So you want to learn how to start dropshipping? You may have been inundated with Youtube or Facebook Ads from guru’s promising to teach you how to do it, while you’ve been spending hours watching free Youtube videos. Maybe you stumbled across my blog while looking for course reviews or tutorials.
There is a lot of trash online on the topic of starting a drop shipping business.
Trust me. When I started there was no courses on the topic and an e-commerce store consisted of a static home page and traffic was directed to that page.
Finding drop shippers was difficult as no one actually knew what that term actually meant.
Roll forward to 2019 and we now have sales funnels, traffic platforms, gurus, courses, domains, adsets, ROAS and many different terms being thrown around.
This guide isn’t going to show you how to build your store, there’s plenty of videos out there on how to start a Shopify store, installing apps and choosing a premium theme.
Today I’m going to give you my 7 actionable steps on how to start drop shipping.
- Learn the concept of e-commerce and online business
- Build a general store
- Find a product that solves a problem
- Find a supplier that offers that product
- Test that product extensively
- Not working? Rinse and repeat
- Scale your store.
How To Start Dropshipping
The first thing you need to do is the learn everything you possibly can about e-commerce and online business. There are many free resources out there, then there’s the courses.
I’ve reviewed over 50 dropshipping courses over the last three years. You definitely don’t get what you pay for and the best training often comes in the smallest of investments.
eCom Elites by Franklin Hatchett offers 175+ videos on the topic of building an online business and dropshipping with both Shopify and Clickfunnels (sales funnels).
You need to consider your time and whether you can find all the content a course offers you for free or simply pay $297 and get access to everything you need instantly. There’s over 20 hours of content, I’d recommend going through it all first.
Once you’re done with the content, subscribe to the exclusive VIP mastermind Facebook group and ask questions, learn from others and ensure you know everything there is to know about dropshipping.
Build A General Store
When I started out, I made the mistake of starting a niche store. This was back 6 or 7 years ago when competition was far lower but I still tried to start an electronics store.
Big mistake. Why would anyone buy from me when Walmart and Amazon control the pricing on pretty much every consumer electronic product on the market?
I wasted a ton of money on Google Ads and had little to show for it.
That’s when I discovered the best way to start a dropshipping business is to create a general store.
Walmart, is a general store. They sell a shit ton of products in every niche you can think of. If they buy something that doesn’t sell they simply remove it from the shelves and replace it with something else.
You need to use the same mentality as Walmart and Amazon.
A general store allows you to test products continuously without visitors to your store ending up dazed and confused. You couldn’t upload kitchen products to a site about clothing.
But you could do that if your site was called, JoesWarehouse.
But not if your site was JillsLeggings.
Lesson: Start a general store first, you can sell anything.
Find A Problem Solving Product
In my opinion the best products are ones that solve a problem or cause people to think, ‘I need that now.’
Posts on Facebook with the most engagement (ones people are sharing) don’t always mean more sales, despite what the biggest guru’s will tell you in their courses.
It’s the same in the real world, products that solve problems are winning products.
Apply this mentality to products you own around your own home. Smartphone, Television, Computer, these serve a purpose for building a business, watching the news, talking to prospects.
Some more niche products might include an anti theft backpack, a tooth brush holder or an egg white cooking tool. These all solve a problem.
Products that don’t solve problems can work too but it’s more of an impulse buy and may or may not sell well. Examples include clothing, food, subscription boxes, video games etc.
Lesson: There is always problems people have, find those, solve them.
Websites to get inspiration for such products include Thieve.co
Find a Supplier
Most people look for a supplier first then a product and this is the wrong way in my opinion.
If you’re from a smaller country such as New Zealand it’s unlikely you’ll find suppliers labeling themselves as drop shippers so if you sign up with the first one you find you’re going to be selling the same products as everyone else.
The correct way is to find a suitable product.. then find a supplier.
If you used Thieve.co above then you can find the Aliexpress supplier for each product.
Aliexpress is a good place to find a dropship supplier.
Finding a local supplier is even better but shipping can be problematic especially for international customers. Aliexpress is based in China where worldwide shipping is super cheap.
Don’t be put off by dropshipping from China either. I have setup and used Aliexpress suppliers for many stores over the year, you just need to be very clear on your store that shipping can take 2-3 weeks.
Websites such as Salehoo which claim to offer dropship directories simply do not work anymore. They make money by simply listing out old supplier details that everyone is spamming for business.
Lesson: Use Aliexpress to start with then explore local suppliers.
Test Your Product
Before you waste time buying and dreaming about what you’re going to do when you make millions from e-commerce you need to start testing your products right away.
Setup a social media page with your chosen platform. I’d opt for Facebook, Instagram and Google Ads to start with.
Start by creating an awesome video ad for your product.
Video ads work much better than a photo as you can show people exactly what your product can do.
Don’t worry if you have no idea how to make a video ad. Platforms such as Clipman exist for this very purpose and can turn a few photos and text into professional videos.
Other options include buying the product yourself and using a smartphone to record some basic content.
Add captions to your video as most people don’t use sound on social media browsing.
I’m not going to get into the depths of social media ads here, Franklin offers over 50 videos on everything you need on this topic in his $297 course here.
If Facebook/Instagram ads aren’t working for your product then you should look at using Google Ads which again is covered in great detail in eCom Elites.
You’ll need to spend $25-50 per day testing your product through multiple adsets.
Not Every Product Works
If you’re expecting to hit payday on your first product then unfortunately I don’t think you’re best suited to starting a dropshipping business as it’s going to take time and effort to see results.
I’d compare this to starting a new hobby. Fail once, try again, fail twice, try again and eventually you’ll get the hang of it. As humans this is simply how our lives operate.
Why should business or dropshipping be any different?
If you just lost $50 on promoting your first product with no sales, don’t give up.
Try again with a different product or change your targeting and adset and try again.
When I started, I lost well over $10,000 before I made any money.
But if I compare this to my friends who started brick and mortar businesses and lost over $250,000 in the global recession it’s absolutely nothing.
The other benefit is losses are carried forward and are a tax write off when you do actually make money.
Look at Donald Trump, he lost nearly a billion dollars and hasn’t paid tax in over 18 years.
So don’t be afraid to lose money to make money.
You’re learning and will eventually find that winning product!
Once you do, it’s the most rewarding payday you’ll ever get.
Lesson: Testing products will help you find a winner.
Scale Your Store
Once you’ve found a winning product, you need to move fast and capitalize on that success. It won’t be long before someone decides to copy you and spend more on ads than you’re able to spend.
Franklin Hatchett is one of the best examples of scaling stores from a few hundred dollars to 7 figures.
Scaling requires an element of risk.
You need to max out your daily ad spend and you may even need a credit card to pay for your ads upfront.
Businesses outside the USA may need to wait a few days for money to transfer from Stripe or Shopify into their accounts which can hurt cashflow.
If you can manage your cashflow, create and scale winning ads and focus on delivering your products fast then you will succeed with drop shipping.
If not, you will probably end up like most businesses and failing.
But I have faith in you, don’t give up.
Now you know how to start a dropshipping business, get out there and start building your business. Want to learn more, join eCom Elites and learn from the very best on how to start a dropshipping business fast. Get access to over 175+ videos, hours of content, a private mastermind group and the best part it’s only $297.