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Dropshipping with AliExpress – what do you need to know when setting up a store? 1024 576 DropshipDave

Dropshipping with AliExpress – what do you need to know when setting up a store?

AliExpress is one of the most popular marketplaces in the world. It is very popular mainly due to very low prices and a wide range of products. Products from China are also popular all over the world.

This is why many online retailers are choosing to dropshipping with AliExpress. Find out about the most important rules for this type of activity!

What is dropshipping with AliExpress?

Dropshipping is a model that allows you to conduct online sales without actually contacting the goods. The entrepreneur does not have to worry about the issues of deliveries, storage and shipments. Its activity is limited only to customer service, promotion and brand development.

The whole process can be reduced to 5 basic steps:

  • The customer orders the product in your online store.
  • You receive a payment from him for the ordered product.
  • You buy a given product on AliExpress, providing your customer’s address.
  • The AliExpress seller sends the goods to your customer.
  • You keep the margin as profit.

The pros and cons of dropshipping in AliExpress

The dropshipping model offers a lot of benefits that beginner sellers will especially enjoy. Unfortunately, when deciding to buy products on AliExpress, you also have to accept a few inconveniences.

The advantages of dropshipping from AliExpress include:

  • A very wide range – you can find literally anything in the product database.
  • No fees for conducting sales in dropshipping.
  • Very affordable prices, translating into high margins.
  • The offer includes the latest market novelties.

The disadvantages of dropshipping on AliExpress include:

  • Long waiting times for products ordered from China.
  • Quite a long credit card verification process when setting up an account.
  • Communication barriers due to the fact that not all providers know English.

What products to sell in dropshipping from AliExpress?

If you plan to sell products from AliExpress in dropshipping, first of all, you need to choose a niche for your store. This is one of the most important points in organizing your business, because it will determine the interest in your offer.

So try to find a niche that is not too common or prone to returns. Familiarize yourself with the categories available on AliExpress and decide which goods will be most popular in your country. Remember to avoid branded products as they may well turn out to be counterfeit.

To be sure about the selection of products, consider the number of orders for a given product to date, as well as the average of its ratings. An item bought at least 200-300 times and with a minimum of 4.5 stars will probably prove to be a safe investment. Also pay attention to the price – the lower, the higher the margin you can impose on the offered goods.

Also, do not forget that the supplier of your choice should offer quick delivery.

AliExpress dropshipping – basic rules

To enjoy the benefits of dropshipping on AliExpress, follow a few basic rules to ensure your brand’s success:

  • Bet on communication – although the entire process takes place via the Internet, it is worth talking to your suppliers. In many situations, their help will be necessary, and you can also get other benefits from good relations – for example, discounts for buying larger quantities of goods.
  • Compare Prices – On AliExpress, many sellers offer the same products at different prices. A little patience during research will allow you to save a lot – on a monthly or yearly basis, even small amounts will make a big difference.
  • Write your own product descriptions – the quality of the product is not your responsibility, but its marketing is. Original product descriptions will position your website higher in search engines and encourage customers to make transactions.
  • Offer free shipping – the prices on AliExpress are so affordable that thanks to the high margin you can safely offer your customers free shipping. This will give you a considerable advantage over your competition.
  • Contact your customers – delivery times for products from China can range from a 10 days to several months, so make sure your customers are well informed about the status of their order. Well-configured transactional e-mails will help you with this.

Returns and complaints in dropshipping from AliExpress

For obvious reasons, you have to deal with complaints and return requests yourself.

As long as they’re not too frequent or the product not too expensive, you can offer your customers a refund. If such cases become commonplace, verify the quality of the products sold and their compliance with the descriptions in your store.

AliExpress dropshipping – customs duty and VAT

Obviously, importing products from China sometimes involves the payment of customs duties and VAT. So make sure to inform your customers about this in your shop policies. Although these are rare cases, the shipment may be detained at the border, which will require the customer to bear these costs.

Customs duty applies to goods worth more than a certain amount. However, VAT applies to all products ordered from AliExpress, although it can sometimes be avoided. Chinese sellers sometimes mark their shipments as a gift from a private individual (“gift”) and use the help of intermediaries in the EU and USA. For goods with a value not exceeding EUR 45, this may exempt the recipient from paying VAT.

AliExpress – Dropshipping Store

You already know all the most important rules for selling in dropshipping with AliExpress. So it’s time to think about the form in which to offer products from AliExpress to your customers. Note that they often don’t even know where the goods they buy are being shipped from. Therefore, you must do everything possible to adapt your store to their needs. Take care of a clear interface, fast transaction process and functional integrations.

You can create an intuitive online store thanks to any SaaS platform. This type of software provides a number of advantages that will make it easier for you to manage your sales and customer service.

