Dropship Your Way To Ebusiness Success
Q: I would like to start my own eBay business, but I really don't want to invest in a ton of inventory until I can get a better handle on what might or might not sell. I read another column about dropshipping, but I'm still a little fuzzy on how the whole process works. Do you think using dropshipping is a good way to start an eBay business and if so, how do I get started? -- Candace M.
A: Dropshipping is a topic that I first addressed in my column way back in April, 2003, which is decades ago in Internet years. But with the continuing growth of eBay and it's positioning of itself as a viable way for anyone looking to launch an ebusiness, the topic of dropshipping is now hotter than ever. It is also now more misunderstood than ever.
Dropshipping has been around since Sears first started selling goods from its mail order catalogs over a hundred years ago. However, the idea of dropshipping still confuses many people who don't understand exactly how the process works.
By definition, dropshipping is a method of selling and distributing goods wherein the distributor or supplier of the product (the dropshipper) ships the product directly to the end user (your customer) on the retailer's behalf (that's you).
The process of dropshipping involves three parties who take a product from manufacturing to market. They are a manufacturer, a distributor, and a reseller.
Let's use a blue widget as a sample product to demonstrate the process: Blue Widget Manufacturing (manufacturer): This is the company that manufactures blue widgets. Blue Widget Manufacturing does not sell directly to the public or supply the retailers who ultimately sell the blue widgets to the end user. They prefer to use distributors to handle the task of taking their blue widgets to market. Blue Widgets sells blue widgets by the truckload to distributors who pay $5 per blue widget.
A1 Distributing (distributor/dropshipper): A1 Distributing is the company that purchases blue widgets in bulk from the manufacturer and supplies them to resellers at a cost of $7 each. The distributor does not ship blue widgets to the reseller, but ships orders directly to the reseller's customers as the widgets are sold.
Big Bob's eBay Widget Store: Big Bob sells blue widgets to the public from his eBay store. Bob orders the blue widgets from A1 Distributing as he sells them (usually one at a time) and has A1 ship the blue widget directly to his customer. Bob sells blue widgets to the public for $10 each, which means that for every blue widget sold he nets $3.
How The Process of Dropshipping Works
Here are the seven steps involved in starting a dropship ebusiness:
STEP 1: Choose A Product To Sell
The very first step in any sales process is deciding what product to sell. There are many factors that should be considered before deciding on a product to sell, but for now let's say that you decide to sell CD players on eBay.
STEP 2: Locate A Supplier Who Will Dropship For You
Using a research tool like Google, Thomas Register, or an industry-specific resource like The Ultimate eBay Dropship Power Pak, you search for and find a company who will dropship CD players for you. The company offers you a 35% mark up over cost, which means that they will supply the CD players to you for $100 each and you should be able to retail them for $135. You make sure that the dropshipper has a good stock of CD players on hand so you don't end up selling a product that must be back-ordered.
STEP 3: Set Up An Account With The Dropshipper
You contact the company that can supply the CD players and set up a reseller account with them. This can often be done online or by phone, but some companies will require that you complete and return a reseller application to open an account. Some companies may also require a tax ID and business license.
STEP 4: Advertise The Product For Sale On eBay
Now that you have your supplier lined up and know that the product is in stock, it's time to make a sale. You advertise the product using an eBay auction. Since you know what you must pay the dropshipper for the product, you know what the minimum amount you will take for the product. In this case you start your auction at $100 since that is your cost. If you are confident that you can get more than $100 for the product you can start with a lower price, but remember that if the product goes for less than what it costs you to fill the order, you will lose money. Also remember that the dropshipper will charge shipping, so you should figure that into your sale.
STEP 5: The Product Sells
Great news: your CD player sells for $135 and your customer pays you with a PayPal instant payment. I highly recommend that if you are selling on eBay you use PayPal or some other online processor to accept instant payments. This allows the customer to pay you faster, which lets you place the order with the dropshipper faster, which gets the product to your customer faster.
STEP 6: Place The Order With The Dropshipper
After your customer pays you, you should contact the dropshipper immediately to order the product on your customer's behalf. The dropshipper then ships the order to your customer under your company name and address.
STEP 7: Follow Up After The Sale
This is where many new ebusiness people drop the ball. Just because your customer has paid you and you've placed the order with the dropshipper does not mean that you are out of the loop. Quite the contrary, if there are problems with the order you are the one that will be held responsible in the eyes of your customer.
Be proactive in your customer relations. Follow up with your customer to let them know that the item has been shipped. Offer yourself as the personal contact for any issues that may arise. This is also a great way to sell that customer more products. Invite them to check out your eBay store or website if you have one.
Many people are afraid to use dropshipping as a method of sales due to the horror stories that fill the Internet about unscrupulous dropshippers who take the money and don't fill the orders, merchandise that is eternally back ordered, unscrupulous middle men posing as dropshippers, etc. Make no mistake, the dropshipping industry - like most other industries - does have its share of shady characters who would rob you blind given the chance, but there are also hundreds of honest dropshippers who can help you build a profitable eBay dropship business.
