Since the new Coronavirus pandemic is getting worse, people need to find other ways to make money. In 2023, the best way to make money is without a doubt to start an online business. It’s easy to start, doesn’t cost much money, and, according to WHO rules, you can work from home. With more online marketplaces like Shopify and Amazon popping up, doing business online has never been easier.
Since the online market has been around for a long time, it is now very competitive. But there’s always room for new sellers to set up shop and make money, just like the old ones.
One of the fastest ways to make money on an online marketplace is to dropship. It might start out as a side job or hobby, but it can quickly turn into your main source of income. This article will give you all the steps you need to get started with dropshipping.
How does dropshipping work?
In dropshipping, a retailer doesn’t keep any of the goods or services they sell on hand. Instead, he or she sends orders and information about customers to wholesale manufacturers and sellers, who ship the items.
The best way to understand dropshipping is to think of yourself as a seller who wants to buy a product from a wholesaler, also known as a manufacturer. You want to buy your product at a wholesale price so that you can sell it again at a retail price that gives you a profit.
This is where dropshipping comes in. You find a supplier on a dropshipping site like Shopify or eBay and find a product that they sell wholesale. Then, you add this item to your online store. The customer goes to your online store and buys the item there.
When you get an order, you go to the supplier’s store and buy it from them at a lower price. You then put in the address of the retail customer. After that, the wholesale company will send it to your client for you.
This way of running a business saves you money because you don’t have to buy and store any products. You also only buy things when you need them, so you don’t have any waste sitting around your house. It’s basically the same as any other retail business, except you don’t have to order in bulk or have a place to store things.
Before starting a dropshipping business, you should
Dropshipping is easier to try out than starting a real business. You can start a business in less than a week if you follow these steps:
Find a Niche
A specialty is a niche. What are you going to sell, exactly? Your area of expertise could be electronics, such as earphones, headphones, and cell phones. You can even focus on just mobile phones if you want. You can still say that you only sell Samsung phones. That is a spot. Always be as detailed as you can.
It’s tempting to try to sell a lot of different things in the hopes of reaching a bigger market. But if you want big companies to work with you, you need a niche. Key players in an industry want their customers’ full attention. Most likely, they will work with the store that sells their product all the time.
Your niche should be a product that isn’t too popular and isn’t too uncommon, either. Most products are tough. Your product shouldn’t be so unique that no one knows it’s out there. Find something that has a good number of sellers but still has room to grow.
This makes sure that as the number of people who buy your product grows, so does your business. Since there are already a lot of people selling products in a niche, there isn’t much room for growth.
Here are some easy steps to help you find a niche that you’re interested in:
Choose what you love.
When you really care about something, it’s easier to sell it. This also makes sure that you understand how to use a product. If a customer has a question about the product, you’ll know how to answer it. As long as you know about your product, you can sell anything from pens to TVs.
If you try something you’re not really interested in, it will be hard to keep going. It’s also not hard to stop doing something you don’t like. When sales are low, having passion for a product helps you see its potential.
Check out your favorite item
If you like using something, it’s likely that other people do too. If you always need a product that’s hard to get, sell it. It could be as easy as a salt shaker or a mason jar. A lot of people don’t do business with things that people use every day.
Find a way to make money.
Dropshipping is a business that is meant to bring in money. Always choose something that will make you a lot of money. If your profit margin is less than 40%, you can’t really start a business. If you don’t, fees and taxes will eat up what little profit you make, leaving you with less than 10%. Always let your passion drive your business, but don’t let it blind you. If your hobby doesn’t make you money, don’t try to sell it.
Check out the market
Know the sellers you’ll be competing with. People who do dropshipping spend more time and money on getting customers than they do on buying products. If your niche is filled with well-known brands, it might not be worth it. If you still want to go into this niche, you should be ready for a lot of competition and high costs.
If you do decide to go into a crowded market, here are some tips on how to do well:
How to Beat Bigger Competition
Know who you’re up against
Find out who the leaders are in the niche you want to enter. Look for big players only on big platforms like Amazon and eBay. This will help you decide which platform to use and who is worth going against.
