Starting a dropshipping business is an amazing way to start earning some good income while working from the comfort of your home. Because the dropshipping business can be run from anywhere as long as you have a good laptop and internet, it gives you an ultimate sense of freedom.
You are no more stuck in a boring 9-5 job which would grind you for life and still won’t worth the time or effort. Moreover, the entrepreneur/businessman feeling you get is just unexplainable in words.
Like any other legit business, dropshipping is also not all roses and cakewalks. You do have to put some time, effort and money to make it successful although which and how much of these you need to invest depends on your work ethics and financial condition.
In this article, you’ll learn everything about dropshipping including but not limited to what is dropshipping, who is the dropshipping business for and not for, how to find the correct dropshipping ideas, and how to start and grow your dropship business step by step.
But let’s first clear some basics here.
What Is Dropshipping Business And How Does It Work?
Dropshipping is a business model in which the seller doesn’t keep any product stocked in their warehouse. Instead when a customer places an order from these sellers, then they simply forward the order details along with the customer’s address to the product’s manufacturer or wholesaler or sometimes another retailer. And then these suppliers blindly deliver the ordered product (also known as Blind Dropshipping) to the customer’s doorsteps without leaving their own company’s trace in the package.
What Is The Difference Between Dropshipping And Ecommerce?
The overall general dropshipping and eCommerce are an important part of each other. So, the actual question is… “What is the difference between online dropshipping and eCommerce?”
In eCommerce business, the sellers themselves stock the product inventory, deliver the ordered packages, handle the returns and customer support.
But in the online dropshipping or eCommerce dropshipping business model, the product inventory and shipping of ordered products is handled by the source suppliers. The front end seller is responsible only for managing the website, taking and forwarding the product orders, handling customer support, and refunds.
So, because of the major physical work being out of context, you as a seller can easily and ethically launch and run this dropshipping business right from the comfort of your own home.
Who Pays For Shipping In Dropshipping?
Certainly, you as a seller pay the supplier for the shipping. But most of the time, these shipping rates are pretty low unless you are going for a DHL or some other priority shipping. And even then, you can add these shipping costs right in the total selling price of your products.
The companies that sell their products at extremely high prices like Gucci, Louis Vuitton, etc can easily hide $70 to even $200 worth DHL shipping fee in their selling price. That’s the reason they can easily ship their product with even one-day delivery facilities. Now, I’m not saying that Gucci and Louis Vuitton do their shipping this way, I’ve no clue about their product delivery system. But in general, this is how companies selling expensive products can afford super fast deliveries.
On the other hand, the low ticket ($0 – $50) and medium ticket ($50 – $200) dropshippers can’t hide such big delivery rates into their product prices because then their products will look unreasonably expensive to your potential customer because let’s face it:
Most of the customers neither know nor do they care about how and why these product prices are set. The only thing they’ll do is compare two sellers on their prices and delivery time.
The only way to actually resolve this is by finding and signing a deal with the local suppliers in the target customer’s area.
For example, if you’re selling to US citizens, then find US-based suppliers instead of shipping products from China.
Will People Buy Even At These Slow Delivery Times?
The average delivery time taken by the ePacket method (fast, trackable and cheap delivery system provided by Chinese suppliers) is mostly in the acceptable time range for the customers given that you’ve mentioned it on your product page and shipping policy page.
So, you don’t need to freak out on these relatively long shipping times than what the giants like Amazon provide. But having a faster delivery system will entice more people to buy from you resulting in lower advertising costs and higher sales revenue.
How To Compete With Amazon Sellers That Are Selling The Same Products As Yours?
To buy things from Amazon, people first need to actively feel like buying something. But you can immediately show your products to them on their social media. Alongside this, you can also add a screenshot of the same product being sold at a higher price on Amazon than what you’re selling it for on your website.
Even if someone is selling there at half your price, still someone else might be selling double your price. But after seeing that screenshot on your product page, most people won’t feel the need to specially go to Amazon for price hunting.
You just can’t succeed in dropshipping by competing on prices. So don’t try too hard on pleasing the price hunters. They aren’t your target customers.
What Is Dropshipping Profit Margin?
Like any other business, the prices are divided into 3 parts at a minimum: the product cost, the marketing costs, the profits.
