Reputable jobber offers fulfillment and eBay auction support

I received a referral to Jobber #38 (in the guide)from a very reputable jobber in the inudustry who would not send anyone my way who wasn’t the real deal. After speaking with the owner, I truly do believe he has as service the industry has been waiting for and he also has the cooperation of some of the best jobbers in the industry. On top of that the owner has retail experience dealing with brands and manufacturers directly, which always helps when in the off-price world. I allowed him to write his own write up (which I have never done before) so he could fully explain his services. Customers who have purchased the guide can download this jobber’s profile under “my account” in the “files” area.

Drop Shippers and All That Stuff

For most of you, you read this in the guide. But this question comes up so much, that I decided to run it again.

I don’t think any company in this industry drop ships authentic, legitimate designer apparel and handbags. I mean, why would they? If you were selling them, would you drop ship them? You can sell one at a time at discounted prices. You can sell bulk at a “wholesale” price. But why would you sell one at a time slightly above wholesale price? Most people don’t understand the nature of drop shipping and how it came to be. Drop shipping doesn’t exist to serve money hungry wanna-be eBay sellers and internet merchants. Drop shipping exists as a fulfillment model for ecommerce businesses and businesses that need the flexibility in stock to be able to provide single-unit fulfillment. So it leans towards industries where this is likely to be the case.

Most of the drop shippers are manufacturers, authorized distributors or distributors that build the drop shipping model to serve a specific line of businesses. Designer apparel just isn’t one of them because there are no distributors (in the US), just manufacturers/sales reps (selling at full wholesale) and jobbers (selling at below wholesale prices). Manufacturers/sales reps are in business to sell to retailers that stock merchandise and jobbers want to move a lot of stock quickly, not one at a time. There are some types of garments that can be drop-shipped (directly from the manufacturer), but most are branded and you might not be familiar with those brands (if you must know what it is, it’s usually stuff like kinky-erotic lingerie, beachwear, clubwear and things like that).

Another thing people must realize about drop shipping is that it is highly saturated. If you would normally have a few competitors for a product that you stock, you are going to have ten times as many for a drop shipped product. And those competitors will range from crappy fly by night to professional, yet another reason many companies don’t want to tarnish their name by drop shipping merchandise. Most designers are already highly selective about the internet merchants they sell to (if they sell to internet merchants at all).

Now people think I am wrong because they find a site that defies logic and drop ships designer bags. They are, most likely, counterfeit, or unauthorized production/unauthorized sales, what some people call “back door goods” because they literally snuck out the back door.

I talk to designer showrooms, sales reps and companies all the time. None of them have any interest whatsoever in drop shipping. Remember, these companies sell to retailers that put up the cash to stock their merchandise. You cannot make an argument as to why it would be lucrative to incur the higher costs of providing single unit fulfillment to people who do not want to invest in their own business and who will probably be out of business in a few months. Not to mention the fact that they can even take weeks to turnaround a regular order, they are not set up for shipping within a matter of 1-3 days.

That’s not to say that I think drop shipping is bad. I believe it is a perfectly legitimate business model for specific categories of merchandise. If you are smart, you know why this will and will not work in certain industries. If you are not bright, you can’t see why someone won’t drop ship because you want to make money that way.

Bottom line- if this is the industry you want to be in, be prepared to stock merchandise.

I also want to add something because I was talking to a colleague about this. She mentioned that there are several eBay sellers that sell handbags and they all ship from Italy but the sellers are not in Italy, so possibly there is an Italian company that drop ships. That’s possible. BUT, what is more likely is this: there are very smart eBay sellers out there that know how to take advantage of price differences. They scour websites and find a low priced item and sell it eBay. When they get a winning bidder, they then buy the merchandise from the website and have it shipped directly to the bidder. This is more likely than an international drop shippper.

Years ago, when Sony Mavica digital cameras were really hot, many sellers found them on sale at certain websites where they could buy them for $100-$300 less than the average eBay closing bid. And this is exactly what they did. Things like this happen all the time where people bid higher than the going price. If you really want to find out, invest the money to buy the bag (or other item) and see where it comes from. That will tell you whether it’s drop shipped or not.

