Drop shipping is very simple. It can be seen as the futuristic version of catalogue shopping. Think of the AVON representative that your mom got her make-up from. She showed your mom the catalogue, but she didn’t have all the items with her. However, your mom could order anything in the catalogue and it would arrive by the end of the month. Dropshipping works the same way. The customer places the order, you process his order, contact the retailer, and the retailer sends the goods to your patrons. Easy, right? No need of keeping an inventory.
How do I dropship on Amazon?
Here is where it gets a bit trickier. As per Amazon’s police, your retailer is not allowed to ship straight to your clients. Therefore, you will have to find a fulfilment centre (i.e. a place that receives your purchases for you) that does the shipping of the products on your behalf. Another option you have is called “Fulfillment By Amazon”, also known as FBA. Amazon FBA picks, packs, and ships your products for you. Their rates go from around $3 upwards, according to the sizing and weight of the goods. If you pick this option, it will be shown on the description of your items, giving your store an added legitimacy. Additionally, your items can be eligible for Amazon Prime, which is a great addition to your brand name.
So far FBA seems to be a no-brainer. But wait, there is more to it. Amazon does not only charge for handling your products, but also for storing them. If you choose FBA you will have to buy your items in advance and have them stored with Amazon. That means that you will incur in monthly expenses, and eventually in levies for long-term stowing before jumping into it.
More about FBAs
Other aspects you will have to contemplate before choosing FBA are the fact that you won’t be able to add in any sticky tags or leaflets in your goods, and that you will have to stick to a lot of prerequisites. Say, packaging rules are very strict, and they vary according to the kind of goods that you are selling. For example, if you are dealing with clothes and apparel, the items should not be exposed to dust, dirt, or damage. Therefore, you will have to use poly-bags, and make sure that the bigger ones are clearly marked with a choking hazard warning label.
Now that you know how FBA works, and what its characteristics are, you can decide if you want to find a fulfilment centre to start dropshipping by yourself on Amazon, or if you would choose FBA and show your store is legitimate. Good luck in your future endeavours as a drop shipper!