Archive for the ‘Drop Shipping’ Category

How to Build a Drop Shipping Business

Monday, July 20th, 2015

How to Build a Drop Shipping Business

Starting a business can be expensive, confusing and time consuming, but what if there was a way you could start selling products all over the world without having inventory, a warehouse or a complicated supply chain? Here’s where drop shipping comes into play.

With drop shipping, you can setup a business without even seeing the products you are selling. But, before you quit your day job, it’s important to learn some vital steps on how to build a drop shipping business.

Like any other business, there are always pros and cons. To reduce your risk and ensure the greatest chance of success, follow these 4 important steps when building a drop shipping business:

Step 1: Find a Distributor 

Research. Research. Research. Since this distributor will be shipping all of your products for you, it is important to choose the right one for your business. It is often difficult to find the correct information about how to start a drop shipping business, as a number of terminologies are thrown around across various industries. Don’t let those confuse you; we’re here to help.

Terms like “supplier” or “vendor,” are often used, but what you want to hear is “distributor.” Becoming a dealer with a distributor is often the most efficient way to start a drop shipping business, as distributors carry thousands of products from hundreds of manufacturers.

You can contact manufacturers on Alibaba.com and Aliexpress.com, but to set yourself up for success, you want to choose an in-state and/or regional distributor. Most distributors have applications on their websites to make your search easier. If you do not see anything within the application or FAQ’s or guidelines that talk about drop shipping, you should always contact the distributor to find out if they offer drop shipping fulfilment.

There are always bad apples, so you should also be aware of how to spot fake drop shippers. Look out for ongoing fees and if they sell to the publicas most suppliers will not require this.

Once you have established a relationship with a reputable distributor, they should be able to drop ship using “private labels,” ensuring your customers have no idea the product isn’t actually coming from you.

Step 2: File Your Business

In order to work with most wholesale suppliers, you will need an Employer Identification Nuhow to build a drop shipping businessmber or EIN. At this point, it is a good idea to hire a business attorney to determine what type of business you should file. Though this step is often overlooked, it is worth the small investment to ensure everything is done correctly and you are adequately protected.

 

Step 3: Separate Business from Personal

Always be sure your business revenue is separate from your personal accounts, including PayPal, any checking accounts and/or credit cards. While you may want to consider hiring an accountant, it may not be necessary at first. There are new services, such as QuickBooks Self-Employed, which make it simple to separate your business and personal expenses.

Step 4: Know Your Sales Channels

Selling on on multiple sales channels like your Bigcommerce store, Amazon and eBay will definitely increase your sales. However, this added layer of complexity creates the potential for errors, which could result in losing a sale or worse a customer. A small investment in a multichannel inventory management system will help alleviate some confusions when managing multiple sales channels.

Final Thoughts

Fast and easy shipping is just as important as the product you’re selling. By using a drop shipping strategy, you not only free up your time, but also ensure your customer’s experience is on par with what they would expect from the ‘big guys’ without the ‘big’ investment.

To get some tips on how to process drop ship orders for your business, check out the short video here.

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The Pros & Cons of Drop Shipping for eCommerce

Monday, February 23rd, 2015

Wouldn’t it be great to start an online store with very little investment upfront and manage it from anywhere in the world? Are you ready to free up your precious time, and let a supplier pay your upfront inventory costs and manage the processing and shipment of orders. This all might sound too good to be true, but with drop shipping for eCommerce, it’s all possible.

If you take the steps to learn how to build a drop shipping business, it’s important to understand the pros and cons the fulfillment method can have.

With this method, you don’t need to keep the products you sell in your stock. Instead, you partner with a wholesale supplier that not only stocks the inventory for you, but the supplier then processes and sends orders directly to your customers – you never see or touch the product! Processing drop ship orders is a breeze, and you can spend all the free time you save on boosting your brand.

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A Complete Guide to Managing Product Returns

Monday, January 12th, 2015

complete guide to managing product returns

“National Returns Day” is expected to bring in 500,000 more packages this year, reaching 5 million total returns, according to UPS.

Not only are return rates increasing, but UPS also found consumers are returning items earlier, and making room for two peaks. The first started in mid December and the second goes throughout early January.

ups return volume

Since returns are at an all time high, how can you make sure to maximize your profits, while getting your return items back as quickly as possible?

