Life, Love & Debt isn’t a dropshipping website, but over the years, I have dabbled in starting dropshipping businesses and have learned a lot from those successful dropshipping entrepreneurs. I haven’t conquered it yet, but maybe one day down the line I’ll have my own dropshipping business. For now, please enjoy this comprehensive post all about dropshipping with Shopify!
If you want to be an entrepreneur in the e-commerce business, but don’t have the resources to handle manufacturing, supply, and fulfillment, dropshipping could be the perfect option for you.
Dropshippers are free from managing inventory, so don’t worry about having space for products. When you sell items from your dropshipping store, the order is sent directly to a third party (your supplier), who then ships the item directly to the shopper. You don’t touch the product and your store only pays for what it sells.
It is pretty easy to start a dropshipping website. Thanks to website platforms like Shopify, it only takes a day or two to create your website, source the products you want to sell, and get them up for sale on your site.
Sounds too good to be true, I know.
The fact is that the setup is easy, so it’s a great business if you want to get your basic structure setup quickly. There are hurdles with dropshipping. Knowing what they are and how to prevent running into them is key.
Business Setup and Banking
First and foremost, you need to create a business and employer identification number (EIN) before you will be able to purchase from wholesalers or start dropshipping with Shopify. It is also wise to setup a business checking account as it is not a great idea to use your personal accounts for business purposes.
Get your free trial of Shopify
By heading over to Shopify.com, you can start your 14-day free trial. This will allow you to setup your store and sell. Once your 14-day trial is up, you will need to choose a plan, but the trial allows you a buffer to get everything up and in order prior to putting forth payment.
Shopify’s system walks you through the setup, so it will be an easy process! Don’t stress too much about designs. If you’re truly unsure, look at some of your soon-to-be competitors’ websites to give you an idea of what your audience will enjoy. Your goal should be to get your store up and going as quickly as possible, while also being proud of the storefront.
Find Great Products through Shopify
You can certainly sell products that you use daily or products that you know are popular, but we understand that those items can fluctuate in popularity and therefore your profitability will fluctuate.
Performing your own product research is an option, but one resource that is extremely helpful is Nichescraper. You can find products that are performing well, projected to perform well, and view Ali Express item performance. These are very helpful analytics whether you are using Shopify or dropshipping from your own website hosted by a different platform.
Along with million-dollar earning dropshippers, I recommend you have one item sent to yourself prior to promoting and selling it on your website. This lets you determine the quality of the product and provides you with an understanding of realistic shipping time.
Shipping Time is very Important
As previously mentioned, having a product sent to yourself first will give you an idea of how long it will take for a product to arrive at your doorstep after ordering. If your product is being shipped from China (which is very likely when using Ali Express), shipping can take quite a long time. This is a downfall of dropshipping with Ali Express, to get around this you can use Ali Express suppliers who use FedEx or UPS, or choose to search for a reputable US seller. Amazon is your competitor if you are a dropshipper, so you are competing with their two-day shipping option.
If you are having trouble fulfilling all of the orders that are coming in via your dropshipping website, most successful dropshipping entrepreneurs will tell you that it is worth it to hire a Virtual Assistant through Upwork. They are fairly inexpensive and are good at what they do. If you are unsure of the quality of the Assistant, you can check out their rating.
In this post, we reviewed how you get started with dropshipping; setting up your business, signing up for Shopify, creating your dropshipping website, sourcing great products, and filling orders.
Finding customers is the next step! Check out this next post to learn different methods of gaining new customers.