How To Start A Dropshipping Business
Dropshipping is the process of selling merchandise to consumers without holding or storing inventory. A customer makes an order on your store at the retail price and the order is then forwarded to your supplier with you paying the wholesale price. The supplier then ships to the customer under your name, and you keep the profit. As a dropshipping store, your job is to set up the store, find customers and handle support. I have a demo store up and running. If you would like to see what it looks like and how it would work, use the Contact Me form to be added to the mailing list through which I will share the list.
BENEFITS OF DROPSHIPPING.
Low start-up capital: Expenses required to start are relatively low as you just want to set up the store, pay for important application subscriptions and get some graphic work done.
Easy to get started: Running an e-commerce store is much easier than a brick and mortar store. You don’t have to deal with physical products.
A wide array of products: Because there’s no need to have a physical product before selling, you can choose to change products or widen your scope to offer more products to consumers without much hassle.
Other advantages include: Low overhead, Easy to scale and You can run it anywhere in the world as long as you can communicate with suppliers and consumers.
Competitive Prices: Because it is so easy to get started in drop shipping, many people set up stores and sell at very low prices just to grow revenues.
Shipping Complexities: Working with multiple suppliers within one store can lead to differences in shipping costs and arrival times. If a consumer makes four different orders on your store that happen to be from different suppliers, you will have to pay four different shipping charges.
Some other disadvantages include; Supplier error, Inventory issues and Potential shipping mistakes or Long arrival period which can discourage the buyer.
WHAT DO I NEED TO START A DROPSHIPPING BUSINESS?
- A product (Niche Selection)
- A supplier
- A store or platform
- Promoting your store
- Sales Tax ID (US Residents)
Choosing a dropshipping niche:
A niche is defined as a specialized or focused area of a broader market. The more specific your niche is, the better it is or your store. For example, my girlfriend loves pets, more specifically, dogs, she has three Border-collies. Dogs are a popular niche in pets, you could say that the border collies are a sub-niche of the dogs, hope you get the point?
How do you choose a niche?
- Start with your interests.
- Solve a problem you might have.
- Research your competition
- Make sure you can make money in that niche.
A good dropshipping product will be small and lightweight, a general rule of thumb is that a good product should fit in a shoebox and weigh less than (4.4lbs) 2kg. It will not be dominated by major brands or be a seasonal product. The ideal price range is between $15 – $200.
Now that you have a good idea of the niche you want to enter; it is time to select a product. Once you have several products in mind, try to eliminate options one by one till you are left with one single product to sell. I recommend selling one product because it gives your store credibility and a defined market segment.
Research your competition
If you want to dominate the market and beat your competition, you have to study them.
- Identify the competition.
- Analyse their product listings
- Read customer reviews to get an understanding of what they are doing wrong or right.
Finding a supplier
I mostly use AliExpress or Alibaba to look for suppliers. I sort by order when looking for products, that way I know I am dealing with experienced suppliers.
Here is a list of things I look for in a supplier:
- Offer drop shipping services
- Offers quality products
- Have experience
- Provide fast shipping
- Have quality product pictures and description
- A verified seller with reviews and referrals.
Creating your online store:
Many people sell on Amazon, eBay and Etsy. Most drop shippers these days use Shopify or WordPress. You might have to pay for running and starting the store, but this is a long-term investment that will pay off in building your online business.
- Complete control over branding.
- No fees and a higher profit margin
- No direct competition (Amazon, eBay)
- Set-Up costs (hosting and setting up Shopify or WordPress store)
- Traffic relies on your advertisements which can cost a lot
- SEO ranking and marketing costs time and money.
Promoting and Advertising your store
Many drop shippers I know run Facebook and Instagram ads; sometimes you will have to pay for Instagram pages to make posts on their pages for you or pay Facebook or Instagram to continuously run ads for you for a targeted audience.
This is a continuation of the 7 Side Hustles post if you want me to talk more on any specific one please leave a comment below. If you’d like to learn more about dropshipping or you want to have a dropshipping website built by the EVOLV WITH DAVID team, please use the Contact Us page.