Doing business requires a lot of work. You need to give all your energy into it. But in spite of the fact that it requires hard work, there are ways in which you can make it a little bit easier. Online business is one of the most effective ways in which you can make money especially nowadays. However, a lot of people are hesitant because of the misconception that it’s much greater work than running a physical business. But the truth of the matter is that it’s the exact opposite. Before we dive into our dropshipping review, let’s run over some basic principles of online business.
When running a business, your biggest priority is to give your customers the best experience. If you sell products online, you have to make sure that everything goes as smooth as when customers buy them from physical stores. For example, when it comes to delivery, it needs to be done efficiently and quickly. You have to retain the guarantee of giving them satisfactory service in return for the trust that they had given you.
One of the best ways to start up your online business is by selling products on e-commerce websites such as Shopify. They apply one of the best strategies of online money making which is often known as Dropshipping or Dropship. Dropshipping or drop-ship, is a type of retail fulfillment method which enables a merchant to ship items to their clients directly from their supplier. With dropshipping, delivery or products or services don’t go through the usual process of transferring from different distribution channels. But instead, the items are delivered directly from the supplier to the customer.
If you haven’t heard about dropshipping before, here’s a few basics about it:
Facts About Dropshipping and How it Works
Dropshipping is a convenient way of doing business online. Here are some facts about dropshipping that you must know in order to decide if this business is for you:
- You don’t need to keep items to sell in stock
- You don’t need to deal with a hassle-filled inventory process everyday
- You only need to pay your supplier or dropshipper for an item when a customer orders it from your website
- You will appear as the sender or supplier of the product to your customer even if your supplier was actually the one who sent it
Dropshipping makes it easier for you to do business with your customers through your e-commerce website. It saves you from all the trouble that comes with handling, shipping and delivering your items to your customer. It’s like being able to give them the best service while saving yourself time and effort.
Illustration Explanation: You as a merchant sells items online that are to be provided by your supplier. Once a customer visits your website and decides to purchase an item, the purchase information is then forwarded to your supplier. When your supplier receives the information, they will check the availability, double check the condition of the item to make sure it is satisfactory, process the delivery and ships the items to your customer with you as the sender. It’s like they are doing all the work for you without stealing the “spotlight”.
Background & Convenience
There is no set date as to when dropshipping had started. But one thing is for sure, it has always been something known since the 50’s. Although, it was not as widely known as it is before. And of course, with the huge differences in the kind of technology they had before, the way it works now is so much easier.
Dropshipping lightens up the load in doing business. But while it takes away the most hassling parts of the process which used to be seen as a necessary hardship in business, it doesn’t omit the quality service that you as a merchant still aim to give. With dropshipping, you can purchase one item at a time or only when you receive an order from your client. There is no requirement for the amount of orders that you need each time you do the transaction with them. And what’s even better is that you don’t have to limit the number of items to sell on your store. Much or less, there is not a problem at all as the dropshipper or supplier will take care of the delivery part for you.
So if you want to start your online business without a capital or the huge startup demands of a regular business, you should make this your choice.
The Benefits of Dropshipping
There are a lot of benefits that a merchant can enjoy with dropshipping. Here are a few but most of the reasons why a lot of online businesses love this method:
- Easy to Get Started – it’s as easy as finding yourself a supplier and selling items. There is no need to raise an amount to just to create your own warehouse or physical store for your items. Dropshipping does not require you to pay a huge amount of capital to get started with your business. Actually most of the time you won’t even need to spend at all because everything is made ready for you.
- No Physical Store Needed – there is no need to put up your own physical store and there is no need to create your own warehouse as well. You don’t need to store your items somewhere nearby in order to get your business started. Dropshippers or suppliers will take care of these part of things for you. What you only need to do is to promote them and get the business going.
- No Pressure – there is certainly no pressure with delivering your items when you have a dropshipper who gives quality services. There is no need for you to pack and ship orders. No need to keep tracking your inventory. You don’t have to go through the hassle of taking care of handling returns and inbound shipments. You don’t need to keep up with the amount of stock by continually ordering products just to keep up with the number of orders that may come up. As your number of orders go up, the triple effort that’s supposed to be exerted by you will be taken-cared of by your supplier instead.
