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My experience and advice for drop shipping.

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    My experience and advice for drop shipping.

    With the recent rise of individuals trying to create e-commerce websites, there has been a lot of discussion on the best practices to being successful. One method that a lot of new startups are turning to is drop shipping. If you are unfamiliar with the term, drop shipping is essentially fulfilling orders directly from the supplier to the customer as they come in. This method saves the overhead cost of purchasing and storing inventory and also allows for one to test the market for their products.

    I have tried this method in the past and highly discourage it. While it may be the economical way to establish a business, it is no way to establish a long-term business. My qualms with drop shipping are that you relinquish all control to the supplier. Most oftentimes the goods will be drop shipped from China and as the adage goes, "you get what you pay for." For an e-commerce business that relies on building a base of return customers, it is vital to ensure that all aspects of your business are top notch. From the front page of your website, to the ordering experience, to the actual product that reaches your customers hand. With drop shipping, you now need to rely on your supplier to ensure goods are shipped in a timely fashion (which usually they are not), that they are in good working condition (hit or miss), that they have your branding (if you were able to negotiate this into the deal), and that no other marketing, branding, or invoicing is included. After all this, the item will usually still be sent from China and be postmarked as such and customers usually see this and are immediately turned off.

    While drop shipping may work as a long-term plan, the most important thing is to find good suppliers to work with as they become an extension of you and your business.

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