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drop ship advice please! (I would be the seller - not my product)

1035 Views 2 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  kimura-mma
Since I have learned just about everything I know about this business on t-shirt forums, I thought maybe I could learn something else from the always-helpful community here.…. I have had something new come up that I have no idea how to navigate.

I sell rhinestone apparel online and am just starting to approach retail shops. I had someone contact me about selling her rhinestone items (not clothing) along with my own products. Let’s call her business Rhinestone Eyewear. (It’s not really, but I’d rather not discuss her real business without her permission. I hope you understand.) She wants me to sell them and she will drop ship them. I would make the sale, either online or to a retail account, collect the money, then she will ship the order and bill me for the wholesale amount (plus shipping charge I’m assuming.) I haven’t ever dealt with this, but I understand this part.

What I don’t get is this…… her packaging says ABC Rhinestone Eyewear. If I land a retail account, after spending time to land this account, what prevents the retailer from just ordering directly from her if they want to re-order in the future. My name won’t be anywhere on the packaging, but hers will. (She also sells these on her website.) Or, what prevents her from contacting the retail account and telling them that she can sell directly to them if they want to re-order. I guess I just have to trust that she will do business honestly, but I think the retailer or a customer contacting her company directly is a more likely problem.

I see where it would benefit her for me to start trying to sell her product on my website or to retail accounts, but I’m not sure it offers that much benefit to me. She said that these are selling like hotcakes, but she would like to move into my area. I guess maybe it would be a benefit to me if they really are selling like hotcakes and I get a percentage of it, but I guess I don’t see why I won’t get cut out of the deal once a retailer likes the product.

Does this type of partnership have success? What should I do on my end to ensure fairness? Does this sound like a good business deal? I appreciate any experience you all have in this drop-ship type of arrangement. I’ve just never dealt with this before and can’t decide if I want to try this or not.

Any advice from anyone who has dealt with this type of partnership?

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Why couldn't she re-label it with your name? If she won't go somewhere else. Either she does that or offer an Affiliate program.
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If you are selling her product to retail stores in your area, you are acting as an independent sales rep more than a drop ship affiliate. So you can set up a contractual agreement that defines your sales territory and commission percentage. You would get a commission on any sales in your territory whether the store orders through you or directly through her. This is common in sales rep agreements for the exact reason you are concerned about. If you open the account, you should be entitled to the commission on their orders.

Hope this helps and good luck.

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