With millions of buyers placing orders now and again, sellers need reliable suppliers who can take charge of the manufacturing and delivery side of things. This is where dropshipping comes in.
Dropshipping is a method of fulfilling customer orders. Sellers don’t keep or maintain an inventory of the products they sell. Instead, they fulfill the orders with the help of a third party supplier/wholesaler/manufacturer. In dropshipping, the seller markets the product and receives the orders. The responsibility of manufacturing, picking, packaging, and shipping falls to a reliable supplier or manufacturer.
Is Dropshipping Legal?
Yes. Dropshipping is legal. You can start your dropshipping business by opening an online store. All you have to do is fulfill your tax obligations stated by your state or country.
Dropshipping doesn’t need a business license. But it is advisable to get one, more so when you have your own branded storefront. A licensed business comes in handy when dealing with lawsuits or taxes. It also helps you get product insurance, which protects you in case of customer complaints.
Also, to keep the law, ensure that you and your suppliers don’t sell counterfeit products. Only deal in brands allowed by a region’s regulatory body.
Many sellers, especially online sellers, dropship because it eliminates inventory-related costs. Doing away with these costs increases the profitability of a business. Below are some of the other benefits of dropshipping.
Low startup costs; dropshipping is easy to start.
Anyone from anywhere can become a dropshipper. This is because of the low or non-existent startup costs needed to startup a dropshipping business. To start/run a successful dropshipping business, you need a product or service, a ready market, reliable suppliers, and a good internet connection.
Dropshipping does away with costs like renting business premises, inventory, transport, logistics, or hiring staff to order or arrange the stock.
Low inventory management
In dropshipping, a business owner doesn’t keep inventory. This means that you don’t incur costs in buying stock, tracking the inventory, hiring storage facilities to keep the inventory, hiring workers to move and arrange the inventory, transport, shipping, and logistics.
Dropshipping also eliminates the risks that come with holding inventory. Such risks include overstock, damaged goods, and store returns.
Diverse product offering
As a small business or store, you may not have the capital and resources to produce large volumes of products, more so in so many varieties. But with dropshipping, all this is possible. You can have limitless choices of products that you offer to your clients.
Product diversification enables you to have a wide funnel in the market. It helps you to tap into different market segments and maximize your sales. It gives you so many options to sell without the hindrance of storing inventory.
Running a dropshipping business simplifies life. It makes owning and running a business more convenient. It does away with the physical limitations of running a business. With dropshipping, you can open your business in any part of the world. You can work remotely from the comfort of your home.
You can sell any range of product offerings, which you can change as frequently as you like to meet the market demand.
In dropshipping, you do what makes you happy from anywhere while earning a decent amount of money.
Forget about business overstock or understock. With dropshipping, the supply is always proportional to the demand.
However much the demand or purchasing power is in peak seasons, you can effortlessly meet it with the help, you reliable suppliers. And when it comes to business downtimes where the demand is low, there is no need to worry about surplus products.
How to Start Dropshipping?
Dropshipping happens in four easy steps;
- A customer makes an order at your store and pays the product’s listed price.
- You (the seller/ retailer) process the order and forward it to your supplier.
- The wholesaler/supplier then makes the order, packages it, and ships it directly to your customer.
- The customer receives the order.
To start a dropshipping business, these are some steps you must follow.
Choose a niche of your choice.
Decide on the type of business you will do. How do you go about this?
Carry out market research and identify the right market opportunity for you. Choose a business or niche with a ready market with low seller competition.
Choose a product that your suppliers can provide. Also, look for a product that doesn’t need you to maintain physical inventory.
Create your online store (dropshipping site)
Once you have selected your product choice, open an online store.
You can do this on any eCommerce platform of your choice, say, Amazon, Etsy, and Bonanza. Or you can open your own branded store with the help of website or store builders like Wholesale2B. You get your domain name and leave the dropshipping platform to fulfill your orders with this option.
But whatever your choice is, use a platform that aligns with your business goals, has worldwide visibility, excellent user experience, and customer care, and has a good reputation.
Choose a reliable wholesaler or supplier.
