Tuesday, May 31, 2011

How Do I Incorporate The Shipping & Handling When Using A Dropshipper?

Question submitted by Leanne: How do we incorporate the charges them for S/H considering we are shipping all over the place?

Answer: There are many variances to consider. You have to determine which method works best for you. I know for a fact that StoresOnline integrates with UPS so if you signed up for a UPS shipping account (FREE), you can use it on your site and let it calculate the shipping for you. This does however require you to know the shipping weight of every item. If you can't ft the shipping weight on every item from your supplier, this doesn't work. Also, if you have multiple suppliers and not all of them use UPS, you cannot use this method.

You can try your best to simulate your supplier's shipping rates. This may require you to change your shipping calculations every now and then until you've tweaked them just right. Your other choice is to just go with a standard shipping policy based on how much the customer spends. This is what I do.

One note of warning when using any method is that if you have multiple suppliers for the same site, you run the risk of the customer ordering something from each supplier. Say, for instance, you have 3 suppliers and your customer orders something that weighs 1lb from each. Your customer's order total weighs 3lbs which will probably calculate to like, $12-$14 for UPS. However, your suppliers are only shipping 1 item and they each charge you $9 (x3 = $27). Now it wouldn't be fair to charge your customer $27 because you chose not to carry inventory. If you did, no one would ever purchase from you. So in this case you lose a bit on shipping, but if you set your prices right or add a small handling fee, things may even out as you win on some orders and lose on others.

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