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You’re definitely free to buy things and sell them on your own, at a new price, for a profit. But, is dropshipping without permission from the supplier is a legal activity? This is what I’m about to answer in this article!
Dropshipping without permission from the supplier is absolutely a lawful activity. However, if you’re looking for a better representation for yourself, your brand, and your product, your supplier should be informed. How you market your product may be affected by how you structure your relationship with your supplier.
This is a common question that most people who are just starting out with dropshipping stuck at.
In today’s article, I will be sharing with you dropshipping legal tips and insights to better help you understand the supply chain in order to avoide any trouble that can affect your businses.
Before we dive in if this is something you find helpful and inspiring, don’t keep it to yourself 🙂
Is It Illegal To Dropship Without Informing The Supplier?
For those who don’t know, dropshipping is a type of retail fulfillment method and supply chain management that allows you to sell other suppliers’ products without worrying about stocking or shipping anything!
It’s basicaly a business partnership but with no contracts between parties. You don’t need to physically meet up with the supplier, which makes the process more seamless and flexible.
For the store, this is a mostly hands-off process. The merchant doesn’t have to order inventory or fulfill the orders in any way. Instead, the third-party supplier takes care of the product itself.
While you can dropship without informing the supplier, in some cases, this can drastically kill your business and reputation online! Here’s why…
Imagine ordering and paying $49.99 for an “X” product, and when receiving the order get it with an invoice with a price of $19 and a different company name plastered all over the packaging… What would you feel about that?
This is exactly what your customers will be feeling towards you and your website. Not a good way to generate good feedback and reviews on your site, at all!
When Can You Dropship Without Informing The Supplier?
On the other side, there are some other scenarios where you can drop ship without informing the supplier, like physically collecting the item yourself and shipping it on your own.
This way, you will have more control over things, and yes, it may even seem a good idea, and totally legal if you do it the right way.
You are certainly free what to buy and whom to resell to. You, for example, can buy a particular product that you see cool enough from a local supplier, and sell it to other people with your own packaging. That’s totally fine!
The good news is, you are not restricted to a specific place or location. There are some companies that can act as your virtual warehouse, and they can stock, fulfill, package, and ship your items to your customers for a tiny monthly fee.
A good example of those companies is printful!
“Printful is an on-demand order fulfillment and warehousing service that fulfills and ships products including clothing, accessories, and home & living items for online businesses.”Printful
What can you actually do with Printful?
- Print on demand – You can start an online business with zero inventory! Your orders are fulfilled and shipped on demand!
- Personal custom orders – Printful allows you to create custom products for yourself, friends, and special occasions. Things like customized t-shirt, phone case, socks, laptop cover, and a bunch of other products.
- Warehousing & fulfillment – This is the coolest thing about Printful. It can manage your entire inventory so you can sell their custom print on demand products and other products from other suppliers.
- Do complete branding – With Printful, you can do a whole branding to your business. You can send your own packaging, a custom invoice with a custom card, or note.
This short video shows how Printful warehousing & fulfillment exactly works:
So, if you’re planning to dropship without informing the supplier, Printful could just be a great solution as you can order the product and ship it to your warehouse under your own name.
In this way, the product is all yours, you can do your own re-branding and ship it with a custom packaging. This is not just legal but will differentiate you from the competition.
Dropshipping Legal Issues
There are no laws or policies by any government organization that make the dropshipping business model unlawful or illegal.
Fact is, most countries have legalized this model, so you just need to comply with their tax law.
In dropshipping, most issues and challenges are due to unreliable suppliers. What you may not know is that a bad supplier has the power to ruin your whole business.
Dropshipping is a process, so non-verified and unreliable suppliers can cause errors in the process and prevent you from hitting your goals.
If you want to avoid any legal obstacles, try to stick to verified and trusted suppliers with a good rating, feedback, and amount of orders, to help you build your creditability and take your business to the next level!
If you want to get in direct touch with reliable trustworthy suppliers in your niche, I highly recommend you check out Spocket here.
Spocket is a supplier-directory that connects you with verified, reliable, and trustworthy suppliers, mainly from the USA, UK, and EU!
I’ve recently published an in-depth review about spocket, you can check it out by clicking here.
Dropshipping Trademark Products
Like any other business, paying attention to copyright stuff can make a huge difference.
If you want to promote a product with a trademark, it’s better for you to ask for the invention certificates and the needed legal papers that can protect you later on.
Nowadays, some countries require you to register for a certificate before adopting such a business.
What I would recommend is to stay away from big brands and trademarks, because this will only limit your choice.
If you’re not a licensed reseller, you can’t use their name, products or their logo!
So, staying away from this will save you a lot of troubles, and try to get involved in products that a recognizable logo doesn’t matter so much so you can have better rebranding opportunities.
Dropshipping is a great and flexible business model that allows you to start an online side-hustle without the need of stocking any inventory.
What makes it a flexible business model is that you only need to go look for a trustworthy supplier that you can resell their products online and let them handle the fullfilment, packaging and shipping.
When it comes to selling online, especially selling other people’s products, you should be strategic in your approaches, and I highly recommend you establish a good connection and relationship with your supplier.
Your customers know nothing about the structure of your business. You will be setting your own policies on your site, so if the suppliers fail to deliver as per your guidelines, customers will raise their issues with you.
Finally, directories like Spocket can give you a headstart as you will rest assure that all suppliers listed are trustworthy and reliable.
Want To Learn How to Launch Your Own Shopify Store
This 8-video series shows the exact step-by-step process you can use to get your Shopify store up and running today! It’s a great resource to help you dip your toe in the industry and see if this is something for you!
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