When you are running an eCommerce store where you resell products and you want to service customers away from your store or warehouse, you might consider working with your supplier to ship directly to your customers. This is called "dropshipping" and in this model your business is referred to as a "nonstocking dealer". Most major product suppliers are familiar with this model and will know whether they support it and be able to talk to you about the terms of such an arrangement if they do.
Here I introduce you to approaching an existing supplier about whether they will support this direct-to-customer model. In another post I cover the information you want from the supplier so that you can decide if the terms work for you.
Here's my guide to asking a supplier if they will support you as a combination stocking and non-stocking dealer.
- Step 1: Find out who your supplier representative is (hopefully you already know and have a relationship with this person)
- Step 2: Call your representative (you can setup a time via email if that is appropriate)
- Step 3: Explain that you are getting orders that you are unable to fulfill, and that you're cancelling those orders, and you are wondering if he or she can help you keep those sales by shipping product direct to your customer. You might want to give a specific example, such as the product that was ordered, where it would be shipped to, and that you would like to give them that direct order and pay them on terms or directly
- Step 4: If they are willing to support you, there is a bunch of information you need to get to determine if this is a good business move. See my post on the terms to consider when choosing dropshipping suppliers.
- Step 5: If they are not willing to support you, be sure to let that representative know that if they do eventually support a dealer like you, that you want to know
This is essentially the ice breaker to working with a supplier as a dropshipper. From here, the process gets interesting since you will need to collect information on non-stocking dealer pricing, shipping costs, shipping time, how to submit orders, payment terms, and the like.
Here at AssetLab Academy you can learn everything you need to know to start a successful dropshipping business, or to add dropshipping to your business. We know you will find success because we give you exactly what works in our own online eCommerce stores.