How do I start dropshipping?

What is dropshipping? What to sell with dropshipping? Which dropshipping company is the best? How to build your dropshipping store? Find out everything you need to know to start your dropshipping business in thai article.
Amal Alshamsi
by 
Amal Alshamsi
How do I start dropshipping?

What does dropshipping mean? 

Dropshipping is a low-risk business model where the business owner/store sells a physical product to their customers without handling the item or having to deal with manufacturing, inventory, or shipping. 

You are basically selling a ready-to-go product but packaging it as your own brand by putting your creative spin on the marketing and branding.

What are the benefits of dropshipping?

The dropshipping business model is ideal for new entrepreneurs because you can sell directly to their customers without designing a new product or directly dealing with the physical items. Instead, wholesale marketplaces manufacture the product, and suppliers keep the stock in their inventory. You don’t even need to worry about shipping, they’ll take care of it. 

What this means for you as a business owner is: 

  • Low upfront costs and capital. You don't need to purchase your product until a customer places an order. There's less risk involved, as you are not committed to selling pre-purchased products.
  • Low overhead costs. You’ll be cutting out inventory, logistics, and warehouse management, leaving you with low overhead costs when it comes to running the business. 
  • Flexible location. You choose where your base is, whether it is from home or eventually your own office. All you need is an idea, ambition, an internet connection, and a laptop. 
  • Quick Scale. Since you don't need to buy the product beforehand, you can experiment by listing different trending products. Also, you can easily expand your niche according to market demand.

What are the costs of dropshipping? 

Dropshipping has very low upfront costs, so you can start selling dropshipping products for less than £100. 

Here’s a breakdown of dropshipping costs:

  1. E-commerce platform subscription. The most popular is Shopify which costs £19/month for the basic package after a 14-day free trial. 
  2. Dropshipping product manager. Dsers helps you find and import new products and is the official dropshipping partner of AliExpress with a free plan (up to 3,000 products).
  3. Dropshipping website and domain. You need to build your own website that shows off your product and the unique selling point (USP) you’ll bring to customers. Squarespace has a free 14-day trial and after that, the basic plan costs £10/month.
  4. Product validation. Since your supplier will control the quality of your product, the packaging, and the delivery time, you need to test out the products yourself so that you can pick the best one. Order different colors and styles from different suppliers and see what fits your brand at the best pricepoint. You can also show your friends and family and ask which products they would be interested in buying. The cost varies on your product’s price point. 

What to sell and which products should you dropship? 

What are the best dropshipping products to sell in 2022? Here’s how to pick the best dropshipping product. 

A quick search on Google Trends shows us that apparel and clothing, as well as beauty and personal care, are the most popular products at the current moment. But there are many more products out there for you to tap into. 

Find out the trending items by checking out the top items on these platforms: 

  1. Google Trends
  2. AliExpress Top Ranking
  3. Amazon Best Sellers
  4. WatchCount.com
  5. TrendHunter
  6. Local stores around you

Tip 1: Consider the size of the product

Customers are most invested in how fast they can get your product and these days, the major selling point is fast delivery time. Selling something small and lightweight guarantees that you can sell fast with low shipping costs. 

Tip 2: Differentiate your product

Be ready to showcase what makes your product different than the rest of the (basically the same) alternatives. You can emphasise parts of the product that are relevant to your target audience or niche. For example, if you are selling yoga pants, you can market them as core-enhancing if you're targeting fitness enthusiasts or the perfect comfortable leggings to wear on long trips and day-to-day if you're marketing to women on the go. You don't have to physically change your product or re-design it to make it your own, you just need to highlight a special aspect of the product that is not shown by other companies selling the same item.

How to start a dropshipping business

Here’s a step-by-step guide: 

1. Choose an idea/product

Before setting out, choose an idea of a product you’d like to sell. From there, choose a niche of customers (based on geography, age, gender, hobbies) that would be interested in the product. Before you carry on with the idea, see who else is in the market by researching about competitors and alternatives. Brainstorm how you can market your product differently to what’s already out there.

For example: If you’re selling an Airpods cleaning tool and other sellers of similar products focus on its precision, you should emphasize your product’s convenience and portability. You can also stress that yours has the gentlest bristles on the market to keep the headphones safe. 

2. Choose a supplier(s)

How do I choose a dropshipping supplier?

Without a supplier, your business has no products to sell. Based on your product type, you need to select from vendor (unique products), or wholesale (bulk) suppliers like Aliexpress, Salehoo. From there, important factors to consider are: location (domestic or overseas), delivery times, and service potential. Take time to research and reach out to your top picks and negotiate. 