This means that you need to sell your products at least 3 times the product’s sourcing cost including the shipping fee. But you also have other business expenses like website fee, domain fee, apps fee, etc.
So, try to sell at 3-5 times the product cost including shipping, but make sure that your product doesn’t start to look unreasonably expensive. And you do this by comparing the prices of this same product and the similar products on other websites including Amazon.
In a nutshell, you should be generating at least 25% – 30% profits on your sales revenue before taxes.
How To Find Suppliers For Dropshipping?
One common hub of these suppliers is at Aliexpress website. It is almost similar to Amazon except that it has only the Chinese suppliers (who may also have few warehouses in other countries as well). And most of these sellers are either the wholesalers or the manufacturers themselves. That’s why you can buy products from there at dirt cheap prices because they don’t have to pay 20 middlemen and advertisers to generate sales.
The second place to find your suppliers is by purchasing this Salehoo online directory which has a long list of amazing and trustworthy dropship suppliers. Now I haven’t taken a look inside it, but other few trustworthy dropshipping coaches like Sarah from Wholesale Ted vouched for this directory. So feel free to check it and see if you click with something in there. And if you still don’t feel satisfied then you can easily get back a full refund of your money.
The third place is to simply search them on Google. Because they are not SEO experts, so you won’t find them in the first few pages of your search results. And the ones who are running ads on Google to promote themselves are not the original manufacturers or wholesalers because they don’t have any clue of how to run online ads. So, I would not suggest using this method unless you already have some experience in dealing with manufacturers and wholesalers.
What Is The Difference Between Aliexpress And Alibaba?
Both are the properties of Jack Ma, the CEO of Alibaba group. Alibaba website is used to order products in bulk, mostly over 1000 units of an item. You can use Alibaba if you’re planning to go with private labeling your business. So, you can understand that Alibaba is a B2B (business to business) model.
Aliexpress website, on the other hand, is a B2C (business to consumer) model. Here you can directly buy even a single unit of the same product. That’s why you use Aliexpress to fulfill your drop shipping orders.
Where Do I Register To Get Aliexpress Dropshipping?
You do not need to register anywhere to get Aliexpress dropshipping.
That being said, whenever a customer places an order on your dropshipping store, then you’ll simply go to that product’s page on Aliexpress and place an order for your customer’s address while paying through your own credit/debit card.
Then that Aliexpress seller will himself/herself deliver the product to your customer’s doorsteps without leaving any trace of his own company inside the package.
Can A Customer Find Out That The Product Came From Aliexpress?
The straight answer is yes. The sellers have to stick a copy of the bill on the packages in order to get them cleared through customs departments. This bill looks similar to what you may have seen on the packages that come from Amazon.
However, it’s all written in small font size and most of the customers don’t even care to read it. Even I never read what’s written on the paper glued on my Amazon ordered packages.
But still if a very tiny percentage of customers see it and demand for a refund, then do not try to argue with them because if they decide to chargeback the money with the help of their bank, PayPal or Stripe, then it can cause your payment account to get disabled and you would never want that to happen. So, you shall avoid all that by quietly refunding them their money and move on while considering this as a small extra business expense.
How To Process Your Customer’s Orders?
There are 2 ways to process and fulfill your customer’s orders:
One that you would be doing in the beginning, is placing orders on behalf of your customers by putting their address while checking out on Aliexpress. You can automate this process to some extent by using apps like Dropified. But it’s still a great amount of manual work after once you start getting lots of orders per day.
The second easier way is to download a CSV file (can be opened in Microsoft Excel and similar software including Google Sheets) of all the pending orders and email it to your supplier. To make this deal with an Aliexpress based supplier, you’ll first need to place consistent orders from their page using the above first method.
But if it’s a local supplier that you found through Salehoo, Google or by literally calling or meeting them in person, then you may start sending the CSV files from the very beginning.
After dispatching all the orders from their warehouse, they’ll add the tracking codes in front of each order and will send back the CSV file to you so that you can send those tracking codes to your customers.
Is Drop Shipping Legal And Legit?
Drop shipping is a completely legal and ethical business model.
Just because you are buying something for cheap rates and selling for higher rates, won’t make you a thief or scammer. It is a common retail business. The only difference here is that unlike the retail businesses, you aren’t stocking and delivering the products by yourself. And there’s literally nothing wrong in that.
