New year, new resolutions, new chance for a fresh start. This is the time of year that a lot of people decide to begin their own online businesses.

With the current economy, many people NEED to start an online business. Because they need that extra source of income to get by. That’s why, I want to focus on one of the easiest ways to get started selling online – drop shipping.

Drop Shipping – What is it?

drop shipping wholesalers packaging orders

Drop shipping, for anyone who doesn’t know, is purchasing products from wholesale suppliers, AFTER the customer orders the product from you and pays you. Then the order is shipped directly from your wholesaler’s warehouse to your customers home. This eliminates purchasing inventory that you don’t know will even sell.

Not every wholesaler will dropship their products for you though. The reason for this is that wholesalers operate on very thin margins and make their money by selling in large volumes. In many cases, wholesalers simply can’t afford to dropship products and still make a profit. That doesn’t mean, however, that you can’t find drop shipping wholesalers who will work with you.

The first thing you need to know is that, in order to set up accounts with them, you will need to make your online business legal. Regardless of whether or not they dropship, real wholesalers will require your business name and tax ID in order to sell products to you at wholesale prices.

How Drop Shipping Works

To make sure we’re all on the same page, let’s look at an example of how drop shipping works:

drop shipping cake pans

You find a dropship wholesaler of bread and cake pans, and you put up a number of their products on Amazon.

When Amazon notifies you that you have sold a set of pans, you immediately pass that order, along with your buyer’s information, to your dropshipper. Who will then send the pans to your buyer’s address.

Your buyer pays you; you pay your supplier. The difference between your retail price and the total cost of listing and selling those pans is your profit.

That is the basic outline of the drop ship process.

Drop shipping is BEST for New Sellers

drop shipping start up

I want to explain WHY drop shipping is such a great product sourcing method for you when you’re a new online seller. There are several key reasons:

  1. Lack of start-up costs. One of the biggest reasons people sell online is that they need extra money. They don’t HAVE a start-up budget. Drop shipping is the only wholesale product sourcing technique that doesn’t require any sort of investment in inventory. In many cases, your buyers pay you before you even have to pay your supplier. This makes drop shipping an ideal arrangement for anyone looking for a low-cost way to start a home business.
  2. No risk required. Because there is no inventory investment, you don’t have to worry about spending money on products that might not sell. You don’t have any funds tied up; so you don’t stand to lose anything if a product doesn’t move.
  3. Ability to offer a deep selection. Since you don’t have any carrying costs, you can easily offer a deep selection within your product niche (which is a great way to ‘add value’ to your online store). You can become the go-to retailer for your particular niche market.
  4. Ease of test-marketing. There’s no cost to test market seasonal products, special holiday items, and new ‘trendy’ items. That’s not to suggest you shouldn’t do your market research; but if you make a mistake and pick a ‘dud’, you don’t have to eat your losses.
  5. No storage issues. With stockless retail (as drop shipping is sometimes called), you don’t have to turn your guest room, basement, or garage into a storage facility. And as your e-business grows, you don’t have to rent warehouse space or deal with warehouse staffing, handle inventory management and tracking, or worry about reordering products before you run out.
  6. No shipping issues. You don’t need to buy special packing materials or boxes; pull the right products to fill every order; or wrap, pack and address every order. And you never have to set up an account with a shipping courier, schedule package pick-ups, or take your packages to a shipping center.
  7. Recovered time. Tracking inventory and shipping orders can eat up a BIG chunk of time for online sellers. The time that you gain back by NOT having to repeat these tasks, day after day, is time that you can now spend finding new products to sell online and marketing your online business to the world.

As you can see, there are some very compelling reasons why drop shipping is a great way for you to get started selling products online. It affords you an opportunity to start a home business even if you lack the money to get one going. Online success is never an ‘easy’ thing, but drop shipping is about as easy an entry point into ecommerce that you can ask for.

By Tisha Hedges

Director of Operations for Worldwide Brands, Inc

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