Charles Palleschi is the founder and CEO of Spark Shipping, an ecommerce company that acts as a third party between vendor and manufacturer. The idea for Spark Shipping came from Charles’ initial drop shipping business. After finding that there wasn’t a virtual tool to organize orders and vendors, he created one to help his business. Shortly after, he discovered the business opportunity of making this tool public and shifted his focus from drop shipping to Spark Shipping.
Spark Shipping works with all vendors and has partnerships with Spotify, Amazon, eBay, Woocommerce, Magento, Big Commerce and more, helping drop shipping companies to increase their volume and margins.
Today’s guest is Charles Palleschi, founder and CEO of Spark Shipping. Spark Shipping acts a third party between vendor and manufacturer for ecommerce businesses. Born from a solution Charles created for his drop shipping business, Spark Shipping is now partnered with Spotify, Amazon, eBay, Woocommerce and more.
In this episode, Charles explains how the idea of Spark Shipping was a direct result of a pain point he experienced during the early days of his drop shipping business. He shows us how to create our own solutions and then, how to make them public as a SAS product. We also talk about how to improve your drop shipping business, how to finagle lower shipping rates, and the vendors you should prioritize.
This is the Lean Commerce Podcast.
What was the inspiration behind Spark Shipping?
0:25 I started as a freelance consultant, using my development background, but I decided totally out of the blue to buy an e-commerce website. I started with FBA, drop shipping, and worked with a lot of vendors and that’s what made me think of creating a tool to organize orders and vendors. We named it Spark Shipping, made it public and about three years ago we started to fully focus on it instead of our e-commerce website.
6:05 Spark Shipping sits between the retail side and the vendor and we automate inventory quantities, take order requests and get tracking data. Essentially we automate the day to day tasks of an e-commerce business.
What is a hybrid drop shipping model?
8:56 Not a lot of people talk about the boring backend of e-commerce, especially when it comes to processing data. Hybrid dropshipping involves one product being fulfilled by multiple vendors(manufacturer, distributor, internal warehouse). This creates layers of inventory and you can use the cheapest vendor for that moment.
What improvement can you make on dropshipping and returns?
14:10 A lot of dropshippers are listing products even though they don’t have live numbers from their vendors. I get that if you have hundreds of thousands of products you can’t do it on your own, but you need to find a tool that helps you keep track of those numbers.
18:30 Once you’re deep within a given niche, you can start giving value based off of that specific product and increase your volume.
Do you have dropshippers on your platform doing significant volume?
22:37 We see people move from drop shipping to manufacturing and manufacturing to drop shipping. It’s not very black and white, it’s more of a holistic approach. If you’re manufacturing a product, it doesn’t make sense to manufacture all of the accessories for it. But it does make sense to stock all of them.
26:06 There’s a ton of large companies doing this and customers don’t realize it. If you order a product and have it delivered in one box and then have the accessory delivered in a different box, on a different day, this is a company that is executing this strategy.
How can you get lower shipping rates on e-commerce products?
29:13 The normal shipping rates from UPS or FedEx aren’t typically paid once you are doing volume, you can easily negotiate a better rate. Once you’ve done that, go to your manufacturer and try to get them to negotiate with their carrier.Then, you’ll have a cheaper rate on both vendor and manufacturer side.
What other areas should we work on with our clients?
36:52 Every vendor is using a different format and this makes people hesitant to bring on different vendors, even though they maybe able to up sell better or bring in more data. Overcoming this hesitation can really move the needle for your business.
38:26 Vendors in the “quirky” part of the internet usually have the best products and rates. Don’t shy away from them, chances are you should lean into them.
39:08 Once you’re in a niche, it gets easier to find these particular vendors. Another bonus of these vendors is that you can create better relationships with them which can help you in the future.
Contact Chris Palleschi at: