Selling physical products online is a popular way to earn money. The biggest obstacle is finding products to sell. The second biggest obstacle is finding a cost-efficient way to ship. You could buy in bulk from a wholesaler. But who wants to waste money and space on inventory that might not sell? A better option is to consider drop shipping.
Benefits of Drop Shipping
When you use drop shipping, you can sell just about anything. All you have to do is find a supplier and you're in business. And best of all, you don't have the worries that traditional business owners face.
1. You don't buy the products. Plenty of business owners lose money by investing in items that don't sell. But there's no upfront investment when you use a drop shipper. You list the item online, someone buys it, and then you place the order.
2. Someone else handles the shipping. Packing and shipping is a time consuming part of selling physical products. You have to pack orders several times a day, and then visit the post office. This is every day when business is booming. There's also the matter of investing in and storing shipping supplies. But with drop shipping, your supplier packs and ships everything. When someone makes a purchase, you pay the supplier and they ship directly to the customer.
3. No inventory. Some online business owners have inventory all over the house. Maybe it's in the garage, in a spare bedroom, or in a closet. Some might even rent a storage unit. Drop shipping removes the need to store inventory. In fact, you never even have to touch anything you sell. Your product supplier does it all.
4. Set Your Own Price. Drop shippers do charge a handling fee. And the amount of the fee usually depends on the item. Then you have to figure in the price of the product and the shipping. These are things you must consider when setting your prices. You can increase your income by setting a reasonable price that also earns a good profit. So if an item is $50 including all the fees, then you know you'll have to charge the customer more.
Finding a Reliable Drop Shipper
Finding a reliable supplier isn't easy. There are plenty online, but not all of them are legit. If you're interested in a drop shipper, then place an order. Going through the order process allows you to see how they treat customers. You can evaluate their shipping time, the quality of their products, and more. Checking the professionalism of customer service is recommended as well.
If you find anything distasteful about the supplier, then you'll know to look elsewhere. Is the product made of good material? Does it perform as promised? Is it securely packaged? What happens if the package is lost or damaged? These are just a few things to consider. Make every effort to learn all you can about the supplier.
Here are some suggestions for finding a supplier:
1. Supplier Directory. A supplier directory is a database of drop shippers. The listings are generally organized by product or niche. Suppliers usually have to pass a screening process, and there is often a fee to access the information. A directory provides a quick way to search a large number of suppliers. It will also give you ideas about what to sell.
2. Speak with the Manufacturer. Perhaps you already know what you want to sell. In that case, you can contact the manufacturer directly. Ask for a list of their distributors, and then contact those distributors to see if they offer drop shipping. If so, then you're in luck. This is possibly the best way to find a reliable supplier. Manufacturers deal with several distributors, so you'll likely get several suppliers to contact.
3. Use Google. A simple search for wholesale suppliers returns more than a million results. Google is a good resource, but you'll have to do some digging. Search for any term that might help you find what you're looking for. Instead of searching only for drop shipper, try words like supplier or distributor.
Starting Your Business
Drop shipping is a relatively easy and inexpensive way to start an online business. Your main responsibility is finding customers. That means you'll need a website, and the ability to market, promote, and advertise the products. Reach the right customers and you can create a good source of income.