A beginners guide to dropshipping

Ready?

Ever dabbled in the world of online business? If so you have probably heard about drop shipping. It’s an interesting term but what does it exactly mean, and why does it keep popping up in the online biz world? But more importantly how can it help you become you? How can it give you financial and time freedom?

This handy blueprint will help you answer these questions, plus much more. If you are intrigued and would like to know more...Read on!

What is it?

Part of the name gives it away. Drop shipping is essentially shipping products to your consumers from a vendor/supplier. The beauty of this model is that you don’t actually store any of the physical products yourself. They directly get transferred to your client once they have made the purchase.

How cool is that?

In it’s most simplest terms, drop shipping is the process of selling goods via your online store directly to your customer without actually being involved with the fulfilment and shipping. An important incentive to drop shipping is the fact that you don’t have to pay for any products until your customer purchases the product. This is a win win for you especially if your starting of with little to no capital. This is turn allows both newbies and professionals effortlessly pick a niche and run an online e-commerce store in next to no time.

You may be thinking, this is all good and well but is Drop shipping right for you. Well the answer differs depending on what your objectives are in life and what core attributes you possess in life. To give you a little more insight let’s have a look at the advantages and disadvantages of this model.

Click to download our Top 50 Hot Niche Ideas

Advantages of dropshipping?

The process of Drop shipping is significantly less risky compared to a physical bricks & mortar setup mainly because you do not house any inventory yourself, thus allowing your business to spend more valuable time on the things that matter, rather than hiring staff to manage a warehouse.

Another really cool advantage is that you literally can live anywhere in the world and still ship products from the comfort of your flip flops and Wednesday boxer shorts : )

Want another advantage. You don’t have to do any of the leg work. Your drop shipper will organise the packaging and shipping to wherever it needs to go.

The process of packaging and fulfilling an order is a pain in the backside for my businesses. However this is one less problem for you if you choose drop shipping as your business model.

Furthermore your business does not have to worry about any shortages of products or over loading products on shelves because of high or low demand. You also don’t have to worry about trend changes or shifts in the market. This is all done by the dropshipper.

Additionally if you have an urge to grow your product offering and venture into a new product niche, your dropshipper probably has a varied inventory to choose from.

Click to download our Top 50 Hot Niche Ideas

Just make sure it’s a HOT NICHE : ) (So that you can become you more quickly)

Last but not least, company owners do not have to worry about ordering or purchasing a product until the consumer purchases the product, thus reducing any financial risk on your end. This in turn allows you to focus more time and energy on other parts of your business. If you want a clean business model with little to no set up cost then drop shipping really is the way forward. Especially for those who have little capital when starting of.

My suggestion to you? Try out different niche products on your store. Try that new iPhone case design which is trending. Try that cute cat toy which everyone is raving about. The beauty of this model is that you can try various different products on your store without loosing any money. Go crazy!

What are the pitfalls of dropshipping?

OK. We have talked about a lot of advantages thus far. But what about any disadvantages.

Read on...

Drop shipping is a popular business model. So much so that most niche markets are saturated with high competition. (This could put some people off but for me I thrive on competition. It means that there is a lot of demand for that particular niche)

It’s worth bearing in mind however that because many niche markets are so saturated, you are immediately competing not just for the product itself but also for the advertising element. Facebook ad space, Instagram influencers. Celebrity endorsements and all the other advertising solutions you would use to drive traffic to your online shop.

Click to download our Top 50 Hot Niche Ideas

Many businesses fail in dropshipping because they select a dropshipper which isn’t quite right for them. Just make sure you do your due-diligence and ask as many questions as you want.

You will easily find dropshippers on a quick google search, browsing Aliexpress or installing relevant mobile applications. They are easy to find! This has a knock on effect in that your competition can also find them relatively easy. Bear this in mind because you still want a USP when targeting potential customers. Your unique offering is what will set you apart from all the other dropshippers out there.

You should also be wary of quality. It’s quite common to find a product on a Chinese wholesale website which looks impressive yet when it arrives at your front door it can look not as impressive. Maybe order a couple of products which you want to sell and test them out. It won’t break the bank. A lot of the products on wholesale sites like Aliexpress go for $5 and below.

