• Alessio Norrito

What's Dropshipping? Do we like it?

No we don't. But I guess I'll have to give you further explanation on why we don't like it, and why in certain particular occasions it can be a winning move. Dropshipping means selling on your website a product you don't have stock of, simply because the product will be shipped directly by your supplier to your final customer. This often happens when you concentrate all your efforts in marketing practices and, let's say, "outsource" the delivery of your goods. And what's more important, you only have to pay your supplier once you receive an order, meaning you don't incur in the risk of investing on products that would otherwise be unsold. Convenient right? Well, no. Don't even think about it. Let me put a list down to tell you why:

1) Does your supplier have the same interest of delivering a perfect customer experience as you have?

Nope, not even one bit. When you start, you will necessarely empty his warehouse at an extremely slow pace. You won't be his priority, they have much bigger business than you. Otherwise they won't be open at all. So if you choose dropshipping, be prepared to have complaints about late deliveries, damaged products and so on. Unless your supplier is very acquainted with dropshipping. Which leads us to the second point.

2) You are not the only one selling it, right?

I mean, there are two options here. You found the products you want to sell online, so you are reselling it from an other source. So if you found it online, you are not the only one selling it. And now you have to compete on the price with someone else. Good luck! Or maybe you found something that has never been put online? Here goes the third point! 3) What is your marketing budget?

It better be high my friend, or it won't lead you to any success. Dropshipping is seen as a way to save money and still sell, and many smokesellers (not sure this word exists in English, but I bet you know what I mean) promote this idea, promising you quick earnings and little effort. Such things don't exist in the real world, unless given by birth. To promote a product that has never been online is an hard and timely task. And requires a lot of investment, to build brand reputation mostly, before even selling it.

The idea that dropshipping is safe and easy is a big lie. Or if I want to put it in a more "politically correct way" is a oversimplified and misunderstood concept. Dropshipping is a mean, not a business. And as every mean, you need to find the correct business to apply it to.

Merchandising for instance. Let's say you have a very well populated Instagram or Facebook page. People love what you do and what you communicate. You are already a name on the net, but not a product yet. In this case, trying to sell a mug with your logo on, a t-shirt with an iconic image of your catchphrase and so on. That's a good strategy to monetize through dropshipping. You put them up there, if anyone wants them, ask your EXCLUSIVE supplier to do it for you and ship it. Low profit probably, but zero risks. And zero expenses. Oh, and just so you don't leave with a positive note, we are against dropshipping. But feel free to change our mind. We are here ;)

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