Selling it All: How to Get Started With Dropshipping

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Dropshipping is a type of business model that has very low start up costs. In simpler terms dropshipping allows entrepreneurs to use their internet marketing skills and link wholesale suppliers to individual customers. Those who start a dropshipping business do not ever have to worry about handling stock and inventory. The way that dropshipping works is that the second you attract a new customer, you immediately send an order to a wholesaler or manufacturer and it is they who ship directly to your customer, hence, the term “drop shipping” was born. This type of business forces an entrepreneur to focus on customer acquisition instead of spending a lot of money on operational costs and the supply chain. 

How dropshipping works?

The three major players in the dropshipping model are the customer, the retailer which is you and the manufacturer. The role of the manufacturer is ofcourse to make products, accumulate an inventory stock, and ship the products directly to the customers on your behalf. You as a retailer will handle these products under your own brand and spend your own money on all costs associated with the gathering of customers. These would include having your own website, brand, sale tactics, shipping costs and setting of the prices to ensure you make a profit. The manufacturer itself will incentivize dropshippers by giving them a cheaper price for their products. 

The retailer will also need to handle questions that arise on products and returns. They then will go ahead and negotiate with the manufacturer on the customer’s behalf on how to return defective products. According to the experts, having a distributor of shades and readers is the key towards making money in dropshipping to find products you are passionate about and choosing the right brand name. Capitalizing in the dropshipping market by carefully promoting and advertising your product can lead to huge profits once you build a good relationship with wholesalers or manufacturers. The keys to success is to be passionate about your products and find enough motivation to properly market them to your target audience. 

Thus, if you are ready to start a dropshipping business and do well enough to compete with larger companies it is advisable to follow the following steps. 

Find your niche

Finding a niche product is the most important step in dropshipping. The selection of a proper niche product will be much easier to market towards your target audience and if you select a very specific niche product there is a good chance that you will not be competing with the giant retailers. It is important to find a niche product that has a good margin built into it, so that it allows enough room for you to make a profit after all expenses. Thus, it is recommended to start off with higher priced products. 

You also need to ensure that the product you choose is attractive to impulse buyers that will have income to buy it. It is recommended to use Google’s Keyword Planner to find common search terms related to your product. It is also important to create your own brand name and find a product that you could potentially rebrand as your own. Another important factor is to figure out what products are not available for sale in your geographic market, so that you are not competing with others. 

Perform a thorough search of your product

Since you will be competing with giant retailers and other dropshippers in your area. It could be an advantage to sell a product that is not sold by them. However, this could be a mistake because there might not be enough demand for your product and hence this is why other big retailers or dropshippers are not selling it. Things to look out for are high shipping costs, small profit margins, manufacturing issues that lead to low quality.  

Find your supplier

 

Choosing a supplier can make or break your business. It is important not to rush and ask for samples to evaluate their response time, quality, and eagerness to do business with you. A lot of suppliers are located overseas in places like China, India, Bangladesh, and Vietnam where manufacturing is much cheaper. Websites like alibaba or Taobao are resources that you can use to do a proper research. Ask a lot of questions before buying and figure out their production capabilities. 

Maybe even taking a trip to the factory to see things for yourself is a good idea. A lot of the bigger suppliers struggle with communicating and shipping. If you are a small client for them they might not cater to you. Thus, it is also important to find a supplier that caters to your size of business. 

Build a very good website 

Building a good website nowadays is fairly easy nowadays. There are a lot of good templates and hosting platforms that aid any non-savvy computer person to build a great website. In the beginning it is a better move to use platforms such as Wix.com instead of burning your budget on hiring a good designer. You might also consider to use platforms like Fivr and Upwork to hire a cheaper graphic designer. Once you have made some sales and analyzed your data then you may want to hire someone more expensive. 

Customer acquisition

Once you have a great product, website, and platform you will need to actually get consumers to buy whatever you are selling. Ways to attract customers include Google, Facebook, Instagram, Amazon, Etsy, and Youtube ad campaigns. These allow for major revenue at the start because a lot of eyes will be on your product. The larger the audience, the higher the chance that someone will buy is. In addition, these platforms have ad-platforms that will allow you to target your product to the audience that you want. 

It is also a good idea to do proper search engine optimization, email marketing, and keep channels open between you and old customers by sending marketing materials with incentives such as discounts. 

Indeed, dropshipping is a low cost business starting method that can lead to big profits. However, one needs to do the right research by choosing a niche product, good supplier, design a good website, and finally reach their target audience. It is also important that data is kept and analyzed with programs like Google Analytics, which will aid in seeing trends and improving your business.