Working or running a business remotely has become a popular employment option for many people. Today, with ecommerce sites, video conferencing tools and other Internet opportunities, it’s simple and convenient to make an income without ever leaving your home.
In addition to working for an employer remotely, are dozens of different types of work-from-home opportunities including tutoring, marketing, advertising, content writing, website design, translation or transcription, sales, customer service rep, virtual assistant, managing Ripper Casino no deposit bonus codes and more.
Many people who are considering self-employment have opened dropshipping businesses which allows them the freedom to work as much as they want while bringing in an income.
If you’re interested in setting up a dropshipping businesses, check out the basic steps that you need to fulfill in order to get started.
What is Dropshipping?
Dropshipping is a method of order fulfillment method. The dropshipper doesn’t stock the products that it sells but, when an order comes through for an item that the dropshipper offers, s/he purchases the item from the manufacturer or wholesaler and fulfills the order.
A dropshipping business differs from the standard retail store in that it only acts as the middleman, with the manufacturer or the wholesaler doing the actual order fulfillment.
For instance, if you’re dropshipping vintage Cabbage Patch dolls, you would need to have a relationship with people who want to sell their Cabbage Patch dolls. You take care of the advertising to alert potential buyers that you have Cabbage Patch dolls to sell. When an order for a Cabbage Patch doll comes in you would take the order and collect the money.
You would then reach out to your suppliers, find the person who has the Cabbage Patch doll that you’re looking for, pay them for the cost of the doll and of the shipping and provide the supplier with the shipping address to have them send the doll to the buyer.
In short, as the dropshipper, you take care of the mechanics of getting the item to the buyer but you don’t have to maintain an inventory. You are in charge of getting the information about the product to be sold to potential buyers and the procedures involved in collecting the money and paying the merchant. Dropshipping is a potentially lucrative ecommerce business that has several advantages including:
- low start-up costs that remove the need for you to acquire, store or manage inventory.
- scalability that allows you to adjust to seasonal or other variables without incurring costs for “low volume times” or circumstances if market preferences change.
- product opportunities that allows you to offer more products than you might be able to if you were relying on a physical retail space.
Dropshipping isn’t a magic solution to make money. Profit margins may not be as high as you would like, competition can be touch to deal with and you have to make sure that your activities align with laws in your jurisdiction.
Also, relying on third-party suppliers can be challenging because if that merchant fails to ship the order as promised or if the merchant suddenly goes out of business, the responsibility to fulfill the order is on you.
Yet around the world, individuals are making a go of it with dropshipping. If you want to set up a dropshipping business, follow these basic steps to get started.
Identify the right market opportunity. Your best bet is to find a unique niche so your competition is as little as possible. Try to identify products that aren’t offered off the shelf in most retail stores. If a product is difficult for a customer to obtain they are more likely to turn to you to supply those products.
For instance, most automotive parts shops don’t keep specialized products in stock because there aren’t many sales for those items so it’s expensive for the retailers to keep them in stock. Dropshipping these items enables a smaller retailer to offer them profitably.
You also want to focus on a market space that offers your business the best opportunity for long-term growth.
You need a website where the products that you offer are showcased. You can build your own site and then put the time and money into marketing it or you can create a “Store” on, for instance, eBay or Amazon where your profits will be reduced because of the commissions that you pay to the larger platform.
If you’re creating your own site, you need to make provisions for customer support, payment and feedback.
Managing the business’s finances is challenging but vital. You must ensure that you have more money coming in than going out, that your payment solutions are safe and secure and that you have mechanisms in place to collect payments, pay your suppliers and supply refunds if needed.
Taxes is another subject that you need to consider. Your tax calculations depend on where the supplier is located so spend some time speaking to a knowledgeable accountant before you get started.
Your suppliers play a central role in the fulfillment process so you need a supplier who can show a demonstrated track record of successful retailer partnerships. Some things that you might want to do to protect yourself in case of a supplier logjam include:
- Order and test products from various suppliers to find good suppliers who will provide you with quality merchandise in a timely manner. Check to see how easy it is to contact the supplier – some suppliers are based overseas which makes communication challenging.
- Have back-up suppliers on call so if one runs out of an item you have a back-up plan.
- Make sure that your contract with your supplier(s) includes contingency plans for customer complaints, non-deliveries, etc.
Speak to a knowledgeable lawyer and accountant to determine the laws that apply to dropshipping businesses in your jurisdiction. Are you liable if the supplier ships counterfeit products? Are you liable if the supplier ships items that don’t follow trademark or licensing laws?
As for proof that the items that the supplier is shipping are genuine.
Check your local community to find out what licenses you need to operate a business out of your house.
“Proud thinker. Tv fanatic. Communicator. Evil student. Food junkie. Passionate coffee geek. Award-winning alcohol advocate.”