The only time this whole business becomes a scam is when dumb kids and adults don’t bother about the quality of the products and when they don’t even respond to customer emails and queries. They forget that it’s not some time pass joke… rather it’s a real business. And you can be sued if you show such careless behavior.
So, as long as you can make sure of good product quality and respond to your customers (as fast as you can without giving any excuses), then you’re good to run this business.
Is Dropshipping A Good Idea?
With drop shipping, you don’t have any stressing overhead costs like shop rent, warehouse maintenance, staff salaries, etc. You can start your dropshipping business with as little money as you want to… although investing more money will yield you more profits at a faster speed.
And you don’t even need to leave your home… you don’t even need to worry about how to ask your boss for vacation leaves, sick leaves, etc. You can provide as much time as you want to yourself and your loved ones.
Why dropshipping is not a good idea? You tell me!
How Much Does It Cost To Start A Dropshipping Business?
As I mentioned earlier, you can start the dropshipping business even with no money at all. But eventually, you’ll have to spend some money. And these expenses are:
- A monthly fee for hosting your eCommerce website
- A very small fee to get your logo created (if you can’t create one by yourself)
- The monthly fee for the premium apps that you may use on your website
- The annual domain fee
- The advertising costs if you want to use paid methods to promote your products and website.
How Will You Pay For Fulfilling These Dropshipping Orders?
Generally, you’re expected to have some extra budget to pay for your initial orders. By doing this, you’ll also be avoiding the addition of a few extra days in total delivery time.
But if you don’t have an extra budget, then you can wait for your customer’s money to get settled into your bank account or PayPal account and then use that money to pay for the orders on the supplier’s website.
Most of these payment gateways settle the payments to your account within 2-7 days. The only requirement for you to still keep your customers happy is by mentioning at the bottom of product pages that it can take 2-5 days to process and dispatch orders from your warehouse.
How Much Money Can You Make Dropshipping?
Dropshipping is a very lucrative business model. Imagine a number and you can make it if you take correct steps with correct will power. But it’s also true that only around 5% of all the people who try their luck in this business get a success.
The reason is simple:
They’re just trying their luck like a time pass, like a fun activity in their free 5 minutes.
You guys need to understand that eCommerce dropshipping is a real business and you need to treat it like that… Otherwise, you’ll fail, badly.
Can Dropshipping Make You Rich?
In theory, yes, the dropshipping business can make you rich, but it is not some get the rich quick scheme. Most people who see any success in this business either have the smart mind, amazing luck or they’ve invested a good amount of time and sweat in learning it.
Now, how fast you can learn and apply the skills varies from person to person.
Can A Lazy Person Succeed In Dropshipping?
To be honest, this depends on what kind of lazy are you. If you think you can outsource all the work from the beginning, then you can never succeed unless you have thousands of dollars to waste.
But on the contrary, if you’re lazy enough to not try to make everything look perfect from the very beginning… and instead, if you try to present the product in the right way while hitting the correct nerves of your potential customers, then you’ll succeed.
I know about at least 3-5 guys who barely invested even 5 hours into the whole process and still got results within the first 24 hours or so.
But understand that being lazy doesn’t mean that you create a crap looking store. The website must look professional and trustworthy enough for your potential customers to buy something from you.
Is Dropshipping Profitable?
Well, if dropshipping wasn’t profitable, then why would anyone think of pursuing it?
Actually the problem is something else. The dropshipping business model is profitable but most new dropshippers end up losing a great deal of money. This happens because they either start with literally no guidance or they are following a bad teacher.
I’m telling you by experience… when I saw the Shopify stores of some of these newbies, I felt like to smash their head on the wall, LOL. Yes, this sounds too aggressive, but if you had seen their stores, that’s what you would feel like too. The irony was that they were following some coaches… and still, this happened.
Anyways, the store design isn’t the only part of running a profitable dropshipping business. More on that later.
What Are The Best Niches For Dropshipping In 2021?
Based on the trends I’ve seen in the past few years, the best niches to start your dropshipping business around are:
- Personal Care: Face care, skincare, haircare, etc.
- Physical Fitness: Abs building, gym gear, yoga gear, etc.
- Physical Pain Relief: Foot massager, neck massager, acupressure devices, etc.