Suppliers can make or break your business. For this reason, only do business with trusted suppliers. Excellent order fulfillment increases customer satisfaction, while poor fulfillment leads to customer dissatisfaction.
So do your research and choose a supplier with an established reputation with a proven track record of good/successful retailer partnerships. Also, never rely on only one supplier. Form partnerships with many suppliers so that in case one fails to meet your order or goes out of business, you can use another.
Commence business (open shop)
Advertise your store and start receiving orders.
Platforms to Dropship on
Here are the best dropshipping platforms you can use to run a profitable dropshipping business or eCommerce store.
Wholesale2B is a versatile all-in-one dropshipping platform. It simplifies the whole eCommerce process; W2B caters to all your eCommerce and dropshipping needs from start to finish.
- It creates the store for you.
- It processes your orders with the suppliers.
The Wholesale2B dropship website plan allows you to set up and open a branded store using the free plan, which comes with a diverse selection of products to sell. (It creates a store for you. Your only role is to select your products from its selection of dropshipping products. With W2B, you can drop ship more than a million products.) The W2B website plan provides website hosting with unlimited bandwidth.
Wholesale2B handles all your order fulfillment needs using its trusted network of suppliers. It doesn’t only stop at that; it also ensures that the products are shipped to the right customers.
W2B also allows you to sell products on different eCommerce platforms like Amazon, eBay, Shopify, Woo Commerce, your own Wholesale2B store, BigCommerce, Weebly, and Magento.
Wholesale2B has many features that will help you run a successful dropshipping business.
If you are looking for a great dropshipper with a trusted supplier database, SaleHoo is your best option. It has a database of over 8000 suppliers or wholesalers. But this comes with a catch; a yearly membership plan of $67.
With SaleHoo, you are assured of getting verified or authentic goods. This is because the platform thoroughly screens all its members before adding them to their database. It also provides great customer service.
SaleHoo’s wholesaler database helps you perform better than other dropshippers. This is because SaleHoo provides market research data that helps you know about the current market conditions, prices, and trends. You can use this information to compare prices with the competition (other dropshippers) and make profitable strategic decisions.
Do you have a Wix store and want to automate your dropshipping business? Then Modalyst is the best platform for you. Modalyst is the best Wix dropshipping plugin.
Modalyst has a free starter plan you can start with. Using it connects you directly with your suppliers, thereby helping you provide your customers’ orders. Modalyst has a wide range of product offerings, say, jewelry, clothing, accessories.
Modalyst has an easy-to-use platform. It has a centralized dashboard that you can use to connect with different suppliers. To start selling, integrate Modalyst with your Wix store. You can start with its free plan with a product limit of 25 items.
Why We Don’t Recommend AliExpress or Orbelo
AliExpress is a global retailer owned by Alibaba Group. Although it started as a B2B buying eCommerce platform, it has diversified its operations to include business to consumer, consumer to consumer payment services, and cloud computing.
Although AliExpress is legit and offers some good deals, it is notorious for fraud. AliExpress has very cheap commodities, some at unbelievably lower prices than usual. The scammers on AliExpress use the promise of a lifetime deal, the too good to be true deals, to lure you in. And if you buy these super discounted products, you may end up with counterfeit goods or a scammer.
AliExpress rarely deals in branded goods. And if you do find them, there is a high possibility that they’re fake. Shipping fake branded goods is often illegal. This is because some countries give branded goods special protection. So if you reside in such a country and buy fake branded goods from AliExpress, your goods will be seized upon inspection for breaking the law.
It is also not advisable to buy memory cards and graphics cards from AliExpress. Most of these devices are fakes. With AliExpress, what you see is not what you get. Many people who buy memory storage devices from AliExpress find out that the storage space on these memory sticks or cards is a lot less than what they paid for.
Orbelo is a dropshipping platform or app, or software that helps dropshippers manage their businesses in a better way than before. It does this by connecting store owners to suppliers or wholesalers.
Orbelo provides a full store integration with AliExpress and Shopify. It makes it easy for dropshippers to find and add products to their stores and ship them directly to their customers. You can also use the platform’s tools to manage your dropshipping business, import products, and fulfil orders.
