Newbie wants to start Drop Shipping

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Hi guys,

I am a total newbie to Drop Shipping and IM as a whole. Drop Shipping sounds very interesting to me because it is a good way to sell products without having to stock items yourself. So the only expenses you get when not selling any of your products is the fee you pay to the wholesale company.

At least, that is what I think it is.

So that is why I am posting this thread; is Drop Shipping as easy as it looks?

Getting your own site online is hard enough, but then getting all the products on it and stuff, is that hard? (as a total newbie I am in the process of learning how to build a site).

I guess Drop Shipping combines different parts of IM? Selling stuff on your own website and having to do some promotion work to get traffic to your website?

I have ideas about what I want to sell and how to find the wholesaler. Just need some stick ups before I start with this.

Before I posted this thread I have used the search button to find some stuff on Drop Shipping for newbies but found insufficient information for my learning process. That is why I posted this thread. If you guys know any good thread please post them here but dont be mad at me being one of the newbies posting his own thread here

Thanks in advance,

Tom
#drop #newbie #shipping #start
  • Profile picture of the author pavv
    Hi Tom,

    I would say it's not as easy as it looks. The best thing you can do though is have a go and start learning. My first eCommerce venture involved working hard throughout my spare time (was working full time job) for 18 months and making basically nothing. I did however learn HEAPS which I learned from and implemented in future stores.

    Here are some things to think about:

    Domain name - I recommend something brandable

    Hosting - Reliable, fast for your users and with enough storage and bandwidth for the size of your store.

    Shopping cart - LOTS of options. I'm working with WooCommerce more often but it depends on your needs.

    Payment gateway - How will you accept payments?

    Design - Most shopping carts you can buy themes.
    Shipping/refund/warranty/etc. policy's - Your supplier or product brand should supply warranty but you need this information on your site.

    Customer service - How will you handle inquiries? Email, contact form, live chat, phone number?

    Product adding - Does your supplier offer a data feed? Will you manually add products? Outsource it? This job can be time consuming and incredibly boring if done manually yourself especially with 1000's of products!

    Marketing - This in itself is a daunting task when starting out. You can spend heaps of time and $$ on the above and make $0 if you don't follow through with marketing. The industry and products you are selling will also influence the outcome of your success. Try not to get into a highly saturated/low margin market. Some methods include PPC, SEO, comparison sites, ebay, classifieds and list building.

    Hopefully this is enough to get you thinking, you didn't really ask a specific question so if you wanted me to elaborate on anything let me know.
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  • Profile picture of the author iJonathan
    Thats probably one of the best answers regarding getting started with dropshipping. Good idea will be to intern for a drop shipping company for sometime before diving in.
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  • Profile picture of the author derekwong28
    I would say e-commerce is the toughest of all IM disciplines, especially if you stock and ship the products yourself. In many instances, it is no different from having a full-time job. Other potential problems include lost shipments and credit card fraud. Some products, such as electronics are particularly susceptible to credit card fraud. Sometimes, just a few big chargebacks can take away the profit for a month.

    Although I have shipped more than 40,000 orders with my previous webshop, I am very loath to get into e-commerce again.
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  • Profile picture of the author JonathanPack
    Make sure you read through all terms and conditions of your drop shipper. One thing that helped me is to set up a phone call with them before you even think of signing up. Also, if your drop shipper was ridiculously easy to find, that means they were that easy for every one else to find as well. Sometimes the best business relationships can be the ones that weren't obvious and easy to find on page one of Google.
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  • Hey,

    Even though drop shipping may sound easy it really isn't. There's still a lot of orders
    to track, ship etc. And there's also customer service you have to deal with as well
    so overall (be pre-pared to work ).

    Make sure you get a good merchant processor as well. Years ago I was dealing with a lot with a lot of chargebacks, fake credit cards etc. make that a #1 priority along with support. Because if someone files a chargeback ( you could lose a lot of money).

    Overall I speak from experience. I ran 3 e-commerce wholesale/ electronics stores & shipped worldwide I speak from experience .

    cheers! & good luck

    Guillermo-
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  • Profile picture of the author MelanieandMiles
    Originally Posted by Refreshment View Post

    Hi guys,

    I am a total newbie to Drop Shipping and IM as a whole.
    Welcome!!!
    Originally Posted by Refreshment View Post

    ... is Drop Shipping as easy as it looks?
    This depends on your level of creativity, persistence and how you feel about hard work. When you say 'easy as it looks' this usually means you have seen some successful websites out there, but remember... Behind every successful website there is a process which consists of years of hard work and learning.

    Originally Posted by Refreshment View Post

    Getting your own site online is hard enough, but then getting all the products on it and stuff, is that hard? (as a total newbie I am in the process of learning how to build a site).
    We have built a few online stores that generate traffic and convert sales. If you are going for a large store with hundreds of products, we'd recommend zencart. If you are wanting to sell a few niche products, we'd recommend the combination of wordpress and a plugin. If you do go with a Zencart store, add a WordPress blog on at /blog/ and post about your products after you list them and link to them (part of a content marketing strategy).

