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Can You Make Money as a Wholesale Dropshipper?

Monday, October 18th

Can You Make Money as a Wholesale Dropshipper?

The easy answer to that question is "Yes," "No," "Maybe" and "Who knows?". The words 'knowledge,' 'experience,' 'determination' and 'luck' all have major roles to play, not necessarily in equal measure, and will affect which of the above answers fits your endeavor's situation.

Once again however, 'research' is the star of the show.

At the outset of your proposed venture into online retailing using a wholesale drop shipping supplier, research every retail avenue you can to determine how much other retailers are charging for the product you want to sell in your online retail business. If you find that each retailer has your intended product in the same price range, then you have a good idea of what the market will bear. In response to that situation, you need something other than price point to bring sales to you. Outstanding customer service and product knowledge could fill that role. A price war probably won't, at least not for the long run.

When searching for additional items to expand your original idea, look for a product within your area of expertise which has the greatest potential for profit, as in the ubiquitous "buy low and sell high" advice. This online research will take time, a minimum of several hours per item. Knowledge is money, preferably in your pocket.

When you are choosing products for your online retail business, if you are lucky, you might catch a trend on the upswing and enjoy the ride from a bottom-line standpoint. One of the advantages of using a wholesale drop shipping supplier is, if an item has passed the point of novelty and its sales decline, it is sitting on the shelves of the supplier's warehouse and not in your house nor in your inventory because using a wholesale drop shipper means you haven't previously paid for the item that is no longer selling.

When making calculations of possible profits on a particular item, don't focus on percentages, but rather look to dollar amounts. A wholesale drop shipping supplier may be able to sell you a very pretty cuckoo clock made in China in the Black Forest style for $10 and you could possibly sell it for $20, a 100 percent return on investment. But the dollar figure representing potentially pocketable profit stands at $10 and other costs will come out of that $10, lowering, possibly substantially, what can be recorded as profit. On the other hand, a wholesale drop shipping supplier of more quality goods might be able to sell you a cuckoo clock made in Freiburg, Germany for $500 which you could sell $1,000, more than perhaps your online retail competitor could get, because you have a reputation for knowing cuckoo clocks inside and out. Same profit percentage, 100, but a very different dollar amount.

As an online retailer using a wholesale drop shipping supplier, meaning your customer pays you before you actually buy the item, the risk of offering a low ticket product and a high priced one, is exactly the same, essentially none.

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Wholesale Dropshipper FAQ

Dropshipping is a way of selling goods without having to personally maintain them in inventory. You act as a liaison between customers and products, passing along orders to the supplier(s) who then ship the products directly from their warehouses to your buyers.
There are lots of benefits to wholesale dropshipping. You don't have to lease a warehouse or storefront, which automatically means your operating costs are lower. It's a less risky option than many other sales models available today.
The easiest way is to select a wholesale dropshipping partner. These services do most of the legwork to source products for you to sell and generally help you advertise your "inventory" on various marketplaces and platforms online. You'll still need to do some work to spread the word, through social media buzz and targeted ads, if you want to maximize your profits.
Sometimes. You'll find services that charge a one-time fee of a few hundred dollars, and others that have monthly fees ranging from $30 to almost $400. Typically, the higher the monthly costs, the more advertising and automation features you get. These fees are in addition to your business costs of setting up a website, advertising, and so forth.
Yes. Once you start to make sales, you'll need to take out a business license according to the requirements where you live. Most payment providers will require proof of those credentials before passing along your profits.
That is one of the trickier aspects of running a dropshipping business. Your customers see you as the business, and so they'll expect you to handle refunds or replacements. Every supplier has different terms for returns - which means you could be out of pocket on the refund until the supplier fixes the situation on their side. Some dropshipping experts recommend that you order product samples for yourself, to decide what to carry in your store and make sure that it's quality merchandise.
In all frankness, there are some dropshippers that are 100% above-board, and many others that are little more than a thinly-veiled scam. Do your due diligence before committing to a dropshipper: find the service's rating with the Better Business Bureau, see what other clients have said about using the platform, and determine how long the company has been in operation. There are trustworthy dropshippers out there, but choose carefully.
Most dropshippers have a free trial period, so you can see how well the service works for you. You could have as long as 60 days to request a refund, depending on the terms of the dropshipper's satisfaction guarantee. Again, it's important to check the reputation of the service you're considering - because all of the guarantees in the world only count if the company actually honors it (and there are some that don't do a very good job of that).
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