First off, what is drop shipping? “Drop shipping is a form of retail business wherein the seller accepts customer orders but does not keep goods sold in stock. Instead, in a form of supply chain management, it transfers the orders and their shipment details to either the manufacturer, a wholesaler, another retailer, or a fulfillment house, which then ships the goods directly to the customer.” (Wikipedia). That is the basic definition you will find if you type in drop shipping on google. But in simpler terms, we do not have the money or supplies to manufacture or store our own products so we “dropship” products from wholesale retailers. Basically you could call it being the middle man.
Why did we start drop shipping? Basically the e-commerce store we started The Bee – Home Decor is our way of starting our business. We currently do not have the funds to manufacture or store our products so we are starting out as an e-commerce/drop shipping store to increase our brand and help others improve their home. The goals for our future would be to be able to create our own products and be able to do everything on our own. We would love for the Gathering Bee to be a household name and for it to be a sought after brand that everyone would love and be able to afford.
That’s our story so far, now let’s talk about your journey and whether dropshipping is for you. If you do not know where to even begin, do not worry because most people have no idea. I am going to list a couple of steps that we took to start our ecommerce store that you can easily replicate and eventually make your own.
Decide if you’re willing to put in the effort: Although it’s not a very time consuming job, it does take a good amount of time and patience to start up. You also need to consider that it will take a little bit of money to start up as well. All things considered, it is pretty cheap to start it up but you will need money to pay for things such as; a host for your website, legal documents, and other necessities. For us, it cost around $300-$400 in total to get everything we needed to be able to start it. Another thing that could be helpful is to find a group of friends. You all could bring valuable things to the table and it would lighten the workload as it would be spread throughout the team.
Find a niche: It is so important to work in an area that you really enjoy. It will help keep you motivated because you are constantly working with and learning about products that interest you.
Get Legal: It is of utmost importance that you get everything required by your state government so that you do not get into any legal trouble. It takes time for everything to process but it is not very hard to get everything. What you need is dependent upon your state so just research a little bit about what you would need and it should be easy to find.
Find a Supplier: Find a wholesale retailer that can supply what you are looking to sell. Suppliers such as Aliexpress are popular but I suggest being cautious when using ones like that because the products are shipped from china so a lot of complications can arise.
Start and Design Your Website: The first thing to do would be to find someone who can host your website. We used WordPress and Woocommerce but creating a store with WordPress was quite difficult at times. Shopify is a good one to use but it can be a little bit more pricey. Just decide which one works best for you. After you find one that you like, design your website. It is important to have a good looking and easy to navigate website so that your customers are more apt to buy your products.
Completing all those steps took us about one month in total. I imagine more technologically minded people could do it quicker but whatever pace works for you is great. Although it can seem complicated and that it will be a lot of work, it isn’t anything anyone can’t handle. Besides, the profit margins can turn into a lot pretty quickly. Well, if you have read this far then I want to thank you for reading and supporting me along this journey and I wish you the best of luck on yours!