A Tutorial providing you information on how to safely and effectively pursue drop shipping.
The tutorial answers some of the most important questions business people ask.
It is a fact of eCommerce that most successful marketers use dropshipping.
It requires no investment in inventory, no handling of product and very little time. (If you are not completely familiar with why this is so, it is best to read this information. https://chamberofcommerce.pl/how-does-drop-shipping-work/ )
In this paper we answer important questions. Because the answers should be of interest and value to you, reading the entire contents is highly recommended.
So, we move forward with questions and answers.
Is drop Shipping Profitable?
Drop shipping is definitely profitable with many making thousands of dollars per month never touching a product or investing in inventory. Their businesses are as close to being on automatic as can be.
This is an opportunity that you should not miss.
But before you jump off, note that these people did not hit their home runs the first time at bat. You probably won’t either.
This guide should help you at least have some success on which you can build like most home run hitters have done.
What do I need to start a drop shipping business?
Perhaps the most important asset that you need is time. Time to learn. Time to plan. Time to find the right product. Time to set up your selling platform. And time to analyze your results to get it selling at maximum level.
You will need a selling platform – the place you list your products.
Depending on your choice of platforms, you may or may not need a domain name and website.
And, of course, you will need a product.
As for money, once again that is platform dependent.
Each of these will be covered In more detail below.
Where Do I List My Products For Sale?
We refer to these places as selling platforms or marketplaces.
You want to put your products where the customers are.
They are on Amazon and eBay. And you can put your products there free!
So, with each of these marketplaces, all that you have to do is find products that will make you money and write good listings. They have unnecessary upgrades that will help. But if you have good products and well written listings, that is all that you need.
But we all know that nothing is free in this world. You list free, but they take a piece of your earnings. They are effectively middlemen. So, your prices are higher than they could be.
If you create your own marketplace, you cut out the middlemen. The price to you is the cost of your marketplace and getting customers into it. That cost is money and time.
What are the platforms for my own marketplace?
Each comes with a cost.
Shopify has a setup cost. WooCommerce is free.
Each has add-ons that you will need to be most effective.
To put them on the web, you will need a web host. This is the one that we use. https://www.hostpapa.com/
And you will need a domain name. This is where we get ours. https://www.namesilo.com/
We started with WooCommerce and shifted to Shopify. It just seemed that with WooCommerce every time we turned around we needed a new add-on. And then there was constant maintenance required for the underlying wordpress system
With Shopify we have the stores up and they sail on almost unattended.
This is what ours look like on Shopify.
Natural Baltic Amber https://store.natural-baltic-amber.com/
Where do I find products to sell ?
It is easy to find products. They are literally all around you. But it takes work to find products that will make you money.
Let’s look at some of the places you can look.
Drop Ship Programs – Don’t waste your time. You will be selling the same products as everyone else who belongs to the program.
Locally – There are many shops and local manufacturers who would be more than glad to have you selling their products. Such places are great for finding products to sell on Amazon and eBay. They are also perfect for your own store.
This is how we started. And we do very well with those products.
Of course, we continue to supplement them with others from out of area. We find suppliers through a drop ship directory to which we subscribed. Information about it is here. https://steamtraininfo.com/landingpage/drop-shipping-suppliers
Alibaba https://www.alibaba.com/ – Large volume drop shippers use this. They sometimes have products packaged as private brands. In any case they import large quantities and store them in a fulfillment warehouse. Fulfillment houses charge fees. But the fees are well worth paying. Here is information about fulfillment houses. https://chamberofcommerce.pl/fulfillment-house/
The order minimums are generally quite high. This is a good source if you can ship them to a fulfilment house that will store and ship for you. On Alibaba you generally get the best prices because most of those listed there are manufacturers.
Alibaba is probably out of the reach of startups.
Aliexpress http://pl.aliexpress.com/ – They are huge suppliers to drop shippers. You have to be careful though because there are many middlemen there. They are called trading companies. They buy from the companies listed on Alibaba, mark up the prices and sell by the piece.
