Monday, July 29, 2019

A supplier plays a very important role in dropshipping.  They are responsible for fulfilling and packing the orders and then ship them to your customers.  In this regard, having a quality drop ship wholesaler who will turn into your supplier is necessary.  Let us discuss how to determine if you are dealing with a quality dropshipping wholesaler.

To get a legitimate supplier and make us save money let us know how we can determine if we are dealing with a quality dropshipping wholesaler.  To find a quality wholesaler for your dropshipping, these are the things we can watch out to determine if you are dealing with a quality dropshipping wholesaler.  
  1. Experience in wholesale dropshipping
  2. Fast shipping and smooth transactions
  3. Top-up fees 
  4. Selling quality products
  5. Takes advantage of Technology
Finding a quality dropshipping wholesaler can be a challenge as there is a lot of fake and unreliable wholesaler that promises better deals to its customers.  Let us get details about the list we have come up to understand why this is how we can determine if we are dealing with a quality wholesaler. 

Experience In A Wholesale Dropshipping
We will be dealing with the supplier all the time.  They will help you in making your dropshipping store a success.  When working with suppliers, we want to make sure that they can give you answers to your queries and help you.  If not, at least they know who to reach out to and get to you with the information you need.  

A supplier who is experienced in dropshipping knows how to efficiently work with the order fulfillment,  handling, and shipping of the products well. This will totally help us be able to get more customers to buy products from us because our supplier knows exactly how to deal with the products while maintaining a good relationship with us

Top-Up Fees 
A quality dropshipper will not take advantage of the demand for dropshipping.  They know that there is so much competition in this field. And believe it or not, there are suppliers for dropshipping who take advantage of the demand.  They will place a high product margin to cover the handling, and branding of the products. 

Once you have established that relationship with the supplier, they will give you a reasonable product margin to take care of the products you use for dropshipping.  You can certainly look for suppliers who can give you a good deal while keeping the quality service.
Fast Shipping of Products 
Well, efficiency is necessary for a dropshipping business.  The rate of shipping the products, handling them may take time to accomplish.  You have to understand that there are a lot of customers a supplier is dealing with which makes them preoccupied affecting this part of the dropshipping cycle. 

If your supplier is able to accomplish the handling, and shipping of products within 48 to 36 hours, your supplier is a keeper.  It will help you gain a competitive advantage among other dropshippers. The more orders they fulfill at a shorter time, the more happy customers we gain and get as many customers in return.

One way to test the efficiency of your supplier is to try to make a purchase from them and see how much time they spend in getting the products delivered, and get to the customers.  By then, you can make a decision whether or not you will partner with them.

Quality products
Things will always go right if we are selling good products to our customers.  We want to ensure that our suppliers are giving our customers the least product defect.  This helps us lessen the returns, refund and replacement requests.  

Our goal is to minimize the complaints from the customer especially if it concerns the quality of the products.  At least by giving our customers products that they will be happy about, they would more likely give recommendations, and ratings. 

Takes advantage of technology 
We talked about efficiency earlier.  Efficiency in completing the order in terms of handling and shipping products to our customers.  One of the resources we can use for us to achieve efficiency is to take advantage of the technology.  With this, we are talking about suppliers being able to provide answers to the most common questions.

As an example, a quality dropshipping wholesaler sets up a detailed website with product descriptions.  A website that can track inventory, and be able to do order modifications. This helps reduce the time spent for placing orders, make payments, cancel or replace them in minutes. 

How to Look For Quality Wholesaler
Finding a quality wholesaler may be difficult.  We can use a search engine to look for quality wholesalers to support our dropshipping business.  Right now, I have listed a few tips to use to look for a quality wholesaler. 

Using a Supplier Directory 
Remember we always say to look for a quality and reliable supplier for your dropshipping.  This is true, and one way to look for suppliers is to use a supplier directory. There are many platforms available to use to source for a supplier.  You might have heard of them or seen posts promoting these platforms.  

To give an example, Shopify, SaleHoo, Alibaba, and BigCommerce are among the list of many platforms used to source a legitimate and quality suppliers.  It lowers the risk and helps you filter your research option for the products you want to sell on your store. 
Attend Trade Shows 
Another way to source for a quality dropshipping wholesaler is to attend trade shows.  This is a strategy by business owners and executives to gain connections and collaborate and acquire learnings and skills from other businessmen who are also successful in their field.  

By attending trade shows, you can directly meet new customers, and build a new relationship with suppliers while maintaining a stronger connection and ties with existing partners.  You will be able to get good deals offered by these potential suppliers.

Getting a quality dropshipping wholesaler will help you gain more profit in the business.  It will help you save more and gain more. Remember that a good relationship with your supplier will bridge the customer's satisfaction to your store which is the primary goal of our business. 

