There’s nothing quite like being your own boss and working from home. You set the rules, control your time, and enjoy the comfort of your own space.
With dropshipping, you get to run an e-commerce store from the comfort of your home. And what’s best? You don’t need large capital or any inventory to start.
While running a dropshipping e-commerce store may sound like a sweet deal, it’s not as easy as it sounds. It requires focus, strategy, and a touch of savvy.
In this article, we’ll dive into the nitty-gritty of dropshipping and how to make money at home with it.
What Is Dropshipping?
So, we know that dropshipping is e-commerce without stock inventory. But what does this mean?
Dropshipping enables online businesses to sell to customers without holding stock.
Unlike traditional e-commerce, when an order is made, your third-party agent fulfills it. They make sure it gets processed and shipped directly to the buyer.
This significantly reduces the risk of investing a ton into inventory. And, since there’s no minimum quantity, you can sell a lot without investing a large capital. Plus, you get to do it from the comfort of your home.
All you’ll need is your computer, a website, and a stable internet connection. Easy enough, but how does it work?
How Does Dropshipping Work?
Dropshipping involves three essential players, the customer, the supplier, and the retailer, you.
The supplier acts as the middleman between your customer-facing store and you. They are responsible for providing the products you will sell.
Now, because dropshipping is low risk, it’s an excellent choice for first-time entrepreneurs.
It is so successful because it perfects automation and outsourcing, reducing workflow.
In traditional e-commerce, the seller handles all the stock details. They buy the products and run quality checks on them. They’re also tasked with packaging, storing, and shipping purchased goods.
All this, as you can tell, sounds pretty stressful and time-consuming. However, a good dropshipping agent can solve your problems. So you won’t have to worry about doing any work.
But where and how do you make your profit?
Your profit is the difference between the product sold and the agents’ commission.
Let’s take this humidifier for example.
If you source from AliExpress, it costs $21.73.
But if you work with Globallyfulfill, they can offer the best price for less $7. They have integrated all costs (procurement cost, warehousing cost, picking cost, standard packaging and ordinary packaging material cost, labor cost, etc.) into a single cost, with a service fee of $0.5 per order.
You can sell this humidifier for $39 on your website. Thus, you get more profit.
Is Dropshipping Really Profitable?
Dropshipping, without a doubt, can turn into a goldmine. But hey, it’s not a genie’s lamp granting instant wealth. You see, just like any other business, dropshipping requires hard work and planning.
Let’s look at it this way: It’s like setting up a stage for a rock concert. You need the right band (profitable products), a killer setlist (planning), and an ecstatic audience (your target market).
Now, you might be thinking, “That sounds great, but does it really work?” Good question! And the answer is a resounding “yes!” with some truly inspiring real-world examples.
Take the story of Irwin Dominguez, for instance. This chap went from zero to over $1 million in sales in just eight months! Talk about a meteoric rise, huh?
Then there’s Marc Chapon. He began his journey with only $500 and managed to pocket a cool $178,000 in just three months.
So, how did they do it?
Well, they scaled their businesses strategically. They chose profitable products and knew exactly when and how to expand. It’s like knowing when to hit that high note during a guitar solo.
Timing is all about building a trustworthy brand that resonates with your audience. It’s like making sure your band’s music strikes a chord with the crowd.
And planning? That’s your setlist. It determines the flow of your concert–or, in this case, your business.
So yes, dropshipping can be profitable. But remember, it takes time, effort, and strategy.
What are the benefits of starting a dropshipping business?
Dropshipping is advantageous for many reasons, which makes it very popular. It is a great, flexible, low-risk business model that requires low capital. Here are some of the benefits of starting a dropshipping business:
Dropshipping is a very profitable business that doesn’t tie you to a specific location. Want to work while sipping a pina colada from a beach in Bali? Or enjoying a glass of iced Americano in a coffee shop in Paris? Or even just lounging on your couch? Go for it. That’s the beauty of an online business.
If you’re connected to the internet, you can run your dropshipping business anywhere. And you get to do it on your terms. In addition, because it is an automation-based service, you don’t have to do much.
If you asked me to point out why so many people get into dropshipping, I would say the low start-up cost.
Unlike traditional retailing, you don’t need to spend a lot to fill up your inventory. This is because traditional eCommerce stores usually need their products in storage. So they have to pay for a warehouse, hire employees, and run logistics all on their own.