Dropshipping is a complex topic that can't be completely addressed here. For that reason I have written a detailed report on dropshipping that is available to Entrepreneur.com readers for free.Small Business Q&A is written by veteran entrepreneurand syndicated columnist, Tim Knox.Tim's latest books include "Small Business Success Secrets"and "The 30 Day Blueprint For Success!"Related Links:http://www.smallbusinessqa.comhttp://www.dropshipwholesale.net
Auction Sales - Keeping Customers You Worked So Hard To Get!
If you've studied business concepts you know that finding a customer can be the most expensive part of the sales process. Once you've got a customer why not maximize the money you've already invested in the effort?This time honored business concept certainly falls under the category of going the extra mile for a customer.
Using Online Ebay Auctions to Promote Your Website - Confessions of a True Traffic Junkie
If you are looking for traffic to your e-commerce site, you should look no further than Ebay. The reason for this is Ebay is an online auction site that has a huge following and millions of hits on a daily basis.
Online Auctions: 5 Ways Your Business Can Benefit From Online Auctions
Online auctions are now the new gold rush on the internet.It seems as if everyone is talking about online auctions.
Is it Antique and is it Worth Anything?
Is it an antique and is it worth anything?Would you know?At some point in our lives most of us are going to put in a position where we have to ask ourselves the question-Which of my treasured possesions should I keep because they might be worth something and which can I throw away?Would you know??We start our own homes full of enthusiasm and with all the lovely clutter that makes up our lives and that of the family, but as time goes on, the children leave home, we decide to move to a smaller house or maybe we decide to live abroad. At that stage we have to decide what to keep and what to part with.
Professional eBay Auctions Reap the Profits for Sellers
eBay offer an unbelievable amount of traffic for ANYONE wanting to sell on their auction site, so much so that millions of items are listed on it everyday. So with all this competition how do you make sure that your listing doesn't get lost amongst the rest and that customers keep coming back to you.
12 Tips To Make Your eBay Business More Profitable
Sometimes it's the simple things that can make your eBay business more profitable and run smoother. Here are twelve things you can do that will lead to more sales and increased profits on eBay.
How To Sell On Ebay: The Money Is In The Back-End
Many people who sell on Ebay completely neglect the follow-up process. They post an auction.
Drop-ship or U-ship: That is the Question
For small Internet retailers, drop-shipping is one of the best innovations since sliced bread. How else can a start-up offer a wide variety of products and convince customers that they have a fully-stocked warehouse-while investing virtually nothing in inventory or warehousing? Before you jump right onto the drop-shipping bandwagon, however, there are some pitfalls to avoid.
Online Auctions: The New Way of Shopping for Mauritians
Since their introduction several years ago, online auctions, such as eBay, have been one of the hottest destinations on the World Wide Web. Auction sellers are attracted by the prospect of a broad venue for their products and the possibility of high profits.
How to Win on eBay
I've bought over 100 items on eBay over three years and am ready to share my knowledge of how to win at eBay and buy from reputable sellers.1.
How to Generate Extra Cash in an Instant
With so many out of work, laid off or staying in dead end jobs to make the ends meet, we need creative ways of generating extra income. Here are a few simple, innovative ideas to get the cash you need quickly.
Snipe Your Way to Auction Success
Bidding for a bargain is all part of the exciting eBay experience. But what can really disappoint is when you're all set to win that fantastic, gold plated gizmo and someone else just beats your bid in the very last minute.
Tips on How to Profit from eBay Buy It Now Auction Listings
eBay is an online auction site so it stands to reason that most users will tend to auction off their items aiming to get a high price.The problem with auctioning items is that eBay can be a very fickle place, one week an item may sell for hundreds of pounds but the next week the same item may sell for pennies.
E-bay Auctions: Sell Better, Spend Less Tip #1
Just about everyone alive today has heard of E Bay.com, but most people don't realize the sheer size and complexity of this Auction beast.
Dont Be A Victim Of Online Auction Fraud
The Internet Fraud Complaint Center (IFCC) reported that last year 7.7 million dollars was lost through online auction scams.
Buying At Auction: 6 Hints to Make You a Successful Bidder
Buying at auction, be it for stamps or coins, antiques or even cattle, can be one of the most exciting and profitable experiences possible. It can also be expensive and utterly frustrating.
Selling on eBay - Have You Found the Magic Formula Yet?
Selling on eBay can be very profitable and a great way to make some cash while clearing your house of unwanted items at the same time. It's quite simple, just describe and photograph your items and seven to ten days later you'll get a payment though paypal or by cheque posted to you.
Online Auction Sellers - Seize Control Of Your Business!
As the online auction model of business continues to evolve toward a more commoditized, corporate marketplace, it is time for online auction sellers to seize control of their business, before it's too late.In this article we will highlight some effective steps you can take to shift control back to your own business.
How to Make Money from Internet Auctions
If your business is not using eBay and other Internet auctions, you could be missing out. Here are just a few ways of generating additional income, profits and cashflow from online auctions.
Bananas - Your Source of eBay Packing Materials!
This is the most boring stage of the process and subsequently where some eBay sellers let themselves down. If the buyer receives thier purchase poorly packed and broken then they are not going to be happy and will want a refund and more importantly never buy off you again which will have negated all the hard work that you put into the previous stages of your professional auction listing.
|Auctions home | Auctions site map|
|© 2006 - www.worldpaidshop.com|