Dropshipping Tutorial for Beginners
In this article we will explain about Dropshipping Tutorial for Beginners. Dropshipping is a vast topic so we will cover this article is different parents.
Drop-shipping, for those who don’t know, is a business model of selling items to others without ever physically having the item in inventory. How is this possible? Well, this is the easy part. You simply find items for sale across platforms other than your own, and put them up at a markup. The tricky part comes in getting your shop seen, and getting people to order from you once you’ve been seen. Many people out there view drop-shipping as the next logical step in their journey of entrepreneurship, but more often than not these very same people are stopped in their tracks before they even really get started due to a lack of needed funds.
As it happens, the most effective means of getting orders if you’re running your own site or going through a service such as Shopify is also the most expensive. You’ll see every guide that talks about drop-shipping preach the same gospel like a broken record. Facebook advertising, they claim, is the only hope you’ll ever have for making money off of drop-shipping. For those who have never attempted a Facebook ad campaign, getting all of the demographics correct to draw in visitors is a process of trial and error. Often times, you’ll have to run at least four or five ineffective campaigns that are a pure loss before you
start seeing returns. Which can cost upwards of thousands of dollars, money that most
people can’t afford to lose.
Obviously, Facebook advertising isn’t the answer for someone just dipping their toes into the world of drop-shipping. I’d go a step further and say that Shopify altogether isn’t the answer. No doubt that you want to look into it in the future, but every part of the process from paying for premium to paying for advertising ruins the spirit drop-shipping was formed on, the no investment needed principle. So I took a step back and examined what other options are available if you’re just starting out and you don’t want to or can’t put money into it. What I came up with was a simple and rather obvious no investment needed method of drop shipping items from Amazon to eBay.
I have to admit I was skeptical if it would work or not myself, so before I even thought of sharing the method with others, I resolved to test it. And looked around at unique items I have ordered before in the past, and picked five simple but fascinating and fairly cheap items, all with free shipping to test the waters with. I log back on the next day, and to my surprise I received six orders overnight generating about 25$ in profit. This may not seem like a lot, but for my very first test run with a small inventor and no feedback on eBay to back me up, I was rather happy with the results.
After another week or so of sales and a few inventory expansions, I decided the method was effective and that many others can benefit from it as well. Throughout the course of this guide, you’re going to be learning everything you need to know about running a successful eBay dropshipping store. This information’s been gathered and presented here both from my own experiences thus far, and from speaking with countless others doing the same as me.
One thing I want to get out of the way is we’re not talking about eBay Arbitraging, as some call it. This process is not automatic and no bot will be deciding what you do or don’t sell. While this means you have to put in more effort, your shop will also be of much higher quality than a bot controlled alternative, and you’ll generate more in the long run. We’ll be covering a variety of topics from setting up an appealing and effective shop complete with attractive sales pages, to the importance of book-keeping and demographic research.
There may be parts along the journey where it seems as though a topic I’m covering is irrelevant, but every insight contained in this guide is carefully placed there to give you the highest chance of success as possible. So without further ado, I think it’s time we stop covering the nature of the method itself and begin looking into how it’s done.
Niche or Not?
Before you can get into setting up the shop, you’re going to have to ask yourself a few questions. I see plenty of people out there who give no thought to how they’re going to run something. Instead, they jump right into it with no direction. As a result, their venture crumbles around them. It’s important to remember that every decision you make along the way should be well thought out and researched before you even consider implementing it. By planning things ahead of time and researching what kind of obstacles you may encounter along the journey, you put yourself ahead of 90% of people trying the same thing you are. As Antoine de Saint-Exupery said, “a goal without a plan is just a wish”. Sadly, in the world of business, wishes don’t mean riches.
First and foremost, you have to decide what you want your brand to be. When people think of you as a seller, what comes to mind? Are you the cheap slow shipping but great value store, or are you the higher price for a better service option? You could even try to go for the middle ground, but whatever you decide on is going to play a big role in the items you pick, how you present them, and of course your prices. Any of the options are viable and
you’ll undoubtedly find paying customers no matter your choice, but overall I’d say the
middle ground would be the most profitable path in the long run. What is infinitely more important than the brand you choose to create, is sticking to it after you create it. Customers appreciate consistency, and if they see you selling items that don’t fit your brands criteria, you might just lose some consumer confidence. As I’ve found in the world of eBay drop-shipping, reputation and satisfied customers are the key to success.
However, your business model isn’t the only aspect of your brand that you’re going to have to set and stick to. Another equally vital but infinitely more neglected aspect is deciding on the market you’re going to fulfill. There’s always going to be the option to expand to more products further down the line, but to start off you’re going to want to decide whether you want to fill a specific niche, a set of niches, or sell to the general market across a large variety of options right off the bat. Each of these selections has its own benefits as well as its own drawbacks, but much like your business model, you’ll draw in customers regardless. For example, what the niche options might lack in overall product views, it very well might make up for in viewer to customer ratio. Raw sale aren’t the only thing you’re going to want to consider for tweaking your strategy down the line. Numerous factors play a part as we’ll be covering later on, and only when you take every aspect into account will you truly understand which products do well, and which don’t.
My personal choice was aiming for the broader market. My thinking was that I could test the waters easily and respond to subjects that sell well by adding more products of that nature, and that’s exactly what happened. Most of my products were only selling once every couple days, so I’ve put less focus on those niches in favor of the products that sold multiple units a day. Once I expanded into more products of those types, I was seeing more sales and was able to test the water in other products as well. While choosing to go for broad market reach worked in my favor, it wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows. Every one of my customers was a new first time customer, and so far I haven’t seen any return buyers. This, I suspect, is due to the wide variety of items I sell. While someone might buy from me to fulfill a niche want once, they won’t see it as a source of anything in that niche they may want besides just the one item. Therefore, they don’t favor me over the competition when searching for another item in that niche.
So what if you do decide to focus entirely on fulfilling a single niche? I can’t speak from personal experience on this one, but I have spoken to many people who chose this route and collected their thoughts on the subject. First off, the lower amount of competition in the niche you fulfill, then the higher market share you’ll possess. An important thing to note is that a higher market share is not necessarily equal to higher revenue. You could have 90% of the market share and still make less than someone with 5% of market share in a market with a larger customer base. A benefit larger market share does offer is stability. Someone who the majority of the customer base buys from is going to be much more difficult to uproot than someone who only 5% of customers buy from.
There’s really only one downside to the niche path, and it’s one we’ve already briefly covered on. In order to protect your brand, you’ll never really be able to expand into other markets. I asked how other sellers manage to continue growing their business when they’ve reached their market cap for their niche, and the answer is elegantly simple. They open more shops and begin anew while focusing on their new niche of choice. This begins building a whole new brand allowing you to sell to a new market without damaging your reputation in another. Should you choose this route, you’ll have to start building the new shop completely from the ground up once again, but the effort will be worth the growth in the long run.
Congratulations, by completing this step in the process and planning for your market and brand ahead of time, you’ve placed yourself far ahead of the competition. Stay true to your vision and results will come. This doesn’t mean you can’t tweak little aspects of your operation to keep up with the market, just change in small portions and never force too much change on your customers at once. And now, with the general planning process behind us, it’s time we move on to the next stage of the process.
This much for today we will cover rest of the “Dropshipping Tutorial for Beginners” part in our next articles.