The popular dropshipping model has seen a huge rise in popularity in recent years. It all looks so straightforward from the outside, doesn’t it? People earning thousands of dollars without any hassle of physical possession of products – how hard could it be? The truth is that it is not so easy as it sounds or looks. The dropshipping business model may sound too good to be true, but it also comes with its fair set of problems.
If you’re planning on starting your dropshipping business, then best be prepared for all these complications that will follow. Below we describe problems with dropshipping faced by almost every drop shipper as well as their solutions.
Problem# 1: Your Supplier Is Out Of Stock
The whole dropshipping model depends on suppliers for the inventory, and when that inventory runs out, it’s a huge problem for you. What will you ship your customer now? You can’t wait for inventory to replenish again. You need a permanent solution to this problem so your customer can have the amazing experience they deserve.
Solution A: Keep Track Of Everything
If you’re aware of all the inventory currently in possession of your supplier, you won’t get any bad surprises from your supplier. Having a daily report of inventory from your supplier is a good practice. An even better approach is to keep track of all inventory in real-time. Using all the information you have regarding your inventory, you can work more efficiently. Using real-time tracking may require some investment, but it is a better approach when scaling your dropshipping business.
Solution B: Don’t Stop At One Supplier
Being dependant on one resource is a bad practice, even more so when your whole business depends on that resource. That is why you should never stop at just having one supplier. Look for different dropshipping suppliers that are similar to your main supplier in terms of inventory and policies. Have a backup supplier in case something happens with your main supplier. Chances are your secondary suppliers won’t be as profitable as your main supplier, but it is a small price to pay to keep your customer happy.
Problem# 2: You Shipped Wrong Product To Customer
This is a rare dropshipping problem that happens to only 1-2% of the drop shippers. Many drop shippers fear this the most. Receiving the wrong product after waiting for days can be a huge turnoff for your customers. Customers that are not emphatic go on social media to rant about their terrible experience with the drop shipper. This can be detrimental to drop shipper’s business.
Solution: Be Clear On Return Policies
When your customer receives the wrong item, they will almost always want to send it back. Not knowing how to send the product back can add fuel to the fire. Believe it or not, some drop shippers dare not to receive the wrong items back. This is why you need to be clear on the return policies of every item you ship. This way, when you accidentally send out a wrong product, you can instruct the customer on how they can send it back. You can even offer a discount on future purchases for that unlucky customer.
Problem# 3: You Shipped Damaged Goods
This is a much common problem than the one mentioned above. Customers complain all the time about their products being damaged or faulty.
Solution: Have Same Return Policy As Supplier
Receiving a wrong or damaged product prompts the customer to send it back. That is why you must be clear on the return policy with your supplier. Also, make sure that your return policy is identical to your supplier. Otherwise, you’ll be at fault. Make sure you communicate well with your supplier to avoid any disasters in the future.
Problem# 4: You Shipped Wrong Tracking Code
A dropshipping problem is minor but still shouldn’t happen. When a drop shipper sends out thousands of products, the chances are that the wrong tracking code goes on one of the products.
Solution: Test Tracking Codes
Always test the tracking codes before you send them out. Unfortunately, in the dropshipping business model, you rely heavily on the suppliers, and these suppliers are the ones that are responsible for sending tracking codes. Instead of directly sending products from supplier to customers, Inspect the products, as well as tracking codes, before you ship them to your customer.
Problem# 5: You Shipped The Wrong Quantity
Sometimes, there is a problem with the number of items shipped to your customers. Sending more quantity isn’t that big issue. A customer can always send extra back. But shipping less quantity is problematic as the customer now has to wait for another order.
Solution: Keep Check On Invoices
Tell your supplier to read the invoices carefully. It is best to review every order from your customer and how your supplier is fulfilling the order. Develop a system that ensures accountability and keeps you in the loop for everything about every order.
Problem# 6: You Shipped Items At Wrong Address
This problem is almost always not the fault of the drop shipper or supplier. It is the handlers or courier services that interpret the address wrong. This causes your order to be shipped to an address that doesn’t exist or to a different person’s address.
Solution: Confirm Identity Through Address
You must ask your customer the address of the shipped product. In case of a wrong address, the wrong customer won’t be able to receive the order because he/she doesn’t know the intended address of the product.
If you’re intending on starting your very own dropshipping business, then you’re probably going the face the above problems with dropshipping. Luckily, these problems are not the end of the world and are easy to rectify, although they might sound serious at first. It is best to be prepared for everything before you set foot in the alluring dropshipping world.