Here’s a list of verified wholesale suppliers you can reach out to:

  • Aliexpress
  • Salehoo
  • Avasam
  • Spocket
  • Modalyst
  • Inventory Source

Here’s a list of verified vendors (unique products) you can reach out to: 

  • Printful
  • Printify
  • SPOD
  • T-Pop
  • Lulu Xpress
  • AOP+

Top tips on choosing a supplier

  1. Consider where they’re shipping from, if they’re shipping from overseas, this can impact delivery time 
  2. Stay clear of suppliers that require monthly or ongoing fees
  3. Look out for the minimum order size and see if that makes sense for your business and what you can afford as a business
  4. Check the quality of their service by looking at their reviews, see if you what your brand to be associated with that level of customer service 
  5. Order Samples to see first-hand how your customers will receive their products
  6. Check the supplier’s technology, features like searchable order history, responsive messaging and a detailed product catalog will make it convenient for you to operate your business
  7. Review their raw material sourcing and see if it’s a good fit in terms of quality, ethical integrity, and sustainability

3. Build your online store

How do I build a dropshipping store? How do I get my brand domain?

Here is your time to invest in a commercial domain and start building the base of your business. Select an e-commerce website platform that permits global orders from multiple currencies. Sites like Shopify can handle the design elements as well. Remember, this will be the face of your company, clearly represent your brand and products. Always include photos of your product even if you don’t have them physically, use stock images of people with similar items.

4. Sort out your financial channels

How do I charge customers for dropshipped products? How do I pay dropshipping suppliers?

Look into business licenses which you may need, depending on your location. At this stage, ensure that you have set up a separate business checking account to simplify future accounting. Oneday members have exclusive access to Tide business accounts and free business registration. 

5. Start marketing

How do I promote dropshipping products?

There are many ways to get your product out there, the most important thing is that you launch it quickly and start spreading the word. Build your consumer base through social media marketing by running paid ads on Instagram and Tiktok. Draw traffic to your website by targeting keywords on Google and running Google ads. Contact influencers who share similar interests to your product.   

6. Study your analytics, keep growing

How do I scale up my dropshipping business? 

Even when sales are coming in, running a dropshipping business does not stop there. Look closer at the analytics such as best-performing channels and best-selling products per region. Analyse your profit margins and evaluate how to sustain growth. Keep experimenting with your product, for example: introducing a subscription model, expanding the selection, or targeting a different audience.

Find the Oneday experiment bank for getting traction on the member Platform.

What to do with dropshipping returns and refunds

Having a customer asking for a return or refund can be alarming and annoying. But there is no need to be concerned about returns when dropshipping. Keep in mind that it doesn’t mean that they won’t be purchasing from your store ever again. As long as you deal with the return request in a timely manner, you can still turn returns and refunds into a positive customer experience that impresses your customers. 

1. Talk to your supplier about return windows

You first need to talk to your supplier and understand what their return window is. Based on that, you can create your business’s return/refund policy. 

2. Create an email address specifically for returns/refunds

Create another Gmail account that clearly states that it is the contact address for return and refund requests. This could be "[Your brand name].returns@gmail.com" or "returns@[Your brand name].com"

3. Create a return/refund policy for your business

How do you create a return policy? Go to your Shopify account and click the “Online Store” sales channel, then click on “Pages” and click “Add Page” on the top corner.  Use “Refunds and Returns Policy” as the title of the page and write your policy in the content box. 

What should I include in the return policy? 
  1. Acceptable time window between purchase and return based on your supplier
  2. Your business contact email address specifically for returns/refunds
  3. Conditions that warrant a full refund and sending a new product (defective, late shipping, etc)

4. Return/refund the item

This is what the return and refund process looks like: 

  1. Customer contacts you to request a refund/return
  2. You ask your supplier for a RMA (return merchandise authorization) number.
  3. Customer sends the product back to your supplier with the RMA # 
  4. After receiving it, the supplier sends the refunded amount (wholesale price) to your account 
  5. You send back the full retail price of the product to the customer as the refund

Always keep an eye out for returns and refunds and handle them with a positive, professional attitude to build up your credibility. Call your customers and ask why they’re returning the product and confirm that they’ve received a refund/new product. If the product is defective or damaged, ask them for pictures and validate the claim before you take action.