In order to avoid complaints from your consumers it is worthwhile keeping on top of manufacturer updates. They may remove a key ingredient from the product you are selling, or drastically alter their production of goods by utilising cheap parts to save costs. You can do this by staying in regular contact with the dropshipper and just ask them to send you updates whenever something changes which you need to know about. It’s worth noting that many dropshipping suppliers stop caring about their products once they reach you.

For all the benefits associated with dropshipping like low start up costs and the elimination of fulfilment, the last thing you want is for this to be cancelled out due to constant product returns. More often than not it is the responsibility of the owner to replace or refund a product which is (for want of a better word) dodgy!

You can bypass this if you have a no refunds policy however the onus is not on your dropshipping supplier to refund you.

Let me paint you a picture. Imagine you implement a ‘No refunds’ rule. It may save you money in the immediate future however you will loose a potentially repeat customer and may have to deal with bad reviews. Trust me when I say bad reviews can travel quite quickly and can hurt your business.

Furthermore your customers probably expect faulty products to be returned without any hassle. They would argue that it is your responsibility to act without any argument. You may also want to acknowledge this because your stand point may be that you trust this product 100% because you are selling it on your store.

Click to download our Top 50 Hot Niche Ideas

One thing you should be aware of is the concept of next day delivery with the big boys such as Amazon. Although this is not a massive problem for you, your customer would not like a 3 week surprising wait for their product. 2 to 3 weeks for a dropshipping supplier is the norm in some cases, so just make sure your customer is aware.

The above points should not put you off drop shipping. You just have to make sure you select the right niche product, keep your profit margin in tact. And this happens first by choosing the right dropshipping supplier.

The process of finding a dropshipper?

You are more and more intrigued about the concept of Dropshipping however you don’t know where to begin. Reading blogs and watching tutorials is a really good place to start.

Sometimes it is not as easy though.

You could argue that the majority of dropshippers operate at a B2B (Business to Business) level rather than a B2C (Business to Customer). They would form relationships & figure out different ways of driving traffic and converting potential consumers.

We strongly urge you to form relationships and build a network of specialists around you. Everybody needs a helping hand, especially in the very beginning. Start interacting with like minded dropshippers. Build personal relationships and liaise with them via Skype, Phone, Instagram...whatever you feel comfortable with.

Click to download our Top 50 Hot Niche Ideas

You must build a powerful network of specialists around you. You then are one step closer to You Becoming You.

You will succeed with Dropshipping partly because you have done your due-diligence around finding the right supplier. In order to find the right one simply google keywords like ‘wholesaler’ ‘bulk buying’ or ‘manufacturer’. Perhaps use these keywords and append your niche product at the beginning. For instance, one may enter ‘Golf club wholesaler’.

It’s quite handy to recognise and understand what your niche is before searching for wholesalers because each wholesaler specialises in a particular niche.

If you would like help with finding the right supplier you may be interested to know about dropship aggregators. These companies help you find the right supplier. Sometimes they are free and sometimes they ask for a small fee. If you go down this route, please do your research prior to selecting as you want to make sure they are trustworthy.

We have been in the business long enough to know that many online shop owners skip this section out in it’s entirety. If you do the extra leg work here and find the right supplier you already are ahead of the game because you are effectively distancing yourself from using the same supplier and same product line as all the other dropshippers out there.

Finding the right dropshippers

OK. You have done all the leg work, refined your list of dropshipping wholesalers down to 10. But which one do you pick?

First and foremost it’s important to note that the concept of dropshipping is flexible enough that you are not restricted by picking just one supplier. You can pick many different ones as long as they specialise in your desired niche.

It is a good idea to keep your list of dropshipping suppliers small, so that you can build long trustworthy relationships with them and moving forwards you can negotiate loyalty schemes and discount packages.

As you are narrowing down your supplier list bear in mind the logistics of your business. Like your product ordering process. You can then plan questions for your potential supplier. Questions like:

Are there any extra charges involved? Once you evaluate their answer and do some basic arithmetic in your head you will quickly understand if this supplier is the right choice for you.

Are they an established business? You can probably find this out by reading any feedback or ratings. Happy customers keep coming back right? You will want to find a supplier who has been in the game a long time. But also someone who has a proven track record of reliable shipping.

Click to download our Top 50 Hot Niche Ideas

Do they partner with anyone? If so, are they reputable?

