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What does it mean to have something Drop Shipped?

January 29, 2018

We hear the term all the time: I’ll drop ship it to you. But what does that even mean?  And is it good or bad?

Well, suppose you have a business you run out of your home selling knitted scarves. You have 3 different sizes and 5 different colors and you keep a stock of one or two of each on hand, depending on demand. Let’s say you’re selling these on Etsy or Artfire or another online sales tool. You get an order. Yippie!

You jump in the car, drive to your local shipping store, and send it out. Maybe you have a stock of mailers, maybe you buy one there. You get your tracking number, go back home and input it for your customer.

You made your first sale, congrats!!

But an hour later another order comes in. You hop back into the car…and you see where this is going. So what’s the alternative?

Have it drop shipped.

You keep your inventory stored someplace else. When you get an order, this location receives it as well, ships it (with your address as the return address), and sends both you and the customer a confirmation of shipment. Your drop ship company invoices you monthly or in some other agreed upon interval and also notifies you when the inventory is getting low.

And that’s drop shipping. This is why you can order something from a company in San Francisco and see a postmark of Seattle. It is also why when you return an item, sometimes you’ll be returning it to a completely different address than it was sent from. This is important to note in this world of online orders: if you’re returning an item, make certain you’ve contacted the company first.

If this is a need you have, please contact us at 858-483-1909!


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