Increasing your cash flow while spending as little time as possible working a second job is a dream come true for most of us. If you are one of the many people looking to engage in a side hustle, you may currently be exploring your options. One way to know if dropshipping is right for you is to consider whether or not you want to break into the ecommerce market, but don’t want to invest too much money into the process. If this describes you, dropshipping may be one way for you to dabble without investing too much startup money or time. If you heard about dropshipping but have questions about what it is and if it will work for you, we’re here to help.
What exactly is dropshipping? Dropshipping is a method by which an ecommerce business fulfills consumer orders, but does not keep products in stock. An online store that wants to sell a product purchases the items from a third party and has it shipped directly to the consumer. There is little to no startup cost involved because there are no raw materials, no production, and no storage involved. Time commitment varies, depending on the amount of effort required to develop your ecommerce business website, select products to sell, and choose from dropshipping suppliers.
It is important to remember that it is your dropshipping suppliers who will shoulder the burdens of warehousing the product, shipping it, and supervising the employees required to pick and pack your orders. These services allow you to select from thousands of products you can sell to potential customers. Dropshipping is easier if you have some experience with ecommerce to begin with, so it’s important to keep that in mind as you begin thinking about whether or not it is right for you.
Why would I want to start a dropshipping company? Dropshipping doesn’t require you to develop, make, or house the products you sell. You will not have to purchase the raw materials required to create your product, you will not need to buy or manage inventory, and you will not have startup fees and overhead expenses. You can run your business from your home, using only a computer and the internet. This method will allow you a flexible work schedule that accommodates your family, home, and primary employment obligations.
You will not be restricted to one location, which allows you the freedom to make money wherever you want. It also allows you a chance to explore a niche line with little to no risk on your part. A dropshipping company can be up and running in 48 hours if you’re willing to make a plan and implement it.
Does dropshipping work? Regardless of what kind of business you start, a successful one requires time, effort, and energy. Even if you are working from home, you will need to invest in the business. As your business grows, you will need to consider how to dropship nationally. You won’t have to worry about an increase in sales because you do not need to increase production, but scalability will increase the amount of time you will need to invest in your business, especially in developing and maintaining a business website.
What are some concerns for dropshippers? Having internet or ecommerce experience is a definitive plus for those who want to start a dropshipping company. Even if you are technologically savvy, many useful apps can be added to your site that you may want and need to explore. Dropshipping means you will need to learn how to obtain and display well organized visual images of your content, and may even want to include accurate and enticing descriptions of the items you sell. It will be important to engage in good customer service practices and remain responsive to your consumers.
No business is without issues, so keep in mind that dealing with disgruntled customers, product returns, and negative online feedback all come with the territory of running a company, even an ecommerce one. You also have little to no control over the supply chain, so you may find it difficult to increase sales, deal with subpar products, or negotiate returns.
Dropshipping has advantages and disadvantages. Knowing the good, bad, and ugly of a business proposition is important before deciding whether or not you want to invest your time and effort in it. Dropshipping success stories have indicated that one can make in excess of several thousand dollars a month; but it’s important to remember that, at the onset, you will likely have low profit margins. Dropshipping is highly competitive, and although there are many incredible stories of wealth to be gained, many more dropshippers are making bringing in a modicum amount in comparison.
What ideas do you have for starting a dropshipping business? Feel free to comment below.