Monday, May 27, 2019

Imagine yourself getting money from a business without having an inventory.  You work from home and manage your own time, no boss, no traffic jams. All this can be done through dropshipping.  You can start getting profit by selling products, get paid without having upfront costs! Let us pay attention in the next posts to learn how to start a drop shipping business.

How do I start a drop shipping business?  
There are four basic steps in starting a dropshipping business.  

(1) You need to start with an idea. (What products to sell, why you are selling it)
(2) Set up a website.  (What service will you use for your website)
(3) How to get the products to sell. (Where are you getting the products to sell)
(4) How to market the products.

Now that we already know the basic steps, we want to get specific details in starting up a dropshipping business.

All business begins with an idea
Entrepreneurs are taking advantage of the opportunities that they encounter.  From the opportunity, a good entrepreneur will make extensive research and come up with a plan for the business.  In this phase, a drop shipper will determine what demands are high in terms of products, and why you are choosing them as a product to your store.  

Choosing the right niche is the foundation in dropshipping.  Obviously, if you were able to see the demand, and you feel that this is going to sell like crazy, then definitely it is a good choice you made.  The more products we sell in your store, you will get more profit to earn.

Set up a website
We know that drop shipping does not require inventory to be able to sell items on your store.  But for a drop shipping to work, you need an online shop or a website that you will use to post your products on sale.  With this said, it is very important that you are able to set up a website that will attract your customers to from you.  

One of the benefits of dropshipping is that this has become widely known to entrepreneurs and developers have designed tools and services that can be used as a platform for your dropshipping business.  An example of a tool that you can use for dropshipping is Multi-Drop - One stop shop for your eBay stores. There are a number of dropshippers using this tool to manage their drop shipping store.

How to source the products for dropshipping
In an old fashion way of business model, if we want to sell items we have to manufacture hundreds of pieces of the same item, get inventory for these products and sell it on your store.  In dropshipping, you do not need inventory at all. I think this is primarily the reason why the interest of people into dropshipping has also increased. Risks are low as well as the capital.  

Here you will choose a supplier for the products you will sell online.  There’s a list of websites to choose from that showcases products that can be sold, you can see the customers rating, the buyers rating and the number of orders.  You can use this as a benchmark of what popular items to sell. Once you have the list handy, you can contact the supplier and have them do the drop shipping on your behalf.

After getting a supplier and select the product to sell, then you can link it on your website, add your competitive mark-up rate and remove any logo, product brand on your items.  You certainly would not want to sell items that are labeled by a different seller, wouldn't you?

Create a good marketing strategy for your dropshipping business
Competition is high in dropshipping.  There are many businessmen who already ventured in drop shipping because they found that the risks are low.  Also, people are adept to making online purchases because of convenience. They would also have access to reviews to check product rating and know how reliable the product is.

Marketing goes hand in hand in getting the right niche for dropshipping.  Upon choosing the right product, you would have to find ways on how you can promote them.  One of the most common marketing strategies is using social media (Facebook, Instagram among the many).  This is free and easy to access. Most people of this age are using these two social media sites on a day to day basis.  For this reason, using social media as a marketing strategy is highly recommended.

Some uses blogs, vlogs to promote their products - the same as for dropshipping.  This is one way to promote how reliable a store is. There is a really tight competition in dropshipping hence customer review has a huge impact in terms of marketing.  Of course, this includes customer ratings posted on the Reviews /Rating section of your website. People usually go to this section to understand if it is worth it to make that purchase.

In essence, dropshipping is a business model designed to help both customers and business owners get convenience while shopping. There are a lot of people getting into drop shipping because of low risk, small capital, and convenience.  Resources are readily available at this day and age which makes drop shipping a good choice for starters. At the end of this post, we hope that you were able to get important pieces of information just to make you decide and start your own dropshipping business.

Keep in mind though that every entrepreneur who wants to start their own business must look for opportunities and innovations that will provide convenience to customers.  Dropshipping is one of the hot trends and is a good business model fit for those who want to manage their time spending it with their families while earning.

However, in every start-up shop, you should understand that it will take time and perseverance to be able to get to the goals you want to achieve for the business. By doing things right and carefully learning what to expect surely, you can go a long way in your venture to start a drop shipping business.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Finding the right niche is the foundation of a successful drop shipping business. Contrary to what others say, dropshipping is very much alive up to date.  With the demands and competition, it is important that we are strategic in choosing the right niche for dropshipping. In 2019, we’d like to focus on trends that may get more sales and expand our potential customers.

