Start Your Drop Shipping Business
Be Your Own Boss in E-Commerce Business
What is Drop Shipping Business
Above all, what I first want to stress out about Drop Shipping Business is that it’s VERY beginner friendly and investment free business that literally anybody can start right away without buckets of money(business capital) or experiences.
To define it in a little more technical manner, Drop Shipping Business is a model of E-commerce business where you can start an online store
without stocks and inventory in your storage. Instead, your wholesalers or manufacturers or whichever types they are as your vendors & suppliers, are to directly ship out the ordered products to your end customers without it transferring through you.
Therefore It’s a safe online merchandise business type where you don’t need to pre-order or keep stocks in your side in advance, rather you just order from your vendors only when it’s surely purchased from your customers through your online store.
(Using the money paid by your customer to pay your vendor to order an item ordered by your customer.)
It’s no risk for holding stocks covered with dust.
Make sense? 🙂 Yeah, it’s an easy job and anyone can do if they have a single “personal computer”.
How To Start Drop Shipping Business
What Do you Need to Get Started?
- Your Website: Your online store is needed where you can showcase and sell your products online.
- Suppliers: You need Drop Shipping friendly suppliers who can directly dropship to your end customers when order placed.You can personally contact with wholesalers or manufacturers if you already know any good ones. Or just starting to find them at your initial product sourcing stage is also a way of how to start it from scratch, using Wholesaler directories or product sourcing sites such as Alibaba or Global Sourcing.
Feel lost? Overwhelmed? You don’t have to.
What I personally guess is the best way for beginners and rookie online merchants is to use a drop shipping platform that already exists for you.
Using it, you can kick away your concerns about how to create your online store and how to source your selling items and also how to manage your entire business in details.
Because they are basically designed to help online drop shipping business owners for sourcing products, managing stocks, and most of operational & technical supports provided for a smooth business operation.
Then which e-commerce online shop platform is the most considerable for beginners?
Unbeatable leader in the drop shipping industry as a Drop Shipping Online Store Builder.
Using this platform, you can create your own online store in a matter of minutes by drag & drop easy site building template.
What is especially good using this platform which is the most drop shipping business friendly is that you can be provided with lots of free in-store plugins that helps you source products just with few clicks away.
One plugin most famous as a product sourcing app for Shopify Store is called “Oberlo”.
With no exaggeration, the presence of Oberlo has made Shopify world No.1 E-commerce platform.
Oberlo is a Shopify plugin that enables you to source & import unlimitedly thousands and millions of any kinds of products from AliExpress to your Shopify store in a matter of minutes to kick off your online sales.
Just with few clicks using the awesome drag & drop type product sourcing plugin, you can literally import whatever products you want to sell, from the world hugest retail marketplace online, “Ali Express” without pre-ordering products from there.
Do you wanna sell nice dresses from Ali Express? Then you just go pick ones up from there in to your Shopify store and showcase it.
Want to sell computers? Go pick up and put it on your store in a minute of time. That’s all.
This too is a praised Drop Shipping online store platform that people seem loving so much.
Although It mainly features verified Drop Shipping supportive wholesalers list in their directory, it also offers E-commerce Online Store Builder that people can use to open their Drop Shipping online store in their platform.
The biggest benefit of using SaleHoo is their huge wholesale directory like mentioned just earlier.
They have 8,000+ companies in their network. So online shop owners in SaleHoo are given exclusive access to their registered Drop Shipping friendly wholesalers which are strictly verified by SaleHoo business inspection team.
The way of how to find and import products into your store is exactly same as how to on the nice platform, Shopify with Oberlo.
Type in the product search bar any items you want to find and sell and it pulls out all relevant items to display. And then hit the “Import Product To Your Store” button. Then you’re already ready to sell it.
How can it really work and how do you make profit margin??
Drop Shipping business goes the same as how the general merchandise goes in terms of how profit is generated, buying at cheap prices and selling it with margin to leave you some profit, benefiting from the price gap.
But only the difference between the two, Traditional Merchandise & Drop Shipping Merchadise is whether or not you pre-order and hold your stocks at your risk and whether it’s shipped by you or just directly by your wholesalers.
You can start with either Shopify or SaleHoo Drop Shipping Store Platform which are most optimized for Drop Shipping business.
Then find items with competitive prices from Ali Express , and sell it at desired prices through your online store.
Pricing is just up to your decision for every product you sell.
Sourcing good items would be one of the most important and fundamental ability in this online business that you will have to learn and improve over time.
What kind of products can I sell?
Above all, it can be something you are passionate about.
If you love and use it on regular basis, then you will already get a big advantage of it because that means you probably have some insight and expertise in it.
However finding a niche that would sell the best in market would also be a smart way to sell it easier.
Then what should be such best selling items..? Let’s see.. It first needs high market demands. It should be something popular and shoppers love to purchase. Carefully see what would be good to sell according to recent trends or all-time high market demands.
A tip given here, find small thing, low weighted. That can save your package shipping costs, meaning higher margin for you by reducing the cost of shipping. For example: Fashion Accessories, Watches, Jewelry, Small Electronics & Gadgets or Machinery Parts etc.
It couldn’t be any better if you find an item low weighted and high valued!(highly priced)
But a note is.. always make sure to avoid items that are easily broken or damaged while shipping!
Do You Think It’s Just All That Fantastic? – “No, It Shouldn’t Be So.”
Let’s see pros & cons of Drop Shipping business!
< Pros >
- Investment free Online Merchandise Business: Initial Investment for setting up a business is almost near to zero TO tens of dollars.
- Without Inventory : You don’t have to keep all goods with you while they are on sale from your website. Repeatedly spoken, all items purchased by your customers are sent out directly from your suppliers without you engaged in packaging and shipping process.
