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Drop Shipping and Multiple Providers

Integrating more than one provider into a single store

     
9:29 am on Oct 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

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If you work with more than one drop ship firm, how do you:-

- Calculate shipping costs (i.e. if a customer orders items from more than one firm will they need to pay more than one shipping fee)

- Explaination / notification that products will arrive separately?

7:49 am on Nov 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

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> - Calculate shipping costs (i.e. if a customer
> orders items from more than one firm will they
> need to pay more than one shipping fee)

You would need a shopping cart that can accomodate shipping from multiple origin zip codes or warehouses. So far, I am covering the additional cost of multiple boxes.

> - Explanation / notification that products will arrive separately?

That would be a complicated system since you would need to associate each shipping box to a specific SKU. I just e-mail the customer that the red and blue widget will ship separately from the white widget.

1:54 pm on Nov 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I'm working out a similar model now for a client. They have metrics on their product sales - e.g. which ones are the most popular for their local sales. We're using that to determine the ave shipping cost from us to the furthest point away.

Then with some magic numbers we'll use a tiered shipping fee. Ex. buy 1 and you pay the max on shipping which will occassionally be below what it will cost us. Buy $40 worth and the shipping is 50% off. Buy more than $80 and shipping is free. The average sale is in the $60-80 range so we're figuring that some folks will add the few extra products necessary to reach $100 and get their shipping free - which the odds are we'll make a profit on the shipping because it won't be the worse case scenario - 1 heavy item a long ways away.

4:17 am on Nov 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

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i do multiple shippers drop-ship

i use clickcartpro

shipping is item based, each is zip-code based real-time calculation, each shipper gets an email for his part in the order. customer gets one email with his order break up.

this is a natural behavior of clickcartpro

12:28 am on Nov 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Aircut, would you mind sending me an email to further discuss your post (look in your sticky/private message box)?

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2:58 am on Nov 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

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If you work with more than one drop ship firm, how do you:-
- Calculate shipping costs (i.e. if a customer orders items from more than one firm will they need to pay more than one shipping fee)

- Explaination / notification that products will arrive separately?

I'd offer free shipping, then add the appropriate shipping costs into your item.

As far as explaining that products will arrive separately, I'd just explain it during the checkout process and use the word "may" so you don't need to explain what's what.

That seems like the easy way, anyway.

If you have seriously different shipping costs, like you sell both a refridgerator and also a cooler, you might have more explaining to do regarding the shipping costs.

5:16 am on Nov 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

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the link for clickcartpro is here regarding drop shipping: www . clickcartpro . com/seo/ste_docs_feat.htm
10:11 am on Nov 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I'd offer free shipping, then add the appropriate shipping costs into your item.

Thanks for your excellent replies. The only problem which comes to mind here is that a user purchasing more than one item from one supplier will be paying multiple shipping costs.

I can see that I can offer 'buy two get one free' or 'buy two get 25% off the second' to cover purchases of more than one of the same item. But that wouldn't work with different items, unless I list them in groups.... 'buy two from any of groups A, B, or C and get 25% off the second item'. But that's complex.

1:19 pm on Nov 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

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The only problem which comes to mind here is that a user purchasing more than one item from one supplier will be paying multiple shipping costs.

I hadn't thought about that. Is the competition too tight for that to be feasible?

Is there something keeping you from using a sophisticated shopping cart that will do those things?

If not, you could hack it up a little and make little explanations where needed, or little links to explanations.

2:29 pm on Nov 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Have only one website per drop shipper. And I make sure that I deal with drop shippers that have a large variety of products.

We use to have the same problem you did. Its make you non-competivive. Our life is so much easier with the one website to one drop shipper rule.

4:15 pm on Nov 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

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the one website to one drop shipper rule

That sounds most excellent advice!

1:51 am on Nov 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

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the one website to one drop shipper rule

That sounds most excellent advice!

unless you are using the one product to one drop shipper rule....

2:36 pm on Nov 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

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>> the one website to one drop shipper rule

I'd suggest this only works for some situations. In our case we're handling many smallish items produced by small craftspeople. Each person produces maybe up to a dozen items. The store carries several hundred items. The strength of the store is in the variety it offers and the ability to combine them in any way the buyer wishes.

7:54 pm on Nov 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Nov 7, 2005

What shopping cart software do you use Lorax?

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3:56 pm on Nov 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

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That particular cart is using x-cart gold with a few modifications to allow for custom combinations.
1:40 am on Nov 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Might keep in mind that as you start adding up real-time shipping costs, it can get to be outrageous.

For example if a customer purchases three items, each from a different drop-ship location, that'll be 3x the normal shipping (give or take a little based on the locations of the drop-shippers in relation to the destination and weight/dimensions of the items).

Scary.

I agree with the idea of splitting the store into seperate websites -- if at all possible. That way, people don't feel jipped on shipping. (I guess expensive, light, items won't matter as much...jewlery, etc.)

6:02 pm on Nov 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

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why not roll your own shipping algo? It won't be 'exact' but you can be close. Or why not get like a ups commerce tools account and bang it for shipping fees?
6:27 pm on Nov 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Nov 10, 2005

Two questions:

1. Just how automated can an online drop-shipping business be?

2. If you do not know any programmers, what is the best way to find a good honest programmer who will make the website as automated as it can be?

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