Dropshipping has become a popular way these days to passive income and it can earn dizzying amounts if done right. What dropshipping is and how to start it? Let me answer these questions for you.
What is dropshipping?
Dropshipping is a type of business, where you sell a product that someone else manufactures and keeps at stock. No, we are not talking about stealing here, but more of a type of marketing. You create an online store, offering a product you found on the internet to people. Once a person buys the product from your site, your site buys the product from the manufacturer, who sends it to the customer on your behalf. The product never gets physically to your hands. Everything is automated.
Real world example
Tim made a dropshipping e-shop in Hungary, offering this new posture-correcting product from China. Amy from the US finds the product on the store and buys it. The store sends the order to the manufacturer to China, automatically paying for the product. The manufacturer from China sends the product to Amy. The only thing Tim now does is to make sure, that money he received from Amy, covered his expenses like buying the product for her, shipping, marketing and taxes. If done correctly, everyone ends up happy in the end.
What do I actually need to start dropshipping?
First, you should know how to make a website. With dropshipping, I have experience with Shopify, but I am sure there are plugins for WordPress or any other site, like Wix. Here, I will focus on Shopify, as that is the platform I am familiar with. Maybe one day, they might even sponsor me. Anyway, to make a website, you can follow this article and then come back.
I won’t be showing you how to design your website, but rather how to get products on your page and be able to sell them without having them on the stock.
Step-By-Step product import for Shopify
Once you have a Shopify website, you should find yourself in your dashboard on your home screen. Don’t worry, it should be free for now. You can get your store ready before you buy the domain name and Shopify plan. I am not going to go through how to set up the visuals and user experience here. I might do so later, so if you’ll want to get a notification of when that happens, consider subscribing to my mailing list below.
Setting up dropshipping automation
Anyway, on your home screen, you want to look left to see your menu. To setup automated dropshipping, you need to first get an app that will do the ordering and adding products for you. Let’s use the most used app for this. Look to the left side of the screen and in the menu, select Apps and click the Visit the Shopify App Store button.
Once in the store, you will see countless of useful apps from chat apps to put on your site, to countdowns, review importers and more. You can install any of those on your website later, it’s up to you. Now though, install the app called Oberlo.
Simply put it in the search bar you see, click on it and click Add app. It should now open your Oberlo dashboard. If not, you’ll find it on your store page -> Apps -> Oberlo. Once there, you should see a dashboard with no sales (for now) and a menu on the left. Now, there are two ways you can add a product.
Finding the product
The first way, is to go to AliExpress, a Chinese marketplace, where you’ll find a product you need. I recommend finding products that offer shipping that’s 30 days or less. If you found a product for your niche, let’s say a watch, bracelet, wallet or whatever else you can think of, copy the products URL. Now, go back to Oberlo, click import list on the left and click “Add by URL or ID” button.
The other way is to use Oberlo’s Search Products menu on the left. This search method has two advantages. The first one is that you can import many products quickly just by pressing one button. The other is that you can see how many times the product was imported to a store and how many times it was sold in the last 30 days through Oberlo.
You should avoid products that are not being ordered. That is unless you have made your research and have a way to get them sold. Otherwise, look for products that are selling well.
So, once you have imported your products, you’ll find them in the import list. It should have a number next to it. You can now click it and see the products you have added. I’ve added one random product as an example to show you how to get it in your store.
Here don’t click the green button “Import to store” yet. First, you want to go through the product and change things like Title, Description, Pricing and what Images you want to use. Let’s take this step-by-step.
The title especially will be some long mess of words that are there to make it easier for the trader to be discovered on AliExpress. Since you are not on AliExpress anymore, but on your own site, this should be something normal, short and, if possible, catchy.
You’ll probably have no collections, types or tags set up yet, but don’t worry, you can always come back to this page.
Imported products from AliExpress have usually just description of the material, type etc. This is once again for their SEO, so they are found first.
On your store, your product description serves as a hook for a person to buy your product. You want to have a product description, you want to tell them that the shipping might take little longer than they are used to and then put any other necessary details like different sizes if you are selling a wearable product.
If you have a story to tell to each product or tell people who this product is for, those are only bonus points and should be included. Although, it should always be easy for your customer to find the necessary info, so don’t post novels into the description.
Here you can select the variants you want to sell in your store and more importantly, set up their pricing and shipping. Your price should cover the costs, shipping taxes and should still have some reasonable profit margin. Scout out the other products in your niche and find how much they sell for.
An interesting fact. If your product is too cheap, people are less likely to buy it, because they might believe it’s a scam or low-quality product. If your prices are too high, you’ll get less sales because you are limiting your audience.
Try to find the perfect price later by experimenting and slowly raising your prices. If your sales for the product go down, it’s time to stop raising the price.
The last tab is pretty much self-explanatory. You want to select the product images you want to appear in your store. Just make sure there are no images used that would have the logo of the company you buy your product from. You can leave it in if you wish, but this is generally confusing for the customer as they are buying the product from you. You are the one that makes sure they get a quality product.
And that’s it, you can now click the green button and import the product to your store. Once done, you should see this little bar pop-up at the bottom:
There, I recommend clicking the button “Edit product on Shopify”. Here you can change the last details, add tags, edit the prices and basically anything you need as final steps.
If you’ve done everything correctly, you should now find your product in your store under products. Just click the eye icon next to your “Online Store” button and navigate to your products page.
Research, add, edit, import, repeat
And that’s it. Now all you need to do is to repeat the process and import as many products as you seem fit. If a person now buys anything from your store, Oberlo orders it from AliExpress and sends it to the customer in your name. All you need to do now is to drive traffic to your store.
I would like to also recommend one important thing. Don’t try to put every product you find interesting on your page. Make your page as a niche site that sells only certain things. Stores focused on only one area have a much higher success rate. Some people even create websites for only one product and make it perfect.
What you also want to set up is a contact page, terms of service and all that good law stuff. We can talk about that later, but for now, I wanted to show you how dropshipping is done. How to basically add products into your store without the need of having your own stock and how most people do it.
If you’ve got this far, you probably have your first product on your site by now. Congratulations! If not, then now you at least have a knowledge about how the behind the scene stuff works.
In either way, I hope this post was informative and that you learned something new. I will make a post in the future about how to design your page on Shopify and how to setup your e-shop.
If you’d like to read that article one day, feel free to subscribe to my mailing list, you beautiful individual! Now, have a wonderful rest of the day and keep on hustling!
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