How To Sell Dropshipped Products
Do you want to start an e-commerce store without having to worry about taking stock, building your own products or worrying about how to ship those products to your customers? You’ve probably looked into selling dropshipped products.
A lot of people think that this approach is the Holy Grail to making money online. I don’t agree but we will get to that later in the article.
Somebody asked me a while back how you would go about selling products to people from an ecommerce store when you are selling the same products that everyone else has access to.
I have also had a lot of clients, particularly clients from freelance websites, who have asked me to write copy for products that fit this description.
Therefore, I thought I’d write a quick article to help people who have this predicament.
A Word Of Caution
Before we get on to how to sell dropshipped products to the good citizens of the Internet, I would like to recommend you don’t do it.
The reason is that the business model is full of flaws. I’ll sprinkle those flaws throughout this article but I think it is a difficult model to succeed with-especially as most people who are interested in this are new to entrepreneurship and have been sold the idea on a four hour work week dream.
That said you are probably going to do it anyway. If your mind is made up, I’m probably not going to convince you not to. In fact, it might be a good idea to try an e-commerce store. Get it out of your system, learn some lessons and hopefully move towards something better to do.
So let’s talk about how to sell dropship products.
Part One: What Are You Selling? Hint-It’s Not The Product
With any product you sell, you are selling the solution to a problem.
When you have a product that isn’t very good, you have to compensate by selling a particular solution over particular problem.
When you are selling the same product that everyone else is selling, you need to sell the solution better than anyone else. You are not selling the product in so much as you are convincing people that your store is the best way to solve their problem.
Do not get stuck on pricing competition. This is, when I explain the above, the first way that people think that they’re going to make their store better than anyone else. This is going to meet you competing with other people on price, and it is going to mean lower margins and more stress.
Also, do not get stuck on comparative marketing.
Whilst you are selling a solution to a market based on the idea that you are doing a better job than other stores, the last thing you want to do when you have a product line that is available absolutely everywhere is to mention your competition.
You will make readers seek out the competition, and then when the reader sees that your eighty dollar watch is actually a ten dollar watch from China, you are out of the sale. Instead, build your solution around your own company, almost to the exclusion of everything else.
Never mention anyone by name, and never make reference to being “the best,” or “the cheapest.”
Instead, you have to concentrate on building a brand.
Hint Two: Your Brand Is The Solution
Why would anyone buy second-rate merchandise from China?
If your business is trying to answer that question, then chances are you are duping customers, or you are targeting customers that can’t or won’t pay for a premium solution. Either way, these aren’t the customers you want, and this isn’t the business you want.
Why would customers buy the same thing from an e-commerce store after it’s been marked up five-hundred percent?
There is one reason that people buy marked-up merchandise, and they do it on a regular basis. They do it because of the brand.
Consumers trust brands to a crazy extent. I can go into a boutique store in my nearest city centre and spend hundreds, if not thousands of pounds on something that probably cost 50p to produce in a Chinese factory.
You might wonder why big brands can get away with this, and so I’ll tell you.
People aren’t buying the product. They are buying the brand. That’s not crazy like it probably sounds.
People Trust The Brand
The brand isn’t just a label. The brand provides a guarantee of a certain quality or a certain experience.
It also provides assurances and a higher quality service. Anyone who has tried to buy merchandise in bulk from China knows that you can expect delays on service, things arriving broken, and a complete lack of customer service at times that we are completely unaccustomed to in the West.
When people pay for a premium brand experience, they are avoiding all of those things. This relates to your e-commerce store in a very direct way.
But Wait! That Means…
It means that if you want to sell a dropship product or build an e-commerce store, then you are going to have to provide those things that a brand provides.
You don’t get to mark-up a product by five-hundred percent without actually bringing anything to the table. As you aren’t bringing the product or the logistics side of the business to the table, all you have to bring to the table is the brand, the reputation and the quality assurance.
That is the difference between you and the faceless millions that could also do this job. You are the one that has to assume the risk, and you are the one that has to build the reputation of the brand.
Returns? Those are your problem. Customer support? That is also your problem. What happens if a Chinese manufacturer runs off with your money or runs out of stock twelve weeks before Christmas? Again, that is your problem.
This is why I disguised a cautionary tale as a how-to guide.
When it comes to dropship and e-commerce stores, you are assuming a lot of risk. Also, you are assuming that risk without controlling the product or anything about your business on the logistics side.
Occasionally I will write an article that could go on for thousands and thousands of words. This is one of them.
Hopefully, those of you who are interested in how to sell dropshipped products have received enough doubt in this article to make you really think about what it is you want to do and how it is you’re going to do it.
I’m not saying that dropshipping isn’t a valuable process, nor that e-commerce is just a shark tank with low margins and high risk. That’s not really true. But it’s not a risk-free business, and it’s not turnkey make money online machine like a lot of people think it is.
There are ways to build an ecommerce store and there are ways to use dropshipping and manufacturer supply chains to build a business.
You just need to ask more questions, get more answers and really drill down into what it is you are providing and how that provides value to a potential customer.
Essentially, when it comes to building an e-commerce store, you are providing the brand and you have to do everything associated with building that brand and keeping that brand reputable. That’s a bigger job than a lot of e-commerce gurus would have you believe.