- Easy to Get Started: This is a way of how beginners in E-commerce can start out and put their feet in. No huge prior experience needed.
- Wild Selection of Items: Flexibly, you can choose anything in any niches to sell without keeping them in stock in advance. It’s always possible to flexibly change to new items or new niches when you see the sale is dull.
- Flexible Work Location: You can keep this job on-going in operation anywhere in the world if you bring your laptop. Because you don’t actually involve yourself in packaging, shipping and storage procedure. All the jobs your dropshippers(suppliers) will take care of.
- Low Overhead Cost: Not being involved in traditional typed merchandise & distribution process such as purchasing inventory or managing a warehouse/storage for stocks. And also no need a business office. Your home or cafe or park or anywhere is enough only with your laptop.
- Convenience: There’re no many parts you need to care about in merchandise procedure. Promoting your website with the showcase of your lovely items on sale is the most parts in the job you do.
< Cons >
- High Chances of Facing Inventory Issues in The Beginning: As the nature of Drop Shipping, in the very beginning you would probably start dealing with lots of random suppliers that provide goods for your shop and customers. Then problems can be happening in keeping proper track of your stocks and items. Hard to keep aware of which items are in stock or sold-out from time to time. This is actually caused by not owning your stocks in your hands which is also considered as a benefit of Drop Shipping business in other words, like every coin has two sides.
While your business is growing, just try to shortlist certain suppliers that are good in stock management and supply and fast shipping. That’s a way of how to run a Drop Shipping business more stably
- Shipping Complexities: If you have lots of random multiple suppliers whom you are sourcing your products from, that might complicate your shipping costs and pricing. Let’s say one customer visits your store and purchase three different items that all are sourced by different suppliers. Then? how? you will end up being too confused how to set shipping cost for the customer.
Especially if you offer this kind of shipping policy like “over than $50 purchase, free shipping”. It will complicate and confuse you.
Just for me as my personal experiences, I offer free worldwide shipping upon every single purchase for that reason.(I sourced stuffs at very cheap prices to make it possible 🙂 )
- Supplier’s Mistake: Since the product distribution doesn’t transfer through you, instead it just directly ships from your suppliers to your end customers, sometimes you can see some out of control and out of hands. Some mediocre suppliers possibly can cause you some frustration with missing items in package or low-quality packing and damaged.
Against this unpleasant situations, you should watch for who’re reliable for you in choosing your suppliers.
How Much do I need to Up Front Invest in Starting Drop Shipping Business?
I started with $40 in 2015. $29 for Shopify subscription for building and maintaining my online store in their platform, and another $11 for purchasing my own domain.
My Personal Story with Drop Shipping Business
I started a drop shipping business in early 2015 with 2 niches: Brand Sport Shoe & Casual Sneakers and Women Retro Dresses.
At that time, I was indisputably a beginner in E-commerce and online business. (I have some working experiences in offline merchandise business(Import and Export) though)
Perhaps my igorance helped me to be awfully brave..? I was just too optimistic and positively thinking that I would make an overnight success with this Drop Shipping business and working anywhere with my laptop while travelling over the world! (Because it’s a location flexible business.)
Yet, that didn’t take a long time to have broken my groundless wishes about the FAST business success when I was facing the reality.
“Oh hell, this business is not that easy to me just a beginner! I know nothing about it! How/Where to source good items with nice prices and how to manage my distribution channels for stable supply? How do I develop the site management? How carries out promotional marketing?!”
It left me a lot of “How? Where? What? Who? questions in my blank head. I literally had nothing knowing about all them. And all the matters were quite complicated to me a naked beginner although it has now become easier to me after a while of experiences in Drop Shipping, Online Businesses.
I soon admited myself and seeking out ways to learn it from scratch. I crazily searched on free Drop Shipping online courses and video classes. After few weeks passed and to few more of months, I started to comprehend the business and markets deeper or at least to know of them better than previously. Yeah my efforts effected to grant me an ability to access the whole process in wider and broader picture.
Then I started to apply what I’d learned to my business running in practice. Facebook & Pinterest Social media marketing, SEO, How To Reach Out To Good Suppliers, Where to find killer items to sell HOT in the market and so on..
While my hard working was performed with better knowledge, my sales was growing from zero or merely single or a couple of sales per week to 30 pair of shoes of sales per week in average.
For my case about profit range, the shoes that I sold, left quite high margines.. such as Adidas Super Star series, NMD, YEEZY running shoe series.
And it gave me routhly $600 of naked profit per week, around $2,000 per-month profit.
It was an awesome income source for me that time because I still had my main regular full time job at that very same time while I was running my online shop as my side job!
I really regret that I had to stop the Drop Shipping business recently because of my regular job and some supplying issues with my main supplier. (who provides me my main item “Adidas Shoes”)
But it’s still true that my business attempt gave me some “life lessons: Nothing is easy when you don’t know enough in it” and… happy earnings too for quite a period of time.
Overall, it was a valuable time for me during my e-commerce online shop business journey that upgraded my insight deeper in merchandise business, product distribution, E-commerce and online business, and specially how to generate “profit” out of nothing 🙂
I definitely say that I would get back to the field when I grab an opportunity BUT surely with great items and suppliers.
Helpful sources for enhancing your Drop Shipping Business
- Warrior Forum Drop Shipping Business Section: Click Here
- Ali Express Drop Shipping Business Forum: Visit Here
- Some Famous Facebook Groups Relevant: DropShipping Ninjas & Drop Shipping Master Minds
- Entrepreneur.com Drop-Shipping Related Article: Read Here