Henrik Wold was only 16 when he started dropshipping. It took him a few years to hit his stride and really figure out how to actually make money with eCommerce. Now, the 22 year old can make $250,000 a month with his marketing tactics and product selection techniques. He reveals exactly how he did it in this interview - plus how country selection can make a big difference.
Sean: Hey everyone, it's Sean again from SaleHoo. In today's video, we get to interview Henrik Wold. He is a seven-figure dropshipper, and he's only 22 years old. We're gonna be able to pick his brain in this interview. Thanks, Henrik, for accepting the interview.
Henrik Wold: No problem, man. Thanks for having me. Yeah, it's going to be great.
Sean: First, can you give us a bit of background on your eCommerce journey?
Henrik: I started doing dropshipping around the age of 16 or 17. I'm pretty sure it was 16. And I spent like two years making no money. I think most people do. We just waste money on Facebook ads and things like that. I didn't really know how to find any good products. I did that for around two years, and then over the summer of 2018, I finally hit my first very successful store.
We were selling wooden sunglasses, which was a big trend back then. And ever since then, I've just been running eCommerce stores. I've done multiple seven figures in it, and I've also done it with other people. Eventually, I decided to start up my own agency as well, which works with eCommerce stores and just tries to scale them to the next level. So, I've been doing this now for around six, seven years, and it's still a very good business model.
Henrik's Biggest Successes and Failures
Sean: Could you talk to us about your biggest successes and biggest setbacks in dropshipping
Henrik: I was actually running a few stores myself. What I started doing was teaming up with people. I started just working with people from my Instagram because I actually documented my journey, and you can go back and see on my YouTube channel when I was like 18 years old running the stores and how I did everything. Eventually, I started getting a lot of contacts, and I just started partnering up with people more, so as a consultant and also for ad management. We were just running stores together.
My biggest success was around $250,000 a month we did selling wooden sunglasses. We had very big success in the summer of 2018, 2019, and then in 2022, I started doing a strategy called one country dropshipping, which is the main thing I'm into now. We had super big success there as well, dropshipping in the European markets where we found the strategy that was able to take stores from zero to a hundred thousand dollars just the first month, and we can actually replicate it, so it works very well.
For setbacks, the biggest problems we've had are definitely payment provider shutdowns. Many people think the hardest part with dropshipping is finding winning products. They think it's advertising. dropshipping doesn't have the best reputation, let's be honest, especially in the starting phase, and the biggest struggles we have had are actually Stripe account shutdowns, payment on hold, all of these things.
It's not had any major setbacks, to be honest, it's been kind of smooth, but we also haven't run super risky, you know, beauty products and stuff like that. It's been relatively smooth, but you know, there was a point too where I was at my 20th product, I was just spending money, I saw no results, I was thinking, "Do I just give up with it?" That was hard. But ever since I switched to dropshipping to one country in Europe and avoided the competition, we've had very good success.
But I just want to clarify for most people watching this, how I'm involved with dropshipping now is I partner up with people, followers of mine, friends of mine, and we run the stores together for a percentage. I'm more into the advertising aspects.
Sean: Can you let us know what other types of products you've sold just to give the viewers an idea of what the winning product is
Henrik: Sure, a hundred percent man. Home products have been very, very good products that don't really belong to a niche. I've sold a lot of gadgets, a lot of random stuff, like 3D printers, I'm sure many people watching this have seen too. I've sold many of those where you can just take a picture with your phone and it prints out. Usually, it's either home products in terms of home decor.
We did sell a lot of beauty products not too long ago, but we do it differently. We always try to time the actual markets. For example, with the electricity prices in Europe, we did a product for that, which I can't say too much about now. We're always trying to see something that's going on in the world now that we can actually capitalize on. So we sell a lot of weird products too, but very often, it's home products or gadgets and tools.
We don't sell too many problem-solving products. I think it's too hard, too competitive. We look for the wow factor products, the things that are viral, and I have some people that are very good at TikTok, and we really just try to hack into the algorithm. So yeah, just selling more low-ticket products, wow factor products. I think it's also the easiest, around $20, $30, $40, and yeah, that's pretty much it. I stick to the home niche or gadgets and tools.
Sean: That's really interesting that you have such a specific niche that you prefer. Other dropshippers, they kind of go with whatever's trending. But that brings me to my next question.
Winning Product Criteria
Sean: How do you figure out what to sell? What's your product criterion?"
Henrik: "That's a very good question, man. It's a little bit easy for me if one country drops shipping, which I'll explain. One-country dropshipping is the strategy that I made up after having multiple rounds of success dropshipping in Europe, Australia, UK, because I saw, and I'll explain in a second. I can't find the products because it's different.
