If you're a regular reader of my blog you know this blog is my personal journey through and reports of the affiliate marketing and internet marketing industries. I've had a broad range of experiences over the past few years. Recently I've done dropshipping and ecommerce sites and learned some things.
Dropshipping has one huge drawback at first – inventory. All new relationships are rocky. There is no trust built and there is unfamiliarity. For drop shipping to work it's got to become a real business relationship, not hands off. If you want to have a profitable drop ship business – like many of my friends have – you ride this time out.
Small retailers run out of stock on their products more often than I thought. I made a sale on my site and I didn't know the item was out of stock until weeks had gone by. Tough to provide good customer service when you don't know what's going on. Babysitting job.
Then I recently won an eBay auction for a tent. They didn't tell me they used a dropshipper until I complained that I hadn't heard from them. It's been over a month and no tent. No refund (the dispute is in process).
Affiliate marketing means I don't worry about fulfillment at all. The merchant does. No customer complains or worries. I don't have to think about my site while I'm on vacation or a business trip. I get a check for ebooks I sell and they NEVER run out of stock. Instant delivery.
I have previously worked for a small retail ice-cream business. The problem you have mentioned of running out of inventory repeatedly came up. With different (and unsuccessful) attempts to remedy the situation, we always seem to fall short in different times. Although we have reduced the problems with our attempts, it seemed to be a recurring problem that needed attending to again and again. This makes me think of the bottleneck situation in the book “The Goal” by Eliyahu M. Goldtratt. Continuous effort needs to put towards a certain area; it may work great but will need tuning-up more often than not.
The change you made seems to be a nice way of moving away from this problem.