The internet is a wonderful thing. You can watch movies, make calls, send emails and communicate with friends. You can also use it for a more meaningful purpose – building your own online business.
What better way to do this than by harnessing the power of drop shipping, a lucrative business model that allows anyone to instantly launch an e-commerce business without investing a ton of cash.
In this free guide, you’ll learn how to start, grow and build a successful drop shipping business from scratch, regardless of your experience level.
What’s covered? – Understanding drop shipping, finding a supplier, choosing products, pricing items, selling products
Part 1: Understanding Drop Shipping
You wouldn’t try to bake a cake without following the recipe so why pursue a business you know nothing about? To master the art of drop shipping, you must first understand it. You also need to know about the common challenges drop shippers face and how to overcome them.
Part 2: Choosing the Right Products to Sell
You understand how drop shipping works. The next step is to choose the type of products you want to start selling. It’s extremely important to choose the right products, especially when selling on platforms like eBay where you may be subject to selling limits or PayPal holds.View Guide
Part 3: Finding a Reliable Supplier
Once you’ve decided on the type of products you want to sell, it’s time to find a supplier. You’ll be putting a lot of trust in your supplier, relying on them to dispatch and deliver items quickly. Therefore, finding a reputable company is vital if you want to build a successful drop shipping business.View Guide
Part 4: Pricing Your Products Correctly
Choosing the right products is only half the battle. You also need to price the items correctly. Don’t make the mistake of simply adding a few pounds or dollars to every item. The price you set should set will vary depending on a variety of factors including competition, popularity and market price.View Guide
Part 5: Selling the Products
No sales means no profits. If you want orders to start flying in quicker than superman on his way to save Lois, you need to learn how to get your products out there and in front of hungry buyers. From selling on eBay to setting up your own e-commerce website, there are multiple ways to do this.View Guide
Frequently Asked Questions:
What is Drop Shipping?
Drop shipping, also known as product sourcing, is an order fulfillment technique in which retailers sell products (typically online) and source them directly from manufactures or wholesalers. The retailer only buys the product from the wholesaler or manufacturer after it’s been sold to an end consumer. In turn, the wholesaler or manufacturer ships the products straight to the end consumer. Learn more.
How does Drop Shipping Work?
- Claire runs her own clothing store on eBay. She specialises in women’s underwear and currently has a range of over 500 products. However, not once has she physically posted any of the items.
- Instead, when Claire generates a sale, she orders the item from her supplier. For example, Claire sells an item for £10 and buys it from her supplier for £5.
- The supplier packs the item and ships it straight to Claire’s customer.
- The customer gets the item they ordered, the supplier gains a new sale and Claire earns a profit in the process.
What are the Benefits of the Drop Ship Model?
- No storing any stock
- No buying inventory upfront
- Supplier handles postage & packaging
- You can sell wherever you want
- You don’t need a lot of cash
- You can grow your business rapidly
- Free up more time by not having to deal with postage
Additional Tips & Resources:
Other drop shipping guides may tell you to focus on eBay. However, this can limit your reach and exposure considerably. I on the other hand highly recommend selling on multiple platforms.
In fact, you probably didn’t know that Amazon is a much larger company than eBay and it has a hell of a lot more buyers. Unlike eBay, Amazon also has no selling limits which means you could literally list 10,000 items from the get go. If you’re not selling on Amazon, your business will never reach its fullest potential.
You might also want to consider going down the route of selling on other channels such as ebid or etsy. They don’t get as much traffic as eBay, but they can still bring in those extra sales each month which leads to more profits for you.
The importance of descriptions and images
No matter where you choose to sell, having good pictures and detailed descriptions is essential. When people are shopping, particularly for expensive items such as a TV, they want to know every single detail about the item, before making the decision to purchase it.
Unfortunately, the downside to selling online is that you are unable to physically showcase your products. That’s why it’s extremely important to upload as many pictures as possible and provide thorough descriptions. Details that may seem insignificant to you may be a deciding factor to the buyer. You need to have pictures of the items, from several different angles and possibly even some demo photos.
