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In these cases, the supplier or manufacturer might be better equipped to meet these requirements than you. Valuables — High-value items like fine jewelry, antiques, etc., require additional security that not all warehouses can offer. Rather than risking theft, you could leave the storage to someone who can adequately protect them. Special conditions — Maybe you want to sell items that need to be kept frozen, or materials sensitive to light.

If your inventory needs special conditions, you may be better off dropshipping than storing it yourself. Unless your entire company specializes in these types of products, it doesn’t make sense to pay additional storage and shipping fees for a small subsection of your business. But you can still keep your customers happy by offering these products through dropshipping. This full guide (all +17 chapters and +50 experts and their insights) is more than 35,000 words. Download the guide below to print it out, take it with you, and start selling more on Amazon. Dropshipping Done Right: A Case Study from Dark Horse Marine. Dark Horse Marine is a niche vendor — most people will never need to buy a stainless steel fortress anchor in their lifetime. But Dark Horse uses that to its advantage rather than limiting themselves; they offer all sorts of rare products that only the kind of people who need anchors would be interested in.

They offer the “total boating solution,” everything from watersport equipment to boat-based entertainment systems to cartography tools. And their customers are thankful they can satisfy all their niche needs on one site. Although Dark Horse sells on Amazon, eBay, Walmart, and Jet, they’re most proud of their personal BigCommerce site. They’ve recently updated the site to be faster and more Google-friendly, and are already enjoying a bump in traffic and conversions. According to company president Robert Matos, about 10% of their business is dropshipping. When asked why he uses dropshipping, he cited a couple of the same reasons we listed above: Test out new products. Dark Horse tries to find the right balance between marine electronics and equipment. Because there’s no clearly defined border on what types of “marine products” his customers want, experimentation is a key part of his sales strategy. Large and heavy items cost too much to store and ship. Just because it’s fit for the ocean doesn’t mean it’s fit for the warehouse. Anchors are the very definition of “heavy,” and a lot of their boat outfitting equipment is large or otherwise cumbersome. Dark Horse dropships the high-maintenance items to cut storage and shipping costs — and reinvests that money into marketing campaigns. One of the early difficulties Dark Horse found with dropshipping was organizing the shipping logistics, but they’ve recently solved this problem by adopting Ecomdash order management software. The automation has freed up more time, which they’re putting to good use in other fields. Matos further explained how one of the reasons dropshipping worked for his company is because he found excellent suppliers. He’s using two suppliers at the moment, but is looking into additional ones. The top priority for Dark Horse in choosing suppliers are keeping the products well-protected — vital for electronics — as well as their professionalism in upholding their business promises. That’s a good point any ecommerce brand can learn from: your dropshipping endeavor is only as successful as the suppliers you choose to work with. Whenever you include dropshipping into your sales strategy — in any capacity — you are entering a business partnership with the supplier. Like we said above, as the vendor you are often at the mercy of your dropshipper for product quality, timely shipping, and even legal compliance. That means you must choose them with the utmost care. Above all, you should always test samples of what your dropshipper provides. For one thing, you want to make sure that the products are as advertised, but you should also see if their shipping meets your criteria. Outside of the condition of the products, there’s still plenty of concerns about how your supplier conducts business. Here’s a quick-reference checklist of questions to ask yourself before signing on to do business with someone: How do they handle returns or damaged products? How long does it take them to fulfill an order, from sale to delivery?

(Feel free to test this yourself.) Do they insure orders? Also don’t forget the Dropshipping Agreement Contract, explained above. The article reviews the pros and cons of each, so you can compare them and find the ones best for your needs.

We mentioned this earlier but will go into a bit more detail . Dropshipping is when a vendor fulfills orders from a third party and has them ship directly to the customer. In other words, the vendors passes on the sales order to the supplier, who then fulfills the order. The vendor usually pays for the item at a discount by working directly with a manufacturer or wholesaler; their profit comes from the difference in the initial item cost and whatever price they sell it at. The vendor does not store their own inventory or ship items directly.

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