A lot of people will have no idea what dropshipping means. Unless you’ve been looking for ways to work from home, then you’ve probably heard of it. But doesn’t it sound too good to be true? Yes is the short answer. Can I actually make any money? Also yes! Read on to find out how.
Simply put, dropshipping is the act of signing up to a dropship company and selling their products, but in a different way. You don’t have any stock and you don’t physically post the item, you advertise it on your site and you are the middleman between the customer and seller. If the dropship company are selling the item to you for £9.99, and you are listing it at £19.99, when you get an order you will pay for the item and postage if necessary, and then keep the rest of the money. Sounds easy, right? It is!
It’s basically like shopping online for someone else, and you keep what they didn’t spend. With an unlimited earning potential and no hassle of keeping and sending stock, you get all of the perks with none of the stress. But remember – you don’t need stock, but you do still need to keep track of accounts and sales!
There are a number of ways you can dropship – by starting your own website, dropshipping on eBay, selling on Facebook, Gumtree, the list goes on. Most decent DS companies will not ask you to pay a monthly/ per order fee to be a dropshipper, so be wary.
General steps & tips to becoming a good dropshipper
Tip – You don’t have to tell anyone that you’re a dropshipper- and I would advise not to. A lot of customers won’t trust you as a dropshipper as if they are savvy and know their stuff, they’ll know that you don’t actually hold the stock so in their mind, there is more of a margin for error.
Step 1: Decide on your selling channel
Do you want to make your own website? Sell on eBay or Amazon? Sell just on Facebook or to family and friends? Weigh out the pros and cons for each and see what works for you.
Making your own site – either by hiring a web designer to make a WordPress or Opencart shop, or using something simple like Shopify to DIY. You also need to pay for hosting every month, but there are no listing fees and you get to keep all of the profits.
Selling via eBay – you have to pay monthly to have an eBay shop. It takes a while to get positive feedback and they will often hold back your money for a few days until you’ve proven yourself as a seller.
Selling on Facebook – no hosting, no listing fees, you can join as many selling groups as you like to advertise for free. The downside being many people will say they want an item and then you’ll never hear from them again!
Step 2: Find your niche – what do you want to sell?
Homewares, clothing, games and toys, wedding dresses, adult products! Do a general Google search to find available dropshippers in different fields. Don’t settle for the first one you see! Once you’ve found what it is you want to sell, have a Google and look for a dropshipper selling those products. Look for reviews to find the company with the most support and best prices.
Step 3: Get started!
Sign up to a dropshipper, think of a shop name and sign up to your selling channel. Be aware of the new eBay and PayPal seller restrictions and that you might not get the money straight away if you’re using these avenues. The restrictions last a certain amount of sales, so your best bet is to phone them direct and they’ll give you all of the information.
Tip – Put through 4/5 orders yourself to your own address and family’s to test the packaging and product quality. Please don’t start a dropship business without doing this!
Step 4: Declare self employment with HMRC – you can read about that in my post here!
Step 5: Advertise, advertise, advertise!
Advertise everywhere and anywhere. Start a blog for your shop, Pinterest and Insta. Buy business cards and flyers, spread the word to friends and family, have an opening giveaway on Facebook. It’s all about drawing in customers and keeping them in!
Tip: bloggers and reviewers are your best friend! Speak to social media influencers, look out for Instagram accounts with a big follow count and interaction. Get in touch with them and see if they’ll advertise your shop in a post in return for payment/freebies.
Some good sites to find dropshippers are:
So a quick overview if you’re looking to start a dropshipping business –
– Find a good dropshipper that doesn’t charge you to join
– Place 4+ orders yourself before you go live to check quality and reliability
– Set up as self employed
– Advertise as much as you can
– Find a blogger/influencer with a high following to help you advertise!
Do you have any experience in dropshipping? Let me know in the comments! Also you can email me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want any more advice!