Drop Ship Disaster - When Things Go Wrong

Damaged Package

In every business problems can and will arise. Provided that you are prepared there is little to worry about. Having a plan in place when such an event occurs is vital to your company’s success. As a seller of drop ship products you will likely be required to act as mediator between the drop ship vendor and your customer, since you would not want to reveal the source of your products and perhaps lose a customer.

The problems that may arise through dropshipping typically fall into two categories; shipping and customer satisfaction. Shipping problems may include shipping delays and damaged goods or delivery errors. Customer satisfaction problems may be not only related to shipping, but may also include product satisfaction and incorrect items.

In operating a drop ship powered business you should know all of the drop shipper’s policies and procedures related to returns and damaged goods. If the drop shipper’s guidelines are unclear in any way, do not hesitate to call or send an email for clarification. Important questions you should ask, may include:

  • What is your return policy?
  • Who is your shipping carrier?
  • How are shipping errors and damaged goods handled?
  • Do you provide tracking numbers for shipments?
  • How are back orders handled?
  • Do you offer shipping insurance?
  • In the event of a problem who pays return shipping?


To ensure that you are prepared to handle any situation that may arise you should create a disaster kit. This kit should include notes on the following:
  • Summary of the dropshipper’s policies and procedures
  • Contact information for the drop shipper
  • Contact information for the shipping carrier
  • Summary of the shipping carrier’s policies with regard to damaged goods
  • Ebay’s rules regarding such situations if selling via auction


Using the above information you should be prepared to handle any emergencies that may arise. Above all, the key to successfully resolving any conflict is communication. You may be surprised to find how patient and cooperative your customers can be when they are kept informed. You should try to be as helpful and understanding as you can be and always be honest. If you don’t know the answer to your customer’s questions let them know that you will find out and get back to them. You should always accept responsibility. Although it is unlikely that it is your fault, the customer is definitely not at fault. Remember, you are their only link to the shipper and distributor.

Although at times emergencies may occur, the professional and courteous manner in which you deal with such instances will keep your customers coming back.

Filed Under: Drop Shipping   

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