What to Do (and Not Do) When Dropshipping

John Jimmy over at my YouTube channel left a comment asking if I’d be willing to talk about what not to do when dropshipping, what to look out for, and easy mistakes that shouldn’t be made.

The most crucial piece of advice is not to go for the low-hanging fruit – the first site you find – because the first page of the Google search results for “dropshipping” will be seen by just about everyone looking to get into wholesale, inflating your competition for those items. Look further off the beaten path for dropshipper you might be able to make use of. You don’t want to find a product you like, check eBay for its availability, and see fifty-two separate sellers that sell that same product. More sellers drive down the price, because there are people willing to take the smallest profit, which leads to a lot of work for a little money.

More important than the list of what not to do is the list of things to do. The biggest thing I can suggest is doing proper research. I’ve featured a website called Goofbid (search the YouTube channel to find the video), a free resource for eBay sellers to research on your market. Get onto eBay and search for the things you want to sell and find the suppliers that sell a lot of those things. Put those eBay usernames into the search on Goofbid to find out a number of things about them – their best-selling product, their gross revenue, and several other things.

Be sure to refine your eBay search for the best results, utilizing the “completed listing” option to see the selling price of those items that have sold recently. Refining your search can give you the best idea of how to enter strong in listing top-selling items. Find what people are really looking for, and give it to them.

Once you have some ideas of what you think will sell well, use them as your keywords on Google for those products with the word, “dropshipping” on the end. If it looks like it’s a very glossy website, there’s a good chance that a lot of other people are using it. You’ll turn similar results by searching for your product with the words, “wholesale” or, “supplier”. Get in touch with these people, and see if they’ll ship directly to your customer if you do the paperwork (offering to pay up-front helps your chances of getting a “yes”). The worst thing that can come of asking such a question is that you receive a “no”, because it never hurts to ask. If they agree, you have an exclusive dropshipping arrangement with no other competitors in your market other than people selling wholesale, which levels the playing field for a new business.

A strong piece of advice is to choose wisely. Take your time on this decision, because your supplier has your reputation in their hands. You could really hurt yourself by making the wrong decision on suppliers. Don’t get excited and want to jump in too quickly, because this is a big decision that pays off if you take time to research it. Make sure to ask your supplier about customer returns! Most dropshippers have a process for this, but you need to know how it works so you don’t get trapped into paying for returned goods. It’ll save you time down the road.

Compelling listings are your biggest help through all of this. Your listing is what people see when deciding whether or not to buy from you, so taking the time to expand your listing past a few lines of plain text is definitely a worthwhile use of your time. A bit of spice helps to entice people into buying your product, because a shabby listing says, “I couldn’t be bothered to take the time to make this better”. There are ways to do this for free without paying for costly templates. A few tips on how to do this would be to make sure you format your listing nicely, make it look professional, include good photos of the item that aren’t identical to a competitor’s photos (use stock photos, your own photos, or paid professional photos), and use helpful keywords related to your product in the title of your listing.

Check out the video below for some elaborated information on what to do and what not to do when you’re dropshipping!

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