Difference Between Dropshipping & 3PL
Dropshipping is an order fulfillment method where a store doesn’t keep the products it sells in stock. Instead, the store purchases products from a third-party supplier who then ships the items directly to the customer.
3PL is a full package of services where you buy the shipment from the manufacturer and do not even see it, as you send it to your preferred 3PL partner for them to receive it, inspect it, count it, securely warehouse it, fulfill it and dispatch it – everything done remotely. You would be able to control any and all of these steps over the phone or email.
The biggest difference between dropshipping and the 3PL model is that with dropshipping the selling merchant doesn’t stock or own inventory—they act as the middleman. Instead, the seller purchases inventory as needed from a third party—usually a wholesaler or manufacturer—to fulfill orders.