Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Sat July 1 2017 11:16:25

How Would You Respond to an Unsolicited Drop Shipper?

By: Ina Steiner

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Online sellers are receiving unsolicited invitations from supposed drop shippers. Is it a great business opportunity, or a scam?

Here's a rough outline of a message sellers have received from would-be drop-shippers:

Hi (seller name),
My name is (sender name) and I run an ecommerce business. You have a great online store.

I'm interested in selling your (product name) in high quantities. I would like to enter into a drop shipping relationship with you.

That means when I get a sale, I will send you an email with the customer's name and address, and you will ship the product directly to them on my behalf.

Let me know if you are interested and we can discuss discounts.
Thanks,
(sender name)

What's interesting is that the sender of such emails aren't asking a lot of questions about how they will protect themselves - how would they know if the seller actually ships the item to their customer?

Are there any red flags to look for in such letters? How do you evaluate a potential drop-shipper, and what would you demand from a potential partner before doing business with them?




Comments (18) | Leave Comment | Permalink

Readers Comments

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This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Sat Jul 1 13:41:43 2017

I receive a few of those e-mails per year except without the drop shipping reference.  They usually have a file attached that I can only assume has malicious code embedded.  There's no point in responding so I just delete them.

On that note, it's surprising how many "service" companies apparently know that I'm in business despite little promotion and slow sales...

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by: Michael in BC This user has validated their user name.

Sat Jul 1 23:24:25 2017

Absolute scam.  I get several of these emails every month.  I sell OOAK collectibles, and the emails make reference only to my "product".

Do not respond, just ignore and delete as clicking a link...... well, ... you know.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Sun Jul 2 00:05:26 2017

Delete on receipt.

They remind me of the Nigerian scams that were so prevalent on ebafia a few years ago.

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by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jul 2 06:43:46 2017

Delete, Move On. This is nothing new on Fleecebay. Been going on for years.

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by: Volvo351 This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jul 2 08:27:46 2017

Look, I'm honest, so if someone buys something I have for sale, I'll ship it to any confirmed address. But, I don't sell quantities, so I'm not likely to get this kind of solicitation.

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by: mcposty This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jul 2 10:55:36 2017

Ignore. A real interested party would be giving more information.

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by: comments This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jul 2 12:09:16 2017

Anyone who has a quality product at a good price doesn't need to cold spam emails.  

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This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Sun Jul 2 14:13:56 2017

I too get similar emails off and on for years.  But this one to me, like the other posters, is clearly a scam.  

The statement "...when I get a sale, I will send you an email with the customer's name and address, and you will ship the product directly to them on my behalf."  Why in the world would anyone do this??  If they have a sale, why don't they just ship it?  Why would I be needed to process the sale?  It just doesn't make sense.

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by: Snapped This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jul 2 20:26:10 2017

UNsolicited.  As in, not asked for.  As in, if interested in such an arrangement, do the due dilligence that suits the need.

Do that, and any 'legitimacy' issues associated with an UNsolicitated 'deal' become moot.  

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by: phantom This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jul 3 00:08:36 2017

Report thru Spamcop,

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by: ySirTinLee This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jul 3 00:14:22 2017

Drop shipping can be lucrative if done properly. Snedco, CKB, Hollister and many other businesses do it. The drop shipper ships with tracking. This has been going on for many years. However, I would be leery of unsolicited requests as others have stated.  

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by: Moonwishes This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Mon Jul 3 01:50:58 2017

I get those and the reverse of them wanting me to carry their line of goods - usually dresses or wedding gowns. It shows just how little they have looked at my site, which sells sewing patterns, not actual garments!

I got a kick out of the last bit of the last line of the letter where you will get to discuss 'discounts'! So they want to sell your stuff and you drop ship it for them and give them a discount to boot. Thanks but no thanks. I've done enough work to making my listings etc. I don't need to let someone copy them all and then sell them and give me less than what I was asking for.

I was doing a search the other day and found that Fishpond site. They had one of my patterns up for sale for more than double what I am charging, they even are using my photos (I can tell from the very same bend in the envelope as my photo has). They steal my listing and if it sells, they make double what I charged. I wish there was a way to outlaw those folks that just somehow scoop up our listings and plunk them into their site to sale. Just a bit of software manipulation and they suddenly have thousands of hours of my hard work on their site.

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by: Moonwishes This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Mon Jul 3 01:50:58 2017

I get those and the reverse of them wanting me to carry their line of goods - usually dresses or wedding gowns. It shows just how little they have looked at my site, which sells sewing patterns, not actual garments!

I got a kick out of the last bit of the last line of the letter where you will get to discuss 'discounts'! So they want to sell your stuff and you drop ship it for them and give them a discount to boot. Thanks but no thanks. I've done enough work to making my listings etc. I don't need to let someone copy them all and then sell them and give me less than what I was asking for.

I was doing a search the other day and found that Fishpond site. They had one of my patterns up for sale for more than double what I am charging, they even are using my photos (I can tell from the very same bend in the envelope as my photo has). They steal my listing and if it sells, they make double what I charged. I wish there was a way to outlaw those folks that just somehow scoop up our listings and plunk them into their site to sale. Just a bit of software manipulation and they suddenly have thousands of hours of my hard work on their site.

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by: glasspackaging This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jul 3 07:28:57 2017

I get a few a week... I always answer.. why would you get a discount? ....  

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This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Mon Jul 3 14:23:02 2017

@glasspackaging

A few a week is really unusual.  That could easily be related to the fact that you actually spend time to reply to these types of emails.  Once you do that, they know you are willing to engage them and therefore these type of emails will increase for you.

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by: The Not So New Guy This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jul 3 20:06:08 2017

I only wish half the geniuses that copy our pictures, listing descriptions, and tag lines would contact us and have us just drop the merchandise too. Bad enough they steal everything else, might as well just let us drop ship, we've done all the rest of the work anyway.

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by: TomH This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jul 4 08:17:32 2017

Like everyone else that has posted I get a few also. I delete them without reading.

I wish there was a real way to prevent the photo and other info stealing, but no procedure available has been or is effective, to my limited knowledge.

Watermarking photos helps, but not really in any sense other than identifying the original photo.

In the end, if the address is real, and, the payment is legitimate, then I ship, I don't really care if a drop shipper made the sale.  

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This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Wed Jul 5 11:13:30 2017

I've never received one of the drop shipper e-mails, probably because all my items are a quantity of one. What I do get, at least once a week, are e-mails all in Chinese which, I assume, are asking me to carry their product line.



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