Meubilair Direct Imports are a dropshipping business. Directors and founders La’Delle Galea and Brendan Van Eyk have been a wholesale buyer for 20 years, and in the last few years decided to venture out on their own flatpack furniture journey.
There are a lot of pros and cons to dropshipping, but one of the biggest challenges is making enough profit from a supplier based model. Although it’s a more simple way to run a business, supplier/dropshipping models only return a profit on the sale of individual items, rather than bulk sales. This makes it critical for businesses such as Meubilair to reduce freight costs by as much as possible.
This case study outlines the challenges Meubilair had dropshipping items for retailers including Fantastic Furniture and Temple and Webster, and how they used Shippit to save time and money across their lean business.
The benefit of starting a dropshipping business
Brendan and his team have been in the buying industry for a seriously long time, so it made a lot of sense for them to start their own business. According to Brendan, this was a great opportunity for them to offer value to both businesses and consumers by providing a stream of new products at cheaper rates.
“We know the online space really well and we didn’t want to do our own retail, and we know the products that sell, we know what works and what doesn’t.
Meubilair provides retailers with new product ranges that they don’t have to touch or handle in any way. We’re able to cut the risk out for retailers; they can sell our products and never have to touch it or pay warehouse or importing costs.”
This is incredibly appealing to online furniture sellers of all shapes and sizes, and Meubilair sells to small, online stand-alone sellers as well as retail giants like Fantastic Furniture and Temple & Webster.
Shipping large items
“For all the big stuff, it’s really difficult to ship. A lot of freight companies don’t offer insurance, they could pick the order up, take it around the corner and smash it, and I’d get nothing back. There is just so much risk.”
Tracking Big Deliveries
“It’s really hard to get tracking information for large items. When it’s busy, we don’t get updates.”
In peak times, many courier services neglect to provide delivery status updates for customers, which can be really frustrating for business owners. There’s nothing worse than being left in the dark about your customer deliveries during busy times like Christmas or mid-season sales, so this was a big challenge for Meubilair when they first started out.
Searching for the best price is time-consuming
Another challenge they had was getting the best price for large freight. Shipping large items are costly, and in order to drive down costs Brendan would look up pricing for each courier service before booking.
“I would have six different portals open to book freight, and it was really painful looking in all these different places for the best prices – I’d have to put the details into all portal, find the best prices and then download that consignment note.”
To save time and money shipping bulky freight, Brendan needed a platform that pooled all couriers into one place, while also making it easier to book different courier services.
“I really needed to cut down the amount of time I spent on the freight component and I needed a faster process.”
Bespoke shipping solutions are really expensive
When evaluating the challenges he was having shipping, Brendan’s first thought was to build a bespoke solution that gave him access to all the couriers his heart desired.
“I was looking for ideas, and I thought I could build my own system, but that cost too much. I found out that Temple and Webster were using Shippit so I gave them a call.”
What factors do dropshipping businesses need to evaluate?
Brendan knew exactly what he needed in a shipping solution, and before making the switch to Shippit, he wanted to make sure the platform would give him:
Low-cost shipping options
Shippit pools together a range of different shipping providers which allows Brendan to save money on every order, without spending half the day searching for the right service.
Ease of automation with labels
Each courier service has its own label, making it very time-consuming for retailers to have to print and label packages for different couriers. Shippit allows Brendan to print one kind of label that is accepted by all couriers, saving him hours of time every day.
Access to a variety of freight forwarders
As logistics demand increases, more and more pressure is being placed on the big courier services. Using a shipping aggregator like Shippit gives Brendan’s dropshipping business more courier services compared to the average retailer.
Why Meubilair chose Shippit
Besides giving Meubilair access to cheaper shipping rates, more freight forwarders and an easier way to print labels, Brendan was recommended to use Shippit from the team at Temple and Webster:
“We all chat in retail, and I spoke with the ops guy at T&W. He said just do it, it will save you so much time, so I did it.
I did a little bit of research and I had it in my head and I just did it.”
Meubilair couldn’t be happier with Shippit
Since introducing Shippit’s shipping rates and order fulfilment automation to Meubilair, Brendan couldn’t be happier with the results. Using Shippit has allowed him to:
“With Shippit I can load 100 consignment notes and then ship them all in one go. I no longer need to login into multiple different portals and print different sized labels. I’m saving hours every day.”
“I’m saving so much money that I stress less when things are returned to me. Because they’re bulky items, missed deliveries are often redirected back to me, but the reduction in shipping costs has taken a lot of pressure off my business.”
Eliminate manual data entry
“I have 10 different retailers that I do freight for and their orders come in all different shapes and sizes. I use Shippit’s CSV bulk upload feature to save the amount of time it takes fulfiling orders for so many different retailers. This also allows us to choose the freight too.”
“Shippit handles tracking, it’s a great system where customers can track their own deliveries rather than getting in touch with our team to look into. Our customers receive updated tracking information and can track the status of their delivery on their own tracking link.”
- 80% reduction in fulfilment time
- 40% reduction in shipping costs
- 90% increase in customer satisfaction