Friday, July 26, 2019

On to another hot topic about dropshipping.  Most of us would be interested in knowing how much we need to launch a dropshipping store.  Let me just set expectations that it would not be identical for every dropshipper. You might have different goals, budget, and capacity.  Let’s get started, okay?

So, what is the cost of launching a dropshipping store?  The estimated cost of starting up a dropshipping store is less than $500.  This rough estimate is just a bare minimum to get all you need to completely set up the store.  Remember that this is not fixed for everyone. As we go on the article, we will discuss what you need and how much to complete the setup. 

Setting Up Your Dropshipping Website
The first thing that you have to do if you have already decided to start with this business is your store.  And for drop shipping, we are not talking about a physical store where people walk in to buy products. Remember that an advantage of putting up a dropshipping store is doing most of the transactions online.  This makes it convenient for most since we are talking about flexibility.  

To successfully start your dropshipping store, the first thing where you will spend your money is creating your website.  Another advantage of dropshipping is that you can use platforms to help you set up your store. In this step, we will use Shopify as an example.  Shopify is the most common platform used for dropshipping. 

It allows you to take payments from the customers and post items on sale. Shopify offers a 14-day free trial to help you set up your store.  However, realistically, we will not earn in 14 days. 
So, basically, we need to subscribe to complete the setup.  The basic plan costs $29.99 per month.
Making Your Store Credible - Create an Online Domain
Customers will be using your website very often.  To make your store look credible, then you have to create a domain.  You want to customize your store and look professional to your customers.  Creating a domain name for your dropshipping store because you want to build a brand which is very important in dropshipping.  

There is a strong competition and many dropshipping companies will also find strategies to promote their store.  Aside from this, creating a domain name also helps your business to be easily remembered. Now talking about the cost.  The pricing for a domain at Shopify is $14/ year.  
Make a Logo For The Business
Apart from using a domain name for the dropshipping store, now we move on to the next.  You need a logo for it to look nice. Just like using a domain name for the business, it also makes a website credit to the customers.  Business owners use a logo to attract more customers based on their creativity in creating one.

Some business owners would use a logo to tell a story about their business.  How it was founded and what makes them significant among others. The logo will also boost the confidence of the customers to your store.   

Fortunately, there are free websites that can help you make a logo for your dropshipping store.  But remember that you can get better designs with those of the paid applications.

Use Dropshipping Platforms to Search for Suppliers
An advantage of being in a dropshipping, allows you to have options on which platforms to use to help you become successful.  An example of a platform that you can use is Multi-Drop. It helps you find great products to sell online and import them to your store and set your prices.  

Multi-Drop includes product research, analytics and offers customer support to its clients to ensure your business’ success.  They offer various plans to choose from whichever fits your dropshipping needs. However, to be realistic with better profit gain, you can sign up to $29/ month.

Cost for Marketing
We have mentioned in our previous post on How To Advertise Your Dropshipping Store why marketing is very important in dropshipping.  As a matter of fact, most of the costs will be spent on marketing campaigns and advertisements to promote a successful dropshipping store.  And so many dropshippers, having their creative minds also find ways How To Get Free Traffic To Your Dropshipping Store

This post lists of ways you can maximize the marketing strategies while keeping the cost to a minimum.   It is important to take advantage of ways to market the products for free. However, you have to keep in mind that it is not so efficient and effective compared to paid marketing. 

Just to give you an idea of the cost.  According to studies, if you want to get 5 sales, then you need to reach to 200 customers to pay attention to your dropshipping website.  And to reach 200 customers, you need to boost your marketing ads to reach 20,000 potential customers.  

Facebook Ads and Google Ads are just examples of paid marketing advertisements you can use for the business.  On the above example, you need to spend a rough estimate of $250/ month to make it work. 
Optional Expenses for a Start-Up Dropshipping Store

Purchase Sample Products
If you are looking to check product quality, the turnaround time of handling and shipping by a supplier, you can purchase sample products that way you can also check the legitimacy of the supplier.  

Let’s say on this, you need to spend $15 per item.  This covers the overall cost of the product including the shipping.  To be realistic, you want to buy 5 different products. The total estimate cost to purchase sample products would be $75.

Dropshipping Apps
Getting an app for your dropshipping store is an optional expense you want to consider when setting up.  Just like what we have discussed a while ago, setting up a dropshipping store depends on your goals and needs as a businessman.  This feature can be used and added at a later time if you wish to. 

There are applications developed to improve the quality of selling in dropshipping.  Some of them are designed to do cross-selling, upsell and even boost sales. These apps as available for $19/ month.

