Running Your Business while Depending on Others
In my business I have to rely on many drop ship suppliers. Being a control freak this is very difficult for me to handle. I dream of the day I can warehouse my own items and ship direct, but until funds are available for that venture, drop shipping will have to work for now. I depend on my drop shippers to do a good job and take care of my customers the same way I would if I shipped direct. They represent my business with every order shipped. Of course there are always hiccups in the system as everyone makes mistakes but what happens when your drop shipper makes your business look bad?
This recently happened to us. I’ve had the privilege to work with some wonderful drop shippers. I’m proud to sell their items, and they honestly take very good care of our customers. I guess I was spoiled. This recent experience opened my eyes to what can happen if your drop shipper drops the ball.
What happened you ask? Well we had a $5000 order that we almost lost thanks to miscommunication by our drop shipper. Let’s just say it is a very long, very stressful story. Luckily we were able to save the sale by calling in a favor with a different (and much more reliable) drop shipper. In the end we probably looked a little disorganized to our customer, but we got the order done and delivered on time. If we didn’t have this back up plan we would have been left looking like idiots.
Sitting there stressed out and embarrassed at how this all was handled I realized something. Why in the world would I work with a supplier like this? Why would I allow them to represent my business to my customers? They obviously do not have the same values as we do. I spent the next hour removing their entire inventory from our website. Do they care? Probably not. But I feel better knowing that I no longer have to deal with that kind of a business, and that I am not paying them to make my business look foolish.
If you use drop shippers make sure they share the same values and ethics in business that you do. Is the customer their first priority? Are they easy to contact if there are problems such as damaged or missing items? How is their service, are they friendly, responsive and helpful? If not, you might want to look elsewhere.