Dropshipping basically means that you are selling the goods directly to the customer without having to buy them first. You need to make a contract with the right supplier, and you are already on your way to starting up your dropshipping business. Due to there being no overhead, it is a kind of business that you can run from a home or office. It’s essential that you determine what kinds of products you want to focus on selling, and locate reliable suppliers which are going to dropship for you. In this article, we are going to discuss the basics of starting a business like this.
Find a Supplier
First, you need to explore your options for a good supplier. The fact is that there is no single place where you can do this, so you need to do a little digging. For example, do an extensive search online. Look for “wholesaler” next to the product that you want to sell. Look through about 20 pages, and if you don’t find anything useful, try looking for “distributor”, “reseller”, and “supplier”. It might also be a good idea to look through the Yellow Pages if you’re looking for a supplier that is local.
Ask the important questions, such as how long does it take for an order to ship, what kind of shipping methods they can provide, what quality control systems do they use, do they provide warranties, and can you use their professional product photos.
Choose the Products
When you have a supplier in place, go through their product pages and decide what it is that you want to sell. The best solution is to look to sell products that have a high demand. One way that you can do this is through market research. You can make use of Google’s Keyword Planner for this. The idea is to find how many people have searched for a particular term. For example, if you want to sell waterproof phone cases, you should see how many people searched for that.
Furthermore, you can go to a site like eBay and check their completed listings. Simply go to “advanced search” and check the “completed listings box”. Then input your keyword and category. When going through the listings, you will want to look for items that sell at 60% and more. This means that these items are high in demand.
Get a tax ID
While this isn’t a case for everyone, there are wholesale suppliers that you need to have a tax ID in order to work with them. It is also called retail licence, vendor’s license, etc. If you are in the US or Canada, you need a sales tax ID for running a business. Some states don’t require one, so contact your supplier and see what needs to be done. A tax ID is easy and cost-effective to get – just go to your local county clerk’s office, or do it online by searching for “state + sales tax ID”. In order to get it, it may be necessary for you to be a business entity – a sole proprietor or a company. Next to that, you might need to have a federal tax ID number.
Choose a Platform
The next step is to choose what selling platform you are going to use. The best idea is to create your own website, which you can do with the help of a web design agency that can make sure that your pages look professional and appealing to your audience. If not, you can sell on online marketplaces like eBay, Amazon, Bonanza, etc. While the latter requires less work, the fact remains that you may find yourself lost among all the sellers. However, if you do choose to sell via an existing marketplace, make sure that you diversify, since not everyone uses just eBay, for example.
If you’re not using an online marketplace which processes payments for you, you need to set up your website so that it accepts credit card payments. In this case, you will require a merchant account and a payment gateway account, in order to enable your customers to pay using credit cards. Probably the best solution is PayPal, because it helps you avoid getting these two, and enables you to implement their Shopping Cart feature into your site with no charge. Then, your customers will be able to pay with credit cards by using their PayPal accounts.
Dropshipping can be a great and lucrative business, which makes things easier for you because you’re not the one buying the goods in order to sell them to your customers. Look for the right supplier and choose the kind of products that you want to sell. Then make sure that you get a tax ID if necessary. Finally, choose a selling platform, be it your own website, or an already existing marketplace.