I want to share my own experience and ideas, with anyone who interested to learn more about Drop Shipping and e-commerce.
About 6 years ago i moved to Shenzhen, china (Electronics Manufacturers Center). After short time i established my e-commerce company and my main activity was to help eBay sellers to find good products and handle the logistics for them.
The reason i decided to move to Shenzhen, was that i had a business and i was selling on ebay but i wasn't able to find reliable partner in China who capable to find solutions to answer my online business's needs. I realized that there might be many sellers like me who are facing the same problem and i decided to do something about it and develop a solution ( wasn't the first or only one).
So how can Drop Shipping be better than Importing?
Well it all depends on your business model and strategy. And before you decide which is the best for you you have to ask yourself the following questions:
Where is your targeted markets ?
Do you have storage space ?
Are you ready to handle Packing and Shipments ?
Drop Shipping disadvantages are well known:
Lack of control on product pricing
Lack in control of availability
Lack in control of Product Quality
Lack in control of packing quality and shipping time
Importing the goods to your location can solve these issues, with importing you can get better prices by barging with the manufacturer for the conditions of the transaction, you can lower the item cost by buying in bulk or make some changes in the item or in the packing etc..
you can also deal with competition by having your own items, with unique item logo, brand etc..
You will always stay in control and know how many pcs left in your stock.
You can determine by yourself if the item's quality stands your standards.
You can also control the shipping time and the quality of package.
So how come Drop Shipping is a preferred business model by thousands ?
First of all it's important to know that most of the drop shipping problems mentioned earlier can be solved! There are many solutions and it's important to know that it's a matter of investment.
The basic answer is that if you want to have a successful Drop Shipping based business you must find a RELIABLE DROP SHIPPING PARTNER !. Relying on wholesale websites like Aliexpress.com or any other wholesale website is a mistake THEY ARE NOT DROP SHIPPERS! If your customers can use the same source you are using to buy a product, it's a matter of time until he realized that and leave you.
What Drop Shipping partner can do for you?
He can source for products for you, following your requirements!
He can purchase, test and store the goods under his roof.
He can Ship the goods directly to your customers and stand your standards!
He can send you unique photos, Add Marketing material like catalogs, coupons etc.. in the parcels.
He can Combine shipments of different items to the same buyer!
If you are seriously thinking about selling internationally DROP SHIPPING PARTNER is the best option for you!
Importing goods will always cost you double shipping costs (from factory to you, and from you to the buyer)
If you are selling to local market it's ok, but if you want to get more sales and sell internationally you have to pay a lot of money for international shipping fees.
USPS from United states to United kingdom 1 pound is 16.75$
China Post from China to United Kingdom 1 pound is 5.41$
So if you want to expand your business, be able to offer and sell more items and stay in control you should consider working with Drop Shipping Partner.
Find someone who can fit you, answer your needs, build relations with him, create a unique business agreement and save plenty of energy that can be used for marketing and customer service.