Have you ever wondered what dropshipping is all about? Have you ever wondered if you can start one?
In every business, the most important thing is having the products or services to sell. But the focus here is on products, which brings up several questions like,
– How to get products without buying and keeping stock?
– Were to get them?
– If your choice of products will sell or not?
– How to reach customers that will be interested in buying the product.
The answer to these questions is dropshipping. It is not risky, it is not time-consuming. It is not an expensive venture. It is a very easy online venture that has thousands of people doing it today and succeeding.
A drop shipping business is one of the easiest, fastest, and risk-averse ways to start an online product selling business.
In order to help you make a decision on whether to go into dropshipping or not, here are the advantages and disadvantages of dropshipping. Once you make up your mind, then read further on how to start.
- You can sell any product no matter the niche (But it’s always advisable to research first).
- You get to use a trusted online business model like Jumia or Amazon
- Keeping an inventory is not important.
- There is no need to package or ship out products, as this will be the job of the person you’re selling for.
- No heavy capital requirement to start, as you’ll only need to set up your online store.
- The dropship fees of some products suck up the profit.
- Not all business models will engage in dropshipping.
- Dropshippers must work according to the number of stock available with their suppliers.
- Some suppliers are not consistent, some are slow and some have difficult return policies.
Starting a Dropshipping Business
About 20% to 30% of online retailers use dropshipping, which means this is good business.
The most interesting part of this business is that you don’t need to store your products, this saves you from renting a space. You don’t have to package or ship the products yourself or panic that the product is not going to sell.
Another benefit is that you can choose to hire employees or not. If you’re busy with your day job or other businesses, then consider getting one assistant. If you have enough time in your hands, you can avoid having a payroll.
Here’s how the business of dropshipping works
In dropshipping, you work with a wholesaler or retailer that offers dropshipping, not all offer but many do. All you have to do after getting an online wholesaler to work with is to set up your store, and then get involved in marketing, advertising, and promotions in order to get customers that will see the products and buy. The prices you tag on each product depends on the profit you want to make.
When a purchase is made and you need to send out the product, the dropshipper takes over after you have paid the wholesale and shipping price for each order.
Payment, list of orders, and location for delivery are sent to the dropshipper through email, their own online store, or as a file, depending on your agreement with the dropshipping company. The company then packages the order and ships directly to your customer with your name and logo in the delivery box, or without it, if you have none. This way the customer thinks the product came directly from you.
To make profits you have to raise the prices of the goods on your platform. Selling a lot of items at a time can increase the profit you make, and you can always negotiate with your dropshipper to reduce the dropship fee, where possible.
If you decide to go into dropshipping, it is always better to customize the products with your own brand name. This helps separate yourself from other vendors who might be competing with you.
What Products Can Be Dropshipped?
In every online business, it is advisable to go for a market that sells; a market where there are people ready to buy what you sell. In this case, it is good to specialize in a market that relates to our personal interest, what you can easily relate with, as this will boost your marketing strategy, your sales, and also make you enjoy what you do so as not to lose interest.
The good news is that there are dropshipping companies that work with a lot of products in different niches, this makes it easy to choose. They include clothing, books, arts, home accessories, electronics, sport wears, underwear, and more. Platforms like Etsy, Amazon and eBay have a lot of niches. You can look into their bestsellers to know what people frequently order.
In the Nigerian setting, we have Jumia and Konga.
Look out for these companies’ trending products, the ones on social media, and the ones your family or friends talk about often. Products that relate to holiday seasons, summer, football, fashion, electronics, home decor, school, etc.
People think that a lot of people are already into dropshipping therefore there is no need for them to venture into it as it seems competitive. The truth is this, a lot of people going into a particular business is evidence that the business is profitable.
Just make sure that you sell products that are evergreen and always in demand, so as to make more sales.
Picking a Dropshipper
1. Test a dropshipper by acting as a customer. This will help you know how to order, how long the shipping takes, and the return policies of the dropshipper. This will also let you know the quality of the product; see if it is good or not.
2. Ask the dropshipper how they notify you of available stocks so that you don’t take orders above what’s available.
3. Check the online reviews of the products on their platform to make sure they match whatever your experience was when you ordered for the same product.
Also read, Best Dropshipping Sites For Nigerians
Important Questions to Ask a Potential Dropshipping Partner
Before partnering with a dropshipper, it is important to ask questions so that you don’t end up with a bad dropshipper who will make your business run down and give you a bad image in the market. There are a few questions that can help you choose the right partner.
1. How long does it take to process and ship out orders?
2. What methods of shipping the products are available?
3. Is there a way to track order so that I can see the status of the order?
4. How do you deal with issues like lost shipments?
5. Will lost shipments cost me money?
6. Do the products have a warranty or guarantee?
7. What’s the return policy?
Dropshipping is very profitable, it is quick, easy, and has low risk. Just pick the right niche market, the right dropshipper, and you are good to go.
PS: have questions about this? Feel free to drop it in the comments. I’ll respond.
Also Listen to, 5 Ways To Keep Focus on Your Online Business