eCommerce Lifestyle
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How To Handle Dropshipping From Multiple Sellers

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So you're just getting started with dropshipping and not only do you have a supplier, you have multiple suppliers.

Great!

But how do you handle shipping from both of them? And how do you explain it to your customers? 

I'll cover all of these questions in today’s episode of the eCommerce Lifestyle Podcast, so let's get right into it!

As always, if you have any questions and suggestions, please feel free to leave a comment below. Don’t forget to share this with someone who needs to hear it.

What's Covered in This Episode:


Tips to handling shipping:

  • Have estimated arrival dates on all of your product pages

  • Marking orders as partially fulfilled if they're not shipped together

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

Links From This Episode:

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Transcript

What's up everybody? Anton Kraly here from ecommercelifestyle.com, and welcome back to the podcast. If you're new here, just know this show comes out every single Monday and Thursday, two new episodes a week that are all designed to help eCommerce store owners to increase their revenue, automate their operations and become the authority in their niche.

Now, recently, if you've been following along probably for the past, I would say month or so, most of the episodes that I've been doing have been related to email marketing. And that's because as I've mentioned in those episodes, I'm redoing, or I redid, I should say one of our programs called Inbox Funnels for eCommerce which is heavy around email marketing, so that's where my brain has been. That's what I've been dialed into. That's what I've been focused on. Especially now that we are in Q4 going into the busiest time of the year, that's where my energy has been.

Because if you have a store... I mean, back in the day, what was it now for me 12 years ago or 13 years ago, my first stores were not dropshipping. I was actually importing products from China, and what I did as I learned about dropshipping was start to incorporate that into my business model. I had not just containers coming in from China, but I also started to mix in dropshipping And then I realized the opportunity with dropshipping. And for me, dropshipping then overtook my items that I was importing. Whether you're just getting started or you already have a traditional eCommerce business and you want to mix in dropshipping to your revenue, then this episode is for you.

And what I want to do is answer a question, which is how can you handle shipping from multiple suppliers? Okay, let's just say you build a store and you use the Drop Ship Lifestyle business model. That's what I teach over at dropshiplifestyle.com. And you do what I recommend and you find at least 20 different brands to sell for within your niche.

If you're selling surfboards, you find 20 different surfboard brands. You get approved directly to sell for them. You upload 20 different brands to your website. Okay? All is well. Let's say I go to your store and I buy a surfboard from supplier A. Great, you have that supplier ship it to me. There's no question of how that works, right? Pretty straightforward. But what if I go to your store? And I order a surfboard from supplier A for me and then I order a surfboard from supplier B for my wife.

Now, that is where people, I guess, get tripped up when they're thinking about how this model works. Because obviously, let's just say for you supplier A is located in California and supplier B is located in Florida. Well, what does that mean for you? And what does that mean for me as the customer? Because obviously, I'm not going to receive the two items at the same time. You're not going to have supplier B shipped to A, and then have A shipped together. And the truth is it's just not that complex and it's really not that complicated for how it works.

Just picture this. This is an example I like to give because most people have experienced something like this before. Let's say you're redoing your living room and you go to bestbuy.com because you want a new Sony TV. You buy a new Sony 4k TV with display 1.4 to so you can play your new PlayStation 5. And as you're buying this TV, maybe it says, "Hey, do you want to add on this soundbar to your order?" And you see that the soundbar is from Sonos, okay. Yeah, I want a soundbar. I want it to sound better, so you add that.

Well, what most likely is going to happen is you're going to receive two different shipments, okay? Because even if Best Buy has, if they're stocking all the inventory themselves, there's still a chance that maybe the TV is located at their warehouse A, which is closer to your home so they'll ship it from there. There's less chance of it damaged because it's electronics and because it's more cost-effective. And then maybe the soundbar will ship from a few states away or across the country. Either way, most likely you're not going to receive one shipment with both items at the same time. And when you receive them, you're definitely going to have one that is in a Sony box and you're definitely going to have one that is in a Sonos box.

Now, are you, in that case as the customer, going to complain? No, of course not, because you ordered what you ordered and you got what you were going to get. Now, the way that people can get tripped up here is if they're not informing their customers first off of when products are expected to be delivered, even before the customer orders and also after the products shipped.

Example, we use our own theme, right? We have our own Shopify theme. It's called, creatively, the Drop Ship Lifestyle Shopify theme. By the way, it's not in the Shopify theme store. It's only for members of Drop Ship Lifestyle. If you are a member, you can get it inside of our members area at courses.dropshiplifestyle.com. There's also apps you can use that you could pay for that do this if for some reason, I don't know why, but you don't want to be a member of Drop Ship Lifestyle.

