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 business that doesn’t require a lot of investment and can be worked on in your spare time.
In this free drop shipping guide, you’ll learn how to start, grow and maintain a successful drop ship business from scratch, regardless of your current level of experience or knowledge.
Part 1: Understanding Drop Shipping
You wouldn’t try to bake a cake without following the recipe, not unless you want it to be inedible that is. The same applies with drop shipping. To master the business model you must first understand it.
Part 2: Finding a Reliable Supplier
You’ll be putting a lot of trust in your supplier, relying on them to dispatch items on time, use adequate packaging and process returns quickly. The supplier has full control over some of the most important parts of your business. Therefore, finding a reputable and dependable one is imperative if you want to build a successful drop shipping business.
Part 3: Choosing the Right Products to Sell
Once you have a supplier, the next step is to choose which products to start selling. It’s extremely important to carefully craft your product line, especially if you’re going to be selling on platforms like eBay where you may be subject to selling limits. You need to choose your products wisely to maximise your sales and profits.
Part 4: Pricing Your Products Correctly
Choosing the right products to sell is only half the battle. You also need to learn how to price your items correctly. Don’t make the mistake of simply adding on a few pounds to every item. The price you set should vary depending on a variety of factors including competition.
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.
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 then source them directly from manufactures or wholesalers.
Only after the retailer sells a product do they then place an order with the wholesale or manufacturer. 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 simply orders the item from her supplier. For example, Claire sells an item for £10 and buys it from her supplier for £5.
- The supplier packages the item up and ships it straight up to Claire’s customer.
What are the Benefits of a 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
Learn more about the benefits.
Additional Tips & Resources:
Other drop shipping guides may tell you to focus on selling on eBay. However, this can limit your reach and exposure considerably. I on the other hand highly recommend selling on multiple different 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 nearly as much traffic as eBay but they can still bring in those few extra sales each month which leads to more profits for you so I thought I would mention it in this drop shipping guide.
- 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 more expensive items such as a television, they want to know every single detail about the item, before making the decision to purchase.
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.
I know this can be a challenge when your sourcing direct from suppliers because you can really only work with the images you’re given. However, making that extra effort to improve on the description by describing the item in extreme detail will help you to maximise sales and minimise returns. It will also prevent customers from contacting you regarding questions that are already covered in the description.
Whatever you do, don’t get greedy and over price your products to the point where they become highly expensive compared to the competition, Yes, you’re in the game to make profits, however, ask yourself one question, would you rather sell an item 5 times with a £10 profit or sell it 100 times with a £2 profit? Cheap is good. People cannot help but purchase a product when they feel they are getting a good deal. Learn more.
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.
- 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.
How to Keep the Profits Flowing for the Long Term
- Building a repeat customer base
If you want to keep the profits flowing in for the long term, building up a repeat customer base is essential. How do you do this you ask? By simply making sure you provide excellent service and flawless customer support.
Make the extra effort to ensure that your customer feels 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.
Following up with buyers after their initial purchase is a smart move to make. Send your customer a message to check if they were satisfied with their item and the service they received. You can also take this opportunity to offer a discount to your customer on any future purchase that they make. 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 or gradually stops selling, it’s usually because a competitor has come along with a better price or a better offer.
Therefore, make 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 absolutely must place the order with the supplier as quickly as possible. Your customers don’t know that you’re drop shipping. When they place an order on Saturday, they will likely expect it to be dispatched by Monday or Tuesday. However, if you delay and only place the order on the Monday, it could result in the item arriving late which ultimately leads to an angry 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 does take 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.
In conclusion, 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 social media, 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 business in no time.