Drop shipping is nothing new. 

If you have been involved in eCommerce for any period of time its part and parcel of the efficiency of doing business, leveraging the supply chain and plate spinning cash flow.

We like content, in fact when it's the right stuff we love content, Game of Thrones (never seen it BTW), Peaky Blinders (superb), World Cup (mens and womens) and many others keep us glued to the big screen and encourage us to 'buy' a few things.

Without Zuck we wouldn't really have had the huge take up on social media, without LinkedIn morphing into a business network site, it would simply be a place to connect with people who can help us get a job - if we're lucky.

But what about those people who have taken the time to understand how to use the social networks to their advantage - are they also nibbling away at your business?

We all like a 'bargain' I guess - but sometimes 'all that glitters' as they say

Gabriel Beltran moved from Uruguay to Miami with the dream of making it big as a drummer. Five years ago, he was struggling to pay his rent and living on his girlfriend's student loan. (link below)

Then he made over $20m (£15m) through a little-known online retail technique: dropshipping. And in bedrooms around the world other savvy individuals are getting rich the same way. 

The sellers never see their products. They typically remain completely anonymous. And their marketing reaches hundreds of millions of people.

Counterfeit Goods;

The process is simple: the dropshipper goes to an online Chinese marketplace and identifies a cheap product. The seller sets up a flashy website, suggesting the product is made in the US or Europe, and adds a huge mark-up. 

The dropshipper uses social media for promotion, often paying influencers to add legitimacy. When an order is received, the seller collects the customer's money, and only then do they buy the product.

Finally, the product is shipped directly to the customer from China.

In practice, the vendors act as virtual middlemen or women.

All this is legal and often done well. 

But the anonymity it confers means there is also abuse. The sale of counterfeit products is commonplace, and customers often don't receive their orders.

Not great news for some, but a trend that others are legitimately using to take business away from you. 

Social media and social commerce - just a fad right?