Do they allow you to stamp your logo on packaging?

Do you have a return policy?

As you conduct this research remember that you don’t necessarily need to ask they suppliers directly. You can bypass them and ask the customers directly.

Customers have more often than not got no reason to lie. So this is probably a good barometer for really understanding your supplier. Maybe ask the supplier for references, look in forums or social media.

Evaluate all responses and come to a decision whether you want to move forwards with them or not. Soon you will have narrowed your supplier list down to just a few.

How can I link my supplier to my Shopify store?

Once someone makes an order for one of your products. Simply let your supplier know the address of the customer so they can fulfil the order. Make sure they supplier does not include the price of the original product in the shipment.

How can I enhance my prospects of succeeding?

If you have read this far and feel like you are ready to make the next step please read on because there are a few key points we need to include within our overall blueprint to ensure long lasting success.

Even though there are no start up costs associated with dropshipping please think of your time investment in finding the right supplier & the right product an investment in it’s own right.

Here are just a few questions you may be thinking of:

What niche will I tap into?

Is the market highly saturated for that niche?

What will be my USP in such a highly saturated field?

Click to download our Top 50 Hot Niche Ideas

Many successful dropshippers win in this game because they do their research and know exactly which niche to target and then subsequently find the right products they know will sell. They know these products will sell because they know exactly what the customer wants. If you want to succeed you also need to get into this mindset.

Once you have created your supplier list and refined it down to just a few, order a few sample products from them like a normal customer would and analyse the overall experience. Maybe you could make a note of all the customer interactions you are involved with like the notifications you may receive when your product has been dispatched. Did it take a long time for the product to arrive at your doorstep? Does the product look like the product advertisement? Do you feel your customer base would be happy with the quality of this product? This overall experience will give you a sound understanding as to whether you should pick this supplier or not.

UbcmU

Please remember that once you have your suppliers you want, and your product selection nailed, the actual product may not necessarily be your USP (unique selling point). It could actually be a mix of a few different things like your customer service and branding. It’s worth bearing this in mind because you may want to utilise other things to make the sale conversion.

Ordering a few sample products is a really good idea because you can jot down all the things you really like about it and explain these directly to your customer.

Walk the path your customers would take. Understand any pain points so that you can be ready for any questions from your customers.

What you could also do is take some really high end photographs of the product. This is a good idea because it does not just look really good but it also ensures you have unique photos which your competitors won’t have.

You automatically have a USP here.

(Please don’t take this step if you feel you cannot add sufficient value when taking decent photographs)

Click to download our Top 50 Hot Niche Ideas

At YouBecomeU we would advise you to create a marketing plan which outlines certain criteria like understanding your niche market, the audience involved in this niche market, which social media channels you may target, are your potential consumers on these targeted social media channels etc.

What we recommend, especially in the early stages is to execute a few paid advertising campaigns. Something like facebook advertising or YouTube advertising is valuable. They reach a mass audience and puts your branded name on the map.

Please ensure that you understand all criteria relating to your fulfilment process, customer service and returns policy. Some dropshippers don’t do this however if you nail this you can effectively be the ‘middle man’ who sorts out any issue between the supplier and the customer.

Click to download our Top 50 Hot Niche Ideas

Evaluate some of your suppliers key movements and notify them if they are making any mistakes. Anything you can do to make the overall experience of your end user better is worthwhile.

We’re almost finished now, I promise. Before I let you go however you may want to create an up sell for any of your products. This is a proven concept which generates extra income without doing much more work. Customers are more prone to purchasing something else whilst their wallet/cart is open. If you would like to find out more, simply do a search for up selling.

We are now approaching the end of our dropshipping for beginners blueprint. I hope you have understood the advantages and disadvantages of this rather popular business model. Now please go away and evaluates these pro’s and con’s and see if you think drop shipping is for you. If you would like to dig deeper, then please stay tuned for more content on YouBecomeU. Even if you would like some free consultation, all you have to do is reach out.

If there is one thing you should take away from this blog post it is this: please do you due-diligence in finding the right supplier for you online shop. Your chances for success will significantly be enhanced simply by conducting the necessary research.

We do hope to see you again in our next blog post.

Until then. Warm regards & happy shipping : )

YouBecomeU team.

We have an excellent story

Watch Our Video

 Play Now