How to Profit From Drop Shipping
Smart Internet marketing involves smarter business strategies - and one such strategy is drop shipping. With drop shipping, you can save your time and put it to better use making you more money.
Drop shipping is an entrepreneur's dream, offering a host of benefits. To put it simply, drop shipping allows you to sell goods online at a price of your choice without keeping any inventory. When the customer purchases the goods and makes payment for them, you will place an order for the product though your supplier, a drop shipper. Your drop shipper then charges you a wholesale price for the product and ships the product directly to the customer. You get to keep the difference between wholesale and retail price.
Drop shipping offers many unique advantages to you:
1. You don't need to keep stock or inventory.
2. You don't need to bother with packing and shipping.
3. You can make money easily by just taking orders.
4. Your profit margin could increase.
Even though drop shipping can have many advantages, however, there are some things you need to consider:
1. Any product or service you intend to sell online must be in demand.
2. The product you choose must sell in high volumes: the fact that you could sell the profit cheaply and make a good margin doesn't mean anyone is buying. Research the market for any product line you're considering. Try to determine demand for the product, how much competition there is, and what they're charging.
3. Signing up with a well-known supplier offers you many benefits. For instance, you will probably find it easier to return unsatisfactory products. Some drop suppliers will even pay the return costs in these cases. As a promotion, some suppliers will even offer you products for free if you meet their targets.
4. Target one or two products at a time -- don't be in a rush to sell lots of different ones. Maintaining a large drop shipping business is often difficult and can become unmanageable.
How do you set your drop shipping business? To get started, find a directory of legitimate drop shippers with excellent reputations. Make a list of drop shippers who are established in the business and have a proven track record. Next, take the top five from the list and look through their website for products and services. In most cases you will find that their catalogue is massive, with all sorts of things available. Above all else, you need to be sure that you can sell what you choose.
Once you've done your homework, make contact with the drop shipper, either by phone or by mail. Don't start prematurely telling them all about your project, though -- you should start by asking for additional information on the terms and conditions. You will have read every clause and sub-clause thoroughly, taking care to understand the business model you're signing up to. Terms and conditions and service policies often vary with different drop shippers -- look out for any hidden clauses that could cause you trouble in the future.
The next step is to select the best offers from the drop shippers and start negotiating for better commission rates. If you have a thriving web business with a lot of traffic, it's possible to make a case for a better commission rate. Once the terms and conditions are acceptable to both of you, you can add the products to your online store.
When you work with a drop shipper, you become a "merchant" or "trader". This usually means that you will need to register with the relevant authorities. To become a merchant you may have to register to file tax returns and get a valid license to sell your products. Such regulations vary from region to region, so you should check it out with your local authorities.
The biggest headache associated with drop shipping is product returns. Don't expect it to be anything like smooth sailing. You'll run into back orders, product returns or even refund demands, if products are defective. As the shipping isn't under your control, it's difficult to explain your customers what's going on when products are unavailable or delivered late. Your own terms and conditions, user policy and other such notices must be precise and explain everything in detail to the customers. Always aim to avoid legal hassles, but do be prepared to contest customers' claims.
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