Affiliate marketing isn’t the only way to start an online business. There are thousands of alternative ways to get started online without having to invest a significant sum of money. With that being said, all of the methods do require hard work. There’s no such thing as a push button solution!

While affiliate marketing is a great way to get started online, many people feel like it just isn’t something for them. They would much rather sell something tangible themselves. Something like a physical product.

This is where business models like dropshipping come in. Dropshipping is a product fulfilment method where you only buy products from the supplier when they’ve already been sold.

These suppliers also store all your stock as well as package and ship your items.

This service that suppliers is usually covered by a fixed fee that you pay them every so often. In many cases this fee is charged per item and normally costs between two and five dollars per item.

Here is a four step guide to starting a Drop-shipping business

Number 1: Pick Your Niche And Product

Do you have a niche or type of product that you’re already interested in? Start by researching that and if not you can make use of websites like the Salehoo market research lab. This tools is great at helping you find great product sale opportunities in the dropshipping industry.

You can also look through websites like Ebay to find products that are doing really well.

Here’s exactly what you need to do:

  • On the eBay homepage click on the “advanced search” option located in the top right hand corner.
  • Tick the “completed listings” box.
  • Type in your keywords and run a search.
  • Scroll through the first few pages and make not of them items that are listed in green – these are products that have sold successfully on the eBay marketplace.

When you find something that sells more than 50% of the time, you can be fairly sure that it’ll be something you can sell successfully too. If you’r browsing through the pages and you’re seeing a high number of green listings then this is a good sign that the products in that niche sell really well!

Number 2: Find An Awesome Supplier

One of the first things you need to do when first starting out in your dropshipping business is to find a REALLY good supplier. This will make all the difference in your business. It’s worth taking extra time to do your research to find a supplier who will really serve your company.

Before agreeing on any kind of deal with a supplier, you should be asking the following questions:

  • How long will they take to ship items?
  • What kind of shipping options do they have?
  • Do you they quality control systems in place?
  • Are you able to use their product photos? May large wholesale companies have professional photos that are ideal for you to use.

Number 3: Choose a Platform To Sell Your Products

Amazon and eBay are the two biggest ecommerce sites where you can sell your products at the moment. There are alternatives out there but I wont bother mentioning them because they have such a small percentage of the market at this point.

You can set your sights on Amazon alone and build a wildly profitable ecommerce business on there as they have TONS of traffic. People will tell you to diversify and sign up to various websites to sell your products but I think it’s best to stick with one until you’re making a significant income, otherwise you risk spreading yourself too thin.

Number 4: Manage Listings

In a dropshipping business, you list your items in the same way as if you had the stock to hand yourself.

With that being said, a dropshipping order works quite differently to one you would just ship from your home or office location.

Here’s how it goes:

After you’ve chosen your supplier as well as the products you’ll list your items on your chosen ecommerce platform.

Once you’ve made a sale you collect the money and pay the supplier (keeping your cut of the profits) by ordering the item you’ve just sold from their site.

The supplier sends out the item directly to the buyer and everyone is happy!

I hope you liked this short and sweet guide to starting a drop-shipping business.