However, with dropshipping, you don’t need to pay for inventory until it’s sold to an actual customer. This reduces the initial investment and risk involved. Hence creating a low barrier to entry. This means you can start and leave whenever you like.
Easy to start
Dropshipping’s low barrier to entry makes it easy to start. In addition, because you don’t have to handle the products physically, there’s not much required of you to start.
One of the best parts of dropshipping is that it’s very beginner-friendly. This is because there are so many platforms designed to make starting an online store super easy. Plus, you won’t have to worry about managing stock, packaging, or shipping if you have a good agent.
Wide product selection
Unlike traditional retailing, dropshipping opens you up to a vast selection of products. You can sell anything. All you have to do is test the products to see what works best for your customers.
Of course, there’s also the factor of choosing the right product suited to your target market. But because of the wide product selection, you can experiment with different niches. That way, you can make the right choice without spending a horrendous amount.
For example, you can run a general store offering a wide range of products. Or you can niche down and sell only specific items. Whatever option you choose, less is at stake because you won’t have to commit.
The best part is that you can switch up your offerings without worrying about unsold goods. And whenever your supplier gets a new product, you can add it to your product list at no extra cost.
The dropshipping business model is so flexible that scaling is easy to do. You just have to know when to do it.
Like any other business model, scaling can make or break your business. But, with dropshipping, the risk of it biting you in the back is significantly less.
In addition, you can expand and change your offerings based on customer preferences. And because you’re not storing products or hiring employees, you have fewer obstacles.
Easy to test
Dropshipping allows you to test out a product without the risk of buying much of it. With dropshipping, you can add new products to your shop and see what sells. If a product doesn’t generate sales, you haven’t lost anything because you didn’t buy it upfront.
What Are the Drawbacks of Starting a Dropshipping Business?
Like every business venture, dropshipping has difficulties. This section discusses the drawbacks of starting a dropshipping business.
The flip side of dropshipping is that the profit margins can be low, and it’s easy to understand why. Dropshipping is easy to start and requires minimal upfront investments. However, the competition is intense, forcing many to sell their goods at low prices.
In fact, it’s not uncommon for profits to be as low as $2 per sale. This means that you’ll need to sell many products to grow a substantial income.
A way to combat this is by selling products that generally cost more. But with a good marketing strategy, you should be able to find a way around it.
Not managing your inventory can give you flexibility. However, it might also leave you vulnerable to stock issues.
Most times having many suppliers that stock the same item can be challenging. Keeping track of who has what in stock can get confusing and cause difficulties for you.
When a customer orders a product that is out of stock, problems will arise. There might be delivery delays and customer dissatisfaction. And you don’t want that.
Shipping can get complex with dropshipping. When running an online store, there might be times when a customer makes multiple orders. Unfortunately, if you have multiple suppliers, you might run into some trouble.
Now, because an order was made multiple times, each might be shipped out separately. This might make them arrive at different times, which confuses the customer. And because different suppliers have different rates, shipping can be a real headache.
Difficulty in Finding Reliable Suppliers and Manufacturers
Finding a reliable supplier is probably going to be your biggest challenge. You need a supplier that will provide quality products for sale. Unfortunately, a lot of them are fraudulent and untrustworthy.
Supplier Errors and Storage Issues
Your suppliers are a crucial part of your dropshipping operation. If they mess up, you’re the one who has to face the customer and deal with any fallout. This could be anything from slow shipping times, lost packages, or sending the wrong item. On top of that, suppliers might have storage issues, leading to damaged products.
A very common risk you might have to face is the possibility of selling low-quality products. Since you never get to see the product, you don’t have control over its quality. So you won’t even know if what you’re selling is good or not. And then, if your customers receive poor-quality goods, it can ruin your reputation.
At Globallyfulfill, we source only the finest quality products for our clients. Our meticulous quality inspection of every single item guarantees low defect rates. And if you find any defective products, our return policy protects your business.
Easiest Way to Start Dropshipping from Scratch
Step 1: Marketing Research
Before starting any business, you must conduct thorough marketing research. How can you start a business if you don’t even know what the market entails?
Market research is understanding your market, choosing profitable products, and monitoring your competitors. While that might sound like rocket science, it’s quite easy.
Firstly you’ll need to know how the business works from the inside out. This involves getting in deep. What’s required to start? What type of dropshipping do you want to practice?
Finally, you have to know what niche and product is most profitable. You have to be familiar with the things you need to avoid. You must know what suppliers are trustworthy enough to partner with. And finally, what platforms best meet your needs?