Sometimes on Aliexpress there are less than scrupulous sellers and those with poor delivery times. So do your homework and make test buys before you list any product.
Despite the cautions, Aliexpress is a good source.
Drop Ship Directories – We rank these with local sources. You deal with certified and verified wholesalers from all parts of the world. And they offer more than just lists of suppliers. You get invaluable training materials. And personal support. The directories cost, but the training materials are well worth the cost. The lists of suppliers are almost a side benefit. Here is a link to information about the one we have used, and continue to use, for years. https://steamtraininfo.com/landingpage/drop-shipping-suppliers
How Do I Choose Products That Will Make Money For Me?
I do two things.
I make and sell my own products such as the ones that you see here. There are others and more coming. https://store.polandsbest.com/collections/static-grass-applicators
And I use Amazowl https://amazeowl.com/landing
It tells me what products have high potential based on some base parameters I set in. Just follow the tutorials and you are on your way.
I still use the free plan. That is probably all you will need for some time.
What are the risks of drop shipping?
Business is business. If you fail, it will cost. At a minimum you will have paid for your web presence, advertising, office materials. Depending on how you set up, there may be other costs.
And the time cost may be the most significant.
The most prevalent reason for failure is that people give up. To start a business and get it up an running takes determination, time, research and planning.
But drop shipping has some other risks.
You are dependent on your drop shipper to perform.
If they deliver late or a deficient product, you get a bad review.
And when customers return products, they come back to you. Adding insult to injury, you have to make any refunds. Don’t expect sellers from Alibaba or Aliexpress to make any refunds to you.
It is for this reason that large drop shippers use fulfillment houses. So the risks mentioned above are minimized, if not totally eliminated.
If your supplier is local, you may be able to get a refund. You may also be able to get a refund from a supplier that you found through a drop ship directory. You should, of course, have asked about their refund policy in advance.
How Much Does It Cost To Start Drop Shipping?
If you start with Amazon and sell local products, maybe a couple dollars.
We started with one, yes 1, pierogi form to test. Now we sell them by the hundreds per month. You can see them here. And guess what fulfillment service we use. Amazon FBA merchant fulfilled service.
And then we tried 10 grams, yes 10 grams, of amber beads. Now we are the largest exporter of amber beads in Poland. We use another fulfillment service because Amazon won’t allow amber beads in their warehouses. They say amber beads are baby teething necklaces. And they don’t allow baby teething necklaces. Beads are necklaces? Give me a break! So, we give the business to someone else!
We used the profits to get more inventory into the warehouses and set up WooCommerce stores and then migrated to Shopify stores.
We still sell on Amazon and eBay, but our profits are higher in our own stores because we don’t have to pay fees to anyone.
Remember that you have other costs that can add up. Business registration with your local government, office equipment and supplies, papers, copies, and more. Sit down and list what you need and the cost.
Here is a little aside. When Bezos started Amazon, he and a friend packed books on the floor. His friend suggested they get tables. Bezos thought that was a great idea. He bought tables.
What Do You Recommend That I Should Do?
I would go for it. I learned a lot and can look back.
See if there is something you can find locally and make a deal with the owner.
Start listing on eBay and Amazon.
Get Amazowl and start looking for product. https://amazeowl.com/landing
Get the WWB Directory and go through the training materials. https://steamtraininfo.com/landingpage/drop-shipping-suppliers
Now you can expand, or if you did not find something locally, get started.
Find a supplier for products that you found using Amazowl. https://amazeowl.com/landing
List those products on eBay and Amazon.
Start driving customers to your store. Here are two video channels where you can learn how to do it. I have subscribed to both these channels and watch videos over and over again. I learn something new each time.
Find a new product each week.
Will You Make A Profit?
There are no guarantees. All that I can tell you is what others have done and what I am doing. You may lose time and money. You may make a profit.