Today’s topic, I just want to share with you a few thoughts and some experience I have with drop shipping.
I still have a store which you can see here. Obviously this post is not for everyone but, for those with an interest I hope this is helpful.
Starting a Dropship Business. 1 Hack to Protect Your Finances in the Next Crisis.
Starting a dropship business is one hack that does offer anyone a realistic opportunity for providing additional income to help you or your family with an extra layer of security should things in the offline world go pear shaped (again !).
It may become more than a side hustle, and if yours became a stand alone 7 figure income business, it wouldn’t be the first !.
However forget what you see in your emails about being rich and out of debt sometime late next week. It does take some work and to do any work it takes time and some money.
I will share some thoughts with you on why you should consider developing something that can earn you an income online.
Suffice to say that if the events of 2020 haven’t convinced you to develop a financial cushion you have some control over, then probably nothing will.
If you do not know how to create a drop shipping store, the reality is, it is not that hard and there is always help close by.
But more on that later, it is not the only avenue for earning online.
That ‘flexibility’ of plans has become a great part of modern life, means we have to be able to adapt quickly to alternate skills or resources, just to try to minimise the financial destruction threating to turn our dreams to mud.
It’s certainly true of this year where work adaption has been a major theme in everyone’s life.
Work from home, home schooling as well as the normal domestic chores have challenged people to look at alternative ways of earning a living and many have started a side hustle.
For many it will remain that way for some time, possibly the side hustle and your job will reverse roles.
For many others, there will be no return to a brick and mortar business.
In fast changing times like these it is dangerous to be only relying on the traditional methods of earning an income. As good as they have been in the past, those who had an effective online side hustle have come out of this pandemic a little better than many who didn’t have a side hustle.
That makes this is a good time…the best time, in fact…to take stock and start to regain some control over what matters most in your life.
Here is how you can put the wheels in motion to protect yourself and / or your family.
This is not going to be a drop shipping for dummies type post, and definitely not a “starting a dropshipping business with no money”.
To start you need some money, not a lot, but you need some… if you are serious.
Platforms for Starting a Dropship Business.
I am assuming you know what a drop shipping business is. If not, have a look here or scroll through the pages on this site.
You need some money. Normally they take time to set up. Some, like Sellfy can be set up inside a few hours, if you have only a couple of products you want to sell.
Others like Shopify, Wix or Woo Commerce take a little longer.
Setting them up is the easy part though. I could do a drop shipping for dummies type post which you may follow to the letter and have a drop ship store set up this time tomorrow.
But rushing these things is not advised. Your working with technology. The work is often repetitious, you need images optimized and any content should be SEO optimized as well.
You may need to take your rose coloured glasses off, because doing this properly, so that it is set up to make a lot of money, takes a little effort.
Different Ways to set up a Dropping Site
The Old School Way or a 21st Century Dropship site.
To give an idea of the work involved in setting up a drop shipping store this brief overview of Sellfy will give some idea of what is involved.
When setting up a drop ship site, the following items set out below need to be taken into consideration. Ticking these off your to do list will give you the basics for a good website.
Obviously there are variations between products or niches.
Sellfy is an all-in-one e-commerce solution that is easy to create and manage.
Your first step to setting up a drop ship store is to make a road map of what is needed.
Feel Free to copy these.
Domain selected and purchased
Hosting access provided
Select Products Categories
AddPricing Markup formula Installed
Products imported and edited
PayPal credentials setup
Payment gateway for credit cards
Payment gateway test
Add Contact details
Create Mailing Service Setup
Edit Google Analytics
Top quality SEO backlinks
Home page article creation
Home Page Video creation
On top of these, you will need to set up your social media, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook business profiles as well as adding…
- Abandoned cart recovery
- Promo banners creator
- Customer reviews page
- Lead generation system. Initially built for selling digital products (such as eBooks, videos, or music), Sellfy has all the necessary components for selling physical products as well and is renowned for its outstanding ease of use in both cases.
All the regulars like Shopify, Wix, Big Commerce and others like Etsy, Woo Commerce require a similar amount of effort or more to create a professional looking store.
Sellfy works great for creators, bloggers, and businesses looking to sell digital products, subscriptions, or physical goods to their audience on social media.
Or on their website through the option of embed products and buy buttons.
Also, Sellfy allows you to utilize built-in marketing tools (incl. email marketing, discounts, and analytics. Plus, you can connect with over 2,000 + third-party apps using Zapier.
