Anybody that has taken the time to search for work from home opportunities will most likely have come across 'drop shipping'. Most of those that have come across the little gem that is drop shipping will also have come across many scams and pay-to-use schemes. There is no doubt that it can be a profit making opportunity, but drop shipping is much like affiliate marketing in terms of being a work from home area that is highly saturated with con artists willing to take your money. The key to success is to adopt a sense of realism and do your research before handing over any cash.
What is drop shipping?
In simple terms, drop shipping is selling other people's products online. This may sound similar to affiliate marketing, but unlike affiliate marketing you have control over how much the products cost and how much profit you take away. Drop shippers have access to databases of wholesale products that manufacturers are willing to ship on their behalf; all you have to do is promote the product through an Ecommerce site, process the order on behalf of the customer and sell it on.
Whilst the majority of those that drop ship choose to work through websites such as eBay, EBid and Amazon, many are now choosing to look towards Ecommerce web hosting packages. Although there is more work involved in setting up your own site, it is possible for you to have greater control over how much your products cost and the amount of profit you take away.
How should I get started with drop shipping?
As mentioned above, the most popular and simple way to get started is to begin selling through an auction site. Setting up an account with sites such as eBay and EBid is simple and if you so wish, you can create your own store front with a logo. You can also use Amazon as a means of selling on your products. Although taking this approach is easy, it does lead to high percentages of your earnings being taken by the sites that you sell through, which can soon eat in to your profit margins.
An alternative to drop shipping through auction sites is to get an Ecommerce web hosting package and create your own store front. The majority of these packages are now as simple to use as eBay store builders, but have the added advantage of higher profits and easier SEO manipulation. You get more choice over what you can sell, how you describe it and the images you use. It involves more time, but is undoubtedly worth the effort once you get your feet off the ground.
What scams should I avoid?
Unfortunately there are many scams out there, so before you go ahead and purchase an Ecommerce web hosting package to get started with, do your research. Scams can come in many forms, from click bank books promising the world to companies that demand your hard earned cash before you can see their product prices. Although some reputable sites want payment before seeing their product prices, not all are reliable. The best way to decide whether a site is worth your money is to research on drop shipping forums.
Finally, one of the biggest scams that drop shippers fall foul of is Chinese companies that drop ship very cheap products. These sites tend to make dodgy copies of electronics that will seriously affect your business' reputation and therefore your ability to sell. It is possible to make money through Chinese websites such as Trade Tang and Ali Express, but you do need to research sellers carefully.
Stephanie Wagner is a work from home entrepreneur and freelance writer. She is not affiliated directly with Aplus, but does recommend them for their approach to Ecommerce web hosting.