- Sell As Much As You Want– if you have a large amount of customers, you can make money as much as you want. You can sell as many times as you want in a day without the pressure of being able to take care of the delivery of their orders and everything related to it. You can make yourself a lot of money in a day without the need of going through the hassle that comes with the shipping process. You sell more yet it’s as if you still carry less.
- Maintain Your Company’s Integrity – when you have a great supplier that delivers with a satisfactory performance, you get to promote your company’s integrity and quality service. It’s kind of like piggy-backing on the success of your dropshipper. It adds to the level of performance that you give for your customers. In a way it’s making yourself look good without having to make a lot of effort.
- Limitless Product Selection – if you want to sell a lot of items, dropshipping will make it easier for you. You can display as much as you want without the need to worry of making mistakes, delays or any type of inconveniences that come with it. You don’t need to deal with only a few items because of this fear. No matter how many items you put up, as long as you have a great dropshipper, you’ll do just fine.
The Downsides of Dropshipping
Knowing all the benefits is not enough to come into conclusion. And maybe even after reading all the benefits, you still wonder why there are still some people who would prefer to do otherwise. Just like any other great service, dropshipping also comes with disadvantages. Here are a few reasons that expose the downsides of dropshipping.
- Changes in Inventory– because of the fact that you don’t have the items stocked at a warehouse or your physical store, you will have to go against the rhythm of traditional inventory. Expert for changes in your inventory as often as every day.
- Relying on Suppliers – it’s not as if the future of your company lies in the hands of suppliers but in some way it actually does have a great effect on it. Relying on suppliers could both be a good and bad thing. The quality service that they offer now may not be as consistent as always. There might be problems that will happen between your partnership along the way that may cause inconveniences in your service to your clients. Anything can happen and each of these things will greatly affect your business.
- Complicated Process – if you have countless items on your shop and they come from different suppliers, there will be a lot of inconveniences that may come with it. It can complicate the dropshipping cost and may even take a longer time to deliver all the items to the same buyer than what is expected. And having different suppliers also means having to deal with a lot of different dropshippers. A lot of stress can come with that.
- Shipping Problems – let’s admit it. No matter how great of a service your dropshipper may offer you and your clients now, there are still tendencies in which they can be otherwise. They can have a staff that doesn’t do a good job or the couriers that they work with have problems or are problematic types. Shipping to your clients could come with a lot of complications and it’s often unexpected or in some cases unintentional.
- Multiple Shipping Costs – if you are dealing with several suppliers at the same time, it will also mean a higher shipping cost. Each of these dropshippers or suppliers may have different rates and you will have to attend to each of them and negotiate. The process could be long and complicated most especially when it is a rush order.
- Dropship Only – sticking with dropshipping also means being limited to it as well. If you have clients from within your area or customers that happen to pop up without notice, you won’t be able to cater to them right away. If you do dropship, then you will have to dropship every item that you sell.
- Physical Samples – there will be times in which you will be asked to show a physical sample of your product in order to make sure that they are worth the customer’s money. There will be inquiries about the looks and feel and things that involve with touching the product yourself. If you don’t have physical samples it could cause a loss of sale or hesitation to purchase the product, for those who are very picky.
Guidelines in Choosing the Best Dropshipping Company
Getting into partnership with a dropshipping company or provider is a serious business. A huge part of your reputation is dependent on them. Their performance and integrity should give you the confidence that they will greatly contribute to your company’s maximum performance. This is why, if you are new to this, you should go by this quick guide that will point you to the right one.
Let’s face it. You want to bank into dropshipping because you want to reduce the cost and effort in handling items and shipments. So it is only right to start with their rates or prices as well as their options for shipping. See whether or not they meet your needs and your allotted budget. Check if they are on the reasonable lane or a scare-off to you and your clients. Ideally, you should find one that offers free shipping just because clients are always on the lookout for them. But if there’s none, then you can just decide to give it seasonally or just lower the shipping rates on the products that are most popular. This way your customers would want to keep coming back.
Save yourself from a lot of work and hassle in processing shipping fees by choosing a dropshipping provider who’s able to integrate their process on your website smoothly. A non-user friendly interface won’t sell at all to most of your customers. So make sure that the dropshipping company has a good one in order to give a good impression and make the best out of their user experience.