- Makeup: Most items in the makeup niche are common. So, you need to find the unique items that provide the same functions but with some sort of added benefits like mermaid makeup brushes, magnetic eyelashes, unique makeup kits, and organizers, etc.
- Apparel: More specifically leggings, hoodies, bikinis have the highest sale trends in the Apparel niche. After the few others are caps, t-shirts, socks, etc but all these come under the print on demand drop shipping model which we’ll explore further in some other article. The major problem in apparel is that there are lots of size-related issues unless the apparel is the fit-all size.
- Baby Products: Babies are being born every few minutes and everybody loves them, especially their parents.
- Pet Products: You know how aggressive can people behave if someone even tries to hurt or insult their pets. These folks care a lot about their pets. If you can sell them amazing, unique and actually helpful products to make their and their pet’s life easier, then you’ll be swimming in money.
- Kitchen Products: I’m not talking about the usual kitchen products. I’m instead talking about really unique products that you and your potential customers may have never seen before but you know and they know that those products will make their kitchen-time a lot easier and fun.
What Are The Best Products For Dropshipping In 2021
If you were hoping for me to tell you the exact products to sell, then, unfortunately, that’s not going to happen over here because products keep coming and going. Whenever I’ll mention any such products here, then they’ll be copied by a good number of my readers and then they would be competing with each other while making Facebook richer in the process.
So, I’ll instead tell you what type of products you should sell in your dropshipping store.
First, you should know that the 2 major derivatives to influence sales are – Pain and Excitement.
Whenever someone buys something, it’s due to either of those 2 reasons at the root level. So, based on this hidden information, the products you should sell on your dropshipping store are:
Problem Solving Products: The problem doesn’t necessarily need to be physical pain or stress-related. Rather it can be as simple as a problem of not being able to take all the fishing gear from your car to the fishing point. And the solution is the Fishing Tackle Bag.
Beneficial Products: These are the type of products that are not solving any active pain point. Rather these products would be an extra bonus point to have. For example, the Fishing lovers have no problem in getting their legs wet, otherwise, they wouldn’t be loving fishing. But still having waterproof pants is like an added bonus to it. They’re not actively looking for these pants, they don’t even need these pants, but still, they don’t see a reason to not buy them either.
How To Find Dropshipping Products?
The first and best method is to list down some problems of yours and of your neighbors, friends, family, etc and then try to find some unique and not so commonly available solutions for them. This way you’ll be able to easily talk your customer’s language which means it’ll be a lot easier for you to sell those dropshipping products to your target market.
The second way is to find a unique and/or trending product first (using one of these methods) and then try to see what problem can that product solve exactly. And then promote to the target market while explaining and showing them how that product will solve their particular problem.
What Products Should You Not Dropship?
Theoretically, you can sell anything in the dropshipping business because you don’t have to stock those products with you. But there are still a few types of products that you can’t sell at all and these products are:
You can’t sell anything that has a copyrighted design or print like products related to Star Wars, Marvel movies, Harry Potter, etc. You can’t even sell those fan art type of stuff.
The only things you can sell in this category are the non-trademarked dialogues used in those movies, tv-series, etc.
If you still want to sell this stuff, then you’ll need to get written permission from their authorities and you’ll also have to pay them a good chunk of your profits as a royalty fee.
If you try to sell these products without permission, then you’ll always run the risk of getting sued. I’m sure you don’t want that to happen.
You should not sell any items that are prone to damage during the delivery. Because you’ll have to either refund the customer’s money or send them a replacement. Either way, it will be a loss on your face.
Big and/or Heavy Items
If the products are big in size and/or heavier in weight, then you’ll be charged higher shipping rates and sometimes these rates will deeply eat into your profits. Now, how big is bigger and how heavy is heavier, depends on the product that you’re intending to sell.
You can easily check the shipping fee on the Aliexpress product pages. If you’re using some other supplier, then you can email them asking about the shipping for those products for your target countries.
Boring And Common Products
If your target product has nothing unique about it, then it won’t excite your audience to stop what they’re doing and buy your product. Also, if your target product is commonly available in local stores, then nobody will want to buy it from you at a higher price alongside a long waiting period.
The only possible way to sell these products is by using Google Shopping Ads in conjunction with heavy discounts and product bundles.
How To Price Dropshipping Products?
For Free Plus Shipping Products
In the free plus shipping dropshipping model, you give away the products to your customers for free but charge a small shipping and handling fee. This shipping and handling fee will actually cover the product’s cost, ad cost, and a small profit margin.
