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  1. #1
    Newbie
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    As an affiliate marketer, creating a decent amount of targeted traffic, I am beginning to seriously consider the option of drop shipping items out.

    What we do is take the process of internet marketing right up to the purchase decision. Right? Agreed, there are other factors involved.

    But ordering online myself, I've realized that many of the goods more often are being drop shipped right to the home address. This is slowly becoming the norm for many goods (easily recognizable brands/uniqueness/handcrafted, etc) With no inventory needed. (well, perhaps liability insurance?)

    Larger margins with higher degree of control over the entire process. I guess what I'm saying is I see this marketing channel easily merging up to the distributor/manufacturer level.

    Don't kid yourself, and don't underestimate yourself, most of what we lack is but an order taking function. No tracking/Norton/parasite or questionable practices or issues to worry about. You would maintain all customer relationships as your own directly. Something to think about!

  2. #2
    Animal Lover
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> You would maintain all customer relationships as your own directly. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Yes but remember you have to take all the hassles that come with it too ie irate customers asking you why they haven't got their stuff yet, why they got sent a 'blue' one and not the 'red' one etc...

    So with the good comes the bad, you need to weigh up if that's what you are willing to put up with.

    Oscar
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  3. #3
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    Oscar,

    You could counter this by dealing with fewer contacts, higher per-ticket items.

  4. #4
    http and a telephoto
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    Customer service is a large part of being your own business. I am not interested in providing customer service, that is why I got into affiliate marketing to begin with. I like marketing. I like creating websites. I like sending people somewhere else to deal with the shopping cart, the order fullfillment, the customer service, the credit card processing and the fraud that goes with it.

    Drop shipping is great for people that want to take on the responsibility of running a business, but it is a *LOT* more labor intensive than affiliate marketing. And, as with aff marketing, if your drop ship partner goes out of business or provides poor order fullfillment, YOU are out of business too.

    It is something to think about and cautiously consider before you jump in with both feet. If you want to do it, that's great, do it! Just know what you are taking on first
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  5. #5
    Animal Lover
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> You could counter this by dealing with fewer contacts, higher per-ticket items <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I'm afraid loxly is right - you are the merchant or are perceived to be regardless of what you sell - high ticket or not and as far as the customer goes, the buck stops with you. You need to be available to take customer calls (I guess you could hire someone to sit around and take calls but having an employee is another headache altogether) - having an answering machine just won't do. All it takes is one really demanding customer who abuses you to ruin your day. I guess the same could be said with affiliate marketing when the great Google decides that you aren't the flavor of the month anymore.

    But if you are happy to take on all that then yes, drop shipping is a good option. I just don't want you to get into it will the wool over your eyes and not know what you are getting yourself into.

    Any business you get into has its pros and cons and you need to weigh up what suits you best.

    Oscar
    My DataFeed Scripts - php datafeed scripts for your site
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  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador Jane's Avatar
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    What we need is something new. Merchants to provide us with shopping carts. We set up the web site, the orders are taken and processed on their server just like they are now. We would not be able to run products from 10 merchants on one page like we do now, but we would be able to set up our own real store. No aff links.
    The merchant wouldn't even need a site of their own. They could have 100's of affiliates with real stores promoting their products, they would only have to take and process the orders.

  7. #7
    Internet Cowboy
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    I agree with Loxly.
    Drop shipping is only putting yourself at someone else's mercy. All it takes is a delay on the drop shipping end and you have irate customers. Also, you have to deal with returns.

    On my affiliate sites, I actually seek out merchants who do NOT drop ship and I sell this to my customers. Customers are hip to drop shipping and they will often seek out someone who they know for sure has the item(s) in stock.

    We are not trying to shoot you down, scorey, just make the point that drop shipping is not the cash cow or online oasis that it is made out to be.


  8. #8
    http and a telephoto
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    Again, if you have the shopping cart on YOUR site, YOU are the merchant. With all the legal responsibilities that go with it. I don't want the customer to think they are buying from ME. I am the salesperson, not the store owner.

    For my products it is different, but for products I have no control over, I want nothing to do with people thinking it is my responsibility to process and ship their orders.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

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