I got this terrific question from a reader this week:
“Is there a program that can be used to calculate shipping fees from multiple drop ship locations to one customer? If so, would a customer who orders several products from one drop shipper and an item from another drop shipper be charged for multiple shipping fees from the drop shipper that they ordered several products?”
The question is referring to this blog post and raises an important issue about using multiple drop shipping vendors. Multiple drop ship vendors to fill one customer order can raise your shipping costs and eat into your profit margin. You will have to pay each drop ship vendor shipping but you usually can only charge your customer one shipping charge. Most shopping cart software calculates one shipping charge based on one shipping source location. So these are shipping costs that usually cannot be passed along directly to your customer’s order.
This issue demonstrates that juggling too many drop ship vendors within one product line can quickly create a problematic, unprofitable arrangement. For that reason, it’s best to use one drop ship vendor as a primary vendor and perhaps use others for backup or as alternates (as the aforementioned blog post suggests).
Mixing drop vendors in one customer order will create extra shipping charges for you and extra boxes for your customer. Sometimes, it can’t be avoided but as a regular practice, using one drop ship vendor per order is preferable. Moreover, your customers will not appreciate getting more than one shipping charge for what (to them) is a single order.
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 and Drop Ship Scams.