Look at reviews
Reviews can tell you a lot about how a seller treats their customers and how good their products are. Listen for people who are complaining to find out what your competitors are doing wrong. This helps you improve your product and how you treat your customers.
Check out their ads.
Look at how they’ve put together their platform. How do the items get listed? How do they write descriptions of goods? What kind of pictures do they use for their products? This will help you find unique ways to bring in more customers.
So how do you know you’ve picked the right niche?
The right niche for dropshipping is:
- Small In Size. A good dropshipping product weighs less than or equal to 2.5 kg. Less people are likely to buy big items online. This is because shipping and handling costs are higher. People also tend to trust real stores for these kinds of things.
- Big Dropshipping Companies Don’t Have All The Power. When it comes to big brands, there’s just no room for small businesses. Brands like Samsung and Apple are sold by some dropshipping companies. Customers are less likely to buy these products from a new small business.
- Cheap. Your product’s retail price shouldn’t be more than $250 and shouldn’t be less than $15. Because people are afraid of scams, they are less likely to spend more than $250 online. You won’t make much money off of a product that sells for less than $15. But the rules for dropshipping are not clear-cut. If your product costs more than $250, you should think about other things before you decide.
Try to come up with as many as 20 ideas for products that you are really interested in. At least five of these should make a lot of money.
Get a Supplier
When you start dropshipping, it might be hardest to find a reliable supplier. Whether or not your business stays in business depends on your suppliers. They are the ones who have to get things done on time and do a good job. If you don’t, your customers will go after you instead of the supplier.
You can easily find suppliers by using Google or looking in directories. Once you have a list of potential suppliers, here’s how to get in touch with them:
What Questions to Ask Possible Vendors
How do you talk to a dropshipper to get the most useful information? Here are sample questions you can ask:
Do you sell to customers straight?
Customers can buy from manufacturers directly through online marketplaces like Alibaba. You don’t want to work with a supplier who also delivers directly to customers. This is because there will be more competition, and customers are less likely to choose you.
Getting a product from the main supplier is much cheaper for buyers than getting it from a dropshipper. Find out if this is the case so you can decide if you want to work with a supplier or not.
How do I return something?
Find out how your supplier handles things like sending the wrong item or making a bad product. Will you, the customer, or the supplier pay for the return? It’s better to choose a supplier who pays for the cost of returning items. No matter how much you trust the product of the supplier, one or two people will always send it back.
Do the prices stay the same?
Manufacturers always change prices based on how much people want them and how much it costs to make them. Most of the time, these price changes happen quickly and without warning. Changes that are big enough can put you out of business.
If you want to be financially ready, you need to know when changes are likely to happen. You could also make a contract that protects you from sudden changes in price. A lot of suppliers are willing to agree to this as long as they know you are real.
Can payments be negotiated, and what are your terms for payment?
Find out how they accept payment and choose a safe method. On sites like Alibaba, scammers may also pretend to be wholesale companies. Look for businesses that will let you pay with Escrow or PayPal.
Don’t send money through Western Union. Escrow and PayPal both have ways to keep your money safe until your client has gotten a good product. Wholesale prices can often be negotiated, so try to get the best deal you can.
Are there any costs you don’t see?
In any business, it’s always a good idea to ask a supplier for a list of all the costs you can expect. This will help you make a good budget and choose if you want to work with a certain supplier.
Shipping fees, restocking fees, return fees, or import duty may be hidden costs. Some manufacturers keep dropshippers in the dark about hidden costs until it is hard for them to get out of the deal.
What should you look for in a supplier now that you know what questions to ask? A bad supplier hurts business, but if something goes wrong on their end, it only hurts you.
Here are a few things you should look for in a supplier:
Good dropshipping suppliers have the following traits:
They agree with drop shipping.