Summary

You may be wondering why consumers should buy from your store and not directly from AliExpress. This is because you take care of the whole – seemingly uncomfortable – process on their behalf. It covers communication with Chinese sellers, organizational issues, and possible complaints. So, follow the tips above to ensure your customers get the best experience possible!

What is dropshipping: opinions, advantages and disadvantages 1024 465 DropshipDave

What is dropshipping: opinions, advantages and disadvantages

If you’ve ever been interested in starting your own e-Commerce business, you’ve probably heard of the term “dropshipping”. It is a modern e-commerce business model that requires little financial investment to start with.

The practice of dropshipping was first introduced around 1928, but it lost strength due to the Great Depression. Toyota then implemented the Just-In-Time  (JIT) supply chain  in the 1950s. The benefits of JIT inventory management quickly became apparent. Such a modern business model eliminated the costs of transporting inventory and storing them by retailers.

Nowadays, dropshipping began to gain popularity as an effective eCommerce business model in 2006, when AliExpress became more and more popular in the United States.

At that time, few entrepreneurs were able to answer the question: what is dropshipping? As a result, only a few savvy sellers were able to take advantage of the low prices offered by AliExpress to run their online store as dropshipping.

Currently, it is estimated that over 30% of all online stores are based on the dropshipping model. The market is valued at USD 162.44 billion in 2019. Analysts estimate that by 2027 it will reach over USD 590 billion.

In this guide, we’ll look at the definition of dropshipping, its pros and cons. We will also learn the most common myths and opinions about dropshipping.

What is dropshipping

Dropshipping is an online retail order fulfillment model where, instead of stocking products in your store, you buy them directly from suppliers (when purchased by your customers) and ship them directly to your customers.

Dropshipping is when products are shipped directly from the manufacturer / wholesaler to the customer. The retailer performs dropshipping through its website and digital marketing activities. In such a situation, it is able to profit from the margin generated by circumventing the traditional retail supply chain. With this online business model, you don’t have to deal with many issues related to your sales organization:

  • finding a warehouse,
  • storing goods and maintaining stock levels,
  • the implementation of the shipment of products.

What makes this model attractive to entrepreneurs is the fact that it is easier to set up and run than other types of e-Commerce business models. In addition, it requires less start-up capital as overheads are passed on to the supplier / wholesaler.

Basically, you act as an intermediary – you bridge the gap between customers and wholesalers. Like any business model, dropshipping has its pros and cons. Let’s find out what are the possibilities and limitations of this model of online trading.

Advantages of dropshipping

As you might guess, running a dropshipping business has many advantages over a conventional online store based on product inventory. The main advantages of dropshipping are:

  1. Easy commissioning

You can set up your online store in three easy steps. All you need to do is identify your products, partner with a good third-party supplier, set up your online store, and put your products on sale. Even if you are new to e-commerce, you can easily understand and implement this model.

  1. Low start-up and running cost

You don’t have to pay for the production of your own products or buy goods in bulk. You can start selling almost immediately, without large investments – the perfect scenario for beginners and new entrepreneurs.

Even as your business grows, your costs will be quite low. By choosing dropshipping, you can reconfigure your supply chain to remove the cost (and risk) of shipping physical goods from different countries and continents. You will save on the costs of transportation services, port operations, warehouse maintenance, warehouse workers, packaging and labeling.

  1. Low business risk

You don’t keep inventory in stock, you are not under sales pressure and you don’t have to worry about out-of-date inventory. Whether you’re selling products or not, you really have nothing to lose – you just won’t earn any money.

  1. Access to an unlimited range

You decide how many products you want to sell. Regardless of your niche, you’ll find a dropshipping supplier for every product. You have access to a virtually unlimited number of suppliers around the world. It can easily sell abroad.

  1. More time and resources to scale your store

Your supplier packs and ships products to customers, and you earn. This means lower overheads and more time to develop your online store.

  1. Better cash flow

Typically, retailers buy products, wait for them to arrive, and then sell them to customers. For a time, they spent a considerable amount of money without the possibility of recovering it. With dropshipping, you get paid for your products at the same time as you pay your suppliers – or earlier. This frees up money for marketing and development.

  1. Real-time market tests

If any of your products are still not selling despite your great marketing efforts, it means you can remove them from your offer immediately. Analyze and adapt your products to market demand in real time.

Disadvantages of dropshipping

Business in the form of dropshipping may seem like a very beneficial solution for an e-Commerce company, but not for everyone. Before you decide to start dropshipping, learn about the disadvantages of this online business model:

  1. Low profit margin

One of the disadvantages of dropshipping is that you will have low margins initially. When you start out, you won’t have the volume required to offer significant discounts. This does not mean that dropshipping is not profitable, but you should be aware that the product margin in some niches may be small.

