If you run an online store and would like to carry high quality smoking accessories from Green Goddess Supply, you now have two options:
1) Purchase at discounted wholesale prices which typically are 50% off our retail prices (stated another way, you can make at least 100% markup, and even more on certain items) -- we have an entire online store setup just specifically for our wholesale customers at wholesale.GreenGoddessSupply.com
2) You can join our drop ship program!
If YOUR online shop is built with Shopify.
We had a solution that also worked with BigCommerce and WooCommerce, but the software platform provider went out of business. We're working to find another solution to get back up and running with, but in the meantime we do have a solution specifically for Shopify stores, as noted below.
What is Drop Shipping?
Drop Shipping is incredibly popular these days. An online store merchant such as yourself can add a manufacturer's products to your product catalog, and when a sale occurs the manufacturer (Green Goddess Supply in this case) is notified and ships the item. The storefront merchant never touches the product - so you don't have to pay to purchase inventory up front, and you don't have to deal with overhead of shipping, pick & pack fees, storing/warehousing, etc.
Purchasing product at wholesale provides the best margins, but the merchant (you) is on the hook for purchasing in bulk up front, and storing/warehousing inventory until it sells, tying up cash in inventory, and then carrying the overhead of the employees, warehouse and space to manage picking, packing and shipping each order, plus the cost of labels, boxes, tape and postage.
Drop Shipping, on the other hand, still provides fantastic margins (approximately 30% on average), albeit less than wholesale, but the tradeoff is that there's no inventory to purchase upfront, no orders to manually fulfill, and no need for staff or warehouse overhead or packaging expenses. If you want to add a lot of product to your website quickly, or test items without the risk, drop shipping is a terrific option.
We use an app built for Shopify that's available in the Shopify App Store to automate the drop shipping process. The app is called Buddify.
What Does The App Do?
Make you smile! LoL, yes, it's pretty cool. The app automates all of the main aspects of running a dropship business:
- Imports and sets up items. You have the ability to pick and choose which items you want to import (or not), and you can override pricing and details, but with a click of a button you can import a couple hundred SKUs and just instantly import all of the descriptions, photos and behind-the-scenes detail data such as weights, UPC codes, inventory numbers, pricing and more. No manual data entry, no spreadsheets to import, no photos to deal with. Just point-click-import. Done.
- Dynamically calculates shipping. No guessing, no averaging. If someone is far away and it costs $6 to ship, they'll be charged $6. If they're close and it costs $3 then they're charged $3. And if it's oversized and has to go priority, they'll get charged that. You don't lose on shipping and don't have to guesstimate averages. Behind the scenes it calculates actual shipping from OUR facility to the customer, and then charges them that.
- Handles Order Processing and Flow. When a customer places an order at your site, they check out like normal. Then, behind the scenes, it automatically routes that order over to us to be fulfilled, and handles charging you for the item (with your 30% discount). So for example, if a customer orders a $10 widget and there's $2 of shipping, the app will charge the customer $12, then funnel the order to us and charge you $9 ($7 for the product, plus pass along the $2 shipping costs). All automatic, Easy peasy!
We ship orders every business day. If the order comes in before 3pm cutoff we will get it out same day. If it comes in after, it'll go out next business day.
Cool! So What's Next?
It's very straight forward - just install the Buddify app for Shopify.
To install the Shopify app, go here:
Once you have the app installed, it's all pretty intuitive and self-explanatory to go through and import products and set up your store. That's all there is to it!
A Few Implementation Notes
The drop ship app interface is very straight forward. You'll have the opportunity to choose which products to import. Whether you just one 1 or 2 items, or you want them all, you can selectively choose which individual items to load into your store (or import all of them). It'll automatically pull in all of our photos, descriptions and pricing, and then you can make changes/edits.
When a customer buys the product, your store will charge the customer the full price plus shipping, then the order will be fed into our back-end system for fulfillment and you'll be charged the product cost, less your 30% profit, and shipping. It's very straightforward.
In other words, if a $10 item costs $2 to ship, your store will charge your customer $12, then pay us $9 ($7 + $2 shipping) and you keep $3. You make 30% margins on product, and the shipping is just passed along. And the best part - all of this is automated! The orders automatically pass through to us, and your card-on-file is charged for the product.
