Do’s and Don’t’s for Drop Shipping Success

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Starting a drop shipping business can be an easy way to get started in e-commerce but it also can be tricky. Here are some do’s and don’ts that you can use if you’re considering this type of business, or just about any online business for that matter.

Don’t try to sell in highly competitive areas, such as computers and electronics, or general or commodity areas, like clothes or gifts. The big companies who can buy in bulk directly from the manufacturer will beat you on price every time and often can beat you on service as well.

Do find niches that the big companies don’t cover well or ignore for various reasons. For example, you might specialize in a particular style of item that’s hard to find in mainstream stores or outside certain regions.

Don’t try to attract new buyers by trying to have the lowest price or free shipping on all items. This will quickly kill your drop ship business. Margins tend to be tight in drop shipping and excessive discounting will cause you to operate at a loss. That may be good if you’re wealthy and looking for a tax write-off but not if you’re trying to make a profit.

Do have loss leader sales that attract new buyers. Sales should be for a limited time to build a sense of urgency and the loss leader item should be one that easily suggests additional, regular price, purchases.

Don’t use bait and switch or other questionable marketing or search engine optimization techniques to drive customers to your site. These tactics have a short life span and often backfire.

Do drive customers to your site by offering something extra. For example, if you were selling golf gear, write an informative blog about golf or a travelogue about various courses. Not only does this help attract and retain customers but it can also improve your search engine results page placement as well.

Don’t ignore your customers or prospects. It’s easy to do sometimes, put off that same, annoying, emailed question from the 20th customer who asked it today until tomorrow. But, if you do, that customer is very likely to have gone elsewhere by then to find the item they wanted.

Do provide specialized and enthusiastic customer service before and after the sale. Answer customer questions. Stay in touch with them to make sure they got the product from the shipper in a timely manner. Make sure that they’re happy with their purchase. If they need to return an item, help them with the process.

Don’t use a drop shipper that requires a monthly fee just to buy from them. Some modest service charges are OK and reasonable fees for services like datafeeds to your website, live support, and customer service assistance are acceptable. But if there is no value added by these fees, avoid this vendor.

Do use a drop shipper that requires that you provide a state sales tax ID or business license in order to do business with them. This recognizes that both you and they are serious and committed to a business-to-business relationship.

This entry was posted on Monday, January 1st, 2018 at 8:44 pm and is filed under Drop Shipping, Getting Started. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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