What is dropshipping and what is dropshipping business?
Whether it’s a second job or a full-time business, Dropshipping is the new best thing you want to do if you want to earn “easy” money. But wait, what is dropshipping? Dropshipping (or drop shipping) is a business model in which you sell products to your customer that you don’t physically have in stock. So, your customer buys from you, you buy from your supplier e-commerce shop and they send selected products to your customer without any labelling. Simple as that! Looking at the effort you put in Dropshipping and the return you get, the value from it is obvious. And the best thing is, you don’t have to be an expert in anything related to internet, e-commerce, marketing…you don’t need to take special courses, read books about it, spend days and months preparing to start it. All you need is creative thinking, just a bit of market research, smart selection of products you want to dropship, and basic PC knowledge.
Dropshipping system is already very well-developed and more-less all possible “bugs” and holes in Dropshipping have been handled and resolved. Any e-commerce website made it as easy as possible for you to start dropshipping and usually all it takes for you is to decide to start with it! Check how it’s done on some of the leading e-commerce websites like AliExpress, Chinavasion… How easy it is? Well, let me guide you through Dropshipping…
Seems like everyone needs extra money nowadays. There is always something more we want to buy, somewhere we want to travel, something we want to do or see…however, the problem is, if it’s not on the top of our priority list, most likely we will just ignore and forget about it. Spending our hard-earned cash on some small pleasures, that are not necessities, is a difficult decision and we will easily give up on them unless it’s spending our “extra” cash. One of the ways to get that “extra” money, without investing all your time and financial resources, is dropshipping.
How to start Dropshipping? (or: What to dropship? From where to dropship? Where to dropship?)
Answering these 3 questions correctly will make your dropship business less or more successful. It’s not a “rocket science”, but it does require (at least) handling above mentioned creative thinking and market research. So, how to start dropshipping…
What to dropship?
You can select products from a specific and narrow niche and have a fantastic sale, if you select the right one, and especially if you are willing to invest some money in targeted advertising. Or you can go by the idea: offer as many different products as possible and there is something for everybody so the sheer diversity of products will bring you, customers. Which one would be better, that’s for you to decide depending on your time and resource investment in the dropshipping. Both models have their good and bad side, and both can be equally profitable.
However, selecting ” there is something for everybody” model will make it difficult for you if you want to do it as a full-time business and if you expect X number of orders on daily basis. Simply because there are so many other websites and online stores that will offer the same products as you do, it would be very hard to position yourself (without significant marketing investment). On the other side, this model is ideal if you are OK with a casual sale and minimum effort invested in your dropship business. If you’re thinking that every now and then someone will stumble upon your store and you’ll get your sale, then this might be the model with the best chance for success.
But if you want to commit yourself a bit more into dropshipping business or even make a full-time job out of it, then selecting the right niche would be the best model. And now the new question and new headache – what to select? It’s easy if you already have the clear idea what to sell (you can always select product niche based on what you love), or you spent some time in market research and got the idea. but if you don’t have a clear picture what is the thing you think you could make a good sale from, and you don’t like experimenting too much, you can take a shortcut and visit one of the biggest platforms like eBay or Amazon and simply check what are the best-selling products.
The best Dropshipping websites (From where to dropship?)
Creating a single list of the best dropshipping websites would be a difficult task with all the variables included (variables being: what do you want to dropship, from where and to where do you want to dropship in geographical terms, how flexible are you related to pre-sale and after-sale support,…and many others). However, it is an easier task to explain how to find the best dropshipping website or the best one for your needs.
Although it might seem easy and clear now that Aliexpres is here, you might want to do some additional research and expand your supplier pool a bit more… According to some research, more than 35% of all online stores have the dropshipping model as their usual offer. Of course, that doesn’t mean you should just random-pick one. To be truthful, you can never be too cautious with this; so make sure to do the research and first make a test order with all the stores that you select (and you shouldn’t select more than 3-4 as your suppliers cause more than that can become logistics nightmare). A few guidelines what to pay attention to: how long is the shop present (the longer the better; chinavasion.com is present since 2004. and has worked non-stop since then, so must be doing good business and must have huge experience in dropshipping, so it’s an easy choice of course); how good is their products offer (should be at least over 1000 products and should have new products offer on daily/weekly basis); how responsive and helpful their Customer support is (should be able to reply an inquiry within 24h). Also, clear RMA (return merchandise authorization) policy is an important part as well. So, do the research thoroughly and select the right one.
Where to dropship?
Now we came to the easiest decision… You can select one or more platforms. Of course, depending on, as we mentioned before, how much you want to commit to dropshipping business. Obvious and easiest choice are eBay, Etsy, and similar platforms or take it one step further with making an online store at Shopify, Oberlo,… or your own custom website. Also, in recent time, a very popular choice is social shopping. Instagram, Facebook, Tweeter, although being social platforms, turn out to be great sales platforms with extremely easy starting and marketing setup. Beside selling global, think about going local; everything from local e-commerce platform to local online (flea) markets. Keep in mind that having multiple stores on different platforms although might bring more sales, also requires more effort. So again, choose according to your willingness to occupy with this.
Still having second thoughts about dropshipping? Here a few facts and numbers for you to think about…
Dropshipping benefits to you as a dropshipper as well as to any e-commerce store as your supplier. It’s a win-win situation for both if you are getting good sales so every serious e-commerce will do anything and everything to protect and nourish their dropshippers.
According to smart insights, the number of online buyers will increase from 1.52b that was in 2016. to 2.41b by 2021. It is expected that retail e-commerce sales go to baffling $4.06tr by 2020!
You are looking for a business opportunity and not sure if you want to make dropshipping a full-time business for you… As Entrepreneur reports, 82% of business failures are due to cash management. From that perspective investing a lot of money on business, attempt does sound scary. But, since dropshipping require little or none cash to start your business, you can eliminate this risk and take a chance on it.
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