Want to start a store, and not be bogged down with a garage or bedroom full of products that you have to sell to regain the money you spent on buying them? If you always wanted your own store, but didn’t want to have to rearrange your living room to house products, and did not want to have to spend thousands to buy the inventory, then this post is for you.
Disclosure: This post may be sponsored or contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. See my full disclosure here.
Running a business is a lot easier when you don’t have to worry about the storage of physical products and paying rent for a brick and mortar storefront.
One of the best benefits of running a drop-shipping store is that you can do it from anywhere. As long as you have a loyal following (even if it’s just a few people), a laptop, and an internet connection, you can grow your site well into the future.
Due to my blog and websites, I am able to travel frequently and spontaneously. It’s really a great thing! Now, I’m not saying that drop-shipping is a get rich quick scheme because it’s not. You will have to build a loyal audience who trusts what you have to say, and this is not always easy. However, if you are able to build a following that is interested, then you may be able to earn a great living selling products that you already enjoy and believe in.
In this post, you will learn:
- What is drop-shipping
- How to decide on a niche
- What e-commerce platform to choose
- How to choose a drop-shipping supplier
You might have heard of drop-shipping before, but never really understood the entire process. Your customer places an order on your website, then that order is automatically sent to your supplier for fulfillment, and your supplier then mails the order to your customer. You never have to deal with sending the product. Many stores are ran this way now, including Amazon. So whether you operate your own store front, or decide to sell on places like Amazon or eBay, the option to not deal with storing products is yours.
1. DECIDE ON A NICHE
The first step to getting started drop-shipping would be to read our How to Start a Business for Less Than $100 article. Within that article, you will being the work of researching which product you will sell, or what niche you will begin with. Finding your niche will take you a few days to settle on, as you will be searching through social media for ideas similar to what you have in mind. You will also be searching through tools such as Google Trends to help narrow down your ideas. I also say to take a few days, as you don’t want to allow excitement to be the deciding factor for you in determining which idea to pursue. You will start to jot down ideas that are trending, or something that people are really addicted to i.e. coffee, yoga, chocolate, Game of Thrones, and etc. Within the niche, you can break it down further. You would take fitness > yoga > yoga pants. Play around with your niche ideas, conduct a search to see if it is trending, and then start finding social media pages similar to it to investigate their strategy.
2. CHOOSING AN E-COMMERCE PLATFORM
You found your niche, and now it is time to take on the super easy task of building your website. You will be amazed at what I am about to share with you, as you can have the basics of your website up and running within 30 minutes. NO KIDDING. When I launched my first store back in 2015, I could not believe how easy the process of building the site would be, when I got started using Shopify. Shopify is one of the best e-commerce platforms to get started with. There are plenty of others too, which you can view here for an exhaustive list. I have used others before, but I always come back to Shopify for its easy to use features.
3. Choosing a Drop-Shipping Supplier
I have compiled a long list of drop-shipping suppliers, print on demand t-shirt suppliers, e-commerce platforms, and my top picks for getting started in online e-commerce to help get you going in the right direction. After you have signed up for a Shopify store, you can immediately start adding your chosen products to your website, by searching through AliExpress.
If this is your first time hearing about AliExpress, then be amazed at how low the prices are, and yes, the prices are that low. Drop-shippers have been sourcing their products from AliExpress for years, and is one of the world’s most successful companies. This company surpasses Amazon. Your customer again, will place the order on your site, and the supplier on AliExpress does the work of mailing it to your customer.
Let me give you an example. Let’s say that I want to sell minimalist jewelry under my brand. I would go to AliExpress, and search for minimalist jewelry.
Once I click on Orders as my Sort by method, I see that that these star studded earrings are a top seller with over 12,337 orders at $0.57 a pair! You could order these for yourself at that price, but let’s sale them instead. We can easily sale these for $9-15 on our branded website. AliExpress tells us that it would cost $2.51 to ship via ePacket. If you sold the earrings for $10, then that is a $7.00 profit. The shipping times are usually 12-20 days with e-packet, and when orders are higher, they can take about a month on average. But click the video below to find out what that does not matter.
Customers are willing to wait, AS LONG AS YOUR FAQ PAGE STATES THIS INFORMATION. When you are developing a FAQ page, you will state in the beginning, how long orders typically take. Here is an example of what I would write for my FAQ page.
Our company partners with global jewelry merchants in order to provide you the best prices and a unique global shopping experience.
This means that your order is shipped from our global suppliers, usually overseas. Unfortunately our global suppliers do not provide tracking numbers but we do offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
Because we ship directly from our partners in other countries, your item may take 3-5 weeks to arrive. Please do not panic if it does not show up immediately, it’s on its way 🙂
When you are sourcing products with large reviews and large order numbers, I would not order a sample, as you can scroll down to the reviews to view pictures from other customers. If the product you see does not have a high amount of orders, then I would order a sample. With the prices as reasonably low as they are, I would budget a few dollars to set aside to test out products. Once you find your list of products to sell, you will import them into your Shopify store, by downloading the app Oberlo for free, within your Shopify app store.
Also, read these great step-by-step articles on how other Shopify store owners got started and successful marketing strategies.