For the artists and photographers which use the drop ship services, it is a vary convenient program since it keeps FinerWorks anonymous and make it appear as if we artists and photographer shipped to our customer directly rather than contracting FinerWorks to print and ship.
I like this because I do not have to keep an inventory of prints, except in a virtual sense. When I get an order from my customer, I can go to the Finer Works website, order the print and have the ship to shipping address I specify which is my customer. I do not have to setup any sort of account, get prior approval or pay any fees. Just check a box on the order review page and that is it. Everything else is automatic according to Finer Works.
So far this has worked out very well and has taken the hassle of packing the print. Since I mainly work in the digital graphics arena, I basically get to handle everything from my computer.
If you too find that this is a convenient thing for you there are a few things the staff at Finer Works told me to keep in mind:
FinerWorks may not be able to totally remain transparent when it comes to drop ship orders going outside the U.S. and even to some U.S. territories. This is because these destinations will require FinerWorks to provide appropriate customs forms and a shipping label has their name and address on it. From what I understand, this is more of a legal requirement the U.S. Postal service places. It is unknown if the customs slip makes itself to the customer or if the destination countries customs department takes those. I imagine different countries do different things.
I had suggested to one of the Techs at FinerWorks.com to start offering artists and photographers the ability to display their logo on the packing slip that is generated for drop ship orders. This lends to a certain amount of personalization that I think artists and their customers will appreciate more. If you are a registered user make sure you upload your logo so that it gets printed.
If a print being shipped gets lost or damaged, FinerWorks takes care of this. Here is what you need to do. Once your customer has notified you or you find out the order needs to be replaced due to loss or damage, tell your customer to hold the print in the package it was received in for at least 5 business days. Then immediately contact FinerWorks to let them know what happened. I had this happen twice; once the package was lost by FEDEX, the second time it was accidentally ran over by the UPS driver (not sure on the details on this but that is what my customer told me). FinerWorks will then arranged for any damaged packages to be picked up while still remaining anonymous. They say if “after 5 business days” UPS does not pickup the damaged print, you can have your customer discard it. I was told that it is important to communicate this to your customer in order to be assured the replacement is sent although usually Finer Works is good about getting a replacement out right away.