Even the best Drop Ship Suppliers or Wholesale Suppliers will hiccup from time to time. For most, they will get back on track quickly and make good on any issues they have caused you.
Other times, a Supplier will just stop talking to you altogether. Your orders will not be filled and your calls and emails won’t be answered. If you have customers waiting for orders that they have already paid for and the packages aren’t being delivered, you are going to start hearing from those customers pretty quickly.
The first thing you will probably notice is that you will stop getting shipping confirmations and tracking number emails from the drop shipper. Because when you place an order with your supplier, that is usually one of the main emails you look for to correspond with your customers. When those stop arriving, it’s time to start asking questions immediately. You should never rely on your customers to tell you whether or not they received the product. Your drop ship supplier should already have something in place to notify you of a shipment.
So, contact your drop shipper by email first and ask them to confirm the orders. If you don’t get a response to that email with 24 hours, CALL them.
You should keep trying for about a week. If after a week and you still have yet to get a response, now you have a serious problem. This is the time to take stock of exactly the number of products you are selling from this supplier and get ready to remove those products from your website or auction listings. If your entire website is made up of products from one supplier, or all your auctions are products from one supplier, then of course you have a bigger problem.
You should continue to try to contact the Drop Shipping Company by phone and email, but don’t flood them with calls and emails. Once a day is reasonable. Also, don’t leave nasty, rude or threatening voicemail messages or emails. This is very unprofessional and the mark of an amateur. Keep in mind there may be good reason why you can’t contact them at this time and it could be something beyond their control.
For example, are they having bad storms? Did their warehouse burn down? You can quickly find this out by checking the local online news channel website. They will definitely have any breaking news about fires and other catastrophes.
In Florida, we experience hurricanes and terrible thunderstorms quite often throughout the year. We can go without power for weeks! Now, if this was the case with your supplier and they finally get their power and phones working again, they may not want to continue doing business with you if you have left them a slew of nasty messages.
Ok, so a week has gone by and still no response. First thing you should do is not accept any further orders for the products supplied by that wholesale drop shipper. Next, contact your customers that ordered the products and explain that there is a shipping problem with your fulfillment provider and it may take some additional time. Some will be reasonable and are satisfied to wait a little longer, but then of course you will have others that will request a refund.
Even though this situation is not your fault, do not say nasty or negative remarks to your customers about the supplier to make them feel sorry for you. Just simply apologize and move on. You may get a few nasty emails back from your customers, but do not take the bait on those! You simply need to be the bigger person by not responding the same way.
Once your customers are taken care of either with refunding or they are patient to wait and see what happens, continue trying to contact the Drop Shipper. But once you get to the point where it’s obvious they are not going to respond, send them a regretful email (not a nasty one!) stating that you have attempted many times to contact them and now you are forced to stop selling their products because of their lack of service. Give them a list of the orders that you have refunded and request an immediate refund from your wholesale supplier if they have already charged your credit card.
If you do not see a refund for the orders on your credit card within 2 days after sending the regretful email, then contact your Credit Card Company and file a chargeback to get your money returned.
So now that you have severed your relationship with that supplier, you should have already been searching for a replacement. If you cannot find a replacement supplier, then you should hit the drawing board again and start looking for your next great niche.
A quick summary for you:
1. Contact your supplier by email.
2. No response by email? Call them once a day with polite messages for five days.
3. Still no response? Contact your customers and explain about the shipping issues.
4. Continue contacting your supplier daily.
5. 10 days have passed. Refund your customers, apologize profusely, perhaps give them a suggestion of where they can find that product somewhere else if you can’t find a replacement supplier.
6. Start looking for another niche product if there are no replacement suppliers and then start all over again.
Also, If you are a Worldwide Brands member, be sure to contact us and let us know the trouble you’re having. We may know what’s going on with that drop shipper or wholesale supplier, or we can investigate further.
If you don’t want to hold the inventory to control the deliveries of products yourself, you can still purchase a few products from the drop ship supplier to have on hand if this situation arises. Then at least you can fulfill what has already been ordered.