But regardless, let's just say, going back to the example of your surfboard store, when I'm on that surfboard store, if I'm looking at supplier A one of their surfboards for me, it should say estimated delivery date and then maybe it's a week out from today, right, whatever that is. Okay, great. Now, if I'm looking at the supplier B surfboard for my wife, again, before I even added it to my cart, it should say the estimated delivery date and maybe that's the same as supplier A, right? Maybe they ship in about the same timeframe, or maybe supplier B takes much longer and maybe it's even back-ordered and it'll be three weeks until I receive the product, the surfboard, for my wife. Well, I should see that before I even order it.

Because what we want to do as store owners... This isn't just true for dropshipping or eCommerce, this is business and life in general, the more transparent you are the better you're going to do in business, the less customer service you're going to have, the happier customers you're going to have, the more repeat customers you're going to have, and a healthier business is what you're going to be left with. Again, first thing I recommend is have estimated arrival dates on all of your product pages so the customer or the visitor looking to buy knows when certain items would be expected to be delivered should they order them. That's step one. Get that right in front of them so they're aware.

Now, what happens when they're going through the buying process, right? Now, I'm on your store. I have supplier A product, supplier B products, and I'm checking out. Well, what we do on all of our stores is offer free shipping. And that's what I recommended, again, like all of our students do as well. Free shipping is the standard and it's just the way this business works. What that would mean is, as I was going through your cart, there'd be no calculations, right? I wouldn't need duplicate shipping charges or anything like that because I'd get free shipping regardless.

Now you might be thinking, you as a store owner, "Am I going to lose money now because I have to pay for two shipments from two different warehouses?" Well, no, not really. Because let's just say I placed one order for surfboard A and then my sister later bought surfboard B and that was shipping to her house, your margin is still the same, right? It's still two orders. This case when I'm ordering from two suppliers, it's mixed into one, so your margins don't change.

Now, a benefit would be, this isn't effecting how you run business, but a benefit for you would be if I bought two surfboards from supplier A because that way they would ship together, the shipping costs would be less than two different locations, two different whole shipping quotes. Then you'd make more, but you're not losing any by me ordering from the two different brands on your store.

Now, next thing that you should think about that is important is once... Again, I order from you and the product, the surfboard from supplier A ships. When you give me as the customer tracking information from my order, what you want to do inside of Shopify is mark the order not as fulfilled, but as partially fulfilled. And when you mark it as partially fulfilled, give the tracking number for that first item that shipped. That way, me as the customer, when I get an email notification from your store saying, "Your order has shipped," it's not going to say your order has shipped, here's your order confirmation again, surfboard A, supplier A, supplier B, and then one tracking number. Because if I get that and I click that tracking number, I, as the customer, am going to be fully expecting for two surfboards to arrive in one shipment.

But because you, as the business owner, are being smart about this, you're marking it as partially fulfilled inside of Shopify, you're putting the tracking number for the first part of the order that has shipped. And then when I get a notification, I'm not expecting everything. I have the tracking number for part one of my order. And then let's say two days later, supplier B ships that surfboard, then you go back into Shopify, mark the order as fulfilled, provide the additional tracking number.

And again, then me as the customer, I have my two tracking numbers for the two parts of my order. I'm going to receive them in the estimated delivery timeframes that I saw on your website before I even added anything to the cart. You're going to make just as much money as you would. Because again, I could have just ordered one product from supplier A with free shipping and somebody else could have just ordered a surfboard from supplier B with free shipping, and it would be the same thing, except I'm just doing it in one order.

Again, not that complicated. It's really something that once you are in this business, you'll realize how simple it is as soon as your first order comes in for products from multiple brands. Just keep that in mind. Transparency like everything in business is key. Make sure people are aware of what their estimated arrival dates are before they buy. Make sure orders are marked as partially fulfilled if they're not all shipping together and you won't have any issues with doing this. It's straightforward, it's simple, and it's a daily occurrence in these businesses.

That's it for this episode, guys. Hope you found value in it. As always, if you did, I would really appreciate it if you can go to Apple podcasts and leave a review. It means a lot to me. And if you're listening and you are brand new and you want to know how we build highly profitable, semi-automated stores, be sure to go to dropshipwebinar.com for a free training from me. Again, it's dropshipwebinar.com and I will link that in the podcast description. Thank you, everybody. I appreciate you, and I will talk to you on Thursday for the next episode of the podcast. See you.

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