If you use (or plan to use) a dropshipper, fulfillment provider, or 3PL (Third-Party Logistics ) with your ShipStation account, you have a few options available that are detailed in the article below.
Keep in mind, the examples below provide guidance, but may need to be altered to fit your specific needs.
ShipStation partners with a network of fulfillment providers who can provide fulfillment services for your business. Check out our article, What to Look for When Selecting a Fulfillment Provider, if you are thinking about using a dropshipper, fulfillment service, or 3PL.
If you are ready to partner with a fulfillment provider, fill out our questionnaire and one of our fulfillment partners will get in touch with you.
If you already use a dropshipper, fulfillment service, or 3PL and you'd like to see if they partner with ShipStation, check out our fulfillment partner list.
There are two primary ways to use dropshipping with ShipStation:
To use the automated method you must do the following:
- Create a unique user account for the dropshipper, and set restrictions for the user to access only these orders
- Create tags and apply them to the products to be fulfilled by the dropshipper
- Create an automation rule that assigns these orders to the dropshipper’s user
Create a User and Set Restrictions
Go to Settings > Account > User Management and click Add a User Account.
Set the username, and provide a full name and email address for this user (an email will be sent to this address containing the username and temporary password).
Set the permissions to the appropriate level of access you’d like for your dropshipper.
In the Restrictions tab select the option to Restrict this user to only see orders assigned to them and Restrict this user to only see shipments created by them. These restrictions will prevent the new user from being able to see or alter any orders you do not wish them to see.
Create Tags & Add Tags to Products
Go to your Orders tab, select an order (any order) and click the Tag action menu.
Click Manage tags.
Add a tag and name it so you will know its function (our example named the tag “send to dropshipper”).
This article details the process of adding tags, including screenshots, for your reference.
Once created, go to your Products tab and apply the tag to any product that will be fulfilled by your dropshipper. You can do this manually by selecting the products in the grid and clicking the Tag action menu, or you can use the Import Products by CSV method. Just add the tag name to one of the tag columns in your product CSV.
Here's an example of a product with a dropship tag added:
Once these products are tagged, all orders that import with these products going forward will automatically contain the tag. You can now use the tag as a trigger to perform the action of assigning the order to your new dropshipper user.
Create an Automation Rule
You can use automation to perform a number of actions. In this example, however, we’ll use it to assign the tagged orders to the new user, and send an email to that user so they know a new order has arrived.
This article provides instructions on customizing an email template so you will have an email unique for this situation.
Reminder: Automation rules only run during the order import process, not after any manual tagging.
Go to Settings > Automation > Automation Rules
- Click Create a Rule
- Select the option Only apply these actions to orders that match specific criteria
- Set the criteria to be Order Tags :: Contain :: [the name of your tag]
- Set the action to Assign to a user, and select the new username
- Add another action and set it to Send an Email, enter the email address, and select the email template you wish to use for this purpose
Here is what this type of automation rule would look like:
Using the Manual Method
If you do not wish to provide access to your ShipStation account to your dropshipper, or if their workflow requires a CSV with a list of the orders they fulfill for you (perhaps because they generate labels outside of ShipStation), use the following method:
- Create a tag for the products, just as in the automation step above
- Use a filter to display only orders that contain this tag
- Export the orders to a CSV file
The article How can I export data for my orders? provides detailed instructions on this export process.
Once your dropshipper has shipped these orders and sent you the tracking information, you can then bulk update these orders so they move to the Shipped status, and the tracking information uploads into ShipStation. ShipStation can then notify the selling channel these orders have shipped.