  1. Less control = different risks

You don’t have much control over some aspects of the dropshipping process, such as the supply chain, product storage, order fulfillment, and shipping. For example, if suppliers pack the goods incorrectly or do not deliver on time, you will have to smooth out all difficult situations with customers.

In the case of dropshipping shipping, there is usually no place for personalized packaging, freebies attached to the order – attributes that increase customer satisfaction. In addition, you have no control over your inventory, which can lead to order cancellations or delays in delivery when you sell products that are out of stock with your supplier.

These issues can arise – especially in the early stages of new partnerships, so make sure you choose a reliable partner early on.

  1. Highly competitive market

It takes very little capital to start a dropshipping business, this low entry barrier means a lot of competition, and the most popular markets suffer more than others. Basically, the larger the company, the more it can reduce its margins to offer the lowest prices.

Worse, chances are you don’t have an exclusive contract with your suppliers. This means that any number of competitors can sell exactly the same products. And if you’re just starting out, your rivals with decades of experience have the resources to lower their selling prices when necessary. This means that customers can buy exactly the same from someone else but at a lower price.

  1. It’s hard to create a unique value / USP (brand building)

You will need to be careful about how you ‘create value‘ for your dropshipping business. As long as you combine buyers with a wholesaler, you are providing relatively little value. If you add branding, quality assurance, customer service, convenience, etc., then you are in a better position.

  1. Ease of copying

You’ll have to build your own added value over time, but especially in the early stages, you’ll be really easy to copy. If or when you start selling, it’s best to keep quiet.

Dropshipping: opinions and myths

There are many myths about dropshipping that can make people starting their dropshipping adventure feel overwhelmed, frustrated and disappointed when they take the initial steps.

Below, I debunk myths about dropshipping and present all the facts so that you know what you are actually doing.

  1. Source of quick earnings (passive income)

It is widely believed that dropshipping is a viable get-rich-quick scheme. Successful dropshipping requires studying and testing proven strategies, and this takes a lot of time. While there may be some amazing success stories overnight, but these stories are rare.

  1. Everyone is successful in dropshipping

It is true that anyone can start a dropshipping business. But for this to work, it takes a person with exceptional abilities. Successful ones focused on the process, not the result of their actions – success (more often the lack of it).

By focusing on the process, you will patiently take the time to experiment, try different dropshipping tactics, and test a range of products. If you focus only on the results, you will be very disappointed when the first few ads fail, leading you to give up in front of the people focused on the process to achieve the results you want.

  1. Dropshipping is easy

A popular myth about dropshipping is that if you build an online store and run one ad, customers will start buying in bulk from it. This is a fiction that will not happen. The more effort you put into product selection, store design, and digital marketing, the more money you’ll earn in the long term.

People mistakenly think it’s easy because they see the end result. However, there are months of experimentation and failure ahead of the big payoff.

  1. Niche matters

Many people will find that the niche in which you operate is the most important, but the products you sell are definitely more important. There are two ways, you can either sell a narrow assortment or go to a wide assortment store.

If your goal is to build a blog (your focus is on SEO strategy at the same time) and generate the right traffic, having a general store is likely to be a bad idea. However, if your marketing strategy uses advertising or social media marketing, you can add products that go beyond a single niche and be successful.

  1. Elimination of intermediaries

While it’s common for a product manufacturer to be a mail order company, some wholesale distributors also offer shipping for products they have purchased from the manufacturer. This means that the wholesaler will add a profit margin to the unit cost of the producer and thus limit the potential profit. A broker can be an attractive partner if it deals with returns, offers additional services, or otherwise adds value to the products you sell.

Summary

Dropshipping is a great way to earn money online, but it takes patience and hard work. The more you experiment and optimize, the closer you will be to achieving sales success. It will not be easy, and you will have to learn a lot.

How to start dropshipping in 2021? 1024 576 DropshipDave

How to start dropshipping in 2021?

Dropshipping is a business model popular with new internet entrepreneurs where you can sell products to your customers without having any inventory. In the dropshipping model, you don’t have to pay for the products in advance, so it’s potentially a good solution for people with limited cash. This solution not only lowers operating costs, but also frees up your time that you can spend on customer acquisition.

However, contrary to popular belief, starting dropshipping is not a quick way to earn money.

Sure, it seems like easy money – you sell other people’s goods and participate in the profit sharing – but when you consider all the downsides, obstacles, and the day-to-day management of online sales, it’s not easy.

However, when you approach it the right way and apply the information I have provided in this article, you can build a successful business and a sustainable source of income.

What You Need to Know Before Dropshipping:

What is dropshipping?

How does the dropshipping business model work?

Dropshipping: how to get started in 2021 (step by step guide)

What is dropshipping?

Dropshipping is a business model that you can use to run an online store without physically storing the goods. After the sale, the supplier will send your products from their warehouse straight to the customer’s door.