Summary: What to know about dropshipping

Here’s everything you need to know all in one place: 

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How do 
I start dropshipping?

What is dropshipping? What to sell with dropshipping? Which dropshipping company is the best? How to build your dropshipping store? Find out everything you need to know to start your dropshipping business in thai article.

What does dropshipping mean? 

Dropshipping is a low-risk business model where the business owner/store sells a physical product to their customers without handling the item or having to deal with manufacturing, inventory, or shipping. 

You are basically selling a ready-to-go product but packaging it as your own brand by putting your creative spin on the marketing and branding.

What are the benefits of dropshipping?

The dropshipping business model is ideal for new entrepreneurs because you can sell directly to their customers without designing a new product or directly dealing with the physical items. Instead, wholesale marketplaces manufacture the product, and suppliers keep the stock in their inventory. You don’t even need to worry about shipping, they’ll take care of it. 

What this means for you as a business owner is: 

  • Low upfront costs and capital. You don't need to purchase your product until a customer places an order. There's less risk involved, as you are not committed to selling pre-purchased products.
  • Low overhead costs. You’ll be cutting out inventory, logistics, and warehouse management, leaving you with low overhead costs when it comes to running the business. 
  • Flexible location. You choose where your base is, whether it is from home or eventually your own office. All you need is an idea, ambition, an internet connection, and a laptop. 
  • Quick Scale. Since you don't need to buy the product beforehand, you can experiment by listing different trending products. Also, you can easily expand your niche according to market demand.

What are the costs of dropshipping? 

Dropshipping has very low upfront costs, so you can start selling dropshipping products for less than £100. 

Here’s a breakdown of dropshipping costs:

  1. E-commerce platform subscription. The most popular is Shopify which costs £19/month for the basic package after a 14-day free trial. 
  2. Dropshipping product manager. Dsers helps you find and import new products and is the official dropshipping partner of AliExpress with a free plan (up to 3,000 products).
  3. Dropshipping website and domain. You need to build your own website that shows off your product and the unique selling point (USP) you’ll bring to customers. Squarespace has a free 14-day trial and after that, the basic plan costs £10/month.
  4. Product validation. Since your supplier will control the quality of your product, the packaging, and the delivery time, you need to test out the products yourself so that you can pick the best one. Order different colors and styles from different suppliers and see what fits your brand at the best pricepoint. You can also show your friends and family and ask which products they would be interested in buying. The cost varies on your product’s price point. 

What to sell and which products should you dropship? 

What are the best dropshipping products to sell in 2022? Here’s how to pick the best dropshipping product. 

A quick search on Google Trends shows us that apparel and clothing, as well as beauty and personal care, are the most popular products at the current moment. But there are many more products out there for you to tap into. 

Find out the trending items by checking out the top items on these platforms: 

  1. Google Trends
  2. AliExpress Top Ranking
  3. Amazon Best Sellers
  4. WatchCount.com
  5. TrendHunter
  6. Local stores around you

Tip 1: Consider the size of the product

Customers are most invested in how fast they can get your product and these days, the major selling point is fast delivery time. Selling something small and lightweight guarantees that you can sell fast with low shipping costs. 

Tip 2: Differentiate your product

Be ready to showcase what makes your product different than the rest of the (basically the same) alternatives. You can emphasise parts of the product that are relevant to your target audience or niche. For example, if you are selling yoga pants, you can market them as core-enhancing if you're targeting fitness enthusiasts or the perfect comfortable leggings to wear on long trips and day-to-day if you're marketing to women on the go. You don't have to physically change your product or re-design it to make it your own, you just need to highlight a special aspect of the product that is not shown by other companies selling the same item.

How to start a dropshipping business

Here’s a step-by-step guide: 

1. Choose an idea/product

Before setting out, choose an idea of a product you’d like to sell. From there, choose a niche of customers (based on geography, age, gender, hobbies) that would be interested in the product. Before you carry on with the idea, see who else is in the market by researching about competitors and alternatives. Brainstorm how you can market your product differently to what’s already out there.

For example: If you’re selling an Airpods cleaning tool and other sellers of similar products focus on its precision, you should emphasize your product’s convenience and portability. You can also stress that yours has the gentlest bristles on the market to keep the headphones safe. 

2. Choose a supplier(s)

How do I choose a dropshipping supplier?

Without a supplier, your business has no products to sell. Based on your product type, you need to select from vendor (unique products), or wholesale (bulk) suppliers like Aliexpress, Salehoo. From there, important factors to consider are: location (domestic or overseas), delivery times, and service potential. Take time to research and reach out to your top picks and negotiate. 