Choosing the right supplier means picking one that sells related products to your niche. It would make no sense to sell products that your supplier cannot provide. The right dropshipper should be able to suffice you with a unique variety of items that your business aims to cater to its customers. It would even be better if you can classify the kind of products that is related to your niche. This can be your guide to knowing whether or not you’re looking at the right supplier for your business needs.
Good Customer Service Support
No matter how “perfect” a company may seem, there will always be unexpected circumstances and unwanted situations that get in the way. These things are unavoidable. However, you can make sure that when they happen, someone is there to help your clients out though not directly. A good dropshipper supplier must be able to give you and your client the support that you need when things go wrong. They should be easy to reach and easy to talk to. They should also be willing to assist you in every step that you need to go through in order to find a resolution for the trouble that you are faced with. You need to bear in mind that although errors can be a discouraging thing for clients, providing an excellent customer service support will bring those thoughts down in a snap. It will even make them trust and want to support you more.
Dropshipping makes things easier. And it could even more easy if you choose the right one. Some dropshipping companies limit you to only selling on a few websites online. But if you want something that can accommodate large-scale selling, choose one that can be promoted through different channels. More selling means more profit so you would want to find one that would support you to achieve that kind of a goal.
Suppliers, Contractors and Subcontractors
Business must be done wisely. It shouldn’t be rushed but well-thought of. If you want to become a retailer, the very main thing that you should make sure is to find a wholesaler or supplier. But before we get into the details, let’s understand each of these terms individually.
Supplier – A supplier is a general term used for someone who supplies goods or items to a seller. They may also provide services to a company or an individual who does business. They are also known as vendors.
A supplier has two types of classification:
Contractor – A contractor is an individual company or entity that supplies a number of goods, equipment, materials, or services to a contractee or project owner. They are direct suppliers or sellers who own the company or service that they are offering.
Sub-Contractor – A subcontractor or otherwise known as a secondary contractor, is someone who gets into an agreement of selling or performing a prime contractor’s transactions. They often appear as if they are the main contractor but the truth is, they are only secondary to the prime one.
Prime Contractors: the Best Preference
When dealing with business, you need to make decisions that are considered to be the best. Settling for less will not give you what you really want. If you’re new in the industry, you must know when to give something a go and when to say no. Opportunities may knock only once but not each one of them is worth your time.
Primary contractors or main suppliers are always better than subcontractors. They can give you the benefits that you need for your business without having to spend a lot. They are the real deal while the rest is just an imitation if they were a product.
Here are some reasons why you should find a main supplier for your business:
- No Monthly Fees – wholesalers or main suppliers don’t collect ongoing fees. Main suppliers are mostly not techy enough to promote their stuff. They just go with the traditional way of doing business. If you have to pay for these kinds of charges, then you know that they are fake dropshipping wholesalers.
- Lower Cost – direct suppliers sell their product at a lower cost compared to those who are subcontractors or resellers. They usually sell it the cheapest among other options especially those who quote their prices as “wholesale price”.
- Better Competition – if you have a better price compared to others who try to appear as wholesalers, people will most likely think that you’re more worth purchasing from. No matter how much people will try to promote their “wholesale price”, if you sell it lower than they do, they would still choose you.
Ways to Find Your Wholesale Suppliers
Finding a legit wholesaler is important in order to avoid unnecessary troubles with your business. If you are now confident of being able to distinguish a fake supplier from a real one, it’s high time to pick one of your choice. In order to find the best wholesale supplier for your business, here are some ways that you can tap on.
#1 Google Search
Almost everything is Google-able these days and that definitely does not exempt finding wholesale suppliers. Almost every business is up online although not each one of them are really promoted well. Traditional wholesalers usually don’t have a website but they could have some sort of information online that you can look up.
There are a few tips to do an effective search on Google especially if you’re just a beginner:
- Don’t rely on the first few pages to show you the legit wholesalers. Most of those that will show up in the beginning of the search results, especially the first few pages, are resellers of the main one. As previously mentioned, traditional wholesalers are not good at marketing their business. They are not very tech-savvy to get on top of the search engines. So be very patient in your search and go beyond the first 10 pages of the search results. The further you go, the more likely you’ll find them.