But you can’t charge the shipping and handling fee more than $14.99 and even then it may look like a scam. You need to make sure that the product’s value (in customer’s eyes) should be at least $x or more, where ‘x’ is the shipping and handling fee that you’re intending to charge your customer.
For Example: if you’re charging your customer a $12.86 shipping and handling fee, then the product should have a perceived value of $12.86 or more. Otherwise, your comments section will get filled with hate comments and scam allegations.
Also, make sure to put random numbers like 12.86, 9.71, etc for shipping fees instead of retail numbers like 7.99, 8.95, 9.97, etc. Retail numbers give clear signals to your potential customers that you’re not really giving away the product for free and so, they won’t buy from you.
To get good profit margins in this free plus shipping model, you’ll need to sell products that cost you less than $4 – $5 including the shipping fee.
For Regular Retail Products
Pricing these products is relatively easier and simple. You need to make sure that after taking out the product cost, shipping cost, advertising cost; you’re left with at least a $10 profit margin.
The other simple way is to multiply the product cost (including the shipping fee) by 3 and then sell your product at that price. But make sure that this multiplication has not taken the product price at unbelievable levels.
For example, if a product costs you $100, then you may not be able to sell it at $300… instead, the correct price might be $200. You’ll have to create your price based on what other stores are selling it at and how they’re presenting the product as well as if they’re offering anything else along with the product as a product bundle?
What Is Dropshipping Store And How Can You Create One?
A dropshipping store is an online eCommerce website that you use to sell your dropshippable products. Without this website, you can’t run your dropshipping business. Although you may still run the business on other platforms like Amazon, eBay, etc; but you’ll have barely any control over anything.
Moreover, they won’t let you collect emails of the customers. And if you may know by now, email marketing is the best and free form of marketing to generate profits for any business. So, you shouldn’t start your dropshipping business on such platforms.
The best way to start and run your online dropshipping business is by setting it up on eCommerce shop supported platforms like WordPress, Joomla, Volusion, etc. But all these need a great amount of time, money and coding skills before you even begin to sell anything over there.
What Is The Best Dropshipping Platform?
Being a beginner, you actually need a platform that’s extremely easy to use and could be easily managed single-handedly by you alone even if you don’t know the first thing about any type of coding. If you haven’t guessed it yet, then it’s Shopify. And you can start for free by claiming your 14 days free trial here.
This 2-week free period is enough for you to go through everything in there and to get used to this eCommerce platform. Once your trial period is over, then you can simply pay for the basic plan and move on from there towards your success.
Can You Automate Dropshipping?
Dropshipping is already an amazing and extremely easy business model to pursue. Just imagine how cool it would be if you could also automate this dropshipping business!
Well, to your delight, you can actually do this. Some part of it is already automated by using the apps like Dropified which automatically syncs all your orders and speeds up the order fulfillment process for you to a great extent.
But to further automate your dropshipping store, there’s a specific prerequisite requirement for you to fulfill. You need to first learn and get your hands dirty doing each and everything in and about your dropshipping store.
If you try to automate your dropshipping store by hiring assistants before you yourself learn and experience the business by yourself, then you won’t be able to judge if your assistants are doing right or wrong. You won’t know if you could actually make more profits. Moreover, if your business suddenly starts to go in loss, then you’ll have no clue what’s causing that loss and how to fix it.
Imagine it like this:
If I present you a cuisine that you never even saw before let alone eating it, then how will you judge if I cooked/made it correct or not? Comment below if I’m making some sense or not here?
Anyways, once you figured everything out, then you can easily screen your prospective assistants and hire the correct ones among them. Knowing everything will also make the life of yours and your assistants a lot easier because you’ll be able to give proper and straight forward guidance in the right direction.
General Store vs Niche Store vs One Product Store: What To Choose?
It is one of the highly asked questions in the eCom dropshipping industry and it’s a valid concern to have. But to make a decision, you first, need to understand the difference between these 3 store types:
No, it doesn’t refer to your local general grocery store. Instead, a general store in the eCom industry means by a store where you can sell virtually anything. Meaning you can sell dog collars, acne remover, leggings, all in the same online store.