    As with every system, there is a learning curve, but many ecommerce options are quite easy to use and the open source ones have large communities/documentation to help you find answers. This is what we love about ZenCart (which is free with most hosting packages). The admin panel is very easy to use, once setup, too...

    If you do go this way, you can find someone on oDesk to setup ZenCart on your server for you and I'd also recommend a zencart template from templatemonster or other credible zencart template maker... This way you can stay focused on marketing and you won't drown in the 'how do I put this all together' swamp.

    Originally Posted by Refreshment View Post

    I guess Drop Shipping combines different parts of IM? Selling stuff on your own website and having to do some promotion work to get traffic to your website?
    Content marketing is a great way to build your site up into the search engine results which will lead to consistent traffic. This is why ZenCart + WordPress work so well together... But not the only way to make money. You could get creative to combine offline marketing with your site, but you may get into more upfront$costs vs. content marketing costing only your time and effort if you need to boot-strap this venture.

    Some great ideas mentioned in above posts as well, but one thing no one mentioned yet is KEYWORD RESEARCH! You said you know what you want to promote and my question to you is... Do you know how many people per month are searching for what you want to promote?

    Google's free keyword tool can help you find audiences who are looking for solutions/ideas/help/things... https://adwords.google.com/o/KeywordTool

    Then by doing some competition research, you can identify which high search volume phrases have the lowest competition... This will help your content marketing strategy immensely, you'll get traffic more quickly and it will also help your conversion rate at the same time.

    Little analogy to end it: If you find a hungry audience and offer them something to eat... You'll get rich. If you lock yourself in your kitchen to create the best steak dinner ever, then run around trying to find people to buy your meal, you'll never make it.

    Find the underserved hungry audience first... Then find products and drop-ship vendors.
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  • Profile picture of the author Murderface
    Originally Posted by Refreshment View Post

    So the only expenses you get when not selling any of your products is the fee you pay to the wholesale company.
    -Avoid wholesale companies and distributors. Contact the manufacturer(s) directly. Not all manufacturers will require you to pay a fee. Also, there are other, associated costs to consider:

    1. Domain/hosting fees - $10/year + $12/month
    2. Payment processor to accept credit cards (paypal, alone, will reduce conversions) - $30/month
    3. Shopping cart - free or premium, $0 - $30/month
    4. Toll free # - $10 - $30/month
    5. SSL certificate - $10/year
    6. DBA & re-seller's license - $10 - $50

    These costs do not include web development, content, marketing & customer service etc.

    Originally Posted by Refreshment View Post

    So that is why I am posting this thread; is Drop Shipping as easy as it looks?
    -That's subjective. Product/buying keywords are very competitive. Most of the successful E-commerce sites that are fairly new and not established, are either targeting niche/micro-niche items (e.g. entire site for bird cages, filing cabinets, and/or dart boards etc.), or, they are selling their own product. The rest are either well-established, authority sites, and/or are using paid advertising while staying in the green.

    Originally Posted by Refreshment View Post

    Getting your own site online is hard enough, but then getting all the products on it and stuff, is that hard? (as a total newbie I am in the process of learning how to build a site).
    -Most manufacturers have a catalog of products. With these product lists, usually come product pictures/descriptions. Adding these items to your site can be very easy or very tedious. If the manufacturer has an API that can be integrated in to your site, it's very easy. If you have to manually add 1000+ products while re-writing each product description (to be unique, for SEO purposes), it can be very tedious. However, you can always outsource these tasks to a VA (and) you don't have to have 1000+ products on your site. You can start with as many as you would like. Some e-commerce sites are successful with only 10 products.

    Originally Posted by Refreshment View Post

    I have ideas about what I want to sell and how to find the wholesaler. Just need some stick ups before I start with this.
    -Seek out manufacturers on your own. Do not buy lists, avoid middlemen at all costs and do your research before deciding on a niche.

    My advice to you, if you are serious - check out storecoach.com (I am not affiliated, and it's free)

    Good luck.
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  • Profile picture of the author Links Sales
    for a start up shop with a drop online shopping you should start with the domain, hosting and use wordpress.
    make friendship on twitter, facebook, and linked
    every product content with the very attractive buyer to try the item, use a reliable author in the content
    make backlinks with Press releas, and other blokwalking
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  • Profile picture of the author Trucker
    Need help with:

    Store Management,
    Customer Service,
    Admin Support,
    Product / Pricing Research


    We can be of ultimate assistance, connect with us on skype
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  • Profile picture of the author Refreshment
    Wow, a lot of great feedback again. Thanks guys!

    Good information here, so it is not as easy as it seems. Totally forgot that you still have to take care about the shipping etc even when you are not the one who is shipping the products. Have to make sure your customers stay satisfied of course.

    You guys are saying that I should contact the manufacturer itself, how am I supposed to find these manufacturers? Will they be findable on google etc?
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    • Profile picture of the author HimanshuS
      Originally Posted by Refreshment View Post

      Wow, a lot of great feedback again. Thanks guys!

