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Build Relationships With Drop Shippers

Apr 9, 2008
So you've decided to set up a home-based online dropshipping business. You have carefully researched and selected a product and have started the search for dropship merchant to work with.

Your choice of dropshipper is critical to the success of your business. You must make sure that the merchant you choose is a proper manufacturer/ wholesaler, not a middleman who will not give you real wholesale prices.

Once you have found a promising dropship company, you need to make sure the relationship works out. Here are nine tips to help ensure that the partnership is a long and successful one.

1. Before you go about contacting a potential dropshipper make sure you are set up as a proper
legal company with the tax ID and business licence you need for the country where you live.

2. Test a likely dropship merchant by ordering some of the products yourself. Do this at least a couple of times. Check the speed of delivery, the quality of the packaging and of course the standard of the merchandise. This will help you to know what sort of experience your customers will get when they order from your website.

3. Ask potential suppliers to provide you with references from other customers. Reputable companies will be happy to do this

4. Find out what your dropshipper's shipping terms are. It is always best to deal with a merchant who uses a freight forwarding company that provides online tracking. This not only allows you to keep up to speed with the progress of orders but you can also pass the tracking details to your customers. Giving your customers tracking reference numbers will make them more comfortable about ordering from your site.

5. At an early stage you must find out what the dropshipper charges for freight. If shipping and handling charges are too high this will discourage customers. People who shop online are usually looking for a good deal.

6. Discuss prices with your dropshipper and see what discounts may be available for purchases above a certain amount. If sales go well and you are confident that you can shift goods in quantity then you should certainly negotiate a bulk discount.

7. Arrange a payment plan appropriate for your business. For example, are you going to pay per order with a check or credit card or do you want to try to set up some kind of credit terms with your supplier? It is best to arrange the chosen method of payment at the beginning so both parties know what to expect.

8. It's very important to discuss a returns policy with your merchant. When a customer wants to return a product do they return it to you directly or to the supplier? This is something you must establish at an early stage.

9. Some dropshippers levy an account charge or a monthly fee. If your chosen supplier charges a fee, then make sure you are getting added value in return. The benefits you might expect include a members' only website or a special logo to be placed on your packaging. Make sure you check this out.

If you bear these points in mind and your supplier passes all the tests, then you should be on course for a long and satisfying business relationship!
About the Author
Although there are many places to purchase goods at wholesale prices, there are few that are reputable and have an established presence on the internet. To read up on one of the best sources on the internet, read the Worldwide Brands Review and the
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