What are your responsibilities regarding shipping and delivery when you drop ship?

The clock will start ticking for the carrier calculated shipping when the tracking number is entered in the system. It is all up to you, the seller, to have a negotiated agreement with your supplier about how long they will take to process your order and ship product. You then inform your customers with a statement in your ad copy like, “Usually ships next business day” , or “Usually ships in three business days”. You then also let the customer know how long the average transit time is based on the shipping carrier you use. Of course, this all goes out the window if you use an international drop shipper, but you are still ultimately responsible for everything you say in your ad or sell on your website.

You are the seller of the products you advertise. There is never a situation where you don’t have control of your shipping if you have done your job of picking your suppliers wisely. That is your responsibility and your job. It is a simple matter to understand. If you don’t have control of your shipping, you have not done your job right. You communicate with your supplier, you should have a reasonable expectation that your supplier will keep you informed about inventory levels and pricing.

You, as the seller, are responsible for shipping delays if your supplier runs out of inventory. You must tell the customer the expected backorder shipping date, and if that date changes, update the customer ASAP.

Here is a paragraph from the FTC Federal Trade Commission website, called the 30-day rule.

“The Rule requires that when you advertise merchandise, you must have a reasonable basis for stating or implying that you can ship within a certain time. If you make no shipment statement, you must have a reasonable basis for believing that you can ship within 30 days. That is why direct marketers sometimes call this the “30-day Rule.”

If, after taking the customer’s order, you learn that you cannot ship within the time you stated or within 30 days, you must seek the customer’s consent to the delayed shipment. If you cannot obtain the customer’s consent to the delay — either because it is not a situation in which you are permitted to treat the customer’s silence as consent and the customer has not expressly consented to the delay, or because the customer has expressly refused to consent — you must, without being asked, promptly refund all the money the customer paid you for the unshipped merchandise.”

Full address to the FTC website is

Business Guide to the FTC’s Mail, Internet, or Telephone Order Merchandise Rule

If you are selling on Amazon or eBay or similar platforms, shipping delays and backorders translate to customer dissatisfaction and complaints. These translate to poor reviews and complaints which could get you banned as a seller. Once you get banned, it is really difficult to get reinstated.

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How long should your ad copy be?

Your eCommerce site is probably your one and only chance to be a superstar. Writing good unique sales copy is an art form and is the best chance you will have to let your customers know exactly what you are selling, what it will do for or help them with, and why they should buy from you instead of all of the other suppliers selling similar products. There is no formula to determine correct length. If it takes a paragraph to correctly advertise your product good. If it takes an entire page of copy, that’s ok too. Just keep it nonrepetitive, include keywords and searchable terms, make it understandable in terms of language used, and build the best possible ads you can, based on the products you sell.

Your ads should be as long as it takes to correctly describe the products you sell and should include the following.

Features: Include a clear description of the product, what it includes, and what condition it is in.

Benefits: What problem will the product solve, what extra benefit will it bring to the customer. Many potential customers either know they have a problem and don’t know how to fix it, or they may not even realize they have a problem that needs to be solved. Don’t assume all of your customers are experts when it comes to your product. Examples may be things like new improved software to make it easier to program your phone, or special high-quality video cables to give you better picture quality and data transfer. It may be a special new product that stops that annoying squeak from your car’s suspension. Take a look at some advertising from the Sharper Image Catalog or some of the TV ads that Dyson products use. They find problems that many customers don’t even know exist and then find solutions to fix those problems. Then they write or develop creative ad copy to let customers know how they will benefit from using their products.

Follow the leaders in advertising like QVC, HSN, RONCO, any product that can be presented in 15 minute or 30-minute presentations. They take common products, explain them correctly, point out the unique benefits and make them seem exciting. They are not using 30 second or 60-second ads, they take a lot of time and build a product and a story. You can do the same.

Specifications and Tech data: Include sizes, colors, electrical requirements, weights, performance ranges, and anything else the customer may require. Keep building your database on tech specs every time a customer inquires about data or features you did not originally include. revise your ads to make them better and more descriptive.

