If you’re thinking about setting up an eBay store or you already have one, but your goal is to make it very successful, you might need to know a few things at first. Dropshipping is a fairly simple way to make money online and that’s why it’s so popular. But, as simple as it is, it requires certain knowledge, strategy and more to become and stay successful. Today, we’re going to talk about what you need to succeed in the dropshipping game. Let’s get going.
What is dropshipping?
For the newcomers, let’s just take a quick peek at what dropshipping in fact is. It is a way of selling items online, without actually having them stocked or already purchased. Traditional stores offer you items that they have previously purchased and now own. Those kinds of stores carry a certain risk. For example, product expiring or just not being sold – and that equals trapped and lost money. Dropshipping eliminates that risk. Unless the order for the particular item has been made, you don’t order the item yourself. Also, you’re acting as a middle man here. Even when the buyer has ordered the item, you’re not going to receive it yourself and them re-send it, your supplier will directly ship the product to the buyer and you’ll make a small profit. That’s the gist of it.
Now, let’s get to the important stuff. What do you need to succeed? It does not mean what possessions or devices you need. Sure, you can’t list stuff online without the computer or a device that can access the internet, but since that is pretty clear for everyone, let’s focus on things you need to do and understand if you want your dropshipping business to succeed.
1. Be efficient with your time and workload
The key to being successful and running a profitable eBay store lies in volume and there’s no way around it. You’re making a minimal profit off of an item, several dollars at best, so you can’t rely on a couple of sales a month to keep you afloat. However, selling a lot of items means listing a lot of items and that equals a lot of time.
How do you solve this problem? You use eBay’s bulk listings. This means that if you’re selling headphones, you’re not going to list an individual item every time one is sold, but you’ll make a multiple-item listing, making sure that it’s still up there once one item is sold, leaving you with more time to focus on other things.
2. Have a reliable supplier
This is one of the most important things if you’re planning on doing it properly. Even though dropshipping is allowed by eBay, and it’s clear that you are not in the possession of the said item, if there’s anything wrong with the product, you’re the one that’s responsible. This means that everything that could go wrong is on your back. Late deliveries, bad product quality or lack of the product completely is only going to reflect on your store. You’ll get bad reviews from unsatisfied customers and if you get enough of those, you’re done. That’s why it is paramount to choose a respectable, reliable supplier, like GoTen.com for instance, and keep your eBay dropshipping business growing.
3. Pay attention to price
We’ve mentioned that it’s not as simple as it seems, at that applies to this as well. It’s not as simple as charging more than what you’ve paid for or just overcharging. In the first case, it might not be enough, in the second case, it’s not going to sell. Do the math, that’s all you need to do. Selling fees will be up to 10%, that’s the percentage eBay charges, and after 50 free monthly listings, you’ll be charged around 30 cents for every additional one.
What you can do, is set the price that is just right for you and offer a Buy It Now option which will certainly bring you profit. However, bidding is a key part of the eBay buyers experience, so if you wish to ensure that you’re not selling at a loss, you might set the lowest price point under which you will not sell. That might affect your selling fees (that 10%), so pay close attention to this. The best thing to do is just set a higher starting bid.
4. Make sure you’re not listing unavailable items
Things like this can, have and will happen if you’re not in regular contact with your supplier. It’s important to stay on top of things. Check daily with your supplier if something might be running out so you can act accordingly. If your customer is in a position where it wants to order something and that something is listed, yet not available, that’s going to affect your reputation negatively. And that brings us to the next point.
5. Maintain a good relationship with buyers
A great way to make a store successful is to have a buyer come back. Making sure that the buyers come back is of great importance, if they get used to you, they’ll look no further. How you’re going to do that? Make sure everything listed is available, reasonably priced, delivered on time, allowing the buyer to track their shipment and making sure that the product is of the best possible quality. If for whatever reason an issue comes up, handle it professionally. Those will make sure your reviews are good, customers satisfied and your store ranked accordingly.
6. Time your auctions
Timing is everything, you’ve heard that, right? Of course, you did, that’s because it’s true. Making sure you’re listing your items at the right time could be the difference between selling or not. There are certain ‘peak’ times where most of the buyers are online, usually after lunch on the weekends. Those times will allow for more people to see your listing, however, it will also mean more competition. So, consider everything and list correspondingly.
7. Make sure the product can be tracked
We’ve mentioned this before, but it’s important enough to be highlighted separately. Ensuring the buyer can track the order is good for both of you. Be sure to use UPS or FedEx or similar delivery services because then you can share the tracking numbers with the buyer. It can get tricky with some of the other ones, so make sure you check it beforehand.
Finally, it’s time to sum it all up. Dropshipping is a simple way to earn money – if done properly. Therefore, don’t forget to pay attention to the things we’ve mentioned and use this as a sort of a guideline when setting up your online store.