Buy and Sell Online
If you have decided to buy and then sell a product online rather than a service, then one of the main aspects you will need to look at is the delivery of these products to your customers.
When it comes to taking care of this aspect of the business there are a couple of different approaches that you are able to take. Some of these are:
Handle the shipping yourself using USPS or other delivery services
Having a drop shipper provide the supply and shipment of products
Using a fulfillment house as a third party
If applicable, deliver products electronically.
When you are looking at these different options you need to think about your business models, the product as well as any possible shipping requirements.
If you are selling a large product, such as a piano, you will not be able to use the regular mail service as a method for delivery. In the same sense, if you are the one creating the product, a drop shipper won’t apply to your situation, just as home décor products can be delivered electronically.
We will describe the different elements of each shipping option as a way to help you choose which one will fit your shipping and business model.
Do it Yourself
There is nothing incorrect about taking the packing and shipping requirements into your own hands, however you do need to have a couple of requirements:
A item that ships easily
Enough time to package and ship the product
Inventory to have a quick enough turnaround time
Enough storage space to hold your inventory
If the case is that there is not a lot of product to be sold and bought, you will not need a warehouse filled with inventory, and being in charge of your own shipping may be a solution. You can utilize different types of shipping services such as USPS, UPS, or other parcel delivery businesses.
You should however be aware that if you are planning on building your business to a larger model there will be other options to consider. Filling the orders you receive can take up more time than you may have originally imagined when sales start to increase.
Drop shipping is an arrangement that you make with a manufacturer or a distributor of the product you are selling in which they are responsible for shipping the product to your customers. This helps you save time and effort of shipping the products by yourself.
Choosing the specific drop shipper.
So what do you have to do to find a dependable drop shipper the business you are running? Doing research will help you find a drop shipper to work with you. You will want to work out a drop shipping arrangement with the manufacturer who is making the products that you are selling. The less people you have to go through the easier it will be, and the larger your profit will be.
For example, if you want to sell children’s books through a website, looking at the number of manufacturers of children’s books will give you a list of potential drop shippers. When you have located a number of manufacturers you will want to ask if they provide drop shipping services of their products.
Some businesses will not provide drop shipping, while others will be able to start right away. Many small manufacturers often do not do drop shipping of their products.
If it turns out that the manufacturer will in fact drop ship for you, that is all you will need.
In the majority of cases you can feel confident that you are getting the best price. But if the company does not offer drop shipping you will need to start looking for a different alternative. This usually translates into having to find the distributor.
What a distributor does is maintains a larger inventory of the smaller company’s products and provides those companies with their products.
The most effective way to find a distributor is to inquire about them from the manufacturer of the product. Many manufacturers will maintain contact with a handful of distributors and will usually put you in contact with one.
Another approach to finding a distributor is by going through the trade magazines related to the product. There are often listings of manufacturers as well as distributors towards the back of these magazines.