Once you have all this sorted, you want to study your competitors. What did they do to get successful? You have to analyze their business strategy and implement their best practices.
All these are important before starting so you don’t make mistakes. Because the thing about mistakes is that, most times, they’re avoidable and expensive. And you don’t want to be cut in that net.
Step 2: Build an Online Store
Once you’ve completed your marketing research, the next step is building your store.
So many reliable e-commerce platforms can host your store, and Shopify is the most popular. However, while Shopify is well-known, it’s not the only platform offering great services.
When picking a platform to build your website, you must consider the service type you want. For example, do you want an option that is technical and have you managing some aspects of your store? Or do you want one that takes care of everything for you?
But let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves.
Before you even consider building your online store, you must get a domain name. There are many sites out there that can help you choose a name that hasn’t been used before. Once you’ve selected your domain name and your hosting platform, you can build your online store.
Step 3: Select Suppliers
Choosing a supplier is very critical in starting your dropshipping business at home. A good supplier is the backbone of your business because, without the right one, you won’t have any products to sell.
However, finding one isn’t that easy. While dropshipping platforms provide suppliers, choosing one from the masses can be tricky. What’s worse, many scammers are out there targeting beginner dropshippers. So you’ll need a trustworthy supplier to fulfill your orders.
Step 4: Source Products
After you’ve chosen a trustworthy and efficient supplier, you’ll need to source your products.
Now you can have your agent source and test them for you or do the entire process yourself. Just keep in mind that finding high-quality products yourself can be difficult.
But with Globallyfulfill, you won’t have to worry about getting your sleeves dirty. We will source the best products for you with our expertise and years of experience in China.
Step 5: Develop a Marketing Strategy
Now that you’ve gotten all this sorted, you’re going to come up with a marketing strategy. This will effectively place you in front of your audience and drive traffic to your store. Again, there are lots of ways to go about this. Just make sure you do your research beforehand.
Best Platforms for Your Dropshipping Business
Now that you know how to start a dropshipping business at home, you need a reliable platform to host your store.
Choosing the right platform can make or break your business. But with so many options, it can be a tough choice. Here are some of the best platforms for your dropshipping business.
Whenever I think of dropshipping, I think of Shopify. It is one of the most popular e-commerce platforms in the world and for a good reason.
This user-friendly platform is easy to set up and offers various customizable themes. In addition, Shopify handles everything for you, making it great for beginners.
Once you sign up on Shopify, you’ll get a secure website and can start taking orders immediately. The major problem is that compared to their competitors, they are pretty expensive. But that’s only because of all the amazing features it offers.
Since integrating with Oberlo, a drop shipping app, Shopify has stood out from the rest. This integration makes it easy to find products to sell, add them to your store, and ship them to your customers. To top it off, their sales, marketing, and SEO tools boost your online visibility and drive more sales.
If you prefer a more hands-on approach, then WooCommerce might be the right choice. WooCommerce is an open-source eCommerce platform that lets you totally control your store. It’s built on WordPress, which is free and easy to use.
What makes WooCommerce so popular is its flexibility. It’s free plugins like AliDropship, and Dropified connect you with major suppliers. The best part is that it’s all entirely free. Well, that excludes hosting and premium plugins, of course.
The major drawback of WooCommerce is that you’ll have to get your web hosting. This requires some technical knowledge to install.
BigCommerce is another powerful platform that makes online selling a breeze. It is very similar to Shopify because it is a fully hosted platform that’s easy to use.
Now it might not be as popular as Shopify, but it has features and offerings that are just as great. BigCommerce stands out because it lets you build your store without third-party apps.
With BigCommerce, you can manage and update your product listings easily. It also lets you handle returns and automate shipping processes. And they work with dropshipping apps like Printful and AliExpress Dropshipping. This lets you fill up your store and process orders with just a few clicks.
In this article, we’ve discussed what dropshipping is and how it works. We’ve also gone through all its benefits and disadvantages. And finally, we shared the best platforms for dropshipping and a step to step guide on setting your store up.
Dropshipping is a fantastic avenue to make money right from the comfort of your home. It’s flexible, lower risk, and has the potential for significant profits.
Working from home, you can run your dropshipping business around your schedule. This’ll create a much-needed healthy work-life balance. And, with the world at your fingertips, you can sell your goods worldwide.
Dropshipping empowers you to be your own boss. Just make sure you plan ahead and well before diving in.