Consignment is when you leave goods at a third party for them to sell as their own, and when it sells they pay you an agreed amount. In this case the third party is called a consignment store

Is there a word for the opposite of this? i.e. when you keep the goods on hand and a third party advertises it as their own and sells it (takes payment), and then when it sells, you deliver it to the customer. What would the third party be called in this case?

I'm finding that the listed antonyms for consignment are lacking: holding, keeping, and retention all seem to lose quite a bit of the nuance that consignment has.

  • Ah, this is a much clearer phrasing of the problem. I'm going to go delete my answer on the previous question.
    – Dan Bron
    Nov 26, 2014 at 20:01

1 Answer 1


That's 'drop shipping'.

Drop shipping is a supply chain management technique in which the retailer does not keep goods in stock, but instead transfers customer orders and shipment details to either the manufacturer or a wholesaler, who then ships the goods directly to the customer.

If you don't label the goods with your brand then it's 'white label drop shipping', 'blind drop shipping' (lacking a return address).

If you label it with the client's branding then it's 'private label drop shipping'.

The third party is a retailer (usually an online one) - you are a drop-shipping wholesaler.

Example: Ingram is a very large book wholesaler in the USA. Individual book retailers can, from their website or their physical store, have Ingram ship books direct to their customer under their branding:


Consumer Direct Fulfillment service offers speed, efficiency, and cost savings for online retailers. Orders from your website are processed in one of our four state-of-the-art distribution centers and shipped to your customer’s doors—as if they came directly from you. ...


With Ingram’s Direct to Home service, you can ship books directly from Ingram to most addresses in the world, including military APO and FPO addresses. Any book in Ingram's inventory can be delivered straight to your customers' doorsteps as if it were shipped from your store. ...

Ingram: Retailer Fulfillment [sic] Services

  • Thank you, and I think this is the correct answer. Do you know of any "plain language" way to describe drop shipping?
    – tyler
    Nov 26, 2014 at 20:17
  • 1
    @tyler I think that first quoted paragraph is a good summary, and as plain as any English prose I've read. :)
    – ghoppe
    Nov 26, 2014 at 21:01
  • 1
    @tyler, how about this? "Drop shipping is where a retailer has their wholesaler deliver an item directly to the customer"
    – A E
    Nov 27, 2014 at 9:41

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