I own a drop-shipping business where I sell both food and non food products. As a drop shipper I do not keep the products I sell in stock. Instead, when I sell a product I purchase the item from a third party and have it shipped directly to the customer. As such, my 'inventory' is more like a catalog of products with a description, rather than physical inventory. Occasionally, I find that some of the items in my 'inventory' are not kosher.

I'm aware it is generally forbidden to do business with a (Biblical) non kosher food product. However, in this case I don't actually take (physical) possession of the product - I merely source it from various 'distributors' who ship it directly to the customer.

Does the general prohibition on doing business with non-Kosher food products apply in a case like this, where someone brokers the sale of the food, but never takes physical possession it?

Perhaps the crux of my question has to do with the ownership status of the product while it is in transit. Would the drop-shipper be considered the owner of the merchandise or just a messenger during this stage, and does that consideration affect the permissibly of this activity?


1 Answer 1


See this answer about a similar idea, I pay Joe's Ham to deliver my non-Jewish neighbor a ham -- did I ever own the ham? https://judaism.stackexchange.com/a/81465/21

Chasam Sofer YD104 was asked about a Jew in Trieste going to a seafood market, choosing some barrels of preserved non-kosher seafood, and having them sent on a boat down to Egypt to some non-Jewish partners, billing it to the company. After much deliberation, it ultimately comes down to whether at any moment the Jew was responsible for the wares. Was there a point in time when, if lightning struck the barrels and they went up in smoke, it would have been the Jew's loss? If so, he was trading in non-kosher seafood.

So it should depend on the terms of liability in your particular case.

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