A helpful tip: Do I Need A Credit Card for Dropshipping? You can use a credit card to pay for the subscription fees.  Using a credit card to pay for the upfront fees does not make you save money but will give you more time to adjust from the expenses and start earning money from your dropshipping store. 

Let us do a breakdown of the expenses mentioned above.  Remember that this is a price estimate and is only covering the bare minimum to set up a complete and functioning dropshipping business.  

Dropshipping Website $29.99/ month
Online Domain $14.00/year
Multi-Drop $29.00/month
Budget for Marketing $250/ month
Total $322.99

Optional Expenses
Sample Products $75.00
Dropshipping Apps $19.00/month
Total + Optional Expenses $416.99

Keep in mind, how much you want to spend will always depend on your business goals. The illustration above is for launching a dropshipping business at a bare minimum.

Monday, July 22, 2019

On our previous post about Dropshipping - What should I Do If Wrong Item Was Sent to Customer, it tackles about the different issues and concerns encountered by a dropshipper.  A question that aroused was the one responsible to pay for the shipment return. Which we will gladly discuss today. 

Now talking about shipping, who pays for the shipping on the returned items?  In paying for the shipping on returned items, there are three things to consider.  
  • Is it the supplier’s fault why there is a need to return an item?
  • Is the customer requesting to return because of a wrong order, changed his mind or failed to read the product description?
  • Is the price of the item more or less expensive than the shipping fee?
How To Determine Who Pays for the Shipping on Returned Items

Always Ask Relevant Questions to the Customer
The first thing you need to do to determine who pays for the shipping on returned items would be why is there a need for returns.  On our post, How to Handle Dropship Returns we have discussed the guidelines when processing returns.  Knowing why the customer is asking to return the item is very important.  This is the basis to know who pays for the shipping fees.  

There are circumstances when customers are asking for return because of the following reasons.  

Defective Item/ Incorrect Order Received
  • If a customer contacts you saying that the item they receive is either defective or was not the correct order received.  Then, the shipping return fee is shouldered by the supplier.  
  • When this happens, the first thing you will do is a request for a proof from the customer that the product was, in fact, defective and an incorrect order was sent.  We can ask for a picture of the item, or a video to determine the quality of the item.  
  • Do not forget how the customer wants to resolve the concern.  In this case, it could either be a replacement item or a refund.
  • Once we receive the photo or video, we will forward the details to the supplier.  The supplier will then assess the condition and review the details for approval. Once approved, they will process a replacement or a refund for the damaged/ incorrect order.
Customer Changed His Mind
Customers are always right.  At least this what most people believe in.  This is a common misconception of the norm that customers always have the right to do what they “want” to do.  In dropshipping, all transactions are done online. We do not have ways to answer questions in person when they ask about product specifics.

All details are listed on the description. There are times when customers fail to read the description properly leading to an incorrect product order.  Just like on the example earlier, we always ask our customers, “May I ask for the reason why you are requesting to return the item?”  
  • When the customer mentioned it was not how he expected the product, possibly due to size, color, etc. Then we have to explain to the customer that the product description stated the size, the color and other things he might’ve expected.  
  • Apologize that it was not what he expected it to come and explain he will be responsible for the cost of shipping. 
  • Set expectations that the cost of the shipping might be more than the amount of the product as this is coming from overseas. 
  • If the customer agrees to return the item with the right expectations, the supplier may either process a refund or replacement depending on the agreement.  
Assess the Price of the Product 
Dropshipping items are sold at a fairly low price. This attracts more customers to make that purchase with us.  However, in times when the customers are requesting a return, most of the time it is not beneficial for us due to the cost of shipping.  We are aware that the items are shipped by the supplier from overseas making the cost of shipping pricey.

If the customer is requesting to return the item, and we were able to determine that the supplier was answerable for the item, then we follow the steps below. 
  • Check the condition of the item.  Assess if the price of the product value is equivalent to or less than the price of the return shipping fee.  
  • If the cost of the product is more than the shipping fee, then we may consider requesting the customer to send the product back to us.  
  • Explain to the customer that they need to pay for the shipping fee and then we will credit the amount of the shipping fee back to their account.  
  • Once we receive the original product, then we can either process a replacement or a refund based on the customer’s request. 
Dropshipping is a legitimate business and therefore has its own terms and conditions.  This includes terms and conditions on handling returned items. Some may call it “Return Policy”.  The idea is to protect both the customer, dropshipper and supplier in handling these types of scenarios.  

It is an agreement that will clear the process of returning products.  A dropshipper should ensure that he has this policy at hand so that we can avoid the loss in paying for the shipping fees which should not be covered by the supplier.  This will surely impact our profit if not managed well. We could get a negative rating as a seller, which is very important as a dropshipper. 