How does the dropshipping business model work?

There are three parties involved in the dropshipping business model:

  • supplier (manufacturer / distributor / wholesaler),
  • seller (you),
  • customer.

The role of the supplier in the dropshipping model is:

  • product development and / or inventory management.
  • shipping products to customers on behalf of the seller.
  • replacement of defective products and replenishment of stock.
  • selling products to the retailer (you) at wholesale prices, assuming the risk of unsold inventory which will generate additional storage costs.

The seller, that is you, is responsible for:

  • selling the supplier’s products on their website, under their own brand.
  • selection of the offered stock and marketing of these products.
  • determining the price of products and the amount of shipping costs (depending on the size) – the appropriate pricing policy will provide you with a satisfactory amount of profit (the customer pays the retail price set by you, you pay the supplier’s wholesale price, and the difference between these values ​​is your profit).

The dropshipping business model assumes that the customer buys products directly from you – the seller. If questions or problems arise, the buyer always contacts the seller from whom he purchased the product (unless the shipping company is labeled and not yours).

To sell products in the dropshipping model, you just need to register an account with the selected supplier. It is difficult to find a complete and up-to-date list of dropshipping companies. If you use an e-commerce platform in the SaaS model, the producers of such a system often offer ready-made integrations with dropshipping wholesalers.

However, remember that such integrations have many limitations – it is worth checking whether it is possible to regularly update key data about products (inventory, prices, descriptions, photos, etc.).

However, a good place to start looking for wholesalers for to work with may be:

  • supplier databases such as: Dropship Direct, Alibaba, AliExpress.
  • Using a supplier directory that is integrated with the online store, such as Oberlo.

Dropshipping: how to get started in 2021 (step by step guide)

If you’re ready to start a dropshipping business to compete with retail giants and multiple stores in the dropshipping model, go through all of the steps below.

Follow 8 steps to start dropshipping:

  1. Define your time and financial possibilities
  2. Choose a niche – what product to sell in dropshipping
  3. Conduct a competition study
  4. Find a dropshipping supplier
  5. Build your online store
  6. Set up a business
  7. Create a customer acquisition plan
  8. Analyze and optimize
  9. Define your time and financial possibilities

As with any other business, dropshipping requires considerable commitment and a long-term perspective. If you count on tens of thousands of dollars income in the first few weeks of part-time work, you will be disappointed.

By approaching your business with realistic expectations, in terms of necessary investments and potential profit, you will not quickly get discouraged and give up.

When starting a dropshipping business, you will have to invest a lot using one of the two most valuable currencies, which include:

  • time,
  • money.
  1. Investing time in your own dropshipping business

Bootstrapping, i.e., investing equity capital, is the approach I recommend, especially for beginner dropshipping entrepreneurs. This business path has the following advantages:

  • You will learn how the company operates internally and externally, which will be critical to managing others as your business grows and scales.
  • You will get to know your customers and the market in detail, which will allow you to make better decisions.
  • You will be less likely to spend large sums of money on projects that are not critical to your company’s success.
  • You will develop some new skills that will make you a better entrepreneur.

Realistically, most people aren’t able to quit their jobs to spend months developing their new online store. It may be a bit more difficult, but it is possible to start dropshipping even if you are still working a 9 to 5 job – assuming you set up the right sales terms regarding customer service and order fulfillment time.

Once your dropshipping store begins to grow, you can become self-employed full-time, as long as your cash flow and profitability allow it.

Each entrepreneur has unique features and skills, but in general, it can be assumed that in 6 to 12 months you will be able to generate a minimum level of income per month, allocating 15-20 hours a week to building your online business.

If you have the opportunity to work on your e-commerce project full time, this is the best choice to increase your chances of making a profit and dropshipping success. Especially in the beginning, it is very important to focus all your efforts on marketing for your business to gain momentum.

The experience of many dropshipping sellers shows that it usually takes at least 12 months of full-time work, with a strong emphasis on marketing, to replace the average full-time income.

This may seem like a lot of effort with relatively little benefit, but keep these two things in mind:

  • Once your dropshipping business is up and running, it will likely take much less time to maintain it than working 40 hours a week. The dropshipping model is also characterized by the fact that the investments incurred for its development are profitable in terms of efficiency and scalability
  • When you build a business, you are creating more than just an income stream – you are also building assets that you can sell in the future. Make sure you consider the value of the equity capital you accumulate as well as the cash flow generated – this will show you the true return on investment.
  1. Investing money in your own dropshipping business

It is possible to create and develop a dropshipping company (B2C and B2B) by investing a lot of money, but I advise against this option. Many entrepreneurs have tried both approaches to company development (independent start-up versus process outsourcing / external support) and the most successful were dropshipping activities, where the seller / owner did a significant part of the work himself.

