Do you dream of having an online shop, but have no money? Dropshipping may be your answer…
10 January 2010
10 January 2010
There is a misconception that you need a lot of money to set up an online store. There is also a misconception that you need a lot of space to store those products that you want to sell online. If you have both money and space, that’s great – but if you are a mother who aspires to run an online business selling things and don’t have the money to do it, you can still pursue your dream…
What is dropshipping?
Dropshipping basically means that your supplier not only stocks the products and stores them for you, but send out the products to your customers once you pay for the item and give them their delivery details. This is not a new phenomenon – people are using it all over the internet, and it is the middle ground between buying wholesale.
Using a dropshipper actually sounds more complicated on paper than it is in reality. Some time ago, I actually tried it out, selling a few products on eBay. The dropship company in question was available on the other end of the phone and was based in the UK, so if I had any queries, I knew that I had a point of reference. Plus, I was fully vetted before they opened the account – the company in question wanted someone who was serious about dropshipping, and they wanted to know where their products were going to be sold etc. That to me is the kind of dropshipper you should aim for – not just one who is ready to sign you up at the drop of a hat with no care – imagine the service you could get form them?
Dropshipping is a great way to start building your online business is you have little or no budget. Most suppliers will not charge you to open a dropship account – and why should they? You are sending money their way afterall.
Another great thing about using dropshipping is that you do not have to rent storgae space for the products, or deal with the postage and delivery – so your business then becomes more admin related. You check the orders, send them to your suppliers, then follow up any customer queries etc.
It’s not always true that the best things in life are free. If you decide to go down the dropshipping route, please make sure that you have vetted the dropshipper before using them. After all, your paying customers don’t know them – they only know your website and if something goes wrong (e.g. a delivery is delayed, or an item arrives in sub-standard condition), it is you they will come to first…
Make sure you are clear about the delivery of goods – you need to let your customers know what delivery terms are available. If possible, get your dropshipper to use postage or? delivery that can be tracked – you can then pass this on to your customer so they can see exactly where their item is.
Make sure your dropshipper does not include their company details in the packaging – some dropshippers may have an online store, or sell the items on auction sites like eBay, and you want your customers to come back to you – not them!
If this solution looks like a way in to realising your dream, go for it – just make sure you read the dropshippers terms and conditions thoroughly before you start. And asyour business grows, you can start reinvesting into your business to get those premises for your own line of products…the wor,d is your oyster!