Drop Shipping (old version)
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, you can skip head to the next section below - the integration is super simple. We have a plug-in app for Shopify that makes it all "just work"...
If you haven't built your store yet and need help with that, we have a separate web design group that can build a store and even hook up headshop-friendly payment processing (merchant account) for you for a flat fee. Click here for details.
However, if you do NOT use Shopify for your platform, but have another platform such as BigCommerce, Wordpress/WooCommerce, or a custom developed cart solution, etc., it's possible to still integrate with us but it becomes a lot more difficult -- we can still support integration with our drop shipping program, but it will require you to custom program the integration. You'd need to have your own web site programmer to do the technical programming/integration via the Mothership API. If you don't have a developer and/or can't or don't want to afford the development effort, then unfortunately this won't work for you. You will need to have a successful eCommerce store already running and flowing sales at a strong volume for an API integration to make sense. If you're just starting out with your shop and are not using Shopify, this will not make sense to attempt.
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 pick & packing and shipping each order.
Drop Shipping, on the other hand, still provides fantastic margins (approximately 25% 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 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 called "Mothership" to automate the drop shipping process. You can install your side of the app, called "Mothership Connect," here:
(If your storefront is not also built on Shopify, Mothership offers an API that you can tie into instead of installing Mothership Connect, but that will require you to have programming capabilities on your side to integrate that into your store, if you're not using Shopify).
Cool! So What's Next?
It's very straight forward, if you're using Shopify as your store platform:
1) Install Mothership-Connect into your store. Here's the link again:
2) and once you have Mothership Connect installed, let us know the email address you use for your Shopify store and we'll send you an invitation to our drop shipping program. Just use the form to the right to contact us and let us know your email address and that you have already installed MotherShip Connect and we'll send you the invitation.
3) You will then receive an email back with our invitation to join our program.
That's all there is to it!
A Few Implementation Notes
The Mothership Connect 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 full price, then the order will be fed into our back-end system for fulfillment and you'll be charged the product cost less your 25% profit. It's very straightforward.
If things don't go as smoothly as expected and you need additional help, Mothership provides a support knowledge base here: https://retailer-support.mothership.fm/
Please note: When the order is placed your customer is charged immediately for the full MSRP, and the ordered is then queued in your back-end to be processed to us. You must pay the invoice by clicking your acceptance. Until you approve the order to be released to us (and paid), we will not see that order in our system. If we end up doing a lot of volume with you, we can get more sophisticated with our setup and charge you once per day for all the day's orders in "batches," but most new shops ramp up slowly with sporadic orders here and there in the beginning, so the default setup is to approve and pay for each order individually. Thus, when you see an order you will need to go into your Shopify portal and approve its payment and release to us.
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. Need design help? If working with the theme and making custom graphics is too technical and you need help, then click here for custom site development assistance including the option for merchant services integration.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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. 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.) 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 headshops, and then set you up to use Authorize.net as the gateway. (there are 2 pieces to this normally - the gateway like Authorize.net and then the actual merchant account behind the scenes that handles the actual credit card verification and payments). 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 don't have a website yet and need BOTH a website and merchant services, click to check out this package deal - we can help you get a website going WITH merchant services, for a flat package price. Click here.
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