Don’t work with wholesale suppliers who don’t support dropshipping. Some companies have rules against dropshipping in any way. If a company doesn’t allow dropshipping, don’t try to do it without their knowledge. Companies like this may hold on to products on purpose or even raise prices to hurt dropshippers.
Dropshipping manufacturers always find new ways to help sell their products. This means that you will make more money. Some of these companies may even pay for ads to bring in more customers and boost your overall sales.
Good service to customers
Find a company that has worked with dropshippers in the past. Manufacturers have to pay a lot of money to start dropshipping. By doing dropshipping, you’re basically asking a supplier to help you grow. So, you need to make sure they are willing to help you grow your business.
Take note of how well they treat their customers. Are they there to help all the time? If a salesperson is rude or doesn’t know what they’re talking about, it can be frustrating and even hurt your reputation as a dropshipper.
Offers on-time shipping
Customers always want their goods as soon as possible. Find out from your supplier how long it takes them to ship items. Check out all the big cities around the world. Most buyers can wait about two weeks before they get tired of waiting.
The longer it takes to ship, the less likely it is that a customer will buy from you again. It’s also unlikely that they’ll tell other people about you.
Offer Good Products
Always ask for samples from a supplier before you choose them. This will help you compare different sellers and choose the one with the best product. Most samples are cheap, and some suppliers may even send free samples.
If you’re selling custom-made items, be sure to give a full description of what you’re selling. Think of each order as if you needed the product yourself. This will keep you from giving up over even the smallest mistakes.
Suppliers usually charge a small fee on top of the wholesale price of the product for handling the goods. The main reason for this is to do all the heavy lifting for you. About $3 per item is what dropshipping suppliers usually charge.
If a business costs more than $5, it’s not worth it to work with them. High fees lead to high retail prices, which makes people less likely to buy. This also cuts into your profits.
Secure a Sales Tax ID
Depending on where you live, a sales Tax ID may be called a vendor’s license, a retail license, a seller’s license, a Tax ID, a resale number, or a resale certificate. In the United States and Canada, you need a Tax ID before you can start a business. Oregon, Montana, New Hampshire, Alaska, and Delaware are some of the states in the United States that do not require a Tax ID.
Other countries also need some kind of certificate to show that a business is legal and to figure out how much tax to charge. Sales Tax is a fee that people who sell things have to pay after they sell those things. It is part of the price of a product and is usually about 9% of the retail price.
You can get a sales ID from the clerk in your town or online. To apply online, search for “[name of your state] Tax ID.” For example, “Ohio Tax ID.”
Companies, businesses, and sole proprietors who have a Federal Tax ID number are the only ones who can get a tax ID. Some sellers still work even though they don’t have a tax ID. But before they do business with you, some suppliers want to see proof that you have a tax ID.
Choose a place to trade
You know what you’re selling and where it comes from. Now you need to decide where you’ll sell it. It’s just as important to choose a good trading platform as it is to choose a good product.
It will tell you what kind of customers you get and how many. A good trading platform puts you right where the customers are, which is good for your business. You can choose between two different platforms to sell on.
You can set up your own online store or use a platform that’s already there. Regardless of which one you choose, here are the pros and cons of each:
Using an online market that already exists
This is what most people do when they start dropshipping. This is why:
- It’s easy to use, and setting it up takes less time.
- A lot of people go to marketplaces.
- Customers are more likely to use an online platform they are already familiar with.
- Several fees
- There is a lot of competition.
- You can’t do whatever you want with your store, including branding and customer service.
You can choose from a number of marketplaces, depending on what you want. So, here’s a quick rundown of some of the most popular online platforms:
Amazon is the most-used website in the world. More than 1 million people visit the site every day, and it has more than 250 million users. Most sellers make more than $1,000 per month on average, and some make as much as $250,000 per month.
Etsy is known for the fact that 86% of its users are women. It has more than 50 million people who have signed up to use it, and more than 30 million people visit it every day. It is mostly known for goods that have to do with art and crafts.
