Successful Online Selling
 

Dropshipping Essential Tips

quick tips for dropshippingDropshipping provides just about anyone with the potential to start selling products online using eBay and the internet, with virtually no investment or risk.

You find a good dropshipping supplier, sell items they stock, place an order with them, and then sit back and count the profit!

They even ship the goods to your customer for you. On the face of it, this sounds like a great way to start a business on eBay, but here are some essential tips to make sure your dropshipping experience is a good one.

Finding a supplier

There are essentially two ways you can go about finding your dropship supplier; find and contact the suppliers yourself, or use one of the many dropshipper directories who have hundreds, if not thousands of suppliers you can use.

There are pros and cons to both. If you go it alone, you will have to be a lot more diligent in your assessment of any new dropshippers, to make sure you are working with reliable suppliers. However, you could get access to better deals, which other sellers couldn't be bothered to search out.

If you use a directory, particularly a reputable one, you might find a lot of the checks have been done for you.

But you usually have to pay for access to these directories, and because they make it easier for sellers, they are very popular, which means lots of competition.

drop ship blueprint

However you find your dropshipper, it's always worth seeing what their other users think of them. The internet makes it very easy to see if there are any reviews of their service from current customers, but make sure you take a balanced view and are not put off by just one bad comment.

You might even ask the supplier for a reference from a customer in your country which you can check, or see if they (or the directory) are registered with consumer organizations like the Better Business Bureau.

Consider placing a test order to see how the supplier performs - you'll get to assess the quality of the goods, as well as the delivery and service your customer will be experiencing.

Make sure you know all the costs your dropshipper is going to charge - some may charge a handling fee for shipping the item for you.

Although you can expect to pay a fee to the directories that give you information about suppliers, be wary of any wholesaler who wants to charge you a "membership" fee to get access to their product catalog.

Be aware of dropshippers who insist on minimum order quantities as well, whilst you may get bigger discounts for ordering more, most dropship suppliers should be happy to sell individual items.

A lot of the time, dropshippers and the directories will show their discounted costs in comparison to the Recommended Retail Price (RRP) of a product, in order to show the healthy profit you could make.

However, you are unlikely to get the RRP for your sales, so check out the completed listing on eBay to get a better idea of what the item will go for, and the profit you will make.

Also, don't forget to include your eBay fees when you are calculating what profit you can make from a supplier.

Because the dropshipper service is sending your items straight to your customers, you should understand how they ship their products. Do they use a reputable carrier like FedEx, or choose a cheaper, and perhaps less reliable service?

Do they ship internationally, if they are not based in your country, and how much extra do they charge for this? Are there countries they won't ship to?

What documentation do they provide in order to track shipments and prove delivery, in case you have any customers who don't receive their goods?

You need to make sure the supplier provides a fast and reliable delivery service as it will reflect on you, not them, if the customer is let down.

Selling dropshipped items

It's a good idea to let your potential customers know that when they buy the item, it will be delivered direct from the supplier. You don't have to explain the whole dropshipping process, but if they expect that it might take a little longer to get to them, they are less likely to be chasing you.

If there are any problems with the shipment, make sure you keep the buyer informed; they might not like it, but they will hopefully be more understanding. Also, be aware that eBay sellers are required to state the location of the item.

Find out if your dropshipper offers a returns policy, and exactly what it is. This will be essential if your customers have any problems with their goods, but it might also be something you can advertise in your listings to increase sales.

Developing your dropshipping business

If you're new, or working with a new dropshipper, start small until you are happy with the process and are making some money.

Then, you can look to develop your dropshipping business, to increase your profits.

Consider selling a wider variety of goods. Because you only order items when you sell them, it's much easier to experiment with new markets and products - all it will cost you is a bit of time and the listing fee.

Look to work with more than one supplier. It makes sense to spread what little risk there is with dropshipping (out of stock items, delivery problems etc.), and by using a number of suppliers so that your business doesn't run in to trouble if a supplier does.

ebayfortune

You might also be able to negotiate better deals for your products if you have a number of suppliers you can use.

Don't be afraid to build relationships with dropshippers who want you to apply to become a customer.

This is usually a sign that they are reliable, and a lot of sellers will be too lazy to bother, meaning you might get a better supplier than your competition.

When you start out, you will probably pay for each item as you order it. But once you've placed a few orders with a supplier, try asking for credit so you can pay for all your purchases once a month, to help with your cash flow.

Also, a lot of wholesalers insist on large minimum order quantities before you can get a decent discount.

You could use your dropshipper as a wholesaler and order larger quantities of items that are selling, so you get a bigger discount, and have them all shipped to you.

You then ship them out to the customers when you sell them.

Dropshipping can be a really easy way to start, and develop, your eBay business, as long as you get it right. Follow these tips and you'll go a long way to making sure your dropshipping experience is a good, and profitable one.

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