Avoiding Potential Pitfalls
Let’s take a look at a few of the most common problems that might come along, and how you can minimize the potential of experiencing them.
Products Out Of Stock
One of the most common complaints you’ll get is when certain products are out of stock, especially if they are particularly popular and hard to find. This can happen to any store, even monolithic stores like Amazon. And it definitely upsets customers when it happens.
However, it’s important to keep track of stock to minimize the potential of upsetting customers, because they will be a lot unhappier if they think you have the product in stock and place an order only to find out the product was out of stock than they would be just being notified before they purchase that the product isn’t available. For this reason, it’s a very good idea to use some sort of plugin that will automatically update your site whenever products are out of stock. We’ll take a look later at a nifty extension you can use to keep track of stock, and it will help make your job of finding and adding stock much easier, too!
Every single company on the planet must deal with returns. Even if you have a strict no-returns policy, you will still have to deal with unhappy customers that attempt to get a refund. And telling them no will just result in very angry customers.
I know someone who purchased a lot of items from one very popular discount shopping app, found that the quality was terrible and the sizing was way off, and could not return them because the company had a no-returns policy. The customer was very upset, and left bad reviews for the company all over the place. And this person was far from the only person complaining about not being able to return items.
For this reason, it’s not a good idea to have a no-refunds policy on physical products. This will just lead to chargebacks, which could get your account with PayPal or any other billing company canceled. It’s not worth the chance.
Plus, people who are unhappy with their purchase and cannot return it will spread bad reviews, which can have a negative impact on sales over the long run.
Always make sure your product descriptions are as accurate as possible, and make sure to have sizing charts and pictures to minimize returns.
If a product is under $20, you might just ship another item to the customer without requiring them to return the original. If the product is over that price, have the customer ship the return to you, and when it arrives, send them a new one as quickly as possible. If it is returned because it’s damaged or defective, return it to the supplier.
Otherwise, you might just send it out to the next customer that orders it, assuming it’s still in new condition.
Depending on the supplier, you may have unhappy customers because the shipping is a lot slower than they are used to. With the prevalence of free 2-day shipping with Amazon Prime and sites like Walmart, customers are used to getting their purchases very quickly.
Since drop shippers don’t have deals with shipping companies, and because some even ship directly from China, shipping can often take days, weeks, or even a month or two. Many customers won’t be happy waiting that long.
If you use drop shippers based in your home country, you will probably get faster shipping, however the prices you get will probably be higher, resulting in lower profit margins.