So, you have had a parcel delivered, but, something is amiss. The invoice or paperwork with the order is from someone you do not recognize and maybe the item received is not quite right. The chances are you have just had the experience of being dropshipped.
Let me explain what I mean by dropshipped.
A dropshipper is a person who buys an item from an online retailer like Amazon or eBay for a 3rd party and has the seller they are purchasing from, deliver the item direct to the 3rd party.
“Whats wrong with that? I have stuff delivered to my wife at work all the time.” You ask.
Absolutely nothing, while that is still dropshipping, that is a perfectly acceptable method.
The type of dropshipping that is not acceptable is this type.
Andrew buys an item from Bobs Shop on eBay.
Bobs Shop then purchases the same item from Davids Store on Amazon for less than he has sold it for on eBay. Bobs Shop then gives the delivery details of his customer, Andrew to Davids Store who send the item Bobs Shop purchased directly to Andrew.
” Hang on, isn’t that the same though?”
Not exactly, let me explain further.
Amazon have a couple of rules regarding dropshipping that are being ignored by Bobs Shop who bought the item from Davids Store using his own Amazon account.
The rules are:
- Be the seller of record of your products
- Identify yourself as the seller of your products on all packing slips and other information included or provided in connection with them.
Meaning all Andrew will see is Davids Store details on the paperwork for the order he received not Bobs Shop. The big rule that must not be broken is:
- Purchasing products from another online retailer and having that retailer ship directly to customers.
Meaning, if it is purchased from you, you are expected to handle all aspects of the transaction. Amazon seem to turn a blind eye to this one.
Dropshipping is “Marmite” to Amazon sellers, some let it go and some refuse to have anything to do with it. The problem is the myriad of accounts set up on amazon as buyers purely to service a dropshipping business, a lot of whom take advantage of shortfalls in Amazons systems to make unlawful claims.
Amazon seem turn a blind eye to it simply because they get paid either way.
The morale of the story is simply this;
Shop around, don’t just take the first price you see, the same item can vary in price between sellers and platforms.
Know who you are dealing with, check a sellers business information, if they are not based in the same country as you, move on to one who is. You are not going to get much help if any, if you have a problem with an item and the seller you bought it from is based outside your country.
Check they have a valid email address and phone number. Both Amazon and eBay have the ability for you to contact the seller of your item as well but is more limited than picking up the phone and talking to someone.