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Drop Shipping

Discussion in 'Affiliate Marketing' started by nick-harper, Mar 27, 2018.

  1. nick-harper

    nick-harper Active Member

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    I have spent years doing Affiliate Websites but looking to get into dropshipping. Not going to ask for people to share links to their sites or anything but in the UK with dropshipping / fulfillment services.

    I have looked through the usual directories but it's hard to find decent stuff at fair prices for UK based suppliers, most seem to be the usual Aliexpress stuff from china that seems to hammer eBay and Amazon.

    Is there an easy way to find decent dropshippers to get started?
     
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    Acorn Domains Elite Member

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  3. ian

    ian Well-Known Member

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    Can't answer your specific question, but I'd say it will be a tough ask; as you said, Aliexpress and Alibaba have made it very easy to import bulk Chinese products and eBay sellers are quite happy to flog either as loss leaders to get their ratings up, or for literally pence per item. You are also competing with the abundance of sellers not officially registered for tax/vat, or certainly don't submit as part of their accounts, so instantly you are competing with those selling for 20% or 40% less than they should.
     
  4. nick-harper

    nick-harper Active Member

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    Thanks, that's what I was thinking.

    For example if you buy a phone charger for £4 off Ebay they are quite happy to just send them free delivery and then if it doesn't work they send you another with delivery.

    It is getting pretty hard to do much with Affiliate stuff and organic search and with being unable to use Adwords to promote products it means Drop Shipping would make sense.

    It is just the competition that's the issue, so would have to be a pretty good niche.
     
  5. Adam H

    Adam H Well-Known Member Exclusive Member

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    Pick your niche carefully, target high margin products if possible and if you don't see an already published dropship opportunity, maybe find a local supplier who doesn't already have an online presence. With drop-shipping the best ones are often the ones which are not widely available or public to the masses, more often than not though they are also the ones which require a bit of leg work and trust building (hence why doing it locally can help)

    Like Ian said above, the china crap is saturated and as a dropshipper you'll be responsible for damaged and faulty goods and dealing with the customer, that can take some time and if your only making a couple of quid on items time can eat into your profit/time a considerable amount. There is still good money to be made, but prepare for it to be either a churn and burn or know what your getting into.

    I knew of someone years ago getting into selling those segway type things from china, they made an absolute packet until the news hit they were all blowing up and the complaints started rolling in, I'd imagine most china dropshippers rely on there being very few occasional damage/faulty products, taking a hit on those limited products because the quantity they sell means its sustainable. But when you start getting a batch problem and they all go wrong or are total crap...........you've got issues as the cost to return them and the time it takes outweighs taking the hit and ordering a new one most of the time. Think they closed up doors and done a runner as havent heard from them since lol
     
  6. RobM

    RobM Retired Member

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    Also one chargeback can cripple a lot of work and can come a long time after purchase. Personally I think the days of dropshipping are numbered. However there are still good wholesale deals to be got if you're prepared to physically stock and ship.
     
  7. nick-harper

    nick-harper Active Member

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    I wouldn't mind doing Wholesale, the only issue with that is the wedge of money and the space I'd need to store it. The risk like Adam H says about things like loads of dodgy goods blowing up does put me off ordering Electricals from China but there is always Alibaba where you can buy things in bulk to test the water and you can physically see the quality of the product before you start selling it to a customer.

    I was looking at Dropshipping mainly because I have the skills to make the websites and then can have a good crack at marketing them but it;s just a case of finding a product / niche that would work.

    Have spent an hour looking on Wholesale Deals but don't really want to sign up and pay the money without really knowing the quality of the leads / wholesalers.

    You might be right though, I might look for people online who have a rubbish website and give them a ring to ask if they would dropship for me or let me look after their online presence for a cut of the profit.
     
  8. Adam H

    Adam H Well-Known Member Exclusive Member

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    Adult product niche, 50% margin on most products with UK supplier. Got some domains for sale that would be ideal :p
     
  9. Pyro United Kingdom

    Pyro Member

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    The problem with a lot of dropshipping is it's from China so can take upwards of 30 days - by that point the buyer can be put off and decide not to purchase. Also marketing the website, generally with the terrible margins on a lot of products you're forced into free avenues e.g. ranking on Google, this is time consuming and in no way reliable. Furthermore, after you've successfully marketed, there's still a chance there's 5 other companies selling the same product as you, so what's the difference?
     
  10. keano United Kingdom

    keano Active Member

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    Amazon FBA might be an option that is worth looking at for you.
     