Managing Returns With Ease

McKinsey & Company feels the future of online retail  “is essential for stores to digitize in order to meet the increased customer expectations now a reality in an always-on, whatever-you-want world. More than 60 percent of Americans have a smartphone and 80 percent of these consumers are “smartphone shoppers” – they use their phones to help them shop while in a store, most often to research product reviews, specifications and compare prices.”

If you’re in the business of taking orders online, or managing multichannel sales, at some point, a customer is going to want or need to return a product or cancel an order they’ve placed altogether. Even if you described and listed the item accurately on your website, or another sales channel such as Amazon, the buyer may simply no longer want it. Maybe it arrived broken, didn’t fit, didn’t work as expected or simply wasn’t what they had in mind.

A positive and efficient return experience will increase customer satisfaction, contribute to positive eCommerce product reviews and generate repeat sales, whereas a negative, cumbersome experience can drive a customer elsewhere. With an efficient return process, you can minimize the inevitable cost of accepting merchandise returns and make room to offer free product returns as well.

Breaking Down Return Rates 

managing product returns

Return rates are often higher for online retailers than brick-and-mortar stores, due in part to a customer’s inability to physically examine or try on a product. They often buy a product, try it on or examine it at home, and then rely on the merchant’s return policy to return it or exchange it for a product that is better suited to their needs.

If you’re an eCommerce merchant who is looking to generate repeat customers, you need to have a friendly return policy supported by a streamlined back office operation. Consider looking into a free product returns offer to drive in sales.

When products are returned or exchanged, there is critical information you need to know. What are the reasons for a return, whether a refund is involved, the condition of the item when returned, and the amount of inventory of returned items are all very important to keep track of.

Online order management system benefits include giving you the option to customize the return process to your business. Depending upon your return policy, you should have the option to refund the item price but not refund the shipping costs.

Product returns for your eCommerce business work through an automated system that is fairly straight forward. You would be able to create a return at any time after the order has at least one shipment with a status of ‘Completed’. The system would ‘know’ which items are included on the order, the price your customer paid and the original tax and shipping amounts.

As you list the items your customer is returning, the system would track the quantity and cost of the goods returned for you. Depending upon your return policy, whether you are offering free product returns, you may or may not include refunding tax and shipping amounts. The choice should be yours.

How to Get the Maximum Benefit from Your Return Policy

A return merchandise authorization (RMA) is a part of the process of returning a product in order for the customer to receive a refund, or repair according to the merchant’s return policy or within a product’s warranty period.

The issuance of an RMA is a key step in the reverse logistics process, providing you with a final opportunity to address the customer’s issue with the product before it is returned. As returns are costly for you and inconvenient for the customer, any return that can be prevented benefits both parties.

increase sales

Using the return functionality in an order management system allows you to easily and accurately track the returns and exchanges of merchandise. The buyer of the product (the customer) must contact the retailer to obtain authorization to return the product. The resulting RMA number must be displayed on or included in the returned product’s packaging. No returns are accepted with this RMA number.

The solution should allow you to select the receiving warehouse, if applicable, and process the returned items. You would be able to issue your own manually issued RMA#, refund amount, shipping cost and tax.

If you choose drop shipping as a method of fulfilling orders, it’s easy to get your eCommerce store up and running fairly inexpensively. You also eliminate the other hassles associated with stocking inventory – managing or paying for a warehouse, tracking inventory for accounting purposes, handling returns and inbound shipments, continually ordering product and managing stock levels and more.

If you choose to use Amazon’s fulfillment service, find out how using manage inventory with Amazon works and the pros of using Amazon to manage inventory. Be sure to learn more about drop shipping for eCommerce by checking off the pros and cons before delving in head first.

A Foolproof Way to Maintain Inventory Control with Returns

Managing product returns for your eCommerce business helps you maintain inventory counts and ensure that product locations are kept up to date. Items must be returned to stock as soon as they are received so that they can be re-stocked and re-sold as quickly as possible.

When crediting money back to the customer, the transfer must be quick and accurate. Tracking which products may be subject to a high rate of returns is also important, so that you can quickly identify any problems that may exist with the lot or the supplier.

Online inventory management helps you more quickly adapt to inventory fluctuations, keeping each channel running smoothly. Excessive inventory ties up cash that you could re-invest into the business to help you drive additional revenue.

At the same time, not having enough inventory on hand results in backorders, cancellations, negative social buzz and, potentially, lost customers. It’s a balancing act and an issue every company faces.

Find out if you are missing out on the essential functionality when managing your orders for product returns and much more.

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