      Good information here, so it is not as easy as it seems. Totally forgot that you still have to take care about the shipping etc even when you are not the one who is shipping the products. Have to make sure your customers stay satisfied of course.

      You guys are saying that I should contact the manufacturer itself, how am I supposed to find these manufacturers? Will they be findable on google etc?
      Yes, you can find them online. How to find them depends upon the search terms you use.

      1.Use different variations of the key word/phrase.
      2. Send an inquiry email or talk to them over phone. They will be as interested as you are because you're going to bring them business.
      3. Do a market research for checking the demand.
      4. Best thing is to give it some serious thought before you invest real money.
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  • Profile picture of the author jrgattison
    I have a different perspective. I believe dropshipping is easy. The problem is that in all things we need to learn new things in order to allow us to succeed in whatever it is we want to do.

    So what I would suggest is compare it to what you may be currently doing for a living and how much time you are putting into doing that. I generally find that most people work 7+ hours a day. Most people had to learn the skills to do the job they are in. You now, after learning your job, possess a skillset that is worth more than what you are getting paid for.

    I say all of this to say that in Ecommerce you are going to have to open up your mind to believing that it is easy enough for you to make it happen. If you believe it is too hard you are going to operate in that belief.

    1. Find out what niche you want to focus on.
    2. Find out what products you want to sell.
    3. Find out where to get the products from. This is not that hard. You want to find out who the manufacturer is and get in contact with them. If you can deal with them then find out who their largest distributor is. If you can't deal with them find out from them how do you get connected to be able to sell the products. Just understand there are some products that you won't be able to sell profitably at this point and if this line is one of those products then move on.
    4. Once you've found a product you can sell, either create a site or have a site created. Understand that if you are not equipped to building a site spend $100 with me and have the site built. Or pay someone else. Just get past this point. Don't get held up on all of . Drama that prevents us from making it happen.
    5. Upload your products and then...
    6. Most important part - MARKET, MARKET, MARKET. I don't care what you do but let people know that your site is up and you have something for sale. Post on Facebook, send out tweets, tell friends and then leearn all of the other stuff about marketing your site.

    All of the steps I stated above will only realistically take you a total of 1 or 2 days at most to get done. I'm referring to the time that you are actually doing work.

    The thing that is going to take you the most time and energy is getting over your obstacles that are preventing you from taking the next step.

    Search this site for marketing info and take action on one item and see it through. Keep on pressing and after a while you will look back and be setting a new, more expansive goal.

    I wish you much success and I hope I have encouraged you and others to keep moving forward. This is also for me as much as for you. We have to stay moving.

    Kendall
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    • Profile picture of the author Refreshment
      Originally Posted by jrgattison View Post

      I have a different perspective. I believe dropshipping is easy. The problem is that in all things we need to learn new things in order to allow us to succeed in whatever it is we want to do.

      So what I would suggest is compare it to what you may be currently doing for a living and how much time you are putting into doing that. I generally find that most people work 7+ hours a day. Most people had to learn the skills to do the job they are in. You now, after learning your job, possess a skillset that is worth more than what you are getting paid for.

      I say all of this to say that in Ecommerce you are going to have to open up your mind to believing that it is easy enough for you to make it happen. If you believe it is too hard you are going to operate in that belief.

      1. Find out what niche you want to focus on.
      2. Find out what products you want to sell.
      3. Find out where to get the products from. This is not that hard. You want to find out who the manufacturer is and get in contact with them. If you can deal with them then find out who their largest distributor is. If you can't deal with them find out from them how do you get connected to be able to sell the products. Just understand there are some products that you won't be able to sell profitably at this point and if this line is one of those products then move on.
      4. Once you've found a product you can sell, either create a site or have a site created. Understand that if you are not equipped to building a site spend $100 with me and have the site built. Or pay someone else. Just get past this point. Don't get held up on all of . Drama that prevents us from making it happen.
      5. Upload your products and then...
      6. Most important part - MARKET, MARKET, MARKET. I don't care what you do but let people know that your site is up and you have something for sale. Post on Facebook, send out tweets, tell friends and then leearn all of the other stuff about marketing your site.

      All of the steps I stated above will only realistically take you a total of 1 or 2 days at most to get done. I'm referring to the time that you are actually doing work.

      The thing that is going to take you the most time and energy is getting over your obstacles that are preventing you from taking the next step.

      Search this site for marketing info and take action on one item and see it through. Keep on pressing and after a while you will look back and be setting a new, more expansive goal.

      I wish you much success and I hope I have encouraged you and others to keep moving forward. This is also for me as much as for you. We have to stay moving.

      Kendall
      Thanks man! Very nice post.
      As you say, getting past obstacles to begin is the hardest part. I have to get past that point of just getting information and start really doing something. The website building part is one of the biggest obstacles. Without a website there is no point in doing business online. That is why I am doing a lot of research on this topic and still have not been doing anything concrete. Really want to start doing things, start the learning process.
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