However, you would still want to sell only trending products. This means selling LED dog collars instead of regular ones, camera lens-shaped coffee mugs instead of regular coffee boring mugs, glowing leggings instead of non-glowing regular leggings, etc.
A niche store only has products from only one category. Some great non-dropshipping examples in this category are Kylie Cosmetics, Petsmart, Gillette, etc. I’m sure you can find dropshipping stores by yourself. Revealing such stores in this article would just create unnecessary competition among you guys which isn’t a good idea.
Niche stores can be further divided into 2 categories:
Macro Niche Stores: These eCom stores are although selling only in one niche, but still they are broad enough. For example, Petsmart… ‘pets’ is their niche, but they provide everything for every pet which makes their target audience really broad.
Micro Niche Stores: These stores niche within the niche. For example, instead of selling the whole Apparel line like FashionNova, you could be selling only the gym apparel like Gymshark. And there’s no limit to how further niched down you can get as long as you have a big enough audience to target your ads.
One Product Store
As the name says, here, you’re focusing on selling only one product in your whole store. One best example of this would be Blendjet. Now, you should understand that they’ve gradually grown their store to its current level instead of doing the whole work before launch.
What I’m saying here is that you don’t need to create that level of homepage from the start and you don’t even have to create a blog on your store either when you’re just starting up.
Rather just focus on creating an acceptable level of eCom store and start promoting.
Which Store Type Should You Choose?
Now, you understood the meaning and therefore the difference between general stores, niche stores, and a one-product store. So, to answer which one store type should you choose to start your dropshipping business today… well, you can actually pick whichever resonates the best with you, your discipline level, and your work ethics.
Creating a general store would save you from restarting everything from scratch every time when your niche store or one-product fails. A general store can also generate the highest revenues because you can sell as many products as you can over here.
Niche store makes it easier for you to promote your store through ads and email marketing because your whole audience will have the same interests.
The one-product store guarantees the most targeted audience and profits with the least amount of work.
Marketing Dropship Business – How To Promote Your Shopify Store?
In a general sense, you can choose to promote your dropshipping store either through free methods or the paid methods. Both have their pros and cons.
The biggest benefit is that you don’t have to spend money to promote your store. Some free methods can even provide you fast results as well. Some of these free marketing methods are: blogging, signing up affiliates, creating YouTube videos, Facebook groups, forums like Reddit, etc.
But the problem here is that most of the time, it takes a long time before you see sales and sometimes, it can also take a lot of time and effort to even get started.
The biggest benefit of using paid methods is that you can start seeing results within the first hour as long as your product and the customer targeting is on point. If you want to generate more revenue, then just invest more money in the backend. Some of these paid methods to promote your dropshipping store are: Google ads, Facebook ads, YouTube ads, Instagram ads, Influencer marketing, etc.
The only disadvantage here is that if not done right, then you could end up losing lots of money before you even start seeing any sales in your online store.
In a nutshell, you can choose whatever marketing method that resonates the best with you. But just know every method requires different work ethics and different time frame. So, don’t freak out if you’re not seeing sales within the next 2 hours.
What Is The Best Shopify Dropshipping Course In 2021?
To be honest, I’ve seen many newbie dropshipping stores and there’s no doubt that most of them fail and get closed within their first month. Besides the impatient, non-business mindsets, the biggest reason behind their failure is not having the right guidance.
To succeed in any business, you need to have some prior knowledge and experience that you’ll get only down the road with time. If you want to decrease this learning period, then you need to have a trustworthy coach who can hold your hand towards success.
By now, I’ve seen around 70 dropshipping coaches and each one of them is good and bad at one thing or another. Some of them are good dropshippers, but aren’t good teachers… some have their course fees too high… and some are just not responsive enough.
From my personal experience, I believe that Kevin David would be the best teacher for you to learn from and to follow the exact footsteps to succeed in your dropshipping business.
But look, I don’t want to hard-sell you on buying his course because that’s not my style. Rather I would suggest you watch his free webinar here and at the end of the webinar, if you feel the right vibes coming from him, then sure you can buy his course.
Running A Dropshipping Business – Things To Know!
- Choose The Right Store Name: You would want a name that is easy to read, spell, pronounce. Speak and hear even for a dumb person even in a loud noisy place. Also, make sure to not include any numbers or hyphens or ‘the’ in your domain names because otherwise you’ll only make your domain look weird, and by adding ‘the’ in your domain name, you aren’t fooling anyone… and you aren’t making it unique either. If your required domain name is taken, then just move on to finding the next best domain name instead of trying these above weird tricks to serve your laziness.
