What is Dropshipping & How It Can Work for Beginners?

This is an article specifically for beginners who have no or few ideas of what dropshiping is and how to utilize it to build starter’s own business. We are going to discuss the basic definitions and the strategies you can adopt when you really start the business. We will also offer few suggestions for beginners to keep in mind. However, steps in detail will not be covered here.

To start off, let’s say you have been thinking about opening up your own online business but you don’t know where to start and what you should sell; you don’t have any money to invest in products and looking around, yet don’t have any room for inventory.

Well, that’s what dropshipping is all about. With dropshipping, you can sell stuff online without the products ever being in your hand. All you need is a computer and online store and a basic understanding of how to market and sell online.

Here’s how it works.

First you find which product you want to sell from a supplier and then list that product on your website at a price that you set.

Next when someone places an order on that product your customer pays you the retail price you’ve set and you make a profit.

Then you will place your order with your supplier at wholesale price and have it shipped directly to your customer. So let’s say you found a watch on a supplier’s website for $10. You would then list it on your own website for $30. When the order comes through your website, you would then place your order with your supplier using your customers’ information keeping the $20 profit and having that product shipped directly to your customer. That’s it.

Now, I know what you’re thinking.

Why wouldn’t somebody just order the watch directly from the suppliers’ website?

Well, there’s a couple of reasons.

1.It is a very big internet and customers may not know about the supplier to buy from them directly.

2.Product is not everything. When people are buying things they’re not just buying the products they are buying the marketing, positioning, trust, brand and lifestyle these products are presenting. With dropshipping, you can focus on marketing your products, and saying the right things at the right time and on providing real value to the right people, because you’re not warehousing any inventory or dealing with most of the other challenges that come with running on e-commerce business. A couple of challenges do need to be considered, when dropshipping are finding credible suppliers with good quality products and making sure you have visibility in your customers fulfillment process.

Honestly you can find suppliers on your own. However, when you are dropshiping completely on your own you can end up spending a lot of time researching and negotiating with suppliers to guarantee your customer satisfaction. Another option is a tool like Oberlo which with a few clicks gives you access to millions of products to sell, and has dozens of features to make your life easier, like monitoring inventory levels, automatically calculating profit margins, fulfilling and tracking orders, monitoring shipping status, measuring delivery performance and a whole lot more.

Over those supply is another part of the product which helps you partner with trustworthy suppliers of great quality products, faster shipping times and awesome customer service with thousands of different products to choose from.

Wanna get started?

All you have to do is start a shoppify store and install app and find products and start selling online.

So why do people get into dropshipping?

1.It is really fast and easy to get started, and you can dropship with incredibly low investment cost. You also don’t need to have an established business entity when you get started, even though it’s probably smart to have one once you start to grow. You don’t have to worry about managing inventory, packing or tracking, which means you can focus almost exclusively on marketing, promotion and merchandise. You have access to millions of products instantly which the suppliers are constantly researching, to determine what’s trending and what will sell. You set the retail price, so you control the margins. And dropshipping is really easy to scale because you can hire virtual assistance as your order volume increases.

Of course, there are some challenges associated with dropshipping, too.  

  1. Because it is really easy to get started, there is a lot higher potential for competition. That’s why you’ll find a lot of advice out there that recommend you start off with finding a niche audience, like cat lovers, or gamers, so you can operate with less competition.

  2. There are supplier errors. Though uncommon it is inevitable that a supplier will mistakenly shipped the wrong product to your customers. If this happens, don’t take it personally and handle the return like a professional, either order a brand new product from the supplier or offer a complete refund.

  3. Also, since many dropshipping suppliers are based in China, shipping times are generally longer, turning some customers off. E-packet makes it easier though, delivering some orders in as little as two weeks. But generally speaking, if you make your shipping times clear throughout the buying process, many visitors appreciate the clarity, especially if you are selling an item in a niche where delivery times are a little less crucial.

Ok. So you might be wondering to yourself: how do I get started?

Step 1: Start a Free fourteen-day trial and shopify.com

Step 2: Go to shopify.com/Appstore and install the Oberlo App.

Step 3: Find products from the App that you’d like to sell and add them to your store.

Step 4: Enable payment gateway, so you can start accepting money.

Shopify payments is a great default option, if you are in one of the supported countries. Though you may want to enable a few other gateways like paypal, Apple Pay, Amazon payments or any of the hundred plus payment gateways that Shopify integrated with. Once you have all that, you will need to create a plan for sending traffic to your store.

Finally, try to produce quality content for your store: from eyecatching photography to engaging product photos to great post for your blog. Your audience loves to know more about your products and how they can be used, and the stories behind them. Now that we’ve covered all the things you need to get started, here are a few additional things to keep in mind.

  1. Dropshipping is pretty easy to learn but there is still a learning curve and you will experience challengesalong the way. However, mistakes can become learning opportunities. And if you can develop resilience along the way, there are plenty of people out there finding a lot of successful dropshipping products

  2. While you may invest less than other types of businesses, dropshipping is not free. You will likely have to spend money to drive traffic, market your products and handle returns

  3. There is no overnight success.This is not a get-rich quick scheme. Dropshipping still requires you to work consistently for your store. It is true that you will need to dedicate less time compared to a traditional eCommerce business, but it is not going to succeed without your hard work. You will always need to invest time improving your business

  4. Most importantly, don’t source copyright items. This is illegal around the world and can cause you some serious trouble. The advice is to choose products from network of trusted suppliers who make it a priority to avoid copyright infringements. That way you can assure  that you won’t infringe on any copyright laws and everybody remains in the legal. And if you are completely new to dropshipping, start small with a single product or a small handful of complementary items from a single supplier. You can always add more inventory as you become comfortable, but it’s better to start small and build than it is to start big and become overwhelmed

  5. The final tip for once you are feeling comfortable with dropshipping, diversify. Many dropshippers don’t rely on a single store for their entire income stream, but operate a series of stores targeting various niches to build multiple sources of income.