Selling online is not easy by any means. I've been doing it for over 10 years and the first 4 or 5 years was used trying to figure out what the heck I was doing. Even now about 90% of my time is used searching for new suppliers. But the key is not giving up and learning from your mistakes.
I can honestly tell you that though there are a few online sellers who are successful at dropshipping, most who try this method of selling don't last very long. The main problem is that dropshippers are mainly just middle men who are buying their products from a wholesaler and reselling them to you. This of course means that when you buy thier products that you are already paying for an item that has been marked up at least 2 times. The wholesaler marks up the product to sell to the dropshipper and then the dropshipper marks it up to sell to you. Then on top of that they normally charge an additional fee to dropship that item for you...
When selling within any market place, one of the keys to success is good customer service..This means not only selling at a good price to the customer, but timely shipping and good packaging. One of the biggest problems with dropshipping is that often the dropshipper has items that get out of stock, but they fail to tell you this. So you sell the item and then you get the dreaded 'on backorder' notice. And the customer looks at you for not receiving their product, not the dropshipper..
Another problem is that often the item arrives damaged due to shoddy packaging, again the customer looks at you and not the dropshipper..And little things like this are sure business killers..
Too keep in mind that dropshippers sell their products to thousands of people just like you all trying to sell the same products. This makes the market saturated for the type of goods that most dropshippers sell. Very little room for any type of sustainable profit margins...
I suggest that you sink yourself into some solid research and find your own products and put those on your site and ebay if that is where you are selling. This way you will have control over 'your' business and it will enable you to make some profits and build a happy and loyal customer base...Don't place the life of your business in someone else's hands...And that is exactly what you do when dropshipping...
For products, I would start a file and then start searching the 'B2B' sites (just google 'business to business'. And start searching those types of sites. That is where you will find the real suppliers and not all the dropship and middleman sites that dominate the web seeking to separate you from your money..
Don't forget the online 'yellow pages' too. They will have lots of real wholesalers, liquidation sellers and surplus sites...And normally liquidations, closeouts and surplus suppliers is where you will find your best products....
Having been in the business for a good while, I can honestly say that I spent a small fortune on all the so called get rich programs, wholesale lists, dropship programs that were available when I first started out...But all of that info is out there for free. You just have to sink yourself into it.
I can also say the the small fee that I paid to be a member on this site was nothing compared to it's true value. I don't even really use the suppliers on this site, but the forum is priceless. The people on here will help you in anyway that you need, from finding products, to listing, shipping and the whole gamet...I hold memberships on a bunch of sites just like this one and this is the only one that has been worth the money..
So my advice is to stick around, ask lots of question, read what others are saying and doing, learn from your mistakes and take your business on ahead...
I don't often read the forums, but always find them interesting when i do. I agree that you have to continually be researching for opportunities. Being in New Zealand Drop Shipping has not been an option, but I would agree, why put your business into other peoples hands. Thanks gulfy13 and fudjj for your comments. I found them encouraging and helpful. So many people only want to talk about the bad things.
I have been reading the comments in the forum since I recently joined. I had been feeling the same way until I read everyone's comments. The information and the advice given are priceless from fudjj and gulfy13. You have definately helped me. Much appreciated.
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