Sometimes using a drop ship model as a home business presents challenges. The vast majority of the time, everything works fine. Occasionally however, things get tripped up.
One customer refused a recent shipment from our drop ship supplier because she didn’t like the looks of the box (she said it was crushed). In this particular case, the shipment was Fedex and it was forwarded back to the drop ship supplier. Each day last week, I called the drop ship supplier and told them something similar to the following.
“Hello, I’m calling about order xxxx. The customer refused it due to the condition of the box. It was returned to you and was signed for by xxxx on September 15th. Can you resend it please?”
There’s a gatekeeper at this particular drop ship supplier and from what I can tell, an overwhelmed one. He’s the only one who answers when I call and each time I called, I felt like I was explaining this for the first time. Finally yesterday, the gatekeeper remembered me (this was call #6). He said “Oh yeah, I have that right here on a sticky note”.
Hmm.. management by sticky note? Afraid that I wasn’t getting anywhere with this gatekeeper, I decided to email the problem and details to the company’s email address and ask for some action on this. That did the trick as I got a new tracking number for the replacement shipment this morning.
Sometimes, a drop ship business gets you caught in middle but always remember that your customer doesn’t know about your drop ship business (that should be transparent to them). A responsibility that comes along with that transparency is that you have to manage problems like this for your customer.
You can read more about how drop shipping is used in a home-based business in Jump Start your Home Business with Real Drop Shipping, Drop Ship Scams, and Leveraging Multiple Drop Ship Suppliers.