Did you know that as popular as it is, there are so many controversial misconceptions about drop shipping?
Drop shipping is a very popular eCommerce model that the Internet has been all abuzz about over the past several years. Drop shipping has come to be known as one of the best models for retail sales. Many entrepreneurs want to start a new business but don’t have loads of time or resources. These aspiring business owners can use this model to actually start selling without having to deal with physical goods.
It’s such an amazing model that provides entrepreneurs with so many advantages they wouldn’t otherwise have. But all the misconceptions about drop shipping are giving it a bad name. People like you and me could easily get all excited about drop shipping, jump the gun, and end up losing what little we had to begin with.
It’s important to know what the misconceptions about drop shipping are so we can avoid falling into the trap that they create for us. Here are 6 of the most common ones that could have you reeling if you don’t watch out.
Misconception #1: It’s a Perfect and Easy Business Model
All you need to do is get online, read a few articles, and you’re good to go, right?
It’s not that easy. Drop shipping has been around for quite a while, but it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. You can’t just do a copy-paste from a successful business to your own startup and expect to get the same results. Your business will always be different in at least a few key aspects, and working on it within those parameters will be what perfects it. You will have to do quite a bit of work to find that balance, that formula that is right for your specific business.
Go ahead and do a bunch of internet research, read some good books, and link up with other entrepreneurs. You can learn a lot from the experiences of others. Just be careful about taking tips from random forums and articles written by strangers and applying them to your business. This is probably the most common of all the misconceptions about drop shipping that get entrepreneurs into trouble.
Take the time to do your due diligence. There is no guarantee that any number of things that have worked for others will work for you, too. You have to work hard to test different strategies out and monitor how they work. Skills are non-transferable. You need to learn them yourself. Be wary of the temptation of taking shortcuts that can stunt the development of your business.
If you are able to develop a good relationship with a mentor, this can help. A mentor will be in a position to look closely at your plans and needs and help you find your niche and grow your business.
Misconception #2: It Can Lead to Overnight Success
So, yeah, drop shipping is a really simple model when you get down to it. You warehouse no physical products because you don’t need to purchase any. Everything you sell gets shipped straight to your customers from your suppliers. You just market your products online and your suppliers take care of order fulfillment.
How awesome is that? You don’t need to actually have anything to sell, so you’re basically making money off air, right?
Your dreams of becoming an overnight millionaire are about to be crushed. One of the biggest misconceptions about drop shipping is that it can make you instantly rich. Don’t quit your day job just yet. Drop shipping, as awesome as it is, takes some time and effort to set up. Just like any other business, drop shipping needs your diligent attention. It is true that there are a lot of things that you don’t need to worry about when you use this model. You do, however, still have to put your nose to the grindstone to get it working.
There’s a lot of competition out there. Everybody and his uncle can set up an online store and start selling whatever they want. You need to do a lot of research to find out what you are going to sell, where you are going to get those products, how you are going to get the word out about it, and who you are going to get to buy your products.
This brings us to a few other common misconceptions about drop shipping.
Misconception #3: It Can Allow You to Sell Anything and Everything
It might seem logical that more products means more money. But spreading yourself too thin can spell disaster. Instead of choosing to sell a wide variety of products in several categories, start small. Trying to build an empire by catering to everyone is probably the most dangerous of all the misconceptions about drop shipping. It’s easy to think that you can sell anything and everything since you don’t need to actually stock a single product. Take care that you don’t fall into this trap.
Find a niche market and invest yourself in learning about them. Know who they are and what they need and how you can cater to them. Then build your store around this. Having a solid group of customers to sell to is what will guarantee your success. Focus on this instead of taking shots in the dark with a bunch of stuff that may never gain traction.
Misconception #4: It’s Easy to Find Reliable Drop Ship Suppliers
You might be so passionate about a product that you think everyone would want to buy it. You might also think that your suppliers feel the same way. This is why they have the product in the first place, right? And they need you to sell it for them. They are going to be so thrilled that someone wants to market their amazing product and make some money for them. Of all the misconceptions about drop shipping, this one is likely to break the most hearts.
The truth is, it’s not that easy to find drop shipping suppliers. Many of them are careful about who they choose to partner with. If they are serious about building their own businesses, they are not just going to say yes to anyone. Remember that at this point you are a stranger to them. If you are just starting out, you won’t even have a store to show them to help ease their minds about you.
Suppliers can be very choosy about who they decide to sell through. They might have requirements to do with their branding. They might even resist taking on sellers because they don’t want to dilute their brand.
To attract suppliers, you need to have a marketing plan in place that you can share with prospects. If you do have a site with a couple of products on it, show them how you are marketing your site. If you don’t yet, show them all the things that you will do to tastefully promote their product. Learn about your suppliers. What aesthetics do they appreciate? What does their brand stand for? Highlight the channels and methods that you will use that are in line with their values. This shows your commitment to partnering with them to build that product and brand up.
Misconception #5: You Can Get Up and Running Within Hours
Another of the most common misconceptions about drop shipping is thinking that you can start selling today. It only takes a few hours to set up a website after all, and as soon as you have a product to upload, you can give suppliers a call and the dollars will start pouring in.
Slapping a store together and running with whatever products you’ve been able to source is like the proverbial house built on sand. It’s super fast and easy, but you won’t have that ever-important foundation. You won’t have a unique selling point and you won’t have an audience for your products. You won’t have the best platform to sell from. You won’t know how to make the most of sale days like Black Friday.
Make sure that you first know what you’re selling and who you’re selling it to. This way, you can build a store that makes sense for your niche and speaks to your target customer. Know the answers to the questions before you launch so that you can get properly optimized for maximum conversions. If you do a slap and go, it will look like a fly by night operation and people are not going to feel good about buying from you.
As a side note, don’t go overboard with your store, either. It doesn’t have to be absolutely perfect before you launch. There might be a few things that you are going to have to tweak along the way. As long as you have the solid foundation down, you are ready to start selling. Perfect rarely ever happens, and you’ll lose out big time if you wait for it to come.
Misconception #6: It’s Easy to Manage and Scale
Drop shipping is a pretty simple model on the face of it. Managing a business built around drop shipping, however, is not as easy as you might think. There is a lot involved in the day to day management of a business, whether it’s drop shipping or any other kind. You won’t stock products, but you still have to think about inventory. You won’t have to make a huge investment, but you still have to manage your finances. And so on.
Are you committed to building something? You have to know that you can’t just find one product and call it a day, and create a website and leave it, and contact one supplier and sit back. Managing a business is going to take up a lot of your time and energy on a daily basis. Your success depends on the amount and quality of attention that you are prepared to give.
We’ve talked a lot about passion on the site, and with good reason. Behind all the bells and whistles of drop shipping is a lot of hard work and dedication. Drop shipping is an excellent business model that allows a lot of people who would otherwise be stuck in the 9 to 5 grind become successful entrepreneurs. But it isn’t a magical potion that you can pour on to make a successful business appear.