eCommerce Lifestyle
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Dropship From Overseas

Is It Ever OK To Dropship From Overseas Suppliers?

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In this episode of the eCommerce Lifestyle Podcast, Anton answers the question “Is it ever OK to dropship from overseas suppliers?”

The podcast is also available on all major podcast players including, Stitcher and Spotify.

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Transcript

Good morning everybody, Anton here and welcome back to the E-commerce lifestyle Podcast. This is our bi-weekly show designed to tell e-commerce store owners increase their revenue, automate their operations, and become the authority in their niche.

Now today I am driving into our studio real quick to pick up my laptop and a few other things before I rush home, finish up a few little last bits and pieces that we need to launch the all new, brand new, totally updated Dropship Blueprint. This has been absolutely a crazy process. I find myself in this situation more often than not where I am about to launch a new big project at the same time that I'm about to take a trip. So not so much this past year because we obviously haven't been able to travel that often, but in a few hours from now we are headed to the airport, meaning me and my wife and my son, and we're going to Cancun for a week just to hang out, get to a beach and finally travel a little bit. So spring break in Cancun, haven't been to Mexico since 2006, my senior year of college when we went to Acapulco. I think this trip will be a little bit different of an experience than I had there, but it should still be awesome.

But anyway, I just wanted to talk about craziness for a while because my brain is going a million miles a minute. And what I might do next week is do an episode on what my process is like for big projects like this, and how we're able to get really just an insane amount of work and output done within a relatively short amount of time. So yeah, I might do an episode on that next week, we'll see, maybe from the beaches.

But what I want to talk about today is a question that often comes up and that is obviously related to the Dropship lifestyle business model, which is what I teach in the Dropship Blueprint. And what I teach there is how to do business with domestic suppliers, meaning suppliers that are located in the country where you plan to do business. Now, the products don't have to be manufactured there, but you want the products to be in stock there so that they can be shipped it to your customers fast and so that you can just typically work with a higher tier of supplier when it comes to things like product quality, customer service, returns, and just in general have a better relationship with profit margins that are locked in.

But one question that comes up is is it ever okay to work with overseas suppliers? And usually I just want to say no to that because it's really the opposite of what you want to do, especially if you're thinking about doing something like drop shipping directly from China or anything like that because as you've probably heard me rant about in the past that is a terrible business model that will get you nowhere fast, and if anything might make you a little bit of money for a short amount of time before the store burns out and dies a fast and I would want to say painless death, but it'll be pretty painful for you and your customer service and your morale, and probably your ad accounts and merchant accounts too, so don't do that.

But I want to expand on it just for a couple of minutes here on this drive in and talk about when it could be okay to work with overseas suppliers. Now let's just say you are in a niche, let's just say leather sofas, right, you sell leather sofas, and when you're doing your supplier research like I teach you in module two of the Dropship Blueprint, and then in module four where I'm showing you how to source suppliers, you find that out of the brands you can locate there are some of them in this niche for example that are in Italy, okay, they make the best Italian leather sofas in the world and they make them in Italy in their shop that's been around for 500 years. Now, this supplier maybe has products that are on the upper end of the price range, but you could tell from Googling them that people do love their products and they make something that you think your customers would really enjoy.

Would it ever make sense to work with that company? And the short answer is if you are established and you upfront let your customers know what they're getting into if they purchase products from your store, from that brand, then the answer is yes, it could be. Now what do I mean by letting your customers know upfront what they're getting into? Well, one of the worst things you could do with e-commerce or really life in general is mislead people, even if it's just by omission. So for example, if this fine Italian leather sofa manufacturer takes three weeks to manufacture an item and then international shipping, you're going to do it via ocean freight because it's too expensive to throw it on a plane and ship it to the States or wherever you do business, then you shouldn't just say on that product page that let's just say product is custom ordered and leave it at that. And you definitely just shouldn't say in stock or anything like that.

Instead, what you should do is right by that add to cart button on product pages for this Italian leather sofa brand is have in a big font that... And turn it into a benefit, but that all of the sofas from brand XYZ, right, whatever the Italian brand is from Malano sofas are all custom made in Italy for you as the customer to your exact specifications, including your leather color, your dimensions, whatever else it is, and because they're custom made for you in Italy, the time to manufacture is typically between three and four weeks, right, and try to go towards the higher end of things there.

And then say because these products are shipping from Italy to the United States, wherever you are doing business, the shipping times via freight is typically whatever it is, right, two to three weeks, and be very clear. So total expected time from order to delivery is five to six weeks, whatever it works out to. And again, have that all on the product page, right by that add to cart button so that nobody is ordering the thing and then a week later calling you saying I placed my order, where's my product?

That's the main thing when it comes to drop shipping custom products, not just custom products, but products that come from overseas, and typically it is custom products, right, because I guess I should mention that too, that's where it makes more sense because any brand, even if they are located overseas, let's say it's that Italian leather sofa brand, then if they have the same skews, meaning the same products, that sell over and over and over again, then if they already do business in the States they're most likely either going to work with a fulfillment center there or have their own warehouse where they keep their best-sellers. Typically the times where they are going to ship directly from their factory, no matter where in the world it is, is when the product has to be custom made and it's not something that can be done locally.

So that is the longer answer to the question is it ever okay to drop ship from overseas suppliers? Yes, but make sure it's for the right reasons. Not because you see something on Ali Express that you decide you want to sell and see how it goes, but because you have a great brand that you think your customers will love that does have longer lead times. Typically those products are custom made and make sure on your product pages there is no room for interpretation of when the thing will be received because if it really is something great, if it really is something your customers will love, if it really takes in that example five to six weeks to get from them from anywhere in the world, then just let that be known on your product pages and you should do just fine.

So with that being said, I am sitting outside of our studio now. I'm going to go in there, pick up my few things, rush home get the brand new version of the Dropship Blueprint published so our members can get in there and see all of the new, amazing things we've been putting together. So if you are a member of the Dropship Blueprint, by the time you're listening to this you will have access, so just go to your login area and you will see everything updated for you. If you're not a member yet go to dropshiplifestyle.com, click on e-commerce courses, you can get enrolled and you will have access to all of the brand new information as well.

So thank you everybody, I appreciate you. Do me a favor, if you got value go to Apple podcasts, leave a review, and with that being said I will talk to you all on Monday from Mexico in the next episode of the E-Commerce Lifestyle podcast. See ya everybody, adios.

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