‘Fantastic having you here once again. Its been a journey writing up this post and I have actually tried one of the ideas I am writing up here.
This post is not going too be long and I hope you find the ideas useful and can start now. So let’s get right to it.
What is dropshipping?
Dropshipping is simply selling products to people without actually having the physical stock now with the aim that you will use the money paid to you by your customers to buy the product from a supplier and then ship it to your customers or have your supplier ship it directly.
Your supplier can actually be another retailer but it’s cool and better if you can buy at a markdown price or get a singular item from a nice wholesaler. Having said that, getting single items from retailers with good prices are very rare.
There are 2 ways you can do the shipping. You can either have the products shipped directly to your customers or you have it shipped to you then you reship it to your customers.
I personally prefer the second option. Though it costs more in terms of postage and time for delivery, its actually the best way to build one’s reputation without losing all control over the process. You just have to let your customers know beforehand that shipping is longer than 2-3 days that Amazon offers.
Idea 1: Books
This one is easily done by buying books from the top 100 on Amazon and selling on eBay or your website for a higher margin to those who buy from you.
Please note that the margin on books are very slim especially fiction paperback but it’s a good dropship item if you don’t mind the margin and willing to create value proposition through your listings on eBay or your website.
So for our example, we would use a book on the top 100 fiction paperback on Amazon and we will choose book number 3. Lets assume the book costs 11.99 including shipping cost. Let’s also assume you already have an active eBay account ready to sell. We also assume Amazon has a lot of the copies for this book.
Things to note…
I actually do NOT like the idea of a customer receiving their items with an amazon packaging when they have not bought items from Amazon. It doesn’t look good and it’s bad practice in my view.
I recommend having the items delivered to you then you personally post to customer with your own branding or not. Yes you pay postage twice but factor that into your profit margin. Let customers know you will deliver within a range of days eg 4-5 working days.
The best way I believe to go about this idea of buying on Amazon and selling on eBay or elsewhere is to get Amazon Prime subscription and only buy items fulfilled by Amazon. This is so that you can get the items fast and then be able to post them off to customers that order from you within a reasonable time.
How it is done:
Step 0: Search Amazon for the bestselling book you want to sell. For this example, we are choosing a fiction top 3 paperback on amazon.com
Step 1: Create a listing on eBay for a fiction paperback with buy now option at with price of 17.99 plus shipping 1.99 total 19.98 or your active website
Step 2: When it sells, go to Amazon to purchase the item and have it delivered to you (Prime membership recommended).
Step 3: Once the item arrives to you within a day or two, then you post to your customer straight away.
Step 4: You pay your fees incurred for selling on eBay or your website from what’s left from the amount your customer paid.
Step 5: Returned items need to be taken care of. No dropshipper likes the idea of this. But you will want to put up some really strong conditions in place especially if the books are going to easily read by customers then returned. Not good. Naughty, naughty customer. But you can have the customer pay for returns postage and a portion of the cost of goods if returned damaged that it can’t be resold even at a good discount. Either way, you really don’t want to be doing returns loool.
Step 6: Repeat steps 1-5 above
Item 2: Children’s Toys from Catalog Stores
Children’s toys from catalog stores with physical pick up in your city and sell on Amazon or eBay or your website.
This idea only works well when you are willing to keep monitoring availabilities of toys and the stores are within easy reach with plenty of branches. A very good example of a store like this is argos.co.uk. What makes it interesting is that the branches are usually stocking products advertised online which is fantastic and you can just reserve it for immediate pick up at the store nearest to you or have it delivered within in timeframe that suits you at extra cost of course!
Things to note:
The cost of selling on amazon is quite high compared to other selling portals. So you might want to factor that into the cost. Also, items can easily run OUT if the stores do clearout sales..so just be aware of this and keep monitoring so as not to disappoint customers.
How it’s done:
Step 0: Identify the catalogue store or stores you want to use and decide on the products you want to sell
Step 1: Decide on your profit margin and total selling price for each product (don’t forget cost of selling, selling fees, postage etc)
Step 2: List product(s) on Amazon and wait for it to sell or list on eBay or any other sites you want to sell on. But I recommend Amazon as the customer base is huge.
Step 3: Once it sells, you order from the catalog store you found the product on and have the product picked up by you or you have it delivered quick so you can still post to your customer quickly within a reasonable timeframe.
Step 4: Send off item to customer
Step 5: Pay off fees and associated cost of selling items from the amount your customer paid you.
Step 6: Hope there will be no returns or complains from customer.
Step 7: Repeat the steps 1 – 6 above.
Item 3: Small home appliances from dropshipping websites
Small home appliances from e.g. dropshipper.co.uk (I am not an affiliate for them..lool ) to sell on eBay or Amazon
Similar to the steps above except you have to really watch out keenly for products going out of stock whilst you have them listed on my website or Amazon or eBay.
I actually used this company a while back and I believe they were good as I never had any customer returns or queries. I am not so sure of the variety they now have with their product range.
Also I noticed at the time that they were not selling on eBay or Amazon like some wholesalers do thereby competing with you on price which is so annoying! Irritating in fact! Lol. But do check for yourself in case the quality has changed.
Item 4: Ink Cartridges
Ink cartridges for popular ink cartridges sold on own shopping website
I am afraid it’s the same process as above except you have to really decide if you want to sell refills or brand new and original ink cartridges. The challenge here is that the profit margin can be low if your supplier is charging too much. I think the main way to leverage with original ink cartridges is the quickness of delivery.
If you noticed, I also recommended selling on your own website. Why? It’s because of pricing. You can’t really compete much on amazon or eBay unless you are a wholesaler or willing to make a loss with each sale as the margin of profit will be or might be so thin.
But, after my research I realised that a lot of dropshipping opportunities with ink cartridges come from the replacement ink market. I, for one, am worried that bad ink toners can spoil my printer, so I don’t usually buy them. But I guess if there are so many of them around, then I guess there’s a huge market for the replacement ink cartridges and toners.
My personal preference will be buy original ink cartridges as cheaply as you can and leverage with supersonic delivery. I wonder if it’s actually possible to do this..yes, it is. How? If you live around a nice big store that carries a lot of popular ink cartridges and nearly fully stocked everyday.
Here you are, with 4 easy to start ideas. I hope the competition is not too hot to make anyone give up. Wishing you all the best.
You can contact me via the contact page if you need any help with setting up your dropship idea.