So how do you go about finding a reputable drop shipper for your business? Well, here’s where doing your homework pays off. Whenever possible, you’ll want to set up drop shipping arrangements directly with the manufacturers of the products you want to sell. The fewer middlemen you have to go through, the bigger your profits will be.
If, after contacting the manufacturer, they agree to drop ship to you, great! You can be fairly confident they’ll offer you a competitive price. If they don’t agree to drop ship for you, you’ll have to look for snother alternative.
This ussualy means tracking down a distributor. A distributor is simply a company that maintains a large inventory of another company’s products and distributes those products to smaller companies. The best way to locate a distributor is to simply ask the manufacturer of the product to recommend one.
Another great way to find a distributor for the type of product you wish to sell is by looking through related trade magazines. You’ll frequently find manufacturers advertised in the backs of these publications. To find appropriate trade magazines, check out Yahoo’s listing of trade magazines. You may also be able to find distributors and manufacturers using Thomas Register. They provide listings for thousands of companies broken down byproduct, brand name and company name.
Most companies you contact will be more than happy tospeak with you-after all, you’re going to be selling their products for them. When you call, simply ask to speak with someone about becoming a vendor for their products. Once the switchboard puts you through to the right person, they’ll ba able to answer any questions you have, including:
- What is the wholesale price they can offer you on their products? You’ll need to make sure the wholesale price they offer is low enough that you’ll be able to generate a good profit based on what you will be able to sell their products for.
- Do they charge a handling fee for drop shipping? If so, how much? Most companies that drop ship will simply add the cost of UPS or FedEx shipping onto your wholesale price, but some will also charge you s handling fee (generally between $1 and $5). This is to offset their cost of picking,packing, and processing the order for you.
- How do they ship their products? Almost every company that drop ships products will use a major nationwide delivery service like UPS or FedEx. As them to include tracking numbers with the order confirmations they send. This will save you many potential problems when customers ask, “Where is my order?”
- How do they bill you? Most drop shippers will bill your credit card the wholesale price of the product plus shipping and handling as soon as they receive an order from you. With others, you may be able to set up a monthly billing cycle where you submit payment for all orders at the end of each month.
- How do they deal with product returns? Be sure to find out what their policy is regarding returns. Most reputable companies will offer some kind of guarantee or warranty on their products and will deal returns for you. This way, if a customer contacts you with a return, you cqn simply tell them the manufacturer will be happy to speak with them directly. If your manufacturer doesn’t accept returns, look out! You’ll be the one stuck replacing defective merchandise for your customers