Plugins and Niches.
Whether your going to use Shopify, Sellfy or Woo Commerce, or any others, you will want plugins.
A plugin is only a piece of software that adds a specific feature to an existing program.
So, as well as effort, you will need some tech skills when setting up your drop shipping business. But…
They are not so extensive that you need to be an IT expert.
Initially the plugin most people get first, is a plugin that imports products to the store.
If your in a broad niche where there are a lot of products to download these are awesome tools to save you time.
Depending on how tight you want to keep the outlays, a better option might be to first buy a plugin that makes sales, before buying one that import products. Social Rabbit is one such plugin. See Here.
But I do recommend checking out importing plugins and at least evaluating them. One Here
Another one here.
Really, the quicker the site is set up the quicker you can concentrate on making money.
As I said, there is an expense involved, not a great one compared to the effort, but when you are putting a drop shipping site together, you are in no different a position to any other business owner trying to keep expenditure within a budget.
I recommend a starting budget of $1000, which includes something to start marketing. But this is subjective I know of others who started with $300.00 and did well.
My second store I think I built for about $150.00 over a weekend. Download apps weren’t around then though, and…that was less than 10 years ago. 🙂
There are some costs that you cannot escape from. Hosting is one of those. You will always get a good deal on bluehost.
The Recurring Costs Involved in Having a Drop Shipping Store.
Lets look at some recurring costs. These should be taken as a bare minimum. I am basing everything on the lowest plans available online. I will include a couple of infographics.
Sellfy. The $19 a month plan allows you to turnover $10,000 a year before transaction costs kick in, then on a sliding scale up to the premium plan.
The big guys, Shopify, Wix, Magneto et el. Look at about $30.00 a month minimum.
The Shopify costs are pretty much the average of the bigger players through out the industry.
Sellfy is at the lower end of the pricing, but it is still popular and has around 30,000 users.
When I see questions in the forums about starting a drop shipping business with no money, I am reminded of Go Ten.
If you weren’t worried about the $19 a month payment for Sellfy, you could easily build out a good store, using products from GoTen, although there is no download plugin you can use for GoTen that I know of. If you do know of one leave a comment below.
One benefit of GoTen is that it has warehouses throughout the world.
Actually if you take up the Sellfy offer, you have 6 weeks for $19.00. 😎
If you only downloaded and did descriptions for 10 products a day, after a month you should have a really good store.
The Hidden Costs
Shopify, Magneto and Big Commerce have been the major players in the drop shipping space for a number of years.
Their advertising has netted them lots of clients, many who are no longer there because the return on investment (ROI) was marginal or worse.
All have extra charges on top of their monthly fees.
Costs include transaction costs for credit cards, use of plugins for pop ups, email captures, plugins like Spocket for downloading products, they all add up, as well as your fees for domain name and hosting.
The expectation of a profitable site generated by their advertising is one of the reasons still, many people go with the known brands like Shopify
In fact the percentage of successful websites on Shopify or any of the other big platforms is not that great, around 20%.
Obviously they are lots of reasons but the predominant one is money or a lack of it. They provide the platform, and leave you to figure out how to set it up. Other reasons for failure include, not having a well thought out plan for your niche, your chances of success diminish with each “out of niche product” you down load.
If you are selling shoes, it would make little sense to add home decor, I would think.
Brands such as Sellfy are usually the domain of experienced store owners, or people who are content to plug along and learn as they go, These are often quite successful.
Many of these people only have a few products they specialize in. Add the learning curve of adding descriptions and payment processors and some basic marketing and you are on the way to profits.
Done For You Dropship Stores
A lot of creativity sits at the edge of mainstream society. In political speak it is called the fringes. And that is about where I sit.
Years ago I had a drop ship site on the Artfire platform. I remember it took me about 4 days just uploading product photos and adding descriptions for about 320 + different cut out coins of different configurations. Golf ball markers, earrings, Belt Buckles, Pendants etc.
This was sometime before 2010 and the biggest drop ship stores back then were, Amazon and Etsy, Artfire, Bonanza and Salehoo a couple of others in their infancy.
If I recall correctly, Amazon was the only one where you could buy a partially done for you dropship store and it cost about $6,000.
2020 and it is all too easy.
Get a platform on Shopify, pay a monthly subscription for Oblero or Spocket to download your products, and for about $60 or $70 a month you got your self a drop ship store, and quite a reasonable one if you use Spocket which has a constant stream of new products being added all the time.