One of the things you may notice when you go on a suppliers website is the type of copy used. It was probably initially written by an engineer, and then given to a technical copywriter to put it all into English. Factory ads and supplier ads are designed to sell product from one expert to another expert.

Consumers usually are not experts. They need to be told what, when, and why, they should be buying your product. So, write individual unique, creative copy to answer those questions from everyday people and you will stand a pretty good chance of success.

There, I’ve taken a big chunk of a page to answer a simple question. I hope it helps.

When Should You Automate your Drop Shipping Company?

Let me start by saying that drop shipping is not a passive business. You can’t just throw a few items on a website and never worry about or pay attention again. You must be involved if you want to succeed. Drop shipping requires less overhead and inventory expense since you won’t need a warehouse, but you pay for that lower upfront expense with higher long-term fees for services and higher merchandise charges.

A drop shipping business, and in fact, all other businesses should base their decisions about automation on financial reasons. When it becomes too expensive or time-consuming to continue to process orders by hand, you should explore the options available for automation.

Do a little test on your internal business expenses. Determine how long it actually takes to capture, process, and transmit a customer order to your supplier. Add how long it takes you to verify shipment has been made, tracking numbers received, and customer advised of details. How long does it take to handle all accounting functions for each order. Added all together, that will be your order processing time for each order you receive. Factor in other regularly repeating tasks you handle with every order. Multiply that time by the number of orders you handle each day times the hourly rate you pay your employees. That is what it costs you to handle each order. You probably will be surprised at how expensive it costs to handle orders. A lot of small businesses really underestimate how much it costs them to run a business.

Now, get the costs together on automation software and hardware necessary to process those same orders. Add your cost of human supervision of the operation. Add in your monthly service or maintenance fees to keep your system operational and you get the cost per order for automation.

These order costs don’t include your fixed expenses like rent, or equipment and utilities since they will be necessary whether you automate or not.

Always keep in mind that not all business process can be partially or fully automated. Some human intervention and oversight is always necessary.

You can automate the order processing system to send orders directly to your supplier after your system captures the customer data. Of course, you must make sure someone audits this process so correct data is captured and transmitted.

You can automate the process to send your customers tracking data and shipping advice. This could include your accounting entries so orders are properly processed, shipped, and marked when completed. You can’t just send your drop ship supplier 100 orders and rely on them shipping 100 orders on time, complete, and correctly. Your internal data needs to be matched and edited with the external data they send you.

You can automate customer contact to thank your customer for their order and give them options on how to contact you. You can automate future contact to advise about new items and promotions by utilizing an email auto responder for mailing lists.

You can automate some customer service tasks by offering a really great and comprehensive FAQ service but you still need human intervention. Some people are just funny that way! Imagine, wanting to actually speak with a live, real-time person that can actually answer questions and make decisions.

Of course, no matter how much automation you can apply and how easy you can capture and store customer data, it is still all worthless unless someone, generally a human, actually takes the time to analyze and use all that data.

Is it possible to earn a high 6 figure income drop shipping?

If you are trying to earn a high 6 figure income, I assume you mean maybe $500,000.00 to $900,000.00 per year, you would have to have an extremely unique, high dollar value product or group of products to sell and have virtually zero competition to cut your selling prices or divert sales.

Do the simple math. To earn $500,000.00 per year from a retail e-commerce operation you would have to sell 5 times that amount, or maybe even 6–8 times that amount to get a net income that high since many drop ship items have notoriously low-profit margins. Drop ship suppliers do actually charge you for the convenience of handling the inventory and shipping for you and most are not cheap. So figure you are running an extremely low overhead drop ship operation and you sell $2.5 Million each year. If your product is selling for $100.00 each that would be 25,000 pieces sold per year or a little over 2000 per month or about 70 each day. Even with extensive automation of order processing that is a lot of work or someone to handle.

