They were actually quite speedily delivered well within the 21 day shipping timeframe, I was actually a little surprised when I received a little note in my post office box saying I had a package.
Anyway, to even more surprise when I looked at the package I saw a big customs sticker on it meaning it had been sent from overseas. I thought these guys were in Melbourne or something, but the cards came all the way from freakin’ Belgium (!). Is that the international hot spot for card printing companies? It must be cheap if they’re drop shipping to Australia.
I looked at some of the info that came with the cards and it looks like they have “offices” all over the world, but I’d suspect they all come from the same place in Belgium.
The package was in good condition considering the distance it’s covered, a bit banged up but the cards were in pristine condition inside. Here’s a pic of the box and my new fan-dangled business card on top. They even chucked in a free card holder, very nice of them.
And here’s a close up scan of the card:
They managed to pull off almost exactly what I designed. It’s not quite as glossy as I thought it would be, maybe I shouldn’t have chosen the Matte option as it’s got no shine at all. That’s okay though for this intial lot of 250, even though I think that will last a lifetime unless I start going to conferences.
Drop Shipping As A Strategy
Drop shipping is an interesting strategy that I’ve been wanting to look into but somehow never find the time to go chasing suppliers.
I’ve got one source for general goods (everything from fake iPhone knock offs to wedding dresses and suits) located in China that I’ve ordered some merchandise from personally who have expressed interest in gaining overseas businesses to drop ship for. But their range is so enormous and seems to fluctuate a lot. Any website I set up based on their stock would need to cover a large enough range so as not to looks stupid when it runs out of a particular item.
I also have a source here in Australia that would drop ship computer hardware parts for me, but that’s not an industry I’m interested in getting into – too competitive, I’ve been down that road before.
Even though I’ve got pretty much no experience whatsoever in drop shipping, the idea appeals to me. But it appeals to me more in the way that VistaPrint have done their business model.
They use the resources of other overseas companies to provide quality stock here in Australia and other places around the world. Their model is to compete on price and efficiency, it’s truly a no-fuss solution because from start to finish you don’t have any contact with one single person from their company.
The whole deal, from my perspective was automated and it’s something that a busy person like myself appreciates for things like this. That’s their value add.
To me, I don’t really care so much about paper thickness and comparing glossiness side by side to get the perfect sheen. I just want the damn things done and I could care less what gsm the paper is as long as it doesn’t look and feel like cheap crap.
Anyway, I’m pretty chuffed with the cards and the experience with this drop shipping company. I’m quite jealous of their business model. The cards are good and will do the job, the beauty being it took me a grand total of 30 minutes to do the whole process, including design and picking them up from the post office.
Had experience with drop shipping yourself? Is it profitable or do you need huge numbers? I get the feeling VistaPrint do a lot of business, but need the volume to compete on cost. Let me know your thoughts in the comments!