Because of that, I saw how it's so hard in the US. People test 20, or 30 products and pass or high. So, we found out that just bringing it to Europe where there's no competition is easier. So how I find the products is actually, since the competition in Europe is so much lower, I just find the products that do good in the US, and I just bring them there. So, I don't have to really research so much. Like, if it works well in the US, it's going to work in Europe too.
So, I can just run pretty basic products, to be honest. But my best strategy actually right now has been to go somewhere on AliExpress, it's on the homepage, it's a section that's called "More to Love." If you scroll down, it's just handpicked winning products. I can't show it now, but I find many products on AliExpress and also Facebook home.
But honestly, we run kind of saturated products, but it's because I don't really believe in super-saturated products or winning products. I believe more in saturated markets. So, out-of-state was proven to work and put it somewhere people haven't seen before. It usually performs very well."
Sean: That's such a unique take. One country dropshipping saturated products don't exist it's just saturated markets
Transitioning Away from Dropshipping
Sean: "Let's talk about transitioning away from DropShipping. Do you ever advocate for dropshippers to eventually transition away from dropshipping and buy wholesale, work with a 3PL, or scale their store? How would you go about scaling your store?
Henrik: "Yeah, absolutely, man. You know, I looked at it a little bit differently than many people have. I think they came to a point where I had two options, right? Am I going to start a big brand and try to eventually sell it, let's say three or five years from now, or am I gonna start up something else that at that time, in around 2019, people did either a brand or an agency because the agency space was also popping up? For me, I realized I'd rather get into an eCommerce agency.
In terms of scaling, I think you can choose both options. I think going with the brand is cool. It was just never really for me. There can be a phase where you have really high revenue but low profits. It was just not logical to me, to be honest, especially since I did everything on YouTube, and so many people want to work with me for my ad strategy. But I think if you go into that, it is good. I think you should have a product that you've seen to be successful for like six to 12 months, maybe, before it can be a little risky.
I did dropshipping, or I mean, I still do. I do dropshipping more like just pump the products and move on because once you get their pixel data, you get the sales, you can run targeting assets into the same niche, and you can just make that niche work for you.
That's why I'm in the home niche because anything we really touch there is going to turn into gold because we have the systems and ad accounts set up. So I'm more so just pump stores and just switch the product. Honestly, I'm not even that experienced with branding, but of course, it can be a very good way to go. It just depends on how you think of it. It can be much more long-term, but it is also a lot harder than people make it seem."
Sean: definitely yeah branding is a whole different ball game compared to just relying on the current trends
Finding a Supplier to Scale
Sean: How do you go about finding a supplier for dropshipping
Henrik: You want to make sure that you have a shipping time of not more than 14 days. I think even that can be a little bit long because, I mean, Amazon now is one-day delivery, right? And that's what you're competing with. So I'd say like 5 to 12 days is good, 14 days if you have to. I think that's also alright
Sean: We totally agree, Henrik. Yeah, shipping times are incredibly important for Dropshipping, and that's why we always recommend that when dropshippers scale, they move on to doing wholesale. So we have two products that can help with that. First, the SaleHoo Dropship which allows you to find pre-vetted dropship suppliers and integrate their products into your store.
And then when you're ready to scale your store, you can move on to buying wholesale by going to the SaleHoo directory where you can find wholesale suppliers all over the world, and you can find a local one that's nearest to you and get it shipped to your 3PL so you can offer faster shipping times.
Henrik: Yeah, man, it's most definitely important, especially in the transition phase. If you don't have the right shipping time now, there's going to be no chance for you. I remember competing with people offering one-day shipping times, so SaleHoo is the way to go for sure.
How to Start Marketing Your Dropship Store
Sean: In terms of recommending how beginner dropshippers should start marketing, do you recommend they should go with Facebook ads, TikTok ads, or not do ads at all and go with organic?
Henrik: It's a great question, man. I think it's obviously situational, but I think TikTok organic can be somewhat inconsistent, but it also teaches you a lot of skills required to succeed with dropshipping. So if TikTok is the platform you want to go for and you maybe have a lower budget, TikTok organic is not only good just to bring you a few sales, but you will actually learn how to get in the algorithm, how to create native content, and really understand the content creation part of things, which is the most important thing on TikTok.
So that's why I think it's good to take TikTok organic, purely as a way to make sales. Actually, I don't think it's so good. It can be inconsistent, and hitting the viral videos is much harder than you think, especially for a beginner, especially with a budget under 2K. I think that TikTok is going to be easier, especially for a younger demographic who understands it. But TikTok is much easier. You don't need to be advanced with audiences or anything; you just need to know how to create cool content.
Facebook, I think, in my experience, is a little bit more long term. It's more controllable because of the targeting, the audiences, so I personally like to scale the Facebook ads. But honestly, man, I think both are good. I just think TikTok is still easy. If TikTok is like an easy six out of ten, Facebook is five out of ten, just a little bit harder, you know what I mean, and maybe a little bit more expensive.
