An e-commerce model where the seller doesn’t own any inventory or handle any of the shipping responsibilities. When a customer makes a purchase, the seller processes the order and transfers it to a third-party supplier—like a wholesaler or manufacturer, for example—who prepares and ships the order. The seller only pays the supplier for an item after someone buys it, which makes dropshipping a popular option for entrepreneurs who want to start an online store quickly and with minimal overhead.