Table of Contents
- 1 What is Dropshipping?
- 2 Do Dropshipping Businesses Need to Have a Shipping Policy?
- 3 What to Include in a Dropshipping Shipping Policy?
- 4 Where Do You Make Deliveries?
- 5 Shipping Costs & Options
- 6 Customs & Duties
- 7 Delivery Timeframes & Handling Time
- 8 Delivery Address
- 9 Tracking
- 10 Returns, Exchanges, and Refunds
- 11 Where to Display You’re Shipping Policy?
- 12 Dropshipping Policy Examples and Template
- 13 What is a Return and Refund Policy?
- 14 Dropshipping Stores: Clear Cancellation and Refund Policy
- 15 Dropshipper refund policy template – What to include
- 16 Important Tip: Talk about returns with your supplier
- 17 Your Return Policy Can Help You Earn Sales
- 18 What Does Dropshippers Think About Returns?
- 19 How to get refunds without returns
- 20 Next, what’s the next step? Next step? Create a page on your site that outlines your refund policy (see How)
Dropshipping firms, which are becoming increasingly popular in the eCommerce arena, come with their own set of peculiarities and obstacles.
While the logistics of dropshipping, such as shipping and returns, may appear intimidating to the uninformed, with proper preparation and regulations in place, it can be a very profitable enterprise.
What is Dropshipping?
Dropshipping is a type of fulfilment. When a consumer purchases a product from your online store, the order is forwarded to your dropshipping partner (supplier/wholesaler or manufacturer), who processes the order and ships the items directly to your customer instead of you.
To put it another way, an online store owner never has the tangible things that it sells in their hands.
This strategy appeals to online businesses because it eliminates the need for a warehouse and inventory, allowing the owner to concentrate on managing the website and the firm as a whole rather than worrying about fulfilment.
Do Dropshipping Businesses Need to Have a Shipping Policy?
Because the online store does not ship out the things, you may believe that a shipping policy is unnecessary. That would be incorrect.
When you’re running a dropshipping business, shipping becomes very complicated. Most of the time, you’ll be dealing with several different suppliers, each with its own set of policies, procedures, and shipping prices.
On the other hand, having multiple suppliers is an excellent strategy for ensuring that you are never out of stock.
What you must remember is that the dropshipper does not exist in the eyes of the customer. The buyer places an order on an internet store, and the provider just fills it, usually in unbranded packaging.
The business name of the online store, not the supplier’s, will appear on the invoice. Here is why the online store should have a shipping policy, as this is where buyers will look for one.
What to Include in a Dropshipping Shipping Policy?
Like that any other eCommerce company, your shipping policy is a component of your website that offers information about delivery methods, charges, and timeframes.
As previously said, most visitors to your website are unaware that you use a third-party vendor to fulfil purchases. Thus your shipping policy will appear to be similar to that of any other online retailer.
Before you even consider drafting a policy, you should research the shipping policies of your various suppliers, as they can differ greatly, and take them all into account when writing yours.
The following details should be included in your shipping policy:
Where Do You Make Deliveries?
You may elect to just offer delivery within your native nation, especially if the things you sell are substantial and shipping fees would be prohibitive.
If you’re selling smaller things, though, you might want to consider offering international delivery.
If you do, you’ll need to check with your suppliers to see if the carriers they employ can ship internationally and if any nations are excluded.
You should also double-check that the carriers you’re using can deliver to a P.O. Box. Exclusions include P.O. boxes and military addresses, which are both prevalent.
Shipping Costs & Options
If your supplier has several shipping alternatives, such as standard/express or a selection of carriers, it’s a good idea to put them all on a table, along with the costs connected with each.
Depending on which of your vendors fulfills the order, shipping rates may vary. In today’s competitive internet industry, you could choose to set a basic flat rate for your clients and anticipate the pricing differences will likely balance out at the end of the year.
Flat-rate shipping is typically more appealing to online buyers than prices computed at checkout and may be unexpected.
Customs & Duties
If you offer international shipping, don’t forget to include a note informing your consumers that the shipment they receive may be subject to taxes and customs imposed by their home country.
You should also state that they are the customer’s entire responsibility. It might be difficult for a company to quantify or predict these expenses, which can be large depending on the destination country.
Delivery Timeframes & Handling Time
This is particularly essential in dropshipping enterprises, as many of them employ Asian suppliers, such as AliExpress.
These vendors typically have extensive lead times, sometimes as much as a month or two from when the order is placed.
Customers should be aware of this before placing an order, as they are accustomed to Amazon’s lightning-fast shipping timeframes.
Customers may be willing to wait longer for the cheaper pricing you provide – after all, this is what distinguishes a dropshipping company from a regular online store with inventory.
Because you are not responsible for fulfilling, packaging, or shipping your orders, you may want to mention that delays are possible and that your timescales are merely estimates.
Inquire with your suppliers about how long it takes them to fulfil and pack orders, as handling times might vary substantially from one wholesaler to the next.
Not to mention the fact that the worldwide freight scenario might change drastically from one day to the next, which you must consider while developing your shipping strategy.
Because you are not responsible for packing and shipping items, it is a good idea to state in your shipping policy that a destination address cannot be changed once an order has been placed or dispatched.
