If you open a furniture store, either online or brick and mortar, odds are you’ll benefit mightily from drop shipping. After all, you’ll be able to operate your business with much less overhead when you’re freed of warehousing items until they’re sold; not to mention coming up with the cash to buy items at wholesale to store until they’re sold. In other words, the advantages of blind shipping are many.
What is Blind Shipping?
As intimated above, blind shipping involves sending product directly from the manufacturer or the distributor to the buyer or the end user. However, most retailers want their customers to deal with them exclusively for all other aspects of the transaction, such as making the original purchase or post-delivery concerns. Functioning this way, your customer sees only you and has no idea these other entities exist. In other words, your customer is “blind” to the existence of everyone in the transaction except you.
Why Blind Ship?
Simplicity is often cited as the primary reason for operating in this fashion. If the customer has a problem, they can come directly to you for resolution, rather than wading waist-deep into your fulfillment processes. Blind shipping also keeps your patrons from knowing the origin of your products. In the event of a return or a damage claim, you’ll straighten out issues with your suppliers on your own anyway. Therefore, it’s best to keep the customer out of this loop. Further, let’s face it; people being people, if shoppers have access to the wholesaler’s contact information, many will try to get the item at your cost to save a buck.
What is Double Blind Shipping?
In a double-blind shipping scenario, your customer doesn’t know the origin of the goods and the wholesaler has no information on your customer. This prevents them from subsequently dealing directly and cheating you out of the margin you earned by attracting the customer in the first place. Fundamentally, the beauty of double blind shipping is being able to send products without the worry of either your customer or your supplier learning one another’s contact information.
Other Benefits of Blind Shipping
Drop-shipping’s chief advantage is the fact it allows retailers to sell product they never physically see or touch. However, this fact can make a lot of customers nervous. These people want to believe the product came directly from the entity with whom they conducted the purchase. What’s more, a lot of people feel more confident when they think they’re buying merchandise that was stocked by the seller.
Blind shipping allows you to maintain the illusion—without incurring the associated expenses. Freed of the overhead costs associated with warehousing, you can also realize a price advantage over stocking merchandise on your own.
And again, while most wholesaler and importers value and respect their relationships with their drop shipping partners, greed does exist and can be a motivating factor. While most drop shippers guarantee they will not contact your customers directly, some have been known to do so just the same. If you do not have this agreement with all of your suppliers, then a blind drop ship is the best way to protect the relationships that you build with your customers.
The Bottom Line
To recap the primary advantages of blind shipping; you can sell more at less expense and your customers will never know you didn’t have the product on hand when they made the buy. You’ll be assured your shipper does not know who your customer is so they won’t try to undercut you. Instead, you maintain complete control over the financial aspects of the transaction.