Here are some of the daily things that must be done on a regular basis:

  • Process orders and send them to your drop ship supplier. Easy enough to automate but still requiring some human intervention at times.
  • Make sure tracking numbers are sent from your supplier on a timely basis and relayed to your customers. Again, can be automated but you must make sure your orders are being shipped on time.
  • Make sure you review the on-hand inventory position and monitor supplier for any selling price changes so you can react on your website or selling platform.
  • Handle any customer service related correspondence, questions, and request for returns.
  • Normal business routines like accounting, looking for new products, looking for new suppliers, marketing, and advertising.

Handling 70 orders a day does not sound like a lot of work, but it does add up when it comes to your time involved. All of these take time and hiring someone to handle these for you will cut into your potential net income. Some things can be automated but again, not everything can be done with an app. I will use Amazon as an example since it is easy to look up data on their seller’s performance. Only 13% of sellers on Amazon sell between 1 Million and 10 million dollars worth of merchandise per year. Only 2% sell more than 10 million. The average order value on Amazon is only $47.00. Not a lot of sellers in that high income bracket you are looking for out of the millions that sell on Amazon.

So yes it could be done but will probably require a whole lot of luck, an extremely unique product, and a good staff to handle the day to day operations. Another point to keep in mind. If you can find products where you can sell 25,000 pieces each year, you would be much better off buying in bulk and handling the shipping yourself.

Can You make 4-5 K each month Drop Shipping?

Yes, you can make 4–5 K per month with only 10 hours work per week but you probably won’t do it!

You would need an extremely unique, high demand item to sell and marketing and advertising programs in place to deliver your message cost effectively to your target audience.

If you don’t have a unique product your profit margins will be extremely small because of all of the competition you will face. Want to test that theory out? Find a drop ship supplier for just about any product you want. Get them to quote you a price including fees and handling charges. Now go to Amazon and search for that product.

How many sellers are offering exactly the same product?

How many sellers are using exactly the same art and sales copy supplied by the manufacturer or distributor?

How close are the selling prices? And how much is the profit margin?

After deducting Amazon selling fees, or your own marketing costs if you sell from your own website, how much (or little) net profit margin is left for you?

You see ads for drop shipping suppliers and dropshipping tutorials all telling you how easy it is to make money, and yes, the method is easy, but making a decent profit is very hard, again, unless you can find a unique, “Niche” product.

How do I get the artwork for my web site?

A customer has written me asking for an app to scrape photos and product content for his website.

Contrary to popular belief there is not always an APP for everything, nor should there be.

The purpose of an e-commerce website is to sell a product, and one of the toughest jobs of all is to convince customers to buy from you rather than the other 99,999,999 sellers using the exact same pictures and ad copy provided by the suppliers. Make your ad look unique and special. Take high-quality photos with proper backgrounds and good lighting. Show the product itself and show it in use by people your potential customers can relate to.

Product content works the same way. The factory or distributor wrote sales copy designed to sell the product from one professional (The factory)to another professional (The e-commerce seller). Their ad copy is usually not designed to attract or inform the consumer about the product. Write unique ad copy using product features, product benefits, tech or spec data, and then tell your shoppers why they should buy from you instead of anyone else. If you use the same sales copy as everyone else, why should anyone choose you?

I understand you may want to use an app because it is the easy way, but really, sometimes the easy way is not the best or most profitable way.

It takes hard work to be successful in whatever you are trying to do. Why not put in the necessary effort to be successful.

How do you start Drop Shipping?

You start drop shipping like any other retail business starts.

You decide which products you would like to offer.

You search for suppliers for your products of interest.

Do your research about competition. Will the cost the supplier quoted you allow you to price your items competitively and still make money? How much competition will you be facing? Is there a market for the products you want to sell?

You decide how you want to offer your products for sale. Amazon or eBay type selling platforms? Your own website?

You write unique, creative ad copy and take great photos so your ads look different than everyone else’s that are trying to sell the same product.

You give your potential customers some reason to buy from you instead of anyone else. Great sales copy, expert technical advice, faster service, great return policy, attractive and professionally done ads or website, anything to let the customer know you are the expert.