Alibaba is an online company that made the AliExpress platform. AliExpress is by far the most profitable platform for dropshipping. This is because AliExpress was made by Alibaba to be used only for dropshipping. Now, more than 25 million people visit AliExpress every day, and 60 million stores have signed up.
Setting up your own online store
This is not a choice that dropshippers make very often. To get started, you need money for licensing and setting up your online store. But it’s the best choice if you want to start a long-term business. Fees for online markets become too high and unnecessary for most users in the long run.
- You can make your website look and feel however you want.
- No costs
- More money made
- Your website doesn’t have any competitors.
- Costs a lot to set up
- You have to pay for ads if you want people to visit your site.
- It takes some time before buyers start to notice you.
Even though there are some problems, it is now easy to open an online store. This is because of tools like Shopify that make it easy to get started.
Shopify is a piece of software that gives you everything you need to build a website. It’s so easy to use that you don’t even have to know much about IT to use it. You can also use their tools to manage your stock, process orders, and keep track of them.
So, how do you move your products from an online platform to your Shopify site and keep them? Oberlo is a tool that lets you move drop-shipped products from an online marketplace like AliExpress to Shopify. Then, you can send them straight to your clients. Here is a step-by-step guide to how Oberlo can help you import your items.
How to Add AliExpress Products to Your Shopify Store
- Use Google Chrome on a desktop or laptop to sign in to Oberlo.
- Sign in to AliExpress and choose a product category or search for it.
- Use the ‘Ship to’ filter to choose the country you want to sell to.
- Open the Oberlo settings and choose the shipping method you want to use.
- Choose the item you want on the AliExpress website and then move your cursor over it. Then, the Oberlo icon will show up.
- To bring it in, click on the icon. This will add the item to your list of imports in Oberlo.
- Click “Import to Store” to move it to your Shopify store.
- You can’t bring items from the AliExpress homepage into your country
- ePacket is the best choice because it is the least expensive.
Figure out how to keep customers interested and bring them in.
Even if your product is the most wanted and your platform is the best, no one will buy it until they see it. If you can get people to visit your online store, you’ll be in the lead for business. Set aside some money for advertising, but there are still ways to market your business for free.
Here’s a rundown of both free and paid ways to market:
Marketing for free
- Using Blogs And Forums To Market Your Business. This kind of marketing puts you in places where your customers might be. You can tell the members of blogs and forums about your product, which is a great way to promote it.
- Email. Email is a great way to get in touch with a lot of people at once. Most apps use this way to let people know about sales and new features. You can collect email addresses on your website and in your blog.
- Social Media And Marketing With Content. Marketing costs less when there are many social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter. Content marketing is a way to get customers that involves drawing them in indirectly. Most of the time, this happens on YouTube, where people make videos and then promote them.
- Facebook. Advertisements on Facebook bring customers to your store for a fee per customer. It’s the biggest social media site in the world, which makes it a great way to market.
- Google. Google is a good marketing tool because it is the biggest search engine in the world. You can buy ads on Google, which will make it more likely that your store will be at the top of the search results.
- Social Media Influencers. In 2023, this will be the most common way to market online for money. It works best if you sell things that are popular among people who use the internet. Usually, it has to do with things like clothes, hair, electronics, and places to visit.
First, you need to find a popular person on social media who has a lot of followers. The more people who follow an influencer, the more they cost. Someone who already buys your type of product is a good influencer for your brand. Then you pay them to talk about your product online.
Statistics show that up to 35% of online retailers use dropshipping. Dropshipping was used for more than $14,2 billion worth of products in 2011. Dropshipping is a type of business that is growing quickly and has even more room to grow. It gets rid of the need for business licenses and expensive rent, like you’d find in a regular store. It also doesn’t require much money in the beginning.
How much you spend on dropshipping depends on how much you are willing to put into your business. To be successful at dropshipping, you only need to find your product, know your supplier, and choose your platform. If you want to start a new business, all you need is a good attitude, a strong work ethic, and a lot of drive.