Related discussions: Shipping & fulfillment, shopping carts, customer service issues, product sourcing, general discussions, etc., also Ebay, CafePress, etc.

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#1380687 by David from California
Wed Sep 06, 2017 6:14 pm
Has anyone had success with drop shipping? I know a couple of people who either buy goods from Alibaba for resale personally or dropshipping.

I would like to know the pitfalls of dropshipping or any good articles.

#1380723 by Cath, SiteSell Content Team
Thu Sep 07, 2017 8:28 am
Hi David,

I do buy stuff from AliBaba and sell it on my chickens site. The main pitfall in terms of buying is quality - it can vary wildly from one factory to another. I always buy an item myself before ordering in bulk, to see what the quality's like - and to be fair, a lot of it is very good. Some of it, however, is rubbish (think very smelly yellow plastic squeaky chickens...).

In terms of shipping, so far I have done it myself which I wouldn't necessarily recommend - you not only have all the hassle of packaging and posting, but you need to deal with all the (considerable) hassle of customers who don't like what they bought, didn't get it or didn't get it on time, or are just having a bad day and take it out on you.

I'm also reminded of an SBIer who had a very successful site about parrots and ended up with a garage full of parrot cages which she'd bought from a similar site and couldn't shift. :lol:

When I have some time I'm going to look at "Fulfilled by Amazon". You can drop ship direct from sites like Alibaba of course, just ordering as you get orders, but their delivery time is generally around 30 days, which certainly my customers don't want to wait for. Items also cost less if you order in bulk.

There are some good articles in the "Make It!" series in MHQ - here's a link to the first of a couple about Alibaba and there are a couple about shipping - here's a link to the first.

Hope that helps.

#1380729 by David from California
Thu Sep 07, 2017 11:47 am
Hi Cath,

Thanks so much for the info. I have a friend whose brother only sells garlic presses (dropshipping), you know those simple ones you squeeze. He makes $400 a month which, living in a 3rd-world country, covers a large part of living expenses :)

So I've been thinking about following up on this but don't want to waste a lot of time researching it so your recmmendations are very helpful.

#1380740 by David from California
Thu Sep 07, 2017 4:10 pm
Thanks Martin, I have just been reading this. Thanks!

Do you or anyone have good or bad experiences drop shipping? I would like to hear something recent and firsthand if possible.

Thanks again!
#1380820 by Debs from SiteSell
Fri Sep 08, 2017 8:38 pm
Breakable items are iffy so you need to get a great supplier who will pack them well.

Be prepared for returns. Meaning, refunding/replacing and getting things sent back to you. Even the greatest products will not satisfy all customers.

My first foray into the online business world was selling products via dropshipping. I learned a lot. Not recent, but some of it still holds true.

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