So, how does Orbelo work with AliExpress? AliExpress uses Orbelo to allow users to import products directly from AliExpress and sell them directly in your Shopify store with a few clicks.
Why not Orbelo?
- Orbelo is only limited to AliExpress and Shopify. So it is only great for Shopify stores that want to import items from AliExpress. So, if you are on any other eCommerce platform, you can’t use it.
- Orbelo doesn’t support the sell some products.
- Orbelo’s bestsellers’ category has a lot of competition, making it harder for your business to stand out.
Where Should I Find Products to Dropship?
You find products to sell at the dropshipping platform you use. Say, Wholesale2B. When setting up your store on these platforms, they give you a list of items they can drop ship for you. And you can add products to your store by selecting items off the list.
Cheapest dropship products
- Clothes (t-shirts, dresses)
- Baby clothes
- Athletics and leisurewear (tank tops, leggings, sports bras, hoodies)
- Wall art and picture frames
- Personalized mugs
- Baby toys
- Water bottles
- Face masks
- Hats and caps (baseball caps, beach hats, wooly hats, bucket hats)
Wholesale Dropship Products
- Music or records
- Toys and collectibles
- Video games
Free Dropshipping/Dropship for Free
Free dropshippers don’t charge you yearly or monthly fees. They instead charge you only for the cost of the items you ship to your customers. Some of the best free dropshipping sites like Wholesale2B, WooCommerce, Ecwid, SaleHoo provide free resources that you can use to start or take your dropshipping business to the next level. Some of these free services include:
- product research.
- helping you find bestselling or winning products
- building an eCommerce store
- connecting you with suppliers
Best Resources for Dropshipping
To have a successful dropshipping business, you need market research resources.
Product or market research tools.
To dropship, you need to utilize the following resources to know trending items or products. These are some of the resources to use;
- Google trends
- Amazon bestsellers
- eBay watch count
- SaleHoo market research lab
- You can search the old-fashioned way using Google. For example, if you are in the wellness niche, you can type in wellness products, then Google will bring you a selection of the trending wellness products.
Browsing through these resources helps you find huge profit potential products that can become bestsellers.
You can also search through social shopping sites like Etsy, Pinterest for products that sell.
Other dropshipping resources include;
- Free traffic websites
- Visitor analytics tools
- Dropshipping suppliers
Is dropshipping worth it/still profitable?
Yes, dropshipping is worth it. Dropshipping is a low-cost venture that does away with inventory-related costs. And this makes it profitable. It doesn’t matter if you are a veteran dropshipper or newbie. You can earn good money from drop shipping if you do things right.
All you have to do is to sell the right product to the right people or niche using suitable suppliers.
5 Tips for Newbie Dropshipper
Sell strategic products/items.
These are the best products to dropship;
- Products that solve a problem
- Products that you can’t easily find selling elsewhere
- Eye-catching products
Focus on a niche or specific market segment
The items you dropship all depend on your target market. So how do you know what products your niche wants? You can join online communities and forums that your target audience uses. This will help you know the kind of products your niche likes. You can use these social groups as sources of market and product research.
Join the different groups unique to your niche. You can join fitness/gardening/mother groups. Becoming a member will help you understand your target market’s pain points and needs. And this can help you sell the correct goods.
Selling niche-specific items increases consumer engagement and sales.
Sell seasonal merchandise.
Even though you deal in other products, always seize market opportunities. If you specialize in selling clothing or apparel, you can maximize your sale opportunities by selling merch in the peak seasons.
Such seasons include Christmas, Easter, Halloween, football season. And the beauty about dropshipping is that you can never run out of stock.
Sell in different marketplaces.
Every eCommerce marketplace has its strong points and market share. Selling in different marketplaces increases your brands and product reach and sales.
Provide excellent customer service.
A happy customer makes a repeat buyer. So, ensure that you give your clients quality service. You can do this by sourcing your products from reputable suppliers and satisfactorily handling customer complaints and correspondence.
Dropshipping is eCommerce made easy, and there’s no better place to start than wholesale2b. We’ll help you setup an automated dropshipping website and find the best products for your customers, so why wait? get started today! set up your online store on our one-stop dropshipping platform.