First, let us understand what is a niche?  A niche is defined as, “the subset of the market on which a specific product is focused. The market niche defines the product features aimed at satisfying specific market needs, as well as the price range, production quality and the demographics that it is intended to target. It is also a small market segment.”  To simplify niche in a drop shipping, basically, it is focusing on a specific product targeting a specific group of people with a common interest. So now, I have come up with a list of niches for drop shipping in 2019.

Why is it important to find the right niche for your drop shipping business?
Finding the right niche is the foundation of dropshipping primarily because of the fact that selling is the main goal of our business.  If we are not able to sell many items, this only means we are not getting profit from it. No profit, no income. In addition to getting more profit, we also want to target a specific market and providing them with the right products.  This will help us cater to other potential customer and expand the business. So as we go through this post, we will talk about the top 15 niches for drop shipping in 2019.

Travel luggage and accessories
Travelling is on the top list because people spend money and time on traveling.  Recently, people have displayed an urge to travel. This is an avenue to release stress and become more productive at work.  According to statistics by the World Tourism Organization show that 1.18 billion tourists spent at least one night abroad in 2015.  This is continuously growing over the years because it is becoming a need to escape from too much stress. A primary reason for the increase in statistics of travelers is due to the fact that traveling has become cheaper.  This makes them attract more tourist to pay a visit to their attraction. Backpacking travel contributes to the increase in tourism for most places, travel luggage and accessories are one of the trendy items considered to be a good niche because it targets people who consider traveling as a lifestyle.

Gaming setup and accessories
The gamers community is becoming bigger as we advance our technology.  There’s been a lot of applications, software, and games developed to attract gamers.  With the advancement of technology, the graphical user interface of computer games has improved over time.  Remember that gamers are spending extended hours playing their favorite video games hence is important to be comfortable when playing.  It is also studied that many are excessive gamers spending money to increase the speed and specs of the gaming console or device used for playing.  Gaming setup and accessories would target the growing population of gamers and would make a good niche for 2019.

Workstations materials and equipment
Most work is done using a computer table and a chair.  This is a regular setup of a workspace for most employees in the office.  Why we considered this as a niche is because, an average adult is spending at least 8 hours in the office, in front of their computer.  The time spent working is greater compared with spending time on leisure. In addition, work from home is also becoming an option targeting the population of working mothers. Potential customers will seek for materials and equipment that will make them more productive, at the same time comfortable.  

Tiny home decor products
Decorating houses could be one way to relieve stress.  For dropshippers, this is a good niche because there are China-made products that are sold at a low price with good quality.  Plus, home decor products are not only applicable to house decorations. Office space, food establishments, and other business related establishment would follow the latest trend and go with the season like Christmas, Valentine’s day, or Holloween.  This helps them promote their businesses, too. This is included on the list of a good niche for drop shipping because while it is seasonal, people would always find a reason to decorate, on any occasion.

Kitchen equipment
When did you see a household without a kitchen?  Who does not want to eat good food? Kitchen equipment is essential because it helps to make good food at the fastest and convenient time possible.  In addition, just like in home decorating products, kitchen equipment is available at a high quality and sold at a low price. There was an increase in sales over the years for kitchen equipment and materials because they are found to be essential to be more productive, safe and sanitized when preparing food at the kitchen.  This is a low-risk business idea while providing usefulness to potential customers.

Maternity Clothing
Maternity and parenthood are considered as a steady marketplace.  While this may not produce a spike in sales, generates steady revenue for your dropshipping business.  The demands will always be present because there is an average of 1.1% increase in the human population around the world.  We can assume that couples are to be pregnant and have kids. This is going to be a good niche for 2019 because parents nowadays make sure that they are prepared before, during and after pregnancy.  Expectant mothers are expected to experience changes in their bodies and would need new wardrobe and clothing while pregnant as well as post pregnancy.

Cell phone accessories
Every year, there are new models of cell phones released.  Different models, product features, style, etc. People nowadays cannot live without their cell phone handy.  This is becoming a part of the daily life of almost everyone. One of the reasons why this is a good niche for your dropshipping business.  Cell phone accessories such as power banks, earphone, and charger is a must-have of anyone with a cell phone on hand. Plus, a lot of people are inclined to social media, giving them another reason to always use their cell phones.  In fact, cell phones now are so advanced that we can even do work using our smartphones.

