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Dropshipping is an online hustle that can boost your capacity to save money. If you're looking for a way to make money from home read Barefoot Money's dropshipping 101 now! 

Drop shipping is fantastic money maker, if you are prepared to put the time and effort in. Some love the flexibility of this online, at-home business and keep it as a side earner. Other budding entrepreneurs are so dedicated it becomes their number one money maker. If you want to upscale your earnings potential – and savings – drop shipping is one of the best ways to make money on the internet.  

Dropshipping 101

For those who haven’t heard of dropshipping before, it is when a retailer (you) sells goods online but a wholesaler takes responsibility for shipping the products to the customer.  Most drop shippers start up on eBay because the website attracts a high volume of customers, without requiring you to invest in marketing your business. This is the dropshipping business model in a nutshell:

Retailer opens an online store, often on ebay, and sells products that they don't physically own or store. A customer visits the online store and makes a purchase with their money going to your account. Since you don't have the product you quickly contact your supplier and instruct them to ship the product. You pay the supplier for the product and shipping. The customer waits at home and one day the postie delivers their purchase. Because you charged the customer more for the product than what you paid the supplier, you make money!  

Dropshipping pros

  • There are no storage costs
  • There is no shop front to rent
  • It’s all online so you can work anywhere with wi-fi
  • As an online business, you choose the hours you work
  • Compared to opening a shop, a drop shipping business is a lot cheaper and easier to establish

Dropshipping cons

  • Retailers are dependent on the supplier/wholesaler to ship products out on time
  • You take the blame in the consumers eyes if anything goes wrong
  • eBay sellers fees can get expensive
  • Online stores are open 24/7. You have to find a way to be available to your customers and find time to sleep and carry on with daily life.

What products can I sell as a dropshipper?

Dropshippers can sell any product under the sun. The trick is to find a product niche that people need - and one that you are comfortable selling too. One way to decide on your product niche is to find small items that many people will need to buy repeatedly. Printers are a great example. The printer itself is a one-off purchase, however, there is a continuing need to buy the ink. As a dropshipper, you want to be selling the ink.

Another lucrative area for making consistent sales are hobbies. If you are involved in any hobbies, e.g. model planes, and trains, you can become a seller for the many little bits and pieces that go into it. There is money to be made in hobbies because passionate buyers will keep coming back to keep their hobby alive.

Whatever you decide to sell, find a niche and learn everything there is to know about your products. Diversify too much and you won’t be shaping your identity as the number one seller in that category. Diversification is a business goal to pursue later on. 

How do I work with suppliers?

Do lots of online research on suppliers. There are many thousands of suppliers out there. There are even suppliers that only work with dropshippers. Suppliers could be in Australia, China, India, Brazil, Poland or anywhere. Because it is a global industry and shipping times are a competitive point ask heaps of questions about shipping times and costs. Another thing is to be mindful that most suppliers tend to be warehouses. That means they don't manufacture the goods. They need to collect the goods from their factories. Before you place an order for a customer double check that they have goods in stock and don’t have to order in specially. In fact, to avoid any problems it pays to have several suppliers you can turn to. Find companies with a reputation for reliability that you can establish a good rapport with.   

How will customers find me?

Because drop shipping is all online, SEO (search engine optimisation) will bring people searching out there in googleland to your site. With accurate keywords and labels across your online store google will know to refer searchers to you. This is another reason why people love eBay. It is a trusted platform for buyers to source all kinds of goods and it fixes the SEO without you thinking about it.

How can I get customers to buy from my online store?

Buyers look for retailers who are trustworthy and reliable, and this is what you must become to be a successful drop shipper. Providing all the relevant details about the product, no matter how small helps people feel safer making an online purchase from you. Be clear about terms and conditions and shipping times. Answer customer questions within a reasonable amount of time. Look after buyers if their purchase is delayed or damaged. Although you might lose money on that sale, you can increase the value of your reputation if you handle a difficult situation well. Your reputation is your most valuable asset.

To make money you have to offer your customers more value than the product alone. Think about what can set you apart from competitors. Do you provide better information about the product? Do you have top notch customer service with thank you cards and attractive packaging? Put yourself if the customer’s shoes to consider what kind of shopping experience you’d like to have.

How can I make money dropshipping?

You can make money drop shipping by starting it today. Give yourself a deadline to do research and line your ducks in a row, then get out there and make it happen!

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