- Highlight Your Shipping Times: Customers are fine with waiting for 2-4 weeks of shipping times but only if you let them know before placing their order. Otherwise, they’ll get furious later and will ask for refunds, and if you still don’t refund them, then they’ll chargeback with help of their bank or PayPal which will lead to the shutdown of your payment gateway account.
- Ensure A Strong Refund Policy: Although Shopify provides a good refund policy to use, you want to make some required changes so that it resonates with your store. Provide refunds only if they received the damaged item or a wrong item. This is because you don’t want to give a refund just because someone didn’t like a product or just because the shipping time was long. If you have some extra money, I would suggest you get all of your policies created with the help of a lawyer.
- Setup Email Marketing: Not all customers buy at first sight. Many of them will buy after getting multiple encounters with the products and sometimes they’re just waiting for the extra discounts to magically appear in front of them either through an ad or an email. So, you want to set up a follow-up email sequence to generate as many sales as possible from your website visitors. And ofcourse, you first need to setup email capture boxes on your store which is extremely easy to do.
- Create Exciting Offers: It is really important for you to create discounts, sales, product bundles, etc to entice your customers even more to make a purchase from your online store. You can get the ideas of product bundles and sales from Amazon as they’re doing a really great job at this.
- Do Not Underprice Your Dropshipping Products: It is possible to feel like a scammer in the beginning by charging 3-4 times the amount that you actually paid for sourcing a product. But understand that it is a normal practice in retail business and if consider the ad costs and other business costs, then this pricing won’t feel like overpricing as long as you’re not actually overpricing your products. So, instead of competing on price with your competitors, you rather need to make the right balance between the price and the quality.
- Ensure A Nice Looking Website: I don’t know what some of these new dropshippers are thinking when they’re trying to sell through a crap looking website. But to tell you the truth, if you can’t create a nice looking website on your own, then at least replicate the design of the demo store provided by your Shopify theme. I’m sure anyone of you can easily do that. Right?
- Provide Great Customer Support: If you don’t respond to your customers in a faster time, then they’ll get furious. This can lead them to ask for refunds or to even give you bad reviews on your pages and on your ads. Also, make sure that your responses are helpful to your customers. Just imagine how would feel if a company doesn’t reply to your queries or if they reply to you with a totally useless answer?
- Choose Trackable Shipping: If you noticed then you would know that some suppliers can even provide cheaper shipping methods, but they’re non-trackable. But this can actually cause a lot of confusion between you and your customers and you may even have to face loses due to missing packages. And you won’t even know if the package is actually not shipped or if the customer is just trying to scam some money out of you. So, you always want to choose the cheapest, but also the trackable shipping method and mostly, it’s the ePacket shipping.
- Have Some Patience: Yes, it’s true that sometimes people get so lucky that they get sales within the first 24 hours with their first ad. But most of the time, it takes a good amount of time and money before you start seeing any positive results. So, you need to be a little patient, otherwise, this business may not be for you.
Do You Need A License To Do Dropshipping Business?
Every country, state/province and city/town has a different set of rules when it comes to starting a business. So, the best idea would be to ask this question to a local chartered accountant in your area. Even I did this before starting my own dropshipping business.
If it turns out that you can’t get all the documents for getting those required licenses, then you can ask your parents or elder siblings to help you by letting you use their documents.
For example: if you’re under age 18, then you’ll need to ask our parents or your elder brother or sister to let you create and use a PayPal account on their name.
Make sure the person you’re asking this help from, is living inside your own home and doesn’t have a shopaholic nature, because otherwise, you’ll lose all your money faster than you could imagine.
What Type Of Business License Should You Choose For Running Dropshipping Business?
To start your dropshipping business, you can pick one of the 2 most preferred business licenses:
You don’t have to actually register for this. But you would still need a tax identification number, a sales tax id/number (if your area rules demands for it), and at least a savings account if not a checking account in a bank. Although it’s always better to have a checking account and a credit card to run a business in general.
