Who packaged my order? About dropshipping and why Bahay Living isn't part of this business model.

Who packaged my order? About dropshipping and why Bahay Living isn't part of this business model.

Dropshipping. You might have heard the term and wondered what exactly it meant. You might even have received orders from dropshippers, without knowing it. So what is it?

In a nutshell, dropshipping is a retail fulfilment method that cuts out the middleman. When you order an item from a dropshipping store, payment is made to a third party who then ships the item you purchased directly to you. The store you made the purchase from doesn't hold the product at any stage.  

Do we sell through a dropshipping model at Bahay Living? No.

Let's run through why we opted for a traditional retail model, where we purchase and hold the stock ourselves.

Our purpose

Bahay Living's purpose is to bring you beautiful pieces from thoughtful, small-scale makers worldwide. We want to help turn your home into a sanctuary. To successfully do this, we have to be certain these special pieces are as we expect them to be.

We want to feel the fabrics, view the variations in the natural materials, sniff the bath and body products. We want to write you a personal note, because we truly are thankful and excited whenever an order from you arrives. We want to be the hands that wrap your order, because we know the very best thing about online shopping is when it arrives and feels like you've been sent a present in the mail. We want you to love your order and your Bahay experience.

With a dropshipping model, retailers generally don't purchase the products they sell until they have already made the sale and received payment from the customer. The supplier then receives funds from the dropshipper and sends the item to the customer. While this is low risk for the dropshipper, because they don't have to outlay any money for stock, it also means they don't see, touch or package up the item that ends up in your home. Often, the dropshipper has never even seen a sample product. It's a transactional exchange rather than a personalised one.

Supporting the makers

Cashflow is key in small business (and trust us, it's something we continually juggle ourselves, being a newer business). While dropshipping can be great for retailers because of the no-stock-outlay aspect, it's usually not particularly supportive of small makers.

These makers rely on receiving bulk wholesale orders with payment upfront so they can continue to work on product development, purchase materials, pay employees and business costs such as insurance, website hosting and software. Hopefully after all that, they can pay themselves a wage too.

While it can be scary as a retailer making a financial outlay for something that might not sell quickly (or at all!), we think it's fair that we shoulder that risk, vouching that we believe in the product and expecting that others will too.

We're building a brand

Yes, we're an e-commerce only store (for now). But we still strive to have a unique, recognisable Bahay Living look and feel.

While you can't walk through our store in person, we want you to feel interested and excited when you make a virtual visit. We want to make sure our signature green tissue is used when we wrap your order and that our branded sticker is positioned just right. By now we know how much eco-bubble wrap to use, and the type of string that best secures it, to make sure your order looks good and arrives safely.

Plus we can't pass up the opportunity to curate and play with different product combinations, creating unique content for you on our social media and website. Do our Palm Print Napkins look fabulous paired with our Gold Brass Bee Spoons? You bet. But we wouldn't know that if we didn't have the opportunity to play with them and make a perfect match. That's just the Bahay way.

Control freaks

Are we anti-dropshipping? No! We believe it has its place in retail, particularly in very transactional, non-emotional purchases (hello, functional kitchenware that we can't face going to the shops to get). But we want the Bahay Living experience to be the opposite of that. To do that, we need to make sure everything is just as we like it. Control freaks? Possibly. But if one small detail you receive in your order makes you happy, we think it's all worth it. 

If you want to learn more about the occasionally wild world of dropshipping, there are some great articles HERE and HERE that we enjoyed.

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