If you're at the point at which you're looking for information about choosing a drop shipping company, you are probably aware of all of the benefits of the concept. So rather than bog you down with why it's an advantageous strategy, we'll get straight into what to look for in a drop shipping company.


There are some genuine fees associated with doing business in this manner. However, if you run into an entity asking for monthly fees, they're probably scamming. With that said, per-order fees and minimum order sizes are routine. However minimum orders usually only apply to your first transaction. The drop shipper is trying to ensure you're a retail merchant as opposed to a consumer trying to get a wholesale price. Speaking of which, when you're interviewing a potential drop shipping partner, ask if they sell to the general public. If they do, you'll probably find better prices with another vendor.


Inquire as to how they acquire the products they deliver. If you're looking to do something like sell your furniture online, you'll want to work with a manufacturer who offers drop shipping as a service. The next most desirable situation is a firm that deals directly with manufacturers. Stay away from brokers who deal with people who deal with manufacturers. The more people there are between you and the source, the narrower your profit margin will be. Get as close to the source of the goods as possible.

Customer Service

Ideally, you'll work with a supplier who will give you a dedicated rep with whom you can deal to manage your orders. You want someone who knows the product(s) well and can answer any questions in a timely fashion. If you get a question from a consumer and you have to contact the drop shipping company to get an answer, you'll want to be able to turn that information around before the shopper gets antsy and buys somewhere else.

You also want to see signs of careful organization and studied efficiency. Orders should be taken online through either a dedicated portal (ideally) or via email (not as desirable, but better than by phone).

Blind Shipping

Your preferred partner will be absolutely invisible to your customer. They'll ship in your packaging and include your branded literature in the box. The return address should be one of your designation as well. In addition to bolstering your reputation, this prevents your customers from going around you and trying to buy from your supplier.

Returns Process

One fact of life in eCommerce is that an average of 30 percent of your sales will be returned. Customers get the wrong color or size, packages arrive damaged and sometimes the buyer simply doesn't want the item anymore when it arrives. A good drop shipper will have a solid returns process worked out.  You should be notified when the item has been sent back, inspected and the return is determined justifiable. This makes it easier for your customer service team to issue refunds or process exchanges.

Test Orders

Before requiring you to sign a contract, most reputable drop shippers will agree to run some test orders to demonstrate their capabilities. You'll want to make sure the product arrives in a timely fashion, in good shape and in pleasing packaging. Remember, when your customer gets the order, they're going to think it came from you. Any untoward impressions will be strapped directly to your back-not the drop shipper's.

Paying attention to these six factors when choosing a drop shipping company will help you find a good one. There are some other considerations you'll need to monitor as well, but these basics will get you off to a good start. 

Posted by Jessica McClennan