This can be a challenge when your sourcing directly from suppliers because you can really only work with the images you’re given. However, making the extra effort to improve the description will help you to close more sales. It will also prevent customers from contacting you regarding questions that are already covered in the description.
Keep your prices low
Whatever you do, don’t get greedy and overprice your products to the point where they become expensive compared to other competitors. Yes, you’re in the game to make profit. However, would you rather sell an item 5 times with a £10 profit or 100 times with a £2 profit? Cheap is good. People can’t help but purchase a product when they feel they’re getting a bargain. Learn more about pricing items here.
Titles are important
It’s likely that other drop shipping guides missed this nifty tip out. When selling on a platform like eBay, the titles of your listings are extremely important. Not only do they help customers to find your products while searching but they’re also the first thing the user will see when scrolling through results. Make sure you include relevant, related and descriptive keywords in the titles. Use the full allocated space and think about what keywords your potential customers will search for.
Drive traffic to your listings
One of the best ways to boost your sales and kick start things is by making the extra effort to drive traffic to your ebay store or listings. You can do this using various different ways including using classified ad websites, social networks and forums.
Set up your own facebook page and start building up a network of followers. Whenever you create a new post on your page, all of your followers will see it. This is a great way to show case the products you have for sale. Someone might stumbled across your post and feel the sudden urge to buy, especially if your price is low enough. You can also take it that one step further by offering exclusive deals to your followers.
Alternatively, both eBay and Amazon offer their own internal advertising services. For example, eBay allow sellers to promote their listings to gain higher rankings and only charge an additional fee when the item sells. Taking advantage of the platforms own advertising service is a great way to quickly boost sales or launch new products.
How to Keep Earning Profits for the Long Term
Building a repeat customer base
If you want to keep the profits flowing in for the long term, building a repeat customer base is essential. One sure-fire way to do this is by providing excellent customer service and flawless support.
Make the extra effort to ensure your customers feel appreciated. This includes sending them a thank you message after they purchase and informing them when the item has been dispatched. Deal with any complaints, issue or problems swiftly and always live by the motto – the customer is always right.
You’ll be surprised as to how far good customer service can go. Even the most frustrated customer can turn into a repeat buyer. All you need to do is provide good service and resolve issues quickly.
Follow up with buyers
Following up with buyers after their initial purchase is a smart move. Send your customer a message to check if they were satisfied with the item and service they received. You can also take the opportunity to offer a discount on any future purchase. It might also be worthwhile asking for a like, comment or share on Facebook.
Keep your listings updated
You probably never even though about this when searching for a drop shipping guide, but keeping your listings updated to remain competitive is extremely important. If an item that was previously selling like hot cakes suddenly stops selling, it’s usually because a competitor has come along with a better price or offer.
Therefore, commit time each month to go over your listings and make price adjustments if necessary. You may find that lowering your prices, even by just a few pennies can throw your product back into the limelight and get those sales flowing in again.
When you sell an item, you must place the order with your supplier as quickly as possible. Your customers won’t know you’re drop shipping. When they place an order on Saturday, they’ll expect it to be dispatched by Monday or Tuesday. However, if you delay and only place the order with your supplier on the Monday, it could result in the item arriving late which leads to an upset customer. Avoid this situation by making it your goal to process orders the same day.
It’s no secret that drop shipping can be extremely profitable, it’s certainly a lucrative business model. However, in the beginning, it takes a lot of hard work and time to get the ball rolling. Even if the sales don’t immediately start rolling in, you must stay focused and committed. Don’t give up at the first sign of trouble. Keep listing products and updating your prices. Sometimes just a few tweaks to your price can make a massive difference.
I hope this drop shipping guide has helped you to understand:
- How it works
- How to get started with it
- How to generate sales
- And how to earn long term profits
Maximise your exposure by listing on multiple platforms, take time to create good descriptions, promote your products through paid methods, keep your prices low, follow up with buyers, process orders quickly and stay focused. Follow these steps and you’ll be on your way to running a booming drop ship business in no time.