Home theater equipment
In today’s lifestyle, people are so busy with their everyday living.  An average adult who is tired from work spends their time to rest while the television is on.  Also, there are a lot of good TV series and movies to watch from that will entertain you. This kind of entertainment is not limited to a household but can also be set up in the office, or at schools for advanced learning.  With this in mind, getting this as part of your niche for 2019 will help you with your sales. Examples of products that can be sold under this niche are speakers, projectors, wall mounts, etc.

Sports accessories
Sport is an outlet to release stress by producing endorphins. This is known to help a person be happy and reduce the risk of stress, anxiety, and depression.  Aside from reducing stress, this also helps us become more healthy and become fit. This also teaches us discipline and improve teamwork and boost self-esteem.  There are many good benefits in sports. This can also be a source of entertainment for fanatics. This is a good niche for your dropshipping business because it can offer broader advertisements and sponsors.  Gym memberships and fitness programs are a bit pricey and not everyone can afford it. This is one of the reasons why getting fit is not taken into consideration. To address this, there were fitness equipment and accessories created to meet the needs of those who want to be fit at the same time eliminate the cost.  

Pets accessories
We all have heard of the phrase “a dog is a man’s best friend”, haven’t you? For this niche, we not only talk about dogs as pets.  There are cats, birds, fishes, and many others. In fact, those who have pets consider them as part of the family. Which is why this will be a very good niche for 2019.  Pet lovers buy accessories such as clothing, food equipment, pet toys, tags, etc. There are couples who cannot get pregnant and opt to have pets in return. This is a way to show their affection and care and make the relationship better.  Pet lovers claim to have pets to reduce stress and improve their mood.

Baby clothes and items
Earlier, we talked about motherhood and parenting niche.  Did you know that there’s an average of 250 babies being born every minute all over the world?  Matter of fact, this niche works hand in hand with motherhood and parenting niche. Baby items are also a steady niche because babies grow fast and they have extra needs as they grow bigger.  They are sensitive and very little and may need specialized products that would match their needs. Also, most new parents were observed to spend more on new baby products such as clothes, shoes, socks, and food containers and materials all designed and are too cute for their babies.

Car accessories
Getting a car offers convenience to its passengers instead of getting on buses and trains to travel from one place to another.  Some consider getting their own car for their security. This sums up why there was an increase in the sales of cars in the market.  Getting your own vehicle has been part of the necessities of a household. For every family, there is at least one vehicle. With the demands of getting your own vehicle, we can say those car accessories is a good niche for 2019.  Anything about convenience and safety is everyone’s concern, especially on the roads. The products under this niche could be, fog lights, cup holders and many more.

Entertainment and showbiz have made its way to influence people.  This is one of the reasons why, in this day and age, people are conscious about how they appear in front of many.  Being beautiful is one of the insecurities of a person, be it a man or a woman. For this niche, it mainly targets women who are known to be fond of shopping and spending money to look beautiful.  This is one way for a woman to feel confident of themselves. Looking nice and beautiful is a woman’s weakness and therefore would not mind spending lots of money for it. Also, there are women who are too busy going to the fitness gym to maintain a good shape.  Buying shapewear will definitely be a quick fix for those who are less confident about themselves.

Bluetooth, outdoor speakers
Things that are portable is always a good niche.  This made way to the inventions of laptops vs desktop computers and cell phones vs plain old telephone systems.  The main feature of both is portability. With this, people have discovered how power banks can surely make a hit in the market.  And the same goes for Bluetooth outdoor speakers. When people go out to hang out in the garden for a drink, do a hike, or spend the night by the beach - music will be the primary source of entertainment to break the silence of the night.  Good quality speakers that are compatible with a cell phone via Bluetooth will make a good niche for 2019, especially that this comes at a low price, too.

Health and Cosmetics
This is a quite huge niche and there are many products that can be sold under this niche.  How people look is something that matters now. We all want to be presentable and good looking.  There are cosmetics products and health supplements created to address the “needs” of people wanting to look good and pretty.  This also explains why weight loss supplements and beauty products are becoming in demand. Products under this niche may include makeup, skin care products, weight loss supplements, and many more.

The Conclusion
Anything you sell on your dropshipping store has to be researched to ensure that you will make a profit out of it.  When choosing a niche, there are a few things you need to consider. First would be the price. People will always make a need for a product that comes at an affordable price.  Second would be the target market. Would you sell winter products to tropical countries? Obviously, you want to sell items that are appropriate to the market. You might have your own way of choosing.  What’s important would be how you would gain customers and earn from the sales.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

There are people who want to try being their own boss and be out of the 9x6 shift as an employee.  There are several options on how to start up a business. Today, we will talk about two of the most common product acquisition when setting up a business, and the difference between the two: dropshipping vs wholesale.

