Dropshipping possibilities in Magento

Approximately in every third Magento project that I am doing I get the request to implement some kind of Dropshipping. That’s why I want to give a short overview of how to handle that with Magento.

What is Dropshipping?

Dropshipping is a kind of E-Commerce business where the merchant offers products in his online shop without having the products in his inventory. If a customer orders some of these products a so-called purchase order is made and the dropshipping partner will ship the items for the merchant. Therefore a kind of technical solution has to be found in order to export the orders to merchants in time. The other way round if the dropshipper has sent out the items to the customer (e.g. with the label of the merchant) there has to be a way to report the shipping details back to the merchant.

For more details see also my blog post in the wonderful Adventskalender from Webguys.

How can this be done in Magento?

Depending on how complex the communication has to be I often choose one of 2 methods:

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