Compare that to the payments on a brick and mortar store.
A really successful store depends on a lot of small things being done right, to have one large thing (your store) making sales and delivering you a profit.
If you have no E-Commerce experience, I’m am of the opinion (in 2020), that experienced competition exploiting search engine optimization hacks, having an ability to build quality landing pages for one off products, in depth knowledge of facebook audience insights, and other promotional avenues via Twitter and Instagram plus utilizing Pinterest, is the main reason people give up on this lucrative opportunity.
You need to walk before you can run.
It can be tough, but if you follow the road map I have further up the page and give yourself some time. Otherwise It is probably…
Better if you have a done for you store then you can be earning while your learning (more on that below).
If you have an unique item you have the ability to list anywhere ( E-bay, Amazon etc), and have limited price competition. That route will still work well, but…
It needs to be thoroughly investigated these day’s, because so often the guy your buying stuff off is selling there too, and at a cheaper price than you are buying it from him !
I think I cover it in this article.
The Better Option…
For starting a dropship business is to start with a ready made store. One already professionally built, optimized and ready to make money. You can see one here
My question would be, if you opt for the least expensive drop shipping option here.
Why not go to Sellfy (above) ? Because the amount of work involved is not that different and Sellfy is cheaper again.
However… in reality… DID YOU KNOW over 95% of success in the drop shipping business, comes from running a professionally- designed, high-converting website?
Features of a High Converting Webstore
It will be very niche specific. The products for this niche won’t be very well researched, they will be extremely well researched, and meet a strict selection criteria before being included into a Dropship store.
Check out the links in the table below to see how this is done.
For the DIY’ers, you can also refer to this article for tips on picking a top selling product. It has been very successful for over 15 years.
For those who want a store built and ready to go, read on and see how rigorous the process for selecting items to stock your webstore is.
|1. Picking a Profitable Niche||Allow a couple of minutes to read the process & maybe take some notes. Go to this link.|
|2. Picking a Niche Market.||By clicking on any item in this link, you will begin to tie this process together.|
|3. A 4 step process to finding a Niche Market for your store.||Using measurable data in selecting which market to choose. Go to this Link.|
Once these selections are made a flow chart is established and building your store gets under way.
At completion, a quality check is done on the set up, including checking email integrations. Then domain name transfers, and the site is yours. The best part, it is a one off payment.
But it Doesn’t Stop There…
Once you have your new store, you need to drive customers to it. Depending on the level of customization you ordered, a series of ads, integration with facebook, Instagram, Twitter can also be included.
If you included Social Rabbit in your customized store order, a months worth of pre-set posts to facebook, Instagram and Twitter can be included in your package deal.
A customized store could include done for you advertisement’s to get your store up to speed and making sales quickly.
Of course if you need to help in setting up a face book business account or Instagram and Twitter accounts, or If your not sure how to do these, your personal manager will assist in helping set these up.
To see the various options have a look Here.
Why You Should Do This, and How Much Can You Make
Earlier this year I added a few links to a page on this site about the different options we have to improve our skills or learn new skills.
I wrote another piece a bit later about New Years Resolutions.
It also included some links to take you to various other sites that may be of interest at that time of year.
To say that 2020 was (is), different to any other year is an understatement. Hindsight being 20/20 vision, having a dropship store or affiliate marketing website set up, then you may have been able to ride out the effects of Covid a little more comfortably than you have.
Thing is though, we cannot change the past, but having a side hustle even in good times lets us cope a little better when things get tough.
This usually brings up the question of how much can you make. There is no way anyone can give a specific answer to “How Much Money can you make drop shipping?”
At this link you will find a cross section of people with various levels of experience at online entrepreneurship. Their results are as you would expect, in line with their experience and efforts. The link again.
These days having a drop ship store can be set to almost 100% fully automated. Many of the big retailers already have their online stores nearly 100% automated (due to Covid).
Saying that probably has you thinking you would not be able to afford a web store, but…
Not only can you have a near 100% automated store, it is going to cost you a lot less than what a large retailer would pay to have one set up and be fully functional.
As we close out 2020 why not check out if having a dropship store would fit into your options for financial independence in 2021.
To give you an idea of what a fully functioning drop ship store looks like Check this out. That is just one example. And…the best part… if you like what you see, then…
Today, you can begin the set up to make an income online, or continue to
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