enough?
Legitimate dropshipper will require a copy of your business permit. This will ensure that they wouldn’t hold liable if they charge you with sales tax. There are instances though, they will just simple deduct your sales tax. This usually happen if your location are on the same state. Keep track of all the deductions in your transactions for you can deduct them from the tax you are going to pay the government. Always have your business permit ready on hand.
Sixth Question: Can I use your products’ images and descriptions on my website?
Since you are selling products that are not physically present, the dropshipper must give you accurate and detailed information about the product. The details that you would need would be:
- Product Image
- Composition (material used)
- Shipping weight
Beginners in dropshipping usually would just copy the product image and description from the website of the dropshipper but you have to get their permission first. Most often the dropshipper won’t allow this practice. They know that website content should be unique and this must be retained for SEO purposes. Another thing, many wholesalers and dropshippers do not know the right technique on selling to retail customers.
Most often their product descriptions are short, boring and not concise. What you need to do is to make your own product description. This way you can effectively sell your products.
When it comes to images, it would be advisable to obtain permission to copy from the dropshipper before you start using it. Otherwise, you might meet certain issues.
Seventh Question: What is the best method in placing my order?
Placing an order is fairly simple. You can do it online, but you have to ensure that you will be given a discount code for your log in information or orders. If you do it by email, you need to ensure that you know exactly who the person you are going to send the email and must ensure that you will get a response or confirmation. Save all your documents, receipts and invoices for your record purposes. Be sure to know if they charge you immediately or only be the time your orders are shipped.
Eight Question: How long will the orders be processed and shipped?
Once you ask your dropshipper how long will my orders be shipped and they answer in 5 days time. Leave them.
Remember that you are dealing with ecommerce. That means everything should be fast. Once a person orders online, they would expect the goods to be delivered as soon as possible. It should take same day delivery up to three days the most. Never make a business where your customers will wait for a long time. This method you will lose your customers. They would never come back.
All orders should be shipped within 2 to 3 days and NO LATER than that.
Ninth Question: What are the shipping methods do you offer? Do you provide a tracking number to your customers?
Same thing, the shipping policies should coincide with the dropshippers policy. Whatever you do, it should be based on the policy of the dropshipper. Never say that their orders will be delivered within a day when the dropshipper’s policy is 3 day. Where will that leave you? Find exactly the method of shipment your dropshipper use. Never mislead your customers. Always ensure that you are provided with tracking number. Every customer will ask the tracking number from you.
Tenth Question: Are you the manufacturer or another wholesaler of the product?
The answer to this question may not really affect your choice of dropshipper, you may still want to work with them. If the manufacturer doesn’t work on dropshpping, then you have no choice but to look for a retailer or wholesaler. This is good enough as long as you can afford the additional expense. You must be sure how many middle men you are going to pass through before it reaches you. Every middleman means additional cost on your part. The price that you will charge to your customer will naturally increase or else you will be the loser here.
Whenever a certain company handles your product, your costs will increase. Find out who is the manufacturer of your product if you are dealing with a retailer or wholesaler. Look for the highest tiered dropshipper so that your product cost will be lessened. Who knows the manufacturer is willing to dropship your product? You will have a saving on $4.50 per product. In case the wholesaler works directly with the manufacturer, they may be the highest tiered dropshipper and you price will remain at $7.50.