Dropshipping is a great way to start an e-commerce business, but it's not without its share of potential pitfalls. One thing in particular that you need to watch out for is duplicate orders.
As the term implies, a duplicate order is when an order is placed twice by accident. If not caught in time, this can lead to a customer receiving two (or even three) of the same item when they've only paid for one. This is a significant loss for the dropshipper, as they will not only have to eat the cost of the extra product but also the shipping.
Customers may feel compelled to refuse or return a duplicate order delivered to them, but as you might imagine, this is rarely ever the case. The best way to protect yourself as a merchant is to learn what causes duplicate orders and take the necessary precautions.
So what causes duplicate orders?
Here at MerchMixer, we found that duplicate orders can happen due to one of the following reasons:
Requesting fulfillment for an order more than once
The rule of thumb when it comes to requesting fulfillment for orders on Shopify is to make sure that you only do it once. Requesting fulfillment again creates another order and generates another charge (for the item cost and shipping) on your account.
We've found that merchants can end up requesting fulfillment again when they feel that there has been no progress with an order. This is something that you should never do.
If you need help with the shipping status of an order, contact [email protected], and we'll look into the order for you.
Please take note of our fulfillment lead times: Typically, the lead time from customer order to receiving shipping tracking number is ~ 3-5 business days. Then the lead time from customer order to receiving the product is ~7-10 business days.
Manually uploading tracking number to mark a Shopify order fulfilled
In some cases, there can be a delay with synching tracking info to a Shopify order. This is despite support notifying you that an order has already shipped and given a valid tracking number.
Delays in passing tracking info can happen due to edge cases, synching errors, and other technical issues. In this circumstance, do not manually add the tracking number to an order that you've already requested fulfillment for. Doing so will create a duplicate order and generate another charge on your account.
Instead, you need to communicate the tracking number straight to the customer and assure them that the product they've ordered is on its way.
I have a duplicate order. What can be done about it?
The first thing that you need to do is to communicate the situation to [email protected]. If caught early, support staff can intercept the duplicate order by notifying the vendor and stopping them from getting shipped out.
If the duplicate order has already shipped out, then the best thing you can do is inform your customer about it and hope that they'll do the right thing — refuse the duplicate order or have them shipped back to the vendor.
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