- Use keywords when doing a search. If you can come up with a phrase, the same as how you would ask it if you were talking to a person, type it up on the search box. You will then see a flood of results coming up under that specific category. For example, if you’re looking for wholesalers for bags, you can type in “wholesale suppliers for fashionable bags” or “cheap wholesaler for fashionable bags”.
- You may also use synonyms for your search words. You can replace “wholesale” for words such as “bulk seller” or “warehouse”. Anything that’s directly synonymous with your search term will lead you there.
- You will also find that wholesalers might have a not-so-appealing type of website. But don’t judge the wholesaler by their website. They might look old and too simple but they could be exactly the one that you’ve been looking for.
#2 Detective-like Skills
Find out about the most popular competitor in your locality. Try to order something from them and search up the return address. There is a little secret behind doing this search hack. Most of the return addresses actually point towards the real wholesalers instead of the company’s location. This way, you get to find out who their wholesaler is. Once you do, find out their contact information and make inquiries as if you just happened to find their info somewhere else.
#3 Attending Trade Shows
There is no other fun way to do your wholesale supplier hunt than attending trade shows. Trade shows make it easier for you to choose the best supplier because they are all at the same spot. You can also be 100% sure that each of these are legit. What’s even better is the fact that you can actually interact with the people who are working under that company if you have the money and time to attend one.
#4 Buy a Supplier Directory
A Supplier directory is a well-organized and well-investigated list of legit suppliers that are categorized by their product, market or niche. If you want a shortcut to finding the best supplier, this should be your way to go. Every supplier that gets on that list had already been screened. They have enough proof of being a genuine wholesaler that is why they are on that list. It’s like everything else is done for you and you just have to pick one from the list. However, it’s not necessary for you to buy one if you have other ways of finding a supplier such as the previously mentioned ones above.
Golden Rules to Follow
If you want to find a wholesaler and resell their products, you must first make sure that you have these few but very important “musts”:
Make Sure You Are Legal – you cannot operate if you are not legally registered or if you are not a legal business. They will require you proof to show that you are legit and that you are qualified to do business with them. Being illegal will cause wholesalers a lot of problem and they would not want that. They will also lose their confidence to trust you with the real information of their business and most especially their prices.
Do It First Before Asking Favors – there are business who are so quick to ask for discounts and simple favors from a wholesale company before they even make them any money. Be not one of those businesses. Your goal should be to establish ties and strengthen it. Promote your business, get more sales and impress your wholesaler. You will find out that they will give you discounts and favors in the long run even before you ask.
Be Confident – wholesalers need to be confident about doing business with you first before they get into one. Show them how confident you are but don’t be confident for nothing. Draw your confidence from your business’s strengths. Make sure that you have everything you need to get started first before contacting and establishing ties. You should be 100% ready to start with before you get in touch with them. If they see that you are qualified and you are confident to do great deals with them, they are most likely to trust you with a good contract.
Getting Started With Your Business
Starting up a business online can cause a lot of trouble if you don’t know where to start. Some people would have to come across several scam schemes even before they find a legit startup point. If you want to start up a business online, there’s a great place for you to start.
If you haven’t heard about them yet, SHOPIFY is one of the best e-commerce websites online. They are great for every marketer whether beginner or not. As soon as you are ready to start selling products online, Shopify is ready for you to use. It is very convenient to sell on Shopify because it caters to both big and large markets and is open to every variety that there is.
On Shopify, you can sell any or all of these:
- Physical Product
- Digital Product
- Dropship Product
If your plan is to sell Dropship Products, Shopify has all the features to make it easier for you. They have several types of pricing plans with different types of features:
- Lite at $9/month
- Basic at $29/month
- Professional at $79/month
- Shopify Plus at $995/per month
Whichever of these should you choose as your first step, anything at Shopify will get you going in an instant. They also have a free 14-day trial for those who are unsure of starting right away with their plans. And of course, when it comes to easy selling, Dropship products are always the way to go.
Shopify is a great starting point especially for beginners because it helps you get started quickly. There’s no need for you to go through a long process of learning because everything is ready to get running.
Christine has been working in the field of freelance for just over 7 years, specializing in copy-writing, social media and voice-overs.
Describing herself as a "social media bee 24/7", Christine has an undying passion for photography and music.