Welcome to the 4th and final part of our series on the 4 pillars of selling merchandise. Pillars 1 and 2 both involved face-to-face interaction between you and your customer. Last week we talked about direct shipping, which is a little more hands-off and a slightly less personal experience. Today we’ll learn about another shipping option, which is drop shipping. Let’s get into it.
Pillar 4: Drop Shipping
The 4th and final method for selling merchandise is drop shipping, which is a zero-inventory method. Just like with direct shipping, your customers will purchase your merchandise online, and the products will be shipped to them. But with drop shipping, you don’t personally store your own inventory, and you don’t personally pack and ship each order. When you use the drop shipping method, you pay a third-party company to store, manage, and maintain your inventory, and to fulfill and ship your orders. This method is the most hands-off method of selling merchandise, and gives the least amount of interaction between you and your customers.
Even though you aren’t getting personal interactions with your customers, there are still a lot of benefits to drop shipping. The biggest benefit is not having to store your own inventory. As we discussed last week, storing your own inventory can be a huge headache and expense. With drop shipping, your inventory is managed elsewhere, which frees up more of your money and your physical space.
One of the things that many businesses find appealing about direct shipping is the ability to personalize each order as it goes out. With drop shipping, your personalization options are limited to whatever the third-party company can provide. Some drop shipping companies will ship your orders in custom packaging, while others will only ship them in generic packaging that they can use for all their customers. Some drop shipping companies will allow you to provide additional materials, like marketing information or stickers, to be inserted in each order as it goes out. But others may not be able to accommodate such requests.
However, what you lose in personalization options, you gain in flexibility, particularly when it comes to digital printing with F4mily Matters. Our Direct to Garment (DTG) printing method is so much faster and more flexible than screen printing. Screen printers have to set up screens for each color and design, which can be expensive and time consuming. Because of this, screen printing companies tend to require you to print a minimum number of garments with each order.
DTG printing, on the other hand, has no complicated setup process. Once we have your print ready artwork on file, we can pull it up and print any number of garments you need, at any time. This means that when you have a new design you’d like to release, you can create the design and then post the digital mockup to your website. If your customers like the new design and place orders, we can print the garments and ship them to your customers. But if the design doesn’t do as well and no one orders it, we haven’t printed a thing. You haven’t wasted money printing shirts that no one purchased. You don’t have to worry about tracking or storing the inventory, because there is no inventory. You have extreme flexibility in how many designs you’re able to offer, and you only spend money printing the items that sell. Especially for new brands, this is a great way to keep printing costs low, while never compromising on the quality of the print.
No matter which of the 4 pillars you use to sell your merchandise, F4mily Matters can help you provide top quality printed garments to your customers. Give us a call today and see how we can help you.