I usually see some people ask questions like, ‘Does drop shipping really work?’, ‘How do I start a profitable drop shipping business?’‘Can you start a drop shipping business with less than $100?’…
I think people must have some misunderstandings with drop shipping and I just want to express my own opinions.
- 1. There is uncertainty in everything. What’s more, it’s a business. You want to earn from a business, but you don’t want any risk? No way. For everyone who wants to begin a business, you must realize that everything can fail and it’s just a matter of probability. Otherwise, you won’t do it well as you expectation is not right. There is always a gap between ideal and reality. If you are not ready to accept failure, then I will advise you not to start.
- 2. There is no perfect business. We can only say drop shipping is a relatively good business model that it’s easy to start and needn’t to invest much. But no one can promise that you must can earn much money from drop shipping. If that is a truth, then everyone will do drop shipping and everyone will be rich. Is that possible? Of course not. Hardworking people will get more, lazy people will achieve almost nothing. That’s the really fair world.
- 3. Where there is difficulty, there is opportunity. The success of a business depends on the individual. Drop shipping has its advantages and disadvantages. It’s not right to exaggerate its pros and ignore its cons. Also otherwise. The ability of individual determines 90% of its success. For example, you never expect a person to make money by working only one hour a day. You will never expect a person that spend little time to study can earn more money than a person study a lot about his business. For everything, we know some people do well but others don’t. Why? Because everyone’s ability and dedication are different.
So the first thing is that making your mental prepared before starting drop shipping. Then we need to do some preparation in action to improve the probability of success. I would like to offer some advice on the cons of drop shipping mentioned by others.
- 1. Legal liability issues. Some may be worried about the legal problems. Once someone asks on Quora that is it legal for me to use Aliexpress product images for my Shopify store? Of course there is risk. As some suppliers also use other stores’ pictures. In order to avoid this problem, first you’d better registered your own brand. Then you need to be careful to pick your suppliers. Some big suppliers usually take their own photos, like FondMart, they have their own models and photographers to take photos. So they can offer you no watermarked and high quality photos. And obviously, no one will complain about your infringement. Anyway, check with your suppliers before you use the photos by asking whether they have the original photos or not. Then you will avoid most legal issues.
- 2. Quality assurance. Sometimes you may be concerned with the quality problem as your supplier send the package to your customers and you can’t really touch the product. To solve this problem, you need to do some market research about your suppliers to see whether these products offered by these suppliers are in line with your customers’ taste. Usually it make sense that the higher the price, the better the quality. If your customers are willing to pay higher price to buy your products then you also need to offer better quality products. Because higher price means your customers have a higher expectation about the quality. So you need to based on your target customers to find the suitable suppliers. After that, you can go further to see other people’s reviews and even get a sample by yourself to check the quality. Maybe it will take you some time, but it’s worth to ensure your business smooth.
- 3. Long shipping time. What is particularly helpless for dropshippers is that you can’t control the shipping speed and delivery time. But delivery time is one of the most important factors that will affect your customers’ shopping experience. Is that really a problem? I think not. Normally, the delivery time is relatively knowable for different shipping methods. For example, it will take about 45 days to arrive US for China Post Registered Air Mail, while it just needs 10-15 days for CNE Express, and even shorter to take only 3 days for DHL. So you need to learn about these logistics knowledge and make it your common sense. When you place an order to your supplier, you have to know what logistics channel your supplier will send for you and the how is the shipping timeliness. Of course, you also need to know the processing time of your suppliers after you place an order as the total time is processing time plus shipping time. Better to choose the suppliers that have products in stock, otherwise the processing time will be very long, even longer than the shipping time. Pay attention to every order and keep in touch with your suppliers until you make sure that your package has been sent out.
- 4. After-sale service. Some complain about the poor after-sale service of drop shipping, like refund and return. First we should try to avoid any return or refund by testing the quality and keep eyes on the shipping time. However, incidents happen and their item might may really have a problem. In any case, it’s important you have dealt with it before you start drop shipping. A good supplier usually has return and refund policy especially for the quality problem. Confirm in advance and keep communicating with your suppliers if similar things happen.
- 5. Time consuming. People always tell you that you just need to focus on marketing and other things will be left to others. But actually you need to take much time for other things, like choosing and uploading products, placing orders, uploading tracking number and so on. It’s true, also not true. There is no doubt that these things should be done, but it can not be yourself, it can be automatically finished. That depends on which platform do you choose to do drop shipping. You have many choices to do drop shipping business, like Aliexpress, eBay, Taobao, Alibaba and so on. But not all platforms are professional 2B drop shipping platforms. As we know, Aliexpress is for retailers. So it’s not too friendly for drop shippers. To save time and energy, you’d better choose a professional drop shipping platforms. Usually they have a drop shipping app which can connect with shopify,woocommerce or other stores. What’s the benefits with such app? Usually you can import their products directly into your store. Orders and tracking number can be synchronized automatically. They offer one to one customer service manager, so you needn’t to spend much time on these things.
As a whole, you need to do some preparations before starting your drop shipping business, both on mental and on action. To improve the probability of success, you need to work harder than others. Nothing can be done easily.