In this post, I'm going to cover seven things I wish I knew before I started dropshipping. Make sure to stick around for number four because this one cost me thousands of dollars.
#1 It Would Be Life Changing
I started this as just a way to make a few extra dollars a month. Maybe an extra $100 to f$500 a month and that was all I was looking for. Just 100 or 500 extra dollars a month would have completely changed my life, and it did. At the time it allowed me to enjoy my life more, to be able to go out more, and enjoy the simple little things like not having to worry about money so much.
That was all I was after, so I was pleasantly surprised when I started earning thousands of dollars a month in profit on top of my nine-to-five job because I was doing drop shipping as a side business. Running it in the mornings, during my lunch breaks, after work and doing well enough to earn thousands of extra dollars a month. I had no idea there was so much potential when it came to dropshipping and especially on eBay and then eventually when I moved onto Amazon as well.
So I wish I had known that before I started so that I could have been more prepared for it. I'm kind of glad I wasn't aware of it because it was really exciting. I may have felt overwhelmed before I started if I knew how much my business was going to take off, but it would is one of those things I had no idea about before I began to do dropshipping.
#2 This is a business
This is a business. This is something I didn't realize when I first started. I saw it more as a hobby or something to do just for fun, so I wasn't taking it too seriously at first. But once I started to take it seriously and I began to treat my drop shipping business as a real business, I began to make good money.
Serious work results in serious money.
If you're doing it as a hobby, you could still make money with it, but you're not going to scale to the same point that I've been able to because you're not putting in the serious work to make it a real business and that's something I wish I had known earlier. I could have pushed a little harder when I first started with my dropshipping business.
#3 Product Research is Everything
The important key aspect of drop shipping, whether that's on eBay or Amazon, is product research. Product research is key. I began to understand that you can't just list any random item and expect it to sell. There is a formula to do product research.
Once I realized this, my sales begin to climb up, and my store began to do well. That is something I wish I had known much earlier so that I didn't waste my time just listing random items and could have instead invested in learning these product research techniques. (If you want to learn about product research on either eBay or Amazon I do have free courses on both) I really wish I had known earlier, that this business is all about product research.
#4 Be Careful! If it’s too good to be true, it is!
This is the big one because this is the one that screwed me up and cost me thousands of dollars. The best way to sum this up is “if it sounds too good to be true than it is”.
Here’s the story: I was able to get some very well discounted gift cards Bed Bath & Beyond. So I would get about $100 gift cards for only $85. It was a huge savings and I ended up making a lot of money from it. Everything was great!
Then I got a batch of “bad gift cards”. It was a huge mess, and it was just not a good situation to be in. All the cards went from $100+ to $0. I couldn’t fulfill orders and Bed Bath and Beyond canceled many of my orders too. I was able to recover much of that money but it was pretty scary when it happened.
If you hear about opportunities like heavily discounted gift cards ask yourself, “why is someone selling that gift card for such a high percentage off?” I’m not saying all gift card sellers are bad. I’ve come across others that are really great. But just be careful!
#5 You Should Use a Repricer
Something I wish I had known when I started is that you should be using a repricer. This is the way they work: if the price on Walmart goes up or down or the item goes out of stock, this software will make sure that it changes accordingly on eBay or Amazon for you.
When I first started, I was doing everything manually. Meaning I wasn’t using a repricer. I was spending a lot of time checking the prices or trying to find a free or cheap way to do it, and it just wasn't worth it. Repricers have always worked for me and you can get some that are pretty inexpensive.
It'll make your life so much easier. You can spend more time adding items and growing your store instead of just spending the time trying to maintain those items and to make sure that the price hasn't changed on them. Don't waste your time; that's something I wish I had known earlier.
#6 Build a team to Support You
Another thing I had no idea about when I started is that building a team to support you is so incredibly valuable. Specifically, I have a team of virtual assistants that help me with my businesses. I have about five now that run my eBay business, and I have two that help me with my Amazon business.
This has been so critical to the success of my dropshipping businesses. These virtual assistants I hire are from the Philippines, and they can do anything. They can list items, they can answer customer questions, they can fulfill orders. At first, I saw it as more of a luxury. They can take some of the work off my hands for me so I don't have to spend as much time working on my business.
But what I discovered, was that as soon as I started outsourcing some of the more routine mundane tasks, I had more time to grow my business. That's why I say it's not really a luxury; it's really important for the growth of your business.
I didn't understand that at first even after I first hired my first VA. I wasn't bogged down by the kind of routine tasks that are sometimes involved with drop shipping. That would be the other thing I wish I had known earlier – build a fantastic team to support your drop shipping business.
#7 Find a Mentor
The final thing that I wish I'd known when I started is to have some Mentor or close-knit community to support you and motivate you forward. I was part of a community when I started, but at the time, it was a very old community. It wasn't very well maintained, and there wasn't a ton of support. I think that did more harm than good because I was asking questions that were never answered.
As soon as I found a friend in this community to help me, to be a part of a mastermind with me, that's when things started to change. I began to feel like there was more accountability in my business. If you can find a mentor who can teach you and who can guide you through this, that's even better because you're going to learn from someone who's already made all the mistakes. It can help you avoid those mistakes and has already been successful. You can model their success.
I have one bonus for you. This is something I wish I had known long ago, which is that you should just get started. I wish I had gotten started earlier than I did. I would have been able to have many more years of success behind me. But I didn't. I was too afraid, or I didn't even know about it. I wish I had gotten started earlier because I've seen such success with it. I wish I was able to tap into that success earlier in my life.
So those are the seven things that I wish I had known before I started dropshipping with one bonus tip.