Ever wondered what it takes to run a successful online business? If you’re reading this, you probably have. You have probably also heard the term ‘dropshipping’ being thrown around. If looking around, you don’t know what you should sell, you don’t have any money to invest in products and you don’t have space for inventory, then dropshipping is for probably for you. In this article I’m going to teach you all you need to know about dropshipping.
What is dropshipping?
Dropshipping is a retail fulfillment method where a seller doesn’t keep the products he or she sells in stock. Instead, using the dropshipping model they partner with a wholesale supplier that stocks its own inventory. The seller transfers customer orders and shipment details to the supplier who in turn ships the goods directly to the customer. It is amazing that you don’t need to worry about inventory issues and fulfillment. Also, you get to ship from the wholesaler to your customer with a return address and invoice customized to your brand.
Why should I use dropshipping?
- You don’t need to have lots of capital like you would need if you were to start a traditional e-commerce store by yourself. With dropshipping, you don’t need to invest heavily in inventory to offer thousands of items to your customers.
- You get to focus more on customer service and marketing the products since unlike a traditional e-commerce store, you don’t have to worry about fulfillment.
- There is great mobility with dropshipping. Since you need not bother with fulfillment issues, you are free to open up your business anywhere you can get an internet connection. You can start dropshipping with just creating an Instagram business account and advertising the items you wish to sell.
To start dropshipping you don’t need to be a registered business but you might want to consider doing that as you grow.
If you already know what products you want to sell, contacting the original manufacturer is the easiest way to find qualified distributors. Not all distributors are willing to dropship, but it will point you in the right direction.
However (there’s always a however), dropshipping isn’t without some drawbacks. But, if you operate with caution and planning, you should be able to establish a successful dropshipping business like many others before you.
- Syncing inventory is difficult and sometimes can lead to out-of-stock items. However, the best way to get around this is to have multiple suppliers for similar products. It is risky to rely on just one supplier.
- If in case you sell an out-of-stock item to a customer, I recommend you give the customer an upgraded product for free. It may cost you, but its better than a bad review.
- It is hard to sell products that you have never seen or touched. This is fixable though, just be sure to check the websites of the producing company and get every important information about the product. Only sell products with good reviews, that way you can at least vouch for them.
Every legitimate business has some risk to it. It’s part of the package. So it would be unwise in my opinion for you to pass up a chance of a successful online business because of a few possible bumps along the way.
This is not a get-rich-quick scheme. You’ll need to invest your time in marketing your products. But you can start with your friends on social media ho will in turn spread the word and hence grow your business. As you grow, I will advise you invest in a website (it makes you look more professional).
Here are a few dropshipping companies you can try out with;
AliExpress is a wholesale and dropshipping platform that connects dropshippers to suppliers and products. The platform offers millions of products from suppliers in 40 niche categories like electronics and apparel. AliExpress also offers free sign-up.
SaleHoo is a wholesale supplier directory that connects dropshippers to suppliers. It includes suppliers in a variety of niches that serve the United States, UK and Australia.Signing up for SaleHoo costs $67 (per year) and has a 60-day money back guarantee.
Doba is a marketplace that compiles manufacturers and suppliers into one place. With Doba you can search through products in your industry and consolidate them into custom lists. Their basic service plans starts at $29 a month; more plans are available.
Wholesale2B is a supplier integration system that allows you to choose from 1 million products, offered by 100s of suppliers, and sell them on eBay, Amazon, BigCommerce, Shopify or a custom website. Different apps and pricing plans are available for different platforms — the BigCommerce app starts at $29.99 a month or $149.99 per year.
5. Worldwide Brands.
Worldwide Brands is a comprehensive directory of dropshippers and bulk distributors. They continually update their list with new suppliers across all niches and certify that each is reputable and reliable. Receive access to this directory for a one-time fee of $249.
6. Dropship Direct.
Dropship Direct is a general dropshipper that provides access to over 100,000 products, all shipped from their own warehouse. They feature products in health and beauty, sports, apparel, electronics and more, and also provide metrics like order cancel rates to help you gauge the success of your dropshipping. Dropship Direct offers free sign-up.