The benefit of running your business under this is that you’ll be paying the least amount of taxes because. But it also comes with the highest liability. Meaning if for some reason, a customer sues you and wins the case, then you can end up even losing your house and other properties under your possession. Now, whether the property under your parent’s name can be taken away or not, is a question you’ll need to ask your local chartered accountant or a lawyer.
LLC or OPC:
LLC (Limited Liability Company) or an OPC (One Person Company) although makes you pay more in form of multiple types of taxes, yet it also provides you some level of security over your personal assets.
So, if someone sues your business and wins the case, this time you’ll have a good chance to protect your personal belongings from getting taken away. Usually, you’ll have only one of these 2 license types (LLC and OPC) available in your country.
To register this license, it’s better for you to ask for guidance from your local chartered accountant.
Brief Summary: How To Start A Dropshipping Business?
- Pick A Niche: List down the niches of your interest and find out the most trending products in them. Do competitor analysis and market research to see if there are enough people looking for those products and if you can sell without having to compete a lot with other sellers in your niche. Based on this information, finalize a niche to start selling… or you can choose all of them and create a general store to contain them all.
- Pick Your Supplier: Make sure that multiple suppliers are providing that product so that if one goes out of stock or something else happens, then you could easily shift to the next best supplier instead of having to do product research again from the beginning. Also, make sure that your supplier has good ratings and reviews and preferably high-quality product pictures as well to use in your online store.
- Get Your Legal Stuff On-Line: Its always better to make sure that you’re legally all fine to start your dropshipping business. This means having any required licenses, bank accounts, credit/debit cards, PayPal accounts, payment gateways, etc on point before you actually start promoting your products. However, to just get started, you’re fine even with only having an above 18 age identity and a PayPal account to connect with your store. You can get the rest of the things in check gradually later down the road.
- Pick Your eCommerce Platform: I’m sure by now, you understood that it would be best for you to choose Shopify as your eCommerce dropshipping platform for which you can start your free trial here.
- Pick Your Shopify Theme: Without a website theme or template, you can’t even create an online store. Although Shopify provides 10 free themes to use in your store which are really amazing, but paid themes will be much more rewarding especially for a dropshipping store’s success. My suggestion for you would be to choose either eCom Turbo theme [review here] or Turbo theme or Booster theme [review here]. And you don’t need to know any coding skills to setup these Shopify themes because all of them have a simple drag and drop customization system.
- Pick The Shopify Apps: Apps are an important part of online stores. They increase the efficiency of your store similarly as they would do for your mobile phones. But if you get too carefree, you would end up installing lots of apps that will rather heavily slow down your website and that’s never a great business practice. That’s also one of the reasons behind me suggesting you getting paid themes as they’ve most of these features already built-in not negatively affecting your page load speeds. For starting, you should only install GetResponse email autoresponder in your Shopify store.
- Setup The Analytics: You can’t improve your sales and you can’t fix the issues in your store if you don’t know where exactly the problem is. So, to solve this, you need to install 3 analytics tools – Facebook pixel, Google analytics, and this HeatMap Tracker. It is extremely easy to install them and each one of these has provided clear and simple installation instructions for you. Also, make sure to submit your domain to the Google Search Console. This will help Google to rank your website faster in the Google search results.
- Start Promotions: Once your whole Shopify store is properly setup, then remove the password from the preferences section of your ‘online store’ named menu and start running the promotions through whichever promotional methods you prefer to go with.
- Optimize: After starting the promotions, you only have to keep analyzing the performance and optimize your Shopify store and your ads to increase your sales revenue and profits.
Final Words: Is Dropshipping Worth It?
Dropshipping is not a new thing. It is probably in existence from the first day of the retail business. But it started getting famous only a few years back. If you look at the Google search trends, then you’ll know that dropshipping is only rising every year.
There’s no limit to how much profits can you generate in this business that too while sitting at the comfort of your own home. And you can generate this money without having to compromise on your lifestyle or on the time with your loved ones.
What more could a person want?
So, although it is an amazing idea to get into the dropshipping business, it would be wiser to get into it now before it becomes way too competitive for you to enter. If you didn’t know… then every year the ad costs are rising and every year more customers are losing trust in dropshipping stores because of bad business practices used by a small number of dropshippers. So, it’s best to get in this dropshipping business and make your unbreakable presence as soon as you can.
Make sure to comment below what was the one major takeaway for you from this article and how can I improve this article even more?