To start, there is no inventory listed on Zendrop -- our team in China has relationships with thousands of warehouses and factories, and there is a very high chance that your products can be fulfilled by Zendrop. However, it is virtually impossible to actually be able to tell what kind of inventory is available at any given time for a particular product. The reason for this is due to the 1 million plus products in our catalog and the factories not having sophisticated ERPs allowing a real-time inventory management solution.
Shopify Inventory Requirement
Shopify does require us to enter an inventory number when importing products to your store, so the default is set at 50,000. This is an arbitrary number just so the system doesn't trigger an out of stock warning. We know this can be a bit confusing, so we're here to provide a bit of insight into the process that goes on behind the scenes once an order is placed through Zendrop.
Order Information Check
Once your order is placed in Zendrop, the order information is sent to our sourcing team through our system. Then, the order is double-checked to confirm that there is nothing wrong with the information submitted (product information, shipping location, etc).
Factory Stock Communication
After that, our team in China communicates with our network of factories to see if they have the product in stock. It is rare for them to actually have the product in stock in their warehouse. Remember, they are supplying dropshipping stores, so it doesn’t make business sense for them to buy a lot of stock for a product that may not be selling yet... it's actually impossible. They would wind up with a lot of merchandise that they can’t sell. This would negatively affect cash flow for them and would not be a sustainable business model for them to use. This is true with any dropshipping supplier, they are lying to you if they tell you they have x amount of stock of certain merchandise.
Factory Out of Stock Delay
If the product is not in stock, but available, they must then go order what's needed, this of course causes a delay. Once they have everything they need, the goods are sent to our teams warehouse to be packaged and shipped. Sometimes, the factories our team in China buys from do not have the product in stock at all. They either stopped manufacturing them due to lack of orders, they are in the process of manufacturing more (takes up to 15 days depending on how many they are manufacturing), or a host of other reasons why the factory does not have the product in stock at the moment. In the latter scenario, we would then inform you that the product is out of stock. Now, when the product was first sourced by our team, that product was in stock at one or many different warehouses, or could have been ordered fast -- but that could have been a while ago, and things change quickly. In this scenario, we will inform you what the expected lead time to get the product sourced again will be.
Order Fulfillment, Behind the Scenes
We truly hope this helps clear some things up! Check out the video below for an even deeper dive.