What is the difference between drop shipping and wholesale?  The main difference between drop shipping and wholesale is the handling of inventory of products.  Both are product acquisition which relates to retail. Drop shipping does not need an inventory of products, while in wholesale - product inventory is important because the items are bought at larger quantities.
Let us talk about the differences in drop shipping and wholesale as we go along the post.  We will discuss in details, the advantages and disadvantages of both product acquisition methods.

How Does Dropshipping Work as an Acquisition Method?
The idea of dropshipping is simple.  Drop shipping allows you to sell items that you do not own to a customer (third party selling).  Drop shipping is not only product acquisition but is also a product fulfillment. You get the orders from the buyer (customer) and process it on behalf of your supplier.  The supplier will then pack the products and ship it directly to your customer.
What are the Advantages of Dropshipping?
Now that we already have an idea of how dropshipping works, of course, we want to know how you can benefit from dropshipping.  This will give you an idea as to what option you will choose should you wish to start your own business, right?

Low Start-up Cost:
For starters, you are certainly concerned about capital expenses.  This is a big factor to consider especially to those who do not have experience in setting up a business.  High capital means higher risk. Dropshipping is the cheapest option among all other product acquisition methods available.  

Earlier, we said that we do not hold inventory for dropshipping.  This is a fact and also the reason why the cost is low when starting up.  To gain suppliers for your business, you have to source either directly from a manufacturer, or dropship suppliers and have them ship the items straight to your customers.  

Product Variation and Selection
Another advantage of drop shipping is being able to sell a wide variation of products on your store.  Due to the fact that we do not keep inventory, the number of products and variations you can post online is not limited.  In addition, you have the ability to pull out items easily if you see that the products you are selling, do not make a significant sale.  

Client Relationship is Not Limited
In drop shipping, your suppliers are considered as your client.  Because there is a large number of suppliers and manufacturers who are engaged with drop shipping, as a business owner, you are not limited to building a relationship with one dropshipping supplier or manufacturer.  This is very important because one of the challenges in dropshipping is getting out of stock orders.

Low Risk for the Business
Previously, we said that the major advantage of drop shipping is being able to set up the business with a low start-up cost.  You are right. This is somehow related to the inventory of products. First, you do not need to spend on inventory. Secondly, you don’t have to worry if the items were not sold.  You can easily make a switch on the products you can sell, at different kinds, variations, and styles.

Convenience and Efficiency
Remember that dropshipping is an order fulfillment method.  Hence, the products are coming directly from your supplier or manufacturer.  They also take care of the packaging, shipping, and delivery of the products.  This goes straight to your customer reducing the risk of packaging issues.

What is the Disadvantage of Dropshipping?

You get a minimal margin from drop shipping because the price of each product you sell online is only the difference of the net price and your mark up. 

You pay for membership fees or annual subscriptions.  

Unable to do a quality check on the products because you have no visual of the items you are selling.  

The competition is quite high in dropshipping.  

You have to deal with out of stock items because you do not have control over the stocks

How Does a Wholesale Work?
A wholesale, just like a drop shipping, is a low risk straight forward process in acquiring a product from manufacturing in bulk quantities.  The items are purchased at a discounted rate, and resell it at a higher rate.
Advantages of a Wholesale
For wholesale, you do not need to spend money time doing an inspection for a quality check because the manufacturer already did it for you.

You also get a better margin because you spent little on the products and be able to resell it at a higher price.  You have the right market to sell the products giving you more chances to increase your earnings. In addition, the products being sold are known.

You get a faster turnaround of the sales.  There are variations of products and are readily available on stock.

Disadvantages of a Wholesale
With wholesale, the competition is tight. I think this is true for most product acquisition methods.  But with wholesale, because the products you are selling are known to the market, there are many resellers who will be selling the same product.

There is a price control for items that are sold from a manufacturer.  You do not need to worry because the products were bought at a discounted rate giving you guaranteed earnings.  

The manufacturer is the one setting the minimum product purchase.  Which means, you need a space enough for your inventory. Bigger stock room means larger expense.

Both product acquisition method has its own advantage, and disadvantage both for you and the business. In choosing the acquisition method for your start-up business, we all want what is appropriate based on our capacity to make it work.  Hence, the amount of capital is a very important consideration. When you already know the product you want to sell as well as your market, you can decide whether you choose to go for drop shipping or wholesale.

