Drop Shipping? Who, Me?

Drop Ship Delivery Truck

By Lila Villa

 

Drop shipping was a most wondrous concept I had not heard of up until my enrollment in the Ecommerce 102 Fast Track program. Certainly drop shipping has been around for as long as e-commerce has existed, but to Pinoy entrepreneurs and wannabes, this may be a little known concept. (For more on doing e-commerce in the Philippines, check out An E-commerce Primer for the Global Pinoy.)

So what in the world is drop shipping and why should you be interested in it?

Drop shipping is nothing fancy, but its results are. It is an order fulfillment technique that lets you simplify the business cycle for physical products. Drop shipping saves you a lot of time, effort and cost in stocking inventory, shipping, delivery and sourcing out products.

Let’s say for example you want to sell mobile phones. But you don’t have the space or time to buy it all from a source, stock them up in your tiny attic, garage or spare room, and ship them all over again to your customer in another country.

Thus, in drop shipping you have your mobile phone travel from the warehouse straight into the hands of the customer, and the money straight to your pocket, with none the wiser.

Why should you drop ship? I shouldn’t have to spell it out:

  • You get rid of handling, packaging and shipping concerns and focus on reaching customers and building your market space.
  • You can offer a broader selection of products.
  • You can make the most of your capital for inventory.
  • You can test new products and new market segments with little risk.
  • Finally, you can use “private label shipping” by providing a return address and invoice that points to your e-commerce business.

The only thing you need to bother in drop shipping is that you find a drop shipper that you can trust. That can be easier said than done, but if you do it right, you’re all set.

Another business possibility is becoming a drop shipper yourself. In the Philippines, as e-commerce is not as developed as it is in other countries, you have the option of offering drop shipping services to other merchants.

If you automate a great deal of your business activity without having to sacrifice quality, you’re going to see a big difference in the way you do business.
Without having to think of the hassles of shipping and handling, you can focus your creative juices in establishing customer ties, broadening your market, improving marketing campaigns, streamlining all other operations, and making more money.

Here’s an idea that I’m giving away for free:

The dollhouse miniatures market has seen lively and strong demand especially in North America and Europe. The best thing about it is that it is not a fad; miniatures have been around for decades, and shockingly, the greatest demand is coming from the middle-aged to pensioner age group. These are people who have the buying power to fund their little obsessions.

Dollhouse miniatures can be extremely expensive because they are difficult to make; they require a certain skill. There are many kinds of miniatures. Just think about what items can be found in a real house or store, and there’s your product. You can make mini people (dolls), mini animals, mini fixtures, mini appliances, mini accessories, mini clothes, mini food, mini books, mini stationery, mini garden items, mini paintings… The list is practically endless.

If you can find a supplier or manufacturer to produce these minis for you, you can take advantage of cheap rates in the Philippines to produce an expensive and highly in-demand product. Once you find your supplier, you teach them how to drop ship. They will package each item with your return address on it, and they will be keeping an inventory system that lets handling and shipping operate in no time.

And did you notice – you didn’t even lift a finger to produce any of your wares.

You just need to teach them to itemize warehousing and stocking details according to how each item looks like on your website so that retrieval and handling becomes fast and efficient.

You will have your drop shipper send items straight to the US, UK, South Africa, Europe, or wherever your demand is coming from. In the meantime, you can blog about your items, conduct an online social media campaign, set-up carefully themed pins on Pinterest and design your marketspace to focus on specially themed items so that you can grab and hold on to a niche. You can even package minis banketa-style which is what Pinoys are pretty good at doing (I think about Hasset Go and his banketa-style packaging of fancy sweets).

The money starts piling in. You pay your drop shipper. The cycle continues, and everyone’s happy.

I suggest focusing on a product that is different from all the other minis currently out there. What sort of product would that be? Off the top of my head I’ve seen very few Halloween-styled minis, and from what I’ve heard, that particular manufacturer was doing particularly well. I’ve also heard of one merchant who focused on selling Filipiniana miniatures on eBay.

The next question then would be how to find the best drop shipper that’s right for you.

But that, my friend is another story.

***

If you liked this story and would love more ideas on E-Commerce and how to get started, check out An E-commerce Primer for the Global Pinoy. Still 50% OFF when you use Discount Code: ec102lwgp.

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6 Responses to “Drop Shipping? Who, Me?”

  1. Joann Says:

    I’ve been considering dropshipping for the longest time but the constant challenge I face is on finding a reputable dropshipping supplier.

    Reply

    • Lee Says:

      Hi, I was wondering if you have a drop shipping supplier you can recommend?

      Once it reached to the Customs, who will pay the duties?

      -Lee from Cebu

      Reply

  2. lars Says:

    Can you give us examples of dropshippers that you have used or trust?

    Reply

    • Girl On A Live Wealthier Journey Says:

      Hi there, this post was written by guest blogger Lila Villa. The course that the links lead to are still active, btw, and the course mentors would be able to point you to those dropshippers that they’ve worked with.

      Reply

  3. Iris Says:

    I am considering dropshipping but my problem is the custom fees in the Philippines.

    Reply

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