In the early stages of a business in the dropshipping model, it is very important that someone deeply involved in its success leads it. By building a business from scratch, gaining knowledge about how your company works at every level, you will protect yourself from excessive spending on programmers, developers and marketers who are able to absorb most of the profits you generate.

Of course, you don’t have to do everything yourself, but I strongly recommend that you be the main driving force at the start of your venture.

Despite the relatively low costs of starting and running the business, you will need minimal savings to run your own dropshipping shop. You will spend these funds on operating costs (hosting, automatic integration with wholesalers and other registration fees).

  1. Choose a niche – what product to sell in dropshipping

The niche you choose should be focused on something that really interests you. Choosing products for sale on the Internet is difficult, so you need to do market research. Too wide range that is not precisely targeted will be difficult to sell (you are not a marketplace like amazon).

If you are not passionate about your chosen niche, it will be easier for you to get discouraged because successfully scaling your dropshipping business requires a lot of work. By focusing on more niche and rising products, you can grab buyers’ attention faster and gain traction without competing with bigger and more established companies.

Niche products often have more engaged customers, which can make it easier for you to sell to specific audiences by increasing awareness of your products. Fitness, fashion, cosmetics, electronics, phone accessories, and yoga-related items can be a good starting point to start dropshipping without spending a lot of money.

Here are some ideas for a dropshipping store centered around a niche assortment:

  • Clothing for small / large dogs.
  • Camping / camping equipment for people who care about ecology.
  • Exercise equipment for those who prefer HIIT training.
  • products for people on a ketogenic diet.

You can also use generally available tools that allow you to pre-verify your dropshipping ideas:

  • Google Trends,
  • Keywords Everywhere or Keywordtool.
  1. Google Trends

Google trends can help you determine if a product is trending up or down, as well as its seasonality. Remember that Google Trends doesn’t show the number of searches.

So, if you use it, be sure to compare your data with a keyword suggestion tool like Keywords Everywhere / Keywordtool to determine the popularity of your product in search results.

  1. Keywords Everywhere / Keywordtool

This keyword research tool shows you the monthly number of searches for your product and how competitive it is. You can use this information to gauge the popularity of your dropshipping business idea and find ideas for new products.

  1. Conduct a competition study

Now that you know what you are going to sell in your store, you want to take a look at who your competitors are and understand how they work. Your competitors can have great tips for success and can help you build a stronger marketing plan for your dropshipping business.

If your market has many competitors, limit your research to around five other dropshipping companies, including one or two big players such as Amazon, other marketplaces. This will help you stay focused and plan your next steps.

Learn 4 ways to analyze your competitors’ activities:

  • Google searches
  • Similarweb and Alexa
  • Competition social media audit
  • Subscription to competitors’ newsletters
  1. Check your Google searches

Search engines are the obvious starting point. Use Google to compile a list of the top five competitors. Start with key search terms in a simple search, such as “sports shoes.”

The Top 10 Scores will show you who your top competitors are and how they are promoting their products. If you want to focus on a specific country, you can use a third-party tool like Ahrefs, SEMRush, or Senuto to find keyword data in these areas.

  1. Use competition spy tools such as SimilarWeb and Alexa 

Online tools like these are great for finding (and tracking) your competitors’ online activities. They provide a list of competition information such as social media profiles, main traffic sources, number of visitors and who *their* competitors are.

  1. Perform a competitor’s social media audit

Search for Facebook ads in your niche and check out the best brands on the market. See how the company communicates with its clients, how it designs its social channel, how much engagement it achieves. Follow the best companies on Facebook and be inspired by their actions.

Use this information to find ways to make your business stand out and improve your social media marketing strategy.

  1. Subscribe to competitors’ newsletters

Want your competitors’ updates sent straight to your inbox? Subscribe to their email list and get acquainted with their marketing strategy. You can also learn more about the promotions and offers they use to entice customers to buy.

Learn all about your best competitors: their website, prices, marketing methods, product descriptions, reputation, etc. Arrange your research in a spreadsheet for easy reference when making decisions about your store.

For example, if you want to use email marketing to promote your business, you can check out a spreadsheet to see if your competitors are already doing it and what tactics they are using – all in one place.

  1. Find a dropshipping supplier

Choosing a dropshipping supplier is a key step towards building a successful dropshipping business. Working with the wrong supplier can ruin your business, so it’s important not to rush this step. Many e-commerce platforms offer a plug-and-play option to find potential suppliers and integrate with multiple dropshipping wholesalers.

You can also search for companies that offer dropshipping cooperation. In a situation where the selected manufacturer / wholesaler does not have an automatic integrator between your store and the warehouse ERP system, you can create a dedicated integration that will allow you to automate most of the services related to sales in the dropshipping model.

