“When it comes to dropship, if it’s not easy I’m not doing it anymore.”
Piecework is a puzzle company dedicated to quality time in the great indoors. The name Piecework is a nod to the importance of the process — it’s about fitting something together by hand, working it through, piece by piece — instead of the outcome. Whether working alone or at a gathering of friends, we see puzzles as a means to slow down, connect, and live in the present.
Grow with Retailers Focused on Reducing Friction for Vendors
Piecework pioneered chic puzzles as a direct to consumer (DTC) brand in 2016, shaking up a category long overdue for a fresh take. Their unique puzzles quickly took off, with rapid growth in direct to consumer channels resulting in broad exposure and awareness with major retailers. On the fast track to growth, they began to work with retailers specializing in everything from books and music to home decor. With some it was easy. With others, it was anything but.
“When you’re working with big retailers, it’s not a choice. You have to jump through hoops and do things their way” says Mark Tingey, Director of Operations.
They soon realized that saying yes wasn’t always the right answer. In fact, it could lead to unprofitable business.
Finding a Profitable Path to Dropship with Retailers
When Piecework Puzzles explored dropshipping to get a foot in the door with additional retailers, they found the cost of entry was higher than expected. Especially with retailers where the path to partnership is through EDI. With no guaranteed order volume, EDI based retailers hand off upfront implementation costs, subscription fees, per order charges and manual order processing to their vendors.
From receiving, confirming and inputting the order, shuffling it to the warehouse, communicating with the retailer and more, brands like Piecework Puzzles take on significant labor costs to do business with retailers.
Mark says, “Even if we did do it and were willing to deal with the headaches, it’s just not a smart business decision.”
“When it comes to dropshipping, if it’s not easy I'm not doing it anymore.”
They needed to find a lower cost path to sell with retail partners.