These days, thanks to technology, the world of eCommerce is a huge and profitable one to invest in as a business owner, and it only continues to grow.
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Plus, we no longer need to put a lot of cashflow into holding stock ourselves; instead, we can find dropshipping suppliers worldwide and have them send parcels off for us.
However, as you’d imagine, not all dropshippers are proven equal, so the success of your business long-term depends on finding the best possible options and negotiating the best possible terms, too. Before you sign on the dotted line with any dropshipping suppliers, here are some key things you need to know.
If There are Minimum Order Requirements
Start by determining if different dropshippers have minimum order requirements you need to meet to have items sent out each time. You may need to spend a certain dollar amount with them per order, month, or year to qualify as a customer, or you may be required to order a minimum number of products. While these minimums aren’t always a factor, if they are, it’s worth seeing if you can negotiate better terms for yourself.
Where They Ship To
It’s also crucial to find out if dropshipping companies and individuals send items all around the country or the world or only to certain parts of the globe. While you may plan to concentrate on customers in a particular area, one of the factors that makes eCommerce so great is that it can open you up to trade with many more shoppers worldwide. You may not want to limit your scope by dealing with dropshippers who only send to a few zones.
How Long It Takes Them to Process and Ship Orders
Another piece of information you need to find out ASAP is how long it takes for dropshippers to process and ship orders once your customers have placed them. You want to know how soon after an order goes through, they will start picking and packing the purchased items and when they’ll ship goods off. You also need to get an idea of roughly how long most orders take to arrive at key destinations. These days, consumers expect to receive items very quickly, so if you want to keep them happy, it’s best to find dropshipping suppliers with a fast turnaround time.
If There are Various Shipping Options Available
A related element is what type of shipping options are available. Again, since your clients will want to receive their orders as quickly as possible, and many are used to dealing with Amazon and other companies that get deliveries to doors in a day or two, it’s vital to have express shipping as an option for people to choose.
Pick dropshippers who offer standard shipping plus expedited options like courier or fast postal service deliveries. If overnight or even same-day service is available, that can be helpful, too, in satisfying shoppers.
How Goods Get Packed and Tracked
Don’t forget to ask the dropshippers on your shortlist about how they pack and track items, too. You need to know that goods will arrive safely to your customers and that, if anything happens along the way, items can be tracked, and both you and your clients can get a good idea of delivery timeframes and delays. Tracking is also essential in case items go missing in transit. For instance, dropshippers might use RFID tags on parcels to monitor goods.
It’s worth finding out, too, if there’s packaging available for goods that need to be kept cold or hot or away from humidity and moisture, etc. Some suppliers might utilize cold chain technologies or temperature indicators on packages to help ease concerns about this side of things. Furthermore, when it comes to packaging, see if you can get dropshippers to package goods in your firm’s own branded boxes or bags, and if gift wrapping is an option.
Processes for Lost or Damaged Parcels
If ordered items get lost or damaged, you need to know the dropshippers’ processes for replacing or refunding the goods. Issues arise on occasion, so you don’t want your customers disappointed or complaining because they didn’t get their items and found it took forever to resolve the problem. Some dropshippers will track all items and insure them while in transit, so there isn’t too much to worry about if items go astray, while others may expect you, as their direct client, to pay extra for these services or to cover replacement costs if needed.
You should also learn a few other things from dropshippers before choosing them, such as how their refunds or exchanges work, the payment terms, and how reliable their stock levels and quality control procedures are to ensure products remain high quality.
Also, see if you can get some samples from the dropshipping providers on your shortlist to check the quality before signing up with them.
Follow all these tips and learn as much detail as possible about different suppliers, and you’ll find that things go much more smoothly over the months and years ahead.