Advice please on customers not receiving items

Full Member
  • Posts: 28
  • Joined: 15 Oct 09
  • Karma:
30 Dec 09 12:52:21 pm

I have a dilemma!

I just recently commenced dropshipping (normally i stock my items) and i have had a few people in the last couple of weeks over XMAS saying they have not received their items and it has gone well over the time frame i have specified.

One lady advised of this 2 days before Xmas and i flew into a panic and organized to have one purchased & delivered in the state she was living so she would receive it by Xmas so as not to disappoint. However, this meant i wasn't able to use my wholesaler and i didn't make any money at all on that sale, in fact i lost $20 and she will probably most likely still receive the original item. The item is perfume too, so i cant get her to send the other one back to me when it comes in either because in Australia you need a dangerous goods contract to send perfume via the mail.

I cant be resending things like that every time otherwise i will be running at a loss. Most people seem to write on their sites, particularly on EBAY that they are not liable for items once they are posted. BUT....the dilemma is that with dropshipping, i have not actually posted the item myself and received a receipt from the post office which is where it gets tricky. If i tell the customer that i sent it and am not liable for what has happened to it in transit over the holidays, they may ask me for proof of postage & i cant give them anything! I rang my supplier and they said unless i purchased premium shipping with tracking then there is no kind of receipt they can give me to prove to the customer it was actually sent. There is no way i can purchase premium shipping otherwise it will cost me over $30 per item to dropship and i wont make any profit at all!!

Can someone experienced with dropshipping please tell me what you do in this situation? do you just keep sending out replacements out of good will? or tell them it was posted and that's that? on EBAY it wouldn't take long to get a negative out of it.


Full Member
  • Posts: 500
  • Joined: 19 Apr 06
  • Karma:
30 Dec 09 08:07:09 pm
Grace if you are going to use a dropshipper you need to use one that can provide you with a tracking number for every single item that is shipped. This is true even if you ship your own items. If a customer files a dispute with PayPal or a credit card company claiming they didn't receive a item they will more than likely win because you have no proof that you actually shipped it.

Site Admin
  • Posts: 6496
  • Joined: 27 Jul 07
  • Karma:
30 Dec 09 08:46:53 pm
Welcome to drop shipping!

Where there are some big and enticing advantages to using drop shipping as a selling platform, there are some seriously big draw backs, and you've just found one.

101 is spot on, unless you are using a drop shipper that is providing tracking for you then you are always going to find yourself sitting out on the branch alone.

If it's not feasible to use their tracking option for cost, then it's pretty much a numbers game. How many sales are getting through to how many you are having problems with, and then having to cover yourself.

Not the best way in the world to run a business, but if you still have your head a long way in front, then you just have to make sure you manage the times the delivery does go south well, or they will hurt you on the feedback.

Truth is if most customers knew that they were buying of people who were buying from a second party to supply them, they would not do business in the first place.

It's one of the reasons that sellers who use those generic product images for their marketing tend to struggle. Over the years most buyers have gotten a little smart, and have learnt that these types of listings are drop shipping listings, and they will give them a wide birth.

Of course most will still end up buying from a drop shipper, they will just be a smarter one who has hidden their true identity well, but that's another topic lol

Since you do carry some stock on some products, have you considered bring in some stock of the drop shippers products so you are in control of despatch yourself.

You should always at least offer the customer a tracking option for their delivery. It doesn't have to be set as your standard option, but give them the ability to take out priority shipping and you may find some taking the option and then taking the pressure of you.

Mark (fudjj)

Community Manager

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Full Member
  • Posts: 28
  • Joined: 15 Oct 09
  • Karma:
30 Dec 09 10:41:20 pm
Hi fudjj,

Thanks for the help. As i mentioned, i started off stocking items and i still do but we started doing a little bit of dropshipping as well as a means of doing more volume & increasing $$ because we had limitedl capital to start with. We were finding that our income was really limited from stocking the items unless we had more $$ to start with.

The 2 suppliers we use, we got from salehoo and they are the only ones we have been able to find that dont have a minimum order quantity, offer drop shipping and have reasonable shipping prices. However as i mentioned, the drawback is that they only offer standard shipping as their method and if you want premium with tracking you have to pay an extra $15 per item making it around $34 per item to dropship which is insane and you couldnt make much (or any) money on that!!

So far we have only been on EBAY and yes, i am expecting a negative anytime soon because of this problem. If i could find a supplier in AUS that offered prices as low as the ones i use in the US then i would go locally. Sending the products from the US to me and then out to my customer is also not an option because it would take far too long. We do have some suppliers in AUS which we use as a back up but the prices are not as good.

We have a website under construction at the moment to be finished by mid Jan so i am hoping that will take a bit of the pressure off as we wont need to deal with the whole feedback thing on EBAY. I am definately going to offer some type of premium shipping on the site that customers pay a bit extra for as you suggested as my prices will probably be slightly higher than EBAY anyway so i will be able to allow for it!

And EBAY fees and charges!!! My god, dont even get me started on that. I dont even know how anyone makes a living out of selling on there alone. They are robbers!

What a nightmare!



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