rachel123 - 3:00 pm on Aug 7, 2010 (gmt 0)
I don't think it's "most consumers don't care about dropshipping and only care about price and delivery." I think that's true only if that is the kind of customer you want to attract.
Thumbs up to this. Is also going to vary significantly by niche and target demographic.
Give you an example of an order my mother-in-law just placed on the internet. Making a baptismal gown for a grandchild and wanted some fancy type of yarn that some lady makes in her attic in California. Atrociously expensive but she didn't care. It was 'special'. Finds a shop that carries it. Orders a couple balls of this yarn, couple balls of this other yarn, and some needles.
When she gets that box, she doesn't want just the one kind of yarn, then the next day the other kind of yarn, and then 2 days later the needles in yet another box - or even 2-3 boxes that all arrive the same day. She wants all the balls of yarn, arranged neatly, with the needles, in a single box. If the needles aren't in there, she's going to call customer service and assume they forgot them. The only way it would work is if there was a distributor that carried every last kind of yarn that anyone made in their attic, so that everything could be shipped together.
Point being that for specialty products, there aren't monster distributors, so often the retail entity takes on that role. Buy cheap from individual manufacturers on some things, buy wholesale on some other things, keep a lean, smart inventory, and you are in good shape.
Because of the breadth of our product catalog, I get approached several times a year by folks asking if we will act as dropshippers for them. So far I've always turned them down.
We do dropship several large, big-ticket items, things that a customer wouldn't expect to come all together.
Electronics, whole different ball game. If I order a Samsung TV and a Nikon camera, I'd be surprised to see them come in the same shipment.
And of course the last thing, maybe I'm paranoid, but I don't like to have a large part of my business model depend on any one other entity.