Learn about Dropshipping

Learn more about dropshipping and its benefits and disadvantages.

What is it?

Do you know what dropshipping is? You may have seen that term thrown around the internet as you’ve searched for things to buy. In fact, if you’ve ever purchased something from Amazon, Ebay, Etsy, or one of the other big online marketplaces, chances are good that you’ve seen or ordered from a dropshipper.

So what it is? Well, dropshipping is just a fancy way of saying that the goods you’ve ordered from one company are shipped out from another. For instance, if you order an item from Amazon, but the listing says “Ships from and sold by ______”, then you just bought a dropshipped item.

Why do companies do this?

The short answer is that some companies are better at marketing and some are better at producing. When the two companies team up, each one can focus on what they’re good at to make sure the customer gets the best experience. 

In our example from above, Amazon is really good at compiling goods for sale and matching customers with the items they want. Although Amazon has warehouses throughout the world, they can’t store every item from every seller and they definitely can’t produce most items. The Mom and Pop Shop in the example is probably very good and producing a small amount of a particular item, but they’re probably not going to have the resources that Amazon has to advertise those items or make sure people looking for them online can find them. With millions of small businesses in the US alone, even a simple Google search can’t always find what someone is looking for.

By teaming up, Mom and Pop Shop can gain a wider audience for their goods and Amazon gets a percentage of whatever Mom and Pop Shop sells in return for listing those items in their marketplace.

Is this better or worse than buying directly from the shop?

Unfortunately, there’s no clear answer on this and it really depends on the situation. Generally, when buying directly from a seller, the price would be lower since there aren’t any fees for listing the item. At the same time, having an intermediary can protect you if something goes wrong. 

Benefits of buying from a dropshipper

  • Ability to find the item you’re looking for easier
  • An intermediary can protect you (e.g. Amazon and Ebay have guarantees that the person selling may not have)
  • Encourages small businesses to thrive instead of buying solely from the big chains

Disadvantages of buying from a dropshipper

  • Higher costs since there are listing or affiliate fees
  • You don’t always know where your goods are coming from. Buying a shirt could get you something made with exploited workers in a developing country or you could get a handcrafted item made ethically by an artisan
  • Many companies can slap their name on the same item and call it there own, making it difficult to figure out what you’re buying. 

Does Lightspeed Jerseys use dropshipping?

Yes and No. 

Both our custom printed jerseys and our spot-sublimated goods are all made in our own small shop. We order the shirts from another company that sustainable sources the goods and we add your images and logos, then ship them directly to you.

Our full sublimation goods are produced in a partner shop and are dropshipped. Full sublimation involves lots of very large and very expensive machines along with more skill to sew together the apparel after it’s printed instead of what we’re good at, printing on already formed apparel. Due to the limitations, we found a partner that’s US based and does a great job printing, cutting, and sewing the apparel that we can’t do.


Can Lightspeed Jerseys dropship for me?


One of the benefits of our technique is that we can not only print a custom design on apparel, but we don’t have a minimum order so we can make just one or one thousand. We can also put your brand on any goods that you’d like us to print.

There are some really good companies out there that can print and ship a lot of items. Athletic apparel is one category that very few companies are able to do well though, which is why Lightspeed Jerseys was created in the first place. Other companies usually require large orders, limit the design to a fixed number of colors, or have a long wait time to ship items since many companies outsource their production to China.

If you’re interested in having us fulfill your orders, send us a message and we’d be happy to discuss some solutions that we may be able to offer.

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