So for this post, who pays for the shipping on returned items?  Well, that actually depends on the reason. So, we always have to ask first.  The most important thing to do to handle shipping returns it to ensure that the orders are fulfilled in order just so we can avoid the returns and also, avoid pointing fingers to which may both negatively impact us, the customers and the suppliers.  At the end of the day, we all benefit from each other, is that right?

Thursday, July 18, 2019

You will be dealing with offshore suppliers in dropshipping.  If you recall, we also talked about dealing with out of stock items on a different blog post: Dropshipping - How To Deal With Out of Stock Items?  So today, we want to learn how to make sure our customers do not order out of stock items.

How to make sure customers do not order out of stock items?  Here’s a list of things you can do to ensure customers do not order out of stock products.  This is very important to avoid dealing with customers ordering products that are not available.
  • Make your own tracker of inventory.
  • Do product automation.
  • Do not post the items that are out of stock.
  • Keep open communication with the supplier.
Let us talk about the list one by one and explain how this can be done.  This will give us a bigger picture of the things we can do before we can even think about handling issues related to customers ordering out of stock items. 

Why Is It Important to Keep Track of Inventory?
One of the most common reasons for customer dissatisfaction is ordering out of stock items.  What do you think will be the outcome if a single customer will order a product and later on knowing that the products they wanted to order are out of stock?  

Since we cater to customers online, there is a possibility that this does not only happen to a single customer, isn’t it?  A single dissatisfied customer can influence up to 4 people not to buy from your store. How worse can it get if we get more and more customers to do the same?

A single order of out of stock item can result in delayed shipping, and that will make the customer very unhappy.  We do not want to look unprofessional and not be able to take care of these matters. We want to maintain having good customer ratings, and increase customer satisfaction.  Aside from earning money, this is also another thing we want to work on. More customers mean more money for us.  

Make Your Own Tracker of Inventory
Getting into drop shipping business makes you deal with different suppliers.  And when we mean different suppliers, we are also talking about suppliers from different places.  A big percentage of the suppliers we are dealing with are from different locations in China.  

It may be a challenge to track inventory because of this and sometimes it is the reason why we lose track of the stocks.  However, this should not be a reason for us to stop making our own tracker so that we can personally tell if we may be at risk of low stocks, more so out of stock items. 

What do I suggest that you do?  Put down a list of products ordered from you, list them per category and if possible the name of the supplier.  With this, you can keep track of the products we are selling and can make a forecast of what could be left on the stocks.  We should always keep a buffer. That way we can ensure we do not go out of stocks and continue selling to our customers.

Also, we want to track products that are not really selling good profits.  This is a way for you to see the sales trend. This data can help you increase the frequency of marketing strategy for the products that are highly profitable and lessen those which does not get as many sales.  We want to be wise in using our resources and focus on something that will make us gain something, right?
Do A Product Automation
Being in the business for some time will expose you to many experiences.  Life in a day of a drop shipper will give you something to learn from, day in and day out.  One of the things you will learn is how to manage your time and become efficient. This would include using tools that will help you multitask.  Time is very important in business especially in dropshipping. 

Product automation in dropshipping helps you fulfill the order, monitor them, use inventory tracking systems, and other features that will improve your business as a drop shipper.  Learning to do drop shipping will make you be more flexible and smart when working.  

Doing product automation will help you get a view of your stocks easier while generating money and also focusing on a good marketing strategy to increase the number of sales and traffic to your store.

Do Not Post The Items That Are Out of Stock
Now that you already have an idea on how to track your inventory, you already have the means of not posting the items that are out of stock to your store.  What’s the point in tracking your inventory and doing product automation if you will still post the products online.

We want to be two steps ahead of the customers.  This is a reflection of you managing the business.  One of the advantages of drop shipping is that there have been tools developed to help you towards a successful drop shipping business.  You should know by now how much competition you have with dropshipping. For one, you can use Multi-Drop as a resourceful tool that can help you manage your own dropshipping business. 

Keep An Open Communication With The Supplier
The suppliers play a very important role in a dropshipping business.  Your business cannot function properly if not for our reliable suppliers.  Although we have ways to track inventory and ensure we do not sell out of stock items, having open communication will still help you in ensuring you minimize the problems with the orders.

This can be a contingency plan just in case you failed to do a manual tracking or product automation to your products.  You can inquire about product availability by contacting your suppliers. This is why we always want to have a good relationship with our supplier.  It makes working a lot easier. 

There are a number of ways and strategies you can use to ensure that your customers are always happy.  At the end of the day, it is their satisfaction that we want to ensure to be in a long-lasting dropshipping business.