Insist on Uploading Spreadsheet Databases of Dropshipped Inventory? Read These Tips First
Posted by Big Brand Wholesale.com on 12th Aug 2020
Yesterday I warned you about the dangers of using spreadsheet databases to load your Amazon, eBay or site with dropshipped inventory. But today I am going to tell you what you need to do if you absolutely insist on going this route.
Most importantly you need to aim for manufacturers / distributors. AVOID Liquidators and Overstock sellers in addition to a large quantity of wholesalers. The reasons for this is that the majority of us do not have an unending supply of a certain item because we are not a distributor. We might only have 3,000, 200, 5 or even 1 of something. Since we are not a manufacturer there is a strong chance we may never get it in again. As we discussed yesterday, this means that once it sells out, it is sold. (However, I will share a workaround for this issue in a moment, keep reading!)
Most manufacturers are not also direct sellers because manufacturers typically rely on Distributors to sell their merchandise, so you will not be able to obtain a spreadsheet database from the manufacturer; instead you will need to obtain the database from the Distributor.
COMPLICATIONS WITH INVENTORY SPREADSHEET DATABASES
There are a few complications with uploading a distributors spreadsheet database:
MOQ (“Minimum Order Quantity”) Every distributor I am aware of has a Minimum Order Quantity; Most designer brand distributors have a purchase requirement. For example, if I recall correctly, I believe Kathy Van Zeeland handbags is something like 50 bags per quarter, but you must order and pay for one year in advance because you are ordering pre-production. So when you are placing your order, since these bags have not even been manufactured yet, you are ordering based on a black and white sketch. If you insist on uploading spreadsheets, make sure the supplier does not have a MOQ.
Case Packs - Most actual wholesale is sold in case packs. This means it is one box with 12, 24, 48, 96 or more pieces of the same item. A distributor isn’t going to open a case pack to ship one shirt in size Medium to your buyer. If you insist on uploading spreadsheets, make sure the supplier does not sell by the case.
Minimum Purchase Amount - If I recall correctly, I believe Smashbox (or maybe it’s TooFaced, I can’t remember), has a minimum purchase amount of either $3,000 or $5,000. Forgive me, it’s been over a decade since I last looked into it. So, for example, you can’t just buy 1 sparkly red Smashbox lipstick. Instead you have to buy $3,000 worth of red lip glosses. So if your goal is to have the distributor dropship 1 product to your buyer, this isn’t going to happen. If you insist on uploading spreadsheets, make sure the supplier does not have a Minimum Purchase Amount.
Shipping Cost - This is a huge wild card. At BigBrandWholesale.com shipping is FREE inside the USA, so this solves a ton of problems if you are looking to have us dropship for you, however almost ALL other wholesale companies charge for shipping based on the weight and size of parcel in addition to distance of transit. For example, if the parcel is going from Michigan to Ohio, it might only cost $25 to ship. But this same parcel, going from Michigan to California can cost $80 or more just for shipping. This can make pricing the inventory you do not own exceptionally hard. If you insist on uploading spreadsheets, you need to figure out a flat rate shipping cost that you know will work, regardless of destination. Some spreadsheets will include a flat-rate shipping cost already on them. This is substantially helpful.
Never, ever, EVER just upload a spreadsheet to your site. NEVER! Instead, you will need to use a program that automatically adjusts the sellers inventory on your site. In order to accomplish this you will need to know what the sellers WEBSITE HOST is. For example, here at BigBrandWholesale.com we use BigCommerce.com as our web host. Now that you know this, you can get a program like e-ProductPlug to “integrate” our inventory onto your site. BUT, these programs are not free:
As you can see, this is far from cheap. On the other hand, $55 a month is substantially less than it costs to own and operate an actual eCommerce business and $55 a month is well worth not having your company destroyed by terrible feedback. e-ProductPlug.com integrates into lots of different web hosts, including:
- and more.
This means, if you have the $55/month e-product plug account, you could list our inventory as well as inventory from your favorite Shopify store and even Walmart.com!
Now that the inventory is automatically adjusting you have a little less to worry about.
THINGS TO CONSIDER
There are several things you need to consider before you jump into integration software:
1. The listing on the companies site will be directly transported to your site. This means EVERYTHING in the listing will be shown on your site. This includes watermarks, links, FAQS or anything else shown in the listing.
2. Before you ever jump into bed with any dropshipper, wholesaler or liquidator, you want to personally place a couple small orders through them. But presents for your sister or a gift for your boss. You need to test the company out, thoroughly. How fast do they ship? How quickly does it arrive? How is it packaged? Is it better than advertised or is it crap?
3. ALSO, you need to examine: WHAT ON (OR INSIDE) THE PARCEL STATES WHERE IT CAME FROM? For example, here at BigBrandWholesale, we use logo tape on the outside of our parcels and we insert a business card into the parcel. If the buyer tells us it is being dropshipped we use plain tape, no promotional material. Obviously, when a parcel is being dropshipped, the middleman wants the buyer to believe it is from him, not from BigBrandWholesale.com. So the question is, “How do I communicate with the seller that the order is being dropshipped?” - you need to find this out because you don’t want the seller to poach your customers.
4. Next, there is no “plug and play” solution. Every single integration program requires a lot of setup in the beginning. Here’s a couple screenshots of what you can expect:
The good news is that there are a ton of YouTube videos out there to help guide you through. Regardless, plan on spending several days, or even weeks, setting everything up correctly. This isn’t going to be overnight riches.
5. And finally, MARKUP. You will need an integration program that allows you to easily tack on a markup that will cover your expenses. Since you will be doing little-to-no work, you should never be aiming for a massive markup, but if your markup is 3%, will this cover your costs to list the merchandise, payment fees, etc? Or do you need to markup 5% or even 7%? Making 70-cents on a $10 purchase might not sound like a lot of money, but considering you have
- No inventory
- No time spent listing
- No overhead besides $55 a month for e-Product Plug (or whatever program)
- No time spent packing
- No time spent shipping
- No shipping supplies costs
- No time spent ordering more inventory
…. With all of this in mind, getting paid 70-cents on a $10 purchase is friggin amazing!
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