Monday, May 6, 2019

Before planning of being into a dropshipping business, this is something you have to really consider first.  There are many products that a drop shipper can put on sale online. Getting the right product niche for a drop shipping is the foundation of the business.  Moving on with this post we will discuss dropshipping branded products.
Can I dropship branded products? Technically, yes you can dropship branded products.  However, it is not advisable to sell branded products. But if you are thinking of selling branded products, you can do so. Keep in mind you would need a retail license to be able to sell branded products. You cannot sell without the retail license.
Why is it a bad idea to sell branded items for dropshipping?
Let us discuss the reasons why it is a bad idea to sell branded items on dropshipping.

Selling branded items on drop shipping is not a good idea.  As was discussed earlier, you need a retail license, which basically means you need to be legally authorized to sell the branded items.  Aside from needing a retail license, because you are selling high demand branded items, you also need to secure a liability certificate which costs a lot of money.

Branded items are highly in demand.  For example, is an Apple iPhone. Because of this, customers would like to directly buy these products directly from the manufacturer.  In addition, there are only selected manufacturers who are authorized to resell these items because of two reasons. 

Branded items are sold to select manufacturers to control the brand.  This would mean, the products are only produced by the legal manufacturers and not imitation.

Branded items are sold to select manufacturers because they want to control the price.  Each branded items sold to manufacturers have their own product pricing that is standard for all stores.  Because they were authorized to resell items, they obtained a retail license and a liability certificate to protect consumers. 

What do you need to do if you want to sell branded products for your dropshipping?
Now that we learned why it is not a good idea to sell branded items, let us move on and know what you can do if you wish to continue selling items that are branded.
Find a liquidator
A liquidator is someone who works as a middleman.  Let us say, these liquidators are willing to make a purchase for the branded items on your behalf.  Basically, they buy the items at a very low price from the manufacturer. They can either make a single purchase or by bulk.  These new items that were bought can be sold on your store because it was bought from the manufacturer. Hence, allowing you to be able to resell it.
Selling accessories of branded items.  
Aside from the fact that branded items are costly, there are accessories for the branded items that are highly in demand.  On our example, earlier which is an Apple iPhone, cell phone cases, chargers, and many other accessories are highly in demand.  It not only discounts you from spending much on branded items but also will allow you to gain more profit from the purchase because it is relatively cheap.
Make your sale via Retail Arbitrage
The concept of retail arbitrage is pretty simple.  Let’s say, a retail store like Walmart, Costco, or Target goes on clearance sale.  Obviously, the products are sold at heavily discounted rates. You can purchase items from the retailer and post it on your store making your profit.  You are not violating copyright infringement because just like in the essence of a liquidator, these items were purchased from authorized retailers, too.
How to Choose Products to Dropship?
There are a number of products that you can post online.  Below is the list of things you have to put in mind when choosing the products to post on your dropshipping business.  
Understand the demand for the products
We are dealing with selling goods and products.  We want to focus on selling more items. Getting products that are high in demand would mean more revenue for the business.  We can choose products that are on trend. As a drop shipper, you can start by choosing products with a high number of orders.
Know your market
Identifying the market is also important. While we know that there is demand for the product, if we do not target the right market for your product, it will not make an impact on your business.  By choosing the market, you have to know the demographics such as age, gender, and location. You don’t want to end up selling a product that is not appropriate to your seller, do you?
Be competitive
Having competition is a given to any business.  This is true with dropshipping, too. Especially that dropshipping is a business with low risk.  There are products on your store that is also available on other drop shipping stores. Be mindful with your competition and be at par so that you can secure your customers by posting competitive prizes, promotions, and advertisements.

Choose products that you know
There are some customers who want information about the item first before making the purchase.  You want to be able to address the query to ensure that the customer buys the business. If you know the product, you will be able to make the right marketing approach because you know the market too.
Products are easy to transport or ship to customers
One of the advantages of dropshipping is selling products at a low price.  However, shipping is sometimes shouldered by the customer. If the products you are selling big and bulky, most likely the shipping fee will not be minimal.  We also want to consider instances when customers need to do a return, some customers may not want to pay for the shipping fee. Hence as the drop shipper, you would be the one to pay for shipping fees. This, in turn, will improve your ratings as a seller.
Related Questions:
How do you find a reliable supplier for Dropshipping?
These are some of the qualities that you are looking for when finding the right supplier.

They should know about dropshipping.
Ask if they offer custom labeling.
Know how long is their shipping time.  
How do they do order fulfillment?
How do they respond to the customer’s request for replacement and refunds?