Here’s a list of verified wholesale suppliers you can reach out to:

  • Aliexpress
  • Salehoo
  • Avasam
  • Spocket
  • Modalyst
  • Inventory Source

Here’s a list of verified vendors (unique products) you can reach out to: 

  • Printful
  • Printify
  • SPOD
  • T-Pop
  • Lulu Xpress
  • AOP+

Top tips on choosing a supplier

  1. Consider where they’re shipping from, if they’re shipping from overseas, this can impact delivery time 
  2. Stay clear of suppliers that require monthly or ongoing fees
  3. Look out for the minimum order size and see if that makes sense for your business and what you can afford as a business
  4. Check the quality of their service by looking at their reviews, see if you what your brand to be associated with that level of customer service 
  5. Order Samples to see first-hand how your customers will receive their products
  6. Check the supplier’s technology, features like searchable order history, responsive messaging and a detailed product catalog will make it convenient for you to operate your business
  7. Review their raw material sourcing and see if it’s a good fit in terms of quality, ethical integrity, and sustainability

3. Build your online store

How do I build a dropshipping store? How do I get my brand domain?

Here is your time to invest in a commercial domain and start building the base of your business. Select an e-commerce website platform that permits global orders from multiple currencies. Sites like Shopify can handle the design elements as well. Remember, this will be the face of your company, clearly represent your brand and products. Always include photos of your product even if you don’t have them physically, use stock images of people with similar items.

4. Sort out your financial channels

How do I charge customers for dropshipped products? How do I pay dropshipping suppliers?

Look into business licenses which you may need, depending on your location. At this stage, ensure that you have set up a separate business checking account to simplify future accounting. Oneday members have exclusive access to Tide business accounts and free business registration. 

5. Start marketing

How do I promote dropshipping products?

There are many ways to get your product out there, the most important thing is that you launch it quickly and start spreading the word. Build your consumer base through social media marketing by running paid ads on Instagram and Tiktok. Draw traffic to your website by targeting keywords on Google and running Google ads. Contact influencers who share similar interests to your product.   

6. Study your analytics, keep growing

How do I scale up my dropshipping business? 

Even when sales are coming in, running a dropshipping business does not stop there. Look closer at the analytics such as best-performing channels and best-selling products per region. Analyse your profit margins and evaluate how to sustain growth. Keep experimenting with your product, for example: introducing a subscription model, expanding the selection, or targeting a different audience.

Find the Oneday experiment bank for getting traction on the member Platform.

What to do with dropshipping returns and refunds

Having a customer asking for a return or refund can be alarming and annoying. But there is no need to be concerned about returns when dropshipping. Keep in mind that it doesn’t mean that they won’t be purchasing from your store ever again. As long as you deal with the return request in a timely manner, you can still turn returns and refunds into a positive customer experience that impresses your customers. 

1. Talk to your supplier about return windows

You first need to talk to your supplier and understand what their return window is. Based on that, you can create your business’s return/refund policy. 

2. Create an email address specifically for returns/refunds

Create another Gmail account that clearly states that it is the contact address for return and refund requests. This could be "[Your brand name].returns@gmail.com" or "returns@[Your brand name].com"

3. Create a return/refund policy for your business

How do you create a return policy? Go to your Shopify account and click the “Online Store” sales channel, then click on “Pages” and click “Add Page” on the top corner.  Use “Refunds and Returns Policy” as the title of the page and write your policy in the content box. 

What should I include in the return policy? 
  1. Acceptable time window between purchase and return based on your supplier
  2. Your business contact email address specifically for returns/refunds
  3. Conditions that warrant a full refund and sending a new product (defective, late shipping, etc)

4. Return/refund the item

This is what the return and refund process looks like: 

  1. Customer contacts you to request a refund/return
  2. You ask your supplier for a RMA (return merchandise authorization) number.
  3. Customer sends the product back to your supplier with the RMA # 
  4. After receiving it, the supplier sends the refunded amount (wholesale price) to your account 
  5. You send back the full retail price of the product to the customer as the refund

Always keep an eye out for returns and refunds and handle them with a positive, professional attitude to build up your credibility. Call your customers and ask why they’re returning the product and confirm that they’ve received a refund/new product. If the product is defective or damaged, ask them for pictures and validate the claim before you take action.

Summary: What to know about dropshipping

Here’s everything you need to know all in one place: 

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