The beauty of dropshipping is you can sit at home anonymously selling products online and have suppliers take care of all the shipping. So technically, your business address is your home address, however, most drop shippers do not want to provide their identity or home address on their website.
- Does this mean you should not provide an address for your dropshipping business?
- Does it mean you provide your supplier’s address?
- Does it mean you have to buy a virtual address?
- Which address do customers send returns to?
In this article, I’ll answer each of these questions and guide you through exactly what you should be doing when it comes to adding an address to your Shopify dropshipping business.
Do You Need to Use an Address for a Dropshipping Business?
You do not need to use an address on your dropshipping store, in fact, most dropshipping stores do not have a visible address on their website. However, if you’re planning to build a long-term business, I suggest you add a physical address to your website, here’s why!
- Consumers are becoming more aware of dropshipping stores and they usually don’t like to buy from them. A common way people are identifying dropshipping stores is by looking for an address, if they don’t find an address, they are less likely to buy from your store.
- Having an address looks far more professional, providing credibility and trust among your shoppers. A legitimate business with nothing to hide will show an address on their website so you should too.
- Because most dropshipping businesses do not have a physical address, it can be a factor that sets you apart from your competitors.
- Having a physical address with a phone number is vital for SEO. Google wants to show legitimate businesses in the SERPs as it establishes E.E.A.T, an important ranking factor.
Saying all that, an address isn’t essential when your first start your dropshipping business. It’s something I would add once your store has proven itself and is making consistent sales.
What Address Do You Use on Shopify When You’re Dropshipping?
The vast majority of e-commerce merchants will use the Shopify platform when creating their dropshipping business. When signing up to Shopify, you will be asked for a business address, this is the home address of the Shopify account holder who is running the business.
You do not need to use one of your dropshipping supplier’s addresses or any other business address, this will be your home address. Shopify requires this address for verification purposes.
The address you give to Shopify is unrelated to the address you have on your dropshipping store and customers will not see this address when shopping on your store.
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Should You Use Your Home Address for a Dropshipping Business?
There was a time when everyone had a phone book with everyone else’s phone number and address. At the time, it was no problem. However, privacy has become a big issue and most people don’t want to use their home address on their website.
I suggest you only use your home address if you feel comfortable doing so, if not, there are other options which I’ll discuss below. Be aware that if you use your home address on your website, anyone can Google your address and get a street view of your home. If you live in an apartment building, this may not be a problem.
If you decide to use your personal address, be aware that you run the risk of receiving junk mail, returned products and the potential of unhappy customers turning up to your home.
Which Address Do Customers Return Products for a Dropshipping Store?
If you’re dropshipping from AliExpress, it’s not worth returning the item to your Chinese supplier’s address. If the product is defective and the supplier is resending the product, I suggest you either tell the customer they can keep the product and they do not need to send it back.
Always make sure the customer shows photo evidence of any broken or defective items as some customers will try to receive freebies and your supplier will need evidence of this before resending the item.
If there is nothing wrong with the item and you’re allowing the customer to return it, you have the option of having them send it to your home address. This can allow you to resend the package to a future customer who is wanting a refund.
If you’re dropshipping from domestic suppliers, there should be a returns policy in place for each supplier when you sign a contract agreement. Typically, you will give your customer your supplier’s address and they will handle the return process once they receive the package.
I suggest not using your supplier’s warehouse address on your website and only giving it to the customer who is returning the product. The address shown on your store should show “Head Office” followed by the phone number. Make it clear that returns are not to be sent to this address.
For more information, I have an article on handling returns and refunds for dropshipping.
Is it Best to Use a PO Box or a Virtual Address for Dropshipping?
A lot of people recommend using a PO Box as your business address on your website, I personally would avoid it unless you have no alternatives. A PO Box will still cost you a monthly fee but will not provide much more credibility as visitors can still see you don’t have a physical address and Google knows you don’t have a physical address which will still harm your SEO.
A virtual address is an ideal option if you want to give the perception that you’re a business with a physical address. Often, you’ll receive a suite number address of an office building which your customers will assume is your head office.
You can have mail sent to this address which can be forwarded to your home address if you choose. Another big perk is you can pay extra for a virtual phone number and have a receptionist answer calls on your business’s behalf.
This may not be an essential cost in the early stages of your business but it is definitely worth considering when you’re more established.
Where Do You Get a Virtual Address for Your Dropshipping Business?
Virtual addresses vary drastically in price depending on your business needs. I recommend starting with a cheaper option and upgrading in the future if needed. As your business grows you may require virtual mailbox service as well as call forwarding and voicemail.
Here are a few affordable choices depending on your business needs.
|From $5.99/per month
|From $9.99/per month
|US Global Mail
|From $29.95/per month
|From $10.99/per month
|Post Scan Mail
|From $10/per month
I’m based in Australia and virtual addresses are more expensive compared to the US, for example, a virtual address in a central business district (CBD) will cost me a minimum of $100 per month. However, there are often smaller and more affordable virtual addresses scattered around cities. I found a professional address 5 minutes from my home that takes care of all my mailing for $25 per month.
The next thing to consider is a virtual phone with your virtual address. I suggest not using your personal phone number on your website, you could be receiving phone calls all hours of the night.
Google Voice is an excellent option as it provides you with a phone number for calls, texts and voicemails which can be used on your website with your virtual address. Depending on the country you’re based in, there are some free virtual phone number services.