Most drop shippers use a method that’s called “Blind Drop Shipping” where all markings on the invoice/packing slip and shipping label indicate that it comes from your seller/retailer OR has no indication of the company it comes from. If the bag comes like this, then you can be sure that there is a drop shipper. If not, then you have just found the source of the merchandise. It’s easier to track a domestic company than an international company because when a US based company ships something to you via UPS, FedEx, Airborne or whatever, you can call their customer service center and ask for the shipper’s information. What they will give you is the shipper’s name and address as registered on their account. For example, I have a UPS account and on my shipping label, I can put whatever I want. I can put Acme Incorporated, 515 Main Street, Nowehere CA and whatever telephone number I want. But, when you call UPS, they will give you my actual address and telephone number that is registered with that account. Another way of locating a source if you actually find something that is drop shipped.

If you truly believe that someone is drop shipping authentic merchandise, then the price to pay to have an item sent to you is worth the knowledge and the potential profit you can make from that information.

More About Drop Shippers

One of my customers sent me the URL for a website that drop shipped designer handbags. Now it’s fair to say that whatever is the newest scam someone is running on the internet, I don’t know about. I don’t do research of this type on the internet anymore and the minute you start doing offline research, you will be better off too.

Anyhow, there was this site with all these bags, Gucci, Fendi, Prada, Vuitton whatever. Fake as I don’t know what. You want to know how I know it was fake, there are so many clues. One, all these websites have the same bags. There’s not that much of a supply of authentic designer bags to go around. But anyhow, the pictures are unusually professional for a company of such image. You see a crappy looking, do it yourself with Front Page website with professional slick photographs and you know they stole them. And lots of people that steal pictures do so because they don’t have the stock. This isn’t always the case, but is more so the case with a “wholesaler” than with a retailer. And then the company name is some huge company with a huge warehouse but when you look up the domain, it’s registered to some guy in an apartment in the middle of nowhere.

Anyhow, this site had these bags and they had some drop ship program with a drop ship fee and a ridiculously high drop ship price. I mean it started at 10% off their retail price and was volume driven with a sliding scale.

No contact information anywhere on the website. Now, you may say, but clothingbroker, you don’t have contact information on your website either. Yes, but I am only selling a guide that costs a fraction of what you pay for these bags. And when I did have the number up, I’d get call after call from someone wanting free consulting and advice, wanting me to give up the info of where they could get this or that, these people were in the market for trailers of merchandise (or so they said) but will always say they don’t have enough money for the guide. Uh, you can speak to the dial tone.

Anyhow, any reputable company will give you some kind of contact information. Now some buyers work from their homes and they aren’t going to give you their home address because, well, it’s a stupid thing to do. But when a company says they have a “warehouse” yet will give no address or telephone number, you know they are lying.

Let me repeat this:
When a company says they have a “warehouse” yet will give no address or telephone number, you know they are lying.

I had this one lady, she was so smug because she just knew she had a drop shipper sending out authentic bags and she wanted to prove me wrong. Thing was, she never had a bag sent to her. See, just because someone hasn’t made a ruckus doesn’t mean the bags are not counterfeit. If you take a bag into a boutique to have it authenticated, and it is fake, they will confiscate it. It’s illegal merchandise. So many people who have suspect bags will never have them authenticated because they feel a fake Fendi is better than no Fendi at all, especially when they paid a couple hundred for it. They don’t want to be embarrassed.

A friend of mine once got a Fendi Baguette from the Salvation Army. It was so unlikely that it was real. I mean, come on, this was a Salvation Army in the middle of nothing and nothing in farmtown, California. But she didn’t want to run the risk, she never had it authenticated.

Anyhow, the point is you could have a seller who’s moving a lot of counterfeit bags and no one complains. Even on eBay, you see sellers selling the fakest crap on earth, yet they will have very few negative feedback comments.

Anyhow, getting back to the point, there was no way this company was legit. Oh pay us with PayPal and stuff like that so you can’t chargeback unless you want your account locked, we’d never accept real credit cards through a real merchant account because we are not a legitimate business and cannot get one.

Drop shipping is not easy. When you can’t even pinpoint your supplier’s real location, the last thing you want to do is put your behind on the line for their merchandise. Unless you are out to make a quick buck, and many of you are. So out to make a quick buck and you do not care. Well, get this, you are risking your freedom because people go to jail for selling counterfeit merchandise and they pay fines (heavy fines because it’s part of that whole racketeering act, I can’t remember the name). So if that’s what you want to do to make a quick buck, it’s your business.
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