Making money online through dropshipping is actually something many people have done and even ended up building multimillion dollar businesses, starting with single, dropshipped products and growing from there. To mention a few, Jacky Chou and Albert Liu, who went from negative $3k to $250k a month in 8 months, and Marc Chapon who turned a budget of $1k into 170k in 3 months.
Though these results are not typical, it’s an indication of what’s happening in this field. Just don’t go into it expecting these type of results, there’s a long learning curve as there’s actually more involved in this business than just the “shipping” part.
Just in case you’re not familiar with the term, Dropshipping is actually a method of delivering products purchased by the customer. It works like this: A customer purchases something from your new online store, the order is then referred to a supplier who manufactures or has a large stock of this product, and handles the delivery to the customer in behalf of your cool business, where your customer initially purchased. The benefit is for you, smart business person, to allow your online store save costs on warehousing and inventory by paying after the customer pays you, while the supplier sells more of his product. This makes it a very “low entry barrier” business.
Now that you chose to be a cool, strategic business person, here are some steps so you have the best chances to do well by dropshipping:
1. Choose a niche
The best approach to start is by chosing a niche or a specific market, ideally that you know a lot about, so your knowledge can give you an edge. Most people try to go for “general dropshipping business” without realizing the enormous competition they’re getting into (including Amazon and Jeffry Bezos). Pick a niche and then source your product according to it.
2. Find or Design a product
The route most people take is to dropship products from Aliexpress, understandably so. These Chinese products are cheap and have a great profit margin. Problem is most people have already catch-up to this and now it’s becoming increasingly difficult to source from there. But actually there are lots of markets where you can dropship from, including the US and Europe.
Another option is to Design your product using “POD” (Print on Demand), where you create a design, say a T-shirt, and when customers buy it, the order is directed to a Print on Demand supplier who will print your design at the chosen size, color, and specifications previously defined, and then delivers it (with your brand) to your customer. POD suppliers can print on basically anything including mugs, canvas, water bottles, phone cases, even dresses and kimonos.
Printful. Print on Demand service.
3. Order and review your product
A mistake a lot of dropshippers make is to directly sell their products without ever even having seen it. This is a no-no. Please order a product sample and check the quality and how the product will arrive to your customer’s destination, to avoid unsatisfied buyers asking for a refund and filling your store with ugly reviews. No good. Think long-term, like a proper, smart business person and don’t hurt your conversion rates, instead use effective methods to increase it and sell more.
4. Take your own pictures
Supplier pictures are not usually the best ones you can use. These pictures might be used by lots of other stores, are notoriously low quality and will not differentiate your business. Your own pictures will give a uniqueness to your business and the higher-quality images will help you sell way easier.
5. Create a Social Media profile
You need to have a reliable source of traffic that’s exposed constantly to your products. Social media especially Instagram is great for that. There you can offer your followers discounts, coupons and sales. Not to mention that it will help you save a lot on advertising.
From there you can invite your customers to visit your store with the previously mentioned, irresistible, hard-to-pass offers.
6. Create a Online Store
I did not forget this, ok? In fact I’d suggest to create your social media profile before your own store. It takes some time to build your following and then you can direct them anywhere your store address is. The most popular platform at the moment is Shopify, but there are others like Bigcommerce, Wix, Squarespace and lots more.
7. Run ads to your products (not your store’s homepage)
There are many platforms where you can run affordable CPC (Cost per Click) ads. Including Quora, right where we are now gathered, talking about dropshipping. Also Facebook, Instagram, Google, Reddit and pretty much everywhere. Just think of where your target customer is most likely to be hanging out and advertise there. Keep in mind that you need a little more budget than the $29 for your online store. Online advertising involves a lot of testing and time.
* Advanced *
8. Create your branded product
Dropshipping is not recommended as a long-term strategy, your products will eventually become well known by lots of other stores and it will become harder and harder to sell them for a profit.
So after you have success with a particular product, become an even better business person and brand your product. Work with a supplier to create your own branded unique product that only you will sell. There are even agents in China that will do that with you.
9. Use a fulfillment warehouse
After you see that your product sells and your numbers are stable, you can invest in buying in bulk (any amount you want, got to love these times) and pay for a warehousing service that will stock your products locally, and will deliver them for you, giving you better profit margins and shipping times.
Now you’re officially a shrewd business person. Watch out, Jeffry Bezos :)
If you are on your way to overthrown Jeffry and turn your Shopify store into an effective business, but you seem to struggle getting traffic and sales, Click Here to learn How to Fix your store in about 24 Hours to get conversions without wasting your advertising money getting no results.