When we ship, we always ship in unmarked, generic packaging. Small non-breakable stuff will go in a white bubble mailer, and larger or breakable items will go into plain brown corrugated cardboard boxes. There's no "Green Goddess Supply" branding on the packaging anywhere. We do not include any invoices or packing slips that indicated any pricing or company names - it's as "white label" as possible. Our return address is on the shipping label in small 6pt lettering because it's required by law, but other than that, there's zero other branding on the packaging.
Many folks have asked us about custom logo engraving. We have done this on a case by case basis for a couple specific customers, but it's not generally what we do and it's definitely not cost effective for drop shipping. To do a custom run, we require a minimum order quantity (MOQ) of typically 300 - 500 pieces, and we sell and ship those wholesale (better margins for you than drop shipping, but you have to buy them all upfront and ship yourself). We don't offer any customization on drop ship products. Green Goddess Supply is a brand, we're not a reseller. So this is sort of like asking Nike if you can get your logo on their shoes instead. We generally don't do this, but have on a very narrow case by case basis.
Tips for Success
1. It takes traffic. "Build it, and they will come" was a great hook for a movie*, but it doesn't typically work that way in real life. We see time and time again where people pop up a Shopify store and then are disappointed when they don't see immediate sales, and then abandon the store. The key to success is traffic - you need traffic, and lots of it. And that can take time to get the word out and build. It means social media marketing, traditional advertising, and more. It's an investment. Without an investment of time and money in promotion and marketing, you won't have traffic, and without traffic you won't have sales. Be realistic about the effort required.
2. Professionalism matters. Thousands of polished, professional Shopify themes are available. There are tons of free themes available, and specialized professional themes are available for $25 and up. A stark, "fly by night" look will not give someone confidence to provide you with their credit card information. And to be completely honest - if $25 is too much of an investment in your brand, then launching an online shop is probably not going to work for you. Themes are available through Shopify itself, as well as third party theme stores such as ThemeForest and others.
3. Be patient and realistic. Launching an online store takes time to build reputation and trust, along with (of course) traffic. Do not expect rampant success in your first week or two. I can take months - several months.
4. Be transparent. Make sure your mailing address and contact info are available. Nobody will trust (and therefore nobody will buy from) a shop that has no way to contact them or know who's behind them. If a customer can't find your contact info, how will they reach out if they have a problem? If they can't find that easily, they won't purchase.
5. Merchant Services. You'll want to make sure you get your own credit card processor -- someone that is OK with "tobacco products" because the default Shopify setup is NOT. Shopify's default payment processing is done through a partnership with Stripe and Stripe won't process smoke shop "paraphernalia." (PS: We hate that word and say "accessories") So, you can get your store setup and going, but as soon as you process your first transaction or two it'll eventually get flagged and they'll shut you off. They'll also suggest "sorry we don't allow sale of pipes, tobacco products, bongs, vapes, etc. through our merchant account -- try PayPal instead." So of course you'll switch to PayPal which is easy peasy, and then process one transaction and THEY shut you off too! (so why does Shopify even bother? Well, they're just kicking the can down the road so it's someone else's problem. It's a generic message.) If you don't know where to turn, we have a relationship with a merchant services whiz that can get you hooked up with a merchant account for processing cards that has no issues with online head shops. NOTE: You must have your website up and running before contacting a merchant services company because they review your website as part of the application process.
If you ONLY need merchant services and already have your website setup, contact Karena Bell at ProfitLinz at (843) 804-7151 or email karena@ProfitLinz.com and tell her that Green Goddess Supply sent you. Karena processes for some of the largest names in the industry and can connect you with what you need. You'll need to tell her whether you want to process only accessories (glass pipes, grinders, etc.), or if you'll have other products at your site too, so she can be most efficient for you if she knows what kind of items you intend to sell -- it matters.
We hope these tips help. We're not trying to be harsh, just provide tips based upon what we have seen in the marketplace -- a lot of unrealistic expectations with minimal attention to detail and minimal retail viability. Treat an online business like a real business, and it can flourish - just don't give it short shrift.
Stay lifted, my friends!
*Field of Dreams, 1989