March 23, 2007, Newsletter Issue #56: Should You Use a Drop Shipper?

Tip of the Week

For those who enjoy selling products online, drop shippers sound like an ideal solution. They stock and ship your products, and you do the selling and order-taking.

Unfortunately, fake drop-shipping companies are an all-too-common scam. They take would-be retailers' money (in "membership" or "setup" fees) and then place orders with real drop shippers or distributors. Because these middlemen take a cut of the revenue without performing any actual service, their clients find they have to charge higher-than-market prices.

Beware of companies that offer to set up your Web site with products chosen by them (YOU should be in charge of choosing products that will sell), and of any drop shipper that wants you to pay a fee up front.

When checking out a potential drop shipper for your business, make some inquiries. Will you have a tracking number for every shipment? Are there any complaints against the shipper on file with the local Better Business Bureau? How long will it take them to ship your items to your customers?

To protect yourself, you may wish to use more than one dropshipper and compare prices and delivery times. Order a couple of products from each shipper yourself to test their promises.

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