Automatic drop-shipping lets you instantaneously have products shipped directly from a vendor or third party rather than from your own building. For example, if your store is a reseller of a factory-direct product that ships directly from the manufacturer, you can configure it to sell and process orders for this product, even though your business will not physically handle the product.
To begin the setup process, you need create a vendor and configure a few settings within the product. Then, whenever the product is ordered by a customer, your store will automatically send an order invoice email to the appropriate vendor, along with the ship-to address and other details the vendor needs to fulfill the order.
Creating a Vendor
The first step is to set up some vendor information in your store. Here, you'll want to enter information on the company that will be shipping the product. Here's how to create a vendor within the Admin Area:
- Go to Inventory > Vendors.
- Click Add.
When creating a new drop-shipping vendor, you need to enter values for the following required settings:
- Assign a unique, numerical value for the vendor's ID.
- Enter the company name or similar for the Vendor Name.
- Select both the Active and Allows Drop Shipping check boxes.
- From the PO Template menu, select PO_To_Vendor.asp.
- From the PO Send Via menu, select E-mail.
- In the Vendor Email Address field, enter the email address the vendor invoices should be sent to.
The other fields are optional, but may be necessary depending on your and the vendor's requirements.
When finished, click Save.
Remember the ID of the vendor you just created; you'll need it to set up your product's vendor rule.
Creating Vendor Rules
To auto drop-ship a particular product, you need to assign the product to an active vendor that is set to drop-ship orders. This is done by configuring vendor rules within your product:
- From your Admin Area, go to Inventory > Products.
- Click on the product's ID, or create the product if you haven't already done so.
- Click and expand the Vendor Rules section.
- In the required Vendor ID field, enter the ID number of the vendor you just created at Inventory > Vendors.
- In the required Vendor PartNo field, enter the product code or number your vendor has assigned to the product - this is NOT your product code for the item, unless you've named your product codes the same thing as your vendor.
- In the required Min Qty field, enter a value for the minimum quantity that can be drop-shipped for this product. Enter an optional Max Qty only if applicable.
- In the required Price field, enter the vendor's price for the product (this is not the price that you sell the product for).
- The optional Deactivate Until field is optional. When a date is entered, the Auto Drop Ship function for this product will not be available until the date is reached. This can be useful if you have a new Vendor coming on line, but are not yet ready to use them.
- When finished, click Save.
The new information will now display in the Vendor Rules section.
After you set up Vendor Rules, you need to configure the following settings within the product:
- Expand the Advanced Info section and click on the Stock tab.
- In the Stock Status field, enter "0" or a negative value.
- Make sure Do Not Allow Back Orders is not selected (the box must be unchecked).
- Click on the Vendors tab.
- Select the Auto Drop Ship.
- Click Save.
Since auto drop-shipped items are shipped by the vendor, you may want to include their shipping costs in the vendor's Price. Also, in order to have the shipping costs calculate accurately for your drop-shipped products, you should make sure the shipping origin for that product is your vendor's location, not your company location!
When the Order is Placed 🎁
Once you've completed these settings, your product will be fully configured to auto drop-ship.
When an auto drop-ship item is ordered, a vendor PO will be sent depending on payment method:
Cash, COD, Wire transfer, etc. (the Vendor PO will be sent when you click Receive in the Payments section of an order's Details page).
Debit or Credit Card (This depends on the Credit Card Storage Policy configured on the Settings > Payments page. To view the current settings, select the Payment Gateway tab and click on Alternative Settings.)
- Automatic Authorize and Capture: PO sent at sale
- Automatic Authorize, Manual Capture: PO sent at sale
- Manual Authorize and Capture: PO sent at authorization
PayPal Standard (If you do not have your PayPal account set up to deliver Instant Payment Notifications (IPNs) back to your Volusion store, the Vendor PO will be sent when you click Receive in the Payments section of an order's Details page. If you do have instant payment notifications set up, the PO is generated when the IPN is sent back to Volusion.)
Both PayPal Express and Amazon Pay DO NOT automatically send out the Purchase Order when an order is placed. This must be done manually for these 2 payment methods.
For additional information on the Vendors section of the Volusion online store, including some tips and tricks on how to use this portion of Volusion, check out our Vendors article!