So, you’re looking for a way to get into business for yourself and you don’t have a lot of upfront capital? It could be that drop shipping is just the thing for you. In this article we give a brief overview of the basics to get you started.
What Is Drop Shipping?
A drop shipper is someone who buys wholesale from a supplier and sells retail to online customers.
The beauty of drop shipping is that you don’t have to deal directly with any merchandise. You won’t need to manufacture a product. Neither will you need a warehouse, nor will you need to fill your garage or your spare bedroom up with products that may or may not sell. No, you work with suppliers who ship directly to your customers as the orders come in.
For many, drop shipping has opened the door to having a profitable online business of their own.
Some drop shippers say they started with no money at all, but most of the people who have traveled this road recommend having a small nest egg in the beginning for upfront expenses.
Your key function as a drop shipper, besides the actual running of your business, will be marketing. So you’ll need to get good at that if you want to have a drop shipping business that rocks.
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Keep Things Straight from the Very Beginning
The very first thing you should do when you’re starting a drop shipping business—or any business, for that matter—is to separate your personal affairs from the activities of your drop shipping business.
Set up business accounts with your bank as well as a business email account. This will make handling your money and staying organized much easier. The last thing you want to do is to get your personal funds mixed up with your business funds. It will be a nightmare come tax time if you do!
Additionally, you’ll want to set up a PayPal account that’s strictly for your business. After all, you’re going to need some way for your customers to pay you for the products they purchase from your online store.
Don’t Reinvent the Wheel
Remember, you’re not the first entrepreneur who set out to start a drop shipping business. You can learn from those who’ve gone before you, but YouTube videos can take you only so far. Take an online course or two so you can learn from the professionals and do it right.
Choose a Platform
Next, choose a platform for your ecommerce store. While once eBay and Amazon dominated the field, today you have several to choose from, including Shopify, Etsy, WooCommerce, and more. Regardless of the platform you choose, the principles of drop shipping are basically the same.
Design Your Site
If possible, spring for a well designed site. And if you don’t have the expertise to do the coding yourself, hire a talented freelancer to build your site for you. This is one area where you don’t want to cut corners, as your site itself will be one of your key marketing tools.
Source Your Products
You might already have an idea of the products you’d like to sell. However, if you don’t, there are several suppliers you can find online. One of the best ones we’ve heard about is Printify.
Printify is a print-on-demand solution that has been popular among Shopify users for quite some time. As a matter of fact, their website boasts 5-star ratings from more than 300 customers. And now, Printify is reaching out to WooCommerce and Etsy users as well.
Especially if you’re the creative type, you’ll love their services. Their catalog includes a full range of printable items, including custom shirts, hoodies, phone cases, mugs, laptop sleeves, tote bags, pillows, blankets, even shower curtains.
How it works is you pick the product you want to sell, then upload your printable design to Printify. A few days later, you approve the samples and add the item to your online store so your customers can find it. Printify takes care of the billing, the manufacturing requests, and the shipping, so all you need to do is sell your customized printed product to your online customers.
You’re on Your Way
So if you’ve known for a while that you wanted to go into business for yourself, look into drop shipping. Do your research and learn from the experts. Then, in hardly any time at all, and with very little money invested, you could soon be the owner of a profitable ecommerce store.
About the Author
Carrol Strain is a Top Rated Premium copywriter on Upwork, as well as editor and on-call writer for the Business Opportunities blog.