Author Topic: Quick question....  (Read 1717 times)

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FischerFineArts

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Quick question....
« on: April 20, 2012, 04:34:22 PM »
This is a very important question to me and I will explain how and in what way below.

The big question is: Do you allow drop shipping?

The reason I ask is because the printing company I use to print our photographs, fine art prints, etc now offers this option as part of their service.

Etsy does NOT allow it (for example, I have seen a shop closed down where the owners were a military family and abroad, often moving, so they had a relative in the US do the shipping for them). This isn't my case, but it can sort of apply here on this site, too, if others are in that situation. Because Etsy doesn't allow it and because I want to always be sure of how I order my prints, they come out the way I want them to, I will always order at least one to have, plus I order ACEO's to keep a file on hand of each print, all the info, etc in a small card file system. The rest of the ACEO's, I sell.

Drop shipping for me does make a huge impact on what I can and cannot do:

1) Once I've verified the quality of the product from my initial order, I can then with confidence offer the color variations I have available to consumers without having to purchase more inventory.

2) More variations means more listings and filling out my shop better and faster. As an example, this listing, I can do in at least 4 variations of color: http://handmadeartists.com/product-details/Art/Digital/Wizard%20Digital%20Art%20Print/?pid=201203251214444238a

3) My print shop does NOT put their company name, logo or any other identifying materials on the shipping, so it's not free advert for them, it's a service they have for us.

4) Saves time for shipping higher volume around the holiday seasons, ensuring that people can get their products faster and on time. I would still be the one responsible for them receiving their items in mint condition and in a timely manner, with a money back guarantee. If the print shop doesn't perform, it's between me and them, but the customer will always be made right.

How do you feel about this form of drop shipping and would you allow it? If you do, are there concerns you have for future abuse that perhaps I can help you guys write some guidelines on?

Offline Larissa

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Re: Quick question....
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2012, 04:54:14 PM »
I plan to ship my photos (if and when anyone purchases any) directly from the printer.  It seems like such a waste of time to have them delivered to me and then have to first mail them to the end consumer.

We should wait and see what Andrew & Kimberly say, though... they're away for a bit, but will be back in a few days.

FischerFineArts

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Re: Quick question....
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2012, 05:07:36 PM »
I plan to ship my photos (if and when anyone purchases any) directly from the printer.  It seems like such a waste of time to have them delivered to me and then have to first mail them to the end consumer.

We should wait and see what Andrew & Kimberly say, though... they're away for a bit, but will be back in a few days.

You're right. I didn't realize they were away for a few days.  I wouldn't want to do it without their consent. I also agree that it seems a waste to have to order a print to have shipped to you, then turn around and have to ship it to the customer. It winds up potentially jacking their costs up (not always, as my printer has low minimums for free shipping, but still)....not to mention the delay of receiving the product.

Thanks for letting me know that Andrew and Kimberly are away and I'll wait patiently until they return. :D

Offline MakinTheBest

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Re: Quick question....
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2012, 04:36:52 AM »
Sorry, we have been back but I missed this one some how.  I need to talk to Andrew about the drop shipping but here are my thoughts as of right now...


For a lot of people, drop shipping is so much easier and less expensive than having a print, for example, shipped to you then shipping to a customer.  I know the two of you and would never question the two of you but that leads to the problem of people we don't know.  I am wondering if allowing drop shipping would open the door for much abuse by others as it has on Etsy?  As the site grows it could be a huge problem determining who is drop shipping their own work and who is drop shipping work purchased wholesale.


As I said, sorry for the late response and I will talk to Andrew tonight and we will set down some terms for it.

Offline Larissa

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Re: Quick question....
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2012, 08:59:18 AM »
I have a photography side business, fine art prints, and for sizes my printer doesn't allow, I do order my prints from a professional lab, have them sent to me to verify, then ship to the customer. Honestly, I would never have the lab ship to the customer. I'm a pixel peeper, and I like to make sure every single print is perfect. Any imperfections and I order the print again on my dime. Large prints do cost the customer more, because I outsource the printing, but until I get a printer that can print these sizes for me, this is what works best for me. On my website, I only offer smaller sizes, but if there is a custom order, then they pay more for the added cost to print off site. However, I wouldn't mind purchasing prints that were then drop shipped from the lab to me so long as their was a quality guarantee. Interesting question.

Really good point, and definitely making me rethink.

Offline chainmaille

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Re: Quick question....
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2012, 10:09:39 AM »
Sorry I haven't popped into this thread yet, trying to keep up with all the goings on. But I think each one would have to handled on a case by case basis for now. We need to be careful that it doesn't get abused and resellers do not sneak in.
Now for the photos I can see it each way, if you've used a photo printer and are confident in their work and trust them to represent you, I have no issues with them shipping to the customer. Now like Nicole stated, she likes to touch and give everything the once over before she  ships, I can respect that as well. But I will say that in the years that I've been in this business as well as my full time job in construction, you create various relationships with other businesses. Where you can fully trust them to do the right thing, if you have such a relationship then let them ship for you if you choose and reap the extra couple of bucks you would save by doing so.

Hope my babble makes sense. :o