Sean: "And your agency, do you handle mostly Facebook ads or all sorts of ads?
Henrik: I used to do mostly Facebook ads, but both platforms aren't really that hard, so now I just do whatever the client is doing. Honestly, both are fine with me
Sean: could you share us your paid ad strategies for uh platforms like Facebook and TikTok maybe you could let us know what type of campaigns you utilize
Henrik: Utilizing CBOs (Campaign Budget Optimization) is 100% like the most aggressive way to scale. It's what I've been using for all the testing. That's the key to how I find winning products. Just a quick little tip here, always make sure you have that button on when you're testing out your products.
Sean: So, CBO for testing would be yours. And then, how about if you realize that the product is working, it's a winner, and you have good ad sets that are profitable, how do you scale from there?
Henrik: Yeah, that's a great question. So what I would do, first of all, CBOs usually work very well vertically. I don't make many changes inside them. If I have a $100 CBO that does well, I'll just double the budget. That's how I like to scale them. Once I get around 10-20 sales, which you should be getting from a good CBO, I will start making ad sets inside there.
I will start testing out more different interest audiences. I will split test ad sets and run them at $10 a day. My goal here is within two days, and this is my exact scaling strategy, to get ad sets that have three sales at $10 a day. That's the goal. Then, I duplicate them from $10 a day to $25 a day. So, I just scale most of the things vertically.
Then, every single day, I'm going to add, let's say, two new interesting audiences and I'm going to kill three. Eventually, I'm going to get better audiences. The reason your products are dying out is most definitely that you don't test enough interests and audiences. That's the key. But scaling, usually I do it most vertically. I use a lot of CBOs, and I just double the budget. If it works at $10 a day, it's probably going to work at $25 a day as well.
Top Marketing Tips
Sean: The next question I have regarding marketing is the last question for marketing: what are your top tips for dropshippers on the marketing side of things?
Henrik: My tip is definitely to not just compete with people; focus on creating content for your own audience. This is the key. So, the only reason really that what I do is so successful is because we do not, and this is very good advice that I don't think is so often seen out there, we don't compete. Most people, let's say you want to sell these sunglasses, most people are going to recommend you to target people that are interested in sunglasses, interested in fashion.
And this is so important; you need to think outside the box because with your small budgets, you know, the competitors, they're spending hundreds of thousands, and with your small budget, there's no chance for you to compete in the big interest.
That's also why I like to do one country dropshipping. But let's look at it as audiences. You need to find your own small market and specialize there, right? Like, it's just like if I start a big YouTube channel and I create the most broad content, there's no way that I can compete with the big YouTubers. So, I need to make my own small ideas, create my own audience, and then go bigger and bigger. So, definitely find your own little market, try to do things that stand out and make it more unique.
Budget Needed to Start Dropshipping
Sean: If a beginner starts with $500 how do you think they should start out dropshipping or do you recommend they need to save up more?
Henrik: I'm just going to be honest; there are many people out there who are looking to sell you a dream. If most people are starting dropshipping with the goal of being rich, let's be honest, and if you think that $500 is going to be enough to put you in that position where you can be rich, I think you don't really look at things too logically. It doesn't make much sense.
I think you can make it work with $1,500, but that's pretty much gambling. If you have $500, you should either be doing organic and just save the profits you make from organic. You should reinvest in ads that have at least a $1,000 budget, is my advice. Otherwise, it can just be gambling.
You know what I used to do? I had like $300; I'll just spend it. If I fail, I'll just be trying to figure out where my next $300 is. Eventually, someday, it will start working. But man, I would say you honestly should have $1,000. If not, just do TikTok organic or like say, opt for organic. Organic is great, even though it's not what I prefer, but it's a great way to build capital for sure. Otherwise, just save up a little bit because getting into dropshipping is not as easy as some people make it seem, but it's doable, 100%
How is Dropshipping Changing
Sean: So last question Henrik, How do you think dropshipping or eCommerce will change over the next one to two years and how do you advise to adapt to these changes?
Henrik: I think my biggest changes really were in the last three to four years because four years ago, you could dropship with 60-day shipping times, pretty much, you know what I mean. So, I don't really think there's that big of a change. I think their income changes to advertising platforms, their rules, things like that. I definitely think that TikTok is going to be the main Dropshipping platform.
I think Facebook might even, you know, go completely to the side, I'm not sure yet. I think though you need to have good shipping time, that's 100% essential, that's one of the most important things. I just think you need to be professional, use things like gem pages, page in store, just don't look like other dropshippers. People have seen that, they're not going to fall for it. But yeah, if you can just stand out a little bit and not look so much like a dropshipping store, have fast shipping, I think it will be good two years from now as well, anyways
Sean: That's it for the interview Henrik thanks for accepting it
Henrik: Thank you, and you guys watching, keep working dropshipping is a great business model and it's very much alive