I use the following business model (below). If Mufti could please comment on whether it is permissible or not, it would benefit me greatly.
It relates to dropshipping and Print on demand.
The fact that you can’t sell something which you do not possess makes a lot of sense to me as to why it is prohibited (e.g., failure to acquire the product at the time of sale\Supplier price increasing).
However, would it still be prohibited if the business is of such nature that the supplier is a trusted, reliable source and the business model is such that the products have to be made on demand (i.e., Print on Demand)?
My business model uses the following print on demand methods.
I implement 2 ways, which are similar to each other, Explained below:
There is a company called Printify. This company offers a Print on demand service. Essentially, what happens is I will create a design (that is halal). This design can then be printed on various items such as t-shirts, mugs, phone cases, pillows, etc. I simply upload my design on the product that I choose, purchase it, then Printify will print my design on the desired product and will then ship it to an address. They include all costs, delivery date, and a full description of the item (size, material, weight, etc.). Printify is a trusted source with many businesses using them.
This company also allows me to integrate their service with my own Online store website.
I upload the various products with my designs to my Online Store and I add a markup to Printify’s cost in order to make a profit. When a customer purchases the item from me, I go to Printify and upload the design to the desired product and purchase it. When adding the address details, I add my customer’s address so that the product will be shipped directly to the customer. Printify is a trusted source with many businesses using them, so I trust that they will fulfill the order without any issues. But if there were to be a situation where my customer did not receive the product or received a defective item, I will fully refund him and bear the loss.
Print on demand with local supplier (also a trusted, reliable company)
This model is slightly different. When a customer purchases the item from me, I go to my local supplier’s website and upload the design to the desired product and purchase it. However, this time I add my address details and get the product shipped to me first. Once I receive the product, I then ship it using my own shipping company to the customer.
**With both business models i indicate in the product description that the items are made on order and are fulfilled(method 1) or produced (method 2) by a trusted third party company.
I am looking forward to Mufti’s response