A conventional internet firm may handle an address change. Still, when dealing with a third party, communication can take time, and your supplier may not be prepared to go the extra mile because their duty is confined to fulfilment and does not include customer support.
For each order that your supplier ships on your behalf, your supplier should be able to give you the carrier’s name as well as a tracking number.
To limit the number of emails related to shipping that you receive and that would be difficult for you to answer, you can specify in your policy that your customers will receive a tracking number by email once the order has been shipped, along with a link to the website where they can track their order.
Returns, Exchanges, and Refunds
To make it easy for your customers to determine whether or not to shop with you, summaries your return and refund policies in your shipping policy.
This should cover the fundamentals, such as how long your clients have after receiving their order to request a return or refund, what circumstances are appropriate, and how to go about doing so.
It should also feature a simple option for customers to contact your customer support team and cover return shipping charges.
For added transparency, give a link to your complete return policy. Check out our post on the subject if you need assistance establishing a return and refund policy for your dropshipping business.
Where to Display You’re Shipping Policy?
You should designate a part of your website to shipping and returns, and it should be easily accessible.
You may easily build a new page for it in your eCommerce platform and link to it in the footer of your website.
You might also want to include a link to your product pages to remind your customers to look at it before placing a purchase. The more transparent you are with them, the better since this will aid in the development of a trustworthy relationship.
This is especially critical for dropshipping businesses, as there are usually several other websites offering the same things as you.
Dropshipping Policy Examples and Template
Click here to see samples of shipping policies used by large e-retailers, as well as a template you may use to customize for your own dropshipping business.
Writing a Shipping Policy for Your Dropshipping Website
When it comes to dropshipping, it all comes down to asking the correct questions of your possible suppliers: their handling time, processes, carriers they employ, where in the world they can deliver and the rates, normal delivery periods, and how customers can track their orders.
You should try to simplify your potential customer’s decision-making process and persuade them to purchase from your website rather than a competitor’s. This can be accomplished by being open and honest with them about your shipping methods.
What is a Return and Refund Policy?
It is important that eCommerce websites have a refund policy. However, many website owners don’t know where to start.
This policy is a legally binding agreement between buyer and seller. Customers are advised to read it before purchasing. Some sites won’t issue refunds at all, while others will only offer a limited refund period.
Site visitors should find the refund policy easy to understand and straightforward.
Dropshipping Stores: Clear Cancellation and Refund Policy
A cancellation and refund policy is more of a legal agreement between buyers and sellers. It states when, how, and in what cases refunds are possible. Dropshipping shops should have a clear policy so that prospects understand what they are signing up for.
Dropshipper refund policy template – What to include
There are some things you should include in a refund policy to ensure your buyers can buy with confidence. As we have already mentioned, it is important to make refund and return policies clear and easy-to-understand. They should include:
- Returns are always free
- You can offer products as replacements
- Refunds and returns are possible in certain countries
- Exempted items from your returns policy
- Customers are not eligible for returns during this period
- How quickly your returns occur
Gymshark, an ecommerce brand, has a good returns policy, you can check it.
Also, you can use one of online policy generators like termly.io, which helps you to create the document step by step, or take as example a shop you like. You can actually download a template for your return policy and edit it to suit your needs.
Use the following tips to create a refund policy without making mistakes
Important Tip: Talk about returns with your supplier
Of course, your return policy depends on your decision and return policy of your suppliers. You don’t ship the products, you do not receive them back. So, discuss the matter with your managers.
The questions are generally the same, but you will need to create your own policy. You can choose to offer more service to your customers than your suppliers.
You can test the products and request a return or exchange to make sure the manufacturer has a strong policy. You can be picky when choosing suppliers. Discuss the return procedures in advance to show that you are a responsible partner.
Your Return Policy Can Help You Earn Sales
You can increase your sales if you make the return and refund process simple. It sounds too good to be true, right?
Could you look at it in this way? Many shoppers believe that a simple return process will make it easier to shop again. They know that they will be covered even if the worst happens and they must return the product to the seller.
Dropshippers don’t have to view returns from a negative angle. You want to create a brand that people trust.
What Does Dropshippers Think About Returns?
Your customers only know your brand, and they don’t care about the supplier. You must face reality and offer refunds to eligible customers.
For every return that you accept, your supplier will ship a new product to you or you will refund buyers according to your return and refund policy.
How to get refunds without returns
You can offer your customers a refund without having to return the products they purchased.
This will eliminate the need to deliver and provide better customer service.
You might still make a profit if your product has a high profit margin after you send them the second item.
Before you send them a replacement item, it is a good idea to ask them for a photo proof of the product being damaged or non-functional.
Next, what’s the next step? Next step? Create a page on your site that outlines your refund policy (see How)
- Take a look at the WordPress dashboard to the left. Click Pages menu and then click Add new
- Enter a page name. It is okay to call the page “Return Policy” (or “Return and Refunds Policy”) The title you may double as the URL, like “yoursitename.com/returns”.
- You can add the policy text immediately after creating the page, or later. Save the page
- Navigate to WordPress Dashboard from the left – Appearance and Menus.
- Select the page you wish to add to your menu from the section to the left. Check the box.
- Click on the Save to Add to Menu.