If you are looking for overseas shipping suppliers pay attention to communicating with them, both in terms of responsiveness and mutual understanding skills. If you are not 100% sure about the potential supplier’s communication abilities, go ahead and continue your search.

Ask lots of questions and find out what their shipping options are in case your business grows rapidly. You want to be sure they can scale with you.

One more thing to remember: sell products that you will be able to deliver to the end customer as soon as possible – ideally if it will not take more than a week.

  1. Build your online store

The fastest way to launch a website that supports the dropshipping business model is to use a simple SaaS platform. You don’t need a technical background to get started and such an e-commerce platform has many applications / modules to help increase your sales.

If you have the budget to hire a web design and development company to create a custom solution, it can really speed things up, and you avoid having to learn design especially in the beginning.

Once you’ve grown and your revenues start to increase, you can explore additional customization options for your website.

  1. Set up a business

If you are serious about your venture, you will want to start a legal business entity. Most often, entrepreneurs set up a sole proprietorship. An alternative may be a limited liability company

  1. Create a customer acquisition plan

A great product and a well-rounded online store are essential, but without customers who want to buy something, you don’t have a business. There are several ways to attract potential customers.

Plan ways of acquiring customers:

  • Facebook ADS and Google ADS
  • Content marketing
  • SEO
  • e-mail marketing
  • Social media
  1. Paid ADS (Facebook and Google)

Facebook ads are scalable, products can convert well on them. You can run your Shopping ads on Google and create campaigns for rich keywords that shoppers are more likely to buy for. There is usually more price competition for Google ads, but it’s worth taking the time to test this out.

  1. Content Marketing

If you want to build a long-term traffic flow for your store, add content marketing to your dropshipping business plan. Create a blog around your dropshipping niche and create content that will entertain and educate your target audience. You can also start a YouTube channel, create infographics, or start a podcast to help spread the word about your brand.

  1. SEO

You also need to think long term, so search engine optimization should be at the center of your attention.

  1. E-mail marketing

Collect emails right from the start and set up automatic email sequences that offer discounts and special offers. It’s an easy way to leverage your existing customer base and generate revenue without spending extra on advertising and marketing.

  1. Social media

Join groups of people who are passionate about your niche. You can start conversations with potential customers in Facebook groups or online forums. Be sure not to be too salesy when engaging with the community. Try to help and build relationships with potential customers so that they trust your brand and want to buy from it.

As with any successful internet business, keep an eye on which channels work and which don’t – especially if you’re investing money in them like paid advertising. As your business grows and improves, you can always adjust your marketing strategy to lower costs and maximize revenue.

  1. Analyze and optimize

After some time of marketing and managing your dropshipping business, you can start looking at the results of your hard work. Analyze mainly the following factors:

  • Sales: What are my best channels? Where should I put more money on my ads? What are my best-selling products? Who are my best clients?
  •  Buyer Behavior: Do People Buy More from Their Computer or Mobile? What is the conversion rate for each device?
  • Profit margins: what products are the most profitable? What are my sales and gross profits from month to month?

You can use tools like Google Analytics and Search Console to measure search traffic over time and improve your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts. Also, if you’re using a third-party social media marketing app or Messenger, you check reports monthly to make sure your overall strategy works for your business.

When creating a store in a dropshipping model, you want to create a data-driven analytical system. Be consistent with what you analyze over time and measure your store’s performance with clear KPIs (Key Performance Indicators). This will help you make smarter decisions and take your small business to the next level over time.

AliExpress Dropshipping 2019: Find the Best Products to sell 150 150 DropshipDave

AliExpress Dropshipping 2019: Find the Best Products to sell

Struggling to find an at-home earnings opportunity with a proven-to-work business model? 

Ready to learn how you can launch your own work-from-home cash cow from the comfort of your own residence?

If so, grab your cup of coffee and prepare for a good read as we go over the step-by-step measures required to become a seasoned drop shipper (particularly, with Ali Express).

As a 15-year internet marketer, business owner, and solo entrepreneur, I?ve tried and tested a plethora of money-making strategies.  Now, you?ll be able to succeed from my experience through learning how to dropship like a PRO, and, how to find the RIGHT products to sell.

Dropshipping is one of the hottest at-home business trends of 2019, and for good reasons too! 

For one, as a drop shipper, you’re NOT required to keep products on-hand or in stock; ever. 

Rather, you will sell pre-selected products in your store (on your eCommerce website) and will pass your sales on to your supplier; whom of which will package and ship orders on your behalf to your customer(s).

Second, based on industry averages, you can expect to earn around 30% profit per sale.  In some cases, this could be lower, and in others, HIGHER.

To become a successful dropshipper there are initial steps to take:

  • Research the niche you want to work within
  • Find a trusted third-party supplier (speak to them review their AliExpress ?feedback?)
  • Choose products from the supplier to sell
  • Launch an eCommerce website and import your vendors? products
  • Promote your store using SEO & Social Media

These steps, when done right, will put you on track to becoming a sucessful drop shipper within a few weeks.

