Or give it away for free!
While I work, I like to have a podcast or a Youtube video on in the background. I don’t really pay attention all the time to what I’m listening to and lately Youtube has started playing these “Shopify Guru” videos after I finish another video that I’m listening to, and suddenly I find myself listing to some 19 year old claiming to make 5000$ a day dropshipping phone covers from China. Maybe he is and maybe he isn’t, it’s not really that important.
What is imporant is this. I believe it’s better to sell or even give away good information to make money than to sell a bad product.
Don’t get me wrong. Dropshipping can be great. If you go to China, find the right supplier for your unique product
So what most people do is that they sell products they haven’t even seen themselves from suppliers they’ve never talked to. Shipping takes 30-60 days and half the customers will already ask for a refund before the order arrives. When the order arrives the product probably won’t look like the picture and the quality is usually really bad, so that means more refunds.
Sure you can probably make a quick buck doing this. But instead of building your brand
If you can build a store and make a bit of money, you will also realize how much work it is. You will probably have to hire VA’s to do some of that work. Most every time drop shipping stores will have one or more VA just to reply to e-mails.
This is just my guess but I’m I think that your typical dropshipping business looks a bit something like this. Spend a few weeks or months developing. Build traffic and sales through social media. The first few weeks or months can do well and make money. Peak around 2-4 months in, and then deciline.
Another imporant point is that you are building a brand on two unstable heavily critized platforms. You are basically going into business with these two companies, Shopify and AliExpress. At least that’s the two most drop shippers use. So you need to be a responisble business owner and do you due dilligence. If you were building a brick and mortar store, you wouldn’t just go into business with two other companies without know anything about them.
Shopify is actually a great store platform and I have used them myself. The trouble is though that you don’t really own your site completly by using Shopify. It’s also not as customizable as making a site in WordPress or something similar. As your business starts to grow it is far better to host a WordPress site on a reputable host. You want to be able to communicate with your hosting provider to optimize your site as time goes by.
In 2017, Shopify was under heavy fire from Citron Research and short-seller Andrew Left, who made a few points about the dark side of Shopify. Read more about that on their site here.
Alibaba and AliExpress are also no strangers to critizism. Sure there are decent sellers on their platform, but if you know anything about Chinese factories and suppliers, you will know that pretty much the only way to separate the good from the bad, is by going to China and looking at the factories themselves.
Last year, the documentary “The China Hustle” was released which takes a look at the many shady business dealings that went on between Wallstreet and Chinese companies post the 2008 financial crisis. It can be viewed on Netflix and I recommend anyone who wants to get into drop shipping to check it out. The last part focuses a bit on Alibaba as well without going into much detail.
Drop Shipping Alternatives in 2019
So if you don’t want to build a brand that you will eventually destroy on platforms you have no control over. What can you do from home with little or no capital instead? Well, there’s probably a lot. But I’m going to give you two alternatives to drop shipping that I am currently doing myself.
My main way of making money online is by giving away information, and profiting of ad revenue. Right now you are ready my new blog that will at some point be monitized through ads. So instead of making money drop shipping, I am making money by telling you not to.
For me personally, it is much better to make 100$ a day giving away good information for free than to make 200$ and having to deal with slow shipping, a high amount of returns and angry customers and then pay for ads, VA’s and influencers on top of that.
It’s also much more scalable. If you are giving away good information, you are going to get to 200$ and 300$ and so on.
I won’t go into detail about how you can do this in this post, but I definitely will in future posts.
Another option is to sell good products. But how do you do that without any starting capital? By selling used quality goods. I wrote a post about how I run a business with just selling things that I get for free or very cheap online here. I sell furniture but you can do this with anything really. Video games, toys, sports memorabilia. Multi-millionaire Gary Vaynerchuk even talks about this and does it himself for fun by selling used toys he finds at flea markets and garage sales. He even made a Youtube series about it.
The best part about this option though. Happy customers. Guess how many returns I’ve gotten on my used furniture business? None. Zero. It’s all high-quality goods sold at a fair price, so no one complains. I’m sure as I scale the business and get more customers, there will be some returns. But not anywhere close to the return rates in drop shipping.
What’s your view on drop shipping going into the future? Let me know in the comments below.