There are a lot of things to consider when you open a retail store. Amongst the most important is the decision of whether you store inventory or retain a wholesale distributor. By choosing a wholesale distributor, you can contract the process of storing, packing and shipping to a drop ship provider. This allows you the time to focus all your efforts on identifying the right products, generating sales and increasing your market reach.
To identify the right products, you need to research and choose a reputable drop ship wholesaler. Making the wrong choice in your drop ship supplier will impact your business in every facet. There are many websites set up for the sole purpose of distributing false drop ship supplier information, so it is important to do your research.
You need to verify their information, their services and their reputation. How they handle complaints, product damage and returns are extremely important customer service factors that are often overlooked. You also need to confirm whether the company truly is a dropship wholesaler, or a retailer pretending to be a wholesaler, as this will impact your profits greatly.
A simple way to find confirmed dropship wholesalers is to leverage the work of those who have already researched and vetted these companies. Usually referred to a wholesale or dropship directories, you can find a list of directories here.
Once you have found your dropship wholesaler (or wholesalers), the difficult part of your business is complete and the fun part can begin. Product selection!
If you haven’t established some sort of business plan to follow, now is the time to put pen to paper. Focussing on a product area that you are interested in will help keep you maintain momentum through the setup phase, marketing phases and the ongoing refinement process.
Consider what sort of imaging, product descriptions and other information you will need to utilise, and ensure that you have enough of this information available to create your product listings.
Sell then Buy
Unlike the traditional retail shop that buys and then sells, a drop ship business works in reverse, you sell and then buy.
Many newbies to drop shipping get excited with their first few orders, and, eager to please their new customers, purchase and send product before confirming cleared payment has been received. It is absolutely vital that you do NOT order or ship a product to your customer until you have received cleared payment for the product.
Whilst running a drop ship business removes the added stresses of storing and shipping inventory, that doesn’t mean your new business doesn’t require effort. You must be able to generate sales and market your products effectively to ensure that your business continues to grow and become lucrative.
The real drop ship success stories come from those who provide excellent customer service, build strong wholesale and partner relationships, develop a marketing plan (both offline and online) and constantly tweak and refine their approach.
Good luck in your drop ship business!