Drop shipping has become quite a hot topic in recent years, especially with the huge increase in internet users looking for ways to generate an income online.
While the practice of drop shipping is not a new concept, it has become a very popular method of fulfillment for e-commerce store owners.
It also has become very attractive to new and aspiring online entrepreneurs thanks to its relatively low capital start-up and so many tools available to build a store and fill it with products very quickly.
In this article I will be answering some common questions I encounter regularly about starting up with drop shipping with the approach of 2019.
I first heard the term Drop Shipping from a good friend of mine back in 2005 while living temporarily in Vancouver, Canada.
At the time however, I
had never really considered that I could become an entrepreneur for a very low
amount of start-up capital, and then use that money to fund the rest of my
travels, so long as I had a an internet connection and computer access.
The truth was, I was only interested in partying and having a good time in the weekends.
The joys of being young!
“Had I known then, what I know now… “ How many times have you heard that?
How easy is it really to start Drop Shipping?
With the tools that we have available now and ease of communication with anyone in the world, it is now easier to set up a store than ever. There are a few different platforms to choose from to build out a real online store, with free theme options as well as paid giving you a little more control over the look and feel of your website.
So to actually set up a store and have it ready to fill it with products of your choosing, it is very easy and can be done in a matter hours.
Can people really earn a living from Drop Shipping?
Short answer… Yes people can really earn a living from drop shipping.
It does of course depend on the individuals own personal circumstances, the structure of the business and the level of desire to grow the business.
I would not insist on using my drop shipping store as my only means of income, as there are so many moving parts, that if one were to break and income ceased, then you should ideally have something else to fall back on. I will only ever use it as a means to supplement income.
If trying to grow the business then it would be wise to reinvest profits to help scale the operation, which could also have some adverse effects, as this could mean there would be a need to hire employees which will increase business expenses, but if done correctly could increase profit margins and allow more time for other aspects.
This is where some people use virtual assistants to undertake some of the more menial tasks.
Is Drop Shipping still a viable option now?
It is important to understand that drop shipping is really just a method of fulfillment, within a much larger industry. That industry is the retail industry and retail is an absolute titan in the world of business. In 2018 it is expected to hit around a staggering $25 Trillion dollars globally.
An incomprehensible amount of which you only need a small piece of the market share to run a successful business.
To answer the question, yes it is still a viable option especially as it can be so easy and inexpensive to get up and running.
Although it would be best used to generate revenue while looking for products that you could use to create your own version of, then move towards the more traditional method of buying in bulk in order to increase the profitability by having a lower cost per item.
Since drop shipping relies on only purchasing a wholesale product, usually one at a time, the cost per item is generally higher than if you were to buy in larger quantities. This is where the challenges in being profitable begin.
At the same time, because you don’t really have to outlay the cash upfront to buy the products, you can use the revenue generated at the point of sale to purchase the item of inventory. This is what makes the method so attractive to many looking to start an online business.
Could I replace my job?
Depending on your circumstances you could absolutely replace your job, but make no mistake about it, having an e-commerce store as a business, is exactly that, a business and in order to be successful it is of the utmost importance to treat it as such.
It will take work, dedication, perseverance and you will undoubtedly run in to problems along the way.
It is not simply a matter of throwing up a bunch of products on your site and hoping someone buys. That is playing the lottery and is likely to yield even more disappointing results.
Understanding this before commencing is going to increase your likelihood of success, this is not a get rich quick scheme, so please do not expect to be retiring within weeks of launching your store.
Where is the best place to source products?
Thanks to the internet and websites like Alibaba and little brother Ali-express, the ease of which one can obtain suppliers is truly remarkable.
However, the best way to get suppliers is to do it the seemingly long route of searching for suppliers of your prospective product in your niche and also in the geographic location you want to sell in.
Since Ali-express is located in China, there could well be issues with longer shipping times if wanting to sell in the US for example.
If you are able to find a supplier in the same country, you are going to decrease the amount of time your customers have to wait, which could reflect well on your store’s reputation.
What is the best platform to use?
This is one that will really come down to personal preference in the long run, however personally I like Shopify as there are some really good apps that can be used to make the running of your store a lot simpler. Starting at around $30.00 per month it is substantially cheaper than having to rent a physical premises. Shopify offers a 14 day free trial.
It is also relatively easy to completely strip out your whole product range and start again with a different niche if you decide. Provided of course that you have domain name that will allow drastic changes.
How do I get started with Drop Shipping?
This really is the million dollar question, the best thing is to spend a bit of time doing some research on your niche, to give you the best chance of success, you will want to make sure that you choose a product or niche that has a demand, remembering that if you have competition then you also have demand, the trick is to make sure that the product is sustainable and not saturated.
There is a huge amount of information available on YouTube, the problem however is that there is so much information, it can be a job in itself trying to sort through it all to find the things that are either relevant to today, or relevant to you.
You could truly spend
an entire year trying to watch it all and then implement it.
The next thing is taking massive action on those things you learn.
What then if you begin to take massive action and you find that it is not working? Trial and error may be alright if you have a larger budget. If you don’t then you want to be fairly sure you are heading in the right direction from early on.
When it came time for me to begin my drop shipping journey, I knew that I will benefit most from having a proven system to follow, so I could cut through the white noise of YouTube and avoid the things, that I didn’t need to sort through.
That was when I was lucky enough to discover something that helped me in a huge way.
You can check it out here.
Having pieces of the puzzle laid out ready to use, helps makes the whole process so easy to streamline. Rather than having to do it blindly.
The thing about getting in to any sort of business is, the more money you try to save, the more time you are going to have to sacrifice in exchange, so you have to consider this when commencing. You can really speed things up by having more start-up capital as long as it is allocated correctly.
Waiting for the perfect time could also be something hinders your progress, so if you want to get started in anything, you need to start strong and with confidence. You may make mistakes but that is all a part of the process, and necessary in order to grow and learn.
Everything I have learned in my drop shipping journey has come from a free web training that we have running and I encourage you to sign up to get a good look at what is possible, especially if you can have things laid out for you Be sure to check it out below.
Best of luck!