One of the significant factors that will influence the success of your dropshipping business will be the selection of products you choose to promote.

Ideally, the hand-selected products you choose to advertise will have high search volumes and low SERP competition.  I, personally, go for buyer-intent keywords with no less than 1,000 monthly searches

This write-up will teach you how to choose the best AliExpress products to promote and will give you great oversight on what to expect from operating a dropshipping business.

Based on my personal experience (from being in the dropshipping space for over ten years) it?s safe to say that I?ve learned a thing or two when it comes to determining which AliExpress product(s) are and aren?t worth promoting.

When conducting product research, there are many item characteristics to assess before deciding to give that product a thumbs-up.

Below, you?ll find ten techniques I used to discover profitable products to sell when I first went to start a dropshipping store in 2019.

Characteristics of a BEST SELLING Product

1. Good Profit Margin

First and foremost, you need to make sure the products you choose will yield worthwhile profit margins. Ideally, you will drop ship products with a 60%+ profit margin.

If you make the unadvised choice to promote products with a smaller margin or profit, your dropshipping success will come down to the ?quantity? of sales you can generate.

2. Market Research

Business, in general, can be volatile, but you want to give yourself the best chances possible of finding success with dropshipping. This is why it?s immensely important to understand your market and to confirm that there are ACTIVE buyers out there for your products.

You may choose good products to promote, but you need to ensure you?re diving into a market where prospects are need what you?re selling.

3. Produced By Quality Manufacturers

Not all product manufacturers and AliExpress wholesalers offer top-quality products.  Sometimes, items can be low-quality and not up to par which is why it?s vitally important to review the feedback received by the AliExpress vendor you?re considering.

Assess the reviews, see what others are saying about the ?quality? of received products, and use this information to select a vendor that you can trust to ship quality products to your customers.

4. Unique/Needed Products

Just as with ANY other retail or eCommerce business model, it?s success-critical to offer in-demand products that your potential customers will need. 

For ideas, you could research other Ecommerce stores within your niche to see if they have a ?Best Selling? category.  If they do, you can see which products are selling the most at which point you?ll want to inquire with your vendor or Aliexpress to see if similar products are available.

They may not be the SAME brand, but if the quality is decent and the price is right, you could drop ship these items at cheaper rates than your competitors and still save your customer money.

5. Easy To Ship

As we previously notated, drop shippers aren?t required to ship products themselves.  However, in some cases, depending on the supplier and their shipping policies, you may be required to cover the cost of the product in addition to shipment.

Because shipping fees impact the bottom line, inquire with your vendor to see if free shipping is offered to determine how you need to price your products. 

If you?re advertising ?Free Shipping? to your customers, bear in mind that it may not be free for you.

6. Affordable/Wholesale Products

In a majority of cases, you?ll be able to acquire products at what many consider to be a wholesale price.  I?ve been an AliExpress member for years, have ordered from countless vendors, and have done exceptionally well due to the incredible deals I?ve come across.

One of the biggest bits of help to dropshipping is the fact that we, as in ?you? and ?I?, have access to such a marketplace (AliExpress). 

Affordability, while relative, is something I always take into account.  Typically, when searching for a new product to dropship, I will review at least ten unique sellers to compare pricing and shipping options so I know I?m receiving the absolute best value possible.

Characteristics of the WORST Products to Dropship

1. Copyrighted Items

Copyrighted and/or branded items aren?t recommended dropshipping items.

Selling a replicated (such as a knockoff Rolex watch) or copyrighted product increases the rate in which you?ll experience difficulties with clients (and the law).

Just one single negative feedback can be damaging to the face of your business, so you want to avoid selling replicated items and/or products that are copyrighted by corporate entities.

Selling copyrighted or replicated items also makes it increasingly more difficult to reach buyers.  Such items are usually prohibited on social media platforms (which limits your marketing and outreach).

2. Potentially Harming

There are import laws that govern which products can and can?t be brought in to the states.  Possibly harmful or toxic products could be seized by customs and never delivered to your customer (resulting in a refund).

In the dropshipping business, because the vendor is the one responsible for shipping, it can become quite messy if the customer doesn?t receive the product and requires a refund.  One sure-fire way of avoiding this is to sell products that in no could be deemed as harmful.

3. Heavy Items

While shipping fees are typically incurred and added on for all international-shipped orders, you don?t want this cost to increase any higher than it needs to.

This is why it?s essential to keep the weight of the products you?re selling in mind as the heavier the shipping weight, obviously, the higher the shipping cost will be.

Keep this in mind as you?re choosing your products and pricing your eCommerce catalog (because these shipping costs will come out of your pocket if customers are receiving cost-free shipping).

