What is Drop shipping? How does Drop shipping work?
So you’ve always wanted to establish a business of your own.
You have a dream to be independent and to see your business selling a myriad of goods every day, adding great value to your customers.
But you don’t have the capital to invest in it, or perhaps you’re reluctant to leave your day job and invest in your own eCommerce company.
If you’re that kind of person, then drop shipping is the thing for you.
What is Drop Shipping?
Drop shipping is a business method where the retailer ships a product directly from a third-party to the customer.
This third party could be a manufacturer, a wholesaler or another retailer.
What this means is that unlike a traditional retailer, you never stock the products you’re selling.
You only buy products when they are needed, which are then sent directly to the customer.
How does Drop Shipping work?
Drop shipping follows a simple supply chain. The buyer orders a product from your store.
You could have a brick-and-mortar store where you have sample items for display or product catalogs for customers to choose from.
Or, you could reach more people by having an eCommerce website where your customers can order products. The customer pays for the order he places with you.
You then forward the order details, manually or automatically, to the supplier.
Ideally, this supplier must be a manufacturer or a wholesaler so that you can earn a good profit on the difference between the retail price and the price you buy it from the supplier.
The wholesaler charges you for the product and ships the product directly to the customer. However, the shipment would bear your logo and not supplier’s. Thus, the drop shipper is not even known to the customer.
How is Drop Shipping Advantageous?
Now that you know what drop shipping is, it is understandable how a drop shipping business is advantageous.
No Investments Needed
One, you don’t have to maintain an inventory, at all. This makes drop shipping a very easy, cost-effective process.
You could establish a bustling drop shipping business from your home, with only a laptop, a good internet connection and a few suppliers’ contacts.
A Greater Range of Products
Since you don’t have to store any of the products you’re selling, your product range can widen as much as you want to.
All you have to do is to contact sellers who can drop ship products for you, add the details of those products on your website, and you’re all set.
If you’re running a drop shipping based retail business, you don’t have to worry about demand fluctuations.
For example, a traditional business faces numerous problems when it comes to scalability.
If there is a surge in demand due to a festive season, you have to worry about your inventory size. You need more employees to work on stockpiling inventories and packing shipments etc.
In a drop shipping based retail business, that’s not the case. You can scale up and down your business as you like since you’ll only have to procure it from a seller.
However, the huge competition due to low start-up costs, shipping complications (for example, you might have to contact 3 different sellers for an order that contains three different products) and having to take responsibility for errors made by the suppliers are some disadvantages that might make establishing a successful drop shipping based business complicated.