In the dropshipping business model, instead of the sellers, orders are fulfilled and shipped by the suppliers. Since the sellers never actually touched the products, there are several issues requiring attention.
First, supplier reputation.
Vetting for supplier reputation takes time and resources. In conventional dropshipping, you probably need to contact each supplier and do a test purchase to see how they handle an order and their customer service quality.
However, if you use Shopify e-commerce platform and Oberlo dropshipping management app, this issue can be easily solved by using the latter’s pre-vetted sourcing directly from the dashboard.
Second, delay in order processing.
Make sure that you wait for 24 hours before contacting the dropshipping supplier. Find out the reasons why the order fulfillment has been delayed. As the customer is likely to contact you if the order doesn’t arrive on time, it’s better that you contact the supplier first before it happens.
Third, keeping track of out-of-stock products.
If you own a conventional dropshipping store, most likely you wouldn’t know for sure whether the supplier still has the item. This issue, however, wouldn’t become an issue if you use a dropshipping app like Oberlo, which tracks down out-of-stock items at AliExpress automatically. This feature is especially useful when selling top-selling products.
Fourth, order arrived damaged.
This issue can be resolved immediately by contacting the supplier as soon as receiving a complaint from the customer. Most likely, the supplier would be happy to ship out a replacement to the customer.
However, to be on the safe side, make sure that you have an agreement on such “damaged item” issue with the supplier early from the beginning.
Fifth, wrong item or wrong quantity.
If this problem occurs, immediately contact the supplier and request for a replacement. Most likely, you’d need to request for the customer to send back the wrong order.
Do so with a lot of tact and care, so the customer would still have a favorable shopping experience with you.
Sixth, wrong billing.
To prevent this from happening, make sure to review every invoice carefully. As a dropshipper, it’s important to be billed correctly, as it would affect your bottom line.
However, if it occurs, contact the supplier and explain your concern and request for a correction.
Seventh, wrong delivery address.
When you received a customer complaint saying that they didn’t receive the order, even though the courier notice showed that someone definitely did, most likely the order was sent to a wrong address.
Find out who was responsible for this mistake. Did the supplier send the order to a wrong address? Did the customer give a different address? Once you’ve found out whose error it was, you can request for the correct item to be resent and paid for by the party at fault.
In conclusion, dropshipping business model is one of the most favorable methods out there, considering its convenience and almost zero startup capital. However, like in any business, there are possibilities of problems to occur. Good thing is, solutions are always around the corner as long as you handle complaints and errors with a lot of grace, tact, and calmness.
About the Author
Jennifer Xue is an award-winning author, columnist, and serial entrepreneur based in Northern California. She is also a digital strategist for Oberlo. Her byline has appeared in Forbes, Fortune, Esquire, Cosmopolitan, Business.com, Business2Community, Addicted2Success, Good Men Project, Positively Positive, and others. Her blog is JenniferXue.com.