I've had my store up and running since the end of march - yes yes bad timing. My attitude is generally that it is never a good time in all aspects so what the heck I'll open my store. However, this was really bad timing. Anyways, things were rolling pretty good quite a few orders and things seemed to be working out. Here we are 2 months later and only a handful of my customers have received their orders. The thing is orders placed between end of march and mid may seem to be stalled 'somewhere' many of them leaving country of origin end of april and no update on shipping status.. concerning? Orders I have placed Mid may to now seem to be moving quicker and some have made it to my customers already. Besides the obvious question of where the heck are these packages.... just wondering if anyone else has seen these issues and what you are doing about it.
I have issued one refund, the person didn't request a refund but had continually been asking about their product and theres only so many times I feel I could apologize without any action. Thanks for reading this far, needing some advise from some experienced dropshippers.
The point and final question is when do I have to/should I start issuing refunds? It's been around 30 - 45 days for most orders and I do have a very explicit shipping policy with COVID-19 update on my website saying:
Delivery time: Please allow 2-5 days for order processing; you will receive a confirmation e-mail with tracking when your order has shipped. Depending on the product, standard shipping is 2 - 4 weeks. We do our best to process and ship orders as quickly as possible.
We do not have control over customs and cannot be responsible for delays that may occur.
COVID-19 UPDATE: Our suppliers are up and running and orders are being processed and shipped. Please expect some delays in shipping, as logistics have been a problem with parcels arriving from point A to point B as every country has different prevention and control measures in place. We use the fastest shipping methods possible, but have still run into delays as the pandemic continues. Some deliveries have taken up to 2 months, some less.
We apologies for the inconvenience and Thank you for your patience as these safety measures are out of our hands.
In terms of when to issue a refund, the best time is when a customer explicitly asks for one. With the global situation relating to COVID, many customers who are shopping online understand the implications of this and are willing to wait longer for their items, especially given that you’ve provided a great COVID statement on your site.
A note about AliExpress, they offer low-cost products, but the trade-off is that you’ll experience slow shipping times, low-quality products, and often the suppliers will put promotional materials into the packaging.
I recommend trying out locally-based dropshipping suppliers that you can find in different platforms like Spocket. Spocket is a platform that was created to solve all these issues! Here are a few benefits of Spocket:
That is really a bad experience tho. However, if you choose the right shipping method and supplier, most of them should be delivered within 2 weeks now. And US orders can be delivered as fast as only 4-8 days! Regarding the refund, it is hard to decide whether or not, but usually you can just prolong the process so that the customer may receive the product later and that way you don't make them feel so bad. Overall, you still need a fast shipping and accountable supplier to reduce your risk! Peace!