In a dropshipping model, the manufacturer ships directly to your customers. However, Invoices often accompany packages, so customers may get their hands on information you don't want them to see.
For instance, you’re a reseller and a customer orders a box of carpets from you and your supplier ships the order. When the order arrives, the invoice includes the name of the supplier and shows a much cheaper price than what the customer paid you. In this case, your customer might order directly from your supplier next time.
What can you do if you don’t want your customer to know who your supplier is? Blind shipping is the solution that will keep your supplier anonymous.
What is Blind Shipping?
The blind shipping method involves shipping orders directly from your supplier to your customer, while keeping the identity and name of your supplier anonymous. As a result, the customer will think that the orders came directly from you.
To conduct a blind shipment, you will need to prepay and request to ship blind before the shipping process starts. Before the goods are shipped to their final destination, the name and contact information of the shipper (your supplier) are removed from the bill of lading.
The difference between blind shipping and dropshipping
People often confuse the terms “blind shipping" and "dropshipping." Dropshipping is a shipping method in which orders are shipped directly from the manufacturer to the customer. Blind shipping refers to the practice of keeping the shipper anonymous by removing supplier information from the Bill of Lading before it reaches its destination.
Why is dropshipping unreliable?
It might sound appealing to not have to worry about inventory management and handing off order fulfillment to your manufacturer, but dropshipping comes with its own set of problems. These include:
Quality control: When orders are sent directly from the manufacturer, it is impossible to inspect the product's quality. This can cause issues down the road if product quality is inconsistent, resulting in customer losses among your existing customers.
Order return issues: Not all suppliers will help manage your order returns, which could make the process complicated if your customer receives for instance, a faulty product and asks for a return.
Low margins: Dropshipping suppliers are more expensive to work with than wholesalers because of the high logistics costs, such as inventory storage, shipping insurance, and shipping costs, which ultimately cut into your profit margins.
How SFI can help
With over 9 years of experience in the freight forwarding industry, we have helped numerous customers handle blind shipments to fulfill their business needs. Feel free to contact us to learn more about how we can help you specifically.