  11. timter51

    timter51 Well-Known Member Exclusive Member

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    I've been looking into this recently as well, seems a decent alternative to drop shipping. If you can combine this with your own Amazon affiliate website then you can cream commission off your own FBA sales, assuming Amazon don't stop that. The drawbacks are having to buy in bulk upfront and shipping it to Amazon, then you also get charged monthly warehouse storage fees by Amazon so you need to be making regular sales to stop that eating into your profit.
     
  12. nick-harper

    nick-harper Active Member

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    Thanks, I have seen this but never really looked into it until now.

    It looks quite good in that they pretty much manage everything and you just need to sell. I can see why it is popular with phone cables, cases etc as they are small. With that I guess you also need the funds up front to buy the stock to ship to them in the first place to be managed.

    I am surprised they allow you to get Affiliate fees for your own products, they don't when somebody at your address buys through your links :(
     
  13. timter51

    timter51 Well-Known Member Exclusive Member

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    They may not, don't quote me on it :D Just something that occured to me.
     
  14. nick-harper

    nick-harper Active Member

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    Ah, it would be a bonus if they did but if they are smart enough to block commission on people at the same address (wife bought a TV through her account but no commission given) then you would think they would realise.

    Unless you had an Amazon FBA account and Affiliate account separate ;)
     
  15. keano United Kingdom

    keano Active Member

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    Perhaps bear in mind that if people are considering Amazon FBA that the sales teams at Amazon are always on the lookout for new lines and potential opportunities. If they see someone killing it via FBA on their sales stats it is highly likely that Amazon will move into that niche themselves. So just to complicate matters, you of course want to be successful but not too successful or you're get noticed by the bods at Amazon and you could get squeezed out!
     
  16. ian

    ian Well-Known Member

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    Amazon FBA has potential, depending on the product. If for example you sell high value electronics goods, then forget it, the returns would screw you over, as Amazon could quite simply receive a brick back in a box and they'll consider it returned, and therefore refunding the customer will be processed. For throw away items it can be quite handy.
     
  17. jbworldwide United Kingdom

    jbworldwide Active Member

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    I have been deep into this and was looking at products to bring in, examining margins, how to set up the process for FBA etc. but then other things got in the way. There is a risk involved but it can be managed away but there will be teething problems. However, if you can crack it you could be getting a decent income and never see and handle the product.
     
  18. Murray

    Murray Well-Known Member

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    Not sure any of this will be any help

    I used to dropship bodycon dresses (type of party dress), the factories in China were already making them, we just had our own label put in

    It was my business partner(s) at the time who found the best person to deal with

    Seemed like every factory had a few different agents who would sell for/from them, was trial and error finding ones that were reliable and actually checked the quality before sending them out; couldn't sell a dress for £100 that has poor quality stitching

    Most dresses were about £35, it was about £15 fedex (Chinese agent had a business fedex account) and would take 3-5 days

    Pretty much just spammed the website to #1 on google for "bodycon dresses", but this was 2010 when you could get away with that a lot more

    Also gifting bloggers dresses worked out well, one dress given sometimes sold 15+

    Starting off totally new in August we went from nothing to selling £20,000 worth of dresses over December that year

    Returns weren't too bad considering and over time it worked out alright because we built up a stock of dresses we could send out next day delivery and a lot of women wanted a dress last thing

    We were mainly competing with a site called "celeb boutique" at the time, who were doing exactly the same thing, they were #1 or a lot of searches on google but then they changed their website and didn't 301 anything :oops:

    They switched their brand name to houseofcb.com since and have opened physical shops and seem to be doing well, so fair play
     
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  19. boxfish United Kingdom

    boxfish Well-Known Member

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    IMO, after having dropshipped for the last 10 years, while this seems a plus-point to start with, it's definitely a limitation in building a business.

    In the old days, when you just had to rank for keywords and get the goods sent out, it wasn't a problem.

    These days it takes a lot more to stand out, get mentioned on social etc and not having any influence on anything once you place the order with your supplier severely limits what you can do to stand out.

    I wouldn't dissuade anyone from dropshipping but I would look at it as a stepping stone into starting your own brand and fulfilling orders yourself, it just gives you so much more control.
     
  20. monaghan United Kingdom

    monaghan Moderator Staff Member

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    I've done a lot of work with companies that do 3rd party fulfillment, feel free to PM and I may be able to help.
     
  21. Skinner

    Skinner Well-Known Member

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    Go to trade shows, and find suppliers direct if your going wholesale with UK products, often some chinese and other vendors appear.

    Adult and Fitness have always been my tagets, and next month we have the Body Power Expo (Fitness) in Birmingham and shortly after we have the ETO Show (Adult) you can get one-on-one with higher ups at these events and actual build a solid foundation. You can then either buy and ship or work out drop shipping deals.
     
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