Drop shipping companies provide an opportunity for you to run a store without actually having to maintain any inventory. They exist for just about every type of product you can imagine. Some provide access to a wide array of products, such as what you would find at your local Wal-Mart or Target. Others provide niche-specific products, such as what you might find at a local Bass Pro Shop.
Find a Drop Shipping Company
Unfortunately, there are plenty of drop shipping opportunities that aren't exactly legit. It's important that you take the time to find a company that has solid reviews from satisfied customers. Avoid any that seem to have a history of scamming their sellers, as these will only result in difficulties with your business in the future.
It's also essential to avoid paying any fee to get started with a drop shipping company. They earn their share of the profits when you sell a product, and any attempt to charge you for the opportunity to work with them should be seen as a red flag.
Moms should give preference to drop shipping companies that have an integrated shopping cart solution. It will simplify the entire process of setting up the website and help to minimize your expenses. It is also far easier to maintain these sites, as you won't have to deal with adding and deleting products from your store.
Find a Niche and Review the Market for Your New Products
After you find a company that seems to be on the up and up, it's important you match it to a potential niche. Don't just assume that there's a market for the products they're selling simply because they're offering a niche-based opportunity.
A good way to determine whether or not the products you'll be selling are in demand is to check Amazon.com. If you can find similar products that are being reviewed by real customers, then you can be sure that there's a demand. If you can't, it doesn't mean that the market doesn't exist, but it may prove a lot more difficult to actually turn this into a profitable opportunity.
Maintain a Blog and Social Media Presence
It isn't enough to just put together a shopping cart. Customers are unlikely to find it, and even if they do, there's no reason for them to choose your store over a competitors. You can differentiate your business easily, though, with a regularly updated blog and an active social media presence.
Your blog should exist on the same domain as your shopping cart. Your social media activities should reference your blog posts instead of being overly promotional. Potential customers will buy from you when they know, like, and trust your brand. Focus on delivering value to them and they'll be more than happy to choose your shop when they need what you're selling.
Keep Your Overhead to a Minimum
The whole appeal of running a drop shipping company is that there is minimal overhead. But if you don't watch your step, you could end up dealing with far more than you had bargained for. It's important that you have very clear terms of service when you're in the drop shipping business, as you're responsible for dealing with any issues related to customer complaints. Furthermore, consistent returns or complaints could result in the termination of your agreement with the supplier.
This doesn't imply that you should provide bad customer service. You just need to be extremely clear in what constitutes a valid return and what does not. You can minimize the chances of a requested return by providing clear and detailed descriptions of what the product does.
Drop Shipping isn't for Everyone
Even with the promise of reduced overhead, there's still a lot of work that needs to be done. For some, the allure of drop shipping turns out to be a false pretense. If you don't want to deal with customer service inquiries and constantly maintaining a blog or social media presence, there are other business opportunities worth considering.
If, however, you have always wanted to run your own shop but could never find the funds to get started, drop shipping might provide the perfect opportunity.