If you follow my blog, and you look for real easy ways to make cash as my title implies, you might be dissapointed. Then comes dropshipping business. Hey, this dropship business does indeed sound like the real deal and an easy way to make money. In fact, it sounds like a God sent money making idea. But before you go all gaga about this online business model,please dude, don’t bet your bottom dollar yet. I really wish I could endorse this method and forget about blogging; just build a site and get a few suppliers from China and collect money right away.
At the same time, I would not say that dropshipping is a hoax because there are people whom were making sinful cash as seen on youtube. Why don’t we go through the pros and cons of this business and you gauge for yourself whether dropship is for you or otherwise. The pros are in the basics.
1. Research Products In Amazon
To search popular niches and products in Amazon, look in Google first. Just type “best sellers in Amazon 2019” and you will see a few sites that showcase the contents according to these keywords. Choose from the Amazon sites because you want to get it straight from the horse mouth.
Let’s not be over ambitious and select electronic gadgets or mobile gadgets. Trust me, you don’t stand a chance against big boys that dominate this niche. Find a smaller niche like the above, called leather and vinyl repair kit.
2. Find Suppliers From AliExpress
Now that you have decided to sell leather and vinyl kit on Amazon, start looking for suppliers. In theory, you can find anything you need under the sun from China and here comes AliExpress. You might wonder why not use Alibaba because you can get much cheaper price from the head to head competitor of Amazon. Look at the quantity. The minimum order from Alibaba is measured in tonnes as opposed to AliExpress. Let’s try finding your money maker in AliExpress.
Yeah by the way, you have to open an account on both Amazon FBA and AliExpress, lest you forget about these.
3. Set Up An E-Commerce Website
The type of e-commerce platform we are talking about in this discussion is B2C (Business to Consumer). Of course, if you get the model right, you could replicate your success for the B2C to B2B and even C2C. You just need to start from somewhere.
Basically, there are two types of E-commerce websites, the fully hosted and the self hosted. When we talked about self hosted website, the concept is similar with this blogging website.
The two most popular self hosted e-commerce platform in the market are WooCommerce and Magento. Just like a WordPress blog, you and your team run the show; from making sure of your website’s design to the nitty gritty stuffs like server maintenance and backups, clients’ credit card security and regulatory compliance, site uptime (you don’t want your e-commerce site to be down during Black Friday’s rush) and others. The cost of setting up a self hosted WooCommerce site is lower but considering the time and resources that you need to invest for maintenance, I wonder whether is it really worth it?
On the other hand, you can opt for fully hosted platforms like Shopify and Big Commerce. The cost of setting up is higher but, most of everything that you worry about are very much taken care of here. Once you have decided on the platform, you are open for business!
4. No Inventory Needed
That means if you are running a dropship business model, there is no cash tied up to the inventory. You don’t need a warehouse, no delivery man and vehicle, nada. You just import the pictures from AliExpress (make sure the links in the photographs are properly erased with thorough photoediting software to avoid your customers tracing back to the source) and put into your e-commerce site. Of course there and then, you put those items in your website on Amazon platform to showcase to the crowd in this powerful platform. Once you have setup your website, you merge your site to the Amazon Sales Channel. You can read about the steps here.
Now that you have set up your “online shop” you need leads. Unlike blogs, you don’t do this the slow way. You have tremendous savings from not carrying inventories and this is the time you spend on advertising. You want to drive traffic into your Amazon site because the Amazon FBA program handles all the logistic for you amidst a steep fee. Hey, Amazon is not charity, get it.
Study the use of keywords planner in Google and KWFinder. Be careful that you don’t execute the advetising in a rush because you could go bankrupt if you aren’t careful. Make a list of keywords that are related to your product by looking at the product’s name, the purpose and the goal of using it. Study the search volume. A big search volume does not necessary translate to sales conversion. On the other hand, a low search volume for a long tail keyword may just be the holy grail that you could use over and over for your campaign conversion.It all boils down to the finders’ intention when they search the keyword.
6. AliExpress and Amazon FBA WIll Handle The Rest
Once you made a sale in Amazon after your ad campaign, just get AliExpress to send the merchandise to Amazon FBA. Amazon FBA will manage the warehousing and the delivery to your customers once they received the goods from AliExpress (err…that’s another story). Well, sounds simple and doable right. Are you on track to start your dropship business now? Not so fast bro. Let us visit the cons now.
1. Your Favorite Chinese Suppliers Could BE Selling in Amazon and eBay Now
Imagine your own supplier competing with you for the same customers in Amazon. How? No thanks to that two headed snake called Amazon. Yeah, the very platform that you have been counting on has now turned against you. They have been promoting to the Chinese since 2016 and this caused a whole new eco-system once the Chinese enter the market. How do you compete on price?
2. The Chinese Could Play Dirty to Bring You Down
In the past, when your competitor wanted to play dirty, they could send thugs or even paid to badmouth your brand in the market. Now that we are in the internet era, welcome to Thug 2.0. I am not going to say which group of sellers but, yeah, sellers resort to posting fake negative reviews about you. Late deliveries, shoddy products, you name it. And they could post reviews under different IP addresses and I wonder even powerful Artificial Intelligence could detect these lies. On the same note, they could employ the same tactic to boost up their credentials by posting positive reviews. One final word of caution.
Do not feel overjoyed when your portfolio received like 20 positive reviews in a single day. That might just be a ploy to get your account axed via the no fake reviews rule of the powerful Amazon. Don’t rest on your laurels even when your products are trademark protected and patented. These new players could think up ways to make Amazon to believe that you are the impostor. Yes, there are cases where real owners whom actively protect their brand got kicked out from Amazon by ploys that you never thought of.
3.Amazon, the god of E-Commerce
Finally, enough of the dirty tricks by competitors to get you delisted. How about having to put up with Amazon despite doing everything by the book? There is a saying among Amazon sellers, Amazon usually won’t touch you when you were small, but trouble starts when you grow and hired staffs on your own. There are so many real life cases where sellers got to the wrong side of Amazon and suspended indefinitely. And if it’s any comfort to you, you don’t get to speak to a real person even when you try to appeal your case.
Once you step into the door of Amazon and your online business grow because of the powerful third party platform, you are noosed. You can’t stop the growth because you must fulfill the orders directed to you at all cost. Unless you want bad reviews that can get you suspended. When you grow with more staffs overhead and resources, that’s where your nightmare begins. One bad review from a single customer could put you in limbo for weeks and months. Imagine the financial turbulence that surrounds you if Amazon becomes your sole bread winner. Many resellers resorted to laying off and consolidating because of the cut throat competition.
Knowing the tricks (not all) that could derail your e-commerce dream, why not opt to do it all on your own website. Yes you might just drop dropshipping from your plan and the growth might not be as explosive. But you get to take control of nearly everything that comes in and going out from your site. Plan ahead and if you still insist on dropship using Amazon, learn more and have more plan Bs just in case.