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You're not the only one questioning is drop shipping a scam. It's become far to easy for people to get started. No barrier to entry, nothing to stop the unscrupulous from getting in and making a quick buck.
These new uneducated marketers come in and leave after ripping off their customers. Making it much harder for legitimate businesses to operate a sustainable, long-term enterprise.
There needs to be much more time spent learning the best practices and ways to build trust. Bringing traffic to a site (if they get visitors that far) with poor ads to a website that lacks authenticity and trustworthiness does nothing for building a great industry.
Due to the low barrier to entry anyone that thinks they're an entrepreneur has decided it's a good idea to head to AliExpress. Find a “great” product and decide to start selling without doing their due diligence.
But what does this have to do with you?
In this article you are going to learn;
- What is Dropshipping
- Why I hate dropshipping…(I don't really, I hate the way some people run their businesses)
- Bad Advertising Adds to the Problem
- What we can do to fix it
- Finding quality products to sell
Dropshipping Sucks and You're the Reason Why.
I could guarantee that everyone that started in dropshipping has done so with the same intent. To make money. Now, to be fair, we didn't get into it to rip the customer off (well at least I didn't, and I know there is a lot of you in the same boat) however it's quite often what happens.
With the lure of easy money and a lack of education too many people have flooded the market. Flooding that market with bad products, highly inflated prices, absurd shipping times and a whole lot of other rubbish.
A lack of education is to blame. There are so many guru's out there flogging their courses with no real care for sharing quality content. It is again, a case of the blind leading the blind.
What is dropshipping
There's a good chance you know what it is. Dropshipping is the ability to be able to sell a product without holding stock. Effectively what happens is, when a customer places an order on your website it is automatically sent to your fulfillment agency to fulfill.
But that's not all. There is no money that you need to pay up front to have that product listed on your store. You purchase the product as soon as you place the order with your supplier.
With Shopify and any other number of website e-commerce platforms, this process is automated. When the store is set up, you put in all your payment details so you can continue to sell without needing handle the “bookkeeping”.
Why I hate dropshipping…
To be honest, that isn't a truthful statement because in actual fact I absolutely love what drop shipping can allow entrepreneurs to do. Intrinsically it is a fantastic way for businesses to get started with limited capital.
It's a way for products to be tested in the market before committing to inventory.
The low barrier to entry is where the problem developed. It went from having to create your own methods of communicating orders with suppliers by doing the dreaded time-consuming chores each day – CSV uploads, manual transactions, shipping updates etc.
To plug and play.
Once your store's setup, Oberlo Installed, imported products to said store, you're ready to start selling. And this is exactly where every wannabe entrepreneur lets themselves, and the industry as a whole down.
Bad products litter the pages of AliExpress. Garbage suppliers and far from decent products. Products that blatantly infringe (Learn “How to Avoid Counterfeit Goods on AliExpress”) copyright laws, and stuff that you wouldn't let your dog wear…yet the pet industry is one of the biggest that constantly gets exploited.
Why I hate what dropshipping has become;
- Counterfeit goods
- Poor quality products
- Terrible shipping times
- Complete lack of customer focus
Imagine this, you're cruising through your newsfeed and you see an Assassin's Creed hoodie. It looks ok, not perfect but you love AC so you head to the website. You land there and 1 or 2 things put you off. There's no social proof and the logo sits a bit funny… but not enough to give up on purchasing the hoodie.
After all, it looks the real deal even if it is half the price you'd expect to pay. You make your purchase, and wait, and wait, and wait. Until finally!
The package shows up and rip into it (much like the guy in the story from The Atlantic), pull out the hoodie and realize its 36 sizes too small (is that even possible) and the quality is terrible.
You've just been burnt… all those things that you noticed on that store when you purchased reinforce that you should have listened to your gut.
You just know you shouldn't have purchased from that store.
And it continues, you get bombarded by offers, some terrible and some look amazing, all from different stores. Your curiosity gets piqued again after seeing a black head remover so you decide to take a look… The site felt the same…It looked more professional but the layout and flow were identical…You exit.
This scenario happens more often than not! And these are the customers that drop out of any retargeting or abandon cart recovery that you do. Fool me once, shame on you…
Bad Advertising Adds to the Problem
I love this recent article from AdEspresso “60 Facebook Advertising Mistakes that Make You Look like a Rookie”. Terrible ad production is the prices are soaring. Marketers need to ensure that their bases are covered and the image that they're putting into the marketplace is professionally branded.
So what can we as marketers do to combat that? Build a brand, and luckily for us there are multiple free or relatively cheap tools available to us to make that job that much easier for our advertising…
This is a list of said tools;
All is not lost
We have an amazing opportunity as entrepreneurs. Each of us must do our part to keep this industry headed in the right path. We need to take it upon ourselves to educate from people who have been ethically successful in the industry.
Find mentors who have put the time and effort into their own businesses to create brands they're proud of.
As a marketer, you must understand that whilst individually we may not make a difference. Together we can.
If we focus on delivering a high level of customer satisfaction by doing our due diligence and finding real mentors we are doing our part to clean up the industry.
- Only sell products from quality vendors.
- Quality control our products.
- Have a customer service department (even outsourced) that CARES about the customers.
- Make sure YOU care about your customers.
- Build a brand that customers love.
So, Some Good News…
This is How to Find Great Products for Dropshipping!
To combat the number of dodgy dealers on AliExpress, Oberlo has put together a guide on how to find the best products. Coincidentally titled “How To Select Dropshipping Suppliers on AliExpress”. There are also Chrome extensions to help filter out dodgy operators.
It is of paramount importance to take the time to learn how to weed out the good from the bad. It is a process that you need to become incredibly good at and with experience and a focus on doing just that you will be building a solid brand.
Dropshipping sourcing guides…
- Checklist: How to Find the Right Supplier on AliExpress
- AliExpress Survival Guide: Finding the Right Supplier
- The Definitive Guide to Dropshipping with AliExpress
and… This is How to Find Great Fulfilment Companies for Print on Demand!
Print on demand is my home. It is where I have made well over $3,000,000 online and the industry I keep finding myself in. The only difficulty with finding products is finding a supplier you can trust. There's plenty of good news though!
Unfortunately, there are some bad ones, and you MUST do your own due diligence to find a supplier that cares for the end user as much as you do. They need to be a full service…in essence, have above average care for the seller and a devotion to keeping customers happy.
The Best Print on Demand Fulfillers for Shopify;
The Best Print on Demand Platforms;
I wholeheartedly love what Shopify and the dropshipping industry has created as I believe it gives ordinary people an exceptional way to break away from the system. I just hate people starting before they've educated themselves with the best practices.
Unfortunately, people tend to gravitate towards the easiest path. A path that's often littered with dodgy guru's teaching them how to make money.
The big platforms, however, do an incredible job of putting out the right information. It's up to us to consume that content and put our findings into practice.
If you are truly interested in this great industry I suggest you find yourself a fantastic mentor that helps you tread the right path. Learn from the great content that exists out there and before long build a brand that you would be happy to have your name associated with.
If you have any comments please leave them below, I would love to discuss this article with you!