General questions and concerns

Full Member
Posts: 1
Joined: 04 Sep 14
5 Sep 14 11:31:44 pm
Hey, I am new to dropshipping and ecommerce, but have been doing a lot of research in the past week. I have already chosen my niche (fitness and gym equipment), I have created a website for my ecommerce, I have created the domain, set up email accounts for my online company, and I have a list of suppliers that I am ready to contact. These are my questions and concerns:

Firstly, will the suppliers take me (a "newbie") seriously? Although I do have a website, is it usual for a supplier (dropshipper) to trust a new business with a website the does not currently have any products for sale yet?

Secondly, I am concerned with the issues I may come accross with the fact that I am living in Brazil. Lets say that I found a US supplier to dropship the products. My next step is to add the product I want to my site, and start using marketing strategies to sell the products. Lets say that someone in the UK wants to buy my fitness equipment. So they place the order. I then use their information to buy that product from my dropshipper, and simply add their UK address? Will shipping be charged to the costumer in the UK, or is that up to the dropshipper? Also, who pays for tax/imports charges? Me, the dropshipper, or the customer? Does it vary with different dropshippers, or is there a common practice?

Ok, now lets say I have a variety of different supplier's (dropshipper's) products on my website. Lets say that each dropshipper has a different return policy, shipping rates, import/tax policies, etc. Is it the common practice to add that shipping and return policy to each product on my site, depending on the dropshipper's policies?

    For example:
    Dropshipper A: Shipping 2-5 business days, free shipping, international
    Dropshipper B: Shipping 8-10 business days, $10 shipping (customer pays), US Only

    Product 1: Dropshipper A information
    Product 2: Dropshipper B information
    Product 3: Dropshipper B Information
    Product ...

Another question I have is if I can sell the dropshipper's item for any price I chose, or is that controlled by the dropshipper to control it's pricing? I am asking this because I have heard about price-match gaurantees that some websites use, because the suppliers control the final price, so it is safe to use price-match gaurantee because the customer wont find that product for a lower price (due to the supplier's controlling of the final price)
^Sorry if that was confusing, I could try clearing it up if it was^

My other concern is about customer service. Is customer service usually provided by the dropshipper, or is that my job? If that is my job, will my customers have to pay a large phone bill to speak to me since I am living in Brazil? I could set up google call or skype service, but to my knowledge, that is only for my outgoing calls. Maybe there is some way to set up toll-free calling?

Another quick on, do all dropshippers provide blind shipping? I am worried about selling a product from my website, and then having the product arrive at the customer's door with someone elses logo on it! Is there an extra charge for blind dropshipping, usually?

Finally, if dropshippers charge you for blind dropshipping, they charge you(the seller) for shipping & handling + import/tax costs, is dropshipping really worth it?

Honestly, I have many other questions, but I think that is more than enough for one post. If I can help clear anything up about my questions, please let me know. Thanks for the help, looking forward to a response.

Site Admin
Posts: 5798
Joined: 27 Jul 07
6 Sep 14 01:15:13 am
Hi Nicolas and welcome to the forum

In relation to your questions and concerns

1. Will you be taken seriously by a dropship supplier?
Absolutely, the thing to remember about dropship suppliers is that their entire business model relies on having resellers marketing their products. The more resellers they have marketing their products through as many different avenues as possible is only a benefit to them. So it would be highly unusual to ever see a dropship supplier knock back any new account to be perfectly honest.

2. Who gets charged for what?
When you open a dropship account, you are the customer as far as they are concerned. They'll ship the product to where ever you ask them to ship to (providing they do ship there to start with of course), but any associated costs are charged to your account. So making sure you are on top of all the charges is seriously important.

3. Multiple suppliers?
This is a pretty common one as many do offer a wide variety of products and often need to source from multiple suppliers to build the stock profile.

As you have highlighted, many suppliers have a range of different policies that can conflict with others and end up causing total confusion for customers. For example, why does it take 5 days to get my dumb bell set, yet it take 14 days to get a skipping rope. My suggestion to get around this is to keep it open as possible. Under your shipping terms and conditions, highlight maximums as an example, but then highlight that times and so on maybe be quicker in some circumstances

You don't wan't to get bogged down in detail and make it even more confusing for customers, so just try to streamline it all.

4. Price Matching Guarantees
It's not really something you will find with dropship suppliers. Their interest is in getting you to market the product so they can get a sale. The don't so much get involved in setting up selling territories and pricing at all, in fact that's why sites like eBay are so competitive. A dropship supplier won't personally care how many agents they have selling the exact same products in a single avenue such as eBay, they just don't care so long as someone is making sales so they are making money.

5. Customer Service
That falls directly on you, it's your business. The dropship is in essence just your supplier and as such, will only deal with you. I wouldn't be too concerned about opening up toll-free lines for customers service, email is quite acceptable these days, as long as you treat those type of inquiries with the same priority as you would a phone call, customers will usually be more than happy with the speedy service you are providing.

Another thing to do is to put a help-desk application on your site, something like offers with their live chat. Check that out, it's free and I can tell you from personal experience having it on one of my sites, it's a very effective form of customer service and most customers love having that instant contact option available.

6. Is it all really worth it?
Well that's only a question you will be able to answer ultimately. It's up to you to put in the research to id if there is a market there for you, to find the right suppliers, find the right products, put the right marketing strategies in play and so on. It's a business and you have to remember that it can take quite some to really get on top of all the data and see if your business does have a life or if it is destined to fail on the current path.

Many think that you can be successful in this type of business within a few weeks. You seem to be pretty switched on with the research that you've already done, so I think you may well have a strong sense of just how long it can take to see real success in a business like that, and if you have a strong understanding of that side, then you're off to a great start as far as I'm concerned :)

Mark (fudjj)

Community Manager

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