What Is Dropshipping ? The Truth About Dropshipping In 2019 150 150 DropshipDave

What Is Dropshipping ? The Truth About Dropshipping In 2019

Dropshipping is a supply-chain business model in which dropshippers act as middle-men by selling products without owning the stock/inventory. Upon receiving money from customers, merchants redirect the money to wholesalers who then ship directly to your customers. This way merchants can make huge retail margins, as much as 1000% of the wholesale price depending on the niche. For example, if a phone case costs $1 on a wholesale price, and it retails for $11 in the dropshipping store ? the dropshipper can make a 1000% price markup on each sale. The dropshipper only instructs a wholesaler to ship to their customer, they never package or ship products themselves. As of 2019, more than 30% of all online orders are fulfilled via dropshipping.

The Benefits Of Dropshipping

  • Location-independent: Merchants can process orders regardless of location, as they never have to touch the product themselves.
  • Low investment/start-up cost: Merchants don?t need large start-up capital, because they only spend money after the customers pay for orders (retail price + shipping cost). They only start-up cost is the cost of the dropshipping store and the advertising budget.
  • High-growth potential: Price markups starting at 100%, with some up to 1000%.
  • Easy access to products: Thousands of niche markets and millions of items available for sale.

The Dropshipping Chain

  • The Customer: The person who orders a product from a dropshipping store.
  • The Wholesaler: The person who ships a product to a customer.
  • The Dropshipper: The middle-man who connects the customer to the wholesaler (you).

The wholesaler is the key component ? he handles everything for a droppshipper: the packaging, the shipping, even the returns and inbound shipments. Your sole responsibility as a dropshipper is to drive customers to a dropshipping store and convert them.

There are two prices in each dropshipping transaction: the original wholesale price and the retail price. The wholesale price is the price the merchant pays for the original product (usually sourced from a factory in China via Aliexpress); and the retail price is the price the end-customer pays for, usually in a developed economy such as the USA, European Union, Canada, etc. Millions of items can be sold using Chinese-based directories like Aliexpress where dropshippers can find niche products at original prices.

How Dropshipping Works ? 4 Steps Funnel

The funnel works on the following 4-step principle: Customer Buys From Dropshipping Store > Dropshipper Redirects The Funds To The Wholesaler > Wholesalers Ships To Customer > Repeat.

This funnel can be leveraged, repeated and scaled in thousands of niche markets using products that are available at much cheaper prices in manufacturing countries, and re-selling them online to Western markets that pay as much as 10x of the original value of the product. The merchant is never in touch with the inventory and the wholesaler handles the stock: packaging, shipping, customer service, etc. It allows merchants to make huge profit margins regardless of location and without holding inventory, by only spending money on marketing. The dropshipper only pays for marketing such as Instagram/Facebook ads and acts as a middleman connecting the product to the customer.

Downsides To Dropshipping

The downside to dropshipping is that it requires a marketing budget? Ads on Facebook and Instagram are getting increasingly more expensive (especially in high-income counties such as the US, UK, Germany, where clicks cost more) and rich dropshippers with unlimited budgets can outbid novice dropshippers for popular dropshipping markets, effectively increasing ad costs. Dropshippers have to have a marketing budget or a smart marketing strategy in order to create an edge. What?s more, dropshippers have to identify niches and find profit margins that can align with their marketing budget, in order to secure ROI.

Making Sales On A Dropshipping Store

The main answer across the board is the sale: Build trust. If a customer trusts your dropshipping store, they will be more inclined to purchase regardless of your marketing strategy. Most dropshippers think the marketing strategy is the most important, but overlook the quality and trustworthiness aspect of their website. The way to test is to ask yourself ? would you buy from your own Dropshipping store if you were a customer?

Take a look at your store and put yourself in the shoes of the customer. Is something bothering you, such as lack of information about Payment Methods? Do you want to know the shipping time/cost? Are you concerned about credit card security? If you feel something?s wrong, make the change and prospects will be more inclined to buy from you.

Scaling A Dropshipping Store

To scale a Dropshipping store, a dropshipper needs to gradually increase the marketing budget. If the marketing budget is set to $100 per day and the dropshipper makes $200 in sales, the droppshipper only needs to start spending $200 per day on advertising to double their revenue.

Most stores are ?scaled? until the profit revenue/demand for that niche is capped. If the store receives organic traffic such as through SEO/content marketing, the dropshipper could scale the store by simply increasing the product range as this will increase the number of orders coming through. Scaling is done proportionally and can take months at a time, as a result of many transaction fees and waiting times between the transactions from your customers to the wholesales and the volatility of the ad costs. If a dropshipper on Instagram/Facebook starts experimenting with target audiences and formats, this might burn their budget until they discover a high-converting strategy.