Sounds easy right? Drop shipping is the easy, passive way to generate a huge income, right? No, totally wrong. Any type of retail business is hard work. You must keep up with the competition regarding pricing and new market changing products. You must take care of customer service inquiries and complaints. You must process orders and send to your drop shipping supplier. You must monitor your supplier to make sure they are processing your orders properly and shipping quickly. You must keep track of your suppliers inventory to avoid back orders and make sure you keep your prices adjusted properly when your supplier changes prices.

Whew, you see so many tutorials and advertisements offering drop ship supplier lists and how to sell tips and tricks. They all will tell you it is so easy and profitable. Don’t believe them until you have thoroughly checked out the items they sell and what your competition is selling them for. Often the drop ship supplier wants to charge you almost the same price as people are selling the same item on Amazon for.

You can make money drop shipping but it is tough work. Drop ship suppliers charge you for the convenience of service and not having to carry inventory. Guess what, these fees are expensive and often add up to more than the profit you can make when you handle the actual selling.

Drop shipping works best to test an item to see if there is a market for it before you invest in inventory. Drop shipping works great for expensive or large and hard to handle items where inbound shipping charges will really hurt your profit.

Do your research.

How To Create Your Own, Unique Products.

An excellent way to get started in business is to buy in bulk and repackage into salable sets for consumer use. There are many products that are available in bulk at very low prices. A perfect example is mailing and packing supplies. A specific example is padded shipping bags. I can buy 1000 bags in bulk at a very low price. Individual customers don’t need 1000 bags, but often they will need 5 or 6 for a specific shipment. If you go to the office supply store you can buy 3 bags for $10.00. By buying in bulk, you can offer your customer 5 or 6 bags for $10.00 and make a 50% profit. Packing tape, cartons in common sizes, and many, many, more products can be purchased in bulk and sold in small consumer user-friendly quantities.

The choices available for bulk purchasing are endless. Electronic accessories like cables and connectors. Hardware products even as simple as nuts and bolts. LED Light bulbs. Tools sold in sets. Buy in bulk and repack your own assortments. Let your imagination run wild. All it takes is a few good ideas and a little hard work repackaging products. If you are selling online you don’t need fancy full-color retail packaging. Poly bags or plain cartons will do the trick. If you want to brand your products, have a simple self-stick label produced with your brand name, website address, and email address.

Top 10 Drop Shipping Mistakes.

Drop shipping is a convenient way to test products in the e-commerce marketplace without having to invest a lot of money on inventory, warehouse space, and staff to handle customers orders. It is also a great way to sell large, expensive, or hard to handle merchandise.

However, drop shipping is not an easy, no-effort way to make a lot of money selling on the internet. It takes a lot of hard work to do your market research to select potentially profitable products, hard work to check out your competition so you can price your items properly, hard work to develop unique and creative advertising and marketing methods to convince potential customers to buy from you, rather than from your competition.

  1. The #1 problem is when potential new sellers believe the advertising claims that drop shipping as an easy, no effort, way to make a lot of money by selling online.
  2. The # 2 problem is when potential sellers believe drop shipping is a passive business, easy to do with no effort at all.
  3. Failure to market your website to drive traffic to your items.
  4. Expecting potential customers to buy from you, even though your price, advertising, and pictures are exactly the same as everyone else’s. Selecting your products based on popularity without paying attention to the fact that your competition is already selling the same items is a fatal flaw. Amazon does not care if it has ten thousand sellers offering the same item. They only care that at least one seller makes the sale so they collect the Amazon selling fee.
  5. Not knowing or using research and data about your competition. Not doing necessary research about your customers and your market.
  6. Putting too many unrelated items on your website and expecting your customers to trust you.
  7. Expecting to make a lot of money drop shipping, even though you know that your suppliers add high fees for servicing your account.
  8. Failure to monitor your drop shipper’s shipping performance.
  9. Failure to monitor your drop shipper’s inventory level and price changes.
  10. Not providing rapid customer service responses to your customers.