Dropshipper stopped responding? What should you do if you Dropshipper stops replying to you? What if they just stop supplying products to you, without warning, at ANY time of the year? Of course when it happens during the Holidays it’s worse, but no time is a good time!
Sometimes even the best Dropshipper Wholesalers will hiccup from time to time. This is a faily normal thing and a good Wholesale Supplier will get back on track quickly, making good on any problems they may have briefly caused you.
However, other times, a Supplier will just quit talking to you altogether. Your orders won’t be filled, your calls and emails won’t be answered… When that happens, you’re stuck! If you have customers waiting for orders that they have already paid for and the order isn’t showing up at their door, you’re going to start hearing from those customers pretty quickly.
Remember that if you use GOOD Suppliers, this is EXTREMELY RARE. On the other hand, it happens faily often with those drop ship middlemen you find on Google. The moral of the story is that you need to start with good wholesale supplier information to begin with. Like the good information we publish in our Wholesaler & Dropshipper Directory at WorldwideBrands.com
Reason why a dropshipper stopped responding…
Unfortunately things happen whether you want them to or not. Rare as it is with GOOD dropshipping suppliers, “ship” happens. Wholesale companies are run by people, just like everything else. People experience unfortunate things. Buildings get damaged. Accountants run away with company funds and force a business to shut down. Again, however rare, this is the real world and sometimes “ship” doesn’t happen.
If your wholesale supplier stops responding, it’s your customers you have to answer to, and how you recover from the problem in your customers eyes is what matters.
What to do when your supplier stops responding.
The first thing that happens is that you stop getting shipping confirmations and tracking numbers if the products are getting dropshipped. Because that’s usually the first thing you see after you place an order. If that doesn’t arrive in an acceptable time frame, CALL and ask the supplier what’s up?
The second thing that happens is that you’ll probably get an email from the customer asking where their order is. But you should already be aware before your customer contacts you.
Even if you haven’t heard back from the supplier yet, respond to your customer IMMEDIATELY. Tell them that you are looking into the situation and you’ll get back to them ASAP. Stay in touch often, even if you don’t have anything new to report.
If you have been trying to connect with your dropshipper by email and phone and you still haven’t heard from them in around 5 business days, then you could have a serious problem. Now you should take stock in what all you have posted for sale from that supplier and start deactivating them from your website. If your entire site is dedicated to products just from that one supplier, then you really have a problem. You need to pause your entire site!
In the meantime, STILL keep trying to reach your supplier. by email and phone. But remember these guidelines…
- Do not flood them with emails and calls. Once a day with both methods is reasonable.
- Do not be an amateur and leave nasty messages or send scathing emails. There may be an extraordinary reason why they are unable to respond. Think hurricanes, floods, tornados, earthquakes, fires… These incidents can take down an entire communication grid… in some cases for WEEKS!
Ok..it’s been about 5 business days. Now what?
Notify everyone that purchased, starting with the first customer that didn’t get their order, that your Supplier has a shipping problem and it may take some additional time to deliver their order.
Remember, this is about how your business is perceived by the customer. Stay calm. Stay professional. This situation isn’t your fault and you are doing your best to rectify it. Some customers at this point will just ask for a refund and cancel the order. Others may be willing to hold on a little longer, especially if it wasn’t a gift or there was no rush to get it.
After 10 business days with no response…
10 business days or anytime after December 10th if it’s during the Holiday selling season and you still don’t get an answer, it’s truly time to pull the plug. Definitely stop selling those products and refund all of your customers.
Of course we don’t want to stop selling products that sell, but also it’s horrible to have to refund the customers. WHY? Because it might be out of pocket! In some cases the order you made with the supplier processed and they already charged you. So you might be refunding your customer temporarily out of of your own funds.
When you announce to your customers that the supplier can’t deliver the product and you are refunding them, remember these things…
- Yes, this is the suppliers fault, but don’t go out of your way to place blame on them. You can most certainly tell your customer that your supplier had an unexpected problem, but don’t go on a rampage. Your customers will respect you more if you shoulder the blame or elegantly phrase the situation. Short and sweet. Apologize and tell them you are refunding them.
- You might get a nasty email from a customer, but don’t take the bait! Be a bigger person and don’t respond the same way.
- Here is an important one, find another place that sells that product and recommend them. Especially if the place is a brick and mortar store that also sells online! THIS will definitely earn you some respect and gratitiude. This behavior will keep the customer coming back.
The Last Hope & Closure
Allright, you stopped selling the products and you have refunded your customers. Now what? Still keep trying to contact the supplier! But at some point it’s obvious they won’t respond right? But check weather reports for where the supplier is located. Was there a disaster? Did they get broken into, everything was stolen and their location is on lockdown for investigation? I mean.. yeah, far fethched, but it happens in the movies all the time!
But finally after about 15 days, it’s time to recoup any loss funds and close the supplier relationship. One last time, send the Dropshipper an email. Tell them that you regretfully must stop selling their products due to a lack of response and fulfillment of placed orders.
Give them a list of the orders that you made with them and already refunded to your customers to cancel. Then, if you paid the dropshipper for those orders, request an immediate refund.
If you don’t get any action on a refund in the next 2 business days, initiate chargebacks with your credit card company for unfulfilled purchases. Chargebacks are a way to get your money back from a company that doesn’t refund you when requested. The merchant bank will step in and chase down the dropshipper for the refunds for you. But don’t want too much longer than 15 days after placing those orders. While in some cases you can request a chargeback in the last 6 months of purchases, some banks don’t allow you to go back that far, and besides, you need to recoup the money you spent out of pocket buying from the dropshipper and already refunding the customers.
This situation is not limited to dropshippers. This can happen for bulk purchases too. But in this case, it’s usually only you that is effected!
All of this is a very rare circumstance. I’ve only heard of it once, and I have communicated with thousands of online retailers the past 20 years and worked with thousands of wholesale suppliers and dropshippers.
However, that doesn’t mean it CAN’T happen! So keep it in the back of your mind and hopefully this article also reminds you to pay closer attention to shipping and tracking emails from your dropshippers!
Working with REAL Wholesalers Makes this Situation Even More Rare!
Real wholesale suppliers that have been checked out is the way to go! Suppliers that own and stock their own merchandise. No Middlemen, No Scams and No Fraud!
We list REAL Dropshippers, REAL Light Bulk Wholesalers and Volume Distributors in our